Falafel Calories: Nutritional Information And Why It Can Be Unhealthy

Date January 28, 2020

Falafel Calories: Nutritional Information And Why It Can Be UnhealthyFalafel Calories: Nutritional Information And Why It Can Be UnhealthyMartin Rettenberger /

Have you ever tried falafel? If your answer is yes, you know that it is absolutely delicious. And, for those who haven't tried falafel, what are you waiting for? Falafel is a perfect choice not only for street food fans but also for all vegetarians. People have enjoyed falafel for centuries as it appeared long before wide-known hamburgers and pizza.

Falafel has been known as the national dish of Israel, but what is it and how to cook it? Simply put, falafel is a Middle Eastern meal made from blended chickpeas with the addition of various herbs and spices. The mix comes in the form of balls, fried or baked. You can eat falafel on its own, however, it can be dished out with pita bread, hummus or salad. The result is always stunning!

Falafel Calories: Nutritional Information And Why It Can Be UnhealthyFalafel Calories: Nutritional Information And Why It Can Be UnhealthyDmitrii Ivanov /

As you already know, falafel contains chickpeas, which are packed with fiber and other nutrients, but what about falafel calories? Is falafel healthy?

Falafel calories

When it comes to falafel calories, everything depends on portion size. For example, let's take a look at falafel balls (3 balls) from Subway. Here is what you need to know about it, according to Fitbit.

Calories: 220

Fat: 3.5g

Protein: 12g

Carbohydrates: 39g

Fiber: 11g

Sodium: 590mg

Does falafel make for a nutritious meal? Judge for yourself as it also depends on your health goals.

Is falafel healthy?

Does falafel have a reputation for being healthy? Is it appropriate when you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Unfortunately, the answer is complicated as there is no bad or good food. It depends on how much of falafel you are going to eat and how you prefer to cook it.

Anyway, falafel is a wonderful way to incorporate more plants into your diet. And a plant-based diet is super beneficial for your health.

Falafel is full of protein and fiber from the chickpeas. In addition, chickpeas contain folate, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and B vitamins. The herbs and spices in falafel are also helpful. Cumin, cardamom, and coriander contain antioxidants that can fight a lot of diseases.

Generally, falafel is a very satisfying food that can help you go through the day. It helps keep blood sugar levels under control and prevent sugar cravings.

However, even the healthiest foods can be unhealthy, and falafel is no exception. In most cases, falafel is deep-fried in oil and it can be a problem as the oil increases your calorie intake considerably. For some people, too much fat in their diet can be harmful. And don't forget about potential carcinogens, that can come from low-quality oils. In other words, although frying doesn't override the benefits, you should take it into consideration. Plus don't forget that some vendors or restaurants can use low-quality oils and poor ingredients.

Another problem is sodium content. One pita with falafel may contain up to 1,500 milligrams of sodium (the recommended limit is around 2,300 milligrams). When we are talking about a pita with additional sauces, it can be even more that you need.

And last but not least: falafel calories. It's essential to remember where the calories come from is much more important than the number. When we are talking about falafels, most of the calories come from fat. Although most of these fats are healthy and unsaturated, you should be careful if you want to lose weight.

How to make your falafel healthier

For most people, falafel is a kind of street food that usually comes in a pita, and as a result, it can put your nutrition goals at risk. However, there are healthier options if you cook falafel at home. You may choose baking instead of frying. If frying is what really love, opt for high-quality oils that can sustain high heat. Grapeseed or avocado oils can be a great choice to prevent carcinogen production.

If you consume falafel in a pita, it is better to choose whole wheat, since it is healthier. Whole grains contain a lot of fiber that is beneficial for healthy digestion. Then, avoid adding the pickled vegetables, which provide too much sodium. Opt instead for fresh crunchy vegetables like carrots and cucumber. Hummus is an excellent addition to falafel as it is packed with plant-based protein. If possible, ask about sodium content to control your sodium intake.

If carbohydrates are a concern, we also have an easy fix to solve this problem. Choose as many greens as possible and don't add a pita. Choose hummus or yogurt sauce as toppings, raw veggies are also a great addition to your meal. There are plenty of ways to make falafels healthier and incorporate them into your diet.

Falafel balls aren’t as difficult to make at home as you might think, so give them a try, we are sure that the result will impress you.