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Is Indian Food Unhealthy?



Is Indian Food Unhealthy? 

A very commonly made statement is that Indian Food is unhealty. In our opinion, making a blanket statement like that gives Indian food a bad rap. Indian food just like any other food can be prepared in a healthy way and an unhealthy way. You can have a Subway Sandwich for about 250 calories or a couple of KFC Double Downs for over 1000 calories. Its really in how the food is prepared, what ingredients are used and what portions you consume. 

The primary reason this impression about Indian food exists is because many restaurants and folks use ingredients like Clarified butter, cream and such, in order to get the best taste. With slightly different ingredients and a small sacrifice in taste, you can still enjoy healthy Indian food.
 
The second reason is that most Indian restaurants offer a buffet and people just eat more than needed (from appetizers to desert) and then blame it on Indian food. If you chose reasonable portions, you would be fine. Here are some tips on what you can order at an Indian restaurant is you are watching what you eat.

Most Important Tip

Eat in Moderation. A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.
 


Appetizers / Snacks

1. Avoid deep fried items like papads. You can request roasted papads over fried ones.
2. Do not order deep fried items such as Samosa, Pakora, Kachori, Paaperi. Hmmm Those Samosas are tempting.
3. Order anything Tandoori examples: Tandoori Chicken, or Tandoori Prawn. Tandoori items are made in a Tandoor (grill/bbq)
4. Order Potato (Aloo) or Fruit Chaat. Avoid Paapri Chat.
5. Cucumber Raita is acceptable even if the yogurt is made from whole milk

Breads

1. Do not order deep-fried (Poori), or griddle-fried (Paratha) breads
2. Naan is acceptable, however Tandoori Roti is preferred

Rice

1. Do not order elaborate Biryani, they might have fried items and high calories
2. Order plain Basmati Saffron rice with peas or Cumin Rice
3. Note that Rice is high in carbohydrates so choose naan over rice

Meats

1. Avoid any curry that has Buttery, Makhani, Shahi, Mughalai, Korma, Pasanda in the name
2. Avoid items made with minced mutton. Muscle and fat are both ground together for minced mutton.
3. Eat items that have Tandoori in its name: Tandoori Prawns, Tandoori Chicken, Tandoori leg of lamb roast
4. Eat Tikka but limited amount of Masala (Dip)
5. Order simple curries: Chicken Curry, Machhali Tari, Rogan Josh

 
Vegetable Curries

Order any Vegetable Curry with the following points to think about

1. Avoid any curry that has Buttery, Makhani, Shahi, Mughalai, Korma, Pasanda in the name
2. Avoid Curries with Paneer. Normally, it is fried cheese
3. Dals, Cholay, and Rajma are acceptable with the exception Dal which have Buttery (Makhani), or Korma in the name.
 

Desserts

1. Avoid 'fried and made with sugar' such as: Sooji Halwa, Gulab Jamun, and Jalebi
2. Small portion of Almond Milk Burfee is acceptable
3. Try a small portion of Rice pudding or fruit custard.
 
Finally many Indian restaurants are offering healthier options and you can always request the restaurant to customize the meal.
 
Dieting is a weigh of life.
 
If you are suffering from Diabetes or looking for nutritional value of some popular Indian dishes, you may find this article helpful .