First, let’s look at rice facts:1 cup of rice equals about 200 calories; most of those calories come in the form of starch, which directly converts to sugar and then to body fat;
- Rice is a digestible starch – it takes little time to digest and therefore turns quickly into sugar and then fat;
- Resistant starches – this kind take the body a long time to process, doesn’t get converted into sugar or fat and also contains less calories.
Researchers at the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka experimented with ways of cooking rice that could potentially reduce the number of calories in food by as much as 50%. In addition, they wanted a way of cooking rice that added more health-enhancing benefits rather than all its health-depleting ones. According to Dr. Thavarajva, professor at the University of Sri Lanka, when you reduce the digestible starch as in steamed rice, you also reduce the calories because then it converts more like a resistant starch.
AND...don't let that delicious become a boring flat staple. When you reheat or stir-fry add veggies you and your family like: thinly sliced carrots, peas, various types of onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, and don't forget to try various kinds of rice served together that have been spiced with various herbs and even chopped nuts.
The researchers mentioned above performed the following experiment in cooking rice:
They added a lipid (coconut oil in this study) ahead of cooking the rice, and then cooled the rice immediately after it was done. By doing this, they discovered they were able to drastically change its composition to health-enhancing. The oil interacts with the starch in rice and changes its entire metabolic structure. By chilling the rice, it helps foster the conversion of starches and provides a healthier serving when you heat it back up. The same scientists are now testing other foods, for instance various flours in baked goods that do not necessarily provide health-enhancing constituents.
Go ahead and cook that serving of rice but add an oil, preferably coconut oil because of its other extensive health and digestive benefits. In my test kitchen, I cooked one cup of white basmati rice and added 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to the water and allowed it to boil before adding the rice. Then I proceeded to cook it as usual and cooled it. I reheated it to add to a stir-fry and the flavor was enhanced and, from the results of the study, so were the health benefits because my fasting blood sugar did not elevate as it has when cooking rice the conventional way without the oil and eating it while still hot. I avoided rice for a long time and instead opted for quinoa as my grain. Now I’m going to continue to test fasting blood sugar levels with various genres of rice, stay-tuned for the results.
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