What could be easier than a simple, rice-based meal after a long day?
The family staple is cheap and tasty but now experts are warning too much of the carbohydrate could be fatal.
Rice contains low-levels of arsenic and it’s believed too much exposure to this could be a factor in thousands of avoidable premature deaths each year, reports the Mirror.
Research from The University of Manchester and The University of Salford found prolonged exposure to low-levels of inorganic arsenic could lead to cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
Their findings were recently published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.
Discounting major factors which contribute to cardiovascular disease, researchers found there was still a significant association between elevated cardiovascular mortality and the consumption of inorganic arsenic bearing rice.
Professor David Polya, from The University of Manchester, said: “The type of study undertaken, an ecological study, has many limitations, but is a relatively inexpensive way of determining if there is plausible link between increased consumption of inorganic arsenic bearing rice and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
“The study suggests that the highest 25 percent of rice consumers in England and Wales may plausibly be at greater risks of cardiovascular mortality due to inorganic arsenic exposure compared to the lowest 25 percent of rice consumers.”
He adds: “The modelled increased risk is around six percent (with a confidence interval for this figure of two percent to 11 percent).
“The increased risk modelled might also reflect in part a combination of the susceptibility, behaviours and treatment of those communities in England and Wales with relatively high rice diets.”
The food is a staple dish for more than three billion people worldwide but experts have not warned people to stop eating it.
Instead the advice is to eat types of rice that contain less inorganic arsenic such as basmati and polished rice as well as a balanced diet of staples.