Brown, Black, Purple & Red Unlike White on Rice

Brown, Black, Purple & Red Unlike White on Rice
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White rice is missing more than just fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Phytonutrients, such as gamma oryzanol, in brown rice may help explain the clinical benefits, and naturally pigmented rice varieties may be even healthier.

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Why does switching from white rice to brown rice enable overweight individuals to significantly reduce their weight, their waist size, their blood pressure, and the level of inflammation within their bodies?

We think it might be the fiber. Brown rice has four times as much dietary fiber as white, including prebiotic types that foster the growth of our good bacteria, which may help account for the anti-obesity effects of brown rice.

Besides the prebiotic fiber, there’s all sorts of vitamins and minerals that are lost when brown rice is milled into white, along with phytonutrients, such as gamma oryzanol, which may theoretically help shift one’s preferences to healthier foods. There are also petri dish studies that suggest gamma oryzanol may help lower cholesterol, and along with other compounds found in the rice bran, which is what makes brown rice brown, may inhibit human cancer cell growth through antioxidant means, anti-proliferative and pro cancer cell suicide mechanisms, immune system modulation, and increasing barrier protection, but again this is all just in test tubes, not people.

There are two human studies, though. The Adventist Health Study found that brown rice was one of four foods associated with significantly decreased risk of colorectal polyps, which can turn into colorectal cancer. Eating cooked green vegetables every day was associated with 24% lower risk, as much as dried fruit just three times a week. Eating beans, chickpeas, split peas, or lentils at least three times a week was associated with 33% lower risk, but brown rice seem to garner 40% lower risk, and that was just a single serving a week or more.

The other study reported increased muscle strength after supplementation with the brown rice compound, in hopes that it could provide a side effect free alternative to anabolic steroids, but the dose they were giving is equivalent to like 17 cups of brown rice a day; so, it’s not clear if it works at practical doses.

Naturally pigmented rice, such as black rice and red rice, may be even more nutritious. During the last decade, it has been shown that these natural anthocyanin plant pigments may have a variety of beneficial effects. They’re what make blueberries blue and red cabbage red. Recent recognition of the fact that diets rich in plant foods lower the risks of cancer promotes enthusiasm for isolating these components as pharmaceutical agents, but why not just eat the blueberries, or add some red cabbage to your stir fry, atop some colorful rice?

Black, purple, and red rice and their pigment compounds have been found in a variety of antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-heart disease, anti-diabetes, and anti-allergy activities, but these are all studies done in a lab; we don’t yet have clinical studies, but they have everything that brown rice has, plus five times more antioxidants and all these extra goodies; so, that’s why I cook red, black, or purple, or rather my rice cooker does, always with a handful of lentils or split peas thrown in for good measure.

But why don’t most people even choose brown over white? Well, brown doesn’t last as long on the shelves; so, can actually be more expensive, even though it’s less processed, whereas white rice is like apocalypse food, even putting Twinkies to shame, still edible after 30 years, though, by then, may have a slight playdough odor.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to ronamae via Flickr.

Why does switching from white rice to brown rice enable overweight individuals to significantly reduce their weight, their waist size, their blood pressure, and the level of inflammation within their bodies?

We think it might be the fiber. Brown rice has four times as much dietary fiber as white, including prebiotic types that foster the growth of our good bacteria, which may help account for the anti-obesity effects of brown rice.

Besides the prebiotic fiber, there’s all sorts of vitamins and minerals that are lost when brown rice is milled into white, along with phytonutrients, such as gamma oryzanol, which may theoretically help shift one’s preferences to healthier foods. There are also petri dish studies that suggest gamma oryzanol may help lower cholesterol, and along with other compounds found in the rice bran, which is what makes brown rice brown, may inhibit human cancer cell growth through antioxidant means, anti-proliferative and pro cancer cell suicide mechanisms, immune system modulation, and increasing barrier protection, but again this is all just in test tubes, not people.

There are two human studies, though. The Adventist Health Study found that brown rice was one of four foods associated with significantly decreased risk of colorectal polyps, which can turn into colorectal cancer. Eating cooked green vegetables every day was associated with 24% lower risk, as much as dried fruit just three times a week. Eating beans, chickpeas, split peas, or lentils at least three times a week was associated with 33% lower risk, but brown rice seem to garner 40% lower risk, and that was just a single serving a week or more.

The other study reported increased muscle strength after supplementation with the brown rice compound, in hopes that it could provide a side effect free alternative to anabolic steroids, but the dose they were giving is equivalent to like 17 cups of brown rice a day; so, it’s not clear if it works at practical doses.

Naturally pigmented rice, such as black rice and red rice, may be even more nutritious. During the last decade, it has been shown that these natural anthocyanin plant pigments may have a variety of beneficial effects. They’re what make blueberries blue and red cabbage red. Recent recognition of the fact that diets rich in plant foods lower the risks of cancer promotes enthusiasm for isolating these components as pharmaceutical agents, but why not just eat the blueberries, or add some red cabbage to your stir fry, atop some colorful rice?

Black, purple, and red rice and their pigment compounds have been found in a variety of antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-heart disease, anti-diabetes, and anti-allergy activities, but these are all studies done in a lab; we don’t yet have clinical studies, but they have everything that brown rice has, plus five times more antioxidants and all these extra goodies; so, that’s why I cook red, black, or purple, or rather my rice cooker does, always with a handful of lentils or split peas thrown in for good measure.

But why don’t most people even choose brown over white? Well, brown doesn’t last as long on the shelves; so, can actually be more expensive, even though it’s less processed, whereas white rice is like apocalypse food, even putting Twinkies to shame, still edible after 30 years, though, by then, may have a slight playdough odor.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to ronamae via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

Switching from white rice to brown rice enables overweight individuals to significantly reduce their weight, their waist size, their blood pressure, and the level of inflammation within their bodies. That sounds like it deserves a video, no? On its way! Stay tuned for Is it Worth Switching from White Rice to Brown? (It was actually supposed to go first but I made a mistake and messed up the order).

