Arsenic in Rice Milk, Rice Krispies, & Brown Rice Syrup

Arsenic in Rice Milk, Rice Krispies, & Brown Rice Syrup
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I recommend people switch away from using rice milk.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

For kids and teens, the amount of arsenic flowing through their bodies was found to be about 15% higher for each quarter-cup of daily rice consumption. A similar link was found in adults. A study of pregnant women found that about a half a cup a day of cooked rice could raise urine arsenic levels as much as drinking a liter of arsenic-contaminated water at the current upper federal safety limit. So, that suggests that many Americans “may be exposed to potentially harmful levels of arsenic through rice consumption.”

But, you know where Americans get most of their rice arsenic from? Rice Krispies— though brown Rice Krispies may have twice as much.

“Organic brown rice syrup…is used as a sweetener in organic food products as an alternative to high-fructose corn syrup.” Big mistake, as organic brown rice syrup products may introduce significant concentrations of toxic arsenic into peoples’ diets. For example, two of these might hit the provisional upper daily arsenic limit, based on the water standards.

“[T]oddler formulas with added organic brown rice syrup have 20 times higher levels of [toxic] arsenic.” And, “[i]n older children,” thanks to brown rice syrup, a few cereal “bars a day could pose a [quote-unquote] very high cancer risk.”

What about rice milk? A consensus statement of both the “European…and…American [Societies] for Pediatric…Nutrition…recommend the avoidance of rice milk for infants and young children.” And, generally, toxic arsenic intake in infancy and childhood should be as low as possible.

To this end, “the UK has banned the consumption of rice milk for young children,” a notion to which Consumer Reports concurred, recommending no servings a week of rice milk for children, and no more than half a cup a day for adults.

The arsenic in various brands of rice milk ranges all over the place, a 15-fold difference between the highest and lowest contamination, suggesting manufacturers could make low arsenic rice milk if they wanted. Consumer Reports found Pacific brand and Rice Dream were right about average, though perhaps for Rice Dream, it appears the vanilla or chocolate flavors may be lower. Rice vinegar doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about, but rice pasta and rice cakes end up similar to pure rice—which makes sense, because that’s what they pretty much are, though pasta is boiled. So, we’d expect the levels to be cut 40 to 60%, like when you boil and drain rice.

If for some reason, you just couldn’t live without rice milk, you could make your own, using lower-arsenic rice, like brown basmati from India, Pakistan, or California, but then it may have even less nutrition, as at least most of the commercial brands are fortified. Better options might be soy, oat, hemp, or almond milk, though you don’t want kids to be drinking too much almond milk. There have been a few case reports of little kids drinking like four cups a day, running into kidney stone problems, due to the relatively high oxalate content, averaging about five times more than soy milk.

I have about 30 videos that touch on soy milk—how it may normalize development in girls and reduce breast cancer risk, as well as prostate cancer risk in men. Some of the latest science on soy milk includes an association with better knee x-rays, suggesting protection from osteoarthritis, and an interventional study suggesting improved gut health by boosting the growth of good bacteria, Though drinking three quarts a day—10 to 12 cups a day for a year—may inflame your liver. Two cups a day, though, can have an extraordinary effect on your cholesterol, a whopping 25% drop in bad cholesterol after just 21 days.

An ounce-and-a-half of almonds every day, like a handful a day, can drop LDL 13% in six weeks, and reduce abdominal fat, though a cup of almond milk only contains about 10 almonds—less than a third of what was used in the study. So, it’s not clear if almond milk helps much, but there was a study on oat milk compared to rice milk. Five weeks of oat milk lowered bad cholesterol, whereas rice milk didn’t, and even increased triglycerides, and may even bump blood pressure a little bit. But, the oat milk only dropped LDL about 5%, and that was with three cups a day; so, as plant-based alternatives go, it appears soy milk wins the day.

So, why drink rice milk at all when there are such better options? There’s really not much nutrition in rice milk. In fact, there are case reports of “severe malnutrition” in toddlers who centered their diets around rice milk due to multiple food allergies. Infants and toddlers have increased protein requirements compared to adults; and so, if the bulk of some poor kid’s diet is rice milk, coconut milk, potato milk, or almond milk, they may not get enough.

Oh, yeah? Show me one case of kwashiorkor (that bloated belly protein/calorie deficiency) due to rice milk. Here you go. Here’s another one, “severe kwashiorkor,” not in Ethiopia, but in Atlanta, Georgia—because literally 99% of his diet was rice milk. So, these malnutrition cases were not because they drank rice milk, but rather because they drank rice milk nearly exclusively. But, I just use these to illustrate the relative lack of nutrition in rice milk. So, if you’re going to choose a milk, might as well go for one that has less arsenic—and, more nutrition.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr. Image has been modified.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

For kids and teens, the amount of arsenic flowing through their bodies was found to be about 15% higher for each quarter-cup of daily rice consumption. A similar link was found in adults. A study of pregnant women found that about a half a cup a day of cooked rice could raise urine arsenic levels as much as drinking a liter of arsenic-contaminated water at the current upper federal safety limit. So, that suggests that many Americans “may be exposed to potentially harmful levels of arsenic through rice consumption.”

But, you know where Americans get most of their rice arsenic from? Rice Krispies— though brown Rice Krispies may have twice as much.

“Organic brown rice syrup…is used as a sweetener in organic food products as an alternative to high-fructose corn syrup.” Big mistake, as organic brown rice syrup products may introduce significant concentrations of toxic arsenic into peoples’ diets. For example, two of these might hit the provisional upper daily arsenic limit, based on the water standards.

