Did you know packaged Health food is not so healthy? If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I don’t write about fad diets, processed food, energy bars, and diet food. I don’t eat them or promote them. For the simple reason, they are unhealthy. I dislike the extra work I will need, to shed the excess baggage these so-called-health food add.
It’s not just because I am a doctor, but I am careful about the freshness of food. The source and how processed it is That’s why I always eat seasonally and try local when traveling too. But in all the noise of celebrity recommendations, fitness gurus and everyone under the sun giving you health advice, the National Conclave on Food in Delhi, has finally burst the myth of food labels.
Health food market and Celebrity endorsements
A popular frozen chicken brand asks you to include it in your diet for supplementing protein in your diet. The older the food gets the lower is its nutritional value.
A famous actress who made dancing, recommends deep-fried snacks as quick food items for children and parties!
Film stars love recommending fruit juices full of preservatives, soya milk, artificial mayo and anything under the sun. But do they really eat that junk? They promote healthy eating and yoga in their books but promote packaged juices. They talk about truth etc now, but once promoted fizzy sugar-laden drinks. Makes one wonder.
But if they are to be blamed for misleading the public and the companies blamed for selling them, please blame yourself for not reading labels and buying them.
Why you should read food labels?
Make reading food labels your favorite habits and you can shop for the right type of food for your family. Have you checked the sugar content of healthy snacks? Healthy cereals?
While all carbs are not bad. Excessive sugar can cause caries, make children fidgety, predispose to lifestyle disease like obesity and diabetes
Those tiffin cakes, bagels, cookies not good. Check the diet namkins(Indian fried snacks) which are baked not fried. Their calorie content is only borderline lowered and not significant.
The diet cola: don’t get me started! If you think you are eating healthy with corn flakes promoted by a favorite star who is gorgeous and just got married, think again!
So what should you eat to stay healthy?
The secret to eating right is to stay healthy. Imagine your body is a garden. You plant the seed you want to sow. Eat the food, whose effect you want.
Simple rules about picking healthy food
Eat whole grains. More lean protein and plenty of veggies and fruits. Less processed food is better for your body. Your body will spend more energy breaking it down. Also fresh food has higher nutrient value. When you eat out to skip the fast food centres selling burgers and fries. You can eat healthy even while traveling. Choose smart and control portions.
If you are tracking the rate of obesity in the world and India, you will know why this blog post is timely. India is a country on the edge of toppling China as the most populous. The last century we battled malnutrition of undernutrition which is still a real problem. We don’t need malnutrition of obesity with wrong food choices.
Most fruits and veggies are good for you until you have a specific problem. Locally available cereals, pulses, and proteins, will build your body and help in boosting immunity Before you make drastic changes remember grains grow according to soil and human nutrition follows the same path. Skip those frozen fries, eat fresh every time every day.
The context :
There was a National Conclave on Food in Delhi a few days back. It was organized by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)
There were a number of topics around food and health discussed. Most important was Food package labeling in India and the many misconceptions. Front of pack labeling (FoPL) and the lack of information about High fat, salt or high sugar content.(HFSS)
The front label tells you how the particular brand of cornflakes has lots of iron. It forgets to tell out that it will raise your blood sugar quickly.
The energy bar without chocolate, but with a boatload of sugar, tells you about the nuts and raisins and not the corn syrup!
“Many so-called healthy or ‘diet’ snacks have misleading information on the packages,” says Dr. Rekha Harish, Vice President-North Zone, Indian Academic of Paediatrics. “Digestive biscuits, for instance, claim to be healthy and cholesterol-free but a hundred grams of digestive biscuits has 21.2% fat has only 15.3% whole wheat and over 80% maida!” (Source)
But there’s good news. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has a change planned for food packaging and labeling draft regulations. It mandates the marking of HFSS foods with a red label so that people can instantly identify them.
Food item with more than ten percent of energy coming from added sugar, or if it contains more than 1% trans-fat, will be marked red.
Most of the time even when packaged foods contain low dietary fibers, it’s rarely declared in India. But in many countries, this is a must. My goal is, to find the sources of healthy food near me and find healthy options in restaurants when I eat out or travel. Maybe that way one-day companies will stop selling unhealthy health food!
What do you look for in food labels? Tell me in the comments below and get quoted in my next book.Food item with more than ten percent of energy coming from added sugar, or if it contains more than 1% trans-fat, will be marked red. (New update by FSSAI) Click To Tweet
I wrote a book on Fruits for Life, listen to the free chapters on my podcast.My book on Probiotics for Life is available as a summary here .Subscribe to my newsletter and you will get a chance to download my book for Free when it’s up for a promo!
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Disclaimer: This post is meant for spreading healthcare information and not meant as a replacement for a professional medical opinion. Always consult a medical professional before taking any decision related to health and healthcare. Healthcare information is a rapidly evolving field. While all attempts are made to keep this website updated, the author/s and or website disclaim all responsibility for any inadvertent omission/commission. Read my full disclaimer.