Cooled cake with coconut oil contains less calories

Researchers find a special method for preparing cake to reduce calorie content!


The line above is my wishful thinking headline. Substitute rice for cake and we have a genuine story published on the BBC health website.

cooked rice

Did anyone else read this fascinating article? The health editor at the BBC reports that rice boiled with 1tsp of coconut oil then cooled for 12 hours can contain up to 60% fewer calories.

The theory is that treating rice this way changes the starch to a more resistant form less easily absorbed by the body.

bowl of uncooked rice

This research originates from an undergraduate student, Sudhair James, at the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka. The findings are from his preliminary research and were recently presented at National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Here is a link to the video of his presentation to the ACS. Essentially his  research is still in the early stages. Results so far have only produced a 10 to 12% reduction in calories with certain types of rice tested. This data has been extrapolated to other varieties and it is expected to reduce calories by the 60% quoted by the BBC but this has not yet been tested.

So a slightly less dramatic finding than the BBC would have us believe but interesting nonetheless. rice field

I don’t have access to the actual research methodology but it sounds as if he hasn’t yet reached the stage of testing how the specially prepared rice actually impacts on the human glycaemic response.

I await results of future research with interest.

Am I going to alter how I cook rice now. No.

I do aspire to be one the super-organised meal planning Mummies. Instead every week I buy a selection of vegetables, various forms of protein and hope for the best on daily basis. This results in occasional culinary triumphs and the odd meal that my mum would kindly refer to as a ‘hotch-potch’. Mr R may refer to it in less publishable terms.

So cooking my rice 12 hours in advance feels like a bit too much hassle especially when the actual benefits are still somewhat unclear. Throw in the added risks of food poisoning, associated with reheated rice, and I’d rather just cook a little less rice.

However if I could cook and cool that slab of cake and consume 10% fewer calories….

chocolate cake

30 second summary: Some potentially exciting preliminary research  this week suggests cooking rice with coconut oil then cooling it may reduce calorie content. Research is still in the early stages so I will not be altering my cooking method just yet.

Has anyone else read this story or found it interesting? Do let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

A Healthy Breakfast

Is porridge the ultimate healthy breakfast? 

Porridge Oats
Porridge Oats

Mr R recently purchased of a bag of porridge. Not just any old bag of porridge, but rather a 25kg monster of a bag. Not only was there no space for it in our kitchen cupboards, in fact it simply wouldn’t fit in a cupboard at all – it reached up to my waist. Now admittedly I am only 5 foot 2 (when I stretch) but non-the-less as bags of porridge go it was huge!

So why did my darling husband purchase enough porridge to feed a small school. Well, he’d read ‘somewhere on the internet’ it was the healthiest breakfast!

I often find that we are bombarded with lots of information about how to stay healthy. Some of this information is excellent and accurate, but others not so much. I’m now going to take a few minutes to explore some health claims about porridge to ascertain whether it really is such a healthy breakfast.

Health benefits of eating porridge

Here are some of the claims you might find on the internet around the health benefits of porridge:

  1. Porridge keeps your blood sugar stable due to its low glycaemic index. This is often reported as meaning you will not experience an energy slump after eating it which is linked to both improved concentration and a lessening of the need for mid morning snacking.


1 minute extra information: Glycaemic index is a number that represents the total rise in blood sugar level following consumption of a particular food. Usually foods with carbohydrate that break down quickly have a higher glcaemic index. 100 represents pure glucose. If you want to do further reading Wikipedia has an excellent summary!

Essentially the glycemic index of porridge depends on the type of oats from which it is made. According to a publication from Harvard medical school instant porridge, or oatmeal as its referred to in USA, has a glycaemic index of 83 which is higher than cocacola! Large oats have a much lower GI index. Therefore, this particular health claim is very dependant on the type of porridge you choose.

  1. Porridge helps you feel fuller for longer due to its fibre content.

 1 minute extra information: Porridge does have a good fibre content. Jumbo porridge oats, similar to the type we eat, have around 11g per 100g. The recommended average intake for adults is 18g per day. Fibre may enhance a feeling of fullness. Fibre content is also important for several other things including maintaining regular bowels!

  1. Porridge can help you loose weight.

1 minute extra information. The calorie content of a bowl of porridge is roughly comparable to many other popular breakfast cereals. Have a look at weight loss resources  if you’d like more details. Obviously the aim of loosing weight is to create a calories deficit. Since porridge may enhance a feeling of fullness some people find they are less inclined to snack mid-morning. However, it is important to remember the calorie content of porridge can be drastically changed with the addition of milk or toppings. 45g porridge made with water contains approximately 166 calories. Porridge with 200ml of semiskimmed milk (102 calories) and a couple of teaspoons of honey (44 calories each) and this almost doubles the calorie content. Therefore, porridge may help some people control their weight but if this is your aim you’ll have to be careful about other additions to the oats!

         4. Porridge contains lot of protein

1 minute extra information: Porridge has a good protien content compared to many other cereals, around 11g per 100g. For comparison rice krispies have around 2g and cornflakes 7g of protein per 100g. However, there are many other options for a breakfast containing protein, for example delicious smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.

       5. ‘Porridge could be the key to a long a health life’ says a recent headline from       The Telegraph.

1 minute extra information: This is based on a large study from the US, does suggest that a diet containing wholegrains reduces the risk of death, particularly from heart disease. For more detailed information on this study there is an excellent article here from the NHS website.

However it is important to note that wholegrains do include porridge but also brown rice, quinoa, barley and buckwheat.

     6. Porridge is good for your bank balance!

1 minute extra information: Not really a health benefit as such, but for us as a family, it is good for our budget. Our massive 25kg bag cost £24. If we all ate 100g between us 3 times a week it is set to last around a year and a half. A very generous 50g serving works out at 4.8p per serving! (not including milk).

30 Second Summary: Porridge really does seem to be a healthy choice for breakfast, however the health benefits do depend on the type of oats and variety of toppings added. 

Mums' Days