Posts Tagged ‘white rice’

Like White on Rice

March 27, 2015

 

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A scientist from Sri Lanka has discovered a way to drastically reduce the calories in white rice, through a cooking technique.

Dr. Pushparajah Thavarajah and his student Sudhair James claim that adding coconut oil to the cooking water can alter the digestable starchy components of rice, resulting in a significant reduction in calories.

Apparently, the oil reacts with the starch in the rice, changing its structure. Chilling the rice helps foster the conversion of the starches, which remains even when the rice is reheated.

We don’t know if the technique really works or not, but it certainly is worth a try.

The experts suggest adding 3% of the weight of the rice in coconut oil to the boiling water before adding the rice. Once the rice is cooked, it can be chilled to further the process of converting the starches.
Rice made in advance can be reheated, without affecting the results.

Future studies with bread are underway.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Rice Risks

December 4, 2014

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Brown rice is healthier than white rice, right? It contains 67% more vitamin B3,80% more vitamin B1, and 90% more vitamin B6 and 60% more iron before it is milled and polished into white rice. It’s clearly a superior food.

Until now.

In 2012, Consumer Reports tested 60 different types of rice, and found traces of arsenic in all of them. Recently, the publication tested 128 additional samples of rice and rice related products, as well as 114 grains, and found that brown rice contains about 80% more inorganic arsenic than it’s white counterpart.

The tests were run in conjunction with the Food Safety and Sustainability Center and were supplemented by FDA data.

Arsenic is introduced into the soil through the use of pesticides and fertilizers, as well as from natural sources such in the Earth’s crust . The chemical seeps into the outer layers of the grains. Since brown rice retains it’s outer layers, which are stripped away during the refining of white rice, it tends to have a much higher level of arsenic. Surprisingly, organic rices were found to have a similar amount of arsenic as conventional varieties. Brown basmati rice was found to have 1/3 less arsenic than other types.

Good news for the health conscious, especially vegetarians and vegans who count on brown rice as a meal staple: There are many other nutritious grains that are safer.

Amaranth, millet, cornmeal ( grits or polenta ) and buckwheat were found to be almost completely free of arsenic. Trace amounts were found in barley, bulgur and faro.

Some experts advise limiting brown rice consumption to 2 servings (1/4 cup uncooked) per month to avoid toxic levels. The FDA suggests cooking rice in 5 times more water than customary ( the way we cook pasta) which will eliminate some of the arsenic in the cooking process.

We need the FDA to step up and ban farming techniques that expose deadly additives to our healthy foods. In the meantime, it is best to explore other grains and keep rice consumption to a minimum.

photo: glasshouse images

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