We are living in the times when the awareness about fitness is gaining momentum but only after it has done enough harm, and health experts aren’t convinced if the boom is really towards healthier living. Fitness has become more about being slim and with the rush in life and lack of time, everyone is looking for the best of results in the earliest possible time. But short cuts are not always the best routes, and wanting maximum result in minimum time often hands in many issues as well alongside.
As short-lived is the motivation, so are the fads of fitness that trend on the internet, especially with the countless number of diet patterns that promise for rapid weight loss or other health gains but often leave the body with some long term unnoticed health effects. Owing to easy availability, a lot of people fall under the attractive diets of these fads.
Packaged Food: Good or Bad?
Often times, youngsters busy with long working schedules and staying away from homes, end up opting for quick ready-to-eat processed foods. Nutritionists call it a trap. Some of the main reason for people getting attracted to processed or packaged foods are the ease of access and ease of convenience, the minimum amount of time it takes to prepare and cook, and the bewitching advertisements that allure the people perfectly to go and try the product. Despite the knowledge that the food may not be so healthy compared to the home-cooked food, people still end up wanting to go with the process foods.
For example, two slices of bread will give 100 calories and two chapattis will also give 100 calories. But a chapatti is more nutritious because it has a lot of fibre and protein. Whereas bread made out of maida will have minimal amount of protein. Similarly, natural probiotics like curd and butter milk are again better than artificial probiotics options like Yakult, unless the person is lactose intolerant. Kids who do not like to have plain curd can be given fruit lassi or flavoured curd, which is naturally safe than taking processed Yakult and even not a disappointment for the taste buds. Yakult will have certain amount of preservatives. It is also on parents to make an extra effort to inculcate healthier eating habits in children from a very young age and lead by example.
Traditional and Modern Culture Food
People living in villages still have the culture of consuming traditional foods which are more nutritious than the processed food items. For example, some breakfast items like moong ka chilla, idlis, evening snacks like sundals, etc. can be cooked creatively and served. But people in the city life usually go for cornflakes and breads for breakfast and evening snacks comprise of junk foods like pizza, samosa etc.
However, what is often overlooked is that the more natural and home-cooked a meal is, the healthier it is. If we closely observe, our grandfathers and forefathers had better skins and fit bodies than this generation has in their old age, majorly because of the consumption of natural and local food items with appropriate physical activity throughout the day. But the healthy lifestyle that is being adapted these days especially with the eating habits, particularly in the cities is the root cause for unfit bodies in the long run and increasing health issues. One better choice in your meal today can account for an entirely better-lived life.
Pavithra. N. Raj(Chief Dietician)
Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur