We Indians love our food, don’t we? From butter chicken to kachoris to halwas to rasgullas, our food is as diverse it gets. Rajma-chawal brings back memories of childhood and having chit-chat over a plate of pakoras is a must! However, some of our favourite Indian foods might be a tad bit….unhealthy, especially if we are mindlessly consuming them every day.
Though, with the changing scenarios people are becoming more aware of the food choices they make, there is still a doubt over exactly what to eat and how much and when. The answer to that is simple—Keep your food as minimally processed as possible.
There are certain food choices we can make to make our lives healthier. I have compiled a list of a few Indian staples that might be sabotaging your health progress and exactly what you should replace it with.
Samosas are almost every Indian’s favourite evening snack. But the fact is this snack contains 308 calories and you never just stop with one!! Not to mention that it is high in trans fats (the bad kind of fat) and is almost all carbs.
Replace it with: If you’re looking for a healthier evening snack, you can opt for dhoklas, popcorn or even a baked samosa (if you intend on sticking to just 1).
Don’t hate me but those butter naans you ate after hitting the gym probably nullified all your hard work. Technically speaking, our breads are all carbs and adding a huge dollop of butter isn’t exactly the smartest way to go.
Replace it with: Next time, try opting for tandoori roti instead of butter naan. You’ll gain a lot without compromising on the taste!
Rice is a staple in our everyday diet and like most Indian foods, they are rich in carbohydrates. Carbs are important. They give us energy and we probably wouldn’t be able to get much done without them. The goal should be to opt for “complex carbs” rather than simple carbs.
Replace it with: You can replace white rice with brown rice, daliya, cauliflower rice for the same taste at a much lower calorific value!
But it has fruit!!! Yes, coupled with heavy cream and sugar and more often than not, ice-cream. All that pretty much cuts out the nutritional value of the said fruits. And like every other thing on this list, it’s not something you only have a little bit of (unless you have incredible willpower).
Yes, they taste amazing. But you can survive without having them every day for lunch! Though the “cholle” are high in protein, the amount of oil used and puris consumed with them makes it a less healthy choice than other alternatives.
Replace it with: You can always opt for pav bhaji, dosas or idli sambhar which gives you a great taste along with healthy diet.
Kathi rolls seem healthy, don’t they? It’s like a wrap, you can fill vegetables, you know exactly what goes in it.Right? You couldn’t be more wrong! Kathi rolls contain so may chutneys and sauces for flavour (Looking at you mayonnaise). Plus we often have them as an appetiser or along with another huge side meal because let’s face it, even with all the calories, it still isn’t a fulfilling meal!
Replace it with: Brown bread sandwiches and salads to get your vegetables in and to keep healthy.
Yes, chai is not your most healthy option in beverages especially since we end up drinking 3-4 cups (minimum!) every day. Now before you tell me that it contains milk and hence is healthy, let me tell you that adding milk to tea changes it’s properties and actually makes it less healthy.
Replace it with Black tea, green tea or if you are just starting out, tea without sugar
Before you get me wrong, I’m not asking you to give up all these foods. Absolutely not. But they can (and should) be turned into a once in a few weeks thing. I know it sounds hard, breaking up with your favourite foods but trust me, your health will thank you for it in the long run.