How Adding Coconut Oil to White Rice Makes it 50% Healthier


White rice and coconut oil have been making the headlines in the health industry recently. This is because of a new study which reveals that adding coconut oil when cooking white rice reduces its calories, making it relatively healthier.

It has long been a theory that mixing together certain types of fats and high-carbohydrate food will reduce a recipe’s capacity to raise blood sugar levels. However, no actual study has been conducted to prove this nutritional thought until recently.

The coconut oil and white rice study

A study on coconut oil and white rice was conducted by professor Pushparajah Thavarajah and student Mr. Sudhair James from the Industrial Technology Institute in Sri Lanka. It revealed that by adding coconut oil while cooking white rice and then letting it cool can reduce the calories of the rice by up to 50 percent. The study was done on 38 varieties of rice.

The percentage of calorie reduction varied depending on the type of rice. The lowest reduction was 10-12 percent in one rice variety.

The process involves boiling the water and adding coconut oil (approximately 3 percent of the total weight of the rice) before adding in the raw rice. When the rice is cooked, allow it to cool and place in the refrigerator for about 12 hours before consuming. The cooked rice can be reheated before serving and it will still retain its low-calorie composition.

This method of cooking lessens the digestible starch in the rice, which, in turn, reduces its calories. The coconut oil interacts with the starch of the rice and changes its composition, making it healthier. Placing the rice in the refrigerator further helps cultivate the conversion of the starches.

The hidden sugar in white rice

White rice is considered a healthy food but eating too much of it can pose some health risks. White rice is a highly processed grain, which means most of its fiber, minerals, vitamins, and essential fats have already been removed through the process of turning it into something consumer-friendly. Thus, what remains is mostly starch, which, when processed by the body, turns into sugar. White rice has a glycemic index of about 65, almost as high as the common refined white sugar which rates 68. This is the reason diabetics are advised not to eat too much or to completely avoid eating white rice.

Coconut oil contains good saturated fats

Coconut oil has been recently placed back onto the health pedestal after years of being avoided because of its high levels of saturated fats, which are allegedly unhealthy. However, more updated studies have shown that not all saturated fats are created equal. The saturated fats contained in coconut oil are actually the good fats that help prevent heart disease, as opposed to causing it.

Also read: Coconut Oil, An Ancient Superfood Back On The Rise

Health impact of the study

Rice is a staple food in majority of Asian countries. Although considered relatively healthy, white rice can still pose health risks when consumed in large portions. Obesity is already a huge concern in Western countries because of their large consumption of starchy foods. But it is also starting to become a health concern in Asia as people are consuming more amounts of rice.

This new study on reducing the calories contained in white rice, even if it is just as minimal as 10 percent, can have a huge impact on people’s health. The real significance of this study is not merely reducing the calories on rice. It is the possibility of developing new methods to reduce calories in different kinds of food such as bread.

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Amy Goodrich
Amy is a life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach. She is the founder of the healthy lifestyle website and creator of the online program, After successfully changing her family’s health and happiness, she’s on a mission to help other people achieve the life and body they want. You can find here on Facebook or Google+ or get her free clean, whole food recipe eBook here: