Momos, a popular street food in many parts of the world, especially in countries like Nepal and India, are made by stuffing a dough wrapper with a filling, which typically includes chicken, soyabean, paneer, or vegetables¹. However, they are not considered healthy for several reasons:
1. High Calorie Content: Whether you eat steam, fried, or gravy momos, they are all high in calories. On average, a single piece of steam momos has 35 calories, and a plate of momos which usually comes with 6 pieces, can easily contain 210 calories. Fried momos are more calorie-dense than their non-fried counterparts due to the addition of calories from the deep-frying process.
2. Made with Refined Flour: Momos are made with maida (refined flour), which is a highly processed form of white flour that is often used in Indian cooking. It is made by stripping away the outer layer of wheat grain, which contains most of the fiber and nutrients.
3. Low Nutritional Value: They have low nutritional value.
4. High in Sodium: They are high in sodium.
5. May Contain Harmful Ingredients: They may contain harmful ingredients like MSG.
However, there are ways to make momos healthier. For instance, you can always eat steamed momos instead of fried ones and while cooking at home, replace maida with whole wheat atta to make healthier momos.
But it’s important to remember that even with these modifications, moderation is key when consuming any type of food.
What Are The Health Benefits of Eating Momos?
While momos are a tasty and convenient snack on the go, they are not considered healthy due to several reasons. Momos have a high calorie content and are made with refined flour (maida),
which has low nutritional value. Fried momos are more calorie-dense than their non-fried counterparts due to the addition of calories from the deep-frying process. They may also contain harmful ingredients like MSG.
However, if prepared with due hygiene, chicken momos can be a good source of protein and have a high fiber content. They can also improve metabolism and boost energy when they are rich in vegetables². But moderation is key when consuming momos.
FAQ: Are Momos Healthy?
Q1: What are momos?
Momos are a type of dumpling originating from Tibet and popular in various Asian countries, particularly in Nepal, India, Bhutan, and Tibet itself. They are typically filled with a mixture of vegetables, meat, or a combination of both, wrapped in a thin dough, and then either steamed or fried.
Q2: Are momos healthy?
The healthiness of momos depends on various factors, including their ingredients, preparation method, and portion size. Here are some considerations.
Q3: Are steamed momos healthier than fried momos?
Generally, steamed momos are considered healthier than fried momos. Steamed momos use less oil and are lower in calories and fat. Frying adds extra calories and can make them less healthy.
Q4: What is the filling in momos?
The filling in momos can vary widely. It may include vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and onions, along with meats like chicken, pork, or beef. The choice of filling can impact the nutritional content.
Q5: Are vegetarian momos healthier than non-vegetarian ones?
Vegetarian momos are often considered healthier because they tend to have fewer calories and less saturated fat than their non-vegetarian counterparts. However, the healthiness still depends on the quality and quantity of ingredients used.
Q6: Can momos be a part of a balanced diet?
Yes, momos can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation. Opt for steamed or pan-fried momos over deep-fried ones, and consider choosing vegetable or lean meat fillings. Balancing momos with other nutritious foods like salads and fruits is a good approach.
Q7: What are some nutritional concerns with momos?
Momos can be high in sodium, especially if soy sauce is used as a dipping sauce. Additionally, their nutritional content can vary widely based on preparation methods and ingredients, so it’s essential to be mindful of portion sizes.
Q8: How can I make momos healthier at home?
To make momos healthier at home, you can:
Use whole wheat or whole-grain flour for the dough.
Choose lean meats or plant-based protein sources for the filling.
Steam or pan-fry them with minimal oil instead of deep-frying.
Serve with a low-sodium or reduced-sodium dipping sauce or chutney.
Include plenty of vegetables in the filling for added nutrients.
Q9: Are there any health benefits associated with momos?
Momos can provide protein, fiber, and essential nutrients when made with wholesome ingredients. They can be a source of sustenance, but they should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Q10: Should I avoid momos altogether for a healthy diet?
You don’t need to avoid momos entirely. Enjoy them occasionally, but be mindful of portion sizes and preparation methods. Incorporate a variety of other nutritious foods into your diet to maintain overall health and balance.
Remember that the healthiness of momos depends on how they are prepared and consumed, so making informed choices is essential for a balanced diet.