“[T]oddler formulas with added organic brown rice syrup have 20 times higher levels of [toxic] arsenic.” And, “[i]n older children,” thanks to brown rice syrup, a few cereal “bars a day could pose a [quote-unquote] very high cancer risk.”

What about rice milk? A consensus statement of both the “European…and…American [Societies] for Pediatric…Nutrition…recommend the avoidance of rice milk for infants and young children.” And, generally, toxic arsenic intake in infancy and childhood should be as low as possible.

To this end, “the UK has banned the consumption of rice milk for young children,” a notion to which Consumer Reports concurred, recommending no servings a week of rice milk for children, and no more than half a cup a day for adults.

The arsenic in various brands of rice milk ranges all over the place, a 15-fold difference between the highest and lowest contamination, suggesting manufacturers could make low arsenic rice milk if they wanted. Consumer Reports found Pacific brand and Rice Dream were right about average, though perhaps for Rice Dream, it appears the vanilla or chocolate flavors may be lower. Rice vinegar doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about, but rice pasta and rice cakes end up similar to pure rice—which makes sense, because that’s what they pretty much are, though pasta is boiled. So, we’d expect the levels to be cut 40 to 60%, like when you boil and drain rice.

If for some reason, you just couldn’t live without rice milk, you could make your own, using lower-arsenic rice, like brown basmati from India, Pakistan, or California, but then it may have even less nutrition, as at least most of the commercial brands are fortified. Better options might be soy, oat, hemp, or almond milk, though you don’t want kids to be drinking too much almond milk. There have been a few case reports of little kids drinking like four cups a day, running into kidney stone problems, due to the relatively high oxalate content, averaging about five times more than soy milk.

I have about 30 videos that touch on soy milk—how it may normalize development in girls and reduce breast cancer risk, as well as prostate cancer risk in men. Some of the latest science on soy milk includes an association with better knee x-rays, suggesting protection from osteoarthritis, and an interventional study suggesting improved gut health by boosting the growth of good bacteria, Though drinking three quarts a day—10 to 12 cups a day for a year—may inflame your liver. Two cups a day, though, can have an extraordinary effect on your cholesterol, a whopping 25% drop in bad cholesterol after just 21 days.

An ounce-and-a-half of almonds every day, like a handful a day, can drop LDL 13% in six weeks, and reduce abdominal fat, though a cup of almond milk only contains about 10 almonds—less than a third of what was used in the study. So, it’s not clear if almond milk helps much, but there was a study on oat milk compared to rice milk. Five weeks of oat milk lowered bad cholesterol, whereas rice milk didn’t, and even increased triglycerides, and may even bump blood pressure a little bit. But, the oat milk only dropped LDL about 5%, and that was with three cups a day; so, as plant-based alternatives go, it appears soy milk wins the day.

So, why drink rice milk at all when there are such better options? There’s really not much nutrition in rice milk. In fact, there are case reports of “severe malnutrition” in toddlers who centered their diets around rice milk due to multiple food allergies. Infants and toddlers have increased protein requirements compared to adults; and so, if the bulk of some poor kid’s diet is rice milk, coconut milk, potato milk, or almond milk, they may not get enough.

Oh, yeah? Show me one case of kwashiorkor (that bloated belly protein/calorie deficiency) due to rice milk. Here you go. Here’s another one, “severe kwashiorkor,” not in Ethiopia, but in Atlanta, Georgia—because literally 99% of his diet was rice milk. So, these malnutrition cases were not because they drank rice milk, but rather because they drank rice milk nearly exclusively. But, I just use these to illustrate the relative lack of nutrition in rice milk. So, if you’re going to choose a milk, might as well go for one that has less arsenic—and, more nutrition.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr. Image has been modified.

Doctor's Note

I’ve got a bunch of  videos on soy milk, but I think only one major almond milk one so far: Prostate Cancer & Organic Milk vs. Almond Milk. I plan on doing a bunch more on choosing between various milk options; stay tuned.

Already went through lots of useful material on dietary arsenic, if you missed any:

The last four videos then take this information, and try to distill it into practical recommendations:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

125 responses to “Arsenic in Rice Milk, Rice Krispies, & Brown Rice Syrup

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  1. I apologize that this has nothing to do with Rice Milk, but I totally agree! Califa Farms Almond milk is one the purest forms of Almond milk that my husband and I found, the only drawback is that it doesn’t froth well for my morning lattes.

    Anyways!

    1. HUGE Dr. Gregor fan! We love him! My husband is currently in medical school and he changed his eating habits about 2 years ago and I changed mine about a year ago. Best decision! We’re so grateful for Nutrition Facts.Org team and the studies and the time you’ve all put into making this info available to everyone!

    2. We just watched What The Health and wanted to get a better understanding of what is going on in our bodies with the current diet we have. We eat clean vegan at home (our weekly grocery list consists of fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, nuts, original unsweetened nut + soy milk, no processed fake cheese or fake meats). However, for date night(s) we “cheat” sometimes and will great a fungi pizza to share at a local restaurant we love, or we’ll eat Indian Cuisine (one of our favorites). We still don’t eat meat but we do consume dairy at least once or every other week one these nights. What is this doing to our bodies? Should we completely cut out dairy even when dining out forever & always? What about at the holidays how do we manage that? After watching What The Health and seeing the little animations of what happens when animal based foods are consumed I feel like I’m traumatized to ever eat anything like that again! LOL

    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this. Looking forward to hearing back!

    -Linds




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    1. As I wrote in How Not to Die: “It’s really the day-to-day stuff that matters most. What you eat on special occasions is insignificant compared to what you eat day in and day out…. Your body has a remarkable ability to recover from sporadic insults as long as you’re not habitually poking it with a fork.”

      Sounds like you’re doing great–keep it up!




