Avoiding carbohydrates altogether or trying to stick to a low-carb diet? Well, what if we told you that you could have your carbs and eat them too—with half the amount of calories. That would be a game changer, huh?
You’re in luck. Scientists have developed a new, easy way to cook rice that cuts calories by as much as 60 percent, according to research from the American Chemical Society.
Normally, rice has about 240 calories per cup, but this can be halved if high quality, non-fortified rice is processed via a specific heating and cooking regimen, the researchers say. In the study, they experimented with 38 types of Sri Lankan rice. First, researchers added a teaspoon of coconut oil to boiling water. Then, they added a half a cup of rice and simmered for 40 minutes (you could also boil it for 20-25 minutes). After, they drained and refrigerated the rice for 12 hours.
What this process does is increase the rice resistant starch (RS) concentrations. Stay with us. Starch is one of the main components of rice; it can either be digestible or indigestible. Unlike digestible types of starch, RS cannot be broken down in the small intestine, which is where carbs are normally turned into glucose and simple sugars that are absorbed into the bloodstream. Instead, it simply passes through the digestive tract. The excess glucose that ends up in the blood stream from digestible starch inevitably turns into fat, which can lead to excessive weight gain and obesity.
Simply put, by cooking the rice in coconut oil, it changes the architecture of the rice and starch. And the 12-hour refrigeration is essential because the soluble part of the starch leaves the granules of rice, turning it into RS.
Bottom line: your body absorbs fewer calories. Better yet, you don’t need to be a chef to reap the benefits.
The presentation on this research will take place at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on Wednesday, March 25th in the Colorado Convention Center, which you can watch live on YouTube here.