Gone are the days when we used to add salad as a side meal to our lunch and dinner plan, nowadays fitness frenzies recommend having salad for all the meals in a day. Since we Indians have grown up having dal, chawal, rajma, sabji and parathas since ages shifting on to a completely new diet plan may sound a bit impractical to many.
In addition, popular celebrity diet consultant Rujuta Diwekar often says that dal chawal is necessary. Now. That you have the right set of questions in your mind let us explore the benefits of both Indian food and Salad and understand what suits the Indian body and lifestyle.
The Calorie Fight
The whole discussion of terming Indian food as a restriction when you wish to lose weight starts at the calorie calculator scale. An average Indian lunch comprises of Rice, Dal, Veggies, and Chapatis.
Let us check the approximate calorie count of a usual Indian lunch that we have at home.
- 1 Bowl rice: 100-150 Calories
- A cup of dal: 100-105 Calories
- 2 Chapatis: 200-250 Calories
- 1 Cup Cauliflower sabji: 50-80 Calories
As per the above calculation, it is easy to understand that an average Indian meal comprises of 450-500 calories. Now, if you add a bowl of curd, pickles, Papad, a fried starter, and buttermilk to this meal plan the calorie shoots up to 700 easily. On the contrary, if you have a salad-based meal your calorie count is much lower.
A salad that contains the below ingredients makes up to a 375-400 calorie meal, which is loaded with proteins, fewer fats, Vitamins, and other minerals.
- A small onion
- 1 Teaspoon olive oil
- A pinch of rock salt
- 1 small tomato
- Few lettuces
- 1 Avacado
- 1 Cucumber
- 2-3 boiled eggs
- Sprinkle Oregano and Chili flakes
If you mix all the above ingredients to make a healthy salad meal, your calorie intake will be much lower than that of an Indian meal. This is the reason why most of the diet freaks recommend salads over Indian meals.
After the calorie fight, the next thing that we need to talk about is the nutritional value of Indian meals VS Salad. There is no second thought about the fact that salads are much healthier than junk food like Puris, Samosa and Gulab Jamuns. However, the nutrition quotient is much higher in Indian meals.
No doubts salads are high in fiber, iron, and calcium whereas a traditional Indian meal is a balanced meal that contains loads of carbohydrates in rice and roti, protein in dal, gut bacteria in Idli, curd, buttermilk) and fat (a dollop of Ghee).
In addition, many spices like turmeric, pepper, etc are used in the preparation of curries are known for their cancer-fighting properties. Ginger, Mint and Curry leaves are the other commonly used spices that contain anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory that boosts immunity.
To conclude, so the fancy salad is clearly low on calories and helps you shed the extra fat, however, on the nutrition scale it cannot match the nutrient wealth of a shuddh desi khana.
What Should You Eat?
Anything and everything that has a high nutritional value. There is no doubt about the fact that losing weight keeping a track on calories and going on a calorie deficit diet is important, but while you do that keep a track on nutrition intake to avoid deficiencies in the future.
Now, coming to the most important discussion, which says what to eat salad or an Indian diet? Well, with personal experience and as recommended by experts always eat things that are local, seasonal and available.
Let us understand further about what’s local, seasonal and available to break the salad vs desi khana health myths.
Always have food, which is grown locally around you. For example, you stay in a state like Rajasthan where green leafy vegetables are scarcely available but you can continue having Ker Sangri (Dried root-like vegetable) which is locally grown.
Your body responds and accepts food that is grown around you locally as you are more habituated to the season out there in your state or city. So, you may love having Avocados, but understand what’s local is more important.
In this Salad Vs, Desi Khana tiff people often forget to understand seasonality. You may love having apples all-round the year. How about having fruits as per their particular season? Having cherries during monsoon, oranges in winter and watermelon in summer works best.
Many of us often struggle or pay a heavy price to find Zucchini or Bell pepper remember your diet or meal plan should be such that it motivates you to continue following it for a lifetime.
Do not keep hunting for fruits and veggies, which may not be available easily in your city or locality, you will end up not having that fruit or veggie for more than once or twice.
Both Salad and Desi khana win the debate as both are important in your day-to-day diet plan. While desi khana gives you the much-needed nutrition, you must always keep a check on the quantity and never overeat.
In addition, if you like making an easy salad at home avoid adding too much of dressing to your salad, or else you will end up consuming much more calories than a desi thali. You can alternatively have a salad for dinner or evening snack so that you do not get bored with your diet plan and get the best of both worlds every day.
Always check with your dietician or nutritionist before choosing a meal plan as the recommended food may show results to everyone differently, you also need to know if you are allergic to any particular food type.
Tell us what you like the most salad or desi khana in the comment section below we are all set to get your feedback.