A cup of white rice has about 200 energy—not insignificant contemplating it’s most frequently used as a small half of a bigger dish. However there’s a simple, pure method to make rice much less caloric: add a bit of fats, then let it cool. In line with analysis introduced on the American Chemical Society’s nationwide assembly in 2015, utilizing coconut oil and a fridge can slash energy by as a lot as 60%.

Rice is made up of each digestible and resistant starch. People don’t have the enzymes to digest that second kind, so resistant starch isn’t reworked into sugar and absorbed within the bloodstream like digestible starch. The extra resistant starch a meals has, the less energy from that starch our our bodies will take in.

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Researchers from the School of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka wished to determine if they may convert a few of rice’s digestible starch into the non-digestible kind, and thereby make it much less caloric. By testing out 38 completely different sorts of rice and simulating human digestion in a check tube, they devised a recipe for the least caloric method to prepare dinner rice: drop a teaspoon of coconut oil into boiling water, then add half a cup of non-fortified white rice and prepare dinner it for about 40 minutes. After cooking, stick it within the fridge for 12 hours.

Rice cooked this fashion had a minimum of 10 instances the resistant starch as usually ready rice, and 50-60% fewer energy, the researchers say.

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Right here’s the way it works: the glucose models in scorching cooked rice have a free construction, however when it cools down, the molecules rearrange themselves into very tight bonds which can be extra proof against digestion, says Pushaparaja Thavarajah, PhD, who supervised the examine. Scientists already know that it really works in potatoes, however within the new examine, researchers thought that including a fats like coconut oil might add further safety. It appeared to. The fats molecule wedges its method into the rice, Thavarajah says, and offers a barrier in opposition to fast digestion.

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Making rice starch extra resistant has different perks apart from reducing energy. It’ll additionally feed your good micro organism. “The resistant starch is an excellent substrate, or power supply, for the micro organism contained in the human intestine,” says Thavarajah.

Better of all, the researchers discovered that reheating the rice didn’t change the degrees of resistant starch—so the calorie hack is secure for leftovers, too.

This text initially appeared on Time.com and was up to date by Well being editors on October 23, 2018.

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