|SPORTS & WELLNESS|
On The table
GIVEN the recent form, coupled with the much-needed foreign exposure, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that India can expect a rich harvest of medals from her paddlers in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games. Though we could lay our hands on just three medals at the Melbourne Games in 2006, there is enough to spur the optimism this time. Led by the veteran World Number 39 and India Numero Uno for the past 6 years, Achanta Sharath Kamal, the experts would be eagerly watching what India brings to the table, quite literally. In a chat, Sharath talks about India’s podium chances, conspicuous Chinese presence, badminton, movies and much more.
How has the preparation been for the Games?
The run-up to the much-anticipated sporting event has been great. We are just back after a fruitful trip to China. We have been training hard and the coaches have left nothing to chance. The team is in a good shape and we are itching to play and win. The opponents will be strong but we are well oiled for any threat. We bring a lot to the table as far as competitiveness is concerned.
The trip to Germany must have been helpful, too?
The German league is as competitive as it can be. Playing with the best in the trade always helps. Straight after the China training tour, I had left for Germany to take part in the league. Scheduled just before the Delhi Games, it has helped me a lot in the preparations and I hope to utilise the positives gained from the trip.
How has it been training under a foreign coach?
The exposure, as I said earlier, has been world class. The facilities have been exceptional and the Government of India has been forthcoming in providing us with foreign coaches and trips abroad to experience what others are up to. It has been a great learning experience under Massimo Constantini. The individual attention coupled with group sessions has been his focus and the strategy is paying rich dividends.
Any special strategy you would be employing?
The only strategy is to win and win all the matches we take part in. It is a big tournament and every player is conscious of the magnitude of the event. It is a matter of pride for any sportsman to represent his country’s colours. Winning medals for India is our top priority.
Does home support bring any pressures as well?
It matters. If you let it play on your head, it certainly affects your performance adversely. I strongly believe that home support is a double-edged sword but if handled with a calm head, it is bound to work in your favour.
Does the negative publicity the Delhi Games have seen till now bother you as a player?
Not at all. This is not our job to think about these things. There are other well-appointed authorities to take care of it. It is any sportsman’s dream to win in front of the home crowd and we as a nation are proud of holding the Games.
How many medals should India hope for?
I wish we claim all 21 at stake. We are reining Commonwealth Games Championship doubles champion. Our preparation has been top class with Mouma Das, Poulami Ghatak and Subhajit in great form. We are certainly bound to better our previous Games performance by a considerable margin.
Any young talent to watch out for?
Oh, certainly. Amal Raj and R Abhishek are shaping up well. Amal already has a number of national medals under his belt and is maturing fast. Abhishek has talent, too.
What about the Chinese absence from the event?
Though China, the traditional powerhouse, is not taking part in the Commonwealth Games, you can still feel their presence in any ping-pong event. Many Singapore players trace their roots back to China. Canada, too, has many players of Chinese origin. So, you can’t rule them out.
Which countries pose a formidable challenge?
Singapore has quality players who can stretch any opposition in both team and individual events. Besides, England and Nigeria are reasonably well-playing units and it would be a mistake to count them out.
Besides table tennis, which other sports have medals hopes for India?
Badminton for sure. We are world champs now in the shuttle sport. Saina is a gold medal contender. Tennis, weightlifting and hockey, too, have the potential for the podium finish.
What occupies your time apart from table tennis?
A recent survey by Men's Health magazine has revealed that the Top 10 fast-food restaurants in the US boast entrees loaded with stomach-stuffing, artery-clogging saturated fat, sodium, and calories. "Fast food requires fast decisions, and we wanted to create a guide to help people lose weight while still eating fast food," the New York Post quoted David Zinczenko, author of the book series Eat This! Not That! as saying.
Topping the list as the worst of the worst was the Tuna Melt sandwich combo.
The value meal tops out at an astonishing 1,900 calories -- the equivalent of eating an entire bag of Chips Ahoy! cookies and near the average person's daily caloric intake, the study noted.
No. 2 on the list was the Triple Baconator Value Meal, which has three hamburger patties, three slices of cheese and nine strips of bacon, packs a 1,850-calorie punch when paired with a small Coke and fries.
"As long as you don't overindulge, you're good," said an optimistic Carlos Suarez of Long Island, who bought the fat-packed Tuna Melt at a Quiznos on Chambers Street.
The good news, the study suggests, is that you don't have to stop eating fast food altogether- you just have to make smarter choices.
"Once people have an understanding of the caloric calamities out there, they can make better choices and still have burgers. If people make changes like this three times a week when they order fast food, they can lose four pounds," said Zinczenko.
