Thought for food

Thought for food

Do we ever stop to think about that morsel of food we are about to indulge into? Do we really bother whether or not it is safe for the body?

Media has repeatedly placed emphasis lifestyle-related diseases and disorders; but is it sending the wrong message?

In the name of “health”, we think only in terms of brown sugar, brown bread, whole wheat, and “sugar-free” artificial sweeteners. Ever wondered if these are truly healthy? While brown bread and whole wheat are no doubt healthy, we do require a certain amount of maida too. Yes, believe it or not, maida, taken in small quantities, is healthy.

Think about it. Our grandparents and great grandparents have all consumed it in the right quantities and lived healthily to tell the tale! And as for “sugar-free” sweeteners, why would anyone in their right mind forego sugar, unless they are diabetic or have a health condition! Our country is unlike the western world where breakfasts start on a syrupy note with pancakes and cupcakes. To us, sweets and desserts are an occasional treat! When such is the case, cutting down on the necessary amount of sugar in our everyday coffees and teas seem foolish! 

In today’s lifestyle, breakfast is usually a bowl of cereal or corn flakes which is nowhere sufficient for the growing tissues, especially among children. To force the dosas or chapatis hurriedly down the child's throat, variety of so-called “natural” and “preservative-free” jams and ketchups come to the mother's rescue. Sabzis made of vegetables are barely eaten, thanks to the existing food fads. Sabzis are considered “oily”. Ever considered the possibility that the sabzi might just be sabzi and that you might be lazy? It is not so much about the oil intake as much as it is about our “modern” sedentary lifestyle where the fat and calories we consume are not burned.

And to add on to this list, even the simple, home made baby food made, from nutritious grains, and stored without any preservatives or additives, is shunned. Instead, the baby consumes “wholesome” canned baby food, full of additives and preservatives! Canned juices, and worse still, aerated drinks have replaced fresh fruit juices, for the sake of saving time. In case of professionals, the dinner table is dominated by the “ready-to-eat, instant foods”. “Freshly” diced and packed fruits and vegetables and sprouts, which have lost all nutrition and freshness in them, help only to decorate the shopping carts, but are certainly not in favour of your long-term health. 

We are failing to realize that we come from a different culture steeped in different lifestyle habits, especially food consumption habits, from that of the west. Ofcourse, the modern Indian lifestyle is somewhat western these days, but it certainly does not mean we must give up on our healthy foods, assuming them to be “oily” or “sweet”.
Our Indian food has proven itself to be highly well-balanced in nutrition and taste, and there is no need to forego this boon, so long as we lead a natural and active life.