Articles on food

Dangers of Processed Food

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
It is very easy to grab a packet of chips, biscuits just to suppress your hunger for a particular period of time. But once you understand that how these processed foods are made then it becomes easier to select the healthier options instead of going for processed foods on daily basis. Following are the reasons which are going to reflect why one should not include processed foods on the daily basis.1. Processed foods ruin digestionBecause all the nutrients, vitamins are completely stripped of the food product once it gets into processing steps. It actually weakens our digestive system and allows harmful bacteria to enter in our body. One should always make healthier options before choosing any of the processed foods.2. Processed foods triggers health problemsProcessed foods contain various preservatives, additives so that a product shelf life won’t effect. But these additives which contain specifically phosphates can affect our kidneys and also weaken our bones as per one of the researches. And some of the studies also showed that refined sugars, processed flours, vegetable oils and many other ingredients commonly found in processed foods are largely responsible for the chronic inflammation problems in body.3. Processed Foods contain pesticidesIn order to work more for genetically modified foods, the farmers have to apply pesticides which can end up into final product so in this way processed foods have high chances of having pesticides in comparison with fresh food groups.4. Processed foods can be addictive and lead to weight gainProcessed foods tend to over stimulate the production of dopamine, also known as the "pleasure" neurotransmitter, which makes you crave them constantly. So, your body tempts to eat much more than the normal intake which in time make the person addictive as well as it add unnecessary fat in the body.

6 Not So Healthy Foods

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
If you look out for healthy snacks in the grocery store, you need to read this to know which healthy snacks are really healthy, and which are not.Unfortunately some of the not so healthy products are being commercially sold to people  as “Healthy/Diet Foods”. Here are a few examples that will tell you how and why they are not so healthy:Diet:Snacks (Namkeens): The original snacks foods (namkeens) have been forced to share the shelf space with the "diet namkeens" that are baked or roasted as opposed to being fried. Now, is the cooking method sufficient enough to transform them from being unhealthy to being healthy? Not exactly! Let's show you how - what has been conveniently overlooked is the ingredients that make these healthy namkeens that still remain unchanged. These namkeens might still be high in sodium, sugar, oil & other ingredients like unhealthy flour, and are only relatively healthier than the original namkeens.Granola Bar: Granola bars are being promoted as a quick energy snack. Most of the granola bar varieties being sold commercially are full of sugar, corn syrup, and saturated fat. In reality these bars are almost equivalent to the cookies in their health contentEnergy Drinks: Popularity of energy drinks has been mostly contributed by sportsmen/women and athletes endorsing it as an instant energy source. However keep in mind that the people endorsing these need quick resources of energy to keep them going. This is not always applicable source is not applicable to the average person with a sedentary or a mildly active lifestyle, which in comparison are not as physically demanding as playing a sport! These energy drinks are high on sugar content, which as you know .. excess sugar in the body promotes fat storage.Low Fat Salad Dressing: Summers are approaching and salads will be the most popular meal option once again.  With the increasing health awareness “low-fat” has found its way to the salad dressings arranged on the shelves of the grocery stores. While these new low fat salad dressings offer a reduced amount of fat, the taste is often salvaged by adding sugar. If you want low-fat salad dressing you can create them at home with simple ingredients like lime juice, olive oil, vinegar & home-made yogurt.Fruit juices: Most packaged fruit juice is not 100% fruit juice. Packaged fruit juices use added sugar and sweeteners to enhance the taste. Besides this, the main fiber of the natural fruit pulp is missing from the packaged fruit juices. If you are feeling thirsty hydrate yourself with plain water. As for nutrition there is no substitute for fruits in their natural form.Diet Sodas: There are multiple studies around this, to know if diet soda is bad for your health.Also studies have shown, people consume higher portions of 'healthy snacks'. While the calorie density might not be much lower, people might actually land up consuming more calories than when snacking on the 'original snacks'.