In the meanwhile, enjoy some other rice videos:

Six years ago I did a video on Arsenic in Rice. That definitely deserves an update. I’ll do another video or series of videos on that as well. Make sure you’re subscribed, so you don’t miss it.

More on the potential wonders of the blue/black/purple anthocyanin pigments:

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

146 responses to “Brown, Black, Purple & Red Unlike White on Rice

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        1. They are two different links (mouse over and you will see the full url), parts 1 and 2 of an article.
          In posts above, I have linked to the pdf of the technical report on which the article is based.




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      1. Raising Chickens in stacked cages brought about the need of an arsenic-based antibiotic. Chicken manure has been the preferred fertilizer for rice paddies. Do NOT eat chicken liver, unless organic, free range.

        “Brown rice has 80 percent more inorganic arsenic on average than white rice of the same type.”
        http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/01/how-much-arsenic-is-in-your-rice/index.htm

        Unfortunately, even organic rice contains some arsenic.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3346801/pdf/ehp.120-a204a.pdf

        Arsenic, Cd, Pb, Zn, Mn and Cu were found in higher concentrations in brown rice samples (organic rice from Brazil).
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24779984
        It would appear that rice, more specifically Brown rice (bran) accumulates heavy metals.

        And by the way, Kale accumulates Thallium.
        http://www.townsendletter.com/Jan2016/thallium0116.html

        We have sufficiently polluted our environment. Get your polyphenols and flavonoids as toxin-free supplements.
        When in doubt, use test strips to check for heavy metals – why take the risk ?




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        1. Thanks for the info. Yes, we have polluted our environment terribly.
          I’m not sure about the use of supplements for polyphenols/flavonoids though. I’m not saying supplements aren’t useful in some situations, but my experience with blood vessel health has pretty much borne out the ‘whole foods is better’ approach. Varicose and spider veins run in my family and I was starting to get them. I don’t think they are just a cosmetic issue – I think they indicate a decline in blood vessel health and of course good circulation is necessary for overall health. I tried pycnogenol – helped slow the progression. I tried rutin plus vitamin C – some improvement. I tried topical rutin gel – even more improvement. Then I tried doing berry smoothies every day (wild blueberries plus other berries, flax seeds and water whizzed up in the blender) – dramatic improvement in just over a week.




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    1. Great question Mark. This article (http://mitchell.ucdavis.edu/publications/pdf-files/2009_BlackRice_Hiemori.pdf) examined the effects of cooking on anthocyanin content in black rice. It did find a decrease in anthocyanin content after cooking. Anthocyanin content decreased the greatest amount in the pressure cooker followed by the rice cooker and then gas range cooking.

      A couple of things to note though. Specifically for the rice cooker method, they cooked the rice for 90 minutes when the standard cooking time for black rice in a rice cooker is 30 minutes. Also, while anthocyanin content decreased they did see a significant increase in protocatechuic acid content, a major metabolite of antioxidant polyphenols, which has antioxidant properties. So despite the cooking method, I do believe you are still receiving the purported health benefits.




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      1. A Newton: Thanks so much for this post! I went on a real roller coaster ride reading it. My preferred cooking method for grains is the pressure cooker. I’m glad your post had a happy ending. ;-)




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    2. Hello Matt: Generally speaking anthocyanins are sensitive to heat and pH. An anthocyanin is an anthocyanidin linked to a sugar molecule. The anthocyanidin is the active part but it’s unstable without the sugar moiety. An anthocyanin could react with water releasing the anthocyanidin and that reaction is accelerated by heat.




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  1. Completely off topic but I do hope you’ll have some info. on this: my doctor tells me that BMAA is very rare in USA bought shellfish. I buy shellfish for my family (they insist!), and I told my doctor (as well as others who claim BMAA is low probability of exposure) about your research on this, and other studies shown online. In all truthfulness of science and the literature, how prevalent ‘is’ BMAA in the shellfish bought at the supermarket or fish store?

    Thanks.




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    1. I am not aware of any studies of shellfish bought in US supermarkets. The only study of store-bought seafood I am aware of was conducted in Sweden. It found:
      “The occurrence of BMAA in seafood analyzed in this study was surprisingly widespread, present in all the blue mussel, oyster, shrimp and plaice samples. The variation in BMAA levels across the samples from different organisms, supermarkets/suppliers and seasons was small.” and
      “Given the ubiquity of BMAA producers, i.e., cyanobacteria, diatoms and dinoflagellates, in the environment, these observations are probably not unique in Sweden and BMAA may also be present in seafood available in markets in other countries.”
      http://www.nature.com/articles/srep06931




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      1. Wow, Tom. widespread occurrence in Sweden…….if it is widespread in the USA one would think this would be investigated and reported on. Who knows, but I agree that if Sweden has issues then the US might as well.




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  2. I think it worth mentioning that brown rice has been found to be contaminated with arsenic, particularly rice grown in certain regions of the US. In my college days, I would often eat a serving or more per day. I am sure many other vegetarians on a budget do the same. Cooking in an excess of water can help reduce the arsenic content, but I think it is worth following the guidelines published in Consumer Reports.
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/01/how-much-arsenic-is-in-your-rice/index.htm

    As noted in the video, there are other types of rice to choose from besides white or brown, but these are more expensive. There are also other whole grains and pseudograins that cook up loose (not porridge-y) – quinoa, wheat berries, barley, rye berries, wild rice, millet, etc. Wheat berries also have gamma oryzanol and ferulates. Other whole grains and pseudograins include buckwheat, oats, and teff.




