Carb lovers, have you heard the awesome news? Scientists in Sri Lanka have figured out a simple cooking trick that could potentially slash the calories of rice and other starchy carbs by up to half of their conventionally cooked counterparts. Yes, you read that right: half the calories in the same amount of food. And it's super easy to do with stuff you already have in your kitchen.
To try this at home: Add a scant teaspoon of a healthy oil like coconut or olive to the cooking water for every ½ cup of uncooked rice (use 1 cup of water per ½ cup of uncooked rice). Cook rice as you normally would, (ideally simmer for 40 min) but then let cool it over night (12 hours) in the fridge, and bam!—you're left with rice that tastes just like rice, but has fewer usable calories.
Rice that had been "improved" to produce higher yields, had 10 to 12% fewer calories when cooked via this method, says Sudhair James, the undergrad researcher who presented these findings at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society. But James is optimistic that using this method on traditional heirloom varieties, particularly some varieties of red rice—could result in a calorie reduction of up to 50 to 60%. And yes, even if you reheat your rice, the caloric count won't change.
How it happens: The cooling process, along with fat from the oil, increases rice's amount of resistant starch (RS), an indigestible form of carbs that your small intestine can't break down and convert to glucose.
Better still, the trick may also work for other starchy foods like pasta, beans, cereals such as oatmeal, and tubers like potatoes: A similar study showed that cooking, cooling, and then reheating these foods significantly increases RS levels.
Finally, RS isn't just good for cutting calories, either. This magical starch has been linked to improved insulin sensitivity, better gut function and digestion, greater feelings of fullness, and increased fat burn.
While I was thrilled to hear this further research is needed. We should consider it a potential bonus and not build our caloric intake around it or add more carbohydrates to our diet due to the potential reduction. I will post some delicious cold carb recipes that meet these cooking parameters. Try them out let me know if you notice a difference. Another note, carbohydrates are to be eaten hot or cold please do not leave cooked carbs at room temperature which increases the potential for bacteria to grow.
This blog was created to provide information as it relates to skin, body and food health.