Most people are familiar with the various health benefits and concerns with their daily diets. The internet, grocery stores, and even restaurants themselves have nutrition facts easily visible to educate people for a healthier diet. When it comes to Indian food, it might not be as obvious which food are healthy and which are loaded in carbs, fat, and sodium. Fortunately, there are plenty of vegetables, low-fat seasonings and sauces, and lean meats.
Ingredients to look for
Many ethnic cuisines are known for certain ingredients that are more common than others. Here is a quick look at some of the ingredients used and how to use them to cook healthy meals.
- Carbohydrates: Many recipes and dishes call for ingredients high in carbohydrates like bread, rice, beans, and even some sauces and curries. Your body needs carbohydrates for energy, but excess can be converted and stored as fat. These ingredients are often some of the tastiest, so make sure to keep the included but just be careful about the portions.
- Sauces high in fat: Many masala and tomato based sauces are high in saturated fat and sodium. Most sauces have the option of being unhealthy but can use alternative ingredients for a similar and delicious taste. One of the best ways to use healthy sauces is to make them from scratch with your own ingredients so you can choose the products with the best nutritional labels.
- Meats: Some recipes have a large quantity of meats that are required for various dishes, and most can be exchanged for other meats. Watch out low quality versions of chicken, goat, or lamb. If you must use these meats, always look for the lean versions
- Vegetarian: Many people are hesitant to try a vegetarian diet, but cultures around the world have done them for hundreds of years to stay healthy. Eating a delicious meatless meal also doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian, it just means that you are broadening your perspective and trying new things!
Make sure to pay attention to the nutrition facts of the ingredients that you buy and don’t be afraid to experiment a few times to find the perfect flavor for you.