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      1. Lundgren tests their rices and posts the results on their website
        http://www.lundberg.com/info/arsenic-in-food/

        Most of their rice is grown in California, although some can come from Southern US as they describe in their FAQ. currently, the latter seems limited to 25 lb bags of some types.

        That’s why I always buy their products, although other companies could be providing the same transparency. I’d be interested to learn which, if any, other companies do.




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        1. I love that they test and report, but was worried about saying as much for fear of sounding like a shill. I wish other companies would do the same.




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          1. And it’s kinda scary trusting them to self report. I would have more confidence if it was an idependent agency testing and reporting.




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        2. Compared with the results for the 1300 rices tested by FDA and with the results for rice tested by Consumer Reports in their independent investigation, Lotus Foods rices have among the lowest levels of total arsenic of any rice on the market, and in some cases the lowest levels. None of the regions where Lotus Foods rice is grown have any known arsenic contamination. They are participating in the “more crop per drop” experiments on growing rice. I am just a happy consumer.




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          1. Thanks for the tip on Lotus Foods, JJ. I just ordered a 25 lb bag of organic brown jasmine and used the 15% Earth Day discount. With free shipping on orders over $59 my price per pound was about $2.36. Well worth it to reduce my arsenic consumption because I LOVE brown rice.




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            1. I just did the same. Thanks for the tip! After watching this video I am going incorporate more brown rice in my regimen. I’ve always liked it i just didnt know it was that healthy.




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      2. Apparently arsenic content is to do with contamination of soil and water in a country or region of the country. Because rice the way it is grown it has to be grown in large amount of water around the plantation and depending on the Arsenic amount in the soil as form of fertilizer or in the water the rice plant will take up the Arsenic. There is two kinds of Arsenic, both inorganic arsenic (a known human carcinogen) and organic arsenic (considered less harmful, but still of concern). Here the term “organic” refers to the element’s chemistry, not whether the food was grown organically. So what I recommend as a nutritionist is to soak any kind of rice you decide to eat and wash it few times before cooking. Cook in a large amount of water and discard the extra water.




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      1. The advice in the first video does not mesh with what was reported by Consumer Reports. I’m going to have to re-evaluate my trust in this site.




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        1. From your multiple comments above, sounds like you have more confidence in Consumer Reports than NutritionFacts which is entirely legit. Suit yourself




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          1. Consumers Union / Consumers Report has done more to protect US consumers than any other organization. As an environmentalist, I wish they would more often tell consumers that they simply should do without certain types of products, but our culture is what it is and at least they have done much to raise awareness of better environmental choices.

            The report has not been challenged on its accuracy (you would think rice growers would contest it if there were inaccuracies). You can read the whole thing yourself here:
            http://www.greenerchoices.org/pdf/CR_FSASC_Arsenic_Analysis_Nov2014.pdf




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            1. My apologies for unclear writing… my “legit” comment was regarding the legitimacy of your right to prefer CR info over that of NF, not to give greater credence to either. I value both CR & NF.

              Maybe I’m obtuse, but I didn’t see anything in what Dr Greger presented as “glossing over unpleasant details”, but I’ve been wrong before.




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              1. And my apologies, too. I think I overreact sometimes. When I found the site I was overjoyed, since I would no longer have to slog through the literature on my own. Dr. Greger does it so I ‘won’t have to.’ But I should know by now I’m so picky I just have to do things myself.

                I am concerned, though, about people like me (or rather, young, poor me) who would wind up eating large quantities of brown rice without knowing any better. I think at least a mention would be worthwhile.

                Cheers.




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                  1. For me personally, I think it best to avoid As since I already had a growth taken out of my urinary tract.
                    This report does add a new, interesting wrinkle on things, though.




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                1. I concur about concern for the food supply, especially wrt children & the less affluent of us. I also am concerned about As in rice and have avoided buying any rice from TX, AR, or LA for years.

                  That said, I’m so old that I’m biologically obsolete. Having been raised in the Louisiana, I’m pretty hooked on my rice and figure I’ll trust my leafy greens and flax seeds to chelate what As I do get.




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        2. I think someone has probably already said this, but the articles and videos that I linked to are pretty old so, lets see what the newer studies say. I assume that Dr. Greger will address the issue in future videos. One thing I believe is correct though, you don’t want to buy the rice bran because the arsenic would probably be in a more concentrated form in that product. I would guess that the milling process is probably throws in a few other contaminates into the stuff as well.

          I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you question the accuracy of this site. Particularly when it is one of the best one the internet as far as unbiased research and nutritional information goes.




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        3. Hi Lemonhead, FYI, while I highly value CR, Several times I have bought their top recommendations to find out I had an low quality product. For example they highly rated the first model of the VW Rabbit in about 1979. We bought it and it was a cheaply model with inappropriately plastic parts, seats covers that really disintegrated in about a year and so on. Vw made important improvements in later models. Their safety ratings on vehicles, I later noticed are not the most accurate (CF informedforlife.org), but I still contribute to their defense of the consumer. I am glad to know when there are discrepancies between reputable sites so we can dig deeper–or know to await more definitive studies.




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  3. Longer shelf life has been part of the destruction of the nutritional base of the human diet in developed countries all these years of modern ag.

    I say over my breakfast potatoes with turmeric, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, clove and flaxseed and blueberries breakfast. I also had a handful of fresh spinach while preparing this and my coffee. Feels so good being healthy on food.




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    1. I love basmati rice as well. If the origin is from iIndia it is ranked better. Apparently arsenic content is to do with contamination of soil and water in a country or region of the country. Because rice the way it is grown it has to be grown in large amount of water around the plantation. There is two kinds of Arsenic, both inorganic arsenic (a known human carcinogen) and organic arsenic (considered less harmful, but still of concern). Here the term “organic” refers to the element’s chemistry, not whether the food was grown organically.




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    1. I’ve made mock meat (seitan) by kneading wheat flour to activate the gluten and then washing away the starch. I think gluten is mostly found in wheat and maybe barley. You could never do anything like that with rice.

      Short grained rice is called glutinous rice because of it’s stickiness like lemonhead said below me. That stickiness makes it great for making mochi and other Asian dishes.




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    1. Great discussion on rice varieties and nutritional values. In comparison to quinoa with brown rice I found some information.Quinoa has higher fibre, protein, and iron counts among other benefits in comparison to brown rice. As for black rice the fiber content might be similar but protein and iron content would still be higher in quinoa.




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  4. This green rice can be fun. The bamboo leaf extract in it is supposed to have beneficial effects. Can someone determine if it’s brown rice or white rice in it?




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    1. One can determine by the time it takes to cook it. If the fiber is still intact it has brown rice but if it is highly milled and processed and takes less time to cook it would be white rice.




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    2. One can tell if the food is further processed by the time it takes to cook the packaged food. I would check how long it takes to cook a portion and that gives you an indication if brown rice I assume it takes longer to cook.




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    3. It says “milled rice” on the front. Milling is the process that removes the bran, so it looks like white rice. Pretty standard “health-wash/feel-good” marketing. Take a refined grain, add something back that looks like it should do something healthy, but don’t really say what and then tug on the heart strings with the “Eat one – Feed one” claim to allow the buyer to feel virtuous as well as healthy.




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  5. It takes a huge amount of study to understand the nutritional value of all of the available edible foods. And in addition you have to learn about man made environmental influences on foods like the effects of GMO’s. Or, how about the accumulation of arsenic in the bran of rice over in the oriental countries. Then you have to learn how different foods work together and so on. Nutrition is just one huge area of study that takes a life time to master. And yet, our medical schools pump out robots who have very little knowledge about plants, diets, fasting, phytochemicals, GMO’s, pollution, and gardening……and these are the guys and gals that are suppose to keep us healthy. Ha ha ha ha ha ha……




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  6. Before beginning a whole foods plant based life, I was very overweight, pre-diabetic and had reactive hypoglycemia. After changing my eating to fruits, vegetables and whole grains, I was still having a problem with brown rice raising my blood sugar levels. After a few hours of research, including some papers from Harvard University I found a great deal of information on pre-boiled, converted rice. In a nutshell, supposedly maintains 80% of the nutritive value of brown rice and has a lower glycemic level. When I eat it, it does not raise my blood sugar levels. Any comments regarding this? Also as an aside, would you comment on the value of eating garden green peas. My studying shows it to have 8 gr. protein and 8 gr. of fiber per cup.




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    1. Mallen: Do you happen to have the references to the papers you’ve mentioned? I eat white Basmati and would like to switch to something more healthful but don’t like brown rice. Thanks.




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    2. Hi George. I believe if you Google the glycemic index of rice, the Harvard University information will come up under Harvard Health Publications. also found information regarding this on the “livestrong.com” website under parboiled rice vs. brown rice.




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  7. Probably all foods have some kind of molecule in it that is detrimental to our health. Fasting is one way to allow your body to have the time to rid itself of so many of the toxins that we accumulate from the foods we eat and from the environment. As for me, I practice intermittent fasting.




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  8. Didn’t Kempner use white rice? It’s more palatable so people are more likely to eat it and stick with it. As long as we’re eating a good mix of other foods, how much of a difference does it make? Are you saying that we can’t be perfectly healthy by eating white rice and plenty of fruit and veggies? I feel it’s best to not get too specialized with the details of what we eat as long as it’s plant-based because the change is quite hard.. and adding one more massive challenge (to eat more perfectly all the time) discourages us after a while. I imagine a diet of just white potatoes would and some greens and a few other nutritious foods would bring us 99% of the way to eating as well as we can hope for.




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    1. The Kempner studies offer a strong argument that its not what rice brings to the table, but what it leaves out (fats, excess protein) that is particularly beneficial in chronic disease. Someone on the Kempner diet will have extremely low fat intake, which is of clear benefit in cardiometabolic diseases, and will be lysine and potassium deficient, which is evidently isn’t so bad. Experimental gerontology has found multiple benefits from protein restriction, many mediated by the FGF-21, a hormonal signal of protein restriction. I think the potassium deficiency is more of a concern, perhaps accounting for the higher rates of hemorrhagic stroke among East Asians consuming white-rice based diets.

      For those not consuming brown rice, gamma oryzanol is found at high concentrations in rice bran oil (especially when not subject to alkali refining), which has the highest phytosterol content among cooking oils. There are short term trials demonstrating cholesterol lowering, but there hasn’t been longer-term hard endpoint trial that would achieve similar attention that other vegetable oils like canola have achieved.

      Black rice has the highest anthocyanin content (0.2%) of any whole food. followed by purple corn and blackest berries (~0.1%). I find it requires longer cooking than other rice, so think of it as a wild-rice alternative.




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      1. Darryl:
        Thank you for the link to the paper. I can only access the abstract. I am surprised that black rice has the highest anthocyanin content. My understanding has been things like black aronia, black elderberry, and purple corn have the highest anthocyanin content. Probably it’s the “whole food designation”. If they use dried samples of black aronia, etc., they are not whole foods technically, because water has been removed. If you have read the whole paper, Can you kindly comment? Thanks




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        1. I mispoke in my post, where I think I intended “black rice is the lowest cost whole food anthocyanin source”, as one can find bulk black rice for around $3/lb, and it has total anthocyanins of total 2.2835 mg/g. purple corn meanwhile 0.9652 mg/g. Black aronia is more commonly referred to as black chokeberry in the literature, and indeed has higher anthocyanin content (17.52 mg/g according to phenol explorer).




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            1. As I know practically nothing (besides potent memories of baijiu) I read all the abstracts including both sorghum and diet on PubMed. Sorghum looks similarly healthy as other whole grains, though there are frequent concerns with fungal toxins arising from mouldy storage practices in developing nations.




