The South Indian Secret: Is Idli Good for Weight Loss?
June 4, 2023
June 4, 2023
This breakfast delicacy originally from South India has travelled far and wide. Yes, it holds cultural significance and is deeply ingrained in the culinary heritage of the region. Made generally with fermented batter of rice and black lentils, idli is now known to be a healthy food relished by many. The simplicity, nutritional value, and versatility of idli have contributed to its growing fame. Starting your day with a plate of idli and sambar will not just be delicious and filling but also provide you energy to kick start your day.
With the increasing focus on health and wellness, idli has gained popularity as a nutritious and weight-loss-friendly breakfast option. Its low calorie and fat content, and ability to provide satiety have made it a preferred choice for individuals aiming for a balanced and healthy diet.
A medium sized idli contains:
Along with these macronutrients, idli contains other vitamins and minerals like Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Iron, Vitamin B1 and B2, Niacin and also Folate. Though these may differ from recipe to recipe, it can be said it is a perfectly balanced food. Additionally, the fermentation process of the idli batter may also enhance the bioavailability of certain nutrients, making them more easily absorbed by the body.
Idli is considered a low-calorie food. A single medium sized idli made with fermented rice typically contains around 70-75 calories. It is often recommended by nutritionists and dieticians to people who are about to start their weight loss journey. Consuming a low-calorie food like idli can help you create a calorie deficit, which is the stepping stone for weight loss. When your body burns more calories than you consume, it starts utilising stored fat for energy, leading to weight loss. However, make sure to limit your portion size. Having 1-2 idlis in breakfast is great to keep you satiated till lunch.
Idli is also low in fat as it is steamed rather than fried. So, they do not require added oil or butter during the cooking process. Fat is the most calorie-dense macronutrient, containing 9 calories per gram that is higher than protein and carbohydrate. By reducing your intake of high-fat foods, you can decrease your overall calorie intake and even keep your cholesterol levels on check.
Protein is highly satiating, meaning it helps you feel fuller for longer periods compared to carbohydrates or fat. Various studies have claimed that protein helps in weight loss and management. It is because protein has a higher TEF (Thermic Effect of Food), so it requires more energy to digest and metabolise. A single serving of idli contains around 2.2 g of protein. So, it increases your energy expenditure and burns more calories during digestion, contributing to weight loss.
Along with being rich in protein, idli provides essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These micronutrients help in flushing out toxins from the body and also aid the smooth functioning of digestion. According to studies the well balanced nutrient contents of idli help ensure you’re nourishing your body adequately while working towards your weight loss goals.
It’s undeniable that, while idli can contribute to weight loss, it is equally essential to keep a tab on the overall calorie balance and portion control. Consuming idli alone may not lead to weight loss. A balanced diet, regular physical activity, and lifestyle changes are all needed to achieve sustainable weight loss.
Idli is recommended for weight loss due to its low calorie and fat content. The protein and fibre in idli creates a feeling of fullness, helps control hunger and increases energy expenditure during digestion. Idli also provides essential nutrients, aiding digestion and detoxification. However, it’s important to practice portion control and adopt a balanced diet and active lifestyle for sustainable weight loss.
Method of Preparation:
Method of Preparation:
1.Dry roast the oats till it turns slightly brown. Cool and powder it.
2. Heat oil in the pan and add mustard seeds.
3. When the mustard seeds starts to sputter, add chopped green chilli, grated carrot, chopped beans and capsicum along with green peas and saute them in medium flame for 2 minutes
4. Add semolina to the pan and roast them for 3 minutes.
5. Add chopped coriander leaves and mix well and remove from flame.
6. Take the contents in the pan to a bowl and add powdered oats along with salt, curd and mix well
7. Add water to adjust the consistency of the batter like traditional idli batter.
8.Rest the batter for 15 mins.
9. Grease the idli moulds pour the oats idli batter.
10. Steam for 10 minutes.
11. Serve with Sambar, Chutney.
Instead of using refined rice, you can opt for whole grain rice or multi-grain batter for making idli. Whole grains have the ability to retain their fibre content and also provide additional nutrients compared to refined grains. Studies discuss that a multigrain batter along with millets, quinoa, oats or brown rice provides other nutrients and nudges you to enhance the overall nutritional value of idli.
Including vegetable purees or finely chopped vegetables like carrots, beans, spinach, zucchini and bell peppers adds colour, flavour, and texture to the idli, making it healthy, visually appealing and enjoyable. Vegetables also increase the fibre, vitamin, and mineral content of idli, making it a more wholesome meal.
Idli does not have its own distinctive flavour. But it can soak all the goodness of a chutney or a sambar. You can always amp up serving your idli with a variety of chutneys like coconut, tomato, mint, garlic, peanut etc. If you plan to also serve an accompaniment to provide a range of nutrients, choose between vegetable stews to chicken/egg curries.
Using whole grain or multigrain batter for making idli is a healthier option compared to refined rice. Whole grains retain fiber and provide additional nutrients, while multigrain batters enhance nutritional value. Adding vegetables increases fiber, vitamin, and mineral content. Serving idli with healthy condiments or curries not only enhances taste but adds to your nutritional requirement for the day.
Traditional Idli may not be rich in fiber on its own but a few healthy twists in the recipe can make this amazing breakfast option high in fiber too.
You can add vegetables like peas, broccoli, carrot, capsicum, beans etc. to your idli batter to make it more fibre-rich. Another option is to prepare idli batter by using whole grains like ragi, jowar, broken wheat or oats. You can also add nuts and seeds to the batter to increase its protein and fiber content along with essential vitamins and minerals.
In conclusion, idli proves to be a beneficial food option, especially for those looking to lose weight. It’s low-calorie and low-fat nature makes it a guilt-free choice for people. This breakfast favoruite if also high in fibre and protein that aids your satiety and calorie control. Incorporating idli into a balanced diet can provide a range of essential nutrients, promoting overall health and well-being.
Furthermore, idli’s versatility allows for various accompaniments and customisation options, making it an adaptable and enjoyable meal choice. Its fermentation process not only enhances its digestibility but also contributes to a healthier gut. Overall, idli stands as a versatile, nutritious, and weight-loss-friendly option that can be a valuable addition to one’s diet.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionists Here
Yes, idli is considered a good option for weight loss. It is low in calories and fat, contains good amount of protein, and can provide a sense of fullness, aiding in calorie control.
A medium sized idli made with fermented rice contains around 70 to 75 calories.
Yes, idli can be an excellent choice for breakfast during a weight loss journey. Its low-calorie content and protein make it a filling and nutritious option that can keep you satiated till lunch.
Plain idli is a healthier option for weight loss as it contains fewer calories. However, adding a nutritious chutney can enhance the taste and provide additional nutrients.
Yes, traditional idli made from rice and lentils is naturally gluten-free. However, be cautious of any added ingredients that may contain gluten.
Idli can be a suitable food option for individuals with diabetes due to its low glycemic index and balanced macronutrient composition. However, portion control and overall dietary balance are important considerations.