If Indian food is something that you eat, whether it’s a family staple that you have regularly or something you have once a week, do read on.
Many of us love the taste of Indian foods, there’s flavour, texture and such a variety to choose from. But there's a catch. The way some traditional meals are prepared can often make them calorie-dense and rich in sugar and fats.
Over time, indulging without awareness can set you on a path to weight gain, with increased risks of Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol levels. Remember, it's all about balance!
Don’t make these cooking mistakes:
- Excessive oil use: Many dishes, such as parathas and dals, can be dripping in oil, increasing calorie and fat counts.
- Over-reliance on ghee: Although ghee has its benefits, having too much can quickly turn it from healthful to harmful.
- Deep-fried temptations: Snacks like samosas and pakoras, when deep-fried, are full of fat and calories.
- Creamy delights: Creamy bases in dishes like butter chicken or daals add significantly to the fat portions.
- Add to this the family genetics and certain lifestyles, you're looking at having higher heart disease risks. It's a gamble you'd rather not take.
- Sugar: Our love for sweetness and sugar cravings, goes from treats like gulab jamuns or jalebis, to the hidden sugars in chutneys or curries. Excess sugar can push the scales up and may lead towards Type 2 diabetes. Remember, you don’t need to stop sugar, but make informed, healthier choices.
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Other common mistakes include:
Excess salt: Increasing the risk of high blood pressure.
- Additives: There’s artificial colours and preservatives in some commercial spice mixes or snacks.
- Spice imbalance: Although spices can be therapeutic and beneficial, an off-balance can disrupt digestion.
- Do you have issues such as gas, acidity, constipation, or bloating? Some of your foods may be causing it.
- Refined carbohydrates: Whether it’s your atta, rice or other grains can lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar.
- Lack of vegetables: While many Indian dishes are vegetable-based, many people just don’t eat their veggies.
But here's the good news: You don’t need to stop eating Indian meals. They are, after all, both our comfort food and has many health benefits when made the right way. It's about finding the right balance!
To make healthier Indian meals come and join me to learn how to:
- Reduce fat, you need to know what oils to use and how much to use of these.
- Reduce sugar, you don’t need to stop it but learn how much sugar to have, which sugars to use and then make swaps to enjoy your treats guilt free.
- Enjoy grains, you don’t need to stop eating rice, roti, biryani or parathas. In my masterclass, I show you the portions and how to make them healthier.
- Make healthy delicious snacks that take care of your cravings.
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Sujata Din is a Certified Health Coach and Certified Professional Cancer Coach. In this regular column for iGlobal, she offers some special insights, from useful wellness tips to recipes for creations that are not only delicious but also healthy.