TOP FIVE HEALTHIEST LEBANESE DISHES

Written by guest author Talar Demirdjian 

We all know that as Lebanese we’re blessed with a great variety of colorful and delicious food. In Lebanon, we have the best of what the Mediterranean can offer, and we take advantage of it at any chance we can get. But what if you’re trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle or are on a calorie based diet?

Well, we have combined a list of the Top 5 best Lebanese dishes with the lowest calories to help with your fitness regimen. Happy Eating!

Hummus

The staple piece on our tables in Lebanon, I personally cannot live without it, and it’s one of the best things you can eat while on a diet, as long as you don’t go heavy on the olive oil and tahini, this high in protein dish provides roughly 170 calories for 100 grams, and is a good to excellent source of appreciable contents such as dietary fiber, B vitamins, manganese and other nutrients. It’s great supplement to your fitness regimen to have some Hummus after a workout.

Click here for the recipe.

LebaneseFood

Tabbouleh

Greens are an essential source of fiber, and are a necessary part of any diet, so with only 198 calories in each cup, it’s a no brainer that Tabbouleh would be on this list. Not only that, but it contains 10 super foods in its ingredients; Bulgur is high in fiber and protein, low in fat, has a low glycemic index, and contains potassium and iron, Onions contain anti-inflammatory, anti-cholesterol, anti-cancer, and antioxidant properties, Garlic helps manage blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and has shown to be a strong antibiotic, Parsley contains more vitamin C than most vegetables and approximately three times as much as oranges. It has twice as much iron as spinach, and is a good source of manganese, calcium, and potassium, Olive oil may lower your total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and much more. This is a must eat, even if you’re not focusing on your fitness.

Baked Falafel 

Everyone knows the small kiosks that sell deep fried falafels, as delicious as they may be, they’re not the healthiest of choices. On the other hand, baked falafel is extremely healthy for you and equally as delicious, 6 pieces of baked Falafel have 240 calories in them. Chickpeas are low in fat and contain no cholesterol. Falafel is high in protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Key nutrients are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin C, thiamine, pantothenic acid, vitamin B, and folate. Falafel is also high in soluble fiber, which has been shown to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol.

Click here for a quinoa tabuleh recipe.

Ful Medames

A popular breakfast item in Lebanon, with only 126 calories per cup, it’s a good dish to add in your diet, as Fava Beans (Ful) are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, copper and manganese, and a very good source of folate. Just make sure not to add too much olive oil. Adding chili pepper flakes, however, is an advantage as Red chilies contain large amounts of vitamin C and small amounts of carotene (provitamin A), and it said to slightly boost your metabolism, if consumed on a regular basis.

Lentil Soup

Last but not least, with the lowest amount of calories, like other broth-based soups, the high-water content in lentil soup makes it fairly low in calories, at 56 calories per 100 grams. Its satisfying nature is mainly because of the high fiber content in lentils. Fiber contains no calories because your body can't break it down, yet it slows digestion to help your stomach stay full long after you've put down your spoon. Most of the fats present in lentil soups come from olive oil, making them healthy fats. Popular recipes for lentil soup vary, but some of the common ingredients aside from lentils include diced tomatoes, garlic, onions, olive oil, carrots and celery.

Click here for the recipe.

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