Many people do not know about injera, let alone whether it is good for weight loss. Find out what nutrients you can expect and whether this food is helpful to get in shape.
First of all, injera aka Ethiopian (flat)bread is a type of bread made from teff flour. Teff is a type of seed that comes from Ethiopia.
This does not apply to all types of bread out there but injera can actually be good for weight loss thanks to how filling it is while still containing a relatively low number of calories.
Because of how filling it is, injera can help you avoid foods that are suboptimal for weight loss.
At the same time, you need to remember that the rest of your diet and other lifestyle habits are important too. If these things are suboptimal, one healthy food option like injera is likely not enough to turn things around.
Fiber in injera
One of the first nutrients to look at when finding out whether a plant-based food is good for weight loss is fiber.
This is a type of carbohydrate that does not get absorbed well into your actual body but this is actually part of the reason why it can be helpful.
Before going into these details, 100 grams of injera contains around 2.7 grams of fiber (1).
This is a good amount of fiber compared to many other foods but at the same time, there are also better options.
That being said, the amount of fiber in Ethiopian bread will generally still be helpful for weight loss for a few reasons.
First of all, fiber helps you feel fuller without really adding extra calories to your diet.
Many people can confirm that hunger and cravings are some of the most common reasons for not sticking to a healthy diet plan.
Next, fiber can also reduce how many calories you absorb from calories consumed in combination with the fiber (2). You should likely not expect crazy differences but small benefits add up over time.
Additionally, fiber is generally considered to make positive differences in the health and composition of your gut microbiome.
The gut microbiome seems to play a role in general health and things like weight loss although all the details are not clear to science (yet).
In short, injera contains a nice amount of fiber. This will generally be beneficial for people who are trying to lose weight.
Protein in injera
Protein is the next important nutrient in a weight loss context.
Injera contains around 3.5 grams of protein per 100 grams (1).
Teff is not the lowest in protein when it comes to whole grains but the resulting Ethiopian bread is not that impressive in this area.
This is unfortunate because protein is another nutrient that can help you feel fuller throughout the day and slow down the absorption of other nutrients.
Additionally, protein plays a role in preserving and building muscle mass. This extra mass can help you use up more energy throughout the day.
So while the 3.5 grams of protein in injera will be helpful, this is a relatively low amount compared to many other food options. Especially, animal meats, nuts, fish, and cheese.
Calories in injera
Calories are basically a way to express the amount of energy in food.
They are not the perfect measurement to explain all the other processes going on inside your body but calories can be helpful to get an idea about the effects of certain foods on weight loss.
Injera contains around 87 calories per 100 grams (1).
One injera with a diameter of 12″ is about 127 grams and contains around 110 calories.
While these amounts are not quite as low per 100 grams as most vegetables and fruits, injera is still relatively low in calories.
One thing to note is that these calories mostly come from carbohydrates. That means injera will generally not be suited for a keto diet.
Does injera make you fat or lose weight?
Excess body fat is basically stored energy which can be measured in calories. To start using/losing this body fat, you need to make it so there is less energy coming in from food than your body requires to function.
The result of that is that you start using up body fat to make up for the difference.
In simpler words, if you can make it so your diet does not contain too many calories (type of calorie matters too but that aside), you can start to lose weight.
From looking at the list of whole grains you may be surprised but injera is actually relatively helpful for weight loss due to its relatively low-calorie content and decent amount of fiber.
Whether you will ultimately lose weight when eating more injera will also depend on the rest of your diet and other lifestyle habits.
That being said, this Ethiopian bread should help you feel fuller without adding too many calories.
In turn, it likely becomes easier to stay away from big portions of unhealthier foods. If you are gaining fat while eating injera, this food is likely not the main reason.
Additionally, injera is often consumed in combination with salads and stews. These tend to be dishes that are helpful for getting in shape.