Is Rava Good for Weight Loss? All You Should Know

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Rava, or Semolina, is a popular ingredient in Indian cuisine. It is used to make various dishes like upma, idlis, and sheera. Rava is known for its versatility and ability to add texture and flavour to any dish. In some parts of India, it is referred to as Rava; in others, it is known as Suji. 

Weight loss has become a priority for many people who are constantly looking for ingredients to help them achieve their weight loss goals. With Rava being a common ingredient in Indian households, it is natural for people to wonder whether it can fit into a weight loss diet. This article sheds light on the benefits and drawbacks of having rava. Also, it aims to determine whether it is a suitable ingredient for those looking to shed those extra kilos.

Rava: An Overview

Rava, or semolina, is a coarsely ground durum wheat that contains fibre and is high in protein. It has a medium glycemic index and a medium glycemic load, making moderate Rava consumption permissible for those trying to lose weight. Rava has a slightly gritty texture and a yellowish colour, and it is enjoyed globally as a versatile culinary grain. People use it to prepare various dishes, including pasta, cakes, pancakes, and porridge.

Rava is a nutritious ingredient that can be incorporated into a weight-loss diet. It is low in fat and has a high satiety value. That means it can keep you feeling full for longer. Additionally, Rava is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates essential for maintaining energy levels throughout the day. With its many health benefits, Rava can be a beneficial addition to any weight loss diet.

Nutritional Profile of Rava

According to USDA, unenriched semolina (Rava) contains the following nutrients.

Energy: 360kCalProtein: 12.7gTotal lipid (fat): 1.05gCarbohydrate: 72.8gFibre, total dietary: 3.9gCalcium: 17mgIron: 1.23mgMagnesium: 47mgPhosphorus: 136mgPotassium: 186mgFolate: 72µg

Why is Rava Permissible in a Weight Loss Diet?

While Rava may not have high levels of fibre, it still has many health benefits that make it a suitable ingredient for a weight loss diet.

Low in Fat

Rava is low in fat, making it a permissible food for those wanting to lose weight. In addition, compared to other grains, Rava has fewer calories per serving when compared to rice. For instance, one serving of cooked rice has around 150 calories, while one serving of cooked Rava has about 120 calories.

Studies show consuming too much fat can lead to weight gain and other health problems like high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. Hence, choosing low-fat foods like rava can keep you on track to achieve weight loss goals and improve overall health. 

High in Protein

Rava is also high in protein, which is beneficial for building and repairing tissues in the body. Protein is also crucial for maintaining muscle mass, which can help keep your metabolism high, and aid in weight loss. Rava contains around 12.7 grams of protein per 100 grams of serving, which is higher than many other grains.

Research shows that high-protein foods are beneficial in a weight-loss diet.

High Satiety Value

Rava has a high satiety value, meaning it can keep you full for a long. This property can benefit those trying to lose weight as it can help reduce the overall calorie intake throughout the day. According to a study, foods with a high satiety value can help with weight loss by reducing hunger and overall calorie intake.

Complex Carbohydrates

Rava is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates vital for maintaining energy levels throughout the day. According to American Heart Association (AHA), complex carbohydrates take longer to digest than simple ones, preventing the urge to eat longer. The slow digestion of complex carbohydrates also helps avoid sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, which can be detrimental to weight loss efforts.

Micronutrients

Rava is rich in micronutrients, such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorus, essential for overall health. Iron helps produce red blood cells, while magnesium gives energy and maintains bone health. Phosphorus plays a role in maintaining healthy bones and teeth and is involved in many cellular processes in the body.

Summary

While Rava may not have high levels of fibre, it is still a nutritious ingredient to incorporate into a weight loss diet. It is low in fat, high in protein, and high in satiety value, making it a permissible ingredient for those who want to lose weight. Additionally, Rava is rich in micronutrients, such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorus, essential for overall health.

Dietary Strategies to Add Rava to a Weight Loss Diet

As we have established earlier, Rava does not independently aid in weight loss. However, there are ways in which you can use it to enhance your weight loss process. Here are some dietary strategies to incorporate Rava in a weight loss diet:

Replace Unhealthy Flours with Rava

A primary dietary strategy to include Rava in a weight loss diet is to replace unhealthy and high-calorie flours with Rava. Many flours, such as all-purpose, wheat, and rice flour, are calorie-dense and high in carbohydrates. These flours do not have a high satiety value and can cause blood sugar spikes. Replacing these flours with Rava can reduce calorie intake and increase satiety, resulting in less snacking.

Add Vegetables to Rava Dishes

Adding vegetables to Rava dishes can increase the fibre and nutrient content of the meal, making it more filling and nutritious. For example, adding grated carrots, peas, and capsicum to Rava upma can provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help lose weight. Similarly, adding spinach, onions, and tomatoes to Rava dosa can increase the dish’s nutritive value.

