We all have heard the saying ‘Change is the only constant’. Is it true? Are we changing for better or worse? Do you think the food changes that have happened of late are good? To me change is constant and it is good as well as bad. Changes in one’s habits, dietary changes, changes in the dependency on home cooked meals and lifestyle changes have created more problems in the body.
The root cause of all the problems is our dependency on fast foods or processed foods that are products of modernisation.
People attend social gatherings like weddings, parties or birthdays for the food that is served. The food may taste good but did you know it lacks nutrients? Food items included in such ceremonies are vada pav, samosas, pizza, burger, pani puri, maida products, fried items or food loaded with sugar and oil, all of which are unhealthy.
We know all about it and yet overlook the healthy options, why does this happen? It is because we have connected these functions and its happiness with food. If we attend a function just for food, we are going to eat our hearts out and savour the unhealthy and greasy food. But if we considers events as a chance to meet family, relatives or friends then our focus changes from food to chatting, spending quality time with them and enjoying that time to the fullest. That should be our agenda.
Fast food and processed foods have high amounts of fat, sodium and sugar that improve the product’s taste and shelf life. Packaged foods, energy drinks and some biscuits contain artificial colour, preservatives, ajinomoto (MSG), pesticides and additives. When such food items are consumed by children the result is an imbalance of nutrients and increased weight. The sugar in processed or packaged foods affects the brain and induces hunger pangs as a side effect. Fast foods are specifically designed to be addictive in nature. They have too a lot of salt, sugar and oil that increases one’s craving. The brain craves for these food items even when one is not hungry.
Soft drinks or aerated drinks do no good as they too are gently attached to junk food. These drinks cause ulcers and make the body acidic if had on a daily basis. They also tend to leach calcium from our bones causing bone pain and other issues.
These products are not good for the body but can be had in moderation. One should try and balance one’s routine with healthy home cooked food or choose wisely when eating out.
Choose lemon water over aerated drinks to keep hydrated and quench thirst. Packaged foods can be replaced with food which can be easily made at home within a few minutes (not 2 minutes noodles).
I’m talking about mixed grain pancakes, a rice and pulse-based khichdi, millets khichdi, mixed vegetables tikki (a pan fried cutlet made of grated vegetables and potato), etc.
There are many options but we tend to get lazy and reach out for packaged, ready to eat, fast food. The food we eat should be balanced and nutritious. An occasional treat, may be once a month, is completely fine.
So have a balanced meal and choose wisely to be healthy. Treat yourself once in a while to satisfy the craving, but make sure you do so in moderation and later compensate with an active lifestyle and some detox.