Everything You Need to Know About Shawarma
Shawarma is a very popular form of street food which is widely sold in Russian and Europe. This is an Eastern type of food, which is also called as a doner kebab. This food is made from meat, which is cooked in the vertical rotisserie and complemented with vegetables. It is seasoned with special spices and then served with certain type of a flatbread which is called lavash. Shawarma is considered to be a fast food. This sort of food is not so healthy. In reality, all depends on the way it has been cooked.
Disadvantages of Street Shawarma
Street shawarma is a type of fast food. This meal takes about 10 minutes to make, it is cheap and tastes nice. Some people say that it is as unhealthy food as the hamburgers are and some people think that it can be eaten once in a while. Which of them is really right?
Shawarma: Secrets of Street Cooking
The main thing about street cooking is that often cooking conditions are not the best ones to be. Selling persons usually do it in the market places and next to the metro stations. Therefore, health and safety regulations are very rarely adhered. It is especially true when an amount of the clients gets too large to handle. In this case, cook forgets to wash hands and sanitize cutlery. Shawarma is cooked in the dirty table, where pathogenic bacteria easily multiply.
Street shawarma lovers may risk their health when they buy street shawarma as it could be made from spoiled meat. Cook can easily hide certain taste and aroma such a meat may have just by frying it a bit longer. Some cooks even use meat of cats, dogs or pigeons to make shawarma. Health inspectors quite often discover that the dish is complemented with sauce of a very poor quality which should not be consumed.
Street Shawarma: Easy Way to Get Food Poisoning
You never know what’s going to happen when you buy street shawarma next to the metro station. Head of the Directorate for Consumer Rights and Health Protection called this sort of food “feces” as 70% of inspected salad, which is usually complementing street shawarma, contains coliform bacterium.
Customer doesn’t really know what is street shawarma made from and when street kitchen has been really cleaned last time. Therefore, street shawarma often causes digestive issues such as:
- Gastro-intestinal infections;
- Food poisoning;
- Digestive issues;
- Nausea and vomiting.
Shawarma: Quick Way to Gain Weight
Researchers from New Hampshire calculated that amount of fats in one portion of shawarma approaches to almost 100 g while recommended daily dose of fats comprises 70 to 80 grams only. Shawarma lovers easily gain weight. Energy value of one portion of such a food is 1000 kcal. Consuming this food, one may become obese and this may pose a risk to health.
Shawarma is Bad for Your Health and Blood Vessels
Some types of shawarma are very rich in saturated fats. They increase cholesterol level in blood and thicken arteries. Therefore, people, who consume shawarma at least twice per week, can easily get sick with ischemia.
Obese people can get diabetes, high blood pressure and otherwise suffer from other dangerous diseases. If shawarma lover lives sedentary way of life and consumes a great amount of fried, salty and smoked foods, then he is going to suffer cardiac infarction in 10 years.
Shawarma Affects Mental Health
Researchers from Princeton University discovered that shawarma as any other street food is very addictive like drugs. They also state that excessive consumption of shawarma can result in serious mental problems. The latter statement is still quite questionable as it is not clear how much shawarma should be really consumed to make one crazy.
Shawarma: How Much Is Enough?
Although fast food is not any healthy treat to go with, one can be sometimes very hungry. And hunger is not a best friend of your stomach and pancreas as gastric acid can easily irritate mucosa. Of course, it is always better to eat healthy food. However, if you must choose between hot dog, hamburger or shawarma, the last option if the best one to go with. Shawarma contains much less preservatives and GMO than burgers and hot dogs.
However, it is always better to eat vegetables and fruits and favor active way of life. One can have shawarma about one or two times per week, but not more than that. It is also better to buy it always from the same place. This way you can stay relatively safe and avoid unnecessary food poisonings.
Health Benefits of Homemade Shawarma
Nutritionists think that shawarma and other fast food types are very harmful for your health. And this is partially true as it concerns the street made food only. Homemade shawarma can be food for your health. Everything depends on the way it has been cooked and ingredients used for cooking it.
The Ways to Make Good Shawarma
To make shawarma in healthy way, it is very important to choose the right ingredients for making it. Follow our advices:
- Always use lean meat such as chicken, turkey or veal as they do not contain «bad» cholesterol. These types of meat are rich in protein, А, Е and В vitamins, iron and potassium, phosphorus and manganese as well as iodine and other minerals.
- Complement shawarma with fresh vegetables and greens. They are rich in fiber, micro- and macro elements which ensure proper functioning of the human body.
- Use sauce made from Smetana or sour milk and garlic or homemade tomato ketchup to season it. Traditionally shawarma is consumed without ketchup or mayo. Street cooks started to season shawarma with it to make it a cheaper dish to go with.
Making shawarma at home, you can easily eliminate the risks related to street food consumption:
- Always check best before date of used products.
- Comply with health safety regulations.
- Grill the meat instead of deep frying it.
Following these simple rules, you will not get food poisonings and endanger your health in any other way. And grilling shawarma meat, you will also make it healthier and less fat.
The Ways to Make Healthy Shawarma
Homemade shawarma won’t make you fat and will positively affect your health:
- Vegetables and greens will replenish lack of vitamins and microelements;
- Spices will fight harmful bacteria as they serve as natural antibiotics;
- Meat contains protein, which boosts the immune system.
You can also make vegetarian version of shawarma by filling lavash with veggies, greens and cheese. Such a meal is good option to go with during the fast. Shawarma tastes nice even when it is meat free. It is also good for your heart and blood vessels and does not cause obesity. The most important is to consume shawarma in moderation and do not overeat.