‘The Great Indian Diet’ by the uber-fit Shilpa Shetty and nutritionist Luke Coutinho will prove an eye-opener for every Indian with regards to their diet. Imagine never needing to go on a ‘diet’ ever again to lose weight! All the best of health, nutrition and optimum weight can be achieved with the good old-fashioned Indian diet – provided you stick to the food you grew up with, and not the wrong food choices made conveniently available to us in modern times.
In simple words, the book explains how the Indian food industry has taken a turn for the worse and under the pretense of ease and comfort, is corrupting our health for the sake of its profits. Removing these top 7 ‘evils’ from our diet will help regain health, immunity and curb unrestricted weight gain.
1. Fizzy Drinks
Aerated drinks are the fastest route you can take to diabetes and excessive weight gain. They contain a lot of sugar and, in case of sugar-free drinks, artificial sweeteners. They also contain caffeine which dehydrates you and reduces calcium in your body causing stress and insomnia.
Substitue: Water, Fruit Juice or Green Tea
2. Refined Sugar
Polished sugar, which is later bleached to obtain the white colour, is plain junk food with zero nutritional value and is the number one reason for weight gain in women. In order to lose weight, you must identify it in every food you eat, and remove it from your diet.
Substitute: Brown Sugar, Jaggery, Honey
3. Artificial Sweetener
If you think artificial sweeteners are a great alternative to eating sugar, think again. They actually cause weight gain by accumulating inside your body, causing it to store fat and damaging certain cells.
Substitute: Jaggery, Honey
4. Processed Foods
Processing the foods removes useful enzymes in it that aids digestion. As a result, the food gets fermented and decomposes, eventually becoming toxic. Do not give in to the lure of ‘ready to eat’.
Substitute: Fruits and Vegetables, Freshly cooked foods
5. Refined Salt
The highly refined ‘table salt’ is again bleached to perfection and loses every ounce of nutrition. Refined salt and refined sugar are both termed as the biggest evils in modern Indian diet.
Substitute: Sea or Rock Salt
The bad fats in this increasingly popular medium of cooking increase cholesterol, obesity, heart diseases and blocked arteries to name a few consequences. The good old desi ghee is a great choice prescribed by Ayurveda. Consumed in moderate quantities, it actually help burns the stubborn fat in your body and builds immunity.
Substitute: Desi Ghee
7. Olive Oil
Yes! You read that right! After all that marketing on Indian media, we find that this is one thing to refrain from. Read this article on more about the reality of olive oil. Olive oil is actually great for health but is not a good choice for our Indian cooking. It could actually do more damage to your health when heated to a very high temperature. Coconut oil, on the other hand, is taking the entire world by storm as people are becoming aware of it’s health and weight loss properties.
Substitute: Rice bran, Groundnut, Mustard and Coconut Oils
For how to correctly use these healthy substitutes and make the most of what we, as Indians, are blessed with, do read the book ‘The Great Indian Diet‘. I believe it is a must-have for every Indian household and should be constantly referred to, to stay on the right track of health and fitness.