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              1. I asked because I sort of remembered this post:
                http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/67625-david-sinclair-strikes-again/page-2#entry631288

                I also tried sumac sorghum bran a while back. I just mixed a spoonful in some warm water. It was a lot like cocoa. I had a strange but not unpleasant flushing sensation afterwards. I decided I should not be experimenting on myself and regretted the purchase. I will wait until it becomes a ‘thing’ and more people start using it before I consider using it again.

                Good to know about the mold issue.

                Thanks for looking into it. I (and a great many people, I would wager) appreciate you posts.




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                1. I been awaiting followups on that CD38 inhibition paper with a Scholar alert for 2+ years now. Its such a elegant means for the minute absorbed amounts of flavonoids to have outsized effects. Aside from the flavonoids I mentioned in 2013, most work seems to have been on synthetic inhibitors, with only troxerutin (isolated from the Japanese pagoda tree) added to potential diet/supplement options.




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          1. I would think black beans would be comparable to black rice … also, on the benefits of protein restriction, that’s animal protein, right? A lot of vegans are consuming extra plant protein to get the muscle gains in the gym.




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            1. For expense and reproducibility reasons, studies that feed animals varying macronutrient levels mostly use dairy casein as the main protein source. There are important composition differences with plant proteins, notably much higher leucine and methionine than legume proteins, and much higher leucine and lysine than grain proteins. Studies that demonstrate relative benefits to plant proteins generally attribute this to A) accompanying nutrients & phytochemicals, B) an absence of harmful compounds generally found in animal foods, or C) starvation responses to a shortage of certain amino acids.

              The Kempner white rice and fruit diet, which offers remarkable benefits in hypertension, metabolic, and kidney disease, doesn’t depend upon accompanying nutrients & phytochemicals, and as it would only provide about half of the lysine requirement, probably induces amino acid starvation responses. The FGF21 mechanism I mentioned above would represent one of these, and is briefly reviewed by Mark McCarty here.

              My intuition is that to the extent that benefits from plant protein arise from amino acid imbalances, that overfeeding to provide a superabundance of all amino acids may negate them. I haven’t encountered numerous studies where animals are fed bodybuilder doses of soy protein or pea protein isolate, just Linda Youngman’s thesis work with 20% soy protein diets (cited by her advisor T. C. Campbell), which hasn’t been followed up upon. When humans consume very high soy protein diets, their levels of the growth (anabolic and tumor) promoting hormone IGF-1 remain high, as presented in this NutritionFacts video Is this still safer than casein, probably. But compared to whey? It’s much harder to say.




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  9. If you are concerned about arsenic in rice, you might be interested in combining your rice with Canadian lentils (or Brazil nuts).
    According to this report, selenium poisoning in animals has for many years been treated with arsenic, and the reverse may also be true.

    “Talking to the news agency from her office at the University of Calgary
    Alberta, Canada, Dr Smits explained the connection between selenium and
    arsenic. “Based on the laboratory work that I’ve done with lab animals,
    we’ve found that selenium and arsenic can counteract each other.”

    When people have selenium in their diet at a high enough level, selenium
    and arsenic will bind together in the bloodstream resulting in a
    naturally-occurring molecule, which will pass through the body as urine
    and feces, she said.”

    For more info, check out the link. http://www.theindependentbd.com/post/34031




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  10. If the arsenic in rice causes bladder cancer and other cancers, why don’t we see an epidemic of bladder cancer in Mexicans and Asians? I don’t think there is an epidemic despite the huge amounts of rice these people consume everyday. Maybe rice is not as bad as the studies want to make us believe. What say you?




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    1. There’s a lot to consider. First, how much arsenic are they actually consuming? White rice contains less than brown, the amount of contamination varies greatly by growing region, and cooking methods would also affect how much they are consuming. Also, what else are they eating (donna noted below that selenium can bind to arsenic)? Do they have genes that are protective?* Do they have a microbiome that is protective?

      *http://www.sciencealert.com/villagers-high-in-the-andes-have-developed-a-genetic-tolerance-to-arsenic




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  11. Is black rice contains the same anthocyanins as the cherry?
    Such as “Cyanidin-3-glucosylrutinoside” and “Cyanidin-3-rutinoside” in large quantities?
    Сan red cabbage contains these anthocyanins?




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    1. Cyanidin derivatives are the most abundant anthocyanins in nature. It’s the most common one in most plants. Black rice, cherries, red cabbage all have it. The second is delphinidin.




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    1. What an interesting article in the Telegraph, Tom! So Queens University (Queen’s Institute for Global Food Security) is working on patenting a rice percolator that keeps running water over the rice and thus reducing the arsenic content by 85! I wonder if percolating might remove healthy nutrients along with the arsenic. Hope not!
      P.S. Thank you Tom, for your activity on this site. Your posts are always interesting and informative.




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    2. Tom Goff: I second Gayle’s kudos. Great find.
      .
      That article/idea sparked this thought/question for me: Dr. Barnard suggests people cook brown rice like pasta – ie, with lots of extra water that then gets thrown away. If someone does not have a percolator, I wonder if this would be the second-best method for cooking rice that is contaminated with arsenic. And then of course, Gayle’s question comes to mind – how much is one throwing away that is good if one does that?
      .
      I don’t own a percolator, and as much as I consider myself to be a kidget gadget




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  12. Any informed comments on this detox formula?

    http://www.advancedbionutritionals.com/Products/PectaSol-Detox-Formula.htm

    In one study, researchers gave people 15 g of PectaSol for 5 days and 20 g on day six. The scientists measured the amount of common heavy metals excreted in the participants’ urine before taking PectaSol and 24 hours after taking PectaSol.

    The results?

