Yes, you can lower the calories in rice by changing how you cook it!
For the longest time I wanted to share with you about a method used to lower rice calories…not long ago a team of scientists from Sri Lanka have developed a simple way to cook rice that could reduce the calories absorbed by the body by up to 60%.
A little background…rice contains two types of starch: digestible and resistant. The digestible starches can be quickly broken down by our bodies, turn into glucose and store as fat if we do not burn it (increase weight or obesity). The resistant starch cannot be digested, they just pass through the large intestine therefore not absorbed by our body. Resistant starch shares some of the benefits of soluble fibers. The scientist developed a method of cooking rice which changes the digestible starch to resistant starch.
Why lowering the caloric content in rice is so important? Rice is the staple food for more than half of the world’s population, contains a lot of starch and it is used to make all kind of dishes savory as well as sweet, but worldwide obesity is increasing dramatically, therefore to be able to enjoy rice dishes without guilt, a simple addition of coconut oil can change its caloric content.
The original paper recipe is the following…
½ cup white rice
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 ¾ cups water or enough to cook the rice
In a pot, bring water to a boil.
Add coconut oil to pot, followed by the rice.
Cover, lower heat, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
Let rice cool, then chill in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
Reheat as necessary before serving using.
As for me, I love using my rice cooker, therefore I added into the cooking bowl, well rinsed rice, coconut oil and the appropriate amount of water according to the instructions of the rice cooker.
If you enjoy this simple method of cooking rice to lower its calorie, you might want to check on some of rice dishes such as Egg Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage.
Want to know more about it? The reason that rice cooked with coconut oil contain less calories are explained by the scientists…coconut oil enter the starch granule during cooking and changes the structure of the starch so they are no longer affected by the digestive enzyme from our body. Refrigerating the rice is important because it expels the digestible part of the starch, and once the digestible part is outside of the rice granule, these molecules form strong bonds turning them into resistant starch.
Interestingly, the amount of resistant starch did not change when the rice was reheated later. The cooling turns some of the digestible starches into resistant starches via a process called retrogradation. In order to cook lower calorie rice refrigerating it before reheating is crucial.