Paneer Nutrition – Protein, Fats & Carbs in Paneer

Indians love paneer. Did you know, paneer does more than just entice your taste buds? Let's learn about paneer nutrition facts, paneer calories, protein in paneer and more.

In any Indian restaurant, the vegetarian section of the menu is incomplete without paneer in it. Eating paneer has a number of benefits, most of which are unknown to most people. Paneer, also known as cottage cheese, is popular in India and widely available throughout the country.

To get the full benefits of paneer, the way it is eaten also matters. Raw paneer is very healthy. It can be eaten as it is or you can sprinkle some pepper and salt on it before eating. If you prefer to eat paneer in the form of a curry, it is better to add it to the curry as it is and not fry it first.

Paneer (cottage cheese) is believed to be unhealthy by many people. People believe paneer is difficult to digest, fattening and not good for regular or daily consumption. In reality, paneer is actually very easy to digest. It does have fats but these are unsaturated fats that aid good health. There are many more benefits of paneer that might take you by surprise. Let’s have a look at the nutritional content of paneer!

Paneer Nutrition - Protein, Fats & Carbs in Paneer
Protein in paneer is an ideal source for vegetarians.

Paneer Nutritional Value

Ever wondered what are the nutrients you would get from paneer? These are nutritional facts for paneer (100 grams).

NutrientsNutritional Value
Protein18.85 grams
Fat14.7 grams
Energy257.875 Kcal
Folates93.3 micrograms
Carbohydrates12.4 grams
Calcium476 micrograms
Saturated Fat8851 micrograms
Monounsaturated Fat4300 micrograms
Polyunsaturated Fat439 micrograms
Phosphorus330 micrograms

1. Protein in Paneer

Let’s talk about the protein content in paneer. Paneer is one of the most excellent sources of protein for those following a vegetarian diet. Paneer or cottage cheese contains all the nine essential amino acids. Proteins are also essential for maintaining growth, repairing tissue, maintaining immunity and maintaining our blood volume. On its own paneer can taste a little bland, but there are a number of delicious Indian dishes that taste absolutely wonderful.

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 Paneer Nutrition – Protein, Fats & Carbs in Paneer
Paneer Nutrition – Paneer is a rich source of protein and contains all the nine essential amino acids.

2. Fat in Paneer

Now, coming to the fat content in paneer. About 15% of paneer consists of fat. It is mostly saturated fat. However, it also has Monounsaturated fat (MUFA) which are healthy and help in lowering the LDL (bad cholesterol) in the blood. The main MUFA in paneer- Oleic acid has been known to help with lowering BP. Paneer also contains an omega-3 polyunsaturated fat-alpha Linoleic acid. This is known for lowering the risk of cardiac diseases. While there are many good fats in paneer, due to the amount of saturated fat, regulated consumption is advised.

3. Calcium and Phosphorus in Paneer

Paneer is a rich source of calcium and phosphorus. Calcium helps with the proper functioning of nerves and heart muscles. While calcium is known to help improve skeletal health, it does require a certain amount of help from phosphorous. The fact that we get both in paneer, makes it a very beneficial food item to consume. Minerals like phosphorus help in releasing energy in the cells, supports the growth of the body and maintains acid-base balance in the body.

4. Carbohydrates in Paneer

Paneer contains very little carbohydrates, making it perfect for those trying to cut out carbs from their diet.

Paneer is great for someone who keeps active or has a regular exercise regimen. For those who have a sedentary lifestyle, regular paneer consumption can lead to cholesterol build-up. Paneer tends to have a lot of moisture content in it, making it a breeding ground for bacteria especially if the water used is dirty. This is why it is important to buy only quality paneer. Cheap paneer may have been made in unsanitary conditions. This could lead to an upset stomach, diarrhoea, food poisoning, etc. The high moisture content in paneer makes it a highly perishable product.

30 Interesting Ways To Add Paneer To Your Meal

Benefits of Paneer

1. Helps in bodybuilding – Paneer is a protein-rich food article. 100 grams of paneer has about 18 grams of protein. Paneer is recommended to those who are trying to bulk up. The best brands of paneer are filled with protein and also has saturated fats, it can keep hunger at bay.

