Although rice is the staple food of much of the world’s population, it is also associated with certain health conditions. It may lead to weight gain and also increases the risk for diabetes. A cup of cooked rice contains 200 calories, most of which come from starch which turns into sugar, adding to the body weight. Thus rice is the first food item which is excluded from the diet by those who try to lose weight or struggle with diabetes. However, now it seems that the problem has a solution.
Sudhair James, an undergraduate student from Sri Lanka, and his mentor have developed a new technique of cooking rice which reduces its calorie content by 50 percent. James stated “What we did is cook the rice as you normally do, but when the water is boiling, before adding the raw rice, we added coconut oil -about 3% of the weight of the rice you’re going to cook.” James added “After it was ready, we let it cool in the refrigerator for about 12 hours. That’s it.” The preliminary research has been presented at National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
According to the study, coconut oil changes the molecular structure of rice in such a way that its starch takes a healthier turn. Consequently, it takes more time for digestion and the release of sugar into the system slows down. Normally, starches get processed easily and release sugar into the blood very fast, which increases the risk of diabetes and weight gain. Chilling the rice after it is cooked promotes the conversion of starches. James remarked “The result is a healthier serving, even when you heat it back up.”
Lower calorie rice could be very helpful for dealing with obesity epidemic, particularly in developing nations where a number of people consume rice. Although rice is not the only reason behind obesity, cutting down its calories could be beneficial for future generations.