Rice is eatten throughout the world and has been a staple of many cultures' diets for centuries. It's easy to prepare and pair easily with many other foods. But, like so many other starchy foods, it has one overywhemling critical flaw… It's not good for you.
Why Rice Is Bad For You
The eating of white rice, specifically, has been linked to a higher risk of diabetes. Why? Because white rice can significanly raise blood sugar levels. Therefore, for anyone who can’t handle the rise in blood sugar, this is, obviously, a real bad thing.
A cup of the cooked grain carries with it roughly 200 calories, most of which comes in the form of starch, which turns into sugar, and often thereafter body fat.
Source: Washington Post
It's All About How Starch is Processed
Potatoes are full of starch but it's a healthy kind of starch until it is cooked or mashed. The process of heating and then cooling some vegitables, for instance sweet potatoes and peas, will change the amount of good stach and make it bad starch. This was discovered in 2009 in an National Institute of Health (NIH) study.
And depending on the way rice is prepared, it will undergoes chemical changes that can be scientifically observed. In particular, fried rice and rice pilaf have a significantly higher proportion of the bad starch than steamed rice.
"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."
James and Thavarajva based thier research on this known fact about cooking styles and food health. They tested eight different cooking recipes on 38 different kinds of rice. They used coconut oke because it is a commonly used cooking oil in Sri Lanka where they were doing their research. They found that by adding the coconut oil (a lipid) BEFORE cooking the rice, and then cooling the rice immediately after it was done, they were able to drastically change its composition and make it better.
The Little Tweak That Makes Rice Much Healthier
At the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka, an undergraduate student, Sudhair James, and his mentor were playing around with how to cook rice in an attempt to reduce the calories while preserving the health benefits. Their ingenious method, is really just a simple chemical manipulation of the rice by taking just a few simple steps..,
"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."
"The oil interacts with the starch in rice and changes its architecture," said James. "Chilling the rice then helps foster the conversion of starches. The result is a healthier serving, even when you heat it back up."
Source: Washington Post
Coconut Oil Reduces Calories in Rice
As obesity rates continue to rise everywhere in the world, in particular in the developing world, as people there depend on rice as an inexpensive food staple. India and China are currently having a rise in obesity… They are also huge rice consumers.
Rice, of course, is not the sole cause of weight gain. But reducing the amount of calories in a cup of rice by even as little as 10 percent could have an enormous impact for future generations.