2. Builds strong teeth and bones – Paneer is also rich in calcium making it great for teeth and gum health. It also has low levels of lactose in it, so the chances of cavities are greatly reduced. High calcium levels make paneer a favorable addition to the diet.

 Paneer Nutrition – Protein, Fats & Carbs in Paneer

3. Improves body metabolism – Paneer provides instant energy to the body and it also helps in improving body metabolism. Paneer helps with the digestion of excess fat and does not let excess fat get stored in the body. Paneer is a great source of Linoleic acid; this is the acid that helps in the burning of body fat. So, paneer would be a good addition to your diet if you wish to lose weight.

4. Reduces body and joint pain -Paneer can reduce body pains especially when it is lower back pain. It has omega-three and omega-six fatty acids which help in fighting arthritis and joint pains associated with old age.

5. Lowers risk of cancer – Paneer contains a good amount of selenium and potassium which may help lower risk to diseases such as cancer. The proteins in paneer help in lowering the chances of stomach and colon cancer. The risk of Prostate cancer, which is common in men, may be reduced by the intake of paneer.

6. Prevents skeletal deformation – Paneer helps in the prevention of skeletal deformation that can lead to hip and joint pains with the help of vitamin D. Paneer also has vitamin K and magnesium which helps in the development of strong bones.

7. Prevents stroke – Potassium in Paneer helps to reduce blood pressure in the body and helps prevent stroke. Potassium helps in fluid retention and it can also help in the prevention of muscle cramps. This benefits sports persons or gym goers who always need high fluid intake and want to build muscles.

8. Improves immune system – Paneer helps to improve and strengthen the immune system of the body. Respiratory diseases like asthma and bronchitis can be controlled by regular intake of paneer. It helps in improving hemoglobin levels in the body. The magnesium in paneer boosts the immune system.

9. Improves concentration and memory – Paneer helps in developing cartilages due to the presence of vitamin B. This also helps in improving concentration and memory in children.

10. Reduces menopause stress – Regular consumption of paneer can help reduce menopause stress. The calcium in paneer also helps reduce the chances of osteoporosis in women.

11. Improves sperm count – Paneer has a high presence of zinc that helps in the prevention of sperm-related issues like low sperm count and low sperm mobility.

12. Improves skin – The fat, vitamins, and selenium present in paneer help your skin glow naturally.

13. Keeps you full for longer – Since paneer releases energy slowly in the body. It does not cause a spike in one’s blood sugar levels. It keeps you energized and feeling full for longer time periods. The amount of saturated fat keeps you full for a long time and prevents you from consuming too many calories.

14. Increases RBC count – One of the key nutritional factors is the Folate (a B-complex vitamin) that produces haemoglobin which is essential for maintaining the blood count.

 Paneer Nutrition – Protein, Fats & Carbs in Paneer

Though paneer has these benefits paneer works for people with an active lifestyle as they will burn the calories provided by paneer easily and gain its nutrients. But moderation is key – eating everything in the right amount makes all the difference.

FAQs About Paneer

  1. Is it ok to eat paneer during pregnancy?

    Paneer is a rich source of calcium and protein thus making it healthy to consume during pregnancy. However, it is not recommended to eat raw paneer during pregnancy as it could be home to breeding bacteria, which could be harmful to you and the baby. Cooked paneer  in curries or dry sabjis is absolutely safe to eat and also easier to digest.

    Make sure you consume paneer that is made from pasteurized milk as that made from unpasteurized milk may cause indigestion. The best thing that you can do is eat homemade paneer. If buying from the market, it is suggested that you buy from a renowned store or of a good brand and check the labels to confirm it is good quality paneer.
    Refrain from eating discoloured, dried or cracked paneer, it may be stale and not good for consumption. Refrain from serving raw paneer to a pregnant woman.

  2. Is it easy to make paneer at home?

    Paneer can be easily made at home with just two basic ingredients – milk and a souring agent like sour curd, lemon or vinegar. Here’s how you can make approximately 200 grams of paneer with a litre of milk:

    Ingredients-
    1-litre milk (preferably full-fat milk)
    1 teaspoon of a souring agent (vinegar, sour curd or lemon)

    Process-
    1. Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed pan.
    2. Bring the milk to a boil over medium flame.
    3. Once the milk boils, take the milk off the stovetop.
    4. Add the souring agent (sour curd, lemon, vinegar) to the milk and keep stirring till the paneer coagulates and the water separates from it.
    5. Once it has cooled down, strain the water with the help of a muslin cloth.
    6. Squeeze out all the water.
    7. Your homemade paneer is ready to use.

