Could Rice Become Guilt Free?

According to a new study out of Sri Lanka, scientists may have found a way to tweak rice, or the way it’s cooked, just a little to make it healthier.  This new way of cooking rice could mean an estimated 50% less calories each time you eat a hearty rice meal. 

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The study out of the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka has found a way to cook rice that manipulates its chemistry and can reduce its calories.  In practice, the process involves only a couple easy steps.  The rice is cooked as normal but coconut oil is added to boiling water before raw rice is added.  When the rice is cooked and ready, it is cooled in refrigerator.  Sounds easy? That’s because it is.  On a grander scale, if further research goes well, this calorie reducing cooking technique can be employed anywhere.  This makes it easy to make a big, fat fighting, impact without changing the food we eat.

How does it work?  By interchanging the two types of starches.  The two types of starches are 1. Digestible starches: which are easy to digest, are quickly turned into glucose, and then to glycogen, and 2. Resistant starches: which take a long time for the body to process and aren't converted into glucose or glycogen because we can’t digest them.  Overall, excess glycogen from digestible starches is what ends up on our waists, and resistant starches mean fewer calories.  By changing the composition of the starch in the rice, scientists were able to produce a substantial calorie reduction.

You may be thinking to yourself… why does this matter?  It matters because rice is a staple in many cuisines around the world.  It pairs well with many different foods and is relatively cheap.  Unfortunately, rice is starch-heavy and not particularly healthy.  Simply stated, in the body, starch turns into sugar which turns into body fat.  White rice consumption has been linked to a higher risk of diabetes and obesity.  For example, China and India, both huge consumers of rice, are already seeing obesity problems.  As, obesity rates rise around the world, particularly in the developing world - reducing the amount of calories in a cup of rice by even as little as 10% could have an enormous impact.