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New research into rice suggest that changing the way it’s cooked can reduce the amount of calories by over 50%. Time reports that research published by the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka shows that using coconut oil and cooling rice after it’s cooked help cut the calories it contains.
This is because rice contains two types of starch - digestible and resistant. Resistant starch is not digested well by the human body and therefore doesn’t break down into sugars. The researchers found that by preparing rice in a different way they could turn much of the foods digestible starch into resistant starch, reducing the amount of sugar that the body eventually absorbs from the rice.
The rice was cooked with a tablespoon of coconut oil and was allowed to cool for 12 hours in the fridge to trigger the reaction
Speaking to Time, Pushaparaja Thavarajah, PhD, who supervised the study, said: “The glucose units in hot cooked rice have a loose structure, but when it cools down, the molecules rearrange themselves into very tight bonds that are more resistant to digestion.
She says that adding coconut oil means that fat ‘wedges its way into the rice and provides a barrier against quick digestion.’