Hi there! We know that arsenic is a toxic element found in rice while rice bran oil is one of the healthiest cooking oils. How much arsenic is in rice bran oil and is it safe to eat and why? Find out in this post!
We don’t mean to alarm you but yes, there is a certain amount of this toxic element present in our food. Arsenic is a natural chemical form, meaning it occurs in nature, more specifically in Earth’s crust.
Consuming large amounts of this element can be very dangerous for our health, especially for people who suffer from celiac disease.
Besides, arsenic is associated with many serious diseases including lung and skin cancer.
Where Does Arsenic Come From and Why in Rice?
You’re probably wondering how this dangerous element found its way to our plates. Well, besides occurring in Earth’s crust, arsenic particles can be found all around us in air, water and soil.
The way it gets into our rice is by being absorbed by the plant. Rice plants absorb nutrients from the soil and along with those nutrients come a significant amount of toxic arsenic.
However, there are two different types of arsenic, the organic and the inorganic kind. The inorganic arsenic is the more dangerous kind and it is exactly the one that gets absorbed by our rice plants.
Surprisingly, brown rice has a lot more arsenic than white rice, even though is most commonly recommended as a better rice variety. That is because brown rice absorbs more nutrients, which boosts its nutritious values but also drags along larger quantities of the toxic element.
How Much Arsenic Is in Rice Bran Oil?
Now, since rice contains arsenic, does rice bran oil contain it too? The answer is yes, there is a certain amount of arsenic in rice bran oil generally.
The correct amount depends on what brand and variety you’re consuming. However, while rice contains high levels of arsenic, the levels of this element in rice bran oil are much lower, meaning it is less harmful to our health.
The reason why arsenic concentration is lower in rice bran oil than in rice grains is because the element does not get easily taken up into oil.
Besides, we consume a lot more rice than we do rice bran oil, meaning the oil is far less harmful for our health. Even though there is a certain amount of arsenic present in it, it’s not that big of a concern as it is with rice in general.
How to Avoid Consuming Arsenic
We definitely recommend avoiding foods and ingredients with large amounts of arsenic but the question is how to do so? When speaking of rice in general, there is a way to prepare it that will significantly lower the arsenic concentration.
For starters, rinsing rice a few times before cooking can help wash off some of this substance, even though the effects aren’t that significant. However, still make sure to rinse the rice as much as you can prior to cooking it.
Furthermore, changing the amount of water the rice cooks in can help reduce the amount of arsenic in it.
- To do so, you need to cook your rice in a 6:1 ratio, meaning if you’re cooking one cup of rice, use six cups of water.
- On the other hand, if you’re preparing two cups of rice, use 12 cups of water. This technique can remove up to 60% of the arsenic contained in the rice.
However, many people don’t do this because it is generally advised to cook the rice in a water ratio that helps retain nutrients.
Even though this does retain the nutrients and all the good elements of rice, it also retains the arsenic. Therefore, if your goal is to reduce the arsenic levels in your rice, cooking it in a 6:1 ratio is the way to go.
Use High Quality
When it comes to avoiding arsenic in rice bran oil, there is not much you can do.
While arsenic in oil isn’t that big of a concern, one thing you can do to avoid it as much as possible is look for higher quality brands.
Popular and organic rice bran oil brands are more likely to offer oil that contains lower levels of arsenic.
Some of those brands include Dr. Adorable’s Rice Bran Oil known for a naturally high smoke point, the California Rice Oil Company of Rice Bran that offers hypoallergenic oil and the Gamma One Rice Bran Oil that provides 100% pure rice bran oil.
Is Rice Bran Oil Still Healthy?
Yes, it is! In spite of a small percentage of arsenic commonly found in it. The reason is because rice bran oil brings its own health benefits while the concentration of arsenic in it is not that big of a concern.
As with any other food, if taken in normal quantities, there are lesser risks of damaging your health. Keep your consumption of rice bran oil controlled and you don’t have to worry about arsenic.
In addition, consuming rice bran oil from popular and high quality brands is better!
We don’t want you to be overly concerned about arsenic but you only need to be aware of it. As you could learn from this article, there are ways to avoid the dangers of consuming this toxic elements.
When it comes to rice, rinsing and washing can help reduce the levels of arsenic. There isn’t much you can do besides for looking for the higher quality rice bran oil brands.
Luckily, the concentration of arsenic in rice bran oil is lower and no risk on health. Therefore, there is no need to completely avoid these ingredients because as long as you control your intake, you are not facing any health risks!
Would you still use rice bran oil in cooking? Let us know your thoughts in the comment below!