The seed of a swamp grass which is widely cultivated as a food source, is commonly known as rice. It provides the staple diet of half the world’s population and is second to wheat only in terms of total output. The seedlings of rice are usually planted in flooded fields or paddies, so that terraces are necessary on hillsides and a reliable source of water is essential. Rice is considered the most important grain with regards to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one-fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans. Here Fiona Macdonald, ScienceAlert.com, reflects on a newly discovered healthier preparation of rice:
“Rice is a mainstay of dozens of different cuisines around the world, and pretty much the fuel that keeps uni students alive (alongside instant noodles).
But although the versatile grain is cheap and easy to cook, there’s one big issue with it – it’s not that great for your waistline.
Image courtesy of: stu_spivack
In fact, one cup of cooked rice contains around 240 starchy calories that can be quickly converted into fat if they’re not burnt off.
But researchers in Sri Lanka have discovered a simple way of cooking the grain that dramatically cuts its calories by as much as 50 percent, and also offers some other important health benefits. And we’re never going to cook rice any other way again.
According to the 2015 study, all you need to do is get a pot of water boiling, but before adding your raw rice, you add coconut oil – about 3 percent of the weight of the rice you’re going to add.
So that’s roughly a teaspoon for half a cup of rice, explains Sudhair James, an undergraduate chemistry student from the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka, who led the research with his supervisor.
To eat it, you simply pop it in the microwave and, voila, you have a “fluffy white rice” that’s significantly better for you.
Simple, right? But the process actually involves some pretty fascinating food chemistry. At the heart of the technique is the fact that not all starches are created equal.
There are two main types – digestible starches, which our bodies quickly turn into glucose and store as fat if we don’t burn it up; and resistant starches, which aren’t broken down into glucose in the stomach, so they have a lower calorie content.
They instead pass through to the large intestine, where they act more like a dietary fibre and can provide all kinds of useful gut benefits.
Although a lot of starchy foods, such as potatoes and rice, start out containing a lot of resistant starches, depending on how we cook them, they often end up chemically changing before we eat them so that they’re mostly digestible starches.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-discover-a-new-way-to-cook-rice-that-could-halve-the-calories
Photo By stu_spivack
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