Cuisine from the Indian subcontinent makes liberal use of some of the most flavorful spices in the world, resulting in dishes that are fragrant and delicious. Samosas, or flaky pockets of pastry, hold curried vegetables.
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Samosas are one example of an Indian appetizer that strikes a balance between fat and calorie contents and health value. Find out more about the health benefits of samosas — including fiber — by using a calorie counter app.
Read more: Indian Vegetarian Diet for Weight Loss
Get the Nutrition Facts
According to USDA FoodData Central, four pieces of vegetable samosas, with a weight of about 88 grams, have:
- 230 calories
- 11 grams of fat
- 4 grams of protein
- 29 grams of carbohydrates
- 2 grams of fiber
- 3 grams of sugar
However, it's important to be aware that the ingredients in a samosa are really what determine its final nutrition facts, and not all veggie samosas are made in the same way. A samosa made with butter-based pastry, stuffed with potatoes and fried in oil, will be higher in fat, carbohydrates and calories than a samosa made with thin phyllo dough or wonton wrappers filled with low-calorie peas and carrots and baked in the oven.
Health Benefits of Samosa
Opting for vegetable samosas over meat-filled pastries will cut down on your saturated fat and calorie intake and provide more vitamins and minerals. According to USDA ChooseMyPlate.gov, increasing the amount of vegetables that you eat can help to reduce risks of chronic health conditions including cancer, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, bone loss, diabetes, kidney stones and high cholesterol.
Additionally, you'll get a healthy dose of dietary fiber by eating veggie-stuffed samosas, which can improve digestive health and help you lose or maintain weight, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Read more: 19 High-Fiber Foods — Some May Surprise You!
Consider the Nutritional Downsides
Not all samosas are healthy choices. Despite the nutritional benefits that vegetables offer, a veggie samosa made with a lot of butter or oil can be high in cholesterol and saturated fat, which also increases the samosa calories. Bigger samosas sold at restaurants and cafes may are likely to have even higher values as well as more sodium and cholesterol.
A vegetable-filled samosa can be a relatively nutritious snack or appetizer, but only if it's low in fat and sodium. If you have the option, look at nutritional information for a samosa before purchasing it.
Four pieces of vegetable samosas contains 300 milligrams of sodium. According to the American Heart Association, daily sodium intake should not exceed 2,300 milligrams for healthy adults, or 1,500 milligrams for adults who have risk factors for heart disease.
Another option is making your own samosas, which will allow you to control the calorie count and nutritional content. Most important, learn to rely on a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and other healthy foods to meet your nutritional needs instead of trying to get all of your essential nutrients through prepared foods such as samosas.