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      1. Oh lovely! Okay, that makes me feel better. I was worried that damage was happening instantly any and every time you eat animal based products. We will keep doing what we’re doing then!

        Thank you so much for your response! :)




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        1. All of your so called cheat foods are actually healthy. It’s not like you eat pastry or french fries or margarine or faked butter.

          You need to eat nutritious foods as a main course but your so called cheat foods are neutral.




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            1. Poster Jerry Lewis said, “All of your so called cheat foods are actually healthy. It’s not like you eat pastry or french fries or margarine or faked butter. You need to eat nutritious foods as a main course but your so called cheat foods are neutral.”

              Poster Jerry Lewis essentially agreed with Dr. Greger, who also commented on Lindsay Calder’s diet variation, “What you eat on special occasions is insignificant compared to what you eat day in and day out…”

              How is that troll behavior? Lewis can be wrong in confusing Dr. Greger’s “special occasions” food with foods he claims are “neutral” as a daily side dish. But only that, and hardly trolling.

              What makes forums difficult for readers is the inability to disagree without becoming disagreeable.




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              1. alphaa10 and Vegetater
                Jerry Lewis is a pretty prolific commentator on this site for a short while now , while it is ok to disagree with what Nutritionfacts puts out , he should at least explain why he feels the science offered here is not reliable and information offered elsewhere is?
                I have asked him where he gets his beliefs from and he never answered . If you get your beliefs from personal experience and not from scientific studies , that would be ok but just to repeat the same message over and over again with no explanation is more trolling than someone who is honestly giving a comment.




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              2. Following a diet requires some discipline. You DO need to draw a line. Once you start to fudge…where do you stop.

                Best to base your decisions on the best available science…not some chicken farmers dreams of world conquest?

                And it’s not just diet that matters. The water you drink…the shower water you use. The furniture and carpets you use. The air you breathe. Other products you use.

                Consider everything and make improvements where you can? Develop “clean” habits. Avoid toxics and pollutants when you can….but don’t stress out too much…you will only shorten your life.




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      2. On this topic…

        40 years ago, based on a passionate commitment to both my personal health and responsible food practices/sustainability/global ecology, I changed my first from a typical American one – i.e. meat, dairy & convenience foods – to a vegetarian/traditional Japanese-influenced (initially Macrobiotic) one. So for 40+ years I have been eating (pressure-cooked Lundberg Farms organic, short grain brown) rice as a central staple ー a few cups every day! Now I discover to my horror that I have been consuming large quantities of Arsenic – from the rice – and some Lead – from both the brass pressure relief valve and the anodization on the aluminum pressure indicator on the inside of my beloved Italian stainless steel pressure cooker ー which both tested very high for lead with a state of the art XRF (my wife is Tamara Rubin!). I have taken that particular pressure cooker out of service and am considering switching to Quinoa as my principle grain. Question: what are the possible considerations you might have regarding switching from rice to Quinoa for my principle grain?




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        1. Hi Len,
          Can you elaborate (provide citations) for the statement that the brass pressure relieve valve, and the aluminum pressure indicator on the inside of your pressure cooker is releasing significant amounts of lead into your food? If this is so, I am guessing that commercial processors of canned vegetables also use materials that are sources of lead, but how much and does it exceed recommended maximums? I can’t imagine that this isn’t monitored by regulators in the US, if not, perhaps it is something that we need to look in to. Thanks for your reply.




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        2. Thank you for the excellent question! Quinoa is a good substitute, and switching to it is exactly what we’ve done at home too. Low levels of arsenic are found in quinoa though, so its probably best to vary your grain intake. Millet, buckwheat and amaranth are also good, low arsenic choices.

          Thanks for reading,
          Dr. Ben




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        1. If you soak your legumes, change the water, and/or cook them, this will greatly reduce the lectin levels. Also, don’t forget that the vast majority of peer-reviewed clinical evidence demonstrates a clear reduction in early death in those (huge) populations that eat a lot of legumes and all nuts, including peanuts, although this is not seen with peanut butter. Its always best to focus on hard clinical endpoints, like death, than to focus on theoretical laboratory findings.

          Thanks for reading,
          Dr. Ben




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    2. I have been reading Nutrionfacts for years now, but if I could ask just one question to it’s staff it would be te following: “do you think that eating a WFPBD with lots of unique fruits and vegetables in the sense that their antioxidant or fytochemical content is of a magnitude that dwarfs regular fruits and vegetables, is potentialy harmful?

      Too much of anything is bad, we have seen this in the case of turmeric and its DNA damage. We know isolated supps are bad.
      But can we really eat a WFPBD that is unhealty by either eating MORE then is suggested in the Daily Dozen app or by selecting the most powerful variants?

      I really hope someone will answer my question.




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      1. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-calcium-supplements-effective/.

        Hi Netgogate. Great questions! For what its worth, here is what I know. At this point, over 8000 bioactive compounds have been discovered by scientists. It is my understanding that many more potentially exist and we will discover and document these bioactive compounds over time. Variety (and different colors) is a good thing. Different colors equates to different types of phytochemicals (which is a fancy way of saying the chemical structure of compounds within these foods is slightly different).

        Yes, I concur. Too much of anything can tilt our chemistry in a nonproductive way.

        But different colors and different fruits and vegetables act in a synergistic way. Imagine an orchestra or symphony.

        As far as the Daily Dozen app, remember that this is just a guide. Let me give you an example. I have competed in ultra endurance events. 24 hours after a good training run, my calorie needs are huge. If I am hungry, then I eat. It’s a wonderfully simplistic system. Your calorie needs will change as your level of physical activity level changes or the amount of stress you are experiencing changes.

