Yes, There Is Arsenic In Your Rice. Here’s What You Need To Know!
Isn't that headline scary? Okay, step one: Breathe.
No, we're not fooling with you: There is arsenic in your rice; yes, arsenic is toxic; yes, arsenic has been linked to health concerns such as various cancers (lung, skin, and bladder cancer, particularly).
But let's back up a minute. What is arsenic?
Arsenic is an element in the earth’s crust that’s naturally found in the air, water and soil, so the fact that it is in rice isn’t entirely alarming.
There are two types of arsenic: organic (in the biological sense) and inorganic. Inorganic arsenic is the kind that’s dangerous and is associated with adverse health effects ― and it’s the kind that’s present in rice, which is why you might want to moderate your rice intake.
So how do you continue eating rice in good conscience? Educate yourself.
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A bowl of cooked white rice.
Consumer Reports suggests mixing up your grain consumption with other grains that are naturally lower in arsenic. Amaranth, buckwheat, millet and polenta have almost no levels of arsenic. Bulgur, barley, and farro have very low levels. And quinoa has less than rice.
According to the study on arsenic in rice by Consumer Reports, brown rice has higher levels of arsenic than white because the highest levels of the arsenic are found in the husk. The husk is removed to make white rice, so if you eat a lot of brown rice you might want to switch it up with white (despite the fact that brown rice is typically thought to be the better choice, nutritionally).
You can also cook rice in a way that will remove some of the arsenic. While the modern technique of cooking rice in a limited amount water helps retain the most nutrition from the grain, it also retains the arsenic. Boiling the rice in a 6:1 water-to-rice ratio (sort of how you’d cook pasta), draining the excess water once cooked, has been shown to remove up to 60 percent of arsenic levels in rice. Rinsing before you cook can also reduce arsenic levels. In other words, flush the rice with lots of water.
Feel free to still enjoy your lunch rice bowl or get down with fried rice. Just make sure you eat rice in moderation, and/or cook it with lots of water, and your arsenic intake should be in check. But when it comes to infants, regulate their consumption. Because remember, their body weight versus intake is very different than it is for an adult.
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Yes, There Is Arsenic In Your Rice. Here’s What You Need To Know! Reviewed by matt on 10:06:00 Rating: