Finding an Indian home without chana is rare; it is a staple in many dishes, from curries to dal and vada. Chana has a nutty flavor and a grainy texture, which makes it a great addition to many dishes.
Plus, its protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber make it a great vegetarian or vegan meat substitute. Given the current global concern over obesity, many wish to reduce their weight to promote health and fitness. This can be done through a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.
For centuries, chana (also known as chickpeas) have been a staple in many cultures, and for good reason. Experts believe chana may also have potential benefits for weight loss.
This article will explore the weight loss benefits of chana and how to incorporate it into your diet to maximize those benefits. Additionally, it will discuss the nutritional makeup of chana, the different forms it is available in, and tips for cooking and preparing it.
Different forms of Chana
Chana, also known as chickpeas, has been around for centuries and is a type of legume or legume. They are very nutritious and people consume them in many forms, which makes them suitable for people of all ages. In India, there is an array of different varieties of chana, some of the most popular being:
Is the most cultivated and consumed variety of chana in India. It is large and has a smooth, light-colored seed coat. People usually use it in salads, curries and as a snack.
Is a smaller, darker variety of chana native to India. It has a rough, speckled seed coat. People usually use it in traditional Indian dishes such as chana masala and chole.
Is another variety of desi chana which is smaller in size. It has a yellowish color. People often use it to make dal and traditional Indian sweets.
Is a smaller black chana with a strong nutty flavor. People often use it in curries and also to make chana dal.
Is the split and peeled version of desi chana. It can be used to make a traditional Indian dish called chana dal.
Is a variety of whole chana used to make curries and is also used as a snack.
These are the most popular varieties of chana in India. However, people also grow and consume other types on a smaller scale. It is important to note that each variety has its unique taste, texture and nutritional profile.
Chana for weight loss – What are its benefits?
If you are aiming to lose weight, chana is a great food to include in your diet. This legume has many benefits that can help you manage your weight.
Snacking between meals is healthy as long as you eat a nutritious snack. However, it is important not to overdo it.
Research shows that legumes, like chana, can keep you full for long periods of time. As a result, it can help reduce caloric intake, leading to weight loss.
Rich in protein
Chickpeas, containing a high level of protein, are beneficial for building and maintaining muscle mass. This is crucial because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, which leads to a higher metabolism and aids in weight loss. Additionally, the protein found in chana may help improve overall health and fitness.
Protein provides energy, helps maintain feelings of fullness, boosts metabolism and decreases food cravings, which can aid in weight loss. A to study also showed that eating protein-rich foods can lead to weight loss.
Rich in fiber
Studies have long established the link between dietary fiber intake and weight loss. This is because fiber slowly passes through the body, reducing hunger and decreasing appetite.
As a result, it also helps improve the expulsion of waste from the intestines. Chickpeas are particularly beneficial in this regard, as they are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Additionally, the fiber in chickpeas may help you feel full longer, reducing food intake and aiding weight loss.
With only 3 grams of fat per 100 gram serving, cooked chickpeas are an ideal choice for anyone looking to lose weight. Compared to other protein sources, chickpeas are relatively low in fat, making them a great option for weight loss.
Contains good fat
Many foods contain “bad fats,” such as trans fats and saturated fats, which can promote weight gain. However, chana dal includes a large percentage (70%) of healthier fats, including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
These fats are not fattening but can help you lose weight. A to study further suggested that these fats may improve heart health and contribute to anti-inflammatory processes.
Low glycemic index
Chickpeas have a low glycemic index, which means the body absorbs and digests them slowly. As a result, they do not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar. Plus, it can help prevent food cravings and overeating, aiding in weight loss.
Rich in antioxidants
Chana is rich in antioxidants, especially flavonoids. According to research, flavonoids can help reduce inflammation in the body and support overall health. Moreover, some studies also show that flavonoids can help with weight loss.
Note from The Fitness Freak
It is essential to understand that weight loss is a multi-faceted experience that involves diet, exercise, and general lifestyle. Therefore, including chana in a proper, measured diet and regular physical activity can help with weight loss.
Various ways to consume Chana
There are several ways to incorporate chana (chickpeas) into an Indian diet for weight loss. These include:
- Chana dal, a popular dish made with chana split and peeled with vegetables and spices for added flavor and nutrition.
- Chana Masala, a classic Indian dish made with whole chana cooked with tomatoes, onions, ginger and spices.
- Chana chaat, a street food made from boiled chana mixed with onions, tomatoes and spices.
- Chana and Vegetable Soup, a hearty and healthy soup made with chana and vegetables.
- Chana and cabbage salad, a salad made with boiled chana and sprouted legumes.
- Chana hummus, a healthy alternative to regular hummus made by mixing cooked chana, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and spices.
- Chana in curries is a great way to add protein and fiber to your meal.
Note from The Fitness Freak
Chana is a nutritious and healthy addition to a weight loss diet. It is rich in protein, fiber and other essential nutrients, which can help reduce hunger and increase feelings of fullness, thereby aiding weight management. This ingredient can be found in soups, stews and curries. However, remember that the end result of weight loss depends on the balance between calorie intake and calorie expenditure. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to portion sizes, the foods you eat and your lifestyle.
