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How healthy is Indian food - Quick guide

India is a diverse land, whether it is the culture of the place, its food, or its people. Every corner of India has a surprise to offer. Indian culture gives a lot of importance to its food. Not to mention, the foods reek of its culture. 

Asking if Indian food is healthy is an essential question as Indian cuisines became famous around the world because of its fragrant spices and flavors. Apart from its flavor, it also has all the essential nutrients in a balanced quantity. If you love a bit of spice in your food, then Indian food must be your go-to food.

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What is Indian food known for?

Indian food is hailed as one of the most wholesome foods around the world. Traditional Indian food is healthy. Although many travelers who travel to India complain that Indian food has a lot of oil and sugar, that contributes to its benefits. 

Indian food is known for its several benefits, such as boosting immunity, keeping away inflammation, serving brain function, and more.

Indian food is rich in legumes, grains, fruits, and beans. All these vegetables in Indian foods contribute to balanced fiber, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals.

India has always been considered to be a vegetarian nation, but times are changing. A traditional Indian diet will bestow you with all the benefits you’re looking for.

Is North Indian food healthy?

When you travel to India, make sure to visit one of the most beautiful corners of the country, North India. Let’s not demean the fact that the entire country is beautiful, but North India has a touch.

North Indian food mostly consists of non-vegetarian dishes. If you are health conscious and want to consume only healthy dishes, you can visit the best hotel around you.

The North Indian cuisine consists of dishes like butter chicken, lassi, tikka masala, paneer masala, chole bhature, and so much more.

Most of the North Indian cuisine has a touch of Mughal and Pashto dishes with lots of butter, ghee, gravy dishes, chickpeas, rajma, etc. If you are health conscious, you may prefer to avoid North Indian food.

But, the catch here is despite the presence of ghee, butter, and so much spice in your food, North Indian food is actually healthy. However, you must consume North Indian food in limited amounts. If you can’t stand spice and oil, you should avoid the consumption of North Indian dishes.

Is South Indian food healthy?

Compared to North Indian cuisine, South Indian food is much healthier. South Indian staple dishes mostly consist of rice, idli, and dosa, rich in carbohydrates. Moreover, the gravy dishes are also made of vegetables and fruits, thereby contributing to a high health quotient. 

Most South Indian foods are fermented, which is why they prove beneficial for gut microbiota. The South Indian dishes are fermented, which improves digestion, boosts the immune system, and enhances vitamin B opportunities in the body. Furthermore, dishes like uttapam, dosa, and idli are rich in probiotics, thereby being beneficial for gut bacteria.

Is Homemade Indian food healthy?

According to Indian culture, homemade Indian food is extremely healthy. And it’s true. Whether you eat vegan, vegetarian, or non-vegetarian home-cooked Indian foods, you should know that each of them is equally beneficial. This is mostly because a lot of things are taken into consideration for home-cooked foods. 

Hygiene is one of the most important factors for homemade Indian foods. The condition of a home’s kitchen is far better than that of the restaurant’s kitchen. Moreover, one can be sure about the quality of the food as well. Home-cooked meals are always made up of using fresh vegetables, and you aren’t served stale dishes. Hence, when you travel to India, you should try homemade foods, rather than buy ones.

Is vegetarian Indian food healthy?

Absolutely yes. 

Many people in India are non-veg, but a lot of them are vegetarians too. One of the greatest pros of consuming vegetarian Indian food is that it is healthier than non-vegetarian food items.

Vegetarian Indian food is healthier than non-veg Indian food because of fewer spices. Consuming vegetarian Indian food will make you feel light.

Daal or pulse is a staple vegetarian Indian dish. Daal alone can make you feel full because of its nutrients. It contains fewer spices that help lower migraine pain and boost the body’s vitamin and mineral content. Moreover, not a lot of oil is used in cooking vegetarian Indian food, which contributes to low cholesterol levels.

Is Indian vegan food healthy?

