Rice Syrup Alert; Low Iron Lowdown

The latest on a danger surrounding rice, as well as how low levels of iron in the blood can cause problems – and foods that help naturally.

Rice Syrup Alert

Consider reading labels and avoiding or restricting foods sweetened with rice syrup, at least for now. A recent study by researchers at Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, found levels of arsenic in foods containing it that exceeded U.S. standards for bottled water. The sampling of products included cereal bars, energy shots (drinks), and baby formula sweetened with organic brown rice syrup.

These researchers are pushing for regulatory limits on arsenic in food, like those that already protect drinking water.

Arsenic is a natural element with a grayish-white color and a metallic luster. When heated, it vaporizes and forms compounds that are poisonous. It is toxic and potentially carcinogenic.

Lowdown on Low Iron

Low levels of iron in the blood not only cause fatigue, but also may be linked to more serious health risks, including dangerous blood clots. Iron deficiency is widespread, and thought to affect at least 1 billion people worldwide, mostly women. Alleviating such deficiencies should first be viewed as a preventive measure.

In general, rice does not naturally have high levels of iron without enrichment. Try a pseudo-grain like amaranth (it’s technically a seed). The Red Cross has a handy reference chart on high-iron foods.

Portions Sourced from: Natural Awakenings magazine, July 2012

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