Chana recipes to try for weight loss
Roasted Chana Salad
- Serving: 1
- Preparation time: 5 minutes
- Roasted chana: 1 cup
- Chopped tomato: 1 teaspoon
- Chopped onion: 1 tablespoon
- Chopped green pepper: ½ tablespoon
- Salt: ¼ teaspoon
- Mustard oil: ¼ teaspoon
- Add 1 cup roasted chana to a mixing dish.
- Mix all the chopped ingredients.
- Mix the ingredients and your salad is ready
Kabuli Chana salad
- Serving: 1
- Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Cooking time: 20 minutes
- Kabuli chana boiled: ½ cup
- Chopped tomato cubes: ⅛ cup
- Chopped cucumber cubes: ¼ cup
- Spring onion: ⅛ cup
- Chopped mint leaf: ⅛ cup
- Chopped cilantro leaves: ⅛ cup
- Low-fat curd: ½ tablespoon
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- To prepare the mint vinaigrette, add the cilantro, mint and fat to a blender and mix with a little water.
- In a mixing dish, combine the chana, tomato, cucumber and spring onion, along with the salt and pepper, and mix well. Toss salad with mint vinaigrette.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.
Being overweight can lead to serious medical problems such as cardiovascular problems, kidney failure, and other health issues. To maintain a healthy body and eliminate excess weight and fat, changing your diet is one of the most effective solutions.
Chana is a nutritious legume that you can include in your diet to aid in weight loss, as it is rich in essential nutrients. You can incorporate it into your meals in different ways.
However, it is essential to remember that different individuals react differently to the same food. Therefore, it is best to consult a professional nutritionist for the best advice.
HealthifyMe can help you get an individual weight loss plan tailored to meet your health goals, because your well-being comes first.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. Does chana reduce belly fat?
A. Yes, consuming chana can aid in weight loss due to its high fiber and protein content and low calorie content. Adding them to a weight loss diet can significantly reduce body weight, waist circumference, and other indicators of metabolic health. However, keep in mind that losing weight is a complicated process and depends on several factors, such as diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits.
Q. Which Chana is best for weight loss?
A. If you are looking to lose weight, the Desi or Kala variety of chana is an excellent choice. It is smaller and contains fewer carbohydrates and calories than the Kabuli variety. Not to mention that chana is also high in protein and fiber. It also has a low glycemic index which will help you feel full longer.
Q. Is chana high in fat?
A. A 100 gram serving of cooked chickpeas, or chana, contains about 3 grams of fat, making them relatively low in fat. However, it is essential to be aware that consuming too much chana in a high fat diet can be counterproductive for weight loss and detrimental to overall health.
Q. Is boiled chana good for weight loss?
A. Boiled chana is an excellent choice for weight loss, and it contains folate, minerals and fatty acids – more than any other healthy snack! Eating a few can help you feel full longer.
Q. Is chana fat or protein?
A. Chana is a legume rich in protein, vitamins B6 and C, folate, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, iron and copper, as well as fiber and carbohydrates.
Q. How many grams can you eat per day?
A. One can consume 100-150 grams of chana (chickpeas) per day by following a balanced, calorie-controlled diet and exercising regularly to lose weight. However, it is best to consult a healthcare professional or dietitian to determine what amount is right for your needs and dietary restrictions.
The supporting reference
1. Polak R, Phillips EM, Campbell A. Legumes: health benefits and culinary approaches to increasing intake. Clin Diabetes. 2015 Oct;33(4):198-205. doi: 10.2337/diaclin.33.4.198. PMID: 26487796; PMCID: PMC4608274.
2. Moon J, Koh G. Clinical evidence and mechanisms of high-protein diet-induced weight loss. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2020 Sep 30;29(3):166-173. doi: 10.7570/jomes20028. PMID: 32699189; PMCID: PMC7539343.
3. Miketinas DC, Bray GA, Beyl RA, Ryan DH, Sacks FM, Champagne CM. Fiber intake predicts weight loss and diet adherence in adults consuming calorie-restricted diets: The LOST LIVRES study (preventing overweight using new dietary strategies). J Nutr. 2019 Oct 1;149(10):1742-1748. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxz117. PMID: 31174214; PMCID: PMC6768815.
4. Li Y, Hruby A, Bernstein AM, Ley SH, Wang DD, Chiuve SE, Sampson L, Rexrode KM, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. Saturated fat compared with unsaturated fat and carbohydrate sources in relation to coronary heart disease risk: a prospective cohort study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015 Oct 6;66(14):1538-1548. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.07.055. PMID: 26429077; PMCID: PMC4593072.
5. Panche AN, Diwan AD, Chandra SR. Flavonoids: an overview. J Nutr Sci. 2016 December 29;5:e47. doi: 10.1017/jns.2016.41. PMID: 28620474; PMCID: PMC5465813.
6. Hurt RT, Wilson T. Geriatric obesity: assessing the evidence for the use of flavonoids to promote weight loss. J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2012;31(3):269-89. doi: 10.1080/21551197.2012.698222. PMID: 22888842.
Chana for Weight Loss: A Research-Based Guide to Your Healthhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22888842/