Is chaat bad for health? Nutritionist disagrees and lists its many benefits
Worried about chaat adding to your health woes? A nutritionist busts myths about chaat being unhealthy and lists its many health benefits.
The mere mention of the word chaat is enough to make our mouth water, yet when it comes to actually stepping out and having it, one is worried about it being unhealthy and high-calorie. So much so that people start avoiding chaat altogether thinking it's bad for health. While chaat being a street food always has a health risk associated with it as the hygiene factor too is important, preparing it at home and choosing your ingredients with care can easily give it a healthy makeover. (Also read: How to make crispy aloo tikki chaat at home; Chef Kunal Kapur shares recipe)
Busting the myth that chaat is unhealthy, nutritionist Bhuvan Rastogi in his latest post says that it's the outside food that's unhealthy and not chaat per se. "I see a lot of people who have not eaten chaat in years. They cut out the whole group thinking it's bad for their health. Any food you have from outside will usually be high in calories from the higher amount of oil used. Even a naan with any gravy will be laden with oil, cream, or cashew paste to make it creamy," he says.
"You don't need to cut out any food group whatsoever. This is just to remind you that you can have chaat if you love it, without compromising your fitness goals and without any guilt whatsoever," adds the nutritionist.
Here are some healthy chaat options, suggested by Rastogi, that you can try making at home:
Bhalla is lentil based, fried but soaked in water to reduce oil. Plus dahi is high in protein. This is even healthier than a plate of dal and roti.
It has dahi, which is high in protien, with a fried maida roti and some chana or bhalla option. Not the worst, right? Isn't that just roti and dahi with tadka for oil? Here you get more dahi.
Besan or moong cheela
Very balanced, moderate in protein and high in fibre
Kulcha is maida-based but matar is legume - just have the right amount of matar and that's it. This is literally a zero-oil food.
Gol gappe/puchka/paani puri
People are most afraid of this. It's nothing but high antioxidant water (diluted pudina chutney) with some fried atta (1 poori). You can just skip morning raw juice and evening cookies the day you have one and you are good.
This is just potato with chhole and dahi. Just like less roti with daal and dahi, all good and balanced.