I have always believed that Indian food can be one of the healthiest cuisines around and there have been some misconceptions about Indian recipes. Traditionally, South Asian diets have consisted of vegetables, whole wheat breads, rice, and lentils, but if you have a lot of fat and too much salt in your dishes, it could make your Indian diet less healthy. Changes in your eating habits should be gradual. I have found that slowly changing my diet reduced my food cravings for chocolates, cakes, Indian candies, and rich kormas.
A balanced diet is one that gives your body the nutrients it needs to function correctly. Your daily food plans should be a low-salt, low-fat diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and fibre to keep your body moving and your brain alert. Those include:
- Whole grains
- Legumes and pulses
- Fruits and vegetables
That also means there’s some food you should avoid. Those include:
- Heavy cream and dairy
- Simple carbohydrates such as white rice
- Fried foods
Tips for enjoying Indian food that’s good for the body:
- Fat like kacchi Ghani tel and ghee are good, but when eaten in moderation. The amount of fat used affects the calorie count fairly quickly as fat has highest calories so it can shoot up the calories in meal very quickly.
- Make tomato based curries instead of cream based curries.
- Opt for wholemeal flour instead of plain flour when making chapatis.
- Try to swap white rice for brown basmati rice.
- Replace cream with low-fat yogurt in ‘creamy’ curries.
- Snack on unsalted nuts instead of deep-fried pakoras or bhajis.
- Choose to eat a portion of fruit instead of an Indian sweetmeat.
- Use tofu instead of full-fat paneer cheese.
- Have semi-skimmed milk in a cup of chai instead of full-fat milk.
- Have at least one item that’s green at mealtimes.
- In regular Indian cooking change the cooking method to grill, pan frying or air frying instead of deep frying.
- If you love to eat Idli or Dosa, try choosing healthier options like brown rice Idli, Multigrain Idli, ragi dosa etc.
- If you love oats, try using traditional Oats Dalia over Instant oats, steel cut oats are also a good option over instant oats.
If you are eating out, it is worth choosing tandoori dishes which are on the menu as they contain very little sauce and the food is baked instead of fried which is better for your heart. I also find that unleavened flat breads such as tandoori rotis help me enjoy the taste of curries more than plain flour naan breads.
With delectable flavours and fragrant spices, Indian cuisine is certainly popular around the world. In addition to its wide variety of rich flavours, a traditional Indian diet also boasts of a wide variety of nutrients in a balanced quantity.