Low-Carb Indian Cuisine: Alternatives to Traditional Indian Staples

Reviewed by: | Author: Manoja Kalakanti

Many people adhere to a low-carbohydrate diet to reduce their weight, control their blood sugar levels, or treat various illnesses. Making a healthy low-carb Indian diet can be difficult for those just starting. However, there are many nutritious low-carb foods to pick from, so eating low-carb doesn’t have to be complicated.

Low-carn indian plate

The influence of the food business on eating behaviors is so significant that it persuades consumers to choose two biscuits instead of a slice of mango. People now find it simple to give up on daily essentials like roti, rice, mangoes, chicks, and other foods. Quick weight loss is now the aim that everyone wants to reach.

Importance Of A Low-Carb Diet

The long-term debate has surrounded the low-carb diet for weight loss. Some contend that the high-fat content of these diets elevates cholesterol and fuels the development of heart disease. A low-carb diet is typically followed to reduce weight. In addition to aiding in weight loss, several low-carb Indian diet recipes may lower your chance of acquiring metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Among the benefits of a low-carb diet are:

1. Drops triglycerides massively

In your bloodstream, fat molecules called triglycerides can be found. It is widely known that having high blood triglyceride levels the morning after an overnight fast increases the risk of developing heart disease. Consuming carbohydrates, particularly simple sugar fructose, is one of the leading causes of increased triglycerides in inactive individuals. People typically notice a dramatic drop in blood triglycerides when they reduce carbohydrates. On the other hand, low-fat diets frequently increase triglycerides.

2. Helps in losing fat in the abdominal area

Your body has many types of fat. Where the fat in your body is stored affects your health and disease risk. The two primary forms are visceral fat, which builds up in the abdomen and is common in most overweight men, and subcutaneous fat, which is found beneath the skin. Visceral fat frequently covers your interior organs. Extra visceral fat may cause metabolic dysfunction because it is linked to insulin resistance and inflammation. Diets low in carbohydrates are highly successful at shedding this dangerous belly fat. A more significant percentage of fat people who follow low-carb Indian diet recipes appear to lose weight from their abdomens. This should eventually result in a significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

3. Increases the level of good cholesterol

The “good” cholesterol is typically referred to as high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Your risk of heart disease decreases with higher HDL levels compared to “bad” LDL levels. Eating fat is one of the best methods to raise “good” HDL levels, and low-carb Indian snacks contain a lot of fat. Therefore, it is not unexpected that HDL levels rise sharply on low-carb, healthy diets but very little or even drop on low-fat diets.

4. Reduces your appetite

The worst negative effect of dieting is usually hunger. It is one of the key causes of the unhappy feelings and final giving up that many people experience. But eating low carbs Indian snacks automatically makes you feel less hungry. Studies repeatedly demonstrate that cutting off carbohydrates and increasing protein and fat results in much lower calorie intake.

5. Reduces blood sugar and insulin levels:

Diabetes and insulin resistance, both afflict millions of people worldwide, can both be treated with low-carb and ketogenic diets. When starting a low-carb Indian diet, some diabetics may need to almost immediately cut their insulin dosage by 50%. In type 2 diabetes research, 95% of participants lowered or stopped taking their glucose-lowering medication within six months. Before making adjustments to your carbohydrate consumption, if you use blood sugar medication, see your doctor because your dosage may need to be changed to prevent hypoglycemia.

Nutritional Value Of Healthy Grains

Essentially, each grain of rice is starchy and enclosed in a fibrous protein capsule. Finding a type of rice containing fewer than 75% net carbohydrates will be challenging. Here are the most healthy and keto-friendly low-carb alternatives to rice:

1. Cauliflower Rice

Due to its affordability, low-carb content, and abundance of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this is the most well-liked low-carb alternative to rice.

Nutritional information1 Serve

  • Calories: 34
  • Protein: 2.5 g
  • Carbs: 4.3 g
  • Fats: 0.4 g
  • Fiber: 1.8 g

2. Miracle rice

Miracle rice, made from konjac root, is fiber-rich and has very low net carbohydrate counts. Most health food stores carry miracle rice, and you may also buy it online.