6 Reasons Why Street Food Is Unhealthier Than You Thought?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
You've heard about how deep fried foods aren't good for health because of the high calorie content, and not being heart healthy! Turns out, they are actually worse for your health, than you thought they were! See the 6 reasonsWe told you if which chaat is healthiest. Most popular street foods are fried at some point: aloo tikki – kachori- aloo filled samosas - chole bhature – pav bhaji. Most of these are fried (which facilitates quick preparation), high in fat and sodium, and low in fiber, vitamins & minerals. Let’s show you how these foods are unhealthier than you thought:Trans: These food are deep fried in oil which is used repeatedly for frying, often over a period of days. There are 2 problems with this. First, its fried in oil which naturally has high saturated fat, since its cheaper. Then, the oil is heated for days (as mentioned earlier). This process of heating oil for a long really increases the trans-fatty acid content in the food. In countries like the US, foods with trans fatty acids are banned, because these trans fatty acids basically enter your blood stream. Since the body cannot process them, they clog your arteries, which can even lead to cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and many chronic diseases.Read to know more about trans fats and how to avoid it.Calorie Density: You already know this, but just to make a point, the Nutrition and Food Science Journal reported that Indian snacks are very energy-dense (148-603kcal/100g) and trans-fat varies from 0.1 to 19.8g/100g.Cancer: These street foods are fried at high temperatures, for quick frying, to produce large quantities. Repeated use of oil for deep frying, makes it go past their smoke points, which contain a large quantity of free radicals which contributing  to risk of cancer. In order to end multiplication of free radicals. Read more on Antioxidant rich foods.Glucose spiking: Almost all the street foods have their main ingredient as maida. It has a high glycemic index, so it spikes your blood sugar, and promotes fat storage, besides increasing your risk of diabetes & heart disease.Sodium Load: To increase shelf life, and flavour, street foods loaded with salt (one chicken burger or one small french fries pack can contain more than 1000 milligrams of sodium). This high consumption of salt can lead to hypertension and even predispose to water retention.Get know tips to reduce water weight.Microbial Count: Last but not the least, the unhygienic handling of street foods , use of unsafe water and exposure to street pollution, are just few of the things that increases the number of  bacteria in the plate.So, be aware the next time you dig into street food!

The Food Pyramid - Explained

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Food pyramid is the basic guide which helps us plan a healthy diet according to our body’s requirement. There are a variety of choices which are highlighted by food groups mentioned in a pyramid shape. Individuals should eat different foods from each food group to ensure they obtain all the nutrients their body needs in appropriate proportions. There are several food pyramid plans recommended by health professionals today. The most widely known food pyramid was introduced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the year 1992, was updated in 2005, and then replaced in 2011.In 1992, food pyramid became the most useful and influential guide in history. It  was considered as a total dietary approach for nutrient adequacy and moderation in order to bring awareness to the new food patterns. This was widely adopted as an icon and used by various nutritionists, Dietitians and many other medical professionals related to this field. The Food pyramid includes all the major food groups with the correct frequency and amounts that one should have for a healthy and fit body.It was updated in 2005 with colorful vertical wedges replacing the horizontal sections and renamed My Pyramid. My Pyramid was often displayed with the food images absent, creating a more abstract design. In an effort to restructure food nutrition guidelines, the USDA rolled out its new My Plate program in June 2011.Apart from USDA there are over 25 other countries and organizations who have also published food pyramids. Out of this one is Asian food pyramid. This Pyramid is based on a generalized summary of the traditional healthy diets of Asian populations, in the light of current nutrition research. The basic premises of the Asian Diet Pyramid, have received strong international support from leading nutrition scientists and medical specialists as useful alternatives to the 1992 U.S. Food Guide Pyramid. For example, the Food Guide Pyramid lumps some animal and plant foods together in a single group, while the Asian Food Pyramid carefully distinguish between plant and animal foods. The main constitution of the Asian Food Pyramid is of Plant based food, with moderate amounts of animal products. It has a wide variety of healthy foods listed in 8 mini pyramids or levels [as illustrated in the picture].The Asian Diet Pyramid emphasizes -On daily servings of whole grain and minimally processed foods, topped by another large band of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.Optional daily servings of dairy products (low fat), Sea-foodWeekly Servings of Sweets, eggs and poultry are recommendedMonthly Servings of red meat or PorkDaily physical exercise, a small amount of vegetable oil and a moderate consumption of plant-based beverages are also recommended according to the pyramid6 glasses of water to ensure good healthModerate intake of gin/beer/wineAccording to Campbell, Cornell professor of nutritional biochemistry, co-chairperson of the conference and director of the Cornell-China-Oxford Project-“The Asian diet, which is significantly lower in total fat, may prove to be an even more healthful diet.”Every day, we all need to make good choices regarding the foods we eat and the amount of activity we do.  If you are willful to make changes in your lifestyle to achieve better health of body & mind, then the food Pyramid is the right scientific approach to begin with. As this model is based on years of research, it is certainly promising for every individual.

