Are empanadas good for you?

Answered by Willian Lymon

Empanadas can be a delicious treat, but when it comes to their healthiness, it really depends on how they are prepared and the ingredients used. Traditional empanadas typically consist of a dough filled with beef and cheese, which is then fried. While this combination may be tasty, it can also be quite high in calories, unhealthy fats, and sodium.

The dough used in empanadas is typically made from flour, butter or lard, and water. This dough is then filled with a mixture of ground beef, cheese, and sometimes other ingredients like onions, peppers, or spices. The empanadas are then fried until golden and crispy.

One of the main concerns with traditional empanadas is the frying process. Deep frying foods can significantly increase their calorie and fat content. This is because the food absorbs the oil used for frying, leading to a higher calorie and fat content than if it were baked or grilled. Additionally, the type of oil used for frying can also affect the healthiness of the empanadas. Oils high in saturated or trans fats should be avoided, as these can increase the risk of heart disease.

Another aspect to consider is the filling. While beef and cheese are traditional fillings, they can also be high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Consuming too much saturated fat can increase your risk of heart disease, and eating excessive amounts of cholesterol can contribute to high blood cholesterol levels. It’s important to note that moderation is key when it comes to these ingredients.

However, it’s worth mentioning that there are healthier alternatives to traditional empanadas. For example, you can opt for whole wheat or grain-based dough instead of white flour, which provides more fiber and nutrients. Additionally, you can experiment with different fillings, such as lean meats like chicken or turkey, and incorporate plenty of vegetables to boost the nutritional value.

Baking empanadas instead of frying them can also be a healthier option. By baking them, you can reduce the amount of added fat and calories while still achieving a crispy texture. Brushing the empanadas with a small amount of oil or an egg wash before baking can help achieve a golden crust.

While traditional empanadas may not be the healthiest meal option due to their high calorie, fat, and sodium content, there are ways to make them healthier. By choosing whole wheat dough, opting for leaner fillings, incorporating vegetables, and baking instead of frying, you can enjoy a healthier version of this delicious dish. As with any food, moderation is key, and it’s important to balance your overall diet to ensure you’re getting a variety of nutrients.