Indian food is considered to be healthy, but it completely depends on what it is made of. Indian vegan food is healthy because it is made up of natural fats and foods. A lot of Indian vegan food is delicious. The Indian vegan curries are made up of lentils and beans, which are rich in proteins. Furthermore, these consist of other nutritious vegetables as well. It contains herbs and spices as well.

Following an Indian vegan diet can be pretty helpful in the long run. Although making the shift is not easy, it can play an important role in bestowing all health benefits. Indian vegan food is made mostly of plant-based, which is why it is highly nutritious. It is rich in vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, sodium, and more, so it is considered healthy.

how to make indian food healthy

Is Indian takeaway food healthy?

Not really. 

As far as takeaway foods are concerned, it would help if you considered the environment in which these Indian takeaway foods are made. However, Indian takeaway food is rich in butter and oil, so it may not be friendly for the heart.

Tandoori dishes are healthy, but only if you grill rather than frying it, and also if you cut down on calories and saturated fats, these dishes can prove beneficial in the long run.

Is Frozen Indian Food healthy?

Frozen Indian food is unhealthy. But compared to restaurant foods, these frozen foods tend to be much healthier as you make them in your house. The frozen Indian foods are made up of emulsifiers, flavoring agents, and preservatives, so it is necessary to consider these properly. This helps to increase the shelf life of the product and enhance the taste in the long run.

You can keep track of all the nutritional value of frozen Indian foods mentioned in the packaging itself. Once you know what the food contains, you’ll be able to decide whether it is healthy for you or not.

Is Indian cooking food healthy?

Cooked Indian food is healthy. Indian food is rich in spices and flavors, which helps to enhance the taste of the dish. However, due to high sugar and carbohydrate content, Indian food is often considered unhealthy because of the high cholesterol content.

Indian food is cooked using grains and pulses, so it contributes to all the healthy profiles. Rice, pulses, and roti are stapled Indian dishes. These combinations are rich in protein and amino acids.

Is Indian restaurant food healthy?

Indian restaurant foods are not healthy because of unhygienic conditions. Many people have complained about the unhygienic conditions of Indian restaurants. However, these restaurants are now working towards improving the condition of their food and kitchen.

But at the same time, it is also necessary to bring down spice content. Indian restaurant foods can be healthy as long as all the factors are taken into consideration.

Health Benefits of Indian traditional food

Indian cuisine is popular mostly because of spices, rice, and dal. These play an important role in adding extra flavor and colors, which eventually makes the cuisine east. The typical components of an Indian traditional diet include

  • Variety of herbs and spices
  • Wide variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Rich in fiber
  • Low in saturated fat

All the foods in an Indian diet contribute to a wide range of benefits. Satisfying the appetite is important, but it is also necessary to check the calorie count. Fried, heavy and fast foods aren’t essential, but Indian cuisine is rich in green vegetables and fresh fruits, which is considered beneficial.

A traditional Indian diet also contains yogurts, which make the gut healthy. A traditional Indian diet also contains essential elements like garlic, turmeric, and chili, healing characteristics.

Turmeric in Indian dishes protects against prostate diseases, heart health and also reduces the chance of diabetes. Consuming a diet rich in turmeric also helps to protect against impotence. Ginger in Indian dishes also helps against nausea and digestion.

The garlic in Indian dishes is beneficial for the heart and improves the immune system and metabolism.

Indian dishes, when consumed in limited amounts, will not only satisfy your taste buds and contribute to all the health benefits.

Top 10 healthiest Indian dishes

Indian cuisine is not only healthy but also provides a lot of benefits. Indian food is made up of all healthy spices that can help make the difference if cooked correctly. Indian food consists of all essential nutrients like fats, carbohydrates, and other elements contributing to the benefits. Some of the healthy Indian dishes to try include the following:

1. Buttermilk

It may come as buttermilk is rich in fats; it is not. Buttermilk doesn’t contain butter and is low in fats.

2. Rajma

This staple North Indian dish, Rajma, is made up of red kidney beans and served with roti and rice.

3. Sambar dal

This is a delicious stew made of spices, chickpeas, and legumes.

