Is moong dal good for weight loss?

In a world crowded with diet trends, this simple legume has earned a spot in our conversation.

Let’s find out why.

What is Moong Dal?

Moong dal or mung beans, known scientifically as Vigna radiata, is more than just a staple in many Asian cuisines—it’s a nutritional powerhouse.

This small, green legume is a member of the lentil family and is commonly used in various forms, from whole to split and even sprouted.

Rich in essential nutrients and versatile in its culinary applications, moong dal has been a subject of interest for its potential health benefits, especially its role in weight loss.

With this foundational understanding, we are better equipped to explore the question: Is moong dal good for weight loss?

Nutritional Profile of Moong Dal

Before we begin discussing the efficacy of moong dal for weight loss, it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of its nutritional profile.

Knowing what you consume is the first step towards making informed dietary choices.

Here, we present a detailed breakdown of the nutritional content in one cup (202 grams) of boiled whole moong dal.

Caloric Content

One cup of boiled moong dal contains 212 calories.

While this may seem like a significant number, it’s essential to note that these are nutrient-dense calories, providing you with a host of vitamins and minerals.


  • Fat: A mere 0.8 grams per cup, making it a low-fat option suitable for weight loss.
  • Protein: A substantial 14.2 grams, which is crucial for muscle building and repair.
  • Carbohydrates: 38.7 grams, primarily complex carbs that are slow to digest and keep you full for longer.
  • Fibre: 15.4 grams, aiding in digestion and contributing to feelings of fullness.


  • Folate (B9): Provides 80% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI), essential for cell growth and metabolism.
  • Manganese: Covers 30% of the RDI, beneficial for bone formation and blood clotting.
  • Magnesium: Fulfils 24% of the RDI, important for a variety of biochemical reactions in the body.
  • Vitamin B1: Meets 22% of the RDI, crucial for converting nutrients into energy.
  • Phosphorus: Accounts for 20% of the RDI, vital for bone health.
  • Iron: Supplies 16% of the RDI, necessary for oxygen transport in the blood.
  • Copper: Also provides 16% of the RDI, important for various physiological processes.
  • Potassium: Offers 15% of the RDI, essential for fluid balance and muscle function.
  • Zinc: Contributes to 11% of the RDI, important for immune function.

Additional Nutrients

Source: Self Nutrition Data

How Moong Dal Aids in Weight Loss

When it comes to the topic of “moong dal for weight loss,” several key factors contribute to its efficacy.

Below, we discuss these aspects in greater detail:

High Protein Content

  • Muscle Building: Protein is a vital macronutrient for muscle development. A higher muscle mass leads to an increased metabolic rate, which in turn helps in burning more calories.
  • Satiety: Protein-rich foods like moong dal can make you feel full for longer periods, reducing the likelihood of overeating.

Rich in Fibre

  • Digestive Health: The high fibre content aids in digestion, ensuring that your gastrointestinal tract functions optimally.
  • Appetite Control: Fibre adds bulk to your diet, making you feel full and thereby reducing overall calorie intake.

Low Glycemic Index

  • Blood Sugar Regulation: Foods with a low glycemic index, like moong dal, release sugar into the bloodstream gradually. This helps in maintaining steady blood sugar levels, which is crucial for effective weight loss.
  • Reduced Fat Storage: A low glycemic index also means less insulin release, which minimises fat storage in the body.

Nutrient Density

  • Micronutrients: Moong dal is rich in essential vitamins and minerals like folate, manganese and magnesium, which support overall health while you’re on a weight loss journey.
  • Caloric Efficiency: Despite being low in calories, moong dal is highly nutritious, making it a caloric-efficient food.

Versatility in Diet

  • Meal Options: From soups and salads to main courses, moong dal can be incorporated into various dishes, making it easier to stick to a weight loss regimen.
  • Culinary Adaptability: Its neutral taste makes it adaptable to numerous cuisines, allowing for diverse and enjoyable weight loss meal planning.