Nutritional information – 1 Cup (drained)

  • Calories: 16
  • Protein: 0.4 g
  • Carbs: 0.0 g
  • Fats: 0.0 g
  • Fiber: 7.3 g

3. Cabbage rice

Cabbage rice is yet another great keto rice replacement. Similar to how you would make cauliflower rice, you can make cabbage rice in a food processor or with a cheese grater. Green cabbage has a little lower net carb count than red cabbage, but both are acceptable options for the keto diet:

Nutritional information – 1 Katori 

  • Calories: 131
  • Protein: 2.7 g
  • Carbs: 21.5 g
  • Fats: 3.6 g
  • Fiber: 1.4 g

4. Hemp seeds

Hemp seeds that have been shelled are excellent at resembling the flavor and texture of heartier grains like wild rice. They are the most incredible rice alternative for anyone trying to increase their consumption of these nutrients while reducing carbs because they are also loaded with fiber, plant-based protein, and healthy fat. Half a cup of hemp hearts, commonly known as shelled hemp seeds, give us:

Nutritional information – 1 Tbsp whole

  • Calories: 85
  • Protein: 4.6 g
  • Carbs: 1.6 g
  • Fats: 7.1 g
  • Fiber: 0.9 g

Make sure not to consume this rice alternative has the highest fat content. Weight loss that is both quick and sluggish might occur due to the fat calories.

Exploring Low-Carb Healthy Grains

However, some grains include a lot of fiber so that you can consume them in proportion as part of a nutritious, carb-restricted diet. This is because meals high in fiber have lower net carbohydrate content or the amount of carbohydrates the body absorbs. You may determine net carbs by deducting the grams of fiber from the total grams of carbohydrates. Here are some of the best grains for low-carb Indian diet recipes and a few others you might want to limit.

1. Oats

Oats are incredibly nourishing and a fantastic source of several essential nutrients, including fiber. A cup of cooked oats has just 21 grams of net carbohydrates and more than 8 grams of dietary fiber. Moreover, oats contain about 18 calories. Also abundant in oats is beta-glucan. To get the best nutritional value for your money, use steel-cut or rolled oats rather than highly processed alternatives like quick oatmeal.

  • Scientifically proven to lower cholesterol levels.
  • Excellent source of several micronutrients

2. Millets

An old grain that is grown across the world is millet. Like other whole grains, millet contains powerful polyphenols and antioxidants that may help fend off chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes. A serving size of 1 cup of cooked millet has 39 grams of net carbohydrates and almost 2 grams of fiber. On average, millets contain about 90 calories.

  • Rich source of fiber and has a low net carb count.
  • Rich in phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and folate.

3. Barley

Barley is a filling cereal grain distinguished by its chewy texture and nutty flavor. Every 1 cup of cooked barley contains 3 calories, 41.5 grams of net carbohydrates, and 6.5 grams of fiber. If feasible, choose hulled barley over pearled barley because it has undergone less processing and is regarded as a whole grain.

  • Selenium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and copper are abundant in cooked barley.
  • It helps in losing weight and decreases appetite.

4. Quinoa

Quinoa is frequently prepared and consumed like a grain, even though it is technically categorized as a pseudocereal. With only 34 grams of net carbs in each 1-cup serving of cooked quinoa, it also has a low carbohydrate content. It is one of the best inclusions in low carb Indian diet for diabetes.

  • Rich in essential amino acids.
  • Rich in macro-nutrients.
  • Abundant in antioxidants that reduce inflammation.

Low-Carb Alternatives For Indian Curries

You’re looking for recipes right now to liven up your homemade meals. Not all cuisines are suitable for this diet, but Indian food is about going to be your new best friend. Complex flavors may be found in the cuisine from this region of the world, making it perfect for low-carb fans. Here are some low-carb Indian diet recipes suitable for keto dieters to spice up your menu.

Non-vegetarian Curries

1. Coconut Chicken Curry

Naturally low in carbohydrates and gluten-free, this nutritious coconut chicken curry. Without flavor, though? Not in the least. Curry powder works best when combined with other flavors like cumin and turmeric. The entire thing is then thickened with coconut milk, sweetened with honey, and flavored with lemon. There are hardly any carbohydrates in the food you’re preparing. Since the meat will have had a chance to marinate in that flavorful sauce for an entire night, the leftovers are also fantastic, perhaps even better than the initial meal.

