According to Sri Lankan researchers, if you employ a special method of cooking rice you could reduce its calories by up to 60%. So how do you achieve the result at home? Boil your favourite rice grain for 40 minutes with a teaspoon of coconut oil and refrigerate for 12 hours before serving.
Researchers told the American Chemical Society that this makes the starch in the rice less digestible, which impacts how much of it is absorbed by the body. Rice is a good source of carbohydrates which makes it a good source of energy for the body. When consumed our body breaks down the starchy food into simple sugars, leftovers are stored in the body and then converted to glucose as needed. But too much glucose in the body ultimately is stored as fat.
Scientists have been in search of ways to alter foods to trick the body into absorbing less fuel – keeping blood sugar and calorie consumption down. Investigators from Sri Lanka tested 38 varieties of rice and found their method was the best way to boost ‘resistant starch’ – making it more resilient to enzymes in the gut, stopping them from breaking down the carbohydrates which means less is absorbed.
“The cooling is essential because amylose, the soluble part of the starch, leaves the granules during gelatinisation,” said lead researcher Sudhair James. “Cooling for 12 hours will lead to formation of hydrogen bonds between the amylose molecules outside the rice grains which also turns it into a resistant starch.”
Even when reheating the cooled rice, the resistant starch level remains unaffected. The good news is, even pasta could benefit from this cooking and then cooling method. Uk researchers found the method will create a smaller glucose peak – even if you reheat the cooled pasta!