Recipes Tailored for Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, the way you prepare and consume moong dal can make all the difference.

Below are some authentic, nutrient-rich recipes designed to align with your weight loss goals:

Moong Dal Soup

  • Why It Works: This soup is low in calories but high in protein and fibre, making it a filling yet light dinner option.
  • How to Prepare:
    • Boil 1 cup of soaked moong dal in 4 cups of water.
    • Add spices like 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and a pinch of cumin.
    • Once boiled, blend to a smooth consistency.
    • Sauté vegetables like spinach and carrots in a teaspoon of olive oil and add to the soup.
    • Garnish with coriander leaves and a teaspoon of lemon juice.

Moong Dal Salad

  • Why It Works: High in nutrients and low in calories, this salad can curb mid-day hunger pangs effectively.
  • How to Prepare:
    • Soak moong dal overnight and allow it to sprout.
    • Dice vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes and onions.
    • Mix the sprouted moong dal and vegetables.
    • Add a dressing of lemon juice, salt and a sprinkle of black pepper.

Moong Dal Khichdi

  • Why It Works: This dish offers a balanced meal with protein, fibre and essential nutrients, all in controlled portions.
  • How to Prepare:
    • Take 1/2 cup of moong dal and 1/2 cup of brown rice. Wash and soak for 30 minutes.
    • In a pressure cooker, add the dal and rice along with 1 teaspoon of turmeric and salt to taste.
    • Add vegetables like peas and cauliflower.
    • Cook for 3-4 whistles and let the pressure release naturally.
    • Add tadka to khichdi and garnish.

Moong Dal Smoothie

  • Why It Works: This smoothie offers a high-protein start to your day, keeping you full for longer.
  • How to Prepare:
    • Boil 1/4 cup of moong dal until soft.
    • Blend it with 1 cup of low-fat yogurt, a handful of blueberries and a teaspoon of honey.
    • Add a pinch of cinnamon for added flavour.

Common Myths Debunked

When it comes to “moong dal for weight loss,” misconceptions abound. It’s essential to debunk these myths to make informed dietary choices.

Here are some common myths, debunked for your clarity:

Myth 1: Moong Dal is High in Calories

  • Truth: While moong dal is nutrient-dense, it is not high in calories. One cup of boiled moong dal contains around 212 calories, making it a low-calorie option suitable for weight loss.

Myth 2: Moong Dal is Only for Vegetarians

  • Truth: While it’s a staple in vegetarian diets, the benefits of moong dal for weight loss can be enjoyed by everyone, irrespective of their dietary preferences.

Myth 3: Moong Dal Leads to Weight Gain Due to Carbs

  • Truth: Moong dal does contain carbohydrates, but these are primarily complex carbs that are slow to digest and do not lead to rapid weight gain.

Myth 4: Moong Dal is Not Filling Enough for a Meal

  • Truth: The high protein and fibre content in moong dal make it a filling food option. When consumed as part of a balanced meal, it can keep you full for longer periods.

Myth 5: Moong Dal is Too Simple to Offer Health Benefits

  • Truth: Despite its simplicity, moong dal is a nutritional powerhouse. It offers a balanced mix of essential nutrients like protein, fibre and vitamins, making it highly beneficial for weight loss.

Myth 6: Moong Dal Can’t Be Included in a Keto Diet

  • Truth: While moong dal is not a traditional keto food, it can be incorporated into a modified keto diet plan due to its high protein and low-fat content.


So, is moong dal good for weight loss? The answer is a resounding yes.

Its high protein and fibre content, along with a low glycemic index, make it an ideal choice for those looking to shed some pounds.

However, like any other food, moderation is key. Consult your healthcare provider for personalised advice.


For a deeper dive into the myriad health benefits of moong dal, check out our comprehensive blog post here: 10 Amazing Benefits of Moong Dal.

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Sources: Nutrition by Lovneet