What is Paneer?
Paneer or Indian cottage cheese is a type of fresh cheese with a soft spongy texture and sweet acidic flavour. It is a popular South Asian cuisine, especially in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Unlike other cheese, it doesn’t melt and can be grated, sliced, or crumbled. You can also eat it raw or cook it if you prefer.
Paneer is made by heating milk and curdling using vinegar, lime juice, or other acidic food. The acid used to curd the milk determines the flavour of the paneer. There are a variety of paneer available like low-fat paneer, soy paneer, vegetable impregnated paneer, filled paneer, and UF paneer.
Paneer Nutritional Value
Paneer has a high nutritional value, which is why it is believed that paneer is good for health and should be a part of your daily diet. It provides instant energy as it is rich in calcium, selenium, and potassium. It also has high protein content, making it a good choice for a vegetarian diet.
According to the U.S Department of Agriculture(USDA), the nutritional value of 100 gm of paneer is as follows:
- Calories: 321Kcal
- Total Fat: 25gm
- Total Carbohydrate: 3.57gm
- Total Protein: 21.43gm
- Calcium: 714mg
- Magnesium: 8mg
- Sodium: 18mg
- Vitamin A: 714 IU
- Fatty acids(total saturated): 16.07gm
- Cholesterol: 89 mg
Benefits of Paneer
Some paneer health benefits are listed below:
- Paneer benefits bones: Calcium and vitamin D present in the paneer makes the bones and teeth stronger and healthier. It also helps in maintaining bone mass. Calcium also promotes the healthy functioning of the heart, muscles, and nerves.
- Paneer benefits the digestive system: Digestive system breaks down the food we eat to provide energy to our body. Paneer has magnesium and phosphorus. They are essential for the easy functioning of the digestive system. They aid in digestion and make stools softer and easier to pass.
- Paneer benefits the immune system: Paneer has nutrients that help in building a strong immune system. The immune system protects our body and fights infection-causing germs. It also strengthens the muscles and helps in reducing muscular cramps.
- Paneer for cognitive development: It has omega-3 that is good for the mental development of kids. It enhances memory and improves concentration in kids.
- Paneer reduces the risk of cancer: It has Vitamin D and calcium that helps in the prevention of breast cancer. It also has some chemicals(sphingolipids) that also help fight colon and prostate cancer during the initial stages.
Paneer is Good for Weight Loss
If you are planning to lose the extra fat from your body, then paneer is your power meal. It has healthy fats, low carbs and high protein and reduces the fat storage in our bodies since it has fatty acids in the form of short chains. These chains are easily digestible, so paneer is good for weight loss. Further, raw paneer benefits people who are looking to start weight loss programs and gym plans.
Paneer Benefits for Skin
Paneer has Vitamin E, selenium, and antioxidants. They fight with the free radicals present in the body. It makes the skin healthy-looking. Paneer also makes hair stronger and beautiful.
Benefits of Paneer for Diabetes
Most diabetic people keep themselves away from dairy products. Paneer is an exception as it has magnesium which regulates blood sugar levels. Paneer also prevents sudden drastic fluctuations in sugar levels by slowing the release of sugar into the blood. It also has low carbs making it the perfect meal for diabetics.
Uses of Paneer
Some paneer uses are as follows:
- Paneer is a good alternative to meat for a protein-rich diet.
- Paneer’s high protein and low carbohydrate content, which makes it a perfect diet for weight loss.
- Paneer can be used to make salads, curries, vegetables and snacks.
Paneer Side Effects
There are a few side effects of paneer as well; some of them are listed below:
- Some people are allergic to dairy products. They may develop allergic reactions to paneer.
- One should not consume more than 100 gms of paneer in a day. If you take it in excess, it may lead to
- Stomach pain
- Loose motions
- If the quality of paneer is not good, it may lead to food poisoning. It can cause loose motions and vomiting.
- Paneer is rich in fat. A regular intake of paneer can increase the cholesterol levels of people with less physical activity.
It is best to consult a nutritionist to know about the daily intake of paneer as per your body’s needs. It should be taken in the right proportions for maximum benefits.