Is Raw Food Diet Healthy?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
People are constantly experimenting with food to lose weight. Some eat maple syrup all day while some eat raw or uncooked foods to get that size zero. Most fad diets are unhealthy. But sometimes even the more healthy seeming diets like the raw food diet may not be totally healthy. Let us tell you why eating raw food can or cannot be all that good for you.Raw diet consists mainly of uncooked, unprocessed plant foods. Raw food is low in calorie and usually sourced naturally. Eating a raw diet full of fruits and vegetables has its advantages of getting plenty of vitamins and minerals but there are a lot of missing nutrients in this diet that can lead to severe deficiencies.Vitamin B12 is the most common deficiency found in people that eat this diet. This nutrient is naturally available in animal sources and is critical to nerve and red blood cell development. Deficiencies can lead to anemia and neurological impairment.This diet doesn't have enough protein. According to ICMR minimum of 20-25% of adults daily calories should come from protein. Protein is a major component of all cells, including muscle and bone. It is needed for growth, development and immunity to fight off infections and protect the body.This diet might help you lose weight because how much raw food can you actually eat. Besides unhealthy weight loss it also makes your immune system vulnerable putting you at higher risk of falling sick or catching infection. Raw food diet lacks lycopene, usually found in cooked tomatoes, which are responsible for plasma lycopene levels, which are thought to play a role in disease prevention.Overcooking and heating is known to destroy nutrition in food. But did you know that cooking vegetables and beans actually enhances digestibility and absorption of many beneficial and nutritious compounds in the body? Cooking also helps destroy some of the harmful enzymes that interfere with the absorption of nutrients in the body.Recent studies confirm that the body absorbs much more of the beneficial anti-cancer compounds (carotenoids and phytochemicals - especially lutein and lycopene) from cooked vegetables compared with raw. Scientists speculate that the increase in absorption of antioxidants after cooking may be attributed to the destruction of the cell matrix (connective bands) to which the valuable compounds is bound.Eating raw food is good for health and is an important feature of a healthy diet. But that does not mean that one’s entire diet has to be raw to be in excellent health or lose weight. There are healthier ways to lose weight like eating a balanced diet and exercising. Our body requires all nutrients for optimum health.

Healthy Food Shopping on a Budget

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Food prices are increasing everyday. Unfortunately, incomes don’t always keep up with it! This should not stop you from eating healthy. Here, we have some great tips for you on how you can eat healthier, and stay within your budget!Avoid Junk FoodTry to maintain a budget diary and note every time you spend money on food. Evaluate how much you spend on soda, cookies, packaged food, eat out lunch and dinner, etc and try to avoid them. It will keep you and your pocket healthy. This will also help you in spending more money on high quality food.Go SeasonalSeasonal fruits, seasonal vegetables that are locally grown, best match the nutrition requirements of people living in the area. The other advantage is that seasonal foods cost less to grow, so you pay the right price for them.  For example; in summers you should go for watermelon, mangoes, plum, berries, etc and in winters you can opt for oranges, peas, apples, turnip, spinach, fenugreek leaves, etc. However, all season fruit and vegetables like papaya, banana, etc can also help you. So, the more you focus on purchasing seasonal food, the healthier and tastier your meals will be and the more money you will save.Go Shopping with Grocery ListEvery time, before going to shopping make a list of everything you are going to purchase and focus on healthy and nutritious food and try to remain stick on it. By this you can avoid purchasing unnecessary foods and can manage your budget.Fresh foods over PackagedPackaged foods may contain high amount of sugar and sodium to act as preservative, but are also expensive. For example, instead of buying packaged orange fruit juices, try to buy whole orange fruit. Always buy fresh over canned or packaged foods. This not only save your money but also give you more nutrition.Be experimentalInstead of spending money on expensive unhealthy desserts, try making healthy desserts at home. For example; you can try homemade oatmeal cookies with less sugar, a piece of dark chocolate, or yogurt with fresh seasonal fruits.Be colorfulNatural colors in food correspond to a variety of nutrition. So, shop for fruits and vegetables of all kinds of colors. For example, use red and yellow pepper in green leafy vegetables or yellow corns and carrot in black beans and lentils. Besides providing you with great nutrition, they also make the food look delicious!Buy in bulk but Cook in PortionsIt sound strange but it is true to keep a healthy eating on a budget you should buy vegetable to grains to meat in a bulk, and store it well. This not only helps you in budget maintenance but also cut down your shopping time, thus, leaving you more time for everything else.If you stick with these healthy eating and food shopping tips, you’ll be healthier and save more money!

