Food Food and kitchen management Health and fitness

Health Food or Trend Food?

Ankita Vaidya
Written by Ankita Vaidya
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Similar to clothing, food has its own waves of ‘fashion’. With the world coming a lot closer, thanks to technology, ‘global cuisine’ has become a recent trend. Pizzas, pastas, chowmein, subs, fried chicken, samosas, or onion bhajjis are globally available at every other noshery. While America gifted the world with their critically approved fast food chains, there is a new rising wave that brings health foods in vogue.

Health foods in vogue

‘Health foods’ is a huge umbrella and what seems like, everyone has their own unique perspective and approach towards it. Food industry, however, has a lion’s share in driving what’s in ‘trend’. Be it whole bran, oats or quinoa, with strong marketing skills and excellent PR, it’s not perplexing for them to dictate what we eat.

The real question is if these health foods are indeed healthy. As we welcomed stress into our lives through telecommunications, travel, lifestyle, sleep patterns and no exercise, we equally welcomed this term ‘global cuisine’ into our lives. What is local and regional went out of style and we were more interested in exploring other cuisines. Now, let me assure that exploring new cuisines and understanding other ethnicities, their culture and food is a wonderful thing. If and when you get a chance to do so, take it! But what we need to watch is the quantity and quality.

Processed foods

What has really ruined our inner engineering is the use of processed, toxic chemicals in the form of food. These preservatives are sometimes not even mentioned on the packaging and unknowingly, we ingest a lot of non-food products disguised as food. A very generic example would be instant noodles. Various brands, various flavours, attractive packaging, some claim to have been loaded with veggies while some claim the use of whole wheat flour. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing!

Most of us are aware of these common products though. What is nerve-racking is that 95% of the bottled or boxed items on the shelves contain either processed sugars or processed grains like corn, soy, wheat, or preservatives; sometimes all of the above. So be it your energy bars, protein shakes, bottled smoothies, gluten-free breads or quinoa chips. The moment we quit cooking our own meals from scratch and rely on packaged foods for nourishment, we handout an open invitation to multiple health disorders, sooner or later.

 

Hands down, the best thing you can ever give your body is a home cooked meal using raw, local and seasonal ingredients and medicinal herbs and spices. Try doing this for 3 days, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner not from any cafeteria or deli but your own kitchen. After three days, most of us will notice the change in our mood, our energy levels and feel lighter on the inside. After doing this for about two weeks, slowly the cravings for outside food will fade away. And after a month of practicing this, you will crave for homemade, fresh, flavourful meals. Now these numericals will differ for each one of us, thanks to our unique constitution. Definitely worth a try!

Order the right kind of food

So next time you pick up an item off the grocery store shelf, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does it come packaged in a bottle, jar, can, box or plastic?
  2. Was it made in a factory vs a home kitchen?
  3. Does it target a certain food group or ingredient? Eg: Low-fat, sugar-fee, high protein, gluten-free, calcium/ vitamin enriched etc.
  4. Check the ingredients list. Does it contain ingredients that sound like chemistry lab items?  (however, not always all the ingredients are mentioned)
  5. Was is manufactured more than 3 days ago, hundreds of miles away from where you are?

If your answers are mostly yes, you probably must put that down right away!

Because global food is high in demand, we often see Thai sauces, pastas sauces, Korean stir-fry sauces, various salad dressings, yogurts, frozen meats, processed poultry and meats… in the grocery stores. The list is endless and every month there will be, if not more, at least 2 to 3 new products added to the store inventory. And therefore, eating a bajra roti and sabzi is a way better option than a multigrain sandwich with low-fat cheese, eggless mayo and sugar-free ketchup.

Let us know your thoughts about this since it is such a burning topic out there. What do you like to do or not do when it comes to health? Any special recipes you would like to share with us? We are all ears when it comes to spreading the love. Let us know and keep following! #metime

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About the author

Ankita Vaidya

Ankita Vaidya

A computer engineer on paper, chef by profession! Being born in a gastronomically enthu household was sheer luck and definitely some good karma. I left India at the age of 22 with 3 suitcases full of parents’ love, passion and determination to chase my dreams.

A connoisseur of Indian cuisine, I enjoy sharing my love for traditional Indian cooking wherever I go. Nurtured with extreme affection, this ‘lil princess’ is all set to touch millions of hearts with her holistic zeal for food and cooking.

I believe life is like a box of spices- though some moments may seem overwhelming, a thoughtful use and correct application will definitely give you extraordinary results. Feel free to share food related anything with me ‘cause I am a student for life!

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