Diet

Is Khichdi Good For Weight Loss? A Bowl Of Comfort

Khichdi is a dish that is synonymous with comfort food in India. One can call it India’s favourite one-pot meal. It has a light yet tasty flavour. It is a wholesome meal made with a combination of rice and lentils. People often cook it with an array of vegetables, spices or even herbs. This dish has been a part of Indian households for centuries and holds a special place in the hearts of the Indian people. It is a dish that people often eat when feeling unwell or need something quick and easy to prepare. However, the question remains: is Khichdi good for weight loss?

Weight loss has become essential to people’s lives, and everyone is looking for healthy meal alternatives. With its simple ingredients and easy-to-make recipe, Khichdi can be an excellent addition to a weight-loss diet. This article delves into the multiple benefits of Khichdi for weight loss and overall health. It will also focus on modifying Khichdi to suit weight loss requirements.

Khichdi: An Overview

Traditional Khichdi, a staple in Indian households, is made with rice and lentils. However, as people have become more health conscious, they have started modifying this dish to make it more nutritious. For example, some people have started replacing rice with quinoa to increase the protein content of the dish. Others have begun adding vegetables like carrots, beans, and peas to the mix to enhance their food’s nutritional value.

Another modification that people have started making to Khichdi is adding protein sources like paneer. Paneer is an excellent source of protein and can make the dish more filling. By making these slight modifications, Khichdi can become a complete meal packed with nutrition.

So, Khichdi is a dish loved by all Indians and is a part of their daily lives. Its simple ingredients and easy-to-make recipe make it an excellent addition to a weight-loss diet. In the following sections, we delve into the various benefits of Khichdi for weight loss and overall health. We will also discuss how to prepare Khichdi to suit weight loss requirements.

Khichdi: A Delicious and Nutritious Weight Loss Superfood

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the nutrients in Khichdi.

Complex Carbohydrates

Khichdi contains complex carbohydrates because of its ingredients, like rice and lentils. Research shows that complex carbohydrates digest and absorb slowly, gradually releasing energy. It means one feels full and satisfied for an extended period. As a result, it can prevent overeating, ultimately leading to weight loss.

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Lentils in Khichdi have considerable carbohydrate content and, on a per-serving basis, provide a substantial number of calories. But fortunately, carbohydrates from lentils digest rather slowly, releasing sugar slowly in the bloodstream. 

As per research, lentils also have a low glycemic index of about 30 (compared with 100, used as a reference for white wheat bread). Research also shows that the low GI of food is a significant factor that aids in weight loss.

Contains Proteins

Lentils used in Khichdi also contain plant-based protein. However, pulses are not considerably protein-rich, but some whole grains in Khichdi add to the protein content. These proteins help in building and repairing muscles. Research shows that protein also has a higher thermic effect, requiring more energy to digest them. Therefore, it leads to more significant calorie burn and weight loss. Also, rice mixed with protein and vegetables has a high satiety quotient, boosts metabolism and aids in weight loss.

Fibre and Satiety

Both the lentils and rice used in Khichdi are decent sources of dietary fibre. Fibre promotes satiety, reduces appetite, promotes healthy digestion and prevents overeating. In addition, it can reduce overall calorie intake and lower the risk of obesity. As per a study, dietary fibre intake, independent of macronutrient and caloric intake, promotes weight loss and dietary adherence.

Research also shows that white rice used in Khichdi has a satiety index of 1.19 times higher than white bread. It means that Khichdi keeps you fuller for a long time compared to white bread.

Low in Calories

Khichdi is relatively low in calories, with one serving (approximately 150 grams) containing around 125 calories, depending on the ingredients used. Therefore, it makes Khichdi a good meal alternative for those wanting to reduce their calorie intake for weight loss.

Low in Fat

When people make Khichdi at home, they use very little ghee or oil. Instead, one uses it to temper the preparation with spices and herbs. Therefore, Khichdi is a naturally low-fat dish. It is no secret that low-fat dishes enhance weight loss efforts more than high-fat foods. Moreover, research also shows that Ghee has been considered immensely superior to other fat. It differs because of its characteristic short-chain fatty acids, carriers of four fat-soluble vitamins viz., A, D, E, K and essential fatty acids such as linolenic acid and arachidonic acid.

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Adding vegetables like beans, cauliflower, carrots, peas and onions to Khichdi increases its vitamins and minerals content. These nutrients help maintain good health while losing weight.