Effects of Processed Food on Our Health

Ms. Tripty Bansal, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Most foods we eat are processed in some way. Apples are cut from trees, ground beef has been ground in a machine and butter is the cream that has been separated from the milk and churned.But there is a difference between mechanical processing and chemical processing.If it’s a single ingredient food with no added chemicals, then it doesn’t matter if it’s been ground or put into a jar. It’s still real food.However… foods that have been chemically processed and made solely from refined ingredients and artificial substances are what is generally known as “processed food.”Processed Foods Are Usually High in Sugar and High Fructose Corn SyrupProcessed foods are usually loaded with added sugar… or its evil twin, High Fructose Corn Syrup. Sugar is “empty” calories – it has no essential nutrients, but a large amount of energy. Sugar consumption is strongly associated with some of the world’s leading killers… including heart disease (because it leads to increased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes (due to insulin resistance), obesity and cancer.Most people aren’t putting massive amounts of sugar in their coffee or on top of their cereal, they’re getting it from processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages.Processed Foods Are Often High in Refined CarbohydratesThe carbohydrates found in processed foods are usually refined, “simple” carbohydrates. They act just like sugar and lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. This can lead to carb cravings a few hours later when blood sugar levels go down again. This phenomenon is also called the “blood sugar roller coaster” – which many people who have been on a high-carb diet must have experienced.Labels like “whole grains” that are often written on processed food packages, including breakfast cereals usually contain whole grains that have been pulverized into very fine flour and are just as harmful as their refined counterparts.If you’re going to eat carbs, get them from whole, single ingredient foods, not processed junk foods. Processed foods are “hyper-rewarding” they hijack Your Brain and Makes You Addicted Unlike whole foods, which contain a mix of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fiber and water to help you feel satisfied, processed foods stimulate dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter, making you feel good even though the food lacks nutrients and fiber. This artificial dopamine stimulation only lasts so long and eventually leads to intense food cravings and, ultimately, food addiction.If you’ve ever tried to cut back on sugar, you may have realized how incredibly difficult it is. In some cases, it may seem impossible.When we eat these foods often and in large amounts, the dopamine receptors start to down-regulate. Now there are fewer receptors for the dopamine. This means that the next time we eat these foods, their effect is blunted. We will need more junk food next time we eat in order to get the same level of reward.Sugar and other junk foods, due to their powerful effect on the reward centers of the brain, function similarly to drugs of abuse like cocaine and nicotine. The exact same brain centers are at play. There is no difference, except the substance of abuse is different and the consequences of relapse aren’t as severe. People who have a certain predisposition to addiction become addicted to these foods and lose control over their consumption.This is basically how sugar and other junk food “hijack” the brain chemistry to make us crave more and eat more.Processed Foods Contain All Sorts of Artificial IngredientsIf you look at the ingredients label for a processed, packaged food, chances are that you won’t have a clue what some of the ingredients are. That’s because many of the ingredients in there aren’t actual food… they are artificial chemicals that are added for various purposes.Example: The label of a canned food or a chocolate bar may look like that:Ingredients: Amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethole, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl Nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerbate, heliotropin, hydroxphrenyl-2butanone(10% solution to alcohol), a-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbone and solvent3Looks delicious, doesn't it? And this is just a small sampling of the SIX THOUSAND chemicals used to process foods.Highly processed foods often contain:Preservatives: Chemicals that prevent the food from rotting.Colorants: Chemicals that are used to give the food a specific color.Flavor: Chemicals that give the food a particular flavor.Texturants: Chemicals that give a particular texture.Processed foods can contain dozens of additional chemicals that aren’t even listed on the label.For example, “artificial flavor” is a proprietary blend. Manufacturers don’t have to disclose exactly what it means and it is usually a combination of chemicals that are blended in to give a specific flavor.Most Processed Foods Are Low in NutrientsProcessed foods are extremely low in essential nutrients compared to the whole, unprocessed foods. In some cases, synthetic vitamins and minerals are added to the foods to compensate for what was lost during processing. However, synthetic nutrients are NOT a good replacement for the nutrients found in whole foods.Also, real foods contain much more than just the standard vitamins and minerals that we’re all familiar with. Real foods… like plants and animals, contain thousands of other trace nutrients that science is just beginning to grasp.The more you eat of processed foods, the less you will get of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and various trace nutrients.Processed Foods tend to be Low in FiberSoluble, fermentable fiber has various important health benefits, but most processed foods are very low in fiber because it is lost or intentionally removed during processing.It Requires Less Energy and Time to Digest Processed FoodsFood manufacturers want their processed food products to have a long shelf life. They also want each batch of the product to have a similar consistency and they want their foods to be easily consumed. They are often very easy to chew and swallow. Most of the fiber has been taken out and the ingredients are refined thus we only burn half as many calories digesting and metabolizing processed foods compared to whole foods.The result is that we can eat more of them in a shorter amount of time (more calories in) and we also burn less energy (fewer calories out) digesting them than we would if they were unprocessed whole foods.Processed Foods Are Often High in Trans Fats or Processed Vegetable OilsProcessed foods are often high in unhealthy fats. They usually contain cheap fats, refined seed- and vegetable oils (like soybean oil) that are often hydrogenated… which turns them into Trans fats. Hydrogenated (trans) fats are among the nastiest, unhealthiest substances you can put into your body.Vegetable oils contain excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, which can drive oxidation and inflammation in the body. Several studies show that when people eat more of these oils, they have a significantly increased risk of heart disease, which is the most common cause of death in many countries today.The best way to avoid trans fats is to avoid processed foods. Eat real fats like butter, coconut oil and olive oil instead.Here are just a few reasons you might want to think twice before opening a packet of namkeens or chips or buying other canned fruits or meats or going for a burger or cookie:CANCER - Some synthetic chemicals used in the processed foods industry are known to have carcinogenic properties. In fact, a seven-year study conducted by the University of Hawaii of almost 200,000 people found that those who ate the most processed meats (hot dogs, bologna) had a 67 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer than those who ate little or no meat products.OBESITY - Heavily processed foods are usually higher in sugar, fat and salt, and lower in nutrients and fiber than the raw foods used to create them. According to the World Health Organization, processed foods are to blame for the spike in obesity levels and chronic disease around the world.HEART DISEASE - Many processed foods have trans fatty acids (TFA), the dangerous type of fat you don't want in your diet. TFA's give a rise to LDL, the dangerous cholesterol, and squash HDL, the good one.So the bottom line is Just Eat Real Food!When we replace real, traditional foods like butter, meat and vegetables with crappy, processed junk foods, we get fat and sick.Real food is the key to good health, processed food is not. 

