Is Besan Good for Weight Loss? Know the Pros and Cons!

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Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBSGeneral Physician, 6+ Years
Published On : 11-Oct-2022Read Time : 6 minutes
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Besan is a staple flour in Indian kitchens. It is a versatile, edible, gluten-free flour that is yellow in colour. Besan has a number of health benefits, from your heart health, gut heath and your skin health. But how is besan good for weight loss? Let’s find out!

Contents:
  • What is Besan? Nutritional Profile of Besan
  • Is Besan Good for Weight Loss?
  • How to Have Besan for Weight Loss?
  • How Much Besan is Good for Weight Loss?
  • What is the Best Time to Have Besan for Weight Loss?
  • What are the Risks of the Overconsumption of Besan?
  • What are the Other Health Benefits of Besan?
  • Don’t Have Time To Read?
  • FAQs

What is Besan? Nutritional Profile of Besan

Chickpea or gram flour, colloquially known as besan, has been a staple in Indian households for a very long time. It has gained major popularity all over the world due to its gluten-free nature.

Chickpeas contain a rich amount of antioxidants known as polyphenols. This helps your body fight against free radicals and reduces the risk of the development of multiple chronic conditions caused by oxidative damage and chronic systemic inflammation such as obesityType 2 Diabeteshypertension, heart diseases, etc.

Did You Know??

Besan contains twice the amount of folate (vitamin B9) as an equal portion size of fortified wheat flour, and more than 10 times the folate as regular whole wheat flour.

The nutritional value of 100 g of besan is as follows:

Nutrient

Content in each 100 g

Calories

387

Total fat

6.69 g

Protein

22.4 g

Carbohydrate

57.8 g

Fibre

10.8 g

Sugar

10.8 g

Calcium

45 mg

Sodium

64 mg

Potassium

846 mg

Magnesium

166 mg

Phosphorous

318 mg

Source: United State Department of Agriculture

Is Besan Good for Weight Loss?

Yes, besan is good for weight loss as it is a highly nutritious and filling alternative to regular flours like whole wheat or maida. It works best as a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour without compromising much on the nutrition part.

Some of the benefits of using besan in your regular weight loss diet plan include:

1. Low in Calories

Keeping a check on your calorie intake is an important part of any weight loss diet. Besan is a great food ingredient for that matter. When compared with an equal portion of wheat flour, besan contains up to 25% fewer calories. Studies suggest that consuming the same portion size with fewer calories may promote weight loss by reducing your overall calorie intake while ensuring you don’t go hungry.

2. Rich in Fibre and Protein

Chickpeas are packed with fibre and protein, making besan also rich in both nutrients. Fibre is known to reduce blood cholesterol levels, making it a great flour option for improving your heart health. Besan  contains a fibre called resistant starch which takes long to digest, keeping you satiated for longer.

Meanwhile, the protein content in besan also plays an important role in keeping your stomach full for longer. This further helps your body burn more calories as more energy is required to digest high protein foods. Protein also helps build lean muscle mass, which helps you burn more calories by boosting your metabolism.

3. Keeps Stomach Full for Longer

Studies have shown that chickpeas increase the feeling of fullness. This happens because they may help in regulating the hunger hormone known as ghrelin. Lower levels of ghrelin are linked with an increased feeling of fullness. Therefore, consuming foods made of besan may increase the feeling of fullness and reduce your appetite.

How to Have Besan for Weight Loss?

As besan is a type of flour, you can mould it and have it in multiple ways. This include: 

Besan chilla

  • Mix two tablespoons of besan with water in a big bowl. Whisk it to make a flowy consistency.
  • Add salt, ajwain, red chilli powder and other spices of your choice and mix well. Keep it aside for 5 mins.
  • Heat a pan on a medium flame, brush some ghee or oil on it.
  • Pour one ladle of batter on the hot pan, cook on each side for about 5 mins.

Dhokla

  • Mix besan, turmeric, citric acid and salt in a bowl.
  • Now add some water to make a thick-thin consistency. 
  • Place a steaming pan on the flame and let it heat. 
  • Mix a teaspoon of baking powder in a small bowl and mix it well and quick. Add the mixture to the besan batter and then pour it into the steaming pan. 
  • Steam this batter for about 15 mins, once set take it out and cut into pieces.

