By Naini Setalvad Last Updated:
A lot of celebrities follow a fitness mantra where they cut out carbohydrates from their diet during the night, and only have proteins. Remember that vegetables cannot be cut out from any healthy eating plan; but yes, you do need to reduce the carb content from your plate. And, this is very important for all those who are trying to lose weight.
Generally, an Indian diet is very high on grains and low on vegetables. The protein intake decreases as the meal contains more of roti or rice. Proteins are a link of 23 amino acids, out of these, 8 are called essential amino acids, which are not produced by the body and have to be taken through foods and beverages.
A protein-rich diet helps to prevent post-dinner hunger pangs as proteins keep you fuller for a longer time. Since we have a more carbohydrate-rich meal than a protein-rich one, we normally tend to feel hungry due to a ‘sugar-low’ after dinner. And, such a diet helps to maintain blood sugar levels in the body. Vegetarian Indian diet contains ample amount of protein, but one should learn to have more of it and less of the grains.
P.S.: My philosophy is eating it from its natural source, which means more plant base, as plant protein is healthier. Plant protein does not have the bad fat or cholesterol increasing properties, which are very much present in its non-vegetarian counterparts.
Today is the age of fitness fads, where large number of people strive to get size-zero figures, or perfectly chiseled bodies, 8 pack abs and toned stomachs. And they believe the key to this is high-protein diet. They pile on protein shakes, large meat intake or eggs. Well, this is not the correct way to go about this. Don’t jump on the weight loss wagon with high protein diet and not include a lot of vegetables.
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If you go for a protein-rich diet without vegetables and small amount of fat, it can wreak havoc in your body. Such a diet can lead to minor digestive problems like constipation and acidity as well as major ones like colon and bowel cancer. In the long run, you also fall short on vitamins C and B. Plus, you can constantly suffer from irritability, moodiness, nausea, dizziness, cramps and bad breath.
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Another reason is, eventually your body goes into what is known as ketosis. This means, your body starts breaking down and in this process, produces harmful ketone acids, which in excess can lead to a stroke.
It is easy to follow a high-protein diet with vegetables, as you have plenty of things to choose from. You can even go for curries like sai bhaji (Sindhi curries), missal (Maharashtrian dish), turia moong ki dal, sambhar, dhansak (Parsi dal), and much more depending on your regional taste as well. Since all these curries have a lot of good vegetables in them, they are safe, filling and tasty bets to indulge in.
And as I mentioned earlier, when it comes to non-vegetarian dishes, fish, eggs and skinless chicken are the best options you can chose. In fact, you can go with chicken and oily fishes, like surmai and prawns, with lots of vegetables.
Some simple, healthy choices for adding more proteins and reducing carbohydrates at night would be:
These food options will keep you fuller for a longer period of time, maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and thus prevent you from overeating and binging.
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As you prepare your protein-rich dinner, here is a list you must keep in mind always:
The crux is to lessen the carbohydrates but add lots of vegetables, salads, soup and a small portion of higher protein content food.
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