Dietary Guidelines to Stay Healthy, Wealthy and Happy During this Pandemic

To be healthy and wealthy one of the biggest dietary changes one has to make today is to be able to say “No Thank you” to “Fatty Food”. Fatty Food means foods which have a high fat content. They may be classified as -

A. All deep fried foods and snacks - puries, vadas (dahi vada), samosa, kachori, chaat items, chips, mixtures, murukus, sev, bhugia and other namkeen items. This includes baked snacks as well. In the preparation of baked snacks the method of cooking may be different but to obtain the taste and crispiness a lot of butter, ghee or vegetable fat will be added to prepare the dough. Also many baked snacks are prepared from soya flour which in itself has a high fat content.

B. Baked items such as - cookies, cakes, pastries and puffs are very high in their fat content.

C. All sweets – chocolates, ice cream, desserts, puddings, payasams, and all mittais are laden with cream, butter and ghee.

Unfortunately, the above mentioned foods are the most tasty foods and they add excitement and enjoyment to our daily, healthy meals and nutritious foods which are simple and can become quite monotonous.

The biggest argument one hears is – “if we cannot enjoy these special foods, then what is the point of living”. Please note the first mind-set that must be corrected is that we eat to live and we are not living to eat. When we eat to live then we can keep trim, fit and healthy and occasionally enjoy those special (fatty foods) throughout our life.

On the other hand, if we live to eat we will become obese and with it will come the common diseases like high B.P or hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. Besides these today many obese people are also developing thyroid problems, reproduction system problems and cancer too.

We have to know that one cannot be fat and fit. It’s fat and sick!! Our elders developed the above problems mostly after the age of 50 or 60. Today many are diagnosed with these problems in their 20’s and 30’s.

The leading cause of these problems is that the above foods are eaten by both children and adults on a daily basis. Foods with high fat content are special foods and are meant only for special occasions. In the past our elders also ate all these special foods but they were prepared only on a special occasion which would happen at the most, once or twice in a month. Also people could afford to prepare it only occasionally and in limited quantities.

The second issue is that these special foods are very rich and fatty and are therefore meant to be eaten in small quantities. They are called delicacies and to be served and eaten in small portions. Earlier most people lived in joint families and therefore when the special food was shared among 10-20 people in a household all members would get 1-2 pieces or portions and it would be over in one sitting. Today a house hold is 3-4 people and therefore each one gets bigger portions and each box of sweets or chocolates will be eaten continuously for 3-4 days.

Each family must take this situation very seriously and if you are not yet fat then make the changes immediately. Try not to eat out or call in food more than once a week and if indulging is sweets or chocolates or fried items or pastries, etc., make sure it’s once a week and only buy enough to eat at one sitting. If you have been gifted with a box of sweets allow all members to eat one serving and distribute it to neighbours, friends, or your household help.

Those who are already fat must make a resolution to completely give up the above for at least a 3-month period which will help you to reduce 5-10kgs and then you may resume eating those items once in a week. If you are already fat and you eat the fatty foods once a week you may not put on weight but you definitely will not lose weight. Only if you completely forbid the intake of fatty foods for a period of time will the fat already present get broken down.

Therefore as many of us struggling with our weight during this Pandemic and restricted movement let us at least work hard on our dietary habits so that we can control our weight or lose the weight we have gained and stay Healthy, Wealthy and Happy.

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