Bitter But Better: Try Bitter Melon For Weight Loss

Shalini Thakur

Shalini Thakur
Mar 2023

2 min read
bitter gourd for weight loss

Table of content

Bitter gourd, also known as bitter melon or karela, is a vegetable that is commonly used in Indian and Asian cuisine and traditional medicine. It has a unique bitter taste and is known for its numerous health benefits, including its ability to aid in weight loss. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of bitter melon for weight loss, how it can be a part of your diet, and a few hidden facts about karela.

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What Is Bitter Melon?

Bitter melon or bitter gourd is a tropical vegetable that belongs to the same family as cucumbers, pumpkins, and zucchini. It is long and narrow, with a bumpy, green exterior and a white, fleshy interior filled with seeds. While it is not the most palatable vegetable due to its bitter taste, it is packed with vitamins and nutrients. Hence it is a popular ingredient in many traditional dishes.

Hidden Facts About Bitter Gourd Or Karela

Bitter melon has some hidden knowledge that you may find interesting:

  1. It has a long history of use in traditional medicine: Bitter melon has been there for centuries in traditional medicine systems. Such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, to treat a variety of ailments. These include diabetes, respiratory infections, digestive disorders, skin problems, and even cancer.
  2. It is a natural insecticide: Bitter melon contains compounds that are toxic to many insect pests, making it a natural insecticide. Some studies have even suggested that bitter melon extract can be a safe and effective alternative to synthetic insecticides.
  3. It may have anti-aging properties: Bitter melon contains compounds that have anti-aging effects on the body. These include reducing stress, improving mitochondrial function, and increasing the production of anti-aging enzymes.
  4. It has potential as a cancer treatment: Karela has anti-cancer properties, including the ability to inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells. These compounds may also help to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs.
  5. It can be used as a natural remedy for lice: Bitter melon juice has been traditionally used in India to treat head lice. The juice is put on the scalp and left on for several hours before being rinsed off.
  6. It can be toxic in large amounts: While bitter melon is generally safe to eat in small amounts, consuming large quantities of bitter melon or its extract can be toxic. This is because bitter melon contains compounds that can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, and vomiting.

Bitter Melon And Weight Loss!

It is a low-calorie vegetable, with just 17 calories per 100 grams. It is also high in fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full for longer periods. Also preventing overeating and reducing calorie intake.

Bitter gourd also has a positive impact on blood sugar levels. It contains a compound called charantin, which has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. When blood sugar levels are stable, cravings for sugary or high-carbohydrate foods are less, which can aid in weight loss.

Furthermore, bitter gourd contains compounds called lectins, which are thought to prevent the absorption of carbohydrates in the body. When carbohydrates are not absorbed, they are excreted as waste, reducing the number of calories that are absorbed by the body.

Why Bitter Melon Is Good For Weight Loss?

Bitter gourd has several benefits for weight loss, including:

  1. High In Fiber: Bitter gourd is high in fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full for longer periods. This can prevent overeating and reduce calorie intake, aiding in weight loss.
  2. Low In Fat And Carbohydrates: Bitter gourd is low in fat and carbohydrates, making it an ideal food for those looking to lose weight.
  3. Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels: Bitter gourd contains charantin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Stable blood sugar levels can reduce cravings for sugary or high-carbohydrate foods, aiding in weight loss.
  4. Contains Antioxidants: Bitter gourd is one of the foods rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect the body from inflammation. This can help to prevent weight gain and aid in weight loss.

Nutritional Content of Bitter Gourd For Weight Loss

Bitter gourd is a nutritious vegetable that is low in calories and high in a variety of important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here is the nutritional value of bitter gourd based on a 100-gram serving:

Nutritional Value Of Bitter Gourd 100 Gram Serving
Calories: 17
Protein: 1 gram
Fat: 0.2 grams
Carbohydrates: 3.7 grams
Fiber: 2.8 grams
Sugar: 1 gram
Vitamin C: 84 milligrams (140% of the Daily Value)
Vitamin A: 471 international units (9% of the Daily Value)
Folate: 72 micrograms (18% of the Daily Value)
Potassium: 296 milligrams (8% of the Daily Value)
Calcium: 19 milligrams (2% of the Daily Value)
Iron: 0.43 milligrams (2% of the Daily Value)
Magnesium: 17 milligrams (4% of the Daily Value)

Bitter gourd is also a good source of antioxidants, including flavonoids, polyphenols, and carotenoids. These compounds can contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Bitter gourd is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin C: Bitter gourd contains high levels of vitamin C, which is important for immune function, wound healing, and skin health.
  • Vitamin A: Bitter gourd is also a good source of vitamin A, which is important for eye health and immune function.
  • Potassium: Bitter gourd contains potassium, an essential mineral that is important for blood pressure regulation, nerve function, and muscle contractions.
  • Magnesium: Bitter gourd is a good source of magnesium, which is important for bone health, heart health, and nerve function.
  • Iron: Bitter gourd contains iron, an essential mineral that is important for the production of red blood cells.