4. Bhindi ki sabzi

This one delicious dish made of ladyfingers can enhance the taste of your meal in one go.

5. Tandoori chicken

Chicken is marinated in yogurt and seasoned with tandoori masala, made up as a combination of different spices.

6. Aloo palak

A combination of mashed potatoes, chopped spinach, and leafy vegetables.

7. Baigan bhaji

Made of roasted brinjals, this is one of the healthiest Indian vegetables you can relish.

8. Chicken dhansak

This traditional Indian Parsi dish is served with kachumbar salad and brown rice.

9. Poha

Poha is made using pressed rice and seasoned with nuts and vegetables. It is light and super healthy Indian vegetarian food.

10. Dhokla

This famous Gujarati dish is one of the tastiest and healthiest you can try. It makes up for an excellent snack and breakfast.

Top 10 worst Indian dishes for your health

Indian dishes are healthy, but some of them can be very unhealthy. Some of the unhealthy Indian dishes for your health include the following:

1. Bhelpuri

Bhelpuri is delicious and a savory snack. But if you’re health-conscious, you should prefer avoiding it.

2. Pulao

Pulao is made using rice, bulgur, cracked wheat, and couscous, but it’s not beneficial. It is combined with dried fruits, vegetables, and meat. But you may want to avoid pulao because it’s not healthy.

3. Chutney

No food in India is ever complete without chutney. But, not every chutney is healthy. If you are health conscious and have health issues, you should avoid the consumption of chutney.

4. Rohan Josh

This is an extremely delicious Indian dish, but it shouldn’t be your first choice if you have health concerns, especially cardiovascular issues.

5. Nihari

Nihari is usually made of beef shanks, mutton, or chicken. It is made up of several spices, which is why you may want to avoid it if you have digestive issues.

6. Naan

Naan is super unhealthy. These are soft flatbreads with low nutritional value because they are made of less healthy ingredients such as sugar, oil, and white flour.

7. Pakoras

Everyone loves pakoras, but these aren’t healthy at all. Rather than ordering one, you should prefer making one at your home using chickpea flour.

8. Saag paneer

Indian cheese is made of either clarified butter or ghee to make the texture velvety. Instead of paneer, you can make a healthier version at home using tofu.

9. Samosas

We love samosas but let’s just admit that it is one of the unhealthiest Indian cuisines. Samoas do find its name in the list as a staple food for Indian holidays and festivals.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Is Tikka masala healthy? No. It is made up of high fat and heavy cream. So, you may want to avoid it.

Is Indian food good for weight loss?

Whether or not Indian food is good for weight loss completely depends on what you’re consuming. Several Indian dishes can help in the weight loss process. A dietician can help you in formulating the weight loss diet.

However, when you prepare a weight loss diet plan, you should prefer sticking to it. A good diet combined with a healthy lifestyle can help you lose weight in no time.

Indian food can be good for weight loss, but it completely depends on what you’re eating. Some Indian foods contain heavy fat, which is why you may want to avoid it. But, certain Indian foods may help you in the weight loss process. Some of these weight loss-friendly foods include the following:

  • Walnuts
  • Moong Daal
  • Bitter gourd
  • Almonds
  • Apple
  • Cauliflower
  • Beans
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Radish
  • Bananas
  • Lentils

Is Indian food healthy for diabetics?

Indian foods aren’t that rich in sugar, so it is considered healthy for diabetes. If you’re a diabetic person, you should consume certain foods to help you in the long run. You may also reach out to a healthcare professional who can help you formulate a diabetes-friendly diet chart. If you have diabetes, some of the healthy Indian foods you can consume are the following.

  • Cinnamon
  • Fatty fish
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Flaxseeds
  • Nuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Greek yogurt
  • Garlic
  • Strawberries

Is Indian food is healthy for the heart?

Having a heart-healthy diet can help to lower the risk of stroke and heart attack. According to the eating patterns, the diet is affluent in fruits, whole grains, raw and unsalted salts, beans, lentils, and vegetables.

