Research has shown that a cup of the cooked rice has in it roughly 200 calories, most of which comes in the form of starch, which turns into sugar, and often thereafter body fat. Also, a study at the Harvard School of Public Health showed that cooked white rice contributes to the development of type II Diabetes. So now that we know this, are we going to cut down on eating rice? Are we going to stop eating rice totally? I don’t think this is possible.
Rice is a staple food eaten all over the world because it is relatively cheap, easy to cook and can be cooked in several forms. Rice can be cooked white and eaten with soups/stews, cooked as jollof, fried and coconut rice. In Africa and parts of the Carribean, rice is mixed with beans to make it more delicious and nutritious but just like many carbohydrate foods, eating much of them as we eat rice can lead to intake of a large amount of calories.
We all want to avoid taking in too much calories and thankfully scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories.
How To Cook Rice To Reduce The Calories Inside
I am going to use the words of the scientist, an undergraduate student at the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka to get you started and then explain in my own way to you after;
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 percent of the weight of the rice you’re going to cook,” said Sudhair James, who presented his preliminary research at National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on Monday. “After it was ready, we let it cool in the refrigerator for about 12 hours. That’s it.
There are different type of starches that make up different starchy foods – some are easily digestible, while others are not (resistant types). The easily digestible one are broken down into units of glucose and ultimately glycogen. On the other hand, resistant starches cannot be broken down easily by the enzymes we have in our body.
The objective of this research was to reduce the amount of the easily-digestible starches in cooked rice by modifying the way in which rice is being cooked.
“If you can reduce the digestible starch in something like steamed rice, you can reduce the calories,” said Dr. Pushparajah Thavarajah, a professor who is supervising the research. “The impact could be huge.”
This research is still ongoing and many other varieties of rice are being tested. Also, other types of lipids other than coconut oils will be used to see the impact on reduction of calories in cooked rice. These tests may also extended to other starchy foods such as bread.
My own concern about this research is what I know about having not easily digestible starches or carbohydrates in food. When we have carbohydrates that enzyme in our body cannot digest easily or digest at all, what mostly happens is that microorganisms break them down for us instead. This causes formation of gas in our gut and consequently bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea.