Is Paneer Good For Weight Loss?- HealthifyMe

Paneer is a popular dairy product due to its versatility, taste, and nutritional benefits. It is a common ingredient in many Indian dishes, including curries, sabzis (vegetable dishes), and snacks. Paneer is also a staple in many vegetarian diets as it provides a good source of protein, which is essential for those who do not consume meat.

One can prepare it in many different ways, such as grilled, fried, or added to soups and salads. Its mild and creamy taste makes it a favourite among people of all ages, including children. 

Paneer is known for its potential weight loss benefits. It is high in protein and low in carbs, making it a valuable addition to a weight-loss diet. Protein is an essential nutrient vital to repairing and building tissues. In addition, it helps maintain muscle mass and supports numerous metabolic processes. While protein is abundant in animal-based foods, it can be challenging for vegetarians to meet their daily protein requirements. However, with careful planning and attention to protein sources, vegetarians can get adequate protein to support their health and fitness goals.

This article explores the benefits of paneer for weight loss, other possible benefits and various weight-loss-friendly recipes for paneer.

Paneer: An Overview 

Paneer is made from curdled milk. It is a non-melting cheese. Like lemon juice, fruit or vegetable acid is used to curdle the milk. It is white and has a soft, spongy texture. In addition, it has a creamy and mild taste. It can be made with raw or pasteurised cow’s milk or buffalo milk, as well as whole, skim, or reduced-fat milk. Paneer can be eaten for breakfast, as a snack, or added to lunch and dinner recipes.

Paneer is a rich source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D. It has healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFA), which help reduce the LDL (bad cholesterol). These nutrients make paneer a nutritious food that can promote satiety, aid in weight loss, and support overall health.

Making paneer involves boiling the milk in a heavy-bottomed pan and gently adding an acidic substance while stirring the milk. The mixture is then left to sit for a few minutes to allow the curd to set and then strained through a muslin cloth to separate the curd from the whey. The curd is then rinsed under cold water to remove any residual acidic taste and cool it down. Once the curd is well-drained, it can be used in various dishes such as curries, snacks, or desserts. 

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Heating paneer makes the milk proteins more tightly bound and squeezes out any water that may still be present. But if heated for too long, paneer can become rubbery. 

Summary

Paneer is made by curdling milk with an acidic substance such as vinegar, lemon juice, or curd. Paneer is a versatile ingredient known for its mild and creamy taste. One can make it from full-fat, skim, or reduced-fat milk and pasteurised or raw cow or buffalo milk. It has a soft, spongy texture and a milky,  mild taste.

Nutritional Value of Paneer

HealthifyMe data shows that one hundred grams of paneer (made of cow milk) offers the following nutrients.

  • Calories: 265 kCal
  • Fat: 20.8 g
  • Protein: 18.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.2 g
  • Calcium: 208 mg
  • Zinc: 2.7 mg
  • Magnesium: 26.6 mg

Paneer is rich in high-quality protein and essential amino acids. Furthermore, it is a premium source of vitamins and minerals like calcium, zinc, and magnesium. As a result, it promotes bone health by providing vitamin D and calcium, manages blood sugar levels through magnesium content, and supports cardiovascular health by helping to regulate blood pressure. In addition, paneer improves digestion with phosphorus, acts as a powerful antioxidant due to its various vitamins, enhances metabolism, reduces the risk of cancer by preventing cell accumulation, and is beneficial for pregnant women due to folic acid and vitamin B12.

Benefits of Paneer for Weight Loss 

Research suggests Paneer or cottage cheese is rich in nutrients and boosts general health. The following are the benefits of paneer for weight loss:

Muscle Health and Satiety

Paneer contains iron, calcium, and protein that contribute to maintaining healthy muscles. Research shows that the protein in paneer prolongs the feeling of fullness, promoting satiety and reducing calorie intake. In addition, research has shown that protein plays a significant role in weight loss by controlling appetite.

Lean Muscle Mass

Paneer is rich in all the essential amino acids needed for muscle growth and repair. Therefore, regular consumption of paneer, coupled with exercise, can help build lean muscle mass. In addition, it benefits weight loss as muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue.

Low-Calorie Option

Low-fat Paneer is also low in calories, with approximately 150 calories per 100g. When following a weight loss diet, opting for low-fat paneer can help manage calorie intake while still enjoying its nutritional benefits.

Appetite Control

Paneer made from low-fat cow milk helps regulate ghrelin, a hormone that controls appetite and body weight. By regulating ghrelin levels, paneer can aid in appetite control, which is crucial for weight management.

Healthy Fats for Weight Loss

Paneer contains healthy fats, such as unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are essential for weight loss. Research suggests that consuming healthy fats can make the body burn stored fat for energy, leading to weight loss.

Low Carb and High Protein

With its low carbohydrate and high protein content, paneer is ideal for individuals looking to reduce weight. In addition, the combination of low carbs and high protein helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and promote a feeling of fullness.

Gut Health and Digestion

Paneer is a rich source of probiotics, beneficial bacteria that promote good gut health and aid digestion. By supporting proper digestion, paneer contributes to overall weight management.

Summary

Paneer’s iron, calcium, and protein content helps maintain muscle health, while its low-carb and high-protein nature prolongs satiety and reduces calorie intake. Choosing low-fat paneer is essential, as it contains healthy fats that benefit weight loss. Incorporating paneer into a balanced diet can support weight loss efforts effectively.

How Much to Consume for Weight Loss? 

Paneer is low in carbohydrates. Hence, it is excellent to include it in a weight-loss diet. You should have 150 to 200 grams of low-fat paneer daily as part of a balanced weight-loss diet. In addition, it contains a variety of fats, including saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. 

The predominant type of fat in paneer is saturated fat, traditionally considered unhealthy due to its association with heart disease and other health problems. However, nutritionists suggest that moderate saturated fat intake may not be as harmful to health as previously believed, especially when consumed as part of a balanced diet. Therefore, while paneer does contain saturated fat, it can still be a healthy addition to a weight-loss diet when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced, nutrient-dense diet.

Summary

Incorporating paneer into your diet can be beneficial when it comes to weight loss. Paneerer is a suitable choice for a weight-loss diet with low carbohydrate content. Consuming around 150 to 200 grams of low-fat paneer daily is recommended as part of a balanced weight-loss diet. While paneer does contain saturated fat, nutritionists suggest that a moderate intake of saturated fat may not be as harmful, especially when consumed as part of a balanced diet. Therefore, when enjoyed in moderation as part of a nutrient-dense diet, paneer can be a healthy addition to support your weight-loss goals.

Best Paneer Recipes for Weight Loss

Paneer Bhurji

Servings: 3

Total time: 25 minutes 

Ingredients

  • Paneer: 250 grams (crumbled)
  • Cumin seeds: ½ tsp
  • Onion: 1 (chopped)
  • Green chilli: 1-2 (chopped)
  • Ginger: 1 tsp (grated)
  • Garlic paste: 1 tsp
  • Tomato: 1 (chopped)
  • Coriander powder: ½ tsp
  • Garam masala: ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
  • Red chilli powder: ¼ tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method: 

  1. In a bowl, crumble the paneer and keep it aside.
  2. Chop the veggies and keep them aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds. 
  4. Add the chopped vegetables and add garlic & ginger. Saute well.
  5. Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder, and cook for a while. 
  6. Add the crumbled paneer and mix it. 
  7. Cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Ensure you do not overcook it, as it will become chewy and hard.
  8. Serve it with roti or paratha.

Paneer Tikka Roll

Servings: 2

Total time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • Paneer: 250 g
  • Ginger: 1 tbsp 
  • Garlic: 1 tbsp
  • Onion: 1 cup
  • Curd: 5 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Cumin powder: 1 tsp
  • Olive oil: 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric: 1 tsp
  • Amchur powder: 1 tsp
  • Garam masala: 2 tsp
  • Chilli powder: 1tsp
  • Capsicum: ½ cup
  • Onion: ½ cup
  • Whole wheat roti: 2 

Method

  1. Blend ginger, garlic, onion, and curd together. 
  2. Add the mixture to the paneer and sprinkle some salt. 
  3. Add cumin powder, olive oil, amchur powder, turmeric, garam masala, and chilli powder to the paneer and mix gently.
  4. Please put it in the refrigerator until the paneer absorbs the water completely.
  5. Heat a pan and put olive oil. Place the paneer cubes and cook until golden brown on both sides and keep it aside.
  6. In the same pan, saute some onion and capsicum. 
  7. Take a whole wheat roti and put the onions and capsicum on it.
  8. Then add 3-4 paneer cubes to each wheat roti. Roll it and cut from the middle. 
  9. Serve it hot. 

Paneer Besan Chilla 

Servings: 1

Total time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients

  • Besan: 1 cup
  • Salt: ½ tsp
  • Pepper: 1 tsp
  • Onion: 1 cup (chopped)
  • Paneer: ½ cup
  • Tomato: 1
  • Chillies: 2
  • Ajwain: ½ tsp
  • Coriander leaves: ½ cup
  • Water: 1 cup
  • Vegetable oil: 2 tbsp 

Method

  1. Add 1 cup of besan, salt, pepper, onion, grated paneer, ajwain, tomato, green chillies, and coriander leaves. 
  2. Whisk all the ingredients together, adding water. 
  3. Heat oil in a pan. Put some besan mixture into a pan and fry it until golden brown.
  4. Put some grated paneer, onion, and black pepper on top.
  5. Fold it and serve it hot.

Potential Risks of Overconsumption

Excessive Calorie Intake and Weight Gain

Paneer, while being a nutritious food, also contains calories. Therefore, overeating paneer can lead to excessive calorie intake, resulting in weight gain. To achieve weight loss goals, one must consume paneer in moderation as part of a balanced, nutrient-dense diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

High Saturated Fat Content and Heart Disease Risk

Paneer contains a significant amount of saturated fat. Consuming excessive amounts of paneer can increase cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. Therefore, it is crucial to be mindful of portion sizes and opt for low-fat alternatives when incorporating paneer into a weight loss plan.

Digestive Issues for Lactose Intolerant Individuals

Paneer is a dairy product and may cause digestive issues in individuals who are lactose intolerant. Bloating, gas, and diarrhoea can occur when lactose does not digest properly. If lactose intolerance is a concern, choose lactose-free or dairy-free alternatives to paneer.

Increased Risk of Kidney Stones

Paneer is rich in calcium, and consuming excessive amounts of calcium can potentially increase the risk of kidney stones in some individuals. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a balanced calcium intake from various sources and consult with a healthcare professional if there are specific concerns regarding kidney health.

Allergic Reactions to Milk Allergy

Individuals with a milk allergy may experience allergic reactions if they consume paneer. These reactions range from mild symptoms like hives and itching to severe symptoms like difficulty breathing. Therefore, avoiding paneer and other dairy products is crucial if there is a known milk allergy.

Summary

While paneer can be a part of a healthy weight-loss diet, overeating can have adverse effects. Therefore, it is essential to consume paneer in moderation, be mindful of portion sizes, and consider individual dietary needs and allergies. Maintaining a balanced and varied diet is vital to achieving weight loss goals while minimising the potential risks associated with overconsumption of paneer.

HealthifyMe Suggestion

Try incorporating paneer into your smoothies! Yes, you read that right—paneer can be a fantastic addition to your weight loss smoothies, providing you with a creamy and nutritious boost. Blend some crumbled paneer, low-fat milk or yoghurt, a handful of spinach or kale, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a touch of honey or stevia for sweetness. It will give your smoothie a rich and velvety texture and enhance the protein content, making it more satiating and supporting your weight loss goals. So surprise your taste buds with this unconventional yet delicious way to enjoy paneer!

The Final Word

Incorporating paneer into your weight loss journey can be a healthy choice. With its high protein content, low carbohydrate levels, and an array of beneficial nutrients, paneer offers various benefits for weight loss. From promoting muscle health and satiety to providing healthy fats and supporting gut health, paneer can play a valuable role in your weight loss diet. However, it’s vital to consume paneer in moderation and consider individual dietary needs and potential risks. 

Remember to maintain a balanced and varied diet, paying attention to portion sizes and opting for low-fat alternatives when possible. By doing so, you can harness the power of paneer to support your weight loss goals while enjoying its delicious taste and nutritional benefits. So savour this versatile dairy delight while working towards a healthier you!

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information, please contact our certified nutritionists Here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is paneer, and how is it made?

A: Paneer is a versatile ingredient made by curdling milk with lemon juice, vinegar, or curd. It involves boiling milk, adding an acidic substance, setting the curd, and straining it. Paneer is used in dishes like curries, snacks, and desserts and can be made from different types of milk. However, it is best to make paneer using low-fat cow milk.

