City's diet skewed, needs change to stave off diseases

City's diet skewed, needs change to stave off diseases

 After a recent national survey exposed the country's unbalanced dieting pattern, city-based experts agreed that Bengaluru has pretty much gone the national way in the last decade.

They blame lack of access to quality food, gender discrimination and widespread ignorance for dangerously skewing the diet.

"It's the prime reason behind the increase in lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart ailments," said Shalini Arvind, chief dietician, Fortis Hospital.

She said night shifts and activity-filled days have pushed people into adopting the quick-bite culture, making them almost hopelessly dependent on two-minute noodles and hurriedly put-together sandwiches. "They come to us eating such food," Shalini said.

Even the ragi and rice-based food end up storing energy in the body for later use and create fat.

"But the problem for city residents is that their diet has become westernised," regretted Sheela Krishnaswamy, nutritionist and wellness consultant. "Obviously, you can see youngsters crunching on junk like chips."

She recommends five groups of food to maintain a balanced diet: cereals/grains, pulses, fruits/vegetables, milk/meat products and fats/sugar.

The National Family Health Survey has found that the present day diet lacked fruit and milk/curd. "What more, women are discriminated when it comes to food," Shalini said.

She said Bengaluru offers a wide variety of fruits, which people should include in their diet, warning that the more they abstain from fruits, the greater the risk of getting lifestyle diseases.

Experts also stressed the need to add more protein. With the ongoing millet festival, there ought to be a focus on the benefits of adopting millet-based diet, they said.

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