Hello everyone, hope all of you are keeping safe, healthy and happy. The Indian flat bread or chapati, also known as roti is a staple in almost every household. However, when we go on a weight loss diet, we try to cut down or even completely eliminate this important source of carbs from our diet. If you’re amongst those people who have this notion or misconception that cutting off rotis completely will help you in weight loss, then this article is for you.
What is roti ?
Roti / Chapati is a round flatbread native to most of the Indian Sub Continent. It is made from stoneground wholemeal flour known as atta. Atta and water are combined to make a dough out of which rotis are made. A number of varients of rotis exist. Rotis in the Indian household is generally served with vegetable or paneer (cottage cheese) curry. Rotis are a major source of carbohydrates (carbs) in our diet. 50 – 60 % of carbs in our diet comes from rotis. Carbs are of two types, Simple carbs which are considered unhealthy and cause weight gain and Complex carbs which are healthy.
Low Glycemic Index food good for weight loss
On the glycemic index, upto 55 count is good for health. From 50 – 70 is considered ok and anything beyond 70 is unhealthy. Broken wheat daliya is around 45 counts, whereas refined flour maida is around 75 counts. Whole wheat roti is around 59 counts which is healthy. What you eat with the rotis is very important. One roti around 5 to 9 inches in diameter carries about a 100 calories. Rotis forms part of good carbs which are harder to digest, burns calories while being digested, keeps you feeling fuller longer and does not spike blood sugar levels.
Nutritional value of roti
A single roti has the following :-
- 80 to 100 Calories
- 20 to 22 grams Carbs
- 2.3 grams Fibre
- 3 grams Protein
- 0.8 grams Fat
Apart from this, rotis also contain B complex group vitamins, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron and Potassium
Some useful tips
- Don’t include rotis in all your meals. Eating wheat throughout the day can make feel tired. Try and include other healthy grains in your diet as well. It is good to have two rotis with a bowl of rice, a bowl of dry vegetables and bowl of curd at night. You can also have missi roti or dal roti at night as they have more protein in comparison to normal roti.
- Prepare Multigrain roti to include more nutrients. Always mix flour while preparing dough. However, don’t mix more than 3 – 4 flour at a time, as mixing more than that can make it heavy on your stomach for digestion.
- Focus on preparation to improve digestibility. Make sure that you knead the dough nicely and let it rest for 10 – 15 minutes. As much as possible, try to prepare fresh dough every time. Storing the dough overnight or more than 5 – 6 hours is not recommended.
- Add Herbs / Spices / other ingredients. Add herbs, spices and ingredients like ajvaine, jeera powder and other similar ingredients to increase the digestibility of the rotis.
- How many rotis in a meal. Your dinner plate should be mix of Fibre which comes from seasonal veggies, salad, steamed vegetables, grilled / cooked sabzi, visible Fat, Protein which comes from lentils, legumes, beans, eggs, lean meat , fish etc, probiotic and complex Carbs which comes from roti, rice, daliya, upma etc. Ideally not more than two rotis should form part of any meal.
- Buy your atta from local mill (chakki).
- Avoid rotis in breakfast if possible. If you’re having rotis in dinner, please make sure that you finish your dinner atleast three hours before going to bed
Some frequently asked questions
Question : Can we have rotis in dinner ?
Sure, you can include rotis in dinner as long as you are finishing your dinner 2 – 3 hours before bed time.
Question : What is gluten ?
Gluten is a protein which provides elasticity to the rotis. Few people may have allergies to it but its not the same with erveyone.
Question : Can rotis be replaced with whole wheat brown bread ?
No, once in a while is alright but whole wheat brown bread also has certain additives and preservatives.
Question : Which brand atta is the best ?
I prefer to buy whole wheat from local mills and get the flour made. Make sure you don’t extract the chokhar from the flour as it has useful fibre.
Other important factors
- Gender : Men tend to eat more than women so naturally they will have more rotis in the diet.
- Activity level : People who tend to work out regularly will have more calorie intake as compared to someone with a sedimentary lifestyle. More calories intake means more rotis in the diet. However, make sure you increase other ingredients proportionally.
- Younger people have better digestibility as compared to older people. As you grow older, the need to have a balanced diet is even more.
Most of us completely remove rotis from our diet for weight loss which is not the correct way. Roti is an important source of complex carbs for your body. To lose weight make sure you eat wholesome, cut out junk food and exercise.