In the times that we live in today, we all are much aware about why we need to observe safe dietary habits and practices. There is so much information already on the internet that one might get lost and might not know where to begin searching for the right answers. You might need to deep dive and keep absorbing what the search throws at you, but nevertheless you will surely get all the answers you are seeking. You just need to be patient. When you visit a marketplace, don’t you find a huge array of processed foods that fill the visible shelf space? These processed foods project such a spectacular sight that staying away from them is almost unthinkable and for some reasons seems unjustified too. Nowadays foods come in the garb of ‘baked’, ‘roasted’, ‘no refined flour’ and ‘no added sugar’ varieties. Don’t we find ourselves falling for them instantaneously? Do you realise that these foods necessarily contain taste enhancers, saturated oils, preservatives etc. to increase shelf life? For all you know these may still contain white sugar and refined flour in spite of the tall claims published on the nutritional labels. What’s worse is that we have no way of finding the truth or refuting their claims. Even big and renowned companies get their produce from third party manufacturers who may not care too much about your health. What sells is what tastes goods, after all these are commercial foods inspired by profit motive. Make sure you keep them off the list most of the time except once in a while as occasional indulgence is not bad at all. But if you choose to make it your staple diet, then the onset of bad health is definitely foretold.
‘He was a teetotaller; he never touched any meat or alcohol either. ‘I don’t understand how did he get cancer, we never expected him to go so soon’ said the deceased person’s son expressing grief and shock at the untimely demise of his father. Similar are the comments of so many others who remain in utter shock over the bereavement. We must understand the reality as it begins to unfold before us. Other than rampant air pollution, contaminated farm produce and chemical additives in processed foods are the top three reasons why cancer is becoming prevalent nowadays. Arsenic, lead and mercury have been found in farm produce that may make us very sick. Therefore, it is no surprise that otherwise healthy individuals are also falling prey to cancers and fighting a losing battle. With more and more commercialisation of foods with the advent of food ordering apps, we are at a larger risk of contracting ill health. Cancer is projected to be the top killer in our country by 2030. It is highly shocking that cancer is yet to peak in a decade from now. We should take due care to follow safe dietary habits and would really recommend you to avoid processed foods as much as you can while consuming homemade fresh food much as our parents and grandparents ate.
[ Also Read: Food habits, lifestyle and personal preferences dictate your overall health ]
Irrespective of one’s dietary preferences, don’t we consume a lot many seemingly innocuous foodstuffs like pakoras, samosas, pav bhaji, bhatura etc. in copious quantities every other day. No celebration, whether a birthday or a promotion at office, is considered complete without these snacks. I am sure you would know people in your circles who even replace their lunch and dinner with these snacks! Do we ever suspect them be a potent enough cause for so many ailments? Let me clarify a misconception here and now. It is not these items per se that are vicious, it is the oil, refined flour and other ingredients like taste enhancers and colouring agents used in their making that make these items unhealthy. There are actually two issues that we are dealing with, one is the ill effects of refined flour and saturated oils and the other is the unhygienic conditions under which these food items are prepared. Such commercially produced items are made by frying in oil that is reheated over and over, which turns unsaturated oils into saturated ones and thus bad for health. If these two issues can be corrected, these traditional foodstuffs can wipe away the bad name that has become synonymous with them today. Most eateries in their zeal to make profits, would not care if they feed you with bad and cheap oil and make these items in unhygienic conditions. Nothing can be better if at all, these could be prepared at home with unsaturated oil, whole wheat flour without additives.
These days poultry products are also not spared. Are we not aware of the ill effects of consuming meat and red meat in particular? It is unlikely that chicken will not have been fed with antibiotics to make it disease resistant and turn it into a healthy adult in a short span of time so that it could fetch better price. The antibiotics thus fed to the poultry finds its way into our body when we consume them. This makes us develop resistance to a few antibiotics, which would render us defenceless when treated with these antibiotics. Therefore, in order to treat a disease, the doctors would have to necessarily resort to a higher antibiotic thus reducing the weapons in their arsenal to treat any new disease is future. Given the widespread prevalence of antibiotic infected meat, it is advisable to source your poultry products from a good source while reducing or limiting your consumption to a minimum.
[ Also Read: What’s on your plate tonight? ]
To save vegetable and fruits from being eaten away by pests, these are sprayed with pesticides. These pesticides may stay on them even after you have washed them many times over at your home. What normally happens is that these pesticides are used in copious quantities to ward off all the threat from pests. Don’t you know that pesticides are actually poisonous substances that may makes us very sick even kill us in rare events? A small amount of its usage is still tolerable and does no great harm but more than recommended amount can be lethal to our health and wellbeing. In order to ripen the vegetables overnight, fruits and vegetables are injected with oxytocin. Learn to recognise the natural variety of fruits and vegetables. Always source those that seem to be naturally ripened and taste better. Go for fruits and vegetables that seem to be natural, a little odd shaped or small in size.
You would always do well by just going back to your humble home cooked meal much like what our parents and grandparents ate.
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