Dieters, according to multiple widely shared Facebook posts, can cut down on the sugar content of their meals by storing leftover rice in the refrigerator and reheating it. I think you’ll find that to be quite deceptive. According to AFP’s interviews with nutritionists, this strategy has not been shown to reduce rice’s sugar content, and dieters would be better off limiting their rice intake.
This August 12, 2022 Facebook post making the Thai-language claim was made public.
According to the article, converting the sugar in cooked rice into resistant starch by putting it in the fridge before reheating is the “perfect formula” for weight loss.
The type of starch known as resistant starch (RS) is a dietary fiber because it is not broken down by the body until much later.
In multiple Facebook posts, including here and here, a similar claim was made in Thai. In response, some online commenters praised the “health tip” as helpful.
This argument has been made in English language posts here and here.
Nutritionists, however, say that this claim is deceptive.
Deficiencies in the available evidence
The claim “oversimplifies the truth,” Kanitha Tananuwong, an associate professor in food technology at Chulalongkorn University, told AFP.
She warned against putting stock in the claim, adding, “I don’t recommend doing it.”
According to Kanitha, there is “not enough evidence to suggest reheating it results in a lower sugar level,” since some of the starch will revert back to sugar.
A nutritionist from Thailand’s Department of Health named Tipradee Kongsuwan told AFP that the purported diet method advocated in the posts is “not so helpful” in reducing calorie intake, and that dieters should instead focus on limiting their rice intake.
“Depending on how much energy you use, you should consume 120-180 grams of rice at each meal,” she advised.
Reheating coconut oil-cooked rice will make it less sweet is an urban legend debunked by AFP in the past.
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