Why should rice be eaten in moderation?

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A new study confirms the link between rice consumption and cardiovascular risks.

One of the most consumed cereals in the world, rice is one of the staple foods found in every kitchen. But this plant, whose roots grow in water, binds particularly well to arsenic in its inorganic form. This semi-metal is abundantly present in rice field water, especially in Bangladesh, and represents a real danger to our health as it promotes the development of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. According to researchers from the University of Manchester and the University of Salford (United Kingdom), exposure to this substance increases the risk of death.

Increased risk of premature death

In recent years, the association between the consumption of arsenic and rice has been the subject of numerous studies. The most recent, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, highlights the correlation between rice consumption and cardiovascular mortality. The risk of premature death is even 6% higher for those who eat a lot of rice. To arrive at such results, the researchers used food and health data from authorities in England and Wales. "Among rice consumers in England and Wales, the 25% who consume more rice could probably have a higher risk of cardiovascular mortality compared to the 25% who consume less," explains Professor David. Polya, University of Manchester.

Choose basmati rice

To limit risks, scientists recommend consuming basmati or white rice, which contains less inorganic arsenic. In a report on arsenic in rice published in the American magazine Consumer Reports in 2015, the researchers recommended rinsing the rice before use and cooking it in more water (about 6 cups of water for one of rice). This cooking method would thus reduce the arsenic content by 30%.

You can also vary the pleasures with other cereals such as wheat, spelled or even quinoa.

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