Include Protein-Rich Ingredients

Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in weight loss. Including protein-rich ingredients in Rava dishes can increase the satiety value and reduce hunger pangs. Paneer, tofu, lentils, and sprouts are excellent sources of protein that can be added to Rava dishes to make them more weight loss friendly. For example, adding paneer and vegetables to Rava upma can increase the protein and nutrient content of the meal.

Limit Portion Size

Even though Rava is a healthy ingredient, it is essential to limit portion size to avoid overeating. Consuming large portions can lead to an increase in calorie intake, which can hinder weight loss. A moderate serving size of Rava dishes, along with a balanced meal, can be an effective way to incorporate Rava into a weight loss diet.

Summary

Incorporating Rava into a weight loss diet can be an effective way to enhance the weight loss process. For example, one can replace unhealthy flours with Rava, add vegetables to Rava dishes, include protein-rich ingredients, and limit portion size.

Healthy Rava Recipes for Weight Loss

Rava Upma with Vegetables

Serving: 2

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

Rava (semolina): 1 cupWater: 2 cupsOil: 1 tbspMustard seeds: 1 tspCumin seeds: 1 tspUrad dal: 1 tspChana dal: 1 tspCurry leaves: 5-6Green chillies: 2 (chopped)Onion: 1 medium (chopped)Carrot: 1 medium (grated)Capsicum: 1 medium (chopped)Salt: as per tasteLemon juice: 1 tbspCoriander leaves: for garnishing

Method of Preparation

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, and chana dal.Once the seeds start crackling, add curry leaves, green chillies, and chopped onion. Saute until the onion turns translucent.Add the grated carrot and chopped capsicum. Cook for 2-3 minutes.Add water and salt. Bring it to a boil.Slowly add Rava while stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Cook for 5-7 minutes on low flame.Turn off the flame, add lemon juice and mix well. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Rava Uttapam with Paneer and Vegetables

Serving: 2

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Rava (semolina): 1 cupCurd: 1 cupWater: as requiredOnion: 1 medium (chopped)Tomato: 1 medium (chopped)Capsicum: 1 medium (chopped)Paneer: 50 grams (crumbled)Salt: as per tasteRed chilli powder: ¼ teaspoonCoriander leaves: for garnishing

Method of Preparation

Mix Rava, curd, and water in a bowl to make a batter. Keep it aside for 10 minutes.Add chopped onion, tomato, capsicum, and crumbled paneer to the batter. Mix well.Add salt and red chilli powder. Mix well.Heat a non-stick pan and spread a ladleful of batter on it. Cook on medium flame until the bottom turns golden brown.Flip and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes.Repeat the process with the remaining batter.Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Precautions for Using Rava in a Weight Loss Diet

While Rava can be a healthy addition to a weight loss diet, exercising caution while consuming it is essential. Overconsumption of Rava can lead to constipation, stomach ache, and bloating. Additionally, people with Celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity should avoid Rava as it contains gluten, which can cause digestive problems. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain a balance while consuming Rava to prevent overconsumption of this light ingredient.

HealthifyMe Suggestion

Try making Rava Pongal for a delicious and light breakfast option. To prepare this dish, you will need moong dal, Rava, curry leaves, cashews, black pepper, turmeric, and salt. First, cook the moong dal until it becomes soft. Then, heat oil in a kadai and add cumin seeds and roasted cashews. Once the cashews are done roasting, add curry leaves, finely chopped ginger, and black pepper and let them cook. Then, add water, salt, and turmeric and let it come to a boil. Next, add the Rava and cook it properly. Finally, mix it with the cooked moong dal and enjoy your healthy and tasty Rava Pongal!

The Final Word

Rava is a great meal option for losing weight because it digests slowly and makes you feel full. In addition, it is a nutrient-rich meal because it contains vitamins and minerals. Rava is available in a variety of ways for weight loss. This entails adjusting everything from the type of grain to the assortment of veggies to suit your preferences or needs. However, relying only on rava will not independently result in weight loss. You must follow a healthy lifestyle with proper exercises to achieve results.

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.

Research Sources

1. The U S Department of Agriculture

https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168933/nutrients

2. Institute of Medicine (US) Subcommittee on Military Weight Management. Weight Management: State of the Science and Opportunities for Military Programs. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2004. 4, Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK221839/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK221839/

3. Kim JY. Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2021 Mar 30;30(1):20-31. doi: 10.7570/jomes20065. PMID: 33107442; PMCID: PMC8017325.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8017325/

4. Leidy HJ, Clifton PM, Astrup A, Wycherley TP, Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Luscombe-Marsh ND, Woods SC, Mattes RD. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jun;101(6):1320S-1329S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.084038. Epub 2015 Apr 29. PMID: 25926512.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25926512/

5. Low-Energy-Dense Foods and Weight Management: Cutting Calories While Controlling Hunger

https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/nutrition/pdf/r2p_energy_density.pdf
6. American Heart Association

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/carbohydrates

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