Scientists Discovered a Way to Slash Absorbed Calories from Rice by Up to 60%. Here’s How…
Rice may seem like a healthy food choice – depending on what you have with it, of course – but it’s not as good for you as you might think. Compared to typical favorite carbs like bread or potatoes, it’s a winner, but it’s still loaded with calories and starch.
A single cup of rice contains about 240 calories and 1.6 ounces of starch; Harvard University estimates that a single serving of white rice can cause nearly the same blood sugar spike as eating pure sugar. And while carbs are an important part of our diet, cutting back on carb intake is rarely a bad idea.
Thankfully, scientists in Sri Lanka have discovered a way to cook rice that seriously reduces starch levels, potentially cutting calories absorbed by the body by up to 60%. Presented at the American Chemical Society meeting in Denver, it’s an easy technique to try, but you’ll need some advance planning.
First, the science. According to Sudhair A. James from the Western College of Chemical Sciences in Colombo, Sri Lanka, rice contains two types of starch – digestible and resistant. And it’s the digestible starch that’s the problem; it gets broken down in the small intestine, metabolized into glucose, and absorbed into the bloodstream.
However, says James, after your body converts carbohydrates into glucose, any leftover fuel is converted into a polysaccharide carbohydrate called glycogen. “Your liver and muscles store glycogen for energy and quickly convert it back into glucose as needed,” he explains. “The issue is that excess glucose that doesn’t get converted to glycogen turns into fat, which can lead to overweight or obesity.”
Resistant starch (RS), on the other hand, does not break down, so James and his team looked for ways to cook rice that would increase RS content. The result is a cooking technique that changes the starch’s cellular architecture, making it resistant to digestive enzymes and reducing calorie intake by about 50-60%. Here’s how to do it:
- First, add a teaspoon of coconut oil to boiling water.
- Next, add half a cup of white rice and let it simmer for 40 minutes or simmer for 20-25 minutes.
- Once the rice is cooked, cool it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
- Finally, reheat your rice, which now has about 10 times the amount of resistant starch.
As we said, you’ll need some advance planning if you want to enjoy this healthier rice. And if you want to learn more about the science behind this technique, you can find a more in-depth explanation here.