We would any day vote for ghee-laced home-made paratha over heavily-processed corn flakes (promoted as healthy by food companies) as a weight-loss friendly food; one look at the ingredients list would reveal the reason – because “sugar, malt extract” would be listed as the main ingredients. Starting the day with a breakfast high on sugar is not something that would make weight loss experts nod their head in approval. Studies say you should start your day with a nutrient-dense breakfast, with a lot of emphasis on protein. It’s the macronutrient that is not only essential for optimum health, it also boosts weight loss by making you feel fuller for longer and helping build muscle (the more lean muscle your body has, the more efficient it is at burning fat). Protein also improves satiety and reduces cravings. It’s one of the most filling macronutrient, takes longer to digest, and curbs unnecessary cravings, and essential to bring about body transformation when combined with workout routine. Protein is the building block of every cell and is needed in optimum amount to run all body functions smoothly, even for fat burning. But the question to ask is – are we consuming enough protein? Experts say that every meal should have a protein source, especially during breakfast. And if you are wondering, you can make your favorite breakfast option, paratha, protein rich, by adding certain ingredients to them, either mixing them into the flour directly while kneading or using them as stuffing. Roll out yummilicous protein-rich parathas that are diet friendly too. So, dump the white bread and bring back the paratha on the breakfast table.
1. Paneer Paratha: If you are a vegetarian, cottage cheese is your best bet to amp up protein content. Cottage cheese or paneer, is rich in casein protein, keeps you full for longer, is filling and at the same time delicious, and there are many ways to make mouth-watering Indian dishes out of it, stuffed paneer paratha is just one of them. In 100 gm of paneer, you can get 20 gm protein with a calorie count of 265 calories.
2. Sattu Paratha: If you are looking for a cheap plant-based protein source, look no further than sattu (roasted bengal gram powder) which is not only rich in protein, it also has calcium and vitamins, and fiber too. With loads of vitamins, minerals, potassium, magnesium, and of course protein, it boosts metabolism and aids in the fat-burning process. Consider this, 100 gm of sattu can give you 20 gm of protein along with other vitamins and minerals – all of which aid in the fat-burning process. Check out brilliant recipes online to roll out a delicious sattu paratha.
3. Green Peas Paratha: Available all through the year, in frozen form, green peas are low in calories yet pack a protein punch even then. Half a cup of fresh or frozen green peas can contain up to 4 gm of protein, with just 12 gm of carbs, and all within 60 calories. Make a stuffing of cooked green peas, ginger, garlic, and other spices and roll out parathas with it in the middle.
4. Nachni Paratha with Paneer Stuffing: Ragi is a nutritious millet, high on vitamins, minerals, and protein and when you add paneer, the protein content goes up. What’s more, it’s a gluten-free paratha if you are intolerant to gluten.
5. Sprouted Moong Dal Paratha: If you love moong dal sprouts, why not make stuffed paratha by first preparing the filling by sauteeing it in oil and flavouring it up with cumin, coriander powder, coriander leaves, salt and red chilli powder. Point to note – you can get 24 gm of protein per 100 gm from moong dal.
6. Spinach Paratha: Nobody ever gained weight by having too much spinach, right? Spinach is a leafy green vegetable is high on nutrients and low in calories, having only 23 calories, and it’s an absolutely great way to eat your way into calorie deficit without compromising on nutrition. It’s also rich in protein, fibre, vitamin C, calcium, and other minerals, which make it a nutrient-dense vegetable. A study that was published in National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health found that women who had 5 gm of spinach every day managed to lose a higher percentage of body fat compared to those who didn’t. Apart from adding it to your dal, make delicious parathas by adding chopped spinach leaves and some basic spices, salt to the wheat flour, kneading the dough by adding little water and roasting the paratha with low fat butter or ghee. You will fall in love with palak with the first mouthful.
7. Broccoli Paratha: Could you ever imagine that you can roll out protein-rich paratha out of broccoli? Did you know 100 gm of broccoli has around 2.8 gm of protein and just 34 calories (protein makes up 33% of its total calories). This veggie also has antioxidants, beta-carotene – all of which help lose weight. You can make stuffing by mincing blanched broccoli in a mixer, and sauteeing it with green chillies, red chilli powder, a little besan, garam masala powder, etc.
Getting enough protein is a concern and when you can get make parathas protein rich, it’s a win-win situation. Most importantly, if weight loss is on your mind, you should check out the Rati Beauty diet which places a lot of importance on protein and helps you drop extra pounds and inches as well. Download the app for more details.