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Rice: It’s still healthy

Image: Thinkstock

Whole-grain rice is a healthy grain,
with multiple nutrients, fiber,
and protein.

Whole grains, including brown rice, are part of a healthy diet. However, health advocates have raised concerns about the tiny amount of arsenic that rice plants absorb from the soil. Also, a handful of studies have linked rice consumption to cardiovascular disease, although the evidence is preliminary and inconsistent. But now rice eaters can rest a little easier, thanks to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers tapped several long-term studies involving more than 200,000 health professionals over a period from 1984 to 2010 to look for any signs of a link between rice and cardiovascular problems. The researchers added up the number of confirmed cases of heart attacks, chest pain, and death from any cause and ran statistical tests to check if people who ate more rice had more problems.

The study found no extra risk from rice—at least at the relatively low levels of consumption in the United States. This doesn’t conclusively prove rice is safe, but the study didn’t find any obvious sign of trouble in a large group of rice eaters followed over many years.

Meanwhile, the health benefits of brown rice and other whole-grain foods are well established. Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals as well as protein and fiber. Options besides brown rice include barley, quinoa, and whole-grain breads and pasta.

Posted by: Dr.Health

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