Besan or suji: What’s better for weight loss? An expert answers

Published on: 17 March 2022, 14:03 pm IST

If you are unable to choose between suji and besan, don't worry, we've got a nutritionist to assist you and help you make the right choice.

Aayushi Gupta
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It's never too late to start your weight loss journey! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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We’ve all grown up eating both suji or semolina and besan or what we call gram flour in various forms – be it as upma, halwa, dhokla or chilla. Indians consume these two foods very frequently. Both suji and besan provide their own set of distinct benefits in terms of nutrition, but is one better than the other for your health. Let’s hear it from an expert.

HealthShots spoke to Dr Kiran Dalal, Dietitian, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad, to know the nutritious profile of both suji and besan.

suji and besan
Semolina is preferred by nutritionists for its various health benefits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Difference between suji and besan

Dr Dalal said, “We need to remember that these two foods, suji, and besan, belong to two different food groups – suji belongs to the cereal group and besan is part of the pulses legume family, which is primarily a vegetarian protein source.”

Cereals are considered to be one of the prime sources of carbohydrates, calories, iron, and very little protein. On the other hand, legume group foods contain a good amount of protein. For example, 30 grams of besan contain approximately 7 grams of protein.

Specifically for vegetarians, when we combine cereal and pulses together, it gives a better quality of protein as these two are complementary proteins. For example, Idli has the right proportion of cereal and pulses, so it is one of the ideal foods to have, especially at breakfast.

Here are the benefits of suji

Suji is easy to digest as it is a coarsely ground whole wheat. We consider suji as a great breakfast option because it is light on the stomach. In fact, “if weight loss is on your mind, suji is highly recommended. This is because it is said to have less calories and high in protein, good fat, and is loaded with calcium – which makes it a perfect addition to your weight loss diet,” said Dr Dalal. Plus, suji is a great source of healthy carbohydrates which is considered to be an energy booster. Apart from this, it is also an iron-rich food. It does not have bad cholesterol which is good for heart health as well. Moreover, the presence of zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus make it a good nervous system booster.

Also, read: What’s healthier: suji or whole wheat? Let’s settle the debate once and for all

“But Suji can have an adverse impact on people who have a wheat allergy. Those who suffer from this condition may experience allergic reactions like nausea, sneezing, runny nose, vomiting, or in some severe cases, asthma. Suji is strictly a no-no for those who have celiac disease which is associated with being allergic to gluten, an integral component of both gram flour wheat and Suji,” said Dr Dalal.

Here are the benefits of besan

Besan or gram flour contains calories, protein, carbohydrates, and good fats which help to boost energy. In fact, it has more good fat than whole wheat flour. It may even help you lose weight, if used in the proper manner in your diet and consumed in a healthy way. Dr Dalal said, “Those who have diabetes can also consume besan without any worries because it comes with a low glycemic index.” Moreover, besan is rich in fibre, iron, and folate which makes it a perfect addition to your diet.

suji and besan
Besan or chickpea flour is a wonder ingredient for your beauty routine also. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

So what’s better between suji and besan?

Well, while preparing chilla or uthappam out of suji, if we add dal and besan with it, the quality and the nutritional value of the food will be improved. Therefore, according to Dr Dalal, we can’t compare suji with besan considering their food groups as they complement each other. There’s no such comparison which is better than which one – both are equally good!

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.

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