Enjoy your favourite
foods without compromising on taste. The key lies in substitutes that
are tasty as well as healthy
India is a foodie's
paradise. Our faces light up when we add some 'good food' to our
regular mundane days. From our weddings to our meals, we believe in a
simple saying, the bigger the better. For us a good meal is
incomplete without the strong aromas and fiery taste of our
ingredients. Sweet, salty, spicy and tangy, our taste buds get
satisfied only when one or more of these masalas tickle our
The old adage
"excess of everything is bad", fits true in our daily diet
scenario. Heavy usage of spices cause burns, salt in excess leads to
high blood pressure and the sugar is known for the harm it causes to
all as it can lead to diabetes, heart diseases and a host of other
While it may be possible
to go on a fad or crash diet and ignore these ingredients completely
but at the same time let's not forget that each ingredient provides
nutrients, vitamins and energy to our body in some form. The key here
lies in making smart substitutions that lend taste to our dishes and
also make for a healthy choice.
Exercise at least four days a week for half an hour
Some nutritionists claim that excess usage of chilli, especially red chilli, can harm the liver and cause burns in the stomach and lead to severe mouth ulcers
The ideal way to come to
the right solution is to enjoy the meal and yet not worry about
harming your health, by the intake of a balanced and right intake of
all ingredients. It is difficult to tame our spoilt palate which only
finds taste in unhealthy food. The easier route is to substitute the
use of these ingredients by choosing the right choices over the ones
we use daily.
How to reduce salt usage
Studies tell us that
one of the fastest ways to lower the blood pressure for people
suffering from high blood pressure is to eat less salt.
An adult should eat no
more than six gm of salt a day, but most of us eat much more than
Interestingly most of
the salt we eat every day is "hidden". Roughly 80 per cent
of the salt we eat is hidden in processed foods like bread, biscuits
and breakfast cereals, and prepared or ready meals or takeaways. Only
20 per cent comes from the table salt we use for cooking.
Here lies the answer. We
should be careful while buying the processed food.
Less use of sugar
We not only eat
elaborate desserts also consume sugar daily in our beverages like tea,
coffee, milk, juices etc. We need to eliminate or substitute it with a
safe sweetener. It is crucial to note that the ideal sugar substitute
is helpful for both diabetics and health-conscious individuals.
Over 110 studies over
20 years, have established the safety of sucralose. So choose a sugar
substitute which is sucralose based.
We should also ensure
that the substitutes we take do not harm our health and at the same
time don't harm the taste of our food. These should not leave a bitter
aftertaste and should be able to replicate the taste of sugar.
If you are cutting
down on sugar intake to lose weight, it is essential that you look for
a sweetener that adds 0 per cent calories to your food or beverages.
Eat less chillies
despite their fiery "hotness", are one of the very popular
spices used in Indian foods.
claim that excess usage of red chilli can harm the liver.
It can also cause
burns in the stomach and lead to severe mouth ulcers.
substitute for chilli powder could be a dash of bottled hot pepper
sauce plus a combination of oregano and cumin.
With the robust
lifestyle and the rising stress levels, it is difficult to keep a
check on the food that we consume each day. It is advisable to be
careful and chose wisely as it may harm us in the long run. Fad diets
may give fantastic short-term results but these may also cause
irreversible harm to our body. Always keep in mind; shortcuts may cut
short your life. Be wise enough to eat right and in the right amounts
to lead a longer, healthier and happier life.
— The writer is a
Mumbai-based renowned nutritionist, obesity and health consultant. She
has a website www.nainisetalvad.com
Tips for a healthy
1 Drink a glass of water
in the morning at room temperature. It will help to clear your system,
build a higher metabolism rate and flush out toxins from your body.
Some researchers even point out that it helps in reducing weight!
2 Lack of sleep can
damage your physical health as you are alweays tired. Studies have
shown that eight hours of sleep per day is the average requirement for
3 Do not skip breakfast,
as it is the most important meal of the day for a healthier lifestyle.
If you do skip it, you will start bingeing on foods that are high in
fat and sugar, but low in vitamins. Many studies say that breakfast
eaters are significantly less likely to be obese and get diabetes as
compared to non-breakfast eaters.
4 Study the ingredient
lists of your favourite products as it shows whether the food you are
about to buy contains unnatural and unhealthy ingredients. You can
find information on the internet about various unhealthy ingredients.
Be vigilant and study your favourite and other common foods that you
usually buy. Harmful ingredients may cause various diseases, allergic
reactions and even cancer.
5 Exercise at least four
days a week for half an hour. Try to get as much physical activity as
you can. Skip the elevator and take the stairs.