It’s hard to deny how alluring curry can be to staple South/ South East Asian cuisines, even if it can be one of the most sinful things out there. The classic fish or chicken curry is undoubtedly decadent and having too much of it will force you to put on some pounds if coconut milk and yogurt are used in excess. But worry not, with the right kind of planning – it definitely is possible to have in your diet, and here’s how.
Introduction to Curcumin
Curcumin can be found within the turmeric that is a core ingredient in curry. Curcumin is responsible for giving the dish its yellow hues and has consistently demonstrated attributes of being anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant and anticancer. Despite these “cleansing” benefits, the chemical plays no part in increasing one’s metabolism and is not made as an alternative to hefty meals for weight loss. That being said, curry can be consumed together with the aforementioned alternatives such as salad, pasta, wholewheat bread. Despite the dish not being at full power when used with the listed ingredients, it definitely does enhance the flavour to a bleak diet while still offering something delicious.
What does Curcumin have to do with weight loss?
Frankly speaking, a moderate amount. Curcumin can never provide any high-fiber benefits that food and vegetables can dish out (even if curry is vegetable based), but it doesn’t clash with any of those choices either – nutritionally anyway. An experiment was conducted at the USDA Agricultural Research Service back in 2009: Rats were given a high-fat diet with and without Curcumin and the former had exhibited weight loss thanks to curcumin. That’s not to say that it’ll be the go-to topping for every salad you’ll ever eat, but it certainly won’t throw a wrench into your fitness plans.
Additionally, the standard laws of weight loss do apply: which means that regular cardio, reasonable portions of food and a large amount of discipline are all still required. When preparing your curry, a few useful tips to keep it light is to replace regular coconut milk with its light counterpart, or even using nonfat yogurt altogether. To keep things even healthier, going for lean meat and fish would gently nudge you away from fattier choices.
What curry dishes should you be looking for?
There are many smart ways to turn curry into a low-calorie treat that will keep you on track, but to name a few: Spinach Chickpea and potato curry is a vegan dish that keeps things light – with a reasonable amount of carbohydrates and vegetables that will avoid bloat of any kind. Going vegan isn’t a hard and fast rule to adhere to when making curry work, but it does serve as a decent guideline to weed out temptation such as fatty meat and regular coconut milk.
Next up will be lamb bhuna. When it comes to spices, this dish won’t be pushing any boundaries: Crushed cardamom pods, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and black peppercorns are all innocent additions that work well with the basmati rice, lamb neck fillet and turmeric. Admittedly this dish will be fried with groundnut oil, but it does wonders for your taste buds when your determination to eat another salad begins to wane.
If you’re looking for something filling and heavy without facing the consequences of a Big Mac, then this coconut and peanut aubergine curry has you covered. Half-fat coconut milk will be the secret ingredient that puts the randomness of coriander seeds, tamarind paste and peanut butter into something cohesive and brilliant. It won’t be the world’s healthiest dish, but it gives you a good break during the week in the midst of your weightloss programme.