Cooking rice like pasta reduces arsenic, but how much food is lost?
Cooking rice in a high water-to-rice ratio reduces the level of toxic arsenic, which I discuss in my video How to Cook Rice to Lower Arsenic Levels. What exactly does that mean? Well as you can see in mine at 0:16 VideoIf you cook rice like pasta and drain the water at the end, you can cut the arsenic levels in half – 50 to 60 percent of the arsenic is poured down the drain – while we usually make rice and boiling the water in a rice cooker or saucepan, for example, helps Not. In fact, it can get even worse if the water you use to cook the rice also contains arsenic. This is a problem that exists for about three million Americans because about 8 percent of public water supplies exceed electricity legal arsenic limits.
“Boiling rice in excess water” – and then discarding the excess water – “efficiently reduces the amount of inorganic As [that is, toxic arsenic] in cooked rice ”, but how much food do you pour down the drain when you throw away the excess water?
“Unpolished brown rice naturally contains vitamins and minerals that are lost when the bran layer and germ are removed to make white rice. To compensate for this, polished white and cooked rice sold in the US has been fortified frequently since the 1940s. “Vitamins and minerals have been sprayed on white rice so that it is“ fortified ”and“ fortified ”. For this reason, the cooking instructions for fortified white rice specifically state that you shouldn’t rinse it and boil it in a minimal amount of water. In other words, you should be doing the opposite of what you would to get rid of some arsenic. But brown rice contains the nutrients that aren’t just sprayed on.
“Do the washing up [white] Rice ”, for example by placing it in a sieve under running water,“ removes a large part of the fortified vitamins that are sprayed on the rice grain surface during production ”, removing most of the B vitamins. But “the rinsing had almost no effect on the vitamins in whole brown rice” – because brown rice contains the food. It’s similar with iron: rinsing white rice lowers the iron content by about three-quarters, but the iron in brown rice is actually there. Rinsing only reduces the iron concentration in brown rice by about 10 percent. The rinsing did not appear to affect the arsenic level. So why bother?
If you really wash the rice, e.g. For example, stir the uncooked rice in water, rinse, and repeat for three minutes, you can potentially remove about 10 percent of the arsenic. So a research team recommends washing rice and cooking it in excess water, but I don’t know if the 10 percent is worth the extra time it takes to wash the rice. As we discussed earlier, cooking rice like pasta and then draining the excess water significantly reduces arsenic, and while this cooking method also affects the diet in white rice, the nutrient loss in brown rice is “significantly less” since it is not is so very enriched, but primarily rich in nutrients.
“Boiling brown rice in large amounts of excess water reduces the toxic arsenic by almost 60% and the iron content by only 5%. It reduces the vitamin content of brown rice by about half ”. You can see a graphic of what I’m talking about at 3:18 am in mine Video. Rinsing brown rice quickly before cooking it doesn’t lower the arsenic levels, but boiling and draining the excess water will lower the arsenic levels by 40 percent instead of boiling to dryness. That was roughly a ratio of 6 parts water to 1 part rice. What if you used more water and cooked at a water to rice ratio of 10 to 1? The arsenic content drops by 60 percent.
White rice allows you to rinse off a little arsenic, but after cooking you get similar final drops in arsenic, but the iron in white rice is obliterated by rinsing and cooking, while the iron in brown rice remains strong. There are similar declines in B vitamins when cooking for brown and non-rinsed white rice, but if you rinse white rice, the B vitamins are mostly gone before they even get into the pot.
What about rice seepage? Well, we know that regular rice cooking doesn’t help lower arsenic levels, but cooking and then draining rice like pasta while steaming doesn’t do much. What about rice leaching as a radical rethink to optimize arsenic removal? The researchers tried two types of percolation technology: one was a crazy scientist-type lab facility, and the other was just an off-the-shelf coffee maker. Instead of pickling coffee, they add rice and soak in for 20 minutes for white and 30 minutes for brown. The result? As you can see in mine at 4:39 VideoWith a water-to-rice ratio of 12 to 1, arsenic levels fell by about 60 percent. Raw brown rice started out with about twice the arsenic content of raw white rice, but after boiled and drained with enough excess water, they get a lot closer. However, a 60 percent decrease in arsenic levels from seepage at a 12 to 1 ratio was about what we got to the boil at just 10 to 1. So I don’t see any reason to buy a percolator.
But what does this 60 percent decrease really mean? By cooking and draining a daily serving of rice, we were able to reduce the excessive risk of cancer by more than half, from 165 times the acceptable risk of cancer to 66 times the acceptable risk.
At this point I can imagine that you are thinking, wait, should we avoid rice or not? I come there. First, I’ll just lay out the problem. Here are videos on the latest topic if you’re interested:
And here are six more:
Michael Greger, MD
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