Is Naan Healthy? (3 Tips For Weight Loss)
Naan is definitely one of those foods that you can’t believe are served complimentary next to a delicious bowl of curry at most Indian restaurants. I honestly go to a lot of places simply because I know that they take good care of their Naan and take it seriously.
Don’t get me wrong, other Indian dishes are amazing. Naan bread just compliments all the other dishes so well as it provides texture and subtle flavors to the deep savory flavors that most Indian dishes carry.
Although Naan is delicious, is it healthy?
Naan bread is definitely something that should be eaten in moderation as most of its calories come from fat and carbs. Most restaurants that serve Naan put large quantities of garlic butter (clarified butter) which can lead to an excess of saturated fats within a meal. It is possible to eat when aiming for a healthy diet as long as portions are controlled and managed properly.
Let’s take a look at some steps we can take in order to eat some Naan bread while staying within a healthy range of calories and macronutrients.
Understand What Goes Inside Naan Bread
Understand How Many Calories Are In Naan Bread
Stay Active & Make Sure To Workout Consistently
Now that we know the three steps needed in order to stay healthy while eating Naan bread, let’s take a deeper look into the details of each of these steps.
Tip 1: Understand What Goes Inside Naan Bread
Just like many other Indian dishes, Naan is a complex food that includes a lot of ingredients that pair extremely well with each other. A typical Naan bread contains many fats such as butter, oil, eggs, and yogurt. This means that you can expect some fat to be in the bread rather than just carbs.
This makes it harder to eat when sticking to a healthy diet as it pushes your diet to consist mainly of carbs and fats. There are three macronutrients that make up our calories which are protein, carbs, and fats. We always want to ideally be eating a range of 25% fats, 45% carbs, and 30% protein.
We’ll look at the nutrition facts for a typical slice of bread in the next section so let’s take a look at some of the other ingredients you can find in Naan. There are usually 3 cups of flour that go into Naan bread so you will find that there will be a lot of carbs in the dish.
Apart from the carbs you can get from the flour, you can expect to find some sugar and honey which will also add onto the carbs. There isn’t much of each of these ingredients, however, so it won’t put a huge dent into the nutrition facts.
Overall, you get an extremely flavorful dish that goes beyond a typical butter and flour mixture as there are so many aromatics and unique fats that go into a Naan dish. There’s nothing quite like it in the world of pastries but it does come at a cost.
Let’s take a look at the nutrition facts and see what we can expect to find in a 90 gram serving of Naan.
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Tip 2: Understand How Many Calories Are In Naan Bread
Now that we know what goes inside a typical Naan bread, let’s take a look at the calories and see what we can find in the nutrition label. For every 5 grams of fat, there are 45 grams of carbs and 9 grams of protein. This is pretty typical for what you can expect from a pastry.
Most of the calories will come from carbs as flour and sugar will provide most of it. We talked about balance in the previous section of this article and you can see that most pastry dishes are skewed towards higher carbs.
Unlike other pastry dishes, however, Naan does not contain as much fat since butter is used simply as coating rather than an ingredient that goes inside the pastry. This is advantageous when dieting as it only takes away the carbs from your meal while leaving room for some fats and protein.
It’s totally fine to eat foods like this but you need to know what the calories consist of. We want to aim for a good ratio of macronutrients such as the 25% Fat, 45% Carb, and 30% Protein ratio we mentioned up above.
For example, we know that Naan has lots of calories coming from carbs. This means that we should pair Naan with a chicken dish such as Tandoori or Butter Chicken to even out where your calories come from.
Understanding the calories of your favorite foods means understanding what you are putting into your body which allows you to control how you look and feel. There’s a concept called energy balance that dictates whether we are in a surplus, deficit, or maintenance of calories at the end of our days.
Energy balance is based off of something called TDEE which stands for Total Daily Energy Expenditure. Your TDEE is the number of calories you burn throughout an average day of your life. If you consume more than your TDEE, then you will gain weight.
If you consume less than your TDEE, then you will lose weight. If you consume the same amount as your TDEE you will stay the same weight. It’s up to us to figure out what our TDEE is and to track our calories everyday to compare it with our energy burned.
Eating something like Naan Bread means that we might be going over our TDEE which means that you will unknowingly be eating more than you should. Being aware of the nutrition label is an extremely powerful tool that helps us control our weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Naan isn’t the best for dieting but it definitely can be fit into a healthy diet aided with tons of movement and activity. If you want an in-depth article on how you can find your TDEE, then make sure to check out this article where we go over the step by step process of understanding how you can lean down and see your abs.
Now that we know the importance of tracking calories and looking into the nutrition labels of our favorite foods, let’s take a look at the importance of staying active and building some good quality muscle.
