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10 Feb 2017

Be Warned: How You Cook Rice Can Result in Hypertension, Diabetes, Cancer and Even Death

It has been revealed that the
way people cook their rice
can end up affecting their
health very seriously.

In the average home, rice is a
must-eat food on a daily
basis, especially when you
have children around. It's so easy to cook — or so
many of us assume, what with
the unceremonious ways we
pour it into the pot and cook
it in a jiffy! Yet, researchers are saying
that the way we cook rice can
lead to diseases and death! Scientists warn that rice
contains a worrying amount
of arsenic, a harmful chemical
that can cause heart disease,
diabetes and cancer.

According to a group of
researchers in Northern
Ireland, the way most people
cook rice, which is by boiling
it in a pan until it absorbs the
water, doesn't get rid of the toxin. Researchers warn that traces
of the poison arsenic – a
chemical that contaminates
rice as a result of industrial
toxins and pesticides used in
the growing process – can be found in the rice even after
cooking the way we do. The safest way to cook rice is
to soak it overnight first,
wash it with cool water the
following morning, before
finally cooking it.

The researchers found that
this reduced arsenic levels by
80 percent. Chronic exposure to arsenic
has recognised links to a
range of health problems
including heart disease,
diabetes and cancer. Thankfully, there's no reason
to panic just yet, as a series of
experiments showed that it is
possible to reduce our levels
of exposure to arsenic by
simply changing the way we cook rice.

A professor of biological
sciences at Queens University
Belfast, Andy Meharg, tested
three ways of cooking rice to
see whether it altered the
levels of arsenic. In the first method, he used a
ratio of two parts water to
one part rice, allowing the
water to 'steam out', as
identified above. In the second, he used five
parts water to one part rice,
washing off excessive water
before serving. This saw the
levels of arsenic almost

Finally, the rice was soaked in
water overnight before being
cooked the next day, resulting
in an 80 per cent reduction of
the toxin. For the safest results, the
overnight rice should be
rinsed until the water is clear,
before being drained and
boiled in a saucepan using a
ratio of five parts water to one part rice.

The punch

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