White rice is a meal time staple for Southeast, East and Asian countries. But due to its its high calorie count, consumption of white rice regularly also puts people at risk for diseases like such as obesity and diabetes.
There might be an easy solution to cut the calorie count of white rice almost in half. You heard right, in half!
Sri Lankan researchers, led by Sudhair James, added coconut oil (which is about 3% of the white rice’s weight) to boiling water before adding white rice. Then they cooked the rice and put it in the refrigerator for 12 hours.
How Does It Work?
The researchers explained the science behind this process. Adding a lipid like coconut oil, can change the structure of rice and reduce its digestible starch, thereby reducing the calories. Also cooling the rice takes this process even further. As the rice can be reheated afterward with no caloric increase.
The researchers tested 38 different varieties of white rice, from least to most healthful. For the least healthful, they found the coconut oil method reduced calories by 10–12%. They expect to reduce the calorie counts in the most healthy varieties by 50-60%.
The research is still in its early stages and will extend to experiments with other kinds of lipids. such as sunflower oil. If this turns out to be a safe way to reduce calories in white rice, also with corn and wheat, then its health implications could be highly beneficial.