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Fascinating New Way to Prepare Rice So It Has Half the Calories

"The cooling is essential."

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Rice is one of those starches that has been blasted for being one of the carbohydrate-rich foods linked to health issues. But scientists say they've devised a way to cook rice — white rice included — that significantly cuts down on calories.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Sudhair James, with the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka, explained that if coconut oil is added to the water and the rice is cooked and cooled in a specific manner, calories could be reduced by 5o to 60 percent.

"After your body converts carbohydrates into glucose, any leftover fuel gets converted into a polysaccharide carbohydrate called glycogen," James said in a statement, explaining the issue with eating high-carb foods like rice. "Your liver and muscles store glycogen for energy and quickly turn it back into glucose as needed. The issue is that the excess glucose that doesn't get converted to glycogen ends up turning into fat, which can lead to excessive weight or obesity."

This research team though found they could increase resistant starch in rice by adding a teaspoon of coconut oil per one-half cup of rice to boiling water. From there, add the rice and cook at a simmer for 40 minutes. If you're pressed for time (which you're about to see would mean this recipe is probably not for you), the researchers said you can cook the rice at a boil for only 25 minutes.

After that though, the rice needs to be refrigerated for 12 hours.

"The cooling is essential because amylose, the soluble part of the starch, leaves the granules during gelatinization," James said. "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."

You can reheat the rice at this point, if that's your preference, and enjoy its new lower-calorie benefits.

This method was presented at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

(H/T: Washington Post)

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