Next Shark/Food Beast:
Rice, an important staple food in many countries, is valuable because, one, it is cheap, and two, it’s high in calories because it’s a starch. So why would we ever need a way to cook low-calorie rice?
The method in question stems from an article by the Washington Post. The story presents a method of cooking rice which addresses the problem of white rice consumption being linked to a higher risk of diabetes. A University of Sri Lanka professor and an undergraduate student devised an “ingenious method” to cut the calories in rice (200 calories per cup, cooked) by 50% as well as add a few “health benefits” — it’s also very easy to do. The student, Sudhair James, explained his preliminary research at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on Monday:
“What we did is cook the rice as you normally do, but when the water is boiling, before adding the raw rice, we added coconut oil—about 3 percent of the weight of the rice you’re going to cook … after it was ready, we let it cool in the refrigerator for about 12 hours. That’s it.
“The oil interacts with the starch in rice and changes its architecture … Chilling the rice then helps foster the conversion of starches. The result is a healthier serving, even when you heat it back up.”
Why do you need low-cal rice? Because people in developing countries, e.g. China and India, are suffering from obesity. It’s not just rice that causes the obesity, but people do rely more heavily on cheaper foods.
Pushparajah Thavarajva, the professor who led the research, explained that obesity, while also a problem in the U.S., is becoming a problem in Asia because people are eating larger portions of rice. The calorie-cutting research is still ongoing with several methods yet to be tested, but rice is also just the first of many foods Thavarajva hopes to make healthier.
“It’s about more than rice … I mean, can we do the same thing for bread? That’s the real question here.”
On Reddit, some believe the concept of low-calorie rice is useless. Smarter people think it’s very necessary, it’s very simple and it may become the new way of cooking rice.