Chocolate giant Cadbury's has dropped the iconic "glass and a half" slogan from its wrappers. Each bar of Dairy Milk now says: "The equivalent of 426 ml of fresh liquid milk in every 227g of milk chocolate."
Although Cadbury's has kept the picture of a glass and a half of milk on the packs, it won't be pouring into a choc square any more.
The firm claimed Trading Standards insisted the 82-year-old wording be replaced by metric measurements.
A Cadbury's spokesman denied the famous recipe had been changed. "The phrase didn't make sense if the pack stated the bar weighs 49g or 230g," the Sun quoted him as saying.
YOU are what you eat." What you put into your body and digest becomes a part of you. Imagine building a brand new house using only mud and not cement. You may get your house looking good on the outside by painting it bright. But the structure is not going to be strong. Put it to the test, and it will crumble. The same thing happens to your body. Put in junk and low-nutrient unhealthy foods and the structure of your body will not be strong. The constant stress of missing nutrients and food additives will eventually take its toll.
The end result? Premature aging, disease, and other health problems. Research shows that most modern killer diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are definitely related to your diet and lifestyle.
Foods are classified as ‘junk’ if they:
Give empty calories, are devoid of fibre and other vital nutrients. These kinds of foods are high in calories but have little or no nutritional value. For e.g one standard doughnut, a slice of pizza, a bottle of soft drink etc will give you about 200 calories - mostly from fat and/or sugar. There are little or no vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients and the fats are also trans- fats, which clog the arteries and the lack of fibre leads to constipation and related diseases.
Take nutrients from your body and leave you more nutritionally deficient than before you ate them. A good example would be soda pop drinks (all colas) that are high in caffeine, sugar, and phosphorus. These drinks do not provide your body with any nutrition. They infact cause your body to lose calcium from your bones.
Potato chips and French fries make it to the list of unhealthy foods because they are fried at very high temperatures. Any time food is cooked, fried, or processed using high heat, a substance called acrylamide is produced. Acrylamide is a known carcinogen and neurotoxin.
Processed Cheese Products: The name doesn’t lie. Processed cheese is exactly that. Processed. It is made from cheese and a long list of other ingredients including, extra salt and food colouring.
Yes! You can have junk! Why? How? ...now, now, answers to these questions are very important. First let’s deal with the ‘why’. Have you heard mothers vouching for ‘Oh! I don’t give chips, maggi, coke to my one-year plus child, I don’t expose him/her to any media advertisements about this junk, I cook healthy, eat healthy, serve healthy`85.. but all this becomes a thing of the past when the child joins school, has more of TV time and sees junk being promoted in advertisements, is lured by junk to make him stop throwing tantrums, do his homework, obey etc. So, now we can’t just build an iron wall and cage in the kids, the only remedy is to modify the junk into healthy food, and this brings us to the ‘how’.
First of all, let’s see what nutrients does a normal healthy Indian meal give us. A person consuming 2/3 chappatis along with dal/paneer, vegetable and curd gets approximately 600- 650 kcal and 21-26 g of protein along with optimum fibre (4-5 g), vitamins and minerals (vitamin A- 40-60`B5g , Vitamin C -40-60mg, calcium-200mg).
The problem with fast food or junk food is that it provides us with ample energy (Mac burger-600 kcal, French fries small-750 kcal) and that, too, from bad fats, may provide proteins as well (in the form of chicken or cheese in the burger/pizza but with harmful food additives), but is lacking in vitamins and minerals, which are the protective food, as these help to build up our immunity level against diseases as well as the junk is lacking in fibre. So, as a result, the junk-eating kids or adults are obese but not healthy. They have excess weight but are having nutritional deficiencies such as anaemia, they get fatigued easily, may perform poorly in studies, lack concentration, are sometimes hyper in nature and their body is a haven for all the adulthood lifestyle diseases, like diabetes, heart attacks and high blood pressure, considered to be a normal part of the life!
So, it would make good sense to modify junk so that on the face it is junk, but in reality it’s not as sinful! We will be providing ‘healthy junk recipes’ which are healthy as well as tasty and acceptable to the young as well as older people, like healthy burger, pizza, pasta, chips etc along with their nutritive value and will be comparing it to the original nutritive value of the junk before being modified.
A ‘healthy junk meal’ should provide nutritive value near to that of a normal meal and if it is a ‘healthy junk snack’, then it should provide 1/4 th of the nutritive value of a normal meal. Till then, rake your brains and try some healthy junk recipes yourself.