Desi Snacks vs Videshi Bites: How these Local Nutritious Options Win Over Packaged Foods!

The other day while following the speech delivered by our respected PM where he focused on ‘Vocal For Local’, it got me thinking about how our recent snacking habit has changed, and can we make some changes that will not only make these snacks a tasty but nutritious too?

After doing a little research on the same it was no surprise to me that we have many Indian snacks that are healthy. Here are some quick Local Nutritious snacking from India that you can replace in your daily routine.

Makhana (Fox Nuts) Vs Chips

Makhana/Fox Nuts/Lotus seeds are undiscovered Indian treasure which has a low glycemic index, making this a wonderful snack for diabetic patients.

Following are some reasons for consuming Makhana as a substitute for chips:

  1. A 50 gms roasted fox nuts provide you with 180 KCals whereas the same quantity of chips provide 250 KCals

  2. Fox nuts are naturally free of bad fats whereas the chips are fried in carcinogenic & bad quality oil which would require around an hour of brisk walk still leaving with 10 gms of Fat deposit

  3. Fox nuts are plant-based product as you may guess from the name Lotus seed making it the healthiest option whereas Chips contains preservative making is high sodium content snack which has adverse effects on our body’s daily threshold levels of salt intake

Sattu & Milk Vs Packaged Cereals & Milk

Sattu is a powder made up of roasted gram and like Soya Beans, it’s considered as poor man’s protein source. Sometimes it is also mixed with the Jowar/Bajra to potent the mixture.

The following are the benefits of replacing your packaged cereals with Sattu during the breakfast:

  1. Sattu has higher nutritional content compared to the Ready-to-Eat (RTE) cereals available in the market. 100 gms of Sattu have 25% of proteins, 65% good carbohydrates and 10% of Fiber whereas the packaged cereal has approximately 7% proteins, 81% Carbohydrates, and 1.5% Fibre. Clearly, Sattu with Milk is a better choice.

  2. The fiber content from Sattu is insoluble which is good for the detoxification process of intestines.

  3. RTE Cereals have added sugar, consumption of this food as the first meal can spike the blood sugar level (in-turn leading to higher insulin levels). You may feel satiated for small-time but body craves for high-carbohydrate meals leading to overeating.

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Chana Chaat Vs Ready To Eat Fried Products

Eating outside presents a dilemma between taste and nutrition. To satiate our hunger and satisfy the taste buds, we go for Ready To Eat fried products but here are benefits listed to chose the delicious Chana Chaat which is pocket friendly and available at the roadside:

  1. According to nutritional content, boiled chana i.e chickpeas have 8-10% of proteins and fiber each with 0% cholesterol whereas the RTE fired products 3% proteins, 23% Carbohydrates, and 6% Cholesterol.

  2. The protein from chana keeps your tummy full and the additional content added to satisfy your taste buds (tomato and lemon) enhances its nutritional content whereas it goes without saying that fried products with high salt content not only makes you hungry in the long run and elevates your fat content but also the sodium levels of the body.

Vermicelli Upma Vs Instant Noodles

Vermicelli can be made out of various flours this adds basic proteins and carbohydrates. Consumed as Upma with vegetables and a small addition of oil makes it a good substitute for Noodles which is primarily made of maida which has no nutrition. Noodles trigger obesity due to excessive sodium content, unhealthy saturated fats. Also, the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG) makes the regular consumption of instant noodles unhealthy. Unlike vermicelli, instant noodles with masala can increase the risk of diabetes/heart disease.

Bael Sherbet Vs Soft Drinks

Indians have a soft corner for the soft drinks which claim to satisfy the thirst in the scorching heat. However, we all are aware of the amount of added sugar in these soft drinks which makes it extremely unhealthy to drink an increasing risk of diabetes. Also, carbonated beverages add fuel to this fire:

  1. Bael is fiber-rich fruit which helps in digestion and highly recommended against constipation. Laxative properties help clean the intestines.

  2. This can be a very good energy drink with healthy 140 calories helping the fitness freak in you during the summers

  3. Bael Sherbet can help with its anti-inflammatory properties and can also help fight acid reflux. It also helps control cholesterol.

Pumpkin Soup Vs RTE Soups

A single packet of RTE Soup has 543 gms of sodium content, which matches our daily intake of approx. 600 gms on an average. The downside is something very similar to having instant noodles. Instead, you can make healthy pumpkin soup providing you with high vitamin A & C boosting your immune system. It contains many antioxidants that help your cells against damage caused by free radicals. It is also a good source of fiber and Vitamin C which helps keep your heart healthy.

The call ‘Vocal for Local’ in your eating habits can have immense benefits. The traditional recipes had nutrition designed to benefit a healthy routine and keep you energized. Revisiting them right now is the best time to experiment.

For more such great substitutes, health tips and personalized diet counselling feel free to reach out to me personally over Whatsapp or email me at


About Dietician Ankita Gupta Sehgal

She is one of the best dietitian in Delhi NCR, with 12 years of expertise in Weight Loss, PCOD Correction, Sports Fitness, Thyroid Diet, Diabetic and Cholesterol Management Diets. Consult Dt. Ankita for the most personalised diet plans in person on online for best diet plans, starting at just Rs. 2500 per month. Book Now!

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