        As for calcium carbonate, at one time public officials believed that people were not getting enough calcium. Therefore, food companies starting adding substances like calcium carbonate to their products in order to please the perceived public need. After signing off, I am about to review Dr. G’s link in order to refresh my memory! I hope that you find it useful.




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    3. Hi Linds, I recommend Dr. Neal Bernard’s book, The Cheese Trap, to help you make your decision on whether to completely eliminate all dairy products and to better understand what’s going on within your cells when you consume dairy products. You won’t regret gaining the knowledge! Good luck and congratulations to you and your husband on your food choices. We need more physicians who are in the know.




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  2. This video is jam-packed with great info that even the long time NF fan can use. All in all, it’s a terrific warning to read labels carefully , including food items bought in health food stores. I have noticed that the barrage of glutin free items on the market contain a lot of rice in one form or another especially rice flour, syrup and milk – all good incentive to stick to a whole food plant based diet. Thank you Dr Greger!

    re occasional animal foods: For myself, I quickly arrived at a point where I simply did not want to contribute further to animal food industries. The feeling of being unwell after eating animal products just reinforced that decision.




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  3. What’s the deal with “milk” anyway? Is it just left-over conditioned/brainwashing of the US Dairy culture?

    I’ll never get the whole fascination/desire for “milks” of any sort. Once I got away from dairy milk (many years ago) I tried a few “veggie” milks just because they were convenient and seemed “healthy”.

    Tea and Coffee and water serve me well enough. Milky liquids just hold no sway here.

    (but i’ll never not love the grand complexities of cheese-though it be a food of special occasions or weekends.)

    Cheers! (hoists black coffee)




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    1. I largely agree with you, Wade, and seldom use milks of any kind. Currently, the only exception is the very, very occasional pot of strong black tea drunk with oat milk. For my everyday tipple, I just drink it black but at a lower strength.

      However, a number of people here (including me) have quite high cholesterol despite eating a WFPB diet. While my doctor is quite unconcerned about my cholesterol levels, I am not and am always grateful to learn of ways to address the problem. The reference in this video to a study showing that two daily cups of soy milk lowered LDL cholesterol by 25% on average (and raised HDL cholesterol by 20%) is therefore very interesting news. It’s not a whole food, sure ,but neither are B12 and algal DHA/EPA supplements for that matter so I don’t think that is a sufficient reason for excluding soy milk from the diet. That said, I must find out if there are any studies on soy bean consumption and cholesterol levels.

      Based on this video and its references, it seems that it’s time to ditch my very occasional oat milk and introduce daily soy milk consumption to my dietary regimen. It may even help my mild occasional knee arthritis pain according to another of the studies referenced here.

      To cut a long story short, the video has persuaded me that I should take up daily soy milk consumption. I will be interested to see if my cholesterol level alter (next testing will be in November – enough time to give it a fair try).




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      1. I have used soy milk in my coffee every morning for 20 years, and also use it as a substitute in bread making and other recipes. It is thick like cream or whole milk and contains plant protein. …not sure how much it affects cholesterol, though…

        My spouse and I both had cholesterol levels borderline high, though we were not eating excessive amounts of dairy, and neither of us like milk. (We did eat some cheese and yogurt everyday for ‘calcium’ and within the guidelines of daily caloric and fat intake.) We didn’t drink a significant amount soy milk, but one day we avoided cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream and all other dairy that we ate previously (I developed an allergy to dairy). We used soy milk as a substitute in recipes. After four months, my cholesterol dropped 51 points and my husband’s dropped 60 points in a year. …but we already had been drinking some soy milk when our cholesterol was borderline high….think our case shows that dairy is definitely a culprit in the high cholesterol battle, and soy milk may have helped, but due to the small amounts we were drinking, may not have moved the needle like abstinence from dairy. Glad to have discovered this website, as it shows evidence to my naysayer friends who are hooked on dairy.




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      2. TG – I’ve not been a cows milk drinker since my teen years – nasty stuff. Forty years later I still don’t consume milk, but, like you, have watched my cholesterol rise over time. I suspect my natural aging and hormone changes to be part of that picture and despite being WFPB for over a decade. I’m not interested in a statin and I think, like you, I will start adding some soymilk to my daily regime to see if that helps. I have also added a product made by NatureMade called Cholestoff. It is phytosterols that are known to lower cholesterol. I’ve read reviews of the product and there are many positive ones. So I thought I would just share this info with you in the event that you may be interested. I’ve not had the opportunity to do a blood test yet since starting so I don’t know if it’s effective for me.
        https://www.walmart.com/ip/Nature-Made-CholestOff-Plus-450-mg-200-Softgels/773732311?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=9478&adid=22222222227091566294&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=204702376552&wl4=pla-332479273161&wl5=9028745&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=117084420&wl11=online&wl12=773732311&wl13=&veh=sem
        Take care.




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        1. Thank you Rachel. That’s very kind of you.

          I looked into products like Cholestoff some years ago but concluded that they weren’t relevant to people in my position. This is because:
          * CholestOff® Original is made with Reducol™, a proprietary blend of plant sterols and stanols (also called phytosterols) that can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by reducing the absorption of dietary cholesterol into the bloodstream.*
          http://www.naturemade.com/supplements/cholestoff/cholestoff-original

          Since I eat a completely vegetarian WFPB diet, my dietary cholesterol intake is effectively zero so Cholestoff wouldn’t be of any help.
          Best wishes




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          1. Hi TG – yes, I saw that. Like you, I consume no animal products. And so I also have some doubts about its effectiveness in our situation. But I’m going to give it a go anyway up to my next blood work and see if I get any results. The reason I decided to go forward is because even though my cholesterol is not from my diet – my liver is making it – it still is circulating through my system as a whole. So I’m going to see if the product will do anything for me. In the interest of “science”. And at $20 for two months supply it isn’t a very expensive science project. We’ll see what I get :-).




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              1. TG – Thanks for the distinction in products. I will switch to your suggestion in the next bottle. Like you, I’m also going to add some soymilk and see what I get. Although this doesn’t add a lot of soymilk to the diet, I do use soymilk when I make mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy – so good I sometimes eat it for breakfast. I’m certainly not “suffering” on a WFPB diet. I bet you aren’t either :-)




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  4. Oh wow, I used to eat the Shot Bloks when riding. But it takes a very long ride, 3 or 4 hours plus, before I’d be getting into a second one. It’s all about caloric density (and easy digestion) during the workout in a convenient/durable package that is easily accessed and consumed whilst mountain or road biking.

    I’ll be developing my own alternatives then. Anybuddy care to share their similar, but home-made high-carb-endurance-workout food? Recovery stuff is easy, because it doesn’t have to survive the trail and can wait in the cooler.




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    1. This is probably not something you could eat while biking. But I mix bite size shredded wheat, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, and eat them with dates when I’m backpacking. Very calorically dense. And whole plant foods.

      As far as cheese goes: I have not eaten any kind of cheese for decades. I ate megatons of the stuff when I was young. I’m sure I’m still trying to recover from it. After not eating the stuff for so long, now even the smell of it nauseates me. Interesting what you can develop a taste for.




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    2. Hey Wade, and anyone else who trains frequently. I recommend you review the advice of Dr. Gabe Mirkin, MD. He provides research-based advice on a range of fitness topics. I’ve been following Dr. Mirkin for about a year after I discovered him from another frequent NF commenter. I have adjusted my training routines based on what I’ve learned from him. Dr. Mirkin is not fully plant-based but he always advises consuming high amount of plants, low amount of animal food. This link is one of his posts on food to eat during competition. http://www.drmirkin.com/fitness/eat-carbohydrates-during-competition-not-fat.html




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  5. I just want to say thank you Dr. Greger and team. You all are helping those of seeking science based knowledge about how to live with the best health possible. I wish I had learned this 30 years ago, but its never to late to teach an old dog new tricks! I check with anticipation each morning to see new information posted on YouTube and the web. This morning’s video about plant milks, especially benefits of soy vs rice, just solidifies my buying soy milk for our family. Thank you so much, you are most valued in our lives!




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  6. In general, I don’t consume any kind of juice, drink extract such as fruit juice, rice milk, almond milk, etc because they are mostly heavily processed but eat the real food.

    As said in the video, you may end up consuming too much such as oxalate when you drink almond milk versus eating almond,

    And there is also a misconception that all of these so called milk can replace real dairy milk because they don’t have enough nutrition. With the exception of soymilk, all other veggie milk such as rice, almond, coconut, nut milk in general don’t contain enough protein if you feed your kids with it. Of course, I know that dairy milk is demonized over here, wrongly.




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    1. Jerry, the problem is that you continue to extol the so-called virtues of meat & dairy without a single, factual, scientific study to back any of your claims. Anecdotes and “just go to Asia” and “that’s so 80s”, are not scientific facts. No one here is interested in your opinions about meat & dairy. The only way to get anyone’s interest on this website is show the scientific studies that back your claims.

      Oh, and by the way, no one here is interested in studies backed by big meat & big dairy funding that skews results in their favor. So do your homework first & make sure your sources are impartial.




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        1. Jerry, You should probably read the studies before you give them as examples…this is comparing grass-fed to grain fed beef. Unrelated to this topic at all.




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            1. Jerry Lewis,

              There is little point in discussing single constituents of whole foods as a basis of health claims, because food is a package deal and overall the consumption of dairy is associated with unwanted health outcomes.

              Dairy milk also contains saturated fats, casein (which has been repeatedly demonstrated to be a strong promoter of cancer development), cholesterol, trans fatty acids and pus, as well as bovine hormones – all known for their potential harmful effects.

              However, if you choose to focus on CLA, supplementation has been shown to be associated with a significant increase in CRP levels:
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28556504




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        2. Jerry, the study you posted is one-sided and is akin to the old belief that filtered cigarettes were better for you than unfiltered cigarettes. But keep trying. Your posts are annoyingly entertaining. Much like the character of your moniker.




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    2. “Demonized” = the evidence shows it is unhealthy. I can’t refuted that evidence but if I call it names like demonising perhaps other people will shut their eyes to it also.




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  7. Rice bran has been suggested as a concentrated food source of certain key micronutrients.

    My understanding is that the arsenic accumulates in greater quantity in the rice husk.

    Can you comment specifically on rice bran? thank you.




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    1. Rice is good for you if you don’t worry about the arsenic. But rice by itself is a supplemental food but not one to supply all your needs for protein and other key nutrients like if you feed it to a baby as main food. You can feed your baby with real dairy milk but not rice milk. Of course mother milk is preferred but this is when mother milk is not available.

      The issue I raise is with commercial rice milk because it is processed and full of additives but if you do your own by cooking rice and then strain the liquid then it should be OK. But again even with your homemade rice milk, it is not to be fed to a baby as main food unless you add meat or bone broth when you cook your rice, but this is called poison over here so what can I say.

      http://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2013/09/dairy-alternative-homemade-rice-milk-2/




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      1. “Rice is good for you if you don’t worry about the arsenic.”

        Jerry, this is the kind of annoyingly entertaining phrase I’m talking about. It’s kind of like saying the water is Flint isn’t bad for you if you don’t worry about the lead.




