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Past and Present: The eating habits and choices

Perhaps almost every one of us has listened to our grandparents boosting how they walked five or ten kilometers daily to their schools or offices by walk or cycle.

They also tell us that all they ate was power-packed food full of nutrition and health. i-e desi ghee parathas, full fat milk, oatmeal roti, panjeeri and the list goes on and on.

Most of us may find them exaggerating their stories out of proportion but what is not fabrication is the fact that food quality has drastically declined over the last two decades.

One rarely comes across any food with the same nutritional value as old times.

Factory farmed hens (broilers) and their eggs are a huge industry today but they were almost nonexistent three decades ago.

Same is the case with fresh and pure milk.

I consider a person really fortunate if he has access to fresh and pure milk (not mixed with water).

Thanks to rapid urbanization, either we consume substandard milk (from milkman) or so called “pure milk” in packaging.

Back in old times, chickens and cows used to be at every home (or at least in neighbourhood) especially in a rural setting but these days, one rarely keeps farm animals at home and even buys eggs, milk and meat from meat shops.

Eating organic food is expensive and nearly impossible today.

Keeping aside meat, milk and eggs, one hardly finds organic fruits and vegetables. Almost all fruits and vegetables are lacking vital nutrients because of pesticides and chemical fertilizers they get sprayed with.

All these hard facts make it impossible for our food to be healthy and nutritious as it was before.

Cherry on the top is the easy access of junk or fast food which is really popular and tasty but has literally zero nutrition. The dilemma is now people eat clean or organic when they are on fad diets because otherwise it has become almost impossible.

Frizzy drinks are another addiction and are equally popular with both adults and kids. In the name of taste, we are deteriorating our health today.

We eat food for the pleasure of enjoying it not for the health. We no longer value real food.

Most of the people don’t even know why junk food is called “junk”.

Junk food is a pejorative term for food containing a large number of calories from sugar or fat with little dietary fiber, protein, vitamins or minerals.

Junk food has empty calories, i.e. the energy content is not complemented with proteins and lipids required for a nutritious diet.

In the same way, fast food was originally created as a commercial strategy to accommodate the larger numbers of busy commuters, travelers and wage workers who often did not have the time to sit down at a public house or diner and wait for their meal.

It consists of all kinds of pre-cooked meals.

As has been witnessed, cooking these days consumes less time than old times.

Now ready-made food and spices are there to help in cooking.

Besides all these factors, lifestyle has drastically changed over two decades. Now people are less active and spend major time sitting.

Another distraction is television and social media which keeps one glued to screen.

No wonder diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, high cholesterol and uric acid are very common these days even in youngsters.

This was not the case with our grandparents.

They were fit, active and preferred real food over junk.

For them, eating out was a treat saved for some special occasions unlike us.

This trend of eating out frequently has definitely increased our waistlines.

Though it is hard to eat real food 24/7 these days but there are certain changes which we need to take up in order to eat right and stay fit.

1. Try to eat one roti everyday (not of maida but wheat).

2. Include 1 teaspoon of desi ghee in your diet every day. It is a power packed food good for our skin, joints and overall health.

3. Walk at least 30 minutes every day. 3 hour workout per week is mandatory for our health.

4. Don’t eat anything at least 2 hours before sleeping.

5. Try to consume food in its original food not preserved with artificial flavours.

6. Eat less sugar and drink more water.

7. Never skip your breakfast.

8. Plan just one day per week to eat out.

9. Avoid fizzy drinks and prefer homemade food.

We all need to change our attitude towards food and lifestyle.

Though we are more educated and learned in nutrition today, our indolent lifestyle and eating habits are perhaps what needs to be changed.

If we won’t change it, this would definitely come at the cost of our precious health and I am sure we all want to stay healthy.

Let’s forget sugar, spice and all nice to eat wise and drop a size.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not represent ARY policies or opinion.