Is Green Chili a Good Diet Food?

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Green chili, referred to in some locales as chili verde, is a chili prepared with pork and green chiles rather than more traditional red chiles. You might not consider chili a diet food, but when you take a look at the ingredients in green chili, you may change your mind. Green chili can be a healthy part of any diet, including one intended for weight loss.


Green chili is made with a healthy selection of ingredients. The 2010 Green Chili World Champion recipe includes onion, tomatillos, four kinds of green peppers, cilantro, garlic and pork. Although a wide variety of green chili recipes are in circulation, most of them contain healthy ingredients that are low in fat and high in nutrients. The exception is the pork, which provides 6 g of fat per ounce. Nevertheless, the pork provides the chili with filling protein that will keep you full until the next meal.


Overall, green chili provides a wide range of nutrients. The pork shoulder provides 6 g of protein per ounce. The green peppers -- which may include jalapenos, Serranos, pablanos, bell and pasillas -- provide plenty of vitamin C along with very few calories. Tomatillos, onions and garlic also are low in calories and high in various micronutrients. The amount of pork and other ingredients, and thus nutrients, in a bowl of green chili will vary depending on the individual recipe and serving size.

What Green Chili Lacks

When it comes to your diet, what green chili lacks is just as important as what is in it. Green chili has no refined carbohydrates, and if you make it yourself, can be low in sodium and fat. Avoiding refined carbohydrates can help prevent weight gain and associated health problems such as type 2 diabetes. Replace a meal high in refined carbohydrates such as pizza or pasta with a moderate portion of green chili and you might find that you have an easier time losing excess weight.

Chile Peppers and Weight Loss

Not only does green chili have a healthy nutritional profile for a dieter, but the spicy peppers it contains can stimulate your body to burn fat at a faster rate. The next time you take a bite of spicy green chili and you break a sweat, remember that your metabolism is heating up as well. Eating spicy peppers causes fat to oxidize faster and speeds up your metabolism.