One trick to cut rice calories in half! Does it work?

One trick to cut rice calories in half! Does it work?


Hey guys!

I’m getting ready to pack for NYC right now! Leaving tonight to embark on the Hot Body Tour! I hope you got your free tix already. If not, click here. Some of the VIP class winners have been announced for New York already. I’ll announce VIPs for other locations soon. It’s gonna be fun SO FUN!!

Also, crazy news. We have sold SO MANY Hot Body Year Round books that we’re backordered on Amazon! That is NUTS guys. Thank you for your support. You are ridiculous. Also, the date they’re telling you that they’re going to ship your book is not accurate. Do not worry – it will arrive sooner than that! I’ll keep you posted.

So if you’re going to order, I encourage you to order from (if you are in the US) and (free intl shipping). When the book launches on April 7, please support your local bookstore and get it in store!

Also, you should get your tote bags really soon!! (you get one if you order before April 6 and fill out the form on Please post when you get them! Ahh! Use the hashtag #hotbodyyearround.

I also just had my kickoff party for the book. I will share all the pics in the next post. It was so fun, colorful, and just a great time in general to celebrate and be around the people I love.


Alright. So did you guys hear about this?

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 10.11.19 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 10.12.43 AM A scientist by the name of Sudhair James from the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka has been toying with a new way to cook rice that can reduce its calories by as much as 50%. He just presented this research at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society. So how do you do it? You cook rice as your normally would. 2 cups water to 1 cup rice is what I usually do. 1. Boil the 2 cups of water. 2. Then before you add the dry rice, add coconut oil. Add 3% of the weight of the rice you’re going to cook. 3. Once melted, add all of the rice. 4. Once cooked, take it off the stove and let it cool in the fridge for 12 hrs. So what exactly happened here? It’s important to understand first that in rice and other high carbohydrate foods like potatoes, peas, corn, pasta and bread, you have digestible starches which take little time to digest and resistant starches which take a long time to digest.

  • Digestible starches are quickly turned into glucose and later glycogen which ends up causing us to gain weight if we don’t use enough energy to burn it off.
  • Resistant starches take a long time for the body to process and are not converted into glucose and glycogen because our bodies’ lack the ability to digest them. That means that they just pass through your intestinal tract without the full amount of calories that a digestible starch would add to your diet.

So what research found here was that you can actually change the type of starches in a food depending on how you prepare it! James and his colleagues tested eight different recipes on 38 different kinds of rice (the least healthful kind) found in Sri Lanka. They discovered that by by adding a lipid (coconut oil in experiment, because it’s a staple fat in Sri Lanka) before cooking the rice, and then cooling the rice immediately after it was done, they were able to dramatically increase the levels of resistant starch!

“The oil interacts with the starch in rice and changes its architecture. Chilling the rice then helps foster the conversion of starches. The result is a healthier serving, even when you heat it back up. The cooling is essential because amylose, the soluble part of the starch, leaves the granules during gelatinization. Cooling for 12 hours will lead to formation of hydrogen bonds between the amylose molecules outside the rice grains which also turns it into a resistant starch. Reheating the rice for consumption, does not affect the RS levels.” (

The experiment showed a 10 to 12 percent reduction in calories for those 38 varieties of rice. James stated that “With the better kind, we expect to reduce the calories by as much as 50 to 60 percent.” And there it is guys. THIS IS WHY I WROTE THIS BLOG POST. The PR around this experiment was OUT OF CONTROL. Literally all news outlets were saying that you could cut rice calories by 50% just by adding coconut oil! The headlines were being way over sensationalized. And for the average person, they’re just going to believe that and start adding coconut oil to their rice without thinking! I encourage you to always question what you hear. Just to be clear – I do not question the science of the experiment, I am just questioning the reason why no one really tried to explain what happened to the coconut oil calories after you add that in. So I did a little digging and further research so that you could understand the whole story. I started reading discussions on reddit and found that I wasn’t the only one who was a little upset about the misleading headlines. Here are the calculations: 1 cup of uncooked white rice (185 grams) = 675.3 calories. Add 3% of the weight of the rice in coconut oil So 3% of 185g is 5.55g which at 9 cals gram = 50 cals of coconut oil The research shows that you will lose 10-12% of the rice calories so that the rice will be 67-80 calories less. It will be 608 – 595.3 cals. But if you add the coconut oil back in at 50 cals it becomes 658-645.3 cals. Still less than 675.3 cals originally, but is it worth all that effort? Honestly, probably not. Another thing to note is that this test was done in the lab, not on human beings. So that means that the metabolic response in our bodies could be very different from the lab results. All very very interesting! Let me know what you think about this research in the comments. See you guys on tour this coming week.





18 thoughts on “One trick to cut rice calories in half! Does it work?”

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  1. Sandy says:

    A cup of cooked rice is between 199 and 242 calories. Not 600+. You lose credibility with me. The article also says it MAY halve the calories in SOME rice. They are still working on it. I think it’s wonderful research and has great promise. I also think it’s very much worth the effort depending on the type of rice. We seem to not have all the information yet. By the way this also works with potatoes.