    The amount of arsenic excreted in participants’ urine increased by 130%…

    The amount of mercury excreted increased by 150%…

    The amount of cadmium excreted increased by 230%…

    And the amount of lead excreted in participants’ urine increased by 560%




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    1. They do not provide any links to this study which is suspicious. And I am always wary of claims made by people trying to sell something. Plus, this formula is based on soluble fibres and as a 2013 review commented:
      “Caution is merited regarding soluble fibre; in contrast to protection offered by insoluble fibre, flax seed resulted in increased intestinal absorption of cadmium”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3654245/




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  13. I only have to open my eyes and walk into any Walmart store to see the abysmal health condition of the general American population. I’m wondering how much worse it would be if they ate a WFPB diet heavily based on supposedly arsenic contaminated brown rice.




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  14. Love the “apocalypse food!” Good video. Really needed to see this since I am on a mission to find red & black rice in town – Vancouver. Does anyone know of good places? Probably Indian or Chinese shops?




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  15. A few videos ago someone wrote about his/her food allergies. Well, let me add something not that interesting but still maybe useful for some people..

    Too bad I am extremely allergic to rice. Already in 2010 (6 years ago) I tried an eliminiation diet in order to check if I am allergic to something. I ate only rice for more than 2 weeks. The idea was that if I eat only rice and my symptoms of tendon/muscle/joint inflammation subside then that would mean that I am allergic to something other than rice. Unfortunately this rice chalenge might have only exacerbated this rice allergy. Even more unfortunate was the fact that although I was extremely sensitive to it (I could feel inflammation increasing in intensity even after ingesting a suplement capsule with minute quantities of rice flour as a filler) but the inflammation wasn’t exactly proportional to the quantity ingested. So I could eat just a little and a lot more and still get the same pain intensity.
    This confused me – had I gotten a stronger inflamaation on a rice diet I would have known that the rice is responsible for it. Only after 5 years (ca. 1 year ago) this inflammation intensity became more or less proportional to the quantity ingested. But this is because I basically got (rheumatoid) arthritis and became prone to any inflammation inducer. Only about month ago I started to become pain-free. For this miracle to hapen, it required of course vegan diet (ie. meat-free, meat is also allergenic to me) and more imortanly elminating from diet such plants as tomatoes, garlic, (wheat, barley, rice, oats, rye).

    So the conclusion of this long and boring story is that you may be allergic to rice (even if you’re not an asian), your allergy may be very weak and thus difficult to diagnose and that the rice flour is virtually everywhere, especially in the supplements manufactured in the US.




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    1. Mick: Very interesting. One thing that has become very clear to me over the last few years is that no matter how healthy a food is, there is going to be someone, somewhere who is genuinely allergic (or otherwise negatively reactive) to it. I’m glad you have been able to find a diet that leaves you pain free. Good for you!




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  16. I’ve noticed that this website has a lot of articles, and when you start going through them you realize that there is an article on just about every food there is to eat that indicates that there is some kind of problem with that food. For example, we have this article on rice that tells us that it has a lot of arsenic in it, and it can give a person bladder cancer. Then there is an article on avocados telling us that there is a molecule in it that will cause our cells to destruct. There are articles about the danger of soy beans. There are articles about kale having high levels of thorium. There are articles telling us that eating broccoli, cauliflower, and other calciferous vegetables are bad for the thyroid. Likewise, there are articles telling us that nuts have to many omega 6’s and might give us cancer. There are articles telling us that nightshade plants such as eggplant might do us harm. The list could go on and on.

    If you take all of these articles to heart…..there would be NOTHING LEFT TO EAT !!! I think some of the people leaving comments are simply OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE about what they put into their mouth. I don’t see any epidemic of people coming down with bladder cancer from eating rice. Rice is the most consumed food on the planet. HEY !!! GET A LIFE. have a bowl of rice along with 3 billion Asians. OK ?




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    1. Agreed. It’s a very Western obsession, finding the hidden toxins, the hidden problems, finding the “best” food. I have seen many people spiral into panic over it. The same people with chemophobia, who think chemicals are lurking everywhere that are going to kill them, or that GMOs are bad, or that if they can’t pronounce it it must be bad for them.

      I like the advice on this page as a general guideline, but sweet Jesus it gets to be a bit much if you take everything to heart. I say this as someone who has made changes to my diet to a WFPB (mostly) plan, based on much of the information here.




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    2. Or you can have a bowl of farro, like I did for lunch. It was very good. I find there are plenty of good foods to eat.

      If one has had a pre-cancerous growth removed from one’s urinary tract, as I did, one should probably avoid arsenic.




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      1. Have you read “The China Study” by Dr. Campbell? I highly recommend it. It gave me an overall perspective of what is happening to our food supply and what I should be most concerned about.




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        1. Yes, it was very interesting. I’m not willing to bet everything on methionine restriction, though there are many supporting studies.
          And then I just came upon this study:
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25751512

          I’m not at all worried about colorectal cancer, but it does make me scratch my head a bit. Fish is relatively high in methionine, isn’t it?




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    3. John: I agree. I’m one of those three billion Asians. Even after living in the US for 30+ years, I still eat rice three meals a day. (One exception is when I travel, which happens rarely. There used to be a time we took the rice cooker and rice with us when traveling by car.) I’m approaching 60, underweight, take no prescription drugs. My only health problem is food allergies, which I strongly believe is hereditary. I’ve never been tested for arsenic; I won’t voluntarily. It would be moot, for I can’t stop eating rice. Even those who think grains are poison make an exception to rice.




