If you are like me, you are faced with a conundrum when it comes to eating low-carb while at the same time absolutely loving and adoring said same carbs.
You might want to keep your blood sugar from getting too high but you may also really, really like rice.
What are you to do?
Well some research out of Indonesia may give us the helping hand we’ve been looking for.
Researchers from Universitas Indonesia in Jakarta studied the levels of resistant starch in rice based on three different cooking methods as well as their effect on glycemic response in study participants.
What they found, published in 2015 in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is a very simple way to increase the amount of resistant starch in rice.
But before we get to that, we should probably discuss why increasing resistant starch as a form of carbohydrates is important in the first place.
Unlike simple carbs, resistant starch passes through the small intestine intact. As opposed to a regular carb which will be converted to sugar and ferment in the gut, resistant starch is broken down into short-chain fatty acids in the large intestine, thereby not causing a spike in blood sugar the same way a regular carb would.
Some also say that resistant starches help increase feelings of fullness, which could be very important to you if you are on a weight loss journey but still love rice.
And rice is filling and still cheap, which is more important today than ever.
Now, the question is how do we get more of those resistant starches than regular carbs when eating a wonderful staple like rice.
The researchers found a very easy way to do so.
They began by comparing three different types of rice preparation, including a control of regular cooked rice, a test rice which was cooked regularly then cooled for ten hours at room temperature, and a second test rice which was cooked regularly then cooled for 24 hours at 4 degrees Celsius and reheated.
The results were significant.
They found that each of the test rices showed significantly higher amounts of resistant starches compared to the control rice, with the rice cooled for 24 hours at a cold temperature showing the highest levels.
Knowing this, they compared the test rice cooled for 24 hours at a cold temperature to the control rice to see if there would be a difference in glycemic response in test subjects.
Those results were also significant.
The test rice showed a significantly lower glycemic response compared to the regular rice, to the tune of 125 mmol.min/L for the cooled and reheated rice compared to 152 mmol.min/L for the regular rice.
Although this was a very small study, it does line up with similar research done on other types of carbs, such as wheat.
It is VERY important to note, however, that it can be extremely dangerous, even potentially deadly, to consume rice that has been left out to cool at room temperature for too long.
Like some forms of wheat products as well, rice has a large surface area for bacteria to develop and grow, and it can do so quickly when left out at room temperature. So it is vitally important that cooked rice is chilled safely and quickly after cooking and not left out to cool at room temperature. The longer it is left out at room temperature to cool, the more time there is for bacteria to grow.
So if you choose to cool and reheat rice (or wheat products, including pasta) to reduce the effect of carbs in your rice, be sure to do so safely. Do NOT leave it out at room temperature as was done in this research.
Of course, if you are thinking of using this method of rice preparation to treat or prevent any condition, be sure to talk with your licensed health care practitioner first to see if it is right for you and how to do so safely. This article, as always, is for informational purposes only.
And with that said, thank you for being here and here’s to your pursuit of great!
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