How fat makes you fat
Regardless of what anyone tells you, remember this. Fat makes you fat. Fat is loaded with calories and you can only lose weight if your calorie input, which is your food consumption, is less than your calorie ‘output’, which are the calories you burn off through the day.
I know how hard it is to cut out the fried stuff. In a weak moment, that jalebi looks like it’s begging to be consumed. Or a pack of chips seems like the answer to life’s problems. Believe me, it is simply not worth it. Tell yourself you could consume a delicious, sweet, juicy fruit, and be just as happy. Well, almost.
Whenever you pass up the puri for the roti, congratulate yourself. Once you make the initial effort, you will find it gets easier to spurn the samosas and ditch the desserts. But don’t just stop there. Go gift yourself a trendy accessory. Try out a new perfume. These little things work as huge morale boosters because, not only did you say no to fat, you did something special for yourself.
One gram of fat equals nine calories. One gram of carbohydrate or one gram of protein equals four calories. So, it is obvious why dieters must severely restrict their fat intake.
Visible fats such as oil, butter, ghee and margarine can be easily identified. But there are hidden fats present in almost all foods, in varying amounts. For example, cheese could have milk fat of up to 70 per cent. Even certain vegetables, like avocado or olive, are high in fat.
While some amount of fat is required in your diet, it is to be kept to a minimum. In fact, dieters should cut their fat consumption to roughly 10 percent of their daily calorie intake.
Q. Are all types of oils and fats equal as far as calories are concerned?
A. Yes. Every type of oil – groundnut, sunflower, mustard, olive, sesame or any other – contain nine calories per gram. Butter and ghee also add up to nine calories per gram. If you want to lose weight, it is crucial to limit your daily consumption of fats to a maximum of 2 teaspoons.
Q. What are good fats and bad fats? What does it mean?
A. Examples of good fats are monounsaturated fats such as olive, peanut and canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats, from plant sources such as corn and sunflower, are also considered beneficial. These are considered good fats because when consumed in small quantities, they reduce the cholesterol in blood and protect against heart disease.
However, ayurveda encourages the consumption of ghee. In India, traditional cooking methods make use of ghee, butter and locally available cooking oil. So, while there is a case for choosing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, during your countdown, butter and ghee are also perfectly acceptable.
Q. Is brown bread less fattening than white bread?
A. No, if the slice of bread is the same size, brown bread and white bread have equal calorific value. The reason why dieticians prefer brown bread is because it is unrefined food, with the wheat germ and husk intact, thereby making it a rich source of fibre and vitamins. White bread on the other hand, has been stripped of nutrients and is refined, or is ‘empty’ calories.
Q. How can food be tasty without adding oil?
A. The notion that oil adds to taste is a misconception. You can fry your masalas in oil, and it is the masalas that add flavour to your food, not the oil! Vegetables and dals have their own unique taste and this can be enhanced with zero-calorie masalas, herbs and condiments, without using a drop of oil.
See how you can cook great tasting Indian food without the use of fat, yet your dish will be delicious!
Fat free- zero-oil countdown masala
1. Heat a kadai or non-stick pan.
2. Roast cumin seeds (jeera) until they crackle and turn light brown.
3. 3. Add chopped onion and keep stirring. If the onion starts sticking to the sides, add a few drops of water, and continue stirring.
4. Add ginger and garlic paste to your taste. Roast this masala paste to a light brown. Avoid adding more water, as too much water will give the masala a boiled taste.
5. Add tomato paste and once again, blend in with a minimum amount of water.
6. Now add all the other powdered masalas – turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala to taste.
7. Roast all ingredients together until a great aroma wafts up.
Your basic countdown masala is ready! Use this for all your vegetable and dal preparations and, as you keep experimenting, you can introduce variations in the masala. When you dish is ready, garnish it with chopped green coriander, green chillies, chaat masala and lime juice to suit your taste.
Excerpted with permission from Penguin Books India from The Four-Week Countdown Diet: Now You Choose How You Lose by Namita Jain, Penguin Rs.199.
Image: Flicke Creativecommons Bitterjug