    1. Elaine says:

      She specifies uncooked rice in the article, so the calorie count is correct.

  2. Mary says:

    There are many nutritional values to consuming coconut oil. The procedure of preparing rice in the suggested method reQuirks only a slight learning curve, much like the learning curve you are using to select healthier food choices.
    I agree that the journalism is flawed, but look how long it took you to explain the procedure on video. Journalistic writing focuses on a synopsis of the story in the first paragraph, and supporting data in the following paragraphs, all topped with a catchy headline. Such has been the way of news reporting for centuries…don’t hate the messenger.

  3. Naomi Teeter says:

    Cassey, thank you so much for doing the digging on the rice thing! I read about it on e Washington Post (I think) last week and was curious of that would work too! It seems like if you eat nothing but rice, this would be a good idea… but for normal folks, it probably isn’t worth the time.

  4. Hi Cassey, I hadn’t heard about this study, but of course, sensationalized and made seem like a bigger deal by the media. It’s still a good tip though. I also really like cooking with coconut oil. Hope you’re having fun on your tour! Wish I could make the Bay Area event! 🙁

  5. Leandra says:

    See, this is why I love that you were a science major in college. You have that investigative mind and know how to think critically about science research.

  6. Ahh! It’s not about calories already! While overeating is always a bad idea, it’s really about a balance between C/P/F and if you’re going to eat a high carb meal, adding a small amount of fat is a great idea. It makes the sugar absorption slow down, and prevents more hunger and carb crashes. Thanks for sharing!


  7. Jinjin says:

    Hi Cassey,
    I pre-ordered your book on the canadian amazon, but i didn’t know that i still had to fill out the form on to get the tote bag since i didn’t get it from the site that you mentioned was for international popsters. am i too late?

  8. Janna says:

    Hi Cassey,
    I pre-ordered your book on Amazon this morning, super excited to get my hands on it! When I went back to fill out the free tote info tonight the link was gone, (it was still up this morning) am I too late?

  9. This is super interesting, and yet another example of how a lab study gets blown up by the media and confuses normal people who are just trying to eat healthy. If one can get back to the clean eating basics and enjoy a treat once in a while, then there is no worry over saving 30 cals in rice!

    xx Jill
    Latest Post: Opinion of a Fit Girl Part 2: Fake Sugar, Fasting, and Low Carb Diets

  10. Emily Nunn says:

    I love watching your videos and reading your blog posts on topics like these. You are so knowledgeable and really let your viewers and readers know what’s up. Thanks for clearing up the hype, as you always do, and presenting us with the facts.

  11. Marketa Frycova says:

    Hi guys, I’d like to ask you all to take part in my research that I’m doing for my Master’s thesis. It’s about what influences your relationship to your favorite YouTubers and it shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes – there are only 7 questions (+ 2 optional).
    This is the link to the research form: but if you like, I can send you the questions via message
    Thank You

  12. Cassey, I have to say I was very nervous when I opened this post–Cassey Ho, writing a clickbait headline?! But this is an awesome post! Thank you so much for explaining the science behind this rice-cooking method and figuring out whether it’s actually worth it. I wish everyone who was freaking out about cutting rice calories in half would read your post!

  13. While I think the acience behind this is fascinating, I think you’re right cassey–everything is sensationalized in the media. Good on you for questioning the true amount of calories with the added coconut oil!

  14. Kim Wedlock says:

    These kinds of subjects always make me sceptical. Tabloids and news outlets never give you the full info on anything, and as you said, it’s massively hyped up. This post is the first I heard of this and I believed your blog title – fortunately I read past the report and on to what you had to say because I was sceptical and wondered what you’d thought.
    I’m a new reader here – I just bought your DVD and some seafoam weight gloves as a treat for myself, and pre-ordered your book, too, and I do enjoy your blog posts, but seeing this post has really, really confirmed my faith in you. You didn’t jump on the band wagon, you didn’t spout about the find without giving us more information. You did the MATHS. And that counts for a LOT. So, honestly, thank you.

    I do have a small piece of input myself about the coconut oil: if you’re only counting calories, then yes, this isn’t worth the effort at all. But if you’re looking more at health but still want white rice, then replacing about 67 calories from rice with 50 calories from amazing coconut oil, the calories might be the same but the benefits won’t be – they’ll be greater.
    Having said that, I don’t see myself bothering – like you said, it’s too much trouble. It’s interesting to know, though.
    Plus, props again for mentioning that none of this was tested on humans. Metabolic rate varies massively from person to person, and human metabolism is considerably different to that of a petri dish!

    Thanks for the amazing post, and for confirming my faith in you ^^ good luck with the book launch! So excited for you!

    Kim x

  15. Cassie says:

    I think this was WAAAAY too jumped in at once without much evaluation! Thanks for the informative post!