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      1. George, you are right on track. Think of all the billions of people who have consumed HUGE amounts of rice in the last 15000 years. If rice was all that damaging to the human body, I don’t think civilization could have been achieved. Hispanics all over Mexico, Central America, and South America eat almost as much rice as Asians. If rice was that BAD, you would see an obvious epidemic. If someone does have a urinary pre-cancerous lesion, how do they know it was rice that caused it. This study seems to be based upon correlation. And, anyone who is a beginning student of statistics understands that correlation is not a definitive mathematical model. I think the only way you can get a real scientific analysis of this article is to draw the blood from a lot of heavy rice eaters in various parts of the world and measure their arsenic level if that is possible, or at least do an autopsy arsenic analysis of heavy rice eaters who pass away. But, who is going to fund that project? Big Pharma is not going to do it. It seems like a lot of these reports we here on YouTube are based upon correlation, interviews, patients filling out forms who are trying to remember what they ate or did not eat.

        I am getting the feeling that websites like these and Dr. Mercola’s website try to daily come up with some kind of “the sky is falling” article which is sensational in order to attract readers and to feed long time readers their daily dose of obsessive compulsive adrenaline stimulating reading material.




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        1. Thanks for your many thought-provoking questions. It made me delve more into the research. I used to study evolutionary genetics, and it is always fun to have a reason to read more.

          As it turns out, arsenic detoxification is something that is subject to selection pressure due to arsenic’s impact on male fertility and there are differences among human populations with respect to genes involved in arsenic detoxification.
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3826775/pdf/DM31-04-124169.pdf




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          1. This is a very interesting piece of information you have come up with in regards to human evolution. It sounds like you are a very scholarly individual. Information is our only salvation. I have been thinking a lot about the sustainability of our present modern life style. I’ll try to make this quick and to the point. Fossil fuels are not sustainable. Nuclear energy eventually contaminates everything it touches, and it is really not sustainable in the long run. Eventually, we are going to run out of places to store all of these spent fuel rods. And, eventually, some kind of disaster is going to rupture the storage places of these spent fuel rods just like it did in Fukashima, and in Chernobyl. Our food production is not sustainable because the raising of animals for food creates havoc in the environment….just like at the ever growing dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of fertilizers running off of farm land into the Mississippi river…..the list could go on and on and on. The American Standard Diet is not sustainable…..it creates tremendous financial burdens on individuals and on the nation as a whole as people develop diabetes, high blood pressure, cardio vascular disease, and a whole range of auto immune diseases, not to mention cancer.

            The entire planet wants to live the life of a wealthy nation with cars, iPads, swimming pools, and the such. I watch the other countries of the world adopting our life style of “slash and burn” in regards to crops, natural resources, and the such and it is just not sustainable. The wealthy at the top of the food chain will simply tax us lower pawns in order to keep their life of luxury afloat for a longer period of time…..but eventually the peasants will grab their pitch forks and head for the castle. Our whole system is just not sustainable. If we keep on doing what we have been doing…..the entire system will collapse around the entire planet. It’s just not sustainable. But everyone from the very top of the food chain to all the way down to us common peasants do not understand this. The sheeple just continue to graze. But, then one day there will be a rude awakening that the pasture is bone dry.




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    4. I would rather be informed of potential problems than not know the risks. That way I can make informed choices.

      Yes, have a bowl or rice – but I prefer not to eat brown rice from Bangladesh or other areas such as France with high levels of arsenic concentrations. You say you don’t see an epidemic of bladder cancer from eating rice. If I recall correctly, you made similar remarks about lead contamination of food. The scientific evidence of increased risk is on record. Just because not everybody gets bladder cancer from eating high arsenic rice, or neurological damage from lead, is no reason to ignore the increased risk. Of course, if you do not care about some increased risk, that is fair enough. We all have to make our own choices in these matters/

      However, my opinion is that I can make better choices when I have the information. You may think that some people are OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE, but some of them have serious health issues and good nutrition plays a very important role in their well-being. They have good reason to take note of increased risks associated with their food choices.




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      1. List all of the foods you eat, and I bet you I can find some kind of study that says that the food you eat has some kind heavy metal, poison, virus, bacteria, or unbalanced mineral in it, and the study would suggest that the food you are eating is doing you potential harm. I think you have to look at the vast majority of people on the planet and see how they are doing in their health. Like I said before there are billions of people on the planet who are not having a health problems from eating rice. The only way you could prove scientifically that rice is causing a problem is to draw the blood of thousands of people who eat rice 3 times a day and measure their arsenic levels and then weigh that against their overall health and longevity. The study Dr Greger quoted did not involve human analysis of their blood levels of arsenic.




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        1. I agree that all foods involve some kind of trade-off and I intend to continue eating brown rice.

          The point though is that not all brown rice is the same. Brown rice grown in some areas – most of Bangaldesh, France, some parts of China, the southern US etc – is particularly high in arsenic. It makes sense to choose, wherever possible, brown rice from low arsenic areas such as California, India etc. The science shows that high arsenic consumption is associated with increased bladder cancer rates. So, why take the risk?
          http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2013/07/23/3809133.htm




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    5. Interpretations of conclusions of studies can vary and we need to respect everyone’s opinion based on the available evidence. I think the more scientific information or reliable data there is on a potential toxin the better. It allows us to read and make informed decisions and take responsibility for what we eat based on health, the environment and the level of risk we are happy to live with.

      I am in somewhat of a unique position on this topic. Currently, I work as a dietitian, but I was trained in environmental science, evolutionary biology and I was a food inspector that tested imported foods in Australia for biological and chemical contaminants, so I tested and saw the results of the levels of arsenic in certain foods. This background touches on several of the areas mentioned in your comments.

      I thoroughly agree with Dr Greger in his previous videos on arsenic and that animal foods are the major source. Also rice from certain areas and especially processed rice products like syrup can be high in arsenic. It can certainly be concerning to read about these levels and try and interpret what this means for our health. I was concerned not only with potential toxins but what agricultural products were treated with to try and kill the Khapra beetle which can devastate agricultural crops and countries without this pest try very hard to keep it out of their country.

