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Jun 30, 2008 10:41 AM

How un-healthy is Falafel?

It's a cheap eat when I'm on a budget.It's deep-fried, true, but it's vegetarian with other veggies on a whole wheat pita. I guess in the words of R. Kelly: "My mind is telling me no but, my body is telling me yes." Am I doing more harm than good?

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  1. If it's fried properly, it shouldn't be greasy at all. And if it's fried in the right kind of oil, it's probably not only OK but actually good for you. Anyway, between the whole-wheat pita and the high-quality carbs in those ground chickpeas, you're getting some good stuff there. I just wish I had a good falafel joint right now!

    1. Who cares, it's delicious! I always tell myself that it's not nearly as bad as other treats I could indulge in. Ahhhh, a nice hot falafel with tahini sauce and a little hot sauce on top.. heaven.

      1. Chickpeas are high in protein, and falafel is usually served with yogurt-tahini sauce, a good source of iron, calcium and additional protein. It's fried, but fat isn't bad for you in moderation, and if you need the calories. I've actually always considered it a pretty healthy food.

        1. Depends on whether they've changed the oil in the last year or two!

          12 Replies
          1. re: mnosyne

            Have you heard about that restaurant somewhere that deep-fries its hamburgers in 100-year-old grease?

              1. re: sandylc

                sounds like "urban legend" material to me....

                    1. re: The Professor

                      Nope, it exists, I've eaten there. The grease is strained every night. I'm not a fat phobe so I found the burgers delicious. They do hot dogs the same way.

                      1. re: MandalayVA

                        I'm not a fat phobe either, not by a longshot. And I've had deep fried hamburgers that were very good indeed.

                        I just find it amusing that this place thinks that using potentially decades old frying fat is something to brag about.

                  1. re: The Professor

                    concur with The Professor here.
                    if they were frying in grease that old f the flashpoint of the grease would have declined to the point where it would start flaming.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      You need to follow the link I posted just above - it's not only real, they brag about it. Besides, why would the flashpoint of grease decline over time? Makes no scientific sense to me. Unless you're thinking of the buildup of food particles in it, but they do say on their site that they filter it daily so that's not an issue.

                      1. re: BobB

                        I think they use high-fat burger, which adds new fat to it.

                        1. re: BobB

                          They couldn't possibly strain every bit of food particle out of the grease. I think sandylc's explanation is right.

                1. Hmmm, I just had a falafel from El Ghazale here in Toronto. Three virtually greaseless golf ball size falafels wrapped in a whole wheat pita after having been doused with tahina and hot sauce and smothered with fresh tomato and lettuce, chopped onion and pickled turnip.

                  A Mickey D or Burger Thing fat bomb it ain't, and that's a good thing. Besides, chickpeas don't require much grazing acreage at all.