Nutritional information – 1 Katori

  • Calories: 191
  • Protein: 14.3 g
  • Carbs: 6.3 g
  • Fats: 12.4 g
  • Fiber: 2.5 g

2. Butter Chicken

The aroma alone will make you want to eat this creamy, buttery chicken right out of the pot with a spoon. But keep your hands to yourself! On a plate, it appears much better. Expect a flavorful blend of tomatoes, your homemade yogurt marinade, and incredibly soft chicken pieces. Additionally, we advise serving it with cauliflower rice. Before adding the ingredients to your customized curry sauce, brown them in the pan. If you want the perfect caramelization of the onions, pay close attention to them.

Nutritional information – 1 Katori

  • Calories: 190
  • Protein: 15.7 g
  • Carbs: 4.6g
  • Fats: 11.0g
  • Fiber: 1.3 g

3.Tandoori Fish Tikka

Fish is your friend for a light and healthy midweek supper. For a few hours (or overnight if you can), marinate your fresh fillet in yogurt, tandoori masala, salt, and pepper. Throw the fish in the oven or burner with oil once it has had time to soak up the flavor. You can easily purchase tandoori masala online or at your neighborhood store, so don’t worry about finding it.

Nutritional information – 1 Tikka

  • Calories: 53
  • Protein: 6.4 g
  • Carbs: 0.6 g
  • Fats: 2.7g
  • Fiber: 0.1 g

Vegetable-Based Curries

1. Vegetable Masala

When you marinate vegetables in this spicy tomato puree, the result is a delicate and juicy dish that can stand alone as a main course. You can get full-on vegetables too! It’s filling enough to eat over eggs for breakfast or to keep you going after lunch.

Nutritional information – 1 Katori

  • Calories: 85
  • Protein: 2.0 g
  • Carbs: 10.8 g
  • Fats: 3.8 g
  • Fiber: 2.8 g

2. Paneer Makhani

There isn’t a moment when we don’t want some fried cheese. Our workplace is built entirely of fried cheese. The primary step in this dish is to fry paneer, or cottage cheese, in a mixture of turmeric, salt, and red chili powder. The cheese will then be heated with a sauce of tomatoes, green chiles, onions, garlic, and ginger paste. You’ve likely heard the adage “less is more,” yet more is sometimes better when it comes to flavor.

Nutritional information – 1 Katori

  • Calories: 224
  • Protein: 8.5 g
  • Carbs: 6.3 g
  • Fats: 18.5 g
  • Fiber: 1.9 g

3. Cauliflower and Kale Soup

This hearty soup comes together quickly and requires little buying. All your pantry’s essential spices—cumin, coriander, paprika, ginger, and cayenne are in one huge dish. We adore cauliflower because it provides some texture and makes you feel full. The kale adds a great texture and a splash of color as well.

Nutritional information – 1 Bowl

  • Calories: 145
  • Protein: 3.4 g
  • Carbs: 12.9 g
  • Fats: 9.1g
  • Fiber: 3.6 g

Final Words

Many low-carb Indian diets do not entirely banish grains, but many types can be used in a balanced, carb-restricted diet. Many grains have high fiber and low net carbohydrate content, or the amount of carbohydrates the body absorbs. Choose whole grain kinds wherever possible for the most significant outcomes and avoid grains that have been excessively processed or refined. By combining poultry, seafood, or vegetables with delectable sauces and spices, you can save some money and consume even more carbohydrates. In keto cuisine, a low-carb Indian diet will be much easier to maintain if the food tastes as good as it makes you feel.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Name 5 food that is low in carbs?

Leafy vegetables
Fish and seafood
Nuts and grains

2. Which roti is low in carbs?

Wheat roti, which is known to give 57 calories and is the lowest in carbs.

3. What vegetables are high in carbs?

Sweet potatoes

4. What is the list of foods that are healthy carbs?

The following items are on the list of acceptable carbohydrate sources are
Whole grains
Sweet potatoes

5. What snacks are low in carbs?

Snacks with low carbs are
Hard-boiled eggs
Greek yogurt

6. Why is high carb better?

Individual nutritional needs and preferences can vary; thus, a high-carb diet is not always optimal for everyone.

7. Which carbs to avoid weight loss?

For the goal of weight loss, the following carbohydrate groups are typically advised to be avoided or consumed in moderation:
Refined grains
Added sugar
Sugary drinks

8. Which millet is closest to rice?

Foxtail millet is closest to rice and is used as a substitute for the same quite often.

9. Which is the best carb for energy building?

The best carbohydrates for storing energy are regarded to be complex carbohydrates, especially those from whole grains.

10. What are the benefits of good carbs?

Good carbs or complex carbohydrates predominantly found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes offer several advantages for general health and well-being.

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