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        1. Jerry, it’s like saying meat & dairy is good for you if you don’t worry about the trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, casein, bovine hormones, etc., etc.

          It’s kind of like saying it’s okay to put your hand on a hot stove as long as you don’t worry about getting burned.

          So according to your logic, it’s the worrying part that’s not good for you.




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    2. Hi Sherie, Thanks for your question. I am one of the volunteer at the website. You are right about rice bran being the concentrated food source as it has proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals in the germ and outer layer of the starchy endosperm. It is indicted from Dr Greger video that Arsenic is concentrated more in these brown rice. So one can take cautionary measures by knowing where the rice comes from and also cook it with higher water to rice ration and then rinse the water to reduce the arsenic content.
      How to Cook Rice to Lower Arsenic Levels




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    1. Goat milk is in good because goat is generally fed with grass and they roam free. Now for raw then you need to buy it directly from a farmer and it is still fresh. Raw milk will have all the enzymes and CLA, a key nutrient that is anti heart disease.




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    1. Rice is o.k., brown is best, but…boil it like pasta then drain the water before using…Dr. greger has a video explaining the new how to avoid the high arsinic…we just have to retrain ourselves…thank you Dr. Greger and team!




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    2. Andrew – that is so NOT what Dr. G is saying. Please go back and watch the entire set of rice videos and also read through the discussions. You will see an answer to your “statement” from Thea that explains and condenses what Dr. g. is saying.




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  8. I eat a plan based diet but have had kidney stones in the past. I would like to know which plant based milk I should be consuming to reduce my chances of getting a future stone.




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    1. Avoid any nut milk because it is full of oxalates. In general, with rice, bean, grain, you soak it overnight before cooking to remove the anti nutrients, which cause kidney stone too.




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      1. And the evidence that ALL nut milks have oxalates is…?
        And how do the nuts avoid having the oxalates, or are nuts forbidden in your approach?




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        1. And when eating too much nut, especially peanut which is not a nut, you can get too much inflammatory Omega 6 and PUFA fat. It’s not because a plant food then it’s all you can eat. Do some research before bashing. Just google for “nut omega 6 PUFA inflammation”.




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  9. Some information gleaned from the recent the Immune Defense Summit webinar seems relevant in this context. According to Joe Pizzorno, author of the forthcoming book The Toxin Solution, arsenic causes more disease than any other toxin. About 10% of Americans have arsenic levels in their water supplies high enough to cause disease—and charcoal block filters don’t keep it out (though RO filters apparently do). The good news: we flush out 50% of arsenic in two to four days. Compare this with DDT, #2 on the list, which was banned 45 years ago in the US but has a half-life in the body of 3-10 years.

    Look forward to upcoming videos on some of the other “alternative” milks–including hemp & cashew.




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    1. Does anyone know if rinsing or boiling our rice and pouring the excess water down the sink is just putting the arsenic back into circulation to pop up somewhere else?




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      1. Hi, Sorah. Interesting question! Although there is a lot of information about flax here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/flax-seeds/, I don’t think flax milk and flax kefir have been covered on NF. I suppose it would depend on the amount of flax in these products. We know that there are very few almonds in a serving of almond milk. I don’t know whether or not the same would be true for flax milk and flax kefir. We could reasonably expect these beverages to provide the same nutrients and benefits as an equivalent amount of flax seeds. I’ll pass on the request to cover this topic in the future. I hope that helps!




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  10. Since watching the last video on boiling rice and then pouring off the water, I started doing that. I wonder if all the politicians and rich people who run the food monopolies are eating rice products? Just because you are wealthy, or have a PhD, or are the president of the United States does not mean you have survival knowledge. Wealthy people probably have the least amount of survival knowledge of the caliber that Dr. Greger teaches. Bill Clinton used to eat hamburgers everyday. I hear that Trump is just like Clinton in his devotion to eating big juicy hamburgers. Millionaire Nancy Pelosi looks like she is in pretty good health….but…some of that might just be cosmetic. A lot of politicians still smoke, drink, and party a lot….so….even though they are at the top of food chain or should I say top of the junk food chain they lack critical survival knowledge which is so readily available at nutritionfacts.org And of course, Hollywood stars and musicians who are at the top of the financial mountain also lack this critical survival information. So, what good does all of that money, power, prestige, and popularity do you if you are eating junk food everyday???




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    1. John – Sounds to me like you are making a WHOLE LOT OF ASSUMPTIONS about peoples individual eating habits and lifestyles. And attaching those assumptions to politicians and “hollywood types”.
      This is just EXACTLY OPPOSITE the kind of focus that this site is about. This is a Science Based site. So if you have SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE via peer reviewed published scientific studies showing what politicians and “hollywood types” eat and can produce it here, my suggestion is that you produce the links to the research here on this site. Let us ALL see the published research that you base your scientific conclusions on. Let’s see it.
      Otherwise, your post constitutes opinion and should find a different site to find favor.




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  11. It’s time to make soy milk a more regular part of my diet.

    2 questions regarding soy milk:
    1. Why do some brands of soy milk add calcium carbonate? Calcium carbonate is the active ingredient in antacids such as Tums. The purpose of such antacids are to buffer the hydrochloric acid secreted by the stomach. But an acidic environment in the stomach is indeed necessary to activate enzymes therein that begin breaking down proteins into their constituent amino acids. Since soy is a protein-rich food, isn’t adding calcium carbonate nonsensical because it inhibits effective digestion of the soy milk?
    2. Is there aluminum present in soy milk? I have heard that aluminum is present in tofu, due to the processing of the soybeans.