Khandwi

  • Mix besan and buttermilk in a ratio of 1:3. 
  • Add the spices of your choice including salt and mix well. 
  • Now, transfer the batter into a pan and cook until thick while stirring continuously. 
  • Take a plate and grease it well with oil or ghee. Once thick, transfer the batter to a plate and spread it evenly. 
  • Make this rolls by scraping it using a knife or spoon. 
  • Allow it to cool and garnish with coriander and coconut.

Besan toast: 

  • Mix besan, chopped onions, tomatoes and spices of your choice in a bowl. 
  • Add water to this mix and make a batter of thin consistency. 
  • Make sure to get rid of all the lumps. 
  • Cut bread into small triangles and dip into the batter. Place immediately onto a hot pan and toast on both sides using little butter or oil.

Wondering - Is besan chilla good for weight loss? Yes, besan chilla is good for weight loss and it can be one of the easiest and quickest ways to incorporate besan to your weight loss diet.

How Much Besan is Good for Weight Loss?

You can consume besan as part of your daily weight loss diet by replacing wheat flour with besan in the dishes you prepare regularly. You can incorporate besan in to your diet in the form of rotis or chillas. It is best to limit your consumption to 2 to 3 besan rotis or 1 to 2 besan chillas in a day while on a weight loss regime.

What is the Best Time to Have Besan for Weight Loss?

The best time to consume foods made of besan for losing weight is at breakfast. You can have 1 to 2 besan chillas with a coriander chutney for a filling breakfast. You can also consume it as an evening snack to curb your hunger pangs. Alternatively, you can have 2 to 3 besan rotis with a vegetable curry for lunch.

What are the Risks of the Overconsumption of Besan?

Though there are no such risks of overconsumption of besan, it is necessary to be mindful of the portion sizes you are consuming. Besan when consumed in higher quantities may cause digestion issues and stomach acidity and also may add up to your calorie intake.

What are the Other Health Benefits of Besan?

Besan gives you a good dose of several nutrients which makes it highly beneficial for your health. Here are a few health benefits of besan:

  • Besan has a low glycaemic index (GI) score, which helps keep your blood sugar levels stable. Also, the magnesium and fibre content in besan can help improve insulin sensitivity in your cells and control your appetite respectively. These properties make besan a better choice for diabetics when compared to other flours like wheat or maida.
  • Besan is rich in insoluble fibre that helps promote regular and healthy bowel movements and prevents constipation. Also, the fibre component of besan flour helps to reduce cholesterol levels, which aids in the effective circulation of the blood and maintains optimum heart health.
  • The B-complex vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin and pyridoxine in besan help in breaking down (metabolizing) proteins, carbohydrates and fats in the food you consume and converting it into energy.
  • Besan is high in healthy unsaturated fats that help in lowering your cholesterol levels.
  • The high folate content in besan promotes the growth and multiplication of your blood cells. 

Besan is also high in minerals such as Phosphorus and Magnesium that help in maintaining strong bones.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Besan is obtained from chickpeas that are rich in antioxidants known as polyphenols reduces the risk of the development of multiple chronic conditions such as obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, etc.
  • Besan is a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour and packed with nutrition. It aids in weight loss as it is low in calories, rich in fibre and protein and promotes the feeling of fullness for longer.
  • As besan is a type of flour, you can mould it and have it in multiple ways. You can prepare foods such as besan chilla, dhokla, khandwi or besan toast.
  • The best way to consume besan for weight loss is by replacing it with your wheat flour in the dishes you prepare regularly. You can make rotis or chillas using besan.
  • For weight loss, you can have 1 to 2 besan chillas for breakfast or evening snack to curb your hunger pangs and/or 2 to 3 besan rotis with a vegetable curry for lunch.
  • Though there are no such risks of overconsumption of besan, it is necessary to be mindful of the portion sizes you are consuming. Besan when consumed in higher quantities may cause digestion issues and stomach acidity and also may add up to your calorie intake.
  • Use the Phable Care App to consult India's leading nutritionists and dieticians to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Check out our store to order healthy treats, weighing scales, fitness bands, and more! We also have a Weight Management Program which provides 360º care. Start your weight management journey with Phable. 

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