Akara has many names in Nigeria such as kosai, bean fritters, bean balls etc. It is a common food of many west African countries usually cooked with some variations. Traditioanlly, Akara is eaten as a breakfast or an evening meal however over time, It has become a street snack that is commonly sold by the roadside mostly in the morning and evening.
What is akara?
Akara is a nigerian breakfast snack made primarily from black eyed beans. The beans is blended with other ingrediants into a liquid mixture and deep fried in oil in batches. It is typically served with akamu or papa made from millet and corn.
As we are becoming more health concious and making efforts to be healthier, we are beginning to wonder if our staple diet is good for us or needs to be modifified to fit our needs and standards. Below, I will be answerinf some questions you might have on this very delicious and popular food.
Is akara good for weight loss?
Akara is primarily made of beans which is excellent for weight loss as it is high in protein and fiber. To increase the benefit of akara while losing weight, don’t remove the beans shells as it is typically done and fry it in low fat oil.
The beans shell that is usually removed contain very beneficial fiber and minerals but we unfortunately throw it away. The beans shell contain, vitamin, antioxidants, and most importantly fiber that cleans the colon and keeps us full for longer periods which a very important factor while losing weight. Did you know you can actually make akara without de-shelling the beans? The only difference is that it will have black spots but there is no difference in taste or quality.
It is also important to try and fry the akara in a low fat oil such as olive oil and canola oil. Also try not to let the akara soak up too much much if that happens, then squeeze it with a clean tissue paper to take out some of the oil. this way, it will not be adding more calories to the akara than it needs to thus, undermining your weight loss efforts.
These tips will dramatically increase the benefits of eating akara while on a weight loss journey and they are a good addition to your new diet.
Is akara fattening?
Beans is not fattening and is commonly recommended to be included in weight loss diets for its high protein, fiber, and they contain no fat at all.
Perhaps the misconception that akara is fattening is because of the deep frying process. This is not accurate in my opinion because while deep fried foods are often not recommended for those trying to lose weight, the benefits of the beans, deep frying in a healthy oil and avoiding the akara from soaking too much oil while frying are measures that ensure that your akara will be healthy, non-fattening and a good addition to your weight loss diet.
Did you know that there are methods of frying akara that you will barely find any oil in it? If you would like me to write about these methods, then let me know in the comment section below
Is akara a protein?
AKara mail ingredient is a protein making it a good source of protein and fiber and other beneficial nutrients. If you are allergic to beans intolerant, it might not be the best food for you. You can include for other foods in Nigeria such as pap, kunu, etc. as part of your diet
Is akara good for a diabetic person?
Akara is safe and healthy diabetic patients even if they eat it often. Beans are very beneficial to diabetes patients as they are a good alternative to the starchy foods full of carbs that worsen their condition. The deep frying of the beans in groundnut oil (the commonly used oil in Nigeria) does not make it unsafe for them as some will expect. Peanut oil is said to help with insulin positivity and lower blood sugar.
The only possible harm from Akara is on type 2 diabetes as some studies have shown a link between eating fried foods and an increased occurrence of type 2 diabetes in people. This is a small study and is not specific to eating akara.
Peanut oil and beans are good for diabetics so don’t worry yourself. Go ahead and make that akara.
Is akara a healthy food?
Akara is a healthy food consumed by millions of people every day for most of the population except those with an underlying health condition such as diabetes.
Akara is an old diet of west Africa made primarily from beans that is rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, antioxidants etc. Its health benefits are boosted when combined with its usual companion pap, ogi or akamu made typically from millet and maize (corn)
Is akara good for pregnant woman?
Pregnant women can eat akara safely without any side effects or harming themselves or the baby. Akara is a safe food to eat when expecting and it contains many beneficial nutrients that are good for you so feel free.
It will be good if you can enjoy your Akara in moderation and not make it an everyday diet due to the fat in the oil from the deepfrying but overall, it is safe for you and the baby. Enjoy!
Is akara good for ulcer patient/
Akara is like other deep fried foods are typically not recommended for ulcer patients. This is because it can trigger their ulcer symptoms. However, if prepared well (without much oil) and eaten not very frequently, it can be eaten except if yur ulcer is at an advanced stage then it is best you avoid it and opt for moi-moi instead.
Is akara keto friendly?
Akara is not keto friendly if you are on a keto diet. This is because beans its primary ingredient contain carbs which goes against the fundamentals of a keto diet and the added calories from frying all contribute to taking it out of the keto friendly foods category
At most, you can eat green beans which are not really what we consider to be beans in West Africa and by people because it is a vegetable not a legume.
Akara is a healthy and delicious food that we have been enjoying for a long time in Africa. I hope I have answered your question to your satisfaction and you are now clear. Continue to enjoy this food as you like unless you are a diabetic patient which in this case, you should eat it sparingly if you prepare it well.
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