Wellness Wednesday: Ways To Reduce Arsenic In Your Diet

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(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(CBS Radio) — Surely, you would never offer your children a glass of arsenic, but arsenic often lurks in foods and drinks that both you and your children eat and drink.

Besides limits in our drinking water, there is no federal limit regarding the amount of arsenic that is considered acceptable in common foods and drinks, however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that they will set a limit on the amount of arsenic that can be found in apple juice.

Arsenic is a carcinogen that can pose grave danger to your health. In addition to being linked to cancer, when too much arsenic builds up in your body, it can lead to arsenic poisoning. The symptoms associated with arsenic poisoning are: diarrhea, headaches, blood in urine, vomiting, abdominal cramping, convulsions, and hair loss. Arsenic poisoning can affect various organs in the body, such as the liver, kidneys, lungs, and skin. At elevated levels, arsenic poisoning can be fatal.

Arsenic can be found in:

- Drinking water
– White Rice
– Brown Rice
– Apple Juice
– Grape Juice
– Infant Rice Cereal
– Cereal
– Rice Milk
– Products sweetened with Brown Rice Syrup, such as Organic Foods
– Crackers
– Rice Cakes

Reducing Arsenic In Your Diet:

Since arsenic is found in most rice products, limiting the amount of rice that you consume is wise. Additionally, rinsing rice products before cooking can reduce the amount of arsenic in the product. Alternatively, you can eat couscous or grits as a rice substitute.

Brown Rice Syrup is the sweetener of choice in products found at many health food stores, including organic products. These products often contain high levels of arsenic, and therefore, it is best to avoid products sweetened with Brown Rice Syrup.

While the FDA will soon set limits on the amount of arsenic found in apple juice, switching to orange juice or cranberry juice is a healthier option and neither contain arsenic.

Where infants are concerned, it is especially important that their diet not consist of toxic substances. While Rice Cereal does contain harmful levels of arsenic, switching to oatmeal or mixed grains baby cereal is beneficial to your infants health.

Avoid breakfast cereals that contain rice products or that are sweetened with Brown Rice Syrup.

In recent years, there have been many concerns about the harmful affects cow’s milk may have on humans, however, if you are looking for healthier alternatives, Almond Milk or Soy Milk can be consumed without worrying about hormones, or in the case of Rice Milk, arsenic.

(Related Article: 5 Worrisome Facts About Dairy)

While some products contain higher levels of arsenic than others, it’s wise to try to reduce the amount of arsenic that you consume. For a full report about arsenic levels found in the foods you eat: click here.

- QC Writer, CBS Radio

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