Thanks to its neutral flavor, inexpensive price, and ability accompany almost any food, rice is one of the most eaten foods in the world – and certainly in Asia. In fact, Asians consume approximately 90% of the world’s yearly supply of rice.
However, the downside of rice is its proven link to an increased risk of diabetes. A serving of cooked rice contains 200 calories, mostly from starch, which gets converted into sugar in the body and stored as fat.
But don’t throw out your favorite Chinese food take-out menus just yet! The good news is that Sudair James, a scientist at the College of Chemistry in Sri Lanka, recently discovered a way to reduce the calories in rice and make it a healthier option.
The trick in preparation is quite simple: add coconut oil to the boiling water before adding the dry rice and then after being cooked – leave the rice to cool in a refrigerator for 12 hours.
The caloric depletion is explained simply as well: during the unquiet cooking process the easily digestible types of starch which would normally be converted to glucose transform into resistant starch, which the body takes longer to process and does not convert into glucose and store as fat. For example, studies have shown that heating certain foods, such as potatoes and peas, changes the amount of resistant or good starch.
When starch is made harder for digestion, its caloric value is reduced. The significance of the study’s results can be huge, said Dr. PushparajahTavarajah, professor and supervisor of the study.
After lots of trial and error, the research team realized that the lipids found in coconut oil chemically change the rice’s composition – first, the oil reacts with the starch and alters its structure. Then, while cooling, a conversion of starch into the digestible resistant type is possible. The result is a healthier meal, by far.