Chapatis, bread, pasta or even noodles are not bad for health if they are cooked the right way, say experts. The cooking process determines how much nutrition is retained in the items while being cooked.
Celebrity nutritionist Pooja Makhija, who collaborated with Max Bupa for Junk the Junk campaign, and Ritika Samaddar, regional head, dietetics, Max Healthcare, New Delhi, share some tips on eating healthy.
* Inherently, all food is good food as each food item contains some or the other vital intake ingredients, collectively forming a complete and wholesome meal. The two food items to avoid in excess are oil and sugar.
Contrary to general perception, one can lose weight even while including rice in their diet as long as they don’t consume rice in the form of fried rice or oily biryani. Refined sugar intake in tea, coffee or other drinks and desserts should be avoided or should be restricted to the minimum.
* Carbs provide energy and should comprise about 60 to 65% of our diet. However, the intake needs to be managed. Two breads, one bowl of rice or one bowl of noodles is within the threshold of good carbs.
* Some people’s first attempt at losing weight and ‘staying healthy’ involves giving up oil altogether. It is never recommended to exclude cooking oil from one’s diet completely. Oil intake is vital to ensure joint mobility and heart and brain functioning. In fact, 2-3 teaspoons of oil is recommended for preparation of any dish to ensure the skin also gets the required nutrition.
* The process of juice extraction from fruits and vegetables results in the loss of healthy fibre, making the concentrate high in sugar content. Fruits and select vegetables should be consumed as whole to allow the body to absorb the nutrients sufficiently. Also, one should always consume fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
* All breads, whether brown or white (regular) are made from wheat flour. Brown bread is the caramelised form of white bread and is not healthy. However, multi-grain bread with solid grains/ seeds is richer in fibre, although still made from wheat flour. One should not eat more than two slices of bread at a stretch as wheat flour is difficult to digest.
* Try and sneak in more of lentils and pulses and good quality proteins in your daily diet. The amount of protein required varies from person to person. It is calculated as 0.8 to 1 gm per kg of the ideal body weight.
* Salads are definitely a rich source of fibre with plenty of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, but are completely devoid of proteins and fats and the fat soluble vitamins. Hence, taking only salads is not healthy and leads to severe deficiencies of protein leading to weakness and precipitating to various chronic diseases.
* To avoid junk eating, one should keep snacks such as bhel, khakhra, makhanas, roasted peanuts, roasted channas, vegetable sandwich or roti wraps handy as healthy alternatives.