Namkeen snacks, which are commonly called just “namkeen”, are hugely popular in India. Some of these are even part of the regular diet. One example of such a snack is Ratlami Sev, which is an essential ingredient in the recipe for poha, a breakfast staple in the central region of India. This popularity of namkeens is despite the fact that some variants, such as Bhujia Sev, contain over 40% fat.
But all namkeen variants are not created equal in terms of the fat content. Some contain a lesser amount of fat, and may be less harmful to health than others.
Here is the comparison of the fat content in popular namkeen variants sold in India by the leading brand.
- One of the most popular namkeen products, aloo bhujia, was found to contain 38 percent fat, and 16.5 percent saturated fat.
- Tasty nuts, which are deep-fried peanuts, contained almost 50% fat, and over 8 percent saturated fat.
- Another popular namkeen, bhujia sev, contained a total of 43.5 percent fat, and 11.5 percent saturated fat.
- Deep-fried chana dal contained 20.5 percent total fat, and 9 percent saturated fat, while deep-fried moong dal contained 21 percent total fat, and 6 percent saturated fat.
It looked like, the namkeen products which only contained deep-fried lentils, had a lower percentage of total and saturated fats, compared to other products in this category.
Are there any healthier alternatives? Yes! Roasted chana, for example, has only 5 to 6 percent fat, and can be an alternative to deep-fried namkeen products.
Because lentil based namkeens are said to have comparatively lower fat content, perhaps those can be preferred over other varieties.
Lastly, it is always a good idea to read the list of ingredients and nutrition information printed on the product packaging. Hopefully, that disclosure about 43 percent fat in a pack of namkeen will stop some of us from buying it.
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