A cup of cooked rice typically contains 240 calories and is made up of both digestible and resistant types of starch. Humans do not have the enzyme to digest resistant starch, which means the body is unable to convert some of that starch to sugar and absorb it into the bloodstream.
Researchers at the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka successfully tested out their theory that using a specific heating and cooling process of cooking rice could increase the presence of resistant starch and thereby minimize the body’s calorie absorption.
Here’s how to cut the calories in your rice by more than half, according to the researchers: Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to boiling water, then add half a cup of rice. Simmer for 40 minutes or boil for 20 to 25 minutes. The cooked rice should then go into the refrigerator for 12 hours.
The researchers say this method of cooking rice causes the oil to enter in starch granules while it cooks and adds a protective layer, which changes the structure of the rice granules so they becomes resistant to the digestive enzyme. Ultimately, this means that fewer calories from the rice are absorbed by the body.
Thankfully, you won’t need to eat your rice cold and gummy to maintain its lower calorie content. The scientists say reheating the rice at a later time doesn’t alter the rice’s chemical composition. Additionally, the researchers say this method of cooking rice this way won’t only help a person maintain a slim waist; it may also result in a healthier gut, since the bacteria in the rice provides a potent energy source to the “good bacteria” in the human body.
These findings were presented at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.