Other Reasons that Make Khichdi a Weight-loss Food

Research shows that lentils are low in sodium and saturated fat. Furthermore, it is high in potassium, fibre, folate, and plant chemicals called polyphenols with antioxidant activity. Therefore, eating one serving of lentils daily could contribute to modest weight loss. Moreover, the same research shows that eating about ¾th cup (130 grams) of pulses daily led to a gradual and sustainable weight loss. Systematic review and meta-analysis of all available clinical trials on the effects of eating pulses prove this.

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As per Harvard findings, lentils contain slow-digesting resistant starch. As a result, it delays the absorption of carbohydrates with blood sugar-lowering effects and is a source of prebiotics. Furthermore, research shows that prebiotics feeds the gut flora to help prevent digestive diseases.

Furthermore, as per a study, whole grains’ fibre, nutrients, and plant compounds may increase feelings of fullness and prevent overeating, which is crucial for weight loss.

Summary

Khichdi is a delicious and nutritious weight loss superfood that contains complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fibre and is low in calories and fat. The lentils and rice used in Khichdi are decent dietary fibre and protein sources, promoting satiety and reducing overall calorie intake. Khichdi is a naturally low-fat dish that can help enhance weight loss efforts. Additionally, adding vegetables to Khichdi can boost the dish’s vitamins and minerals. It can support maintaining good health while losing weight.

Types of Khichdi to Add to Your Weight-loss Diet

Khichdi is a nutritious and balanced meal made from rice, lentils, and various vegetables and spices. It is a popular Indian dish that can be a healthy weight-loss option.

Here are the best types of Khichdi that you can add to your weight-loss diet:

Moong Dal Khichdi

Moong dal Khichdi is the most popular Khichdi. It is a light and healthy option rich in protein and low in calories.

Here’s a simple recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Moong dal: 1 cup
  • Rice: 1 cup
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp 
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required

Method of Preparation

  1. Wash the moong dal and rice and soak them in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker. Once heated, add cumin seeds.
  3. Add soaked moong dal, rice, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Add enough water to cover the dal and rice mixture.
  5. Pressure cook for about 3-4 whistles or until the dal and rice get cooked.
  6. Serve it hot.

Quinoa Khichdi

Quinoa is a high-protein grain that comes packed with essential nutrients. Here’s how you can make quinoa Khichdi:

Ingredients

  • Quinoa: 1 cup
  • Moong dal: ½ cup
  • Ghee: 1tbsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required

Method of Preparation

  1. Wash the quinoa and moong dal and soak them in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker. Once heated, add cumin seeds.
  3. Add the soaked quinoa, moong dal, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Add enough water to cover the dal and quinoa mixture.
  5. Pressure cook for about 3-4 whistles or until the dal and quinoa get cooked.
  6. Serve hot with some lemon juice.

Vegetable Khichdi

Vegetable Khichdi is a nutritious and flavourful option perfect for weight loss. Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients:

  • Rice: 1 cup
  • Moong dal: ½ cup
  • Mixed vegetables (carrots, beans, peas, potatoes): 1 cup
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp 
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required

Method of Preparation

  1. Wash the rice, moong dal, and vegetables and soak them in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker and add cumin seeds.
  3. Add the soaked rice, moong dal, vegetables, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Add enough water to cover the mixture.
  5. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles or until everything gets cooked.
  6. Serve hot with some chopped coriander leaves on top.

Oats Khichdi

Oats Khichdi is a healthy and nutritious dish, perfect for weight loss. It has rolled oats, moong dal, vegetables, and spices. Oats are high in fibre and protein, keeping you full for longer. Here’s how to make it:

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Ingredients

  • Rolled oats: 1 cup 
  • Split moong dal: ½ cup
  • Onion, chopped: 1
  • Tomato, chopped:1
  • Carrots, chopped: 1
  • Green peas: ½ Cup
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp 
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Ginger, grated: 1 tsp
  • Garlic, minced: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Water: 2 cups
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp 

Method of Preparation

  1. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker, and add cumin and mustard seeds. Let them splutter.
  2. Add onion, ginger and garlic. Saute for a minute.
  3. Add vegetables and saute for another minute.
  4. Add oats, moong dal, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well.
  5. Add water and mix again.
  6. Pressure cook for two whistles. 
  7. Let the pressure release naturally.
  8. Serve hot with yoghurt.

Points to Consider While Incorporating Khichdi into Your Weight-Loss Diet

Here are some points to consider while incorporating khichdi into your weight-loss diet:

Choose the Right Ingredients: When making Khichdi, choose healthy ingredients like brown rice, quinoa, or millet instead of white rice. Use a variety of lentils like mung dal, toor dal, or chana dal to increase the nutrient value. Add plenty of vegetables like spinach, carrots, peas, and beans for fibre and vitamins.

Watch Your Portion Size: Even though Khichdi is a healthy dish, it is still essential to watch the portion size. Stick to a serving size of 1-1.5 cups of Khichdi per meal.

