Articles on street food

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!

What Is Healthier - Doughnuts or Bagels?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Doughnuts and bagels are fast becoming a popular evening snack in India. Traditionally, they are eaten for breakfast & dessert across the globe. A doughnut is a type of fried dough confectionery while bagel is like a bread product. The major difference between the two is that while the doughnut is deep fried the bagel is baked. Do you thinking baking can qualify anything as healthier? Lets find out.In a way, both doughnuts and bagels are not healthy.Doughnuts are deep fried and high in saturated fat. About 65% of total fat content present in doughnut comprises of saturated fat. They are also high in trans fat which is considered to be the worst type of fat. Unlike other fats, trans fat both raises your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and lowers your "good" (HDL) cholesterol. A high LDL cholesterol level in combination with a low HDL cholesterol level increases your risk of heart disease.On the other side, bagels are baked but are high in sodium content and consumption of extra sodium can lead you to many health problems like hypertension or water retention in the body. Here is a comparison of nutrients of doughnuts and bagels:Nutrients100 gm doughnuts, yeast-leavened, glazed, enriched100 gm bagels, pain, enriched (including onion, poppy, sesame)Energy (Kcal)399257Total Fat (g)192Protein (g)610Total Carbohydrates (g)5151Sugar (g)205Dietary Fiber (g)22Sodium (mg)387448Bagel is a healthier option than doughnut just like 101 is greater than 100. A multi-grain or whole-wheat bagel is a much healthier choice, since it will be higher in fiber and nutrients. Unhealthy toppings can also make bagels bad for you, while healthy ones can help make bagels a good choice for a snack. The most popular bagel toppings like cream cheese and butter are high in fat and empty calories, making them unhealthy additions to your bagel. However,low-fat peanut butter, low-fat cheese, reduced-sugar jam or fresh fruit can add flavor and interest to your bagel without piling on fat and sugar.

6 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Walk Away From Street Food

Dr. Sangeeta Malu, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Unlike the fancy hotels, your food doesn't come from behind a mysterious door which reads 'Staff only'. You get to watch the chef in action (no extra pay for this privilege) and look at everything that goes into your food.Unfortunately or not, the street vendors don't carry refrigerators, so you know all your ingredients are fresh. Restaurants don't give you the liberty to walk in, browse the menu, analyze the food being prepared, and walk out if you are not interested. Well, you can do that with street food.From vada pav to pani-puri, street food does not burn a hole in your pocket.The taste and flavor are not dumbed down like in hotel restaurants, it's what the people actually eat.You don't have to go through all that reservation drama, and wait around til you get a table. When you finally do, there is no need to pretend to sip from a drink, while the famished monster in your stomach goes on a riot.Street food takes merely minutes to get done, and satisfies the taste buds instantly.On the offside, you might worry about the safety. So here are a few things you need to remember:Quench your thirst with your own water bottleEat from crowded vendors because people won't be standing in line for bad tasting or expensive foodKeep an eye on the food that is being preparedStick to food which is served hotNow that you know your way around the food, there is no reason to hold back. Go on, treat your taste buds to authentic flavors and satisfy your street food cravings!

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'.

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.

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.

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

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.

Healthy Food for Kids | Healthy Food for Children

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Kids need a filling and nutritious diet for growth and unhealthy foods will slow down their growth if the daily nutrition is not met accordingly. From carbohydrates for energy to go non-stop through out the day, the amino acids from protein to build muscle and recover them, vitamins and minerals for healthy functioning of organs and chemical reactions in the body and fat for good cholesterol and cushioning of organs.Though kids like foods that are surprising and delightful to their taste buds. Get creative with your recipes and start making your food nutritious and attractive. Here are foods for kids to keep them healthy. Give your child plenty of options ranging from chocolates to everything that they like.Cornflakes with milk and fruits: We all feed our kids with cornflakes but make it more healthy with adding fruits to it. Include the fruit that your kids like eating. Strawberry, grapes, nuts, seeds, apples, bananas etc. This meal will provide your kid with carbs, protein and essential vitamins and minerals along with iron to improve metabolismEggs: Eggs provide a lot of satiety and protein, vitamins and minerals. Make it healthier by adding a slice of cheese or add a few slices of vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber etc. The meal will keep the kids feel fuller and have lots of nutrition for a good growthSandwiches: What about adding a slice of lean meat for non-vegetarians and cottage cheese for veggies ? Play around with your stuffing options with boiled mashed potatoes, cheese slice, tuna or vegetables. Choose whole grain bread or multi flour bread to make it more healthyDrinks: Say no to aerated drinks including the cola's and sweetened sodas as they would add empty calories which is not healthy for a child's growth. Provide other varieties from fresh fruit juice, lemonade, buttermilk, banana milk shake, mango shake and other shakes with fruits, nuts and seedsWalnuts: For healthy functioning of mind omega fatty acids are equally important. Walnuts, flaxseed and fish products like salmon, tuna etc are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids which are important for development of child's brainYou can pick lot more healthy options for your child. Keep foods providing empty calories and junk that add no nutrition away from their diets. Use less oil in the food and avoid fried foods. Follow these basics and keep your kids healthy.