'Health is a state of mind'

MASTER CHEF

'Health is a state of mind'

Sanjeev Kapoor

While the show was not focussed on health food, the talk about less oil and fat didn’t evade him. In an interview with Metrolife, he spoke about food habits, healthy oils and the changes that are required in everyday life.

A conversation with ‘Chef’, as he is called by everyone around him, reveals his love for food. “I believe food is healthy. Sugar, salt and even oil are healthy,” he says. So why the talk about less of all these things in the diet, especially Indian food? “Our cooking methods and recipes have been there since people had a more active life. Now, people’s lifestyles have changed but they refuse to change their minds,” he says.

A great believer in ‘moderation’, he says that people make the mistake of changing the food they eat instead of changing their mindset. “Health is a state of mind. Most people make the mistake of choosing ‘puris’ over plain ‘rotis’ but obsess over how to make them in lesser amount of oil,” he says. And what does he think about the quantity of oil used in Indian cuisine? “The amount of oil used in Indian food is good because you can always drain it out. That is not possible with Italian and Continental food with the cheese and butter that goes in,” he says. “And there is always the option of cooking in lesser oil,” he adds.

But doesn’t that change the taste of the food, as assumed by most people? “Oil is just used as a medium of cooking. Earlier, we didn’t have non-stick utensils that are available today. So you can easily cook food in lesser oil. And food themselves have fat present in them,” he says. When questioned about the ‘less oil recipes’ he endorses, he says, “I believe it is just what some people want.”

What about the spices used in Indian food? “Those are very healthy and even medicinal. But overusing anything has its side effects,” he says. Speaking about olive oil and its supposed health benefits he says, “See, flaxseed oil, which is available in India is equally healthy and much cheaper. It’s just that its not being sold as a branded product because of which it doesn’t have the ‘health’ tag attached with it.” 

So what advice would he give people trying to be more healthy? “I would just say what you hear everywhere. Lesser refined food like polished rice and wheat flour, lesser fried food and cheese and a lot of fruits,” he laughs. “Also drinking enough water makes sure that you don’t overeat,” he adds before leaving.

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