Add Vegetables: To make your khichdi more nutritious, add vegetables like spinach, carrots, peas, or cauliflower. It will add flavour, fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

Limit Adding Excessive Ghee or Oil: While ghee or oil may enhance the flavour of khichdi, they also add extra calories. Cook your khichdi only with a little oil/ghee to lose weight.

Be Mindful of Spices: Cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger are commonly used in Khichdi and have many health benefits. However, some spice blends may contain added salt or sugar, which can add unnecessary calories. Use simple spice blends or make your own to control the ingredients.

Don’t Rely on Khichdi Alone: While Khichdi is a healthy and filling meal, it’s essential to have a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods. Don’t rely on Khichdi alone for all your meals.

Summary

Incorporating Khichdi into your weight-loss diet can be a healthy and nutritious choice. Choose healthy ingredients like brown rice, quinoa, millet, and various lentils and vegetables. Watch your portion size, avoid adding ghee or oil, and be mindful of spices. Remember to have a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods, and do not rely on Khichdi alone for all your meals.

HealthifyMe Suggestion

There is an adage that says Khichdi has four friends. ” Khichdi ke chaar yaar, dahi, papad, ghee aur achaar”. This combination is a traditional way of eating this simple meal. The dahi (yoghurt) and roasted papad provide the probiotic and protein content, the ghee supplies the good fat, and Homemade oil free achaar (pickles) are a rich source of antioxidants, mainly containing raw and unripe ingredients. As per Ayurveda, achaar keeps our digestive fire burning. Eating Khichdi the right way is a part of our ancient wisdom. It keeps us healthy and in shape and maintains our digestive health properly. 

The Final Word

Khichdi is an excellent weight-loss option, containing low calories and high fibre. This nutritious dish supplies the body with essential nutrients while controlling calorie consumption. Nonetheless, monitoring serving sizes and ensuring that Khichdi gets prepared using wholesome ingredients like whole grains, lentils, and vegetables is crucial. A balanced diet and regular exercise are essential to achieve sustainable weight loss. When used in moderation and with other healthy lifestyle habits, Khichdi can be an excellent addition to a weight-loss diet.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information, please contact our certified nutritionists Here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is Khichdi?

A. Khichdi is a traditional Indian dish made with rice and lentils. It is typically seasoned with spices and served with vegetables or yoghurt.

Q. How can Khichdi help with weight loss?

A. Khichdi can be a healthy option for weight loss as it is low in fat, high in fibre, and contains complex carbohydrates. All these components help you feel full for longer and reduce the urge to snack.

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Q. What are the nutritional benefits of Khichdi?

A. Khichdi is a good source of protein, fibre, and complex carbohydrates, making it a nutritious meal. It can provide energy, support digestion, and keep you fuller for longer.

Q. How many calories are in a serving of Khichdi?

A. The calorie content of Khichdi can vary depending on the specific recipe. Still, on average, a 150 grams serving of Khichdi contains around 125 calories.

Q. Can Khichdi be eaten for all meals of the day for weight loss?

A. While Khichdi can be a healthy option for weight loss. One must have a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods. Consuming Khichdi for all meals of the day may not provide all the necessary nutrients.

Q. How should Khichdi be prepared for weight loss?

A. To prepare Khichdi for weight loss, use brown rice instead of white rice and add plenty of vegetables such as spinach, carrots, or broccoli to increase the fibre content and nutritional value. Avoid using excess oil or ghee; use spices such as turmeric, cumin and coriander for flavour.

Q. What variations of Khichdi can be included in a weight loss diet?

A. Some variations of khichdi ideal for a weight loss diet include quinoa khichdi, barley khichdi, and moong dal khichdi. These variations provide different flavours and textures while still being nutritious and low-calorie.

Q. Can Khichdi be customised for individual dietary preferences or restrictions?

A. Khichdi can be customised for individual dietary preferences or restrictions by using specific ingredients or adjusting the spice level. For example, gluten-free Khichdi can be made using millet or quinoa, and vegan Khichdi can be made using vegetable broth instead of ghee.

Q. How long can Khichdi be stored and reheated for weight loss?

A. Khichdi can be stored in a refrigerator for up to three days and reheated as needed. Still, consuming it fresh is recommended to ensure nutritional value. In addition, it is crucial to store the Khichdi in an airtight container to prevent contamination.

Q. Are there any potential side effects of consuming Khichdi for weight loss?

A. Consuming Khichdi in moderation is generally safe and healthy. However, overconsumption of Khichdi can lead to an excess carbohydrate and calorie intake, leading to weight gain.

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