Love rice but worried about gaining weight? Fear no more for a bunch of Sri Lankan researchers have found a unique way to eat as much rice as you want without letting your waist expand.
Since it involves cooking rice in a different way, let’s know the process first:
- Boil water (to cook rice). Note that you do not mix rice with water like you normally do.
- Take the desired quantity of rice you want to cook, let’s say, a cup.
- Add two teaspoons of coconut oil to the water. (For every 1 cup of rice, 2 teaspoon coconut oil.)
- Cook the rice in the water mixed with coconut oil.
- Once cooked, cool the rice in a fridge for 12 hours.
- Heat it up in a microwave and then consume it.
So how does this actually help in controlling fat?
Without going into the detailed science we can do with the knowledge that there are two kinds of starches – resistant starch and digestive starch. Resistant starch has a lower calorie content and, therefore, does not contribute in fat building in our bodies. On the other hand, digestive starch is the main contributor to fat accumulation in our bodies in case we are one of those who don’t exercise. (Like me.)
Rice when steamed becomes high on digestive starch. This process – cooking with coconut oil, heat and then cool – digestive starch chemically transforms itself into resistant starch, which means low calories.
One of the biggest advantages of resistant starchy food is that you don’t feel hungry and will be full of energy because the body takes time to digest such foods.
The researchers, Sudhair James and his supervisor Pushparajah Thavarajah, from Sri Lanka’s College of Chemical Sciences took a leaf from a previous study on pasta for their experiment which showed that pasta when cooled after heating has less calories.
A file picture of Sudhair James, one of the researchers who found this way of changing rice starch.
Since starch can change properties if the process of cooking is altered, James and Thavarajah believe that the same can be used to lower the calorie content in other starchy foods.
And that is where it becomes exciting because a unspecified number of people around the world just love gorging on potatoes – a food high on digestible starch when cooked.