The unhealthiest Middle Eastern foods aren’t the dishes with chickpeas such as hummus or the baba ghanoush, lean meats, beans, nuts and vegetables.
The unhealthiest Middle Eastern foods are those with too much sugar or fat.
When on a diet and dining out at a Middle Eastern restaurant, be sure to skip the arak, an alcoholic drink also called the “milk of lions.”
Although much of the Middle Eastern diet is healthy, dieters should skip the alcohol, and watch out for Middle Eastern restaurant diet killers. Here are the five unhealthiest Middle Eastern foods:
No. 1: Unhealthy Middle Eastern Lebanese Dish:
The unhealthiest Middle Eastern food is Sujuk, which is sliced Lebanese-style sausages sautéed in tomatoes. Even though tomatoes are good for you, the sausages are high in fat and not suitable for a dieter.
No. 2: Unhealthy Middle Eastern Turkish Treat:
The unhealthiest Middle Eastern food from Turkey is the famous Turkish Delight candy. Some people might remember that the White Witch temped Edmund with the candy in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” book. In real life, bakers use granulated sugar, water, lemon juice, rosewater, confectioner’s sugar and vegetable oil or shortening to make the sweet Turkish treat. It’s an unhealthy Middle Eastern food because of the high sugar content and empty calories.
No. 3: Unhealthy Middle Eastern Flat Bread With Beef:
The unhealthiest Middle Eastern food is combining flat bread with ground beef, which his high in fat. The Laham B’Agein dish, which can be ordered in some Middle Eastern restaurants, is flat bread baked with a topping of ground lamb and beef, tomatoes, red onion, pine nuts and lemon.
No. 4: Unhealthy Middle Eastern Egyptian Food:
Another one of the unhealthiest Middle Eastern food is deep fried falafel. The Egyptian falafel is made from fava beans, which are healthy, but deep frying them soaks up a lot of grease. They are usually served in a pita or wrapped in flat bread. A type of fritter, they are eaten as “street food.” To make healthy falafel simply follow a recipe for baking the balls instead of frying them.
No. 5: Unhealthy Middle Eastern Dessert:
Avoid ordering Basbousa cakes with syrup. The cake is made with sugar, butter and whole milk and then smothered in syrup of sugar, water and lemon as well as honey.
Unlike some Italian diet killers, the unhealthiest Middle Eastern food is not as unhealthy as most American dishes. Of course, anything that is a candy or deep fried should be avoided while on a diet. With these few exceptions, Americans should eat more Middle Eastern foods!
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About.com: Middle Eastern Food