Other Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd

In addition to its potential benefits for weight loss, bitter gourd has several other health benefits:

  1. Bitter gourd contains a compound called charantin, which has been shown to have blood sugar-lowering effects. This makes it a popular ingredient in traditional medicine for the treatment of diabetes.
  2. Bitter gourd also helps to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  3. Further, bitter gourd contains compounds that have anti-cancer properties, including the ability to prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells.
  4. Bitter melon has a protective effect on the liver, helping to improve its function and reduce the risk of liver disease.
  5. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.

How to Incorporate Bitter Gourd Into Your Diet?

If you want to add bitter gourd for weight loss to your diet, there are a few ways to prepare it. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Juice It: Bitter gourd juice is a popular way to consume this vegetable.

How To Make Bitter Gourd Juice For Weight Loss?

  • To make bitter gourd juice, simply wash and slice the vegetable, remove the seeds, and blend it with a little water.
  • You can add other vegetables or fruits like apples or lemon to the mix to make the taste more palatable.
  1. Cook It: Bitter gourd can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as stir-frying, boiling, or baking. It is usually prepared with other vegetables or meat to help balance out the bitterness. Some popular recipes include bitter gourd stir-fry with onions and tomatoes, bitter gourd and chicken curry, and bitter gourd stuffed with ground meat.
  2. Supplement With Capsules Or Tea: If you don’t like the taste of bitter gourd or find it challenging to incorporate it into your diet, you can also find bitter gourd supplements in the form of capsules or tea. These supplements contain concentrated amounts of the active compounds found in bitter gourd and are a convenient way to reap its benefits.

Potential Drawbacks Of Bitter Gourd

1. While bitter gourd has many potential health benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone. Some people may find the taste too bitter, and it may cause gastrointestinal discomfort or diarrhea in some individuals.

2. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, bitter gourd contains a compound called vicine, which can cause a condition called favism in people with a certain genetic mutation. Favism is a condition in which red blood cells break down faster than they are produced, leading to anemia.

3. Bitter melon may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and diabetes medications, so it is important to talk to your doctor before using bitter melon as a supplement or as a food ingredient.

Bitter Sweet End!

Overall, bitter melon for weight loss is a nutritious and low calorie food that can be a beneficial addition to a weight loss diet. However, it is important to consume bitter gourd in moderation and to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about incorporating it into your diet. Overall, bitter melon is a fascinating vegetable that has many potential health benefits and hidden knowledge.

Thyroid Weight Loss Story of Lovepreet (25 kg in 6 months)- Fitelo

Today we are sharing the inspirational story of a girl named ‘Lovepreet. So, the girl is based in London and reached out to us about six months back with her weight loss complications. Also, she was overweight and suffering from thyroid. With the customized diet plan, she got amazing results. During her weight loss journey, she has dramatically lost 25 kg which is a complete personality transformation. She not only lost those extra kilos but got healthy skin too. Fitelo team is so proud of Lovepreet for being able to manage such an incredible weight loss success story.

Fun Fact

Here is a fun thing for you to try a swap challenge. You can do so try switching high-calorie snacks with low-calorie options. For instance, check out our low calorie swap challenge so to replace unhealthy with healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Is Bitter Gourd?

Ans: Bitter gourd, also known as bitter melon, is a tropical fruit that grows in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. It has a bitter taste and is present in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments.

Q: Can Bitter Melon Help With Weight Loss?

Ans: Yes, bitter melon has weight loss benefits. It contains compounds that can help reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar levels, and improve metabolism, all of which can contribute to weight loss.

Q: How Do I Incorporate Bitter Gourd Into My Diet?

Ans: Bitter gourd can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced. A good way is to have it in stir-fries, curries, and soups. If you find the taste too bitter, you can try soaking the slices in salt water before cooking.

Q: Are There Any Side Effects Of Consuming Bitter Gourd?

Ans: Bitter gourd is generally safe to consume in moderate amounts. However, some people may experience digestive issues such as diarrhea or stomach cramps. It may also interact with certain medications, so it is important to talk to your doctor before consuming bitter gourd if you are taking any medications.

Q: How Much Bitter Gourd Should I Consume For Weight Loss?

Ans: You can consume it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

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Contact Us Today

Your search to find the right guidance to be a part of all those fat-to-fit stories ends here. So, contact us today if you are looking for a diet plan with cheat meals. Also, we will discuss how we can help you achieve your weight loss goals.


This blog post was written to help you to make healthy and better food choices altogether. So, be aware and take care. The important thing to consider is your own health before starting a diet that is restrictive. Always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian before starting if you have any concerns.

Eat Healthy, Live Healthy. Enjoy a long happy life.

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