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How To Cook Rice With Half The Calories

03/23/2015 12:38 EDT | Updated 03/25/2015 10:59 EDT

If calories are keeping you from cooking rice, you need to try this new trick.

Researchers at the College of Chemical Sciences, Colombo, Western, Sri Lanka have discovered that cooking rice with coconut oil can actually help cut rice calories in half and reduce obesity rates, the American Chemical Society announced.

The low-calorie cooking technique involves adding 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to boiling water. Once the oil has dissolved, scientists say you should stir in half a cup of rice and simmer until the rice is fully cooked. Once the rice is cooked, place the pot in the fridge for 12 hours before consuming.

Sudhair A. James, the study's author, says the cooling process is essential because it transforms the grains into a resistant starch. James says the process becomes finalized in this cooling stage so reheating the rice will not reverse the changes.

But can adding fatty coconut oil to a calorie-rich carb really reduce the calories you're taking in? According to Yahoo! Health, the shift in the starch actually cuts out more calories than those being added in with the oil. The site explains that the cooking method is similar to Turkish pilaf, which is rice cooked in a mixture of butter and water.

The International Rice Research Institute says rice is a staple for nearly half of the world's population, with 90 per cent of rice consumption occurring in Asia.

Scientists at the college conducted the study with Suduru Samba, a variety of rice grown in Sri Lanka and parts of India, they intend to expand on their research by investigating the process with other types of rice.

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