Why Cook Rice by Boil & Drain method


Indian's since time immemorial have cooked rice in boil & drain method. In this method, rice is boiled in plenty of water, manually checked to see when rice has got cooked to one's liking and then excess starch water is drained out. This method of cooking needs constant attention from the cook, is tedious and it's a hassle to drain the hot starch liquid often causing injuries in the process.

The modern electric rice cooker, first commercially produced by Toshiba in 1956, cooks rice in the absorption method, where all the water used in cooking is either absorbed or steamed away in the process of cooking.

One might ask, what's the difference ? In both method's, end result is, rice get's cooked. Apparently, not so simple.

First let's understand that a cup of cooked rice has 200 calories, most of them from starch which turns into sugar and adds to your body weight.That's why it is the first food item ticked off the menu for those trying to lose weight or battling diabetes. source - TimesOfIndia

Starchy foods like white bread, white rice, potato products, crackers and cookies digest quickly into glucose, raise insulin levels, program the body for excessive weight gain and increase risk for chronic disease. source - Dr. David Ludwig, MD, PhD, professor - Department of Nutrition at Harvard

India has about 65 million diabetes patients, and about 80 percent of those cases are caused by obesity. - source Jeff O'Connell, Author of Book Sugar Nation

 

Here are the benefits of boil and drain method as listed in different sources:

1. About 15% of the starch is removed, when we cook rice in boil & drain method - Source - Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations

2. The draining of starch liquid is "expected to cause less impact on blood glucose levels. Secondly, decrease in the food’s Kapha content as a result of reduction of easily available carbohydrates decreases tendencies to constipation, and improves elimination."

"This single procedure therefore has health promoting and preventative value for many conditions. Decrease in sugar loading will reduce tendencies to obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 Diabetes." Source A study paper in US National Library of medicine,National Institutes of Health

4. "We know that the foods we eat are converted to glucose by our bodies. White polished rice (in the parboiled or non-parboiled form) raises blood sugar levels quickly. These are called high GI (Glycemic Index) foods. In comparison, brown rice has a lower GI. When the body processes brown rice, it releases glucose in the blood stream more slowly. The foods that create high GI levels in your body are known to put you at risk to diabetes in the long run." Source  Rice & Reason, article published by The Hindu.

5. “One food item in isolation cannot cause a disease. But controlling the amount of rice we consume is very important because our research shows a strong epidemiological link between the amount of rice consumed and the risk of diabetes. When the rice consumption doubled from about 200 gms to 400 gms per day, the risk of diabetes increased fourfold. It was 400 per cent higher even after correcting issues (faced by participants of the study) such as obesity, physical activity, family history of diabetes etc. So there seems to be some kind of link.” Source - Dr Vishwanathan Mohan, head of the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation

6. Arsenic content in rice has been concern in Indian sub-continent as it's grown in in arsenic contaminated areas. "Using traditional method of cooking As(Arsenic) concentration was reduced by 24% in cooked parboiled rice" - Source  - Book Arsenic in Geosphere and Human Diseases

7. Rice cooked in boiled & drain method, tends to be more fluffy and gives a visual impression of more cooked rice compared to cooking the same quantity in absorption method. This leads to people eating less quantity of rice when cooked in boil & drain method. This is a just an observation and might differ from person to person.

In conclusion, overall a person might be able to reduce his sugar loading by 30% by cooking rice in boil & drain method. So why cook rice in absorption method which is mostly used by Japanese & Chinese people as they eat rice with chopsticks and need it to be sticky.