    Paneer made from full fat milk will have a creamier texture than paneer made from toned milk. Unless you are aiming at making low fat paneer, use full fat milk to get tastier results.

  3. What is the shelf life of raw paneer?

    The shelf life of paneer is quite low and it loses freshness after 2 to 3 days when stored under refrigeration. To increase the shelf life of paneer, keep it completely submerged in plain normal water in a bowl and refrigerate it. This can help it retain its freshness for almost 8-9 days when refrigerated.

  4. What are the visible signs of spoiled paneer?

    It is quite simple to find out if the paneer has gone bad. Physical inspection like checking it's general appearance including color, texture and odor, if they have changed. The color will change to yellowish and texture will feel almost slimy on the outer surface.

    There could be cracks as if it has dried up or in the process of drying up and a sharp, pungent odor is quite prominent if it has gone bad. In case of slightest doubt, the stored paneer should be thrown and no attempt should be made to scarp its outer layer and use the inner portions. It is always advisable to prepare fresh paneer and in limited quantities.

  5. Is the leftover water from making paneer nutritious?

    While making paneer at home, the slightly yellowish liquid that is left behind is called Whey. We generally throw this liquid, once done. Whey is considered to be rich in natural healthy proteins. It helps to build muscle strength, provide cellular energy and improve the immune system.

    Apart from these factors, whey is also very nutritious and it helps reduce the risk of thrombosis, lowers the blood pressure level, slows down the ageing process, promotes weight loss and helps in balancing hormones. With so many health benefits, whey can be used in various recipes such as –

    1. Making a chapati dough
    2. Add to fruit juices
    3. Adding to a gravy
    4. Use it for cooking rice
    5. Baking muffins, dry cakes
    6. Tenderising Meat

  6. By what age can kids eat paneer?

    Though cow's milk is not recommended for babies below one year, paneer (made with cow's milk) can be included in the baby's diet from 8 months after introducing basic vegetables and cereals. As dairy products like paneer, yogurt and cheese are produced by curdling enzymes, lactose is broken down to smaller protein molecules which makes it easily digestible.

    Hence it is entirely safe to introduce paneer to your baby before one year. If your family has a history of milk allergy or lactose intolerance, discuss with your baby's doctor before introducing paneer to your baby.

  7. What is the difference between malai paneer and regular paneer?

    The main difference between the 2 paneers is the recipe. Malai paneer is made using half malai and half full cream milk, while the regular paneer is made with only full cream milk. The latter process followed for both recipes is the same as mentioned above. Malai paneer tends to be more silky and smooth in texture and preferred by many, whereas the regular paneer is comparatively firmer in texture. Malai paneer may also cost more than regular paneer.

  8. Is tofu also a type of paneer?

    Paneer (cottage cheese) is fresh cheese made with cow or buffalo milk and used frequently in many Indian dishes. Tofu, a vegan product, is obtained from soybean milk and commonly used in the Southeast Asian cuisine. Tofu and paneer appear similar, even though they are prepared with different types of milk.

    Both are rich in protein and calcium, but tofu is the healthier one, considering it has lower calories and more iron content as compared to paneer. Taste wise, tofu has a peculiar flavour, due to which most people do not prefer including it in their daily diet, which is why paneer tends to grab the spotlight in Indian cooking.

  9. Can I eat paneer during Keto diet? Is it a good source of protein?

    Yes. Eating paneer during a keto diet is recommended, especially if you are following a vegetarian keto diet. A keto diet requires cutting out on carbohydrates completely in your diet (Yes, no bread, rice, rotis) and relying completely on a protein rich diet with an increased intake of fat (low carb, high fat diet). Paneer is a rich source of protein, and has very little carbs making it the perfect food to add to your ketogenic diet, especially if you are a vegetarian.

Disclaimer – This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information before making any dietary changes.

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