Food Safety Measures

Ms. Harpreet Pasricha, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Celebrating World Health this month, let us provide some insight on food safety measures and how to ensure you are eating healthy!Clean: Always wash your fruits and vegetables, hands, counters and cooking utensils.Separate: Keep raw food separately. Germs can spread from one food to another.Cook: Cook foods for the appropriate length of time and at the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens.Chill: Put fresh food in the refrigerator right away. Store food at the proper temperature.Important: Do use safe water and raw materials.Eating a Balanced DietA healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition: fluid, adequate essential amino acids from protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and adequate calories. The requirements for a healthy diet can be met from a variety of plant-based and animal-based foods. A properly balanced diet (in addition to exercise) is also thought to be important for lowering health risks, such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cancer.At the core of the balanced diet are foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients and low in unnecessary fats and sugars. The following are essential parts of a balanced diet:Fruits: Besides being a great source of nutrition, fruits make quick and tasty snacks.Vegetables: They are primary sources of essential vitamins and minerals. Dark, leafy greens (Eg. spinach, kale etc.) generally contain the most nutrition and can be eaten at every meal.Grains: All types of grains are good sources of complex carbohydrates and some key vitamins and minerals. Grains are also naturally low in fat.Proteins: Meats and beans are primary sources of protein, which is essential for proper muscle and brain development.Dairy: Dairy products provide calcium, Vitamin D, and other essential nutrients. Opt for reduced-fat or fat-free cheeses, milk, and yogurt.Oils: Opt for low-fat versions of products that contain oil, such as salad dressing and mayonnaise. Good oils, such as olive oil, can replace fattier vegetable oil in your diet.HEALTHY EATING TIPSFill up on colorful fruits and vegetablesEat more healthy carbohydrates and whole grainsEnjoy healthy fats & avoid unhealthy fatsPut protein in perspectiveAdd calcium for strong bonesLimit sugar and saltBulk up on fiber

