Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains like wheat, rye, spelt and barley.
A growing number of the population are going gluten free and for good reason. Those who suffer from celiac disease truly need to avoid gluten. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the body treats gluten as a foreign invader. For these people consumption of gluten damages the gut wall, and may cause nutrient deficiencies.
Growing evidence is showing that severe gluten sensitivities exist outside of celiac disease. This is called non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Many people still react negatively to gluten. When gluten is removed from the diet their health and digestion show MAJOR improvement. I recently read more than 30% of Americans actively try to avoid gluten. I personally think its a GREAT to avoid gluten for better overall health.
What many people don’t realize is that replacing your regular everyday products like bread, pasta, and crackers with gluten free options has a down side. Gluten free products are often loaded with sugar and refined oils but the worst offender is RICE. When people go GF their consumption of rice typically goes up. This means eating rice every single day for some people.
Rice makes up many GF cereals, breads, crackers, and pasta’s but overconsumption of these products can lead to a buildup of ARSENIC in the body. It has been found that people on GF diets have double the amount of arsenic in their body. YIKES!! Arsenic is naturally occurring in our environment and food but rice is know to contain 10-20x more arsenic as it tends to absorb more due to the way its grown.
High levels of arsenic in the body is linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, problems in pregnancy and infant development along with it being a powerful carcinogen that promotes the risk of several types of cancer.
So whats a person to do?
First , cut out as many gf products as you can and JUST EAT REAL FOOD. If you stick to fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and clean proteins as the majority of your meals you can easily avoid all that rice.
Look for grain free flourless products that don’t contain rice. READ LABELS! There are a few brands I have come across at Whole Foods.
Don’t freak out if you have already been consuming these products just start now by limiting what you do consume day to day.
You don’t need to completely avoid rice but take these steps to protect you and your family from arsenic:
- Rinse rice before cooking
- Cook rice with 5x more water than required. When finished drain rice and rinse off with water.
- Choose basmati rice as it has the lowest levels of arsenic
- Soak uncooked rice overnight and throw away the water before cooking.
Be Well 🙂
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