How Healthy Is Paneer? Nutritional Facts, Benefits, Protein Content And More.

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Paneer is one of the go-to sources of protein for vegetarians. With a high protein and fat content, it is a key food included in Keto diets too. And the best part- it is absolutely delicious. From paneer tikkas to butter masala, the options are so abundant that you can make a different dish every day for a year and still be left with more options…

So how nutritious is paneer? What are the benefits of adding paneer to your daily diet? Let us explore this in detail.

Nutritional Facts About Paneer

paneer nutrition

Paneer is a nutrition-dense food that is appealing to young and old alike. According to USDA, 100 gm of paneer gives 321 KCal energy. It 25 gm each of protein and fat and just 3.57 gm of carbohydrates. Further, it is a rich source of Calcium and Pottasium too. The actual nutritional content varies depending on the brands and we shall look at it in the latter part of this article.

(Per 100 gm Paneer)
Energy321 KCal
Protein25 gm
Fat25 gm
Carbohydrate3.57 gm
Calcium407 mg
Potassium71 mg
Sodium18 mg
Fatty Acids17.86 g
Cholesterol89 mg

Protein In Paneer

According to USDA, 100 gm of Paneer contains 25 gm of protein. But, when you look at the nutritional information stated on different brands, you find that most Indian brands of paneer contain just about 14-20 gm of protein. The protein in paneer is comprised of whey proteins that are a rich source of essential amino acids.

Let us take a look at what makes the protein in paneer special.

The quality of protein is defined by the Protein Efficiency Ratio ( PER) and Biological Value ( BV) of protein.

PER refers to the weight gained by the test subject divided by the intake of a particular food protein during the test period. For example, the protein efficiency ratio of plant proteins like soya, beans etc lies in the range of 1.2 to 2.4, while that of animal proteins lies in the range of 3.1 to 3.7. According to studies, PER of paneer made from buffalo milk is 3.4, while that made from cow milk is 2.3. In comparison, PER of milk is 2.5.

Biological Value refers to the proportion of protein the body is able to absorb and make available for the body’s growth and maintenance. The BV of paneer from buffalo milk is 86.56, while that made from cow milk is 81.88 respectively. In comparison, the BV of milk is 91 and that of eggs is 100.

As you can see, comparatively, paneer is the best source of protein for vegetarians due to its high protein efficiency ratio and biological value.

Fat In Paneer

On a dry matter basis, paneer should contain at least 50% fat content. According to tests, all brands pass this parameter. The nutritional information on labels is mostly stated on a wet-matter basis. And depending on the brand, it varies from 22-25gm.

The fat in paneer is mainly saturated, which can cause heart disease, obesity and increased blood pressure. It also contains around 8% cholesterol. Hence, those who are prone to heart conditions would be better off opting for low-fat paneer.

Carbohydrates In Paneer

Paneer is low in carbohydrates. Most Indian brands contain just 2-5% carbohydrates. The low-carb, high-protein characteristic of paneer helps curb post-meal sugar surges. Further, you remain full for a longer period of time.

Minerals In Paneer

Being a dairy product, paneer is rich in Calcium. Depending on the brand, 100 gm of paneer contains 400-480 mg of calcium. It is also a reasonable source of phosphorous.

Vitamins in Paneer

Paneer is rich in fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A and D. Further, it contains folic acid, B12 and Vitamin C.

Related reading: Nutritional Facts of Curd and Analysis of Indian Brands

Analysis Of Indian Brands

paneer nutrition

According to the tests by Consumer Voice, most of the leading dairy brands sell good quality paneer adhering to all Food Safety and Standard Regulations.

The brands they tested are Ananda, Amul, DMS, Paras, Mother Dairy, Nova, Madhusudan, Vita, Gowardhan, Patanjali and Heritage. All brands were tested for fat, protein, energy value, cholesterol, moisture, packaging, weight and other microbiological parameters. The top performers are Ananda, Amul and DMS. DMS was also considered the most value-for-money option.

The highest fat content was found in DMS, followed by Ananda and Amul, while Nova had the highest protein content. Being made from cow milk, Patanjali had the lowest cholesterol level too.

Further, all brands passed microbiological tests for TPC, E.Coli, Yeast, Mould etc.

Benefits of Paneer

Being a rich source of protein, fat, calcium and other important nutrients, paneer offers immense benefits. Some of them are-

Aids In Weight Loss

Paneer is rich in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates. As a result, you remain full for a longer period of time. It also curbs post-meal sugar surges.

Improves Bone Health

Being a rich source of calcium and phosphorous, paneer improves bone health and prevents tooth decay in children.

Being An Antioxidant, It Protects Cells Against Free Radicals

Research has shown that paneer supplemented with dates extract has considerable antioxidant activity due to the presence of total phenolics and flavonoids. This helps protect cells against free radicals which in turn protects the body against cancer and heart diseases.

Helps In Body Building

As paneer contains high-quality protein with excellent bioavailability, it helps in body building and maintenance. This makes it an ideal option for vegetarians who are highly susceptible to protein deficiency.

Disadvantages of Paneer

Just like everything else, paneer too should be consumed in moderation. Being rich in saturated fat, it is not the best food for those who have coronary conditions and obesity. Those who are sensitive to dairy food may suffer from bloating, diarrhoea and indigestion too.

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