What’s the problem with rice?
Rice tends to be one of those foods that people avoid due to its high starch content, particularly true for those trying to lose a few pounds. Also, rice’s calories and carbs (206 and 45 grams per cup) are what might put a lot of us off eating rice since carbohydrates are typically associated with sugar – a huge no-no when it comes to weight loss.
But don’t worry – it’s not all bad news…
The carbs found in white rice are considered to be healthy since they aren’t refined – they also help your body obtain a regular supply of energy as opposed to the quick bursts you get from refined carbohydrates. The starch found in rice is one of the main concerns since it is the culprit when it comes to rice’s calories.
Fortunately, scientists have found a way to reduce the calories in rice by half
Research led by Dr. Pushparajah Thavarajah, and presented at the 249th ACS National Meeting and Exposition, showed that white rice can be boiled with lipids to reduce the amount of unhealthy starch found in it.
First we should mention that there are two main types of starch: one that is easily digestible, and one that’s resistant. Our bodies don’t have the enzymes needed to digest the resistant kind, which means it can’t break down that starch and transform it into the sugar that typically gets absorbed into the bloodstream. So, if we can find a way to get the rice to have more resistant starch, rather than digestible ones, we can avoid that extra sugar in the body.
Okay, so what is this technique?
We mentioned before that you need to boil white rice with lipids, but we won’t go into too much detail about what lipids are. Instead, we will tell you that the lipid needed for this technique is coconut oil (it’s worth noting that coconut oil is used as an ingredient in many recipes and is arguably one of the healthiest oils around). The process:
- Prepare the rice to be boiled as normal
- Add coconut oil to the water (3% of the weight of the rice)
- Boil as normal
- When boiled, place the rice in a fridge for 12 hours
Just try the hack tonight!
The resultant rice is now 50% healthier! The exact reason for this involves some complicated (and boring) chemistry so we won’t go into too much detail in that respect. But we will say that preparing white rice in this way restricts the amount of digestible starch, which in turn lowers its calorie content. In layman terms, it does this by reducing the level of glycogen (starch that is easily digestible) and replaces it with resistant starch, which means your body doesn’t absorb it. And since you’re not absorbing it, you’re not adding excess calories to your body!