    I like the following recipe in the hot summer:
    2 cups soymilk mixed with 2 packets erythritol
    1 pound frozen berries




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    1. hi Avishek, the last four links are for upcoming videos. The links will work on the dates posted by each link ie over the next two weeks.




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  12. my 3 year old son drink every morning rice milk. so to which milk should i chang? i thought it was better than cows milk…please help me…what to do?




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    1. Libi, soy milk is delicious and by far the most healthful of the readily available(for me anyway) plant based milks. Do get into the habit of reading nutrition labels, especially for nutrients like protein and so on. Also watch for sugar, salt, and hydrogenated fats.




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    2. libi: I believe the conclusion of the video is that soy milk may be the best option, but just about any plant based milk other than rice milk is a good alternative. From the video: “Better options might be soy, oat, hemp, or almond milk, though you don’t want kids to be drinking too much almond milk. There have been a few case reports of little kids drinking like four cups a day, running into kidney stone problems, due to the relatively high oxalate content, averaging about five times more than soy milk.” Why soy milk for the win? The benefits to early, consistent soy consumption are immense. You might want to watch the other videos on this site regarding soy.

      A thought for you: There is a ton of information presented in these videos. I recommend clicking the Transcript button and reading through what it says about the various options. That might help you feel better about what you learned here. If your boy doesn’t like soy milk, you might try oat milk, which is also mentioned in the video. Oat milk can be pretty tasty in my experience. You might even try mixing the two for a while until he gets used to the taste of soy milk.

      How lucky your son is that he is going to develop a taste for healthy milks from the very beginning. Good for you!




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        1. Linda:

          susan gave you a good reply. I’ll give you a similar reply in my own words.

          Whether or not we should avoid GMO foods is in hot debate. Based on the information I have, including closely following the information on NutritionFacts, I personally think it’s best to avoid GMO whenever possible. Dr. Greger has a slightly different take on the matter, but it is helpful to pay attention to the nuances of what he is saying when you review the information and compare that to your own tolerances for risk and your own values for your health and the environment.

          Whatever people feel about GMO foods, however, is almost irrelevant when it comes to soy. From what I have read, the vast majority of GMO soy is used as animal feed. Go to the grocery store and look at all the options for traditional soy products like tofu, tempeh and soy milk and you will likely see that it is either all listed as organic (which by definition means non-GMO) or specifically says that it is non-GMO. I personally haven’t been able to find any GMO traditional soy foods in my grocery store. (Your store may be different.) The key here may be the word “traditional” soy foods. The more processed foods like veggie burgers/fake meats etc may be a different story. But we should be limiting our intake of those foods for other reasons anyway…

          Given the overwhelming evidence we have in favor of eating traditional soy foods, I look for ways to include it in my diet. I don’t worry about the GMO soy at all. I avoid that by avoiding eating meat and dairy. ;-)

          Does that help?




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        2. Hi Linda: Buying 100% organic, certified organic, and USDA organic-labeled products (including soy) is usually the easiest way to identify and avoid GMOs.




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    1. good question , turning down cover crops and not using more pesticides and herbicides would be a good place to start . my guess if you grew another crop like wheat or oats on the arsenic contaminated soil would produce a crop almost free of arsenic , since those crops do not seem to transfer into the edible portion of the plant . one thing i do know is you can take mercury contaminated fish and use that for fertilizer on a corn field and there was no mercury in the seed of the corn .




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  13. Hi Alex,
    Thanks for your question about whether it is possible to clean the soil of contaminated Arsenic. I am one of the volunteer at the website. My first response would be that if we all made more conscious action towards our lifestyle and health by not polluting the planet the way we do we can reduce the toxicity and nature has an amazing way of renewing itself. I think the people who follow Dr Greger advice and follow WFPB life style are the pioneers towards a creating a better planet. I noticed in the literature that, there are also some researchers from University of Georgia working on that by using power of plant! The new strategy for what researchers call phytoremediation–the cleaning of polluted soils through the use of plants that sequester poisons, make them less harmful, and then can be harvested–has the potential to be of use on millions of acres of arsenic-polluted lands worldwide.
    http://www.uga.edu




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  14. Aloha,
    Great information. I would think the warning would be No Rice from countries A,B,C,D etc. as well as from the southern US. It would be interesting to see the studies done on Asian populations regarding arsenic related diseases. In general, those populations eat more rice than Americans.




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    1. Donald Thomas – Dr. G made it clear which sources are the best from which to choose. Go back and take a look. You will find your answer.




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  15. Hello, very good series about arsenic in rice…it worries me a little because I eat 2 or 3 times a week, actually it isn´t much but I’m still concerned. Do you have any kind of information about rice in Argentina? I have seen a couple of websites saying that it has below average concentration of arsenic according to the World health organization standard, but still I don´t know if that´s true or not since it´s a claim from the national rice industry




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  16. off-topic I have a question about what I eat and liver toxicity. I use several spices in my main meal every day. I add seeds (cumin, fennel, coriander, caraway), paprika, dried herbs (thyme, oregano, marjoram, sage), cloves, bay leaf, ground powders (turmeric, sometimes allspice), salt, pepper. I am concerned about liver toxicity. Should I be? Which spices should I eat less often? I eat maybe three servings of starchy vegetables, several servings of grains, fruits. I stopped eating amla berries and using amla powder after learning about its effects on the liver and after the way it made me feel. I’m like 58kg in weight, 173cm height male but have this bulging belly and I get occasional pains on the right side of my chest.




