Is Chili For Breakfast Healthy?
Chili – the biker’s staple food and a favorite among several Americans, is slowly capturing the breakfast tables. Sizeable populations of foodies, who like to eat good food all time, do not mind including chili for breakfast. However, is this a welcome change, or is breakfast chili one more dietary change that’s going to further harm the already deteriorating health of our society… read on for an answer…
Breakfast chili come in all forms and can be prepared using a variety of meats, beef, pork, turkey, and chicken included. The amount of eggs and beans added, and the kind of fat used is dynamic as well. This makes deriving at an average nutritional composition of breakfast chili a difficult task. Here is the nutrient profile of the standardized chili recipe:
Total calories – 287 kcal
Total fat – 14 g
Saturated Fat – 6 g
Cholesterol – 44 mg
Total carbohydrates – 31 g
Free Sugars – 11.5 g
Dietary fiber – 3 g
Protein – 14.5 g
Sodium – 1336 mg
An average serving of chili can provide up to 17% Vitamin A, 7% vitamin C, 12% calcium, and 40% iron, in a 2000kcal diet.
Health benefits of eating Chilies for breakfast:
· It is a complete food
Chili contains the right proportions of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. It contains nutrients from both animal and plant sources. This brings in a rare nutritional diversity to the dish.
· A rich source of protein
Protein is an important constituent of any breakfast and must not be compromised with. Chili invariably contains at least 1 serving of meat, which is one of the best sources of high biological value protein. Even if you prepare vegetarian chili, it contains considerable amounts of TVP (textured vegetable protein), which helps meet one’s daily protein needs. Moreover, if beans are added, they contribute to a second source of protein, which is of plant origin.
· Fiber Rich Food
Failure to have a regular morning bowel movement seems to be the new pandemic across the globe. The veggies and the beans add a great amount of fiber to the breakfast chili. This fiber, in addition to regulating bowel movements, also enhances the satiety value of the food and reduces the glycemic index of the meal.
· Chilies Act as Immune Boosters
The chilli peppers used to bring in the heat and flavor to the dish, along with the black pepper present in Abodo seasoning, are a rich source Vitamin C or ascorbic acid. Apart from that, a serving of prepared breakfast chili can provide for considerable amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex, zinc, and other trace elements involved in the immune reactions of the body. Moreover, the capsaicin in chilies stimulates mucous secretions, this helps clear mucous from stuffy nose. Breakfast chili, is thus, a tasty way to prevent and at times manage cold, flu, and other such common illnesses.
· A rich source of Iron and calcium
As evident from the nutrient composition given earlier, chili contributes to considerable amounts of iron and calcium. The meat seems to the major contributor of these nutrients. Even if you opt for vegetarian Chili, the beans and TVP are good sources of iron and calcium in their vegetarian form. Do add a dash of lemon just before serving to enhance the absorption of these nutrients from vegan chili.
· Helps lose weight.
The high fiber content and capsaicin from chilies and peppers help enhance the metabolic rate of the body, which in turn increases the calorie expenditure and weight loss. The chili also has a high satiety value, which helps curb unhealthy snacking and prevents weight gain.
· Helps regulate blood sugar
The capsaicin in chili peppers is purported to help regulate blood sugar. A study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the amount of insulin that was needed to lower patients' blood sugar after a meal is lower if the meal contains chili peppers. Moreover, the fiber content of chili further augments this effect of capsaicin.
Side effects of eating Chilies:
Even though, chili is a rich source of several nutrients and helps boost immunity, it is not without side effects. Most of the health benefits of this dish depend majorly on the ingredients used and the cooking process applied. Use of high fat red meat, animal shortenings, and cheese and cracker toppings can bring in a slew of unhealthy effects that negate the benefits of this breakfast dish… here are a few of the most common side effects of breakfast chili:
· Very high in sodium
As evident in the nutritional profile of chili, this breakfast dish is a very high source of sodium and contributes to over 50% of daily needs for this electrolyte. Chili is highly contraindicated for people suffering from hypertention, kidney disorders, CVDs, edema, and other conditions requiring sodium restriction.
· High in saturated fat
Unless prepared using lean meats like turkey, chili can load your breakfast with large amounts of unhealthy fats and direct cholesterol. Pre-made and/or canned variety are considered as the major culprits in this regard, with each contributing to as high as 75% of daily recommended doses of saturated fats. It is better to prepared your own chili from scratch to gain complete control of the nutrients present in your morning meal.
· Can cause kidney and intestinal distress
Regular consumption of this dish each morning has been linked to constipation, diarrhea, and/or excessive gas. Moreover, the high protein and low carbohydrate diets can possibly cause kidney issues and stones.
· Can cause weight gain
Red meat, questionable amounts of fats, and cheese and cracker toppings are just some of the many modes through which, chili can make you gain weight. A medium serving of chili can provide 200 Kcals at the least and a whooping 1000 kcals at the max. No amount of fiber and blood sugar modulation can make up for such high calorie intake.
However, one must remember that most of these side effects are a cause of excessive intake and/or improper preparation of chili. Moderate consumption of chilies as a part of a balanced diet cannot be considered as unhealthy. Chilies, thus, are quite healthy and one can surely start their day with a chili. Over indulgence of any kind is unhealthy and the same is true for this spicy “super bowl favorite”.