​Imagine eating delicious, fluffy rice but only absorbing half of its calories. While this may sound like a dieter’s dream, a group of chemists figured out how to make rice, a starchy grain, a little more low-cal. Their research showed that by adding coconut oil (a healthy fat) while cooking the rice, then refrigerating the cooked rice for 12 hours, it cut its calorie content by as much as 60%.

One cup of cooked rice contains around 240 starchy calories that can be quickly converted into fat if they’re not burnt off. Rice contains both digestible and resistant types of starch though some varieties naturally contain more indigestible starch, which contributes extremely few calories compared to digestible starch. Unfortunately, the rice starch does not break down in the small intestine, where carbohydrates normally are metabolized into glucose and other simple sugars and absorbed into the bloodstream.

So if you don’t quickly burn off the 240 starchy calories, they are likely going to end up in your waistline. This is where the method developed by scientists at the Institute of Chemistry’s College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka, comes in. And it’s simple!

Simply add a teaspoon of organic coconut oil to boiling water, then add half a cup of rice. Simmer for 40 minutes or boil for 20 to 25 minutes. The cooked rice should then go into the refrigerator for 12 hours.

The researchers say this method causes the oil to enter in starch granules while it cooks and adds a protective layer, which seemingly changes the structure of the rice granules so they become resistant to the digestive enzyme.

Here’s the skinny: this method means that fewer calories from the rice are absorbed by the body.

Additionally, the researchers say rice cooked using this method may also result in a healthier gut since the bacteria in the rice provides a potent energy source to the “good bacteria” in the human body.

So, next time you want to cook rice, try this method! It’s a little choice that matters!