Today I’m going to talk about healthy ways to eat foods that I find most commonly in restaurant Indian food. Usually, this is North Indian or Punjabi food.
Indian Food – Drinks
- Mango lassi, this has a lot of sugar, try to transition to plain lassi which has less sugar. If you can transition to wine even better because it usually has little to no sugar depending on the wine.
- If you’re not drinking alcohol, you can test transitioning to Diet Coke and see how it goes. Check out my post on diet soda here.
- Obviously, water is your best option. But, I know that can be a hard transition to make, so start with just trying to drink less sugar first.
Indian Food – Bread
- I love naan, pretty much all types of naan, plain naan, garlic naan, onion naan. I’m sure you do too.
- However, your better option is wheat naan or wheat roti. It’s lower in glycemic index than regular naan which is made from white flour.
- Wheat naan or wheat roti has a lower glycemic index and won’t cause as much variation in your blood sugar levels. This is better for weight loss.
- However, it’s not so much lower in glycemic index that you should eat extra wheat naan or wheat roti. It’s an improvement from regular naan but still high on the glycemic index scale, so don’t get carried away.
- The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to slowly decrease the amount of regular naan you have. Basically, if you normally eat 2 regular naans, try eating 1 regular naan and 1 whole wheat naan.
Indian Food – Protein and Vegetables
- Paneer, technically not a vegetable but frequently found with other vegetables like palak (spinach) paneer. Although paneer does have protein, it also has fat. I would get this only if you’re not eating fatty protein in another source like meat.
- One of the best sources of protein is legumes, so lentils or chana masala is a really good source of lower fat protein.
- As vegetables go, it’s best if you switch anything with aloo (white potatoes) for other vegetables like palak (spinach) or gobi (cauliflower).
- This is because white potatoes have a high glycemic index and will raise your blood sugar more.
- A lot of times dishes come as a mix of vegetables including potatoes or paneer. In that case, you should try to eat more of the other nonpotato/paneer vegetables and leave the potatoes/paneer behind.
Quick review on why glycemic index is important
- High glycemic index foods will raise your blood sugar faster and higher, and your body will then want to keep you at that higher blood sugar level.
- So when you eat high glycemic index foods, you will be more likely to feel like eating more to keep your blood sugar stable at a high level.
- For weight loss and health reasons, it’s better to try and switch higher glycemic index foods to lower glycemic index foods.
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P.S. Do you want to start exercising, but you’re worried about getting injured? I gave advice about this to The Hartford, you can read it here.