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Lower Calorie White Rice

Carbohydrates can spike your blood sugar levels, which can lead to crashes in energy, weight gain, insulin resistance, and many other issues. So, how can you prepare your favorite starchy sides to yield a lower glycemic index, increasing its health benefits? Great news, the method is quite simple.

When cooking rice, add some healthy fat (unsaturated fatty acids) and then cool the rice – in this case, we've added coconut oil and cooled/reheated the rice before eating.

Why add coconut oil?

Krishnan et al. (2020) explains that fat induces resistance towards glycemic response. During the cooking process, the right fatty acids combine with the digestible starch in the rice, reconfiguring molecules. This converts some digestible starch into resistant starch.

Why cool and reheat the rice?

Researchers have demonstrated an increase in resistant starch of rice that has been cooled for a minimum of 12 hours (Oaklander). When combined with the coconut oil cooking method, this has been shown to decrease calorie content by 60% (Roberts, 2015). Further, reheating does not seem to change the composition of the resistant starch.

What is resistant starch?

This starch passes through the small intestine undigested and ferments in the large intestine, producing more (beneficial) bacteria and improving gut health. Therefore, increasing resistant starch with these methods not only leads to a positive short-term effect with a lower glycemic response, but also contributes to a more diverse gut microbiome. The more resistant starch a food has, the fewer calories of the starch absorbed by the body.


  • 1 cup jasmine rice, rinsed and drained

  • 2 cups filtered water

  • 1 tsp coconut oil


  1. Heat water in a pan until rolling boil.

  2. Add rice and coconut oil. Stir to combine.

  3. Follow cooking instructions.

  4. Transfer rice into a fridge safe dish. Cool completely.

  5. Reheat by sautéing in a pan with a small bit more of coconut oil or a splash of water and add to your favorite dish!


Krishnan, V., Mondal, D., Bollinedi, H., Srivastava, S., Sv, R., Madhavan, L., Thomas, B., R, A. T., Singh, A., Singh, A. K., & Praveen, S. (2020). Cooking fat types alter the inherent glycaemic response of niche rice varieties through resistant starch (RS) formation. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 162, 1668–1681.

Roberts, B. M. (2015, March 23). “Eat rice cold for fewer calories.” BBC News.

Oaklander, Mandy. "Rice calories can be cut in half with this trick." Time Magazine.


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