Dal Chawal Or Dal Roti: Which Is Better For Weight Loss? Experts Reveal


If you are trying to lose weight or are considering to lead a more ‘fitter’ life, you may have already learned about the importance of protein. Also referred to as the ‘building block of life’, protein helps build muscles, aid muscle recovery, support cell structure and boosts the health of skin, hair and nails. It also plays a crucial role in weight loss. Turns out, eating more protein-rich foods helps you feel full for a longer spell. It is not hard to understand how your satiety levels are linked with weight management. If you feel full, you would not be tempted to nibble into anything fattening that comes your way, thus minimising chances of weight gain.

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Weight loss: Rice also contains a variety of nutrients
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Fortunately, there are many high-protein sources around us. While not everybody can have chicken and eggs every day but as Indians, we do have a habit of eating dal rather frequently. Moong dal, arhar dal, chana dal, urad dal, we have a wide repository of dals. It is one of the best sources of plant-based protein, and we can never have enough of it. But the question still remains. Dal chawal or dal roti? Which is the best meal combination for weight loss? We asked some experts and here is what they have to say.

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Weight loss: Dal fry is one of North India’s favourite veg preparations (Photo Credit: Istock)

Dr Shweta Mahadik, Clinical Dietician, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan explained why dal-chawal or dal-roti works wonders as a combination, and why is it a tad better idea than eating dal as is.

She says, “Dal is a rich source of proteins; 1 bowl of dal gives us 7 grams of protein. Rice contains B complex vitamins and is a source of carbohydrates. When you make any food in combination, that is, one cereal and one pulse, the protein quality of that food gets improved. We call it high biological value food. It is same with roti and dal. Therefore, instead of only wheat roti make roti with ingredients like jowar, bajra, ragi, soyabean, moong dal, methi seeds to up its nutritional value. So, if a person consumes multigrain roti with 1 bowl dal, it automatically helps in weight loss because of its high fibre, high protein, B complex vitamins source.”

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Dr Jyoti Bhatt, Senior Dietician From Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre had a clear winner. “Chapatis are an excellent source of carbohydrates that can provide you with an ample amount of energy and also keep you full for a longer duration. They are also known to boost your mood. A roti can provide your body with various vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins B, E, and minerals like copper, zinc, iodine, manganese, silicon. You can chop up cooked vegetables like beans, carrot, spinach and mix them with the dough. Make sure you prepare the roti with whole wheat flour, and not use ghee or oil to prepare the same. Combining other flours like ragi, soya bean flour, chickpea flour, pearl millet and bulgar wheat with your atta is also a good idea. Rice contains lesser dietary fibre, protein and fat as compared to chapati. Having said that, rice is easier to digest because of its starch content and also contain more folate. Therefore, it really boils down to your requirement and your body type. But from a weight loss perspective, chapatis are a preferred option. If you cannot do without rice, I would advise you to make a dal khichdi with more dal. In addition to protein and fibre, lentils are loaded with magnesium and folate which contribute to good heart health,” she says.


Weight loss: Roti can be made with a combination of flours

Dietician Lavleen Kaur also echoed the same opinion; however, she also said that dal chawal makes for a source of complete protein, therefore, if you happen to be a dal-chawal lover, you need not punish yourself for that. She said, “Dal-chawal forms a complete source of protein and essential amino acids, as compared to dal-roti. Although dal roti is a preferred meal combination if you are looking for more fibre, fibre is instrumental in inducing satiety.”

Whether your goal is weight loss or overall health improvement, including a variety of grains in your diet improves your gut health. Therefore, do not shy away from some mix and match. But make sure you always practise portion control. Diet is just one aspect of weight loss, you also have to work on your lifestyle – quality sleep, stress management, physical activity and body hydration levels are equally crucial, she concluded.

(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)

About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.


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