Arsenic in Rice;

Unfortunately all rice contains arsenic, even if it’s been organically grown. Arsenic is a natural occurring element in our environment, but as our waterways are becoming more polluted, this level is rising.

Rice naturally absorbs more arsenic than other foods.

We can’t totally remove arsenic, but if you follow this cooking method, you will greatly reduce the amount by up to 80%.

Some rice varieties are naturally higher in arsenic than others;

  • Basmati rice is naturally lower in arsenic than other rice
  • Unfortunately brown rice contains up to 80 times more arsenic than white rice due to the husk
  • Rice cakes and crackers contain more arsenic than the rice grain
  • Rice milk may contain more arsenic than is permissable in drinking water!
  • Organically grown rice still contains arsenic

Cooking rice with lower GI

When rice is cooked, then left to cool and then re-heated (think stir fried rice) it alters the structure of the rice converting it from a simple starch (which is converted to blood sugar immediately) to a resistant starch. Adding oil enhances this affect. Resistant starch isn’t absorbed as readily as a simple starch, therefore it doesn’t spike blood sugar levels therefore improving insulin sensitivity, in fact, for some people, it can even lower glucose and insulin after meals.  Resistant starch may even enhance sleep quality, increase energy levels, and promote mental clarity.

It’s thought that cooking rice this way may reduce calories by 50 – 60 %!!


  •      1 cup organic white, Basmati or brown rice
  •      1 ½ cups water
  •      1-3 tbsp. coconut oil, butter or ghee
  •      Pinch of Himalayan pink salt (optional)


  1. Rinse rice under running water, this removes any talc…yes talc, which is sometimes used in milling rice.
  2. Place rice in a saucepan and soak overnight in plenty of water (opens rice grain up and allows the arsenic to leach out into the soaking water)
  3.  Drain the rice and rinse thoroughly.
  4. Add 5 parts water to 1 part rice. Add the oil or butter to the water
  5. Bring to the boil, cook until tender (about 15 minutes or so)
  6. Pour off the excess water (and the arsenic with it!!)
  7. For added benefit, cool the rice and then re-heat it rather than having it straight from the pot.

See my other post for Lower GI potatoes;

Image courtesy of Keerati at FreeDigitalPhotos.net