Is it possible to eat parathas and still lose weight?
Try to imagine a proper paratha for breakfast, and you will inevitably think of an indulgent food experience: the crispy flour shell glistening with a layer of butter or ghee, the stuffing spiced and chock full of flavours, and a finger-licking spread of pickles, chutneys, curd and lassi to go with it.
Now, imagine you are starting a weight loss plan to become truly fit and healthy. You are trying to cut all the food items that are excessive from your diet.
Do these two pictures go together?
Actually, they can. Parathas are traditionally delicious and indulgent, but you can also give them a healthy twist and turn them into the perfect addition to your weight-loss plan.
The first thing you need to do is to break down that paratha breakfast into all its separate components. The things you need to make a good paratha are a flour dough, spiced stuffing, and oil, ghee or butter. The next step is substituting some of these ingredients for healthier options which are easily available at local markets.
To get you started, we put together some options you can explore to have parathas (occasionally) as part of your weight loss plan:
1. The flour: Most of us know that whole wheat flour has more dietary fibre, vitamins B1 and B9, and minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc than refined flour or maida. But what’s even better for making healthier parathas is buckwheat flour. Colloquially known as kuttu atta, it is a gluten-free option popular in north India. High dietary fibre, protein as well as minerals such as manganese, magnesium, iron and copper make paratha made with this flour waist-friendly and heart-healthy.
Of course, some people love the taste of kuttu atta and others despise it (you’ve probably tried it in Navratra food, so you’ll know which side of the kuttu-divide you’re on). For those who can’t stand buckwheat flour, another good option is multigrain parathas. You could buy ground flours and mix them at home, or ask your local miller to grind you a batch of healthy grains like whole wheat atta, sorghum (jowar), finger millet (ragi) and pearl millet (bajra). If you’re feeling super-healthy, add a bit of rajgira atta (amaranth) for its high calcium content. Because multigrain flour is a blend of grains, its nutritional value is higher than any one type of flour - this makes it a great ingredient for healthy parathas.
2. The stuffing: It’s best to use fresh and seasonal produce for the filling. One actionable health hack is that if you are pre-cooking the stuffing, don’t fry it. This will only make the stuffing richer and unhealthier.
Now, we all know about the paneer (cottage cheese), daal (lentils) and gobhi (cauliflower) paratha options. Here are three healthy, yet unusual, paratha stuffing options you can try out to keep your taste buds excited.
- Mushrooms in your paratha might sound outlandish, but their texture lends them beautifully to stuffing. Mushrooms are rich in protein, dietary fibre, vitamin B complex and a powerful antioxidant called selenium. This ingredient is even being hailed as a superfood. So chop them up, cook them in very little oil, and stuff a paratha with them. Simple, store-bought button mushrooms will do.
- Beetroot contains dietary fibre, potassium, protein, essential vitamins and minerals. This seasonal vegetable is best consumed in winters. Apart from being vibrant in colour, it’s also great for keeping your blood pressure in check, improving digestion and brain health, and reducing signs of inflammation. This veggie will make for a deliciously sweet yet savoury paratha stuffing.
- Mixed vegetables also make for a great and healthy paratha stuffing. You can include seasonal veggies to get the maximum benefits from all the colourful vegetables. Most vegetables used in this mix, including cauliflower, corns, capsicum, carrots, beans and peas have a high dietary fibre, vitamin and mineral content—making them perfect for a healthy paratha stuffing.
3. The cooking agent: You will need a little bit of oil to cook your healthier parathas. Health hack: invest in a silicone oil brush to spread the oil really thin. Just enough to get the crisp flaky layers that are synonymous with good parathas.
There is also a range of good oil choices, from soybean oil to olive oil and coconut oil. Canola and sesame are also said to be “heart-healthy”. Make sure to check the labels on whichever oil you pick: try to avoid anything with hydrogenated fats or trans-fats.
Cooking the parathas dry and then applying ghee on top is also a good idea. If you are taking this route, try cooking your paratha on a low heat to ensure that it is cooked through. Ghee, when consumed moderately, has some health benefits too: it contains omega 3 fatty acids such as linoleic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are said to improve heart health and actually help with weight loss!
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our article on Ghee: Benefits and Side-effects.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
Updated Date: Dec 04, 2019 15:12:46 IST
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