Not only in India, white rice is a popular grain across the globe, for the simple reason that it can easily be paired with a lot of different foods – be it the humble curry, a piece of grilled fish or even roasted beans. And the fact that it is an inexpensive grain makes it even more acceptable across strata. But this humble grain comes with a flaw – its starchy overtones. Once consumed, the starch in the white rice turns into sugar and eventually contributes to body fat. That’s the reason most weight watchers stay away from it. But what if you were told that there is a cooking technique that can reduce its calorific value by up to 50 per cent?
Researchers in Sri Lanka have found out a new way to cook rice, which will not only make it calorie light but also offer added benefits. There are few simple steps with which you can manipulate the evil in white rice.
Firstly, boil a pot of water. Now before adding white rice, add coconut oil – the quantity should be 3 per cent of the rice you want to cook. For example, for half cup of rice, add a teaspoon of coconut oil. Once the rice is cooked, let it cool in the refrigerator for almost 12 hours before you eat it. To make it ready to eat, heat the portion in a microwave.
So how exactly does it work? It works on the simple logic that not all starches are made equal. There are simple starches that take less time to digest, i.e. get converted into glucose faster and then glycogen. It is the glycogen, that when stored in excess, plays havoc in the body and we need to burn enough energy to get rid of it. However, the resistant starches are processed in the body over a longer duration. They are not turned into glucose or glycogen because the body lacks the function to digest them. Hence, they lead to fewer calories. In short, the trick is to reduce the digestible starch.
This composition can be tweaked by adding a lipid (coconut oil) before cooking the rice. The oil changes the architecture of starch in the rice and chilling it helps promote conversion of starches.
Sudhari James who led the research along with his mentor is an undergraduate chemistry student from the National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society last year.
You are never going to cook rice the old way now!