How cooking rice with coconut oil slashes 60 per cent of the calories

One cup of cooked white rice contains an average of 200 calories so it's treated by many as a 'sometimes' food.

However, scientists from the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka are making the delicious carb-filled staple healthier for all by sharing a simple trick to reducing the calories.

And all you have to do is add a little bit of coconut oil to the cooking process, then allow it to cool overnight, Better Homes and Gardens reported.

Sadly one cup of cooked white rice contains 200 calories so it's treated as a 'sometimes' food by people watching their waistline

Adding these two steps to your rice-cooking repertoire minimises the calories in your final dish by 60 per cent.

And because obesity is a growing problem worldwide this could be the food-based solution we so desperately need to know about.

The reason why adding a substance like coconut oil works to reduce the overall calories is relatively simple: the fat molecules find their way inside the rice during the boiling process and double as a digestive barrier.

Couple that with letting it cool for 12 hours - which makes the bonds in the rice form stronger 'resistant starches' and makes it difficult for digestive enzymes to break down - and you've practically got a cheat meal on your hands. 

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The reason why adding a substance like coconut oil works to reduce the overall calories is relatively simple: the fat molecules find their way inside the rice during the boiling process and double as a digestive barrier

The study's team leader Sudhair A. James said 'the increasing rice resistant starch (RS) concentrations was a novel way to approach the problem of obesity'.

But doctors have warned that reheated rice has the power to cause food poisoning.

In a bid to fend off bacteria, they recommend not leaving it in the fridge for longer than a day and making sure it is piping hot after microwaving. 

Also, never reheat rice more than once. 

Researchers are currently trying to figure out whether other oil types act in the same way.

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