The combination of all these can play an important role in contributing to overall heart health. Indian dishes are rich in nuts and legumes and low-fat dairy products, which is why they are helpful for overall health.

Is Indian food healthy for pregnancy?

Indian food, when consumed in limited amounts and with proper accuracy, can play an important role in boosting health during pregnancy. Some of the Indian foods that are good during pregnancy include the following.

  • Vegetable omelet
  • Bowl of fruits
  • Wheat Rava upma and vegetables
  • Oats porridge
  • Mixed bean cutlet and patties
  • Paranthas are made of spinach, dal, carrots, beans, and paneer fillings.
  • Poha
  • Whole-wheat toast

What is the healthiest Indian food to order in a restaurant?

Are you heading towards an Indian restaurant? Well, you may be confused about what Indian cuisines to order that can be beneficial for your body. If you’re confused, let us guide you through. Some of the healthiest Indian foods that you can order in a restaurant include the following.

Tandoori 

Whether chicken, vegetable, or fish- tandoori in any form can provide you with benefits. Tandoori dishes are great because they are flavourful and juicy. Tandoor dishes are actually helpful for fighting off cold.

Chicken Tikka Masala

This lip-smacking dish looks more like a soup and can explode in your mouth like a bomb of flavors. Oh, if you’re looking forward to a healthier option, you should grill the chicken instead of frying and skip the heavy sauce and cream.

Chana masala

Chana masala is traditionally made of chickpeas and is extremely beneficial. It is rich in proteins and fiber and also a good source of folate and manganese.

Raita

Raita is one of those sweet traditional yogurt-based dishes. Raita is made with cucumber, onion, and yogurt combination.

Dal

Never miss out on ordering dal at a restaurant. This is the best Indian dish you can have.

Other dishes that you can have include:

  • Baigan bharta
  • Roti
  • Lamb kebab and vegetables

How to cook Indian food healthy?

When you’re cooking Indian food at home, you need to be careful. You should avoid putting in too many spices and salt. Turmeric is also one great spice but quantity matters. An excess of everything can be dangerous, which is why you may want to avoid it. You should also keep a check of the ingredients you are adding to your dish. Indian food healthiness vs. other cuisines or dishes

Is Indian food healthier than fast food?

Indian foods are far healthier than fast foods. Indian foods are made of a limited amount of spices and oil. On the other hand, fast foods are made in extremely unhygienic conditions and contain much oil. As a result, you may want to avoid fast food. Whenever given a choice, you should choose Indian food over fast food.

Is Indian food healthier than American food?

Most American food is boiled, while Indian food is either fried, grilled, or boiled. However, Indian food is healthier than American food. The Indian diet is a perfectly balanced diet consisting of the right amount of carbohydrates, oils, pulses, fats, and vegetables. On the other hand, the American diet emphasizes processed foods, patties, meats, and more, which can harm your health.

Is Indian food healthier than pizza?

It depends on what Indian dish you choose to eat. If you choose an Indian food rich in spices and fattening items compared to pizzas,  one meal of Indian curry contains fatter than the daily recommended value. As a result, pizza is healthier than this specific Indian dish. But if you choose cooked vegetables and rice, no doubt it’s healthier than Pizza. 

Is Indian food healthier than McDonald's?

Yes. Although Indian food consists of all essential spices, it is healthier than McDonald’s. This is mostly because most McDonalds foods are processed, deep-fried and grilled. But Indian food consists of all essential spices which tend to boost immunity.

Is Indian food healthier than Japanese food?

No.

Japanese food is mostly boiled, which contributes to enhancing the health impacts. Furthermore, unlike Indian food, Japanese food isn’t rich in spices, which has all the health benefits.

is south indian food healthy

Takeaway

Indian food is wholesome, nourishing, and healthy. Through a foreigner’s eye, India’s food may appear extremely spicy and unhealthy, but it is not. Several healthy Indian food vegetarians contribute to health benefits.

You should consume these Indian dishes in a limited amount to avoid any unnecessary impact. Furthermore, if you cook Indian food in your house, you should consider the spices and ingredients you add to enhance health.

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