Q: Is paneer high in calories?

A: Paneer is typically high in calories. This food item is quite calorie-dense, with one hundred grams of paneer (made using full-fat milk) having about 296 calories per serving. However, if consumed in moderation, it is by no means unhealthy. A valuable addition to any vegetarian’s diet, paneer is a fantastic source of protein.

Q: Does paneer have any nutritional benefits?

A: Paneer is a good source of protein for tissue repair and calcium for strong bones. It is low in carbs, aids weight loss, promotes satiety, boosts immunity, and supports digestion as a probiotic.

Q: Can eating paneer help with weight loss?

A: Paneer can aid in weight loss if consumed in moderation. Paneer is rich in protein, which is a crucial nutrient for weight loss. In addition, it provides a high satiety value and contains very low carbohydrate content. In addition, it is gut friendly and has good fat, which are essential components in a weight loss diet. 

Q: How much paneer should I eat in a day to lose weight?

A: Paneer is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Therefore, it is ideal for weight loss diets. The maximum amount of recommended daily paneer consumption is 150–200 grams. The exact amount depends on age, sex, weight, and activity level. Generally, aim for around 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Q: Are there any potential downsides to eating paneer while trying to lose weight?

A: Paneer is good for weight loss and is light on the stomach. However, uncooked or undercooked paneer in large amounts can cause bloating and indigestion problems. In addition, ensure that you consume paneer in the recommended amounts, as overconsumption is detrimental to weight loss.

Q: Can paneer be a good source of protein for vegetarians trying to lose weight?

A: Paneer is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and other nutrients for healthy weight loss. For example, it is a rich source of phosphorus, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and other nutrients needed for healthy weight loss. Therefore, it can be an ideal source of protein for vegetarians. 

Q: Can paneer be substituted for meat in a weight-loss diet?

A: Paneer can replace meat in a protein-rich diet. It has high protein and low carb content, making it suitable for weight loss. One can use paneer in various dishes like stir-fries, salads, curries, and snacks.

Q: How can paneer be prepared in a healthy way to aid weight loss?

A: You can prepare paneer by roasting it or sauteing it. Some weight-loss-friendly paneer recipes include paneer bhurji, paneer tikka, paneer paratha, methi palak paneer, etc. 

Q: Is paneer suitable for people with lactose intolerance who are trying to lose weight?

A: The severity of lactose intolerance varies, and a medical test can determine the degree of intolerance. Paneer has lower lactose content than milk, making it a better option for those with mild lactose intolerance. However, those with lactose intolerance must always consult a healthcare professional before consuming paneer.

Research Sources

1. Moon J, Koh G. Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2020 Sep 30;29(3):166-173. doi: 10.7570/jomes20028. PMID: 32699189; PMCID: PMC7539343.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7539343/

2. Pozzobon, Victor & Pozzobon, Clément. (2019). Cottage cheese in a diet – a review. Nutrition & Food Science. 49. 10.1108/NFS-03-2019-0073. 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333834331_Cottage_cheese_in_a_diet_-_a_review

3. Beulen Y, Martínez-González MA, van de Rest O, Salas-Salvadó J, Sorlí JV, Gómez-Gracia E, Fiol M, Estruch R, Santos-Lozano JM, Schröder H, Alonso-Gómez A, Serra-Majem L, Pintó X, Ros E, Becerra-Tomas N, González JI, Fitó M, Martínez JA, Gea A. Quality of Dietary Fat Intake and Body Weight and Obesity in a Mediterranean Population: Secondary Analyses within the PREDIMED Trial. Nutrients. 2018 Dec 19;10(12):2011. doi: 10.3390/nu10122011. PMID: 30572588; PMCID: PMC6315420.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6315420/

4. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee to Review Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium; Ross AC, Taylor CL, Yaktine AL, et al., editors. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011. 2, Overview of Calcium. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK56060/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK56060/

5. Wajszczyk B, Charzewska J, Godlewski D, Zemła B, Nowakowska E, Kozaczka M, Chilimoniuk M, Pathak DR. Consumption of Dairy Products and the Risk of Developing Breast Cancer in Polish Women. Nutrients. 2021 Dec 10;13(12):4420. doi: 10.3390/nu13124420. PMID: 34959971; PMCID: PMC8703752.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8703752/

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