Can We Eat Samosas During Weight Loss Journey?

Samosa is India’s most favorite snack, we Indians just love samosas, particularly with our evening chai! There’s not a single palate or taste bud that samosa does not appeal to! Yes, we agree, samosa is not just a popular street-side snack, it’s an emotion, and that’s why, it’s not easy to give up this delicious triangle of flavour. But those who are on a diet, often wonder how having just one samosa would derail their weight loss journey. In this article, we would answer this question “can we eat samosas during the weight loss journey?”


Is Samosa Weight Loss Friendly?

It’s just a samosa and there cannot be too many calories in it! Right? No, wrong! A deeply-fried large samosa can have anywhere between 250 to 300 calories. And if you are having more than one, the calories quickly add up! Most importantly, the weight loss game is not always a “less calories in and more calories out” formula. The nutrients in food matters too! With its refined flour and high oil content, samosa does not have many nutrients to offer. Also read: “Is Air-Fried Food Good For Weight Loss?”

Calorie Breakdown in Samosa:

To make one to two medium-sized samosa, you’ll need:

For the outer covering (dough):

1 cup all-purpose flour (maida) – 455 calories
1 tablespoon oil – 124 calories
A pinch of salt – NA
Water (as needed to make dough) – NA

For the filling:

1 medium-sized boiled potato, mashed – 211 calories
1/4 cup peas (fresh or frozen) – 29 calories
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds – NA
1/2 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste (optional) – NA
1 green chili, finely chopped (adjust to taste) – NA
1/2 teaspoon garam masala – NA
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder – NA
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder – NA
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste) – NA
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon oil for sautéing – 124 calories

For frying:

Sufficient oil for deep frying (2210 calories/sunflower oil).

Now, not all the oil used for frying gets absorbed by the samosa – approximately 9 gm may get absorbed, which is roughly 80 calories.

So, an average large-sized samosa may have up to 250 to 300 calories.

Now, let’s break down the main ingredients in samosa – maida is used to make the crispy outer layer and this crispiness is achieved by deeply frying the samosa in oil. There’s also some oil absorption during deep frying which further increases calories. There are different fillings and spices that are used to make traditional desi samosas – but mashed or boiled white potato is commonly used to make the filling. The glycemic index of white potatoes is 82, which is quite high, and a lot of potatoes are needed to make the filling. The other ingredients commonly used are green peas, green chillies, ginger, garam masala, amchur, coriander powder, red chilli powder, salt, etc., and none of these ingredients add up too many calories. So, all the major calories come from maida, potatoes, and cooking oil. There’s one more concern – people often incorporate vegetable oil or ghee into the dough while kneading to make flaky and crispy samosas, resulting in further increase in calorie content. Purchasing samosas from eateries that reuse frying oil raises concerns, as the repeated use of oil generates free radicals and toxins, leading to increased inflammation, which is another factor increasing the risk of obesity.

Final Verdict on Samosas:

The final verdict is that – samosas are not the kind of snack you should be having every day with a cup of evening chai, particularly if you are desperately trying to lose weight. Experts say that we need to cut down the consumption of refined foods to shed extra weight, so samosa is not the right snack while dieting.

But that does not mean, you have to completely abstain from having this delicious and beloved snack! Enjoying a samosa occasionally, perhaps as part of a cheat meal once or twice a week, including the deep-fried ones, is alright if you’ve adhered to your diet and remained consistent with your exercise regimen through the week. Also read: “10 Weight-Loss Friendly Snacks For Hunger Pangs During Office Hours.”

Tips To Indulge in Guilt-Free Samosas For a Cheat Meal:

1. Air frying and baking are better ways to dish out samosas compared to deep frying in oil.
2. Use a healthier oil like olive oil instead of vegetable oil or dalda if you enjoy the traditional deeply-fried variety.
3. Replace maida with whole wheat flour.
4. Reduce potato in the filling, and add protein-rich ingredients like paneer, tofu, etc. You can also cut down potatoes and increase the quantity of low-calorie veggies like green peas, mushrooms, cauliflower, onions, carrots, green beans, and capsicum.
5. It’s easy to overeat samosas, but do restrict it to just one during the cheat meal. The calories quickly add up!
6. Avoid the sweet chutney that is usually doled out by street-side vendors. Dip samosas in homemade mint chutney or tomato chutney.

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