Negative Calorie Diet Foods

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
All foods contain some calories, so calling something a Negative Calorie Food seems like an oxymoron. But negative calorie foods are for real. So we'll tell you all about the benefits and side effects, along with clarifying others points around these negative calorie foods and negative calorie diets. Read on to know more about these negative calorie foods.What is a negative calorie food? Are they for real?Simply put, any food that creates a deficit of calories is a negative calorie food. All foods contain calories. When you consume them, energy is used in chewing and digesting the food. If the calories burnt from digesting the food is more than that provided by the food itself, its a low calorie food. Most vegetables (other than starchy vegetables) tend to be negative calorie foods. Below is a list of negative calorie foods.List of Negative Calorie FoodsAsparagus, Beet Root, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Hot Chili, Cucumber, Garlic, Green Beans, Lettuce, Onion, Radish, Spinach, Turnip, ZucchiniAre negative calorie foods good for health?As you can see, the negative calorie foods listed above, most of them are nutritious vegetables provided vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Also, most of these foods are a part of the Indian diet and you may also call them fat burning foods which are easily available in the departmental stores.Should you be a negative calorie diet to lose weight?Basically, no! Eating a negative calorie diet will create a calorie deficit, but it is much like a crash diet, since it does not provide enough calories. Similarly, negative calorie diets do not provide adequate protein, fat and carbohydrates for your body. Even though many low calorie foods have nutritive value, only eating them is not suggested.So, how to use negative calorie foods to lose weight?To use these negative calorie foods to lose weight, eat them along with your regular meals. Ensure you're getting adequate protein, fat and carbohydrates in your regular meals. For maximum benefits have these negative calorie food either raw, steamed or very lightly cooked. This has 3 benefits:- It reduces the overall calorific value of your meals. - Increases your daily nutrition- vitamins, fiber and antioxidants rich foods. - Fills you up for longer, so you cut junk food cravings.

Healthy Foods That Are Actually Junk Foods!

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
With a busy lifestyle, everyone wants quick, tasty, reasonably priced and easily available foods. Though you may think that they might be healthy options but they are completely opposite. Here are some foods mentioned which many of us might consider healthy but actually are unhealthy foods.1. Instant noodles Maggi/ noodles hardly take any time to cook and taste good but all you are adding to your body is refined flour. The wax present in them forms a layer in our intestine which takes at least three days to flush out from our system. You can swap this with a vegetable upma or poha. It will provide you with good carbs and the veggies will add fibre making it a complete meal.2. Cornflakes with milk Many of us think this is a safe breakfast option as it contains milk but the truth is that the flakes you eat only add more sugar to your diet and not much nutrition. It will only add more weight to your body. Instead of this, you can switch to daliya or muesli with skimmed milk and a handful of nuts sprinkled on the top. This will give you fibre with essential fatty acids and other essential nutrients.3. Fruit Juice/ Packaged Juice You may think that gulping down a glass of a preserved fruit juice is a great way to start your day, but they are mostly packed with sugar. Switch to a better idea have orange itself rather than juice. Whole fruit offers you all the vitamins and minerals, along with tummy-filling fibre that can help tame hunger pangs until lunch. Or you can also replace orange juice with 1 glass of low-fat milk or skimmed milk.4. Pasta/White Pasta Pasta/white bread is an empty calorie food as it is made from refined and processed flour. This means that it is deficient in nutrients. Instead of white pasta/white bread you can opt for whole wheat pasta, whole wheat rolls (stuffed with veggies or paneer), and multi-grain bread.5. Diet Soda Diet sodas are actually empty calorie as they contain only artificial sweeteners and no essential nutrients in it, which increases the risk of certain types of cancer. Instead of energising yourself with diet colas, you can switch yourself to lemon water or coconut water.6. Fat-free Foods Just because a product is labeled ‘fat-free’ or ‘low-fat’ doesn't mean it’s healthier or even lower in calories. Fat-free products lack fat, but they make up by adding sugars or other unhealthy ingredients. Some of the most popular low fat foods are baked potato chips, diet namkeen, frozen yoghurt, nutralite butter, etc.In fact, when people are given foods marked as low fat, they chow down 25 to 44 percent more calories than when foods are labeled as regular fat.From the nutritional standpoint the above mentioned foods are not considered as healthy due to nutrient deficient. Practical piece of advice eat healthy, manage portion control, stick to natural foods and exercise. This the only way you can lose weight and keep it off.