      These experiences moved me in the direction of eating more organic foods and choosing the country of origin of certain foods I consumed like rice. Also, studying the work of Dr T Colin Campbell helped a great deal in understanding how cancer developed and the important role of animal protein in the initiation and promotion phases and how this was a factor that was probably as or more important than certain carcinogens itself in the development of cancer.

      I guess my point is that my opinions have changed with the more experience and knowledge I gained which has led to what I am happy to eat based on my health and the environment. Dr Greger has given us such a great summary of all the 1000s of nutrition papers published every month to help us on our own journey and achieve our nutritional and health goals. How each of us uses this information will differ and NF offers a safe environment to express these differences in respectful discussions




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      1. Respectful Discussions, YES! These are a big part of the richness of this site. Diagnoses thrown out as accusations and insults intimidate and anger people who have better things to do with their minds and feelings.




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    6. It’s good to have discussions, but your hostile diagnosis of the good, civil, and courteous people who are on this site to learn and make informed decisions based on good science is unwarranted. One wonders why you have a need to express a hostile response to other people’s perfectly rational behavior.




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      1. Gayle, if you don’t like listening to opposite view points. I’ll just delete myself from this channel and you can live in your little “bubble world”, and you can never listen to a different view point.




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  17. Would WILD rice tend to have even greater phytonutrient content than black rice? Does the pattern of “wholesomeness” for most plants follow the pattern of Wild form <— Least domesticated <— More domesticated <— most domesticated <— Least processed <— Most processed ? Just sayin' ….. granted I'm speculating at this point. Where would I search to look up such data?




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    1. Sweet and wise your video it is. (As Yoda would say.) Thank you for enlightening in every way. Laughter is the best medicine. In my field it is necessary to approach people with Love and laughter if one is going to be able to help. Signed: RadOncDr




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    1. Hillary: I can’t speak to jasmine, but I’ve bought “brown basmati” rice in the store in the past. So, I think basmati is just like other kinds of rice – it can come as “white” (meaning nutrients/pieces have been removed) or as a whole grain/brown.




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    1. Mary: I have an idea for you: How about an Instant Pot? (http://www.amazon.com/Instant-Pot-IP-DUO60-Multi-Functional-Pressure/dp/B00FLYWNYQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=appliances&ie=UTF8&qid=1462992779&sr=1-1&keywords=instant+pot ) An Instant Pot is really a pressure cooker, but it has a ‘rice’ feature. With this type of pressure cooker, you get many features, not just rice cooking. And this one is stainless steel without a non-stick surface. And an electric pressure cooker is a lot easier than a stove top one in terms of use. (Though there are various pros and cons for each type.)
      .
      I’ve had the Instant Pot for about 1 or 2 years now, but I’ve never used anything other than the manual, high pressure setting. Your post finally got me to try one more feature (the rice feature), something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.
      .
      Basic Use Thoughts: It didn’t work the way I thought it would work. I was expecting a traditional rice cooker feature. The ‘rice’ function on the ‘Instant Pot’ is really just a pre-programmed/automated (low) pressure cooking feature. However, the Instant Pot did work as easy and as automated as a rice cooker. You add the rice and water, press a button, and it tells you when it is done. Viola!
      .
      The Experiment: I used up the last cup of brown basmati rice that I had hanging around. Cooking a single cup is a pretty small amount in this device. But it worked perfectly! Based on the user manual, I don’t know if you could count on it working for less than a cup’s worth, but a cup worked just fine. I’m not sure what the maximum amount would be, but I suspect you could cook a pretty large amount.
      .
      I found one interesting difference between the results of the Instant Pot and my old, trusted rice cooker: The rice cooker always has a layer of firm, crusty (overly cooked?) rice at the bottom. In this one experiment, the Instant Pot produced rice that was evenly cooked all the way from top to bottom with no crust. I had a friend in college who loved the crust. So, this may be a plus or a negative (or no biggie either way) depending on your preferences.
      .
      I can’t say that the Instant Pot will always work great with the rice feature, because I only have this one experience with it. However, I have used the Instant Pot for lots of other cooking and it has worked very well. And when I am done, I can throw the pot in the dishwasher. I love that. And I think the price is reasonable because it has so many cooking options, not just the rice.
      .
      I had some rice for breakfast this morning. :-) It was yummy. Hope this review/idea helps!




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  18. I don’t see any notes on Glycemic Index. My primary reason to stay away from white rice or rice in general has to do with how quickly foods convert to sugar. When I look at GI for brown rice or black rice it appears they are generally a little lower than white rice but still in the 66 range with GL at 22. Would I see the same recommendation if we factored in that the patience has metabolic syndrome?




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    1. “Inches” thanks for catching that and providing the correct link. The incorrect link is now going to a “page not found” so I believe the error is currently being corrected.




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  19. red rice has been the winner on NF.org. But I am not sure there has been much information on the value of GABA or soaking/germinating at low temperatures prior to cooking.

    A interesting articles on pubmed:
    ” Results: Germination enhanced the GABA content of BR, and GBRE intervention improved the total antioxidant capacity and antioxidant enzymes levels in diabetic rats.”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28036014

    Perhaps we try to germinate our red rice?




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    1. Hi there, I am a plant based dietitian volunteer moderator from Scottsdale Arizona helping Dr. Greger answer questions on the site. I like your idea! However, when I looked into germinating black rice, I lost my interest after step 16 or so (I am exaggerating)! I say to you, sir, germinate on! I myself will keep eating black rice when available, but will investigate germination for my diabetic mice friends!
      Happy New Year!!




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      1. I will give the red rice a try. With a decent rice cooker, there really aren’t any steps other than rinse rice with a bit of vinegar and set the soak to 8 hours or so. Then the cooker automatically turns on and tells you when the rice is finished.

        Here is an overview on GBR:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germinated_brown_rice

        I think the challenge we face is a lack of decent information on the quantifiable benefits of GABA (brown or any color).

        Happy New Year Lisa and thanks for the response!




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