Tip 3: Stay Active & Make Sure To Workout Consistently
We mentioned something called TDEE in the previous section of the article. Within your TDEE there are factors that you can control and factors that you can’t control. TEPA which stands for the Thermic Effect of Physical Activity makes up 15-30% of our TDEE.
This means that we are in control of up to 30% of the energy we burn in a day! When translated into calories, this is a big deal as we can add more delicious foods in our diet while staying in shape. It’s up to us to make sure that 30% is fully utilized and doing so means filling our days with lots of movement and activity.
The second factor we can control in our TDEE is the amount of muscle that you carry on your frame. Muscle burns calories at rest which means you can essentially “level up” as the years of working out goes on.
It’s a shame to have to avoid your favorite foods such as Naan as there will be more restrictions on your calories if consistent activity and workouts aren’t made. It can be intimidating to workout consistently so here’s our solution to help you get into a steady schedule.
We’ve written a workout plan that is suited for someone learning to isolate the major muscle groups which will, thus, allow you to learn each function and build some muscle. Here is the workout plan that you can follow if you’re someone looking to get some muscle!
Monday (Full Upper):
Seated Shoulder Press: 4x20
Lateral Raises: 4x15
Lat Pulldowns: 4x12
Dumbbell Row: 3x10
Dumbbell Fly: 3x10
Knee Push Ups: 4x20
Weighted Crunches: 3x35
Assisted Pull Ups: 3x10
Lat Pulldowns: 4x12
Cable Row: 4x15
Stiff Leg Deadlift: 4x15
Hamstring Curl: 4x15
Bicep Curls: 3x10
Hammer Curls: 3x10
Goblet Squats: 4x20
Glute Bridge: 4x20
Glute Kickbacks: 4x20 each leg
Jump Squats: 4x20
Weighted Crunches: 3x35
Leg Lifts: 3x35
Mon: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Abs (Push Day)
Bench Press: 3 sets 10 reps
Dumbbell Press: 4 sets 12 reps
Shoulder Press: 3 sets 10 reps
Lateral Raises: 3 sets 15 reps
Triceps Rope Push Down: 3 sets 15 reps
Cable Crunches: 4 sets 15 reps
Wed: Legs & Abs
Goblet Squats: 4 sets 20 reps
Weighted Walking Lunges: 2 sets 20 steps
Stiff Leg DeadLift (Romanian Deadlift): 4 sets 15 reps
Glute Bridges With Weight: 4 sets 20 reps
Jumping Squats With Resistance Bands: 5 sets 20 reps
Weighted Sit Ups: 4 sets 25 reps
Weighted Toe Touches: 4 sets 25 reps
Fri: Back & Biceps (Pull Day)
Assisted Pull Ups: 3 sets 10 reps
Lat Pulldowns: 4 sets 12 reps
Dumbbell Rows: 4 sets 10 reps (Each Side)
Seated Cable Rows: 4 sets 15 reps
Bicep Curls: 3 sets 10 reps
Hammer Curls: 3 sets 10 reps
It’s definitely a simple plan but it will do wonders if you stick with it for months. Muscle is so crucial when dieting and is a great tool that allows us to eat more while staying healthy. I love food more than anything and taking away food is something I always try to avoid if I can.
Now that we know the importance of muscle we need to make sure we stay on track with our workouts. Consistency and longevity are the two key factors when building muscle so there will be some commitment involved.
You can either go to the gym or build one for yourself. It really just comes down to 3 pieces of equipment that you need to do most workouts. These three are the workout bench, dumbbells, and gym flooring. Check out our recommended gear page to see our best picks for these pieces of equipment here.
If a home gym is not for you, then getting a membership somewhere works too. As long as you are starting your muscle building journey, we’re happy!
Stick with it for the long run and you’ll see how amazing the results can be.
There It Is!
In this article, we went over what goes into a typical Naan bread dish and what you can expect to find in its nutrition label. Naan is a pastry so you can expect a lot of the calories to come from fats and carbs. By understanding the macronutrient ratio of Naan, you can definitely add it into your diet and still stay lean.
Carbs aren’t the enemy when dieting. The enemy is inactivity and overeating on all three of the macronutrients. Food is meant to be enjoyed so we always encourage more activity to allow you to eat more while staying in shape!
If you like the article, then make sure to check our other blog posts where we talk about the details of your favorite foods and dishes. We also go over awesome fitness tips and habits you can implement into your life to get the results you are searching for!
Phillip Pak is a fitness expert who has been training clients for 5 years. Throughout his fitness journey, Phill has done it all when it comes to diet and nutrition. He is now the owner of Aspire Fitness Walnut where his main goal is to help those who are seeking to find the best version of themselves. He’s been through the struggle of obtaining an good physique and knows how to share it with others.