If you wish to lead a healthy lifestyle, it is essential to eat nutrition rich food and exercise regularly. What you eat directly affects your body fitness, so it becomes all the more necessary to be aware about the number of calories in Indian food and the nutritional value of the food you are eating. It is advisable to consult a dietician and gather knowledge about the Indian food calories and then decide your meal. Eating high calorie food item is not recommended for the daily meal, but you can always relish them once in a month .The nutritional value of food that we eat greatly governs our health and therefore most of the activities that we do in our life. Our food is the only source of energy, minerals and vitamin for our body and is responsible for the efficient metabolism of the same.
Nutrition data (calories, carbohydrates, protein) of homemade Indian food are given. Also the ways to preserve nutrition in Indian cooking are discussed.
Many Indian are vegetarians and they eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk and plant-based proteins. These foods contain essential micro-nutrients and vitamins that produce antioxidants which are good for heart, blood pressure and diabetes.
But Indians, in general, consume less amount of vegetables. Also reheating of vegetarian dishes, a common practice among Indians, destroys the micro-nutrients. "Indians, therefore, face heart attacks five years earlier than people in the West, Diets rich in saturated fats and hypertension are the main reason for this.
Calories in Indian foods and their nutrition depend on the way the foods are cooked. An Indian dish may be very high in calories/energy (mostly from fat) if it is cooked by deep frying, or it may be low in calories or fat if it is stir fried or baked.
The rich creamy dishes containing foods covered with lot of spice colored liquid are often very high in fat (mostly saturated fat), while the tandoori dishes are low in fat.Indian often reheat the food, the reheating destroys the nutrients of the food. Indian food is often overcooked, destroying its nutrition.
The North Indian dishes are very rich in taste and presentation as compared to South Indian food. The North Indian foods, specially Punjabi food are generally higher in calories and fat and lower in nutritional value, than South Indian foods because Punjabi cooking involves tarka or vaghar (frying of spices, onions, etc.) in pure ghee (high in saturated fat), butter, oil or trans fats or trans-fatty acids (hydrogenated oils and fats, dalda) that gives unique Indian taste and texture. Read more on trans fats in Indian foods.
The tandoori foods of North India are rich in nutrition and natural flavours, but often these are loaded with fats. A new research reported at a conference on "Fats and trans-fatty acids in Indian diet" at the Seventh Health Writers Workshop organised by Health Essayists and Authors League (HEAL) in 2007 found that the trans-fatty acids in French fries is 4.2% - 6.1%, it is 9.5% in bhatura, 7.8% in paratha and 7.6% each in puri and tikkis.