Arsenic and Mercury in the Gluten-Free Diet. Is the Gluten-Free Sky Falling?

Two press releases caught my eye this week.

With screaming headlines like:

“Toxic Metals Higher in Gluten Free Food” and “Higher Levels of Arsenic and Mercury Discovered in Gluten-Free Americans”

of course I needed to take a closer look.

Arsenic levels in rice is well documented. I started blogging about the arsenic in rice issue back in 2012 when the FDA issued their first warning. You can see one of my posts and links to the FDA’s investigation here:

But it’s not a gluten-free diet that’s the problem. It’s the fact that rice is the main ingredient in the majority of gluten-free bread, crackers and cookies and cereals too. But it’s not just the arsenic that’s a problem. Rice can also be high glycemic and lower in the B vitamins and protein – which are often lacking in a gluten-free diet. Must have been a slow news day for Fox and the others as they dug deep to stir an old pot. Buried deep in both articles is something that the FDA told us back in 2012. Arsenic is naturally occurring in rice. There is nothing new here. But the media spun it with quotes like: ” Yet, this new study suggests  potentially harmful ingredients may be hiding in this trendy type of food.”

Bottom line: Rice is the #1 ingredient in most gluten-free diets. A bigger problem might also be the fact that mainstream gluten-free products often contain high amounts of fat, sugar and preservatives. Rice is only part of the problem.

Unfortunately both articles fail to mention is that Pure Gluten-Free Oats (yes, like Gluten-Free Prairie’s) are the perfect alternative to rice in the gluten-free diet. There is NO arsenic issue with our gluten-free oats. oat flour, mixes or oat groats.

Arsenic and old Rice

Quoting another article: “Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago report that rice flour, which is used as a substitute for wheat, tends to accumulate toxic metals that can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and neurological illness. The arsenic and mercury get into the rice via fertilizers, soil and water, and other studies have previously linked the toxic metals to rice.”

Yes, both articles are only talking about RICE. Not oats, buckwheat, amaranth, or any of the other readily available naturally gluten-free grains.

A lot has changed since my daughter and I were diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2005. In the years since, mainstream manufacturers have jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon – many using rice as a main ingredient. Back then my blog – Not Even A Crumb – proved a wonderful outlet for us as we navigated our life-changing gluten-free world. Concerned about the lack of nutrients in much of our gluten-free diet, my family and I began a quest to find a way to live a truly healthy gluten-free lifestyle. When we learned about the amazing health benefits of Purity Protocol gluten-free oats, and the even more amazing benefits of a unique variety of pure gluten-free oat groat (the whole seed of the oat plant) we ultimately moved to Montana, bought a 100 yr old building and converted it into a designated gluten-free Bakery. GFP Family in the windowIn addition to an entire line of Gluten-Free Oat-Based products, it turns out that our variety of oat groat is also a perfect replacement for rice! It even cooks in a rice cooker. Oat Groats are also proven to lower cholesterol – along with many other attributes that will be a post for another day. You can find our oat groats on Amazon HERE:

Our oat products are non-GMO, with no preservatives, no high-fructose corn syrup, no Xanthan or fillers of any kind. As folks continue to fall in love with our Gluten-Free Prairie Family of Products, I am also on a quest to introduce the world to our oat groats – a true replacement for rice. For recipes using the groats check out our recipe page .

In the coming months I’ll be posting more about the Amazing Groat which is lower in carbs than all other gluten-free grains- with the exception of corn (one of the most highly genetically modified grains on the planet). Pure gluten-free oats are also among the highest in fiber and protein, and are also higher in thiamine – an essential B vitamin often missing in a gluten-free diet.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Deb on combine


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