Is Baingan Bharta good for weight loss?

Baingan bharta, also known as smoked eggplant curry, is a popular Indian dish made from roasted eggplant that is mashed and cooked with onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, spices and herbs. This flavorful curry can be a nutritious addition to a healthy diet and may even help with weight loss efforts.

Eggplant is a low calorie, high fiber vegetable that provides important nutrients. When combined with spices like cumin and coriander that can boost metabolism and tomatoes that are low in calories, baingan bharta offers a well-rounded nutritional profile. The fiber, water content and low calorie density of baingan bharta can help promote fullness and reduce calorie intake which are key factors for weight loss.

Here is an in-depth look at baingan bharta’s nutritional benefits and how this curry dish may support weight loss when included as part of a healthy diet.

Nutrition Profile of Baingan Bharta

One cup of baingan bharta contains approximately: (1)

– 56 calories
– 2 grams protein
– 0 grams fat
– 13 grams carbohydrate
– 5 grams fiber
– 230 milligrams potassium
– 12% DV vitamin C
– 5% DV iron
– 4% DV calcium

This nutrition profile highlights some of the key attributes of baingan bharta:

– Low calorie – With only 56 calories per cup, this dish can help reduce overall calorie intake which promotes weight loss.

– High fiber – The 5 grams of fiber per serving accounts for 20% of the daily value. Fiber promotes fullness and supports weight management.

– Nutrient-dense – Provides vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from the eggplant, tomatoes, onions and spices. Nutrient-dense foods can help support a healthy diet.

– No fat or added sugars – Unlike some curries and Indian dishes, baingan bharta has no added fats or sugars making it a lighter choice.

This combination of low calories, high fiber and nutrients makes baingan bharta a well-rounded food option, especially when weight loss is a goal.

Benefits of Eggplant for Weight Loss

Baingan bharta is made from roasted eggplant, so many of its weight loss friendly attributes come from the properties of eggplant itself. Some of the key ways eggplant may promote weight loss include:

– Low calorie density – Eggplant has just 20 calories per 100 grams. Foods with a low calorie density provide fewer calories per bite which helps reduce overall calorie intake. (2)

– High water content – 92% of eggplant’s weight comes from water. The high water content adds volume and weight without additional calories.

– Source of fiber – With 2.5g of fiber in 100g of eggplant, the fiber helps provide bulk to meals to enhance feelings of fullness. (3)

– Nutrient profile – Eggplant contains chlorogenic acid, a polyphenol antioxidant that may help regulate blood sugar and combat inflammation which are factors in metabolic syndrome. (4)

Eggplant is more than just water and fiber. It also provides antioxidants, anthocyanins, nasunin and other beneficial plant compounds. Using eggplant as the main ingredient provides baingan bharta with these weight loss boosting properties.

Spices and Herbs Increase Metabolism

What makes baingan bharta unique from just roasted eggplant is the addition of metabolism boosting spices. Traditional recipes call for the addition of:

– Cumin
– Coriander
– Turmeric
– Cayenne pepper
– Garlic
– Ginger
– Onion


Cumin may provide weight loss benefits by increasing metabolism and improving digestion. Studies show that cumin can increase metabolic rate and promote fat burn in mice. The antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory effects of cumin may also contribute to weight loss potential. (5, 6)


Adding coriander to baingan bharta provides a source of antioxidants and potential weight loss benefits. Research indicates coriander seed extract helped reduce fat accumulation in mice fed a high fat diet. It’s effects on lipid metabolism may activate enzymes that promote fat breakdown. (7)


Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help with weight loss. According to research, curcumin may suppress fat tissue growth and regulate lipid metabolism. The anti-inflammatory effects help keep obesity-related inflammation in check. (8)

Cayenne Pepper

Capsaicin is the compound in cayenne pepper that gives it the spicy kick. Capsaicin may boost metabolism, promote fat burning and reduce appetite slightly. However, more research is still needed on using cayenne for weight loss in humans. (9)


Garlic is an aromatic and flavorful addition to baingan bharta. The active compounds in garlic may regulate blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels, promote heart health and reduce inflammation which may help support weight loss efforts. (10)


A relative of turmeric, ginger also provides anti-inflammatory compounds. Including ginger in recipes like baingan bharta may help increase feelings of fullness after a meal and improve lipid profiles. Ginger enhances the overall nutritious properties of the dish. (11)


Onions provide flavor enhancing sulfur-compounds as well as fiber and antioxidants. Research shows including more allium vegetables like onions and garlic in your diet is associated with better weight management over time. (12)

The unique blend of metabolism and fat burning spices included in most baingan bharta recipes can amplify the weight loss potential of this vegetable curry dish.

