Food is the only natural nutrient consumed by us to live and also one of the life’s greatest pleasure sorts too. We go back to the story of the first man and woman with their wants for pleasure and wisdom.
Food pleasures are universal and in all ages, mankind has celebrated with invention, documentation and preparation of food in different cultures, making good food a pleasurable experience.
Food is a source of natural pharmacy apart being pleasure and daily dietary. Each of our body works on different parameters based on habits & culture, body constitution, work, exercise and lifestyle. The nutrition and medicinal value needs of each of us differ. Food could act as medicine to maintain, prevent, in some cases to treat diseases, and at the same time food could harm.
“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.
Goes with a Mexican Proverb “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are” Let the food we eat be friendly for digestion, body and mind.
The food gives to our bodies the information and the material to function, the metabolic processes could suffer and health tends to decline with the wrong information. Too much or too little of food could send wrong signals leading to overweight or being undernourished.
Food and food habits plays such a vital role in determining whether the food we eat is a Saint or Sinner to our body and mind, be it Raw or cooked / processed food, both have their pros and cons depending on who and how it is consumed. The carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamin & minerals requirements for each of us vary. There is nothing to state one is better than the other by increasing the longevity or being healthier.
Way back to my childhood days, when the fast food was first heard, it was amusing and something we all wanted to relate too. There were times, in school days, we would save money to buy fast food and listen to music on Juke Box.
Today, with the technology pitch in terms of information and affordability, we see children with better pocket size than our days, with mobile music systems and headphones jarring, standing by to take a bite at their favorite fast food stores. The food pleasure levels seem to be the same then and today, only thing that has changed is the lifestyle and the food we eat.
India’s change in lifestyle due to employment, work patterns and eating habits, and moving towards consumerism, we see a trend of eat to live and live to eat existing side by side in metropolitans and also fast food becoming a way of life.
“With increasing urbanization, energy-rich diets containing higher amount of fat and sugar, which also provide less dietary fibre and complex carbohydrates, are being frequently consumed, particularly by high-income groups.” – The Dietary Guidance for Indian – A Manual, ninindia.org
The Food Sector is growing at a set pace with the retail industry from an air-conditioned super markets and restaurants to street food and markets. With that we have seen the growth of multi-national cuisines and brands existing for the extremely brand conscious and local cuisines existing side by side for those who are not brand conscious with respect to their spending.
The cuisines available today from different parts of India and around the world has brought about a challenging situation to taste and relish, which sometimes sends wrong signals to the body and wellbeing. We all need a basic balance of nutrients every day. Some of the processed foods and fast foods include chemically-altered fats and sugars that give our bodies the wrong signals.
Also with the change in urban metropolitan’s lifestyle we have invariable brought ourselves exposed to lifestyle diseases, we need to retrospect how we work, lifestyle and eating habits and their relationship. Understanding the meal and snacking habit.
Many a times, we refuse to eat food served, with reasons of dieting and calorie in the food served. How have we determined the calorie needs? Have we consulted a Nutritionist or Dietitian or presumed? Most of the time, we presume or ignore, or engage with reasons of hereditary or being healthy. How do we count energy our body needs?
Calories are needed to provide energy for the body to function to the required levels. Can we imagine an aircraft without fuel or energy flying? Calorie needs are based on the age, height and weight, gender (BMI) and off course the activity level. When there is a balance of input to output. (Consumed calories burn off in normal daily activity or exercise) don’t tend to be overweight.
Practically everything we consume has calories. For example the calorie in 1 gm of Fat = 9 calories and 1 gm of protein or carbohydrates = 4 calories, whereas alcohol of 1 gm = 7 calories. Most of the time, we ignore the calorie count on each of the food we consume when it turns out to be a pleasure eating.
Are we having food in Portion size or Serving Size? We are delighted by the Portion Size of food served in Restaurants or the packaged snacks or food. We tend to patronize Restaurant with larger Portion size served, why not when we get a deal but then are we eating the whole Portion size or sharing with our friends and family.
Serving size is the standardized unit of measuring food as per dietary guidance, whereas portion size is the amount offered to a person in a restaurant or the amount offered in the packaged snacks or food, or the amount a person chooses to put on his or her plate.
We assume the portion size to be the serving size especially when we are alone to dine or sometimes we are in no mood to waste food paid for or cooked, thinking that we have eaten 1 serving without realizing that the portion size was more than the 1 serving. For example, a Plate of Starter, Briyani, Curry & Dessert offered by a restaurant constitute at least 2 servings.
There is nothing wrong in consuming the portion size when it is equal to serving size in terms of calories or decide to have the portion size consumed over subsequent meals or snacks depending on the calories we expend.
Not to be confused with food pairs or food matching, is so important in balancing one’s diet, enabling there is harmonized digestion & nutrient absorption. Different types of foods digest with different enzymes and at different rates.
When we consume different kinds of foods which needs different rates or may need alkaline or acidic environment to digest, the digestions gets hit and distorted and things begin to rot and ferment in your body turning to be stored toxins rather than turning them into nutrients. The food we have consumed would have no meaning assigned in terms of energy, leading to breakouts and poor sleeps.
More appealing in terms of aroma, looks and without any dispute the taste variation they provide when compared to the home food. Is that all we should look for, should we not take a look inside us the, harm that could bring us from half healthier Fast Food.
Home- cooked food
Are healthier, we could work on the serving size conveniently personalized and prepare food based on calories needs, although some restaurants have the calorie count on the menu, the menu is beyond our control in terms of substitutes if any in the recipes.
Fast Food becomes an inevitable choice due to lack time in our busy work schedule to cook or leftover food is not a popular choice. We could always make time once or twice a week to cook enough for several meals and store hygienically, after all most fast food is stored and heated or prepared.
Some of the Factory Food today is promoted as homemade recipes or Home prepared & packaged to influence the confidence of the customers. An examination needs to be made to the claims, in terms of preservatives, substitutes, additives and taste makers.
Will we be able to change to be food conscious society? Will Organic Food be the Food Mantra of the rich only? In the individual affordable rights of each of us, should we not eat Healthy food? Should not everyone have the right to know the food they eat, the allergies, nutrition facts and effects on their body?
Dependable or Guilt food is determined by you. Make a responsible choice, live Healthy.
“Making wise food choices as you grow older might be easier than you think. A lot of good information is available about nutrition and older people. In What’s On Your Plate? Smart Food Choices for Healthy Aging, the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), introduces you to the basic facts for making good food choices a part of your daily life and for adjusting those choices as you grow older and your needs change.” – What’s on Your Plate?
Meals together were meant to mean human fellowship, share a meal, a healthy recipe and your food experience. Let’s share goodness of food and healthy community together.
The Blogger Vanitha R food and beverage enthusiast with working experience of 15 years in Culinary, Baking and Confectionary, with a vision to create concept based customized Chocolates, Food & Beverages and promoter of Pride Chocolates & Eats, Bengaluru, India.
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