3 Delicious and Healthy Low Calorie Snacks

March 24, 2023 by No Comments

Low Calorie Indian Food: Dosa, Idli, Chapathi, Roti, Fulka Etc

During the past decade or so, Indian food has become popular globally. Nowadays my western friends are asking me this question: how many calories are there in chapati and dosa (Indian food)? The same friends used to ask six years ago: how many calories are there in coffee (or egg, apple, banana, pasta, bacon and so on)? It is therefore a timely task for me to help them burn or save calories by devising a tool to calculate calories burned by workout on one side and providing calories in Indian food in tabular form on the other. Indian food is different from western food in that the former has more carbohydrates, grains, less protein (compared to western diet, yet enough protein from nutrition point of view), less animal food. Twenty to thirty years ago Indian food used to be more natural and less processed, but in the last decade Indians are exposed to more processed, packaged and also more fast food. It becomes therefore necessary to provide nutrition chart for whole foods recipes of Indian style. Traditional Indian cooking methods make food tastier, more nutritious and less calorie-dense. This is ideal for people aiming to lose weight. Being based more on plants and less on animals, Indian diet is rich in natural fiber which is good for cholesterol lowering, better digestion, lowering the risk of colon cancer, and also fat loss.

1. Chapati:

It is also called roti. This delicious flat bread made from wheat flour has most of the nutrients in whole wheat dough. Compared to noodles or white bread, chapati is highly nutritious and healthy for weight watchers, diabetics and those suffering from heart disease. 1 chapati has only 80 to 110 calories depending on size, but it has 3.5 grams of protein, half a gram of total fat, no saturated or trans fat, no cholesterol, but it has vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, calcium, iron and fiber.

2. Daal:

This lentil and legume preparation is like a curry. If we look at the nutrition facts, we shall realize how nutritious and low calorie this humble but wonderful dish is! 1 bowl (100 to 120 grams or 3.5 to 4 oz.) of daal has only 117 calories, total fat only 1.7 grams, no saturated fat, carbs 19.1 grams, protein 7 grams, no cholesterol, calcium 27 mg, iron 1.8 mg, fiber 1.7 grams etc. I have given only two examples of Indian food articles in order to emphasize its richness in nutrients and leanness in terms of fat and calories. The reason why traditional Indian diet is so healthy is that unlike other diets, minimum processing and refining is done to it. Whatever small amounts of nutrients are lost in cooking are negligible compared to other highly processed and packaged foods.

3. South Indian Low Calorie Food:

In southern parts of India, in states like Kerala, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andhra idli, dosa and utthappam are very popular. Despite being very tasty when served with chatni and sambar, these dishes are low in calories, high in nutrients and fiber and can be part of heart-healthy weight loss diet. Dosa is a batter and idli is a boiled cake prepared from overnight fermented paste made by grinding a mixture of split black gram (daal) and rice.

One idli has 60 to 70 Calories and a plain dosa has only 100 Calories, whereas they both are rich in nutrients. Serving 2 to 4 idlis or 1 to 2 dosas can be sufficient to fulfill an average person ‘s hunger. Sambar is a delicious Indian curry served alongside dosa and idli. It very tasty and the taste varies from one state to another. Sambar is a low calorie curry made from split red gram (daal), spices, and pieces of various vegetables like drumstick, pumpkin etc.

These are only a few examples from a host of low calorie Indian meals and snacks for health conscious people and weight watchers. There many other dishes, especially from the Maharashtrian and South Indian cuisines, that are ideal for people who want to lose fat. Please go to this page and select from the list of snacks and foods to get detailed nutritional information!