Tomatoes Boost Nutrition

In traditional preparations, tomatoes are added to roasted eggplant along with the spices to create baingan bharta. Tomatoes offer additional benefits for a weight loss diet:

– Low calorie – provide just 18 calories per 100g serving

– Water-rich – have a high water content that helps fill you up

– Source of fiber – contain 1.5g of fiber in 100g

– Nutrient-dense – supplies vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K

– Antioxidants – contain lycopene, beta-carotene and other antioxidants

By combining eggplant and tomatoes, baingan bharta delivers a one-two punch of nutrients, water content and fiber that contributes to its low calorie density and weight management benefits.

Water Content and Fiber Promote Fullness

Two of the attributes that make baingan bharta a lower calorie dish are the high water content and fiber. These factors help increase volume and weight of food without significantly increasing calories.

Foods with higher water content and fiber take up more room in your stomach and take longer to digest. This leads to increased feelings of fullness and satisfaction after eating.

Higher satisfaction after a meal may result in eating less overall during the day. One study found eating a high fiber, low calorie density breakfast led to decreased hunger and lower calorie intake at lunch. (13)

The water and fiber combination in baingan bharta can promote fullness and help prevent overeating at meals and snacks, an important factor for weight management.

Low Calorie Density for Weight Loss

Calorie density looks at the number of calories in a given weight of food. Foods with a higher calorie density provide more calories per gram while foods with a lower calorie density provide fewer calories per gram.

Research consistently shows that eating more low calorie density foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and high fiber whole grains is beneficial for weight loss. These low calorie density foods displace calories from higher calorie options. (14)

Some studies have found that decreasing calorie density alone can lead to clinically significant weight loss, even without intentionally restricting calories. This makes eating more low calorie density foods a smart strategy. (15)

With only 56 calories per cup, baingan bharta is an excellent example of a low calorie density food. Choosing lower calorie density foods can help reduce overall caloric intake and create the calorie deficit needed for weight loss.

May Help Improve Blood Sugar Control

Keeping blood sugar levels steady is an important factor in managing hunger and weight. Hunger and food cravings can be exacerbated by frequent blood sugar spikes and crashes.

The fiber, spices and overall low glycemic nature of baingan bharta can help moderate blood sugar changes after eating. This glycemic control may promote feelings of fullness and reduce cravings.

In a study with type 2 diabetes patients, consuming dried eggplant peel powder helped lower blood glucose levels after a meal compared to placebo. This blood sugar lowering effect was attributed to the fiber and polyphenols in eggplant. (16)

Can Fit Into a Balanced Diet

While baingan bharta has properties that make it weight loss friendly, on its own it cannot produce significant weight loss. To lose weight, you need to follow an overall healthy balanced diet and engage in regular physical activity.

However, swapping out higher calorie dishes for options like baingan bharta can facilitate weight loss efforts. Some ways it can be incorporated into a balanced diet include:

– Main dish – Serve it over a cauliflower rice as a vegetarian main course.

– Side dish – Pair it with lean proteins and vegetable sides.

– Meal prep – Make a batch to have for low calorie leftovers.

– Snack – Stuff in lettuce cups or wraps for an afternoon snack.

– Breakfast – Add an egg for a filling breakfast bowl.

– Lunch – Top salads, flatbreads or grains bowls with baingan bharta.

While baingan bharta can be included in many different ways in your diet, portion size still matters for weight loss. Be mindful of overdoing high calorie additions like rice, naan or fried snacks when pairing this dish.

Downsides of Baingan Bharta for Weight Loss

While baingan bharta has many attributes linked to weight loss, there are some potential downsides to keep in mind:

– Preparation methods – Frying the eggplant or using a lot of added oils to cook the dish increases the calorie content. Stick to roasting, grilling or sautéing.

– Potatoes – Some recipes call for boiled potatoes which significantly increases the calories and carbs. Avoid added potatoes if watching weight.

– Serving size – Large portions can lead to excessive calorie intake so be mindful of serving sizes. Measure out 1 cup portions.

– Add-ons – Loading up baingan bharta with rice, naan or other high calorie accompaniments can counteract the weight loss benefits.

– Frequency – While beneficial for weight loss, eating eggplant and baingan bharta daily may not provide enough variety for a truly balanced approach.

To maximize the weight loss potential, opt for roasted or grilled preparations, watch your portion sizes and pair baingan bharta with other non-starchy veggies and lean proteins.


Baingan bharta is a low calorie, nutritious Indian dish that can promote weight loss when included as part of a healthy diet. The high fiber eggplant, metabolism boosting spices, and hydrating tomatoes create a recipe with properties that suppress appetite, increase fat burning and reduce calorie intake.

However, baingan bharta alone will not produce major weight loss. To see results, you need to combine this vegetable curry dish with an overall lifestyle of balanced, nutrient-dense meals and regular physical activity. As one component of healthy eating for weight loss, baingan bharta is a delicious option worth adding to your regular rotation.


1. USDA FoodData Central. Eggplant, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt.

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