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Rice protein is a protein supplement made from brown rice, usually found in powder form. Unlike whey powder made from dairy and soy, which can cause digestive problems for some people, rice protein is often more easily digested, and shares with soy the advantage of being completely vegan. Some people on gluten-free diets use rice protein powder since it is also gluten-free, and others cite the main advantage is that it is less expensive than whey protein powder. One disadvantage for many people is that the powder can taste very bitter; fortunately, the taste can be hidden when the powder is added to food or beverages.
It is common to think of rice as a carbohydrate, but like many other grains, it does contain amino acids that make up proteins. Through a special conversion process, brown rice is treated with enzymes that cause separation between carbs and proteins. These enzymes are considered vegan and the processing of rice in this manner is considered a “raw food” technique. The result is usually made into rice protein powder, which may be flavored or not, and can be added to a variety of foods.
Taste and Appearance
Most commonly, protein from rice is consumed in its natural form, rice; however, some people need alternatives to adding protein from rice to their diets — enter rice powder. This fine powder is sometimes flavored, most commonly with vanilla, and can be easily disguised in foods, desserts, and drinks, just like other protein supplements. There are fans and opposers of rice protein based on taste alone; some find the taste bitter, and others complain that it is unpleasantly chalky. Not everyone finds the taste repulsive, but if taste is an issue, there are plenty of ways to disguise it. By adding rice protein to smoothies or baked goods, consumers are unlikely to notice that it has any taste at all.
The main appeal of this type of protein is that most people digest it very well as it is hypoallergenic; those who may be lactose intolerant or have allergies to ingredients in other protein products will find rice protein to be a helpful alternative. People who wish to avoid consuming animal products often prefer this protein, and compared to other protein powders, those made of rice are typically less expensive. The amount of protein grams per serving ranges from about 10 to 30 grams, depending on the brand; the overall amount of calories is generally less in rice-based powders than other types of protein powders, making it a better option for people trying to lose weight. Several studies have shown that and endocrine protein obtained from brown rice may also help lower a person's overall risk for heart disease.
Adding Rice Protein to Your Diet
Rice is not a complete protein, so other proteins must be consumed with it to form a complete protein; this can be done by adding rice powder to foods and drinks. There are a number of companies that manufacture protein supplements, including those made of rice; the rice supplement can be found in most local health or natural foods stores. Some people suggest reading independent customer reviews and learning which brands have the most favorable reviews before purchasing the product. If the taste of the powder is a problem, think about exploring the benefits of the protein via baked goods or flavorful smoothies.