Archive for the ‘Mercury in rice’ Category

Gluten-Free Diets May Lead to Elevated Arsenic and Mercury Levels

June 23, 2017

Just when I thought that my dietary choices were much better since I decided to avoid wheat gluten in foods, along comes a new study that reveals that eating large amounts of rice flour can lead to heightened arsenic and mercury levels in my body!

I was very dismayed to read about this yesterday.  It all started with an article that I read in First magazine which asked, and then answered the following question:

“Should I be worried about arsenic in gluten-free foods?”

Q:  Following a gluten-free diet has done wonders for my GI issues and brain fog.  But lately I’ve been seeing news reports saying gluten-free foods increase exposure to arsenic and other toxic chemicals.  Now I’m worried my favorite gluten-free breads and treats could be bad for me.  Are they unsafe?

Suffice it to say that this article immediately drew my attention because for the past several years, I have been trying to eliminate breads and foods that contain gluten from my diet.  I have not been tested or diagnosed with Celiac disease (where gluten can have devastating effects upon those who have it).  I found that I felt much better when I eliminated wheat gluten, so I perceived myself as having a  non-celiac gluten sensitivity.  [Note: Dr. Amy Burkhardt strongly recommends being tested for Celiac disease before starting a gluten-free diet.]

Please see:

The Celiac MD: Six Reasons to Test for Celiac Disease
Before Starting a Gluten Free Diet

It became a lifestyle choice for me, personally,  because cutting way down on gluten in my diet did help ease the digestive issues that I was experiencing.  Occasionally, I still consume breads and foods with gluten in them (particularly at restaurants),  but I have tried to eliminate it as much as possible. I did not know (until reading all of these important articles) about the hidden health risks and dangers of increased arsenic and mercury in my diet due to the increased intake of rice flour!

A:  There is reason to be cautious.  In a study conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago, researchers found that people who followed a gluten-free diet for five or more years had nearly twice as much arsenic and 70 percent more mercury in their systems as those who consumed a standard diet.  And chronic exposure to low levels of these toxic metals has been linked to nausea, arrhythmia, blue moods, fatigue, weight gain and neurological issues.

The problem with gluten-free diets:  Most processed foods like bread, pasta and cookies use a form of rice flour as a substitute for wheat.  This gluten-free grain is great for creating a tender crumb and light texture in baked goods, but it is particularly vulnerable to heavy-metal contamination.  That’s because rice is grown in fields that are flooded with irrigation water.  This water tends to be polluted with arsenic and mercury, which rice plants then absorb as they grow.

That said, it is possible to enjoy the benefits of a gluten-free diet without the associated health risks.  The key is favoring whole foods, including fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, nuts and legumes, and limiting intake of processed gluten-free products made with rice flour. 

Instead, opt for breads and pastas made from nuts, ancient grains and beans.  A few products that get our stamp of approval:  Food for Life Sprouted for Life Almond Bread, which is made with quinoa, millet and almond meal and has a hearty, nutty taste ($10, health-food stores); Ancient Harvest Supergrain Pasta, a corn and quinoa-based noodle with a toothsome chew ($3, supermarkets); and Lucy’s Gluten-Free Cookies, which are made from a blend of oat, chickpea, tapioca, sorghum and fava flours ($4, supermarkets).

I have been feeling very fatigued, but just thought that was a natural thing happening to me due to getting older!  (I’m 62)  Perhaps another positive change in my eating habits will help ease that fatigue!

After reading this article, I did a search online and found many other helpful articles about this topic.  One of the best was this one:


One tip that I can share is that instead of using regular bread products (sandwich slices, rolls, English muffins, etc.), I often substitute corn tortillas. Several brands say “gluten-free” on the package, so I look for that designation when selecting them at the store. They are inexpensive and great to use for egg “Mctortillas,” sandwiches, as a substitute for rolls; because you can put practically anything inside and enjoy a gluten-free, yet more tasty meal.  [Additionally, the non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) kind is better, but they are more expensive].

Personally, I have found most of the gluten-free breads on the market tasteless! They often fall apart too! Note the cost of the “Food for Life” bread in the article…$10! I know that I wouldn’t finish the loaf by myself before it would need to be discarded. Some people may like to freeze the slices before use to make it last longer, but I find myself being too lazy to do that. Usually, I just forget.

I hope that this information helps someone out there who thinks that they are eating healthier by eating gluten-free, but were uninformed (as I was!) about the danger of the health risks due to ingestion of increased levels of toxic heavy metals in rice flour!

Hat tips to all links and graphics sites.


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The mindset in postmodernism is that objective truth does not exist. But in post-truth, the person believes that objective truth exists, but they subordinate truth to their preferences, or their comfort. In other words, one doesn’t care that truth exists or what the truth is if it doesn’t line up with one’s preferences. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" - George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). 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At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. 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