Expert Guide - Best Healthy Indian Foods for your Diet
Nutrition

Best Healthy Indian Foods for your Diet

While the traditional Indian diet seems healthy, the population is witnessing a significant rise in obesity, diabetes, heart diseases. The reason might be the ways in which we have modified our traditional food. Over time, we Indians have modified our diet so much that the food we now eat is rich in salt, calories, and saturated and trans fats, and low in fibre. This article is curated with this view that, no matter how unhealthy Indian food may be, there's still an option to adopt a healthy Indian diet. Check it out to find the best ways to eat a balanced, healthy Indian diet.

Breakfast

Breakfast is one of the most important meals and is essential to provide energy for the body to function throughout the day. Therefore, you should stick to the breakfast that's a perfect balance of:

1. Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are considered a rich source of long-lasting energy. They can be consumed with wholemeal roti, oat idli,and brown rice.

2. Proteins

Proteins help satisfy hunger. Breakfast options that are rich in protein include lentils, beans and low-fat yoghurt.

3. Fiber

Fibre is a vital part of the diet. It is known to improve digestive health and can help relieve hunger pangs for longer. All fruits and vegetables are rich in fibre.

Meal examples

As recommended by nutritionists, a healthy breakfast is one that contains whole-grain roti, a vegetable dhal, and a side of a banana. Alternatively, chana dal pancakes with low-fat yoghurt can also be consumed.

Lunch and Dinner

As recommended by experts, your lunch and dinner should contain a mix of the following:

1. Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables and fruits are great sources of fiber, minerals and vitamins. A mix of green leafy vegetables along with root vegetables is a perfect thing to have at lunch or dinner.

2. Protein

Protein, a valuable compound for the growth and functioning of cells, can be consumed through whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

3. Alternatives to High Glycemic Index Foods

Foods with a high GI are known to cause larger spikes in blood glucose and thus should be avoided by diabetic people. The glycaemic index (GI) is defined as a measure of how foods affect blood glucose.

Foods that are high in GI include wheat rotis, chapattis, jasmine rice and white potatoes. There are several alternatives to food with high-GI. For instance, you could swap jasmine rice with brown rice and wholemeal flour with wheat.

4. Meal Examples

Curry is a perfect choice for a healthy Indian diabetic diet. As recommended, the sauce should be light, made from skimmed milk or cashew nut paste rather than traditional cream or coconut milk. It should contain a mix of good protein sources and vegetables. You may use chapatis and brown rice to accompany the curry.

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Snacks and Treats

While Indian snacks are high in sugars and saturated fats, you can still choose healthy options such as dry fruits, seed mixes, vegetable and lentil chaat and oats idli.

Healthy Indian Foods to Eat

When following a lacto-vegetarian diet for weight loss, the following are some healthy foods that you can consume:

What to Drink

One of the easiest ways to cut back on calories is to avoid sugar-sweetened beverages. Some healthy beverage options include:

  • Water
  • Sparkling water
  • Unsweetened tea including Assam, Darjeeling and Nilgiri teas.

Unhealthy Foods to Avoid

Food items that are high in both calories and sugar, can negatively affect your health. Therefore, it is advised to avoid the following food items:

  • Sweetened beverages: Fruit juice, soda, sweet lassi, sweetened tea, sports drinks.
  • High-sugar foods: Pastries, ice cream, sandy, rice pudding, cookies, cakes, high-sugar cereals, sweetened yoghurt, digestive biscuits.
  • Sweeteners: Sugar, jaggery, condensed milk, honey.
  • Sweetened sauces: Ketchup, salad dressings with added sugar, sweetened curries, barbecue sauce.
  • High-fat foods: French fries, fast-food like McDonald’s, fried foods, chips, bhujia.
  • Refined grains: White pasta, products including white bread, biscuits.
  • Trans-fats:  Fast-food, margarine, vanaspati, highly processed foods.
  • Refined oils: Corn oil, grapeseed oil, canola oil, soybean oil.

Bottom Line

Your daily Nutrition Plan should be based on your day-to-day life, dietary and lifestyle preferences, and customized to your health conditions, health goals, fitness needs and capabilities. This will ensure you lose weight and also enable you to adopt healthier habits to maintain the lost weight and keep your metabolism active and running.

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