The health benefits rice offers are numerous: it provides quick and instant energy, regulates and improves the intestinal transit, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and slows the aging process, while also providing an essential source of vitamin B1 for the human body.
However, similar to other grains, it has a key drawback that leads to weight gain and increases the risk of diabetes type 2. When it comes to health benefits, white rice is especially harmful. Only one cup of it consists of 200 calories and they are made of pure starch without many other nutrients.
Recent studies have shown that the caloric value of rice can be cut by a simple trick which can even add other nutrients to this grain. Dr. Sudhair James, who carried out a study on the nutritional value of rice, explained that “We must cook rice as usual. The only difference is that before we start boiling the rice, we must add a little coconut oil, from about 3% of the amount of rice in water. After it has been cooked, leave it in the fridge for about 12 hours.”
The rice boiling in water makes its starch extremely easy to digest, which allows our body to make it into sugar easily, then glycogen, and, finally, storing it as fat. On the other hand, frying or other forms of cooked rice do not change the starch leaving the rice difficult to digest.
According to Dr. Pusparajah Thavarajah, co-author of the study, “the addition of lipids (in this case coconut oil or some other cooking fat) drastically reduces the proportion of easily digestible starch.” In fact, oil reacts with starch thus changing its structure. “The cooling of the rice helps to reinforce the content of starch in its “most difficult”, which makes that rice less caloric, even after being re-heated”, explains Prof. Thavarajah.