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    1. Arthur, hi: This is Dr. Daniela Sozanski, PhD, PScD, Moderator for Nutritionfacs.org and Naturopath in Atlanta, GA.
      If I may ask, why are you concerned about liver toxicity particularly? Is there anything in your medical history that gives you these concerns? Did your recent blood tests give any hints of liver not functioning properly? If the answer is no to both questions, I do not believe that you need to be worried about spices and liver toxicity. Remember, everything in moderation. Also, spices are known as phenomenal antioxidants and have multiple health benefits. Please visit https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/spices/ to learn more.
      One more thing, you mention starchy vegetables, grains and fruits in your diet; how about leafy greens, legumes and nuts… the whole array of vegetable food may function as a synergist whole to promote your health; also, a daily exercise plan, even walking in the beginning, then maybe a gym could be beneficial.
      I hope this helps. Daniela




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  17. I’d like to remind everyone to still read labels even if you are drinking soy milk. My local “health food store” makes their own soy milk. I tried some. OMG it was so overly sweet I thought I was drinking syrup. It was only then that I read the label. Turns out it has 6 grams of sugar per cup. The American Heart ASsoc recommends that women consume no more than 20 grams of sugar per day. So one cup of this soy milk was almost 1/3 of my daily allotment of added sugar for health. (Not to mention it tasted like syrup!!). A different brand – Silk – added no additional sugar. Just soy milk, plain and simple. If I want to sweeten my bare-bones soy milk I can do so myself to the degree that I find comfortable and I can also use stevia or xylitol (like Dr. g. uses). So don’t forget to read those labels!! And, . . oh ya, . . 1/2 gallon of the Silk soy milk was less money than 1/2 gallon of cows milk.Not sure why people keep saying that eating healthy is more expensive than conventional.




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  18. I want to thank you, Dr. Greger, for all the videos on the arsenic content in rice. Once I started paying attention, I became frightened. I am gluten-free by necessity. Consequently, many of the foods I eat are rice based. I am completely reorganizing my pantry, frig, and freezer. I threw away all my rice products. Seriously gluten-free bread, crackers, pasta, cookies, chips, pizza crust, breakfast foods….everything that a normal person would eat with wheat in it, is a rice product for the gluten-free. You might want to make one more video as a warning to other gluten-free people to check their ingredients, go beyond the label and look for rice. I am terrified at what I have done to my body by eating so much rice over the years. Now I am trying to find out how to flush the arsenic out of my body. I hope it is not too late. Again, thank you so very much for all the information!!! We (my family) have learned so much from you! God Bless YOU!!!




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  19. I believe Dr. Greger has saved my life…again! I was eating 8-10 servings of rice per week, every week for years and then doubled that amount 4 years ago when I went completely plant-based whole foods (thanks to Dr. Greger). I’ve cut down to 4-5 servings of rice per month now, usually taken at a restaurant or someone else’s home. Here is an excellent additional resource on arsenic from Dartmouth College Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program. http://www.dartmouth.edu/~arsenicandyou/index.html




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  20. One of the studies Dr. Greger Cites: “Consumption of soymilk lowers atherogenic lipid fraction in healthy individuals” Claims a 25% reduction in LDL by drinking soymilk. This is a very bold claim, while the study itself seems a bit obscure with a relatively small sample size. Has this result ever been replicated? If so, this is a rather significant and miraculous alternative to cholesterol lowering medications and deserves a great deal more discussion. But if not, why is it even being presented to us in the video as being relevant?




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    1. Hi, Patrick Rietvelt. Interesting question! With the exception of omega-3 fatty acids, Dr. Greger does not generally recommend using oils. Oils are generally calorie dense and nutrient poor, and are associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk. A quick search did not turn up anything specifically about the arsenic content of rice oil, and I do not know how much of the arsenic in rice would be in the oil. It might be a good idea to stop using it for other reasons, regardless of its arsenic content. I hope that helps!




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  21. Huge concern. What if you are an Asian and rice is the staple. Does that mean Asians are getting arsenic poisoning because of eating rice everyday? This is alarming for us Asians!




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    1. Most “gums” are polysaccharides, or long chains of sugar, like starches, but reading labels and not understanding what you’re eating is a common problem with processed food. Why not just eat the whole almond instead. Any time a plant is processed, like almonds being turned into milk, something good and healthy will have been thrown away, and the processing raises the potential for oxidation and breakdown of beneficial nutrients as well as introduction of unwanted/undesirable “stuff” that might get introduced during processing since all this takes place in a factory. Don’t forget what’s best: “whole-food.”

      Thanks for reading,
      Dr. Ben




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    1. Lee – Dr. Greger did a series on soy and soymilk specific to your question re: breast cancer, etc. If you look through the videos you will find the information you are interested in.




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      1. Hi Susan As always thanks for your help I am unable to find soy milk that had no added ingredients Do you use soy milk and if so which brand?




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  22. Thank you for appearing to abandon the “other” new highlighting method! This one is best!! Please don’t make any more with the “blown up and out” text method. Thanks.




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  23. I love soy milk, it’s definitely my favorite but I switched over to almond milk for my smoothies and chocolate milk (cocoa powder and erythritol) because you posted a video a while back about soy milk preventing you from absorbing antioxidants in other foods. Is this true for all foods such as cocoa powder and flax or is it safe to use soy milk for these but just not in tea?




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  24. What if someone is allergic to soy? The only infant formula I’ve seen that has no cow milk or soy milk, for instance, is made with rice milk. From this video, I can infer that it’s not a good idea (although formula has lots of added nutrients). But what could be a good alternative to soy for infants and/or adults?




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  25. Ricardo,

    Consider two alternatives, one is goat formula (Holle brand) and you might also check out one of the commercial elemental formulas. There are others who are making their own formulas, some caution here…. with camel milk as one example. There are substantial differences and as stated some cautions should be in order as these “milks” are not the same as breast milk and the differences are significant.

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com




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