“Junk food is bad for your health” we have heard this umpteen number of times but just don’t give it up. Junk food contains high levels of fat and sugar, which obviously adds to the taste and little nutritional value. It has a long term impact on your health. This depends on the percentage it makes of your diet. A well balanced diet with junk food is harmless. But imagine those kids who have junk food every day. Everyone, kids and us, are glued to our computers, laptops, phones. Our physical activity is not commensurate with what we eat. We are compelled to go to the gym on our doctor’s advice.

With easy availability of fast food, the number of obese children are increasing who are susceptible to life style diseases like high cholesterol, stroke, high blood pressure, suppressed immune system, cardiovascular diseases and diabetics. The large amount of soda consumed erodes our bones, increasing the chance of a fracture from a simple fall. It also takes a toll on mental health. The high sugar levels affect the ability to concentrate and the energy level of the kid goes down. This is reflected in the school performance. The much needed fibre, vitamins, minerals, protein and calcium for growth are substituted by carbohydrates, sugars and fats. There is horizontal growth instead of vertical.

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We need not ban fast food, but just regulate the intake. We also have to know to differentiate between junk and healthy food when we buy from outside. Look at the nutrition information label for amount of proteins, vitamins etc. and choose wisely. You get lots of low fat options in departmental stores these days ranging from milk to bread. Replace refined flour with multi grain flour, white bread with brown bread and wherever possible add lots of colourful fruits and vegetables.

If you have trouble getting children to eat it get them to help you make it. Their curiosity and interest will make them relish what they eat. Make a weekly or monthly diet chart to see if it is imagebalanced. We prefer junk because of fast availability and taste. Home made food can be as tasty. Change the routine diet and try different cuisines. Innovate. Make your own concoctions.

So how do we make changes in our daily diet to include all nutrients?

Your first priority must be to cut down fats wherever possible. Add salad and a glass of milk to the usual breakfast you have. For your little snack breaks have salad. You can add chat masala to enhance the taste. Feeling thirsty? Want soda? Nope, cut some fruits and put in the juicer. It takes the same amount of time as going and buying one. Want to have something sweet after meals try dates, groundnut or sesame sweets or fruits. Read somewhere that soda helps in digesting food? Well, so does lemonade.

 

Make sure whole grains, healthy carbohydrates, good fat, protein and yogurt are a part of your daily diet. If you have rice for lunch you can add a little bit of millets to it. Millets are a source of micro nutrients. Reduce the amount of sugar and salt intake. Substitute frying with steaming or use microwave to cook. Fresh fruits and vegetables should always top the charts. Most important of all is water. Drink lots of it to flush the toxins put of your system and keeps your skin soft and supple.

Traditional Indian food for a healthy life

Indians have a variety of cuisines and healthy dishes to supplement your health in a tasty way. Here are a few examples
1. Dal: A stew made from healthy lentils. A rich source of proteins. A twist of lemon and a little sugar will give a blend tastes. Perfect with chappatis. Can also be eaten separately.image
2.Rajma: Red beans curry which you can find in tacos, ideal with chappatis and Rice.
3. Idly: Circular shaped steamed batter of rice. We can also add lentils and little pieces of vegetables to the batter. A perfect energy rich dish.
4. Sattu: A flour which can be added to a variety of dishes. It is made from many nutrient rich grains, millets etc.
5. Chappati: They are round thin breads made from whole wheat. Soybean, black gram and barn can be added to the whole wheat flour to make it more healthy. Chappatis with a combination of vegetable curry gives you all the essential nutrients.
6. Sprouts: They are germinated beans, which are easy to digest and contain hordes of iron calcium and protein.
7. Curd: Curd or yogurt can be consumed in a variety of forms like lassi, buttermilk, ghazi etc. they provide the intestines with the essential bacteria ls needed to digest food. You needn’t take a probiotic drink or tablet!
8. Spices like pepper, red chilies, turmeric, cumin etc
Spice used in Indian cooking have anti bacterial, anti carcinogenic, anti diabetic and analgesic properties. They aid in proper digestion and make sure all your glands work properly.
9.Paneer or cottage cheese: It is made from milk and is high in calcium which aids growth and maintenance of bones and teeth.

So, changed your mind? There is no need to completely throw away junk foods. Take baby steps. Reduce them little by little while simultaneously including healthy food and save yourself from lifestyle diseases. You needn’t hit the gym if you eat healthy.

Nandhitha

Nandhitha

Love to read write and explore new avenues. Would like to raise awareness through my writings.

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