Low-carb alternatives to your favourite foodThe low-carb, high-fat and -protein diet might be difficult for Nepalis obsessed with dal-bhat and momos, but these recipes could be help you follow your diet plan without compromising on taste.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor can anyone’s perfect body be. Losing weight is difficult. It takes dedication, substituting processed foods for healthy alternatives and making an effort to revamp a sedentary lifestyle for an active one.
Many wanting to lose weight may agree the most difficult thing is staying away from not-so-healthy foods which are mostly rich in refined carbohydrates, the ones we are often accustomed to eating. A plate of crispy, golden French fries, fresh from the frier, may fulfill cravings, but you don’t need to be a dietician to know it’s not healthy. In that vein,
however, there are too many misconceptions regarding healthy food being an exclusive diet of boiled vegetables and fresh fruit.
While the ketogenic diet in recent times has gained popularity in the Nepali fitness crowd, who are intending to shed weight or maintain it, low-carbohydrate diets seems to have been around for a while—Dr Robert Atkins’ namesake diet in the ‘70s was one of the first. From keto to intermittent fasting, many are opting for a low carbohydrate diet, even without a proper research and consultation from a dietician and nutritionist.
Rashmi Bajimaya, a dietician and nutritionist, says that she has seen a rise in patients inquiring about low-carb diets like keto. Though there are immediate weight loss results, Dr Praniti Singh, clinical and bariatric nutritionist, says diet trends like keto are not sustainable and suggests that regular exercise and eating healthy is the best way to lose or maintain weight.
But the problem with the contemporary Nepali diet is the proportions. “Though our traditional meal is wholesome, we need to work on proportions; we can’t be always eating huge portions of rice with little vegetables and meat,” says Bajimaya.
As rice, which is rich in carbs, has become our staple, it can be difficult to find a low-carb diet as a substitute. But, taking inspiration from different recipes, I adapted a couple of traditional Nepali recipes that can be a great replacement to your go-to regular meals.
Cauliflower rice chicken biryani
Dal-bhat is undoubtedly the staple diet for Nepalis. For people accustomed to white rice, finding alternatives may be a tough. But it isn’t as difficult as it seems. If you don’t want to compromise on taste, cauliflower rice can be a good substitute. By mixing the marinated meat and infusing with a flavoursome biryani masala, you can eat a wholesome and tasty meal, without the guilt.
Cabbage chicken momo
A plate of momo can always lift anyone’s mood. But due to the amount of carbs present in the wrappers, substituting the outer layer—generally made from plain white flour—with cabbage leaves is a good way to cut carbs
Almond bara with choila
This recipe is a must for Newar food lovers. As much as it is difficult to resist Newar cuisine, they are equally rich in carbs. But what if you can make a low-carb bara and choila?