Why Indian cooking is healthy..

Why Indian cooking is healthy..

Indian cookingIndian cuisine just like other cuisines follows the traditional methods of cooking. As we know that Indian food is now being eaten all over the globe. Various misconceptions that it is unhealthy, too rich in fat and oil and spicy, has made a lot of people think twice before opting for Indian food. In India, I am shocked to see so many of our cooking methods are dying out. Let us have a look at the facts that justify Indian cooking is healthy.

 

  • Seasoning–  I love it when my kitchen emanates with the lovely smells after I season my dishes. Add a teaspoon or two of oil/ghee for the portion cooked for the whole family is really harmless. In-fact, it helps to absorb the fat soluble vitamins from food and aids digestion. For eg. adding a teaspoon of oil to greens such as Spinach, amaranth etc helps to absorb the vitamin K from it.So chuck the boiled vegetables and boiled dal and get the seasoning on.

 

  • Mutual supplementation– Eating a cereal and pulse/ pulse and milk group/ cereal and milk group combination helps to meet the required protein intake. This is cheaper on the pocket and is healthy. Most of the vegetarians eat this way. Classic examples are khichdi, curd rice, dhokla, pongal etc.

 

  • Use of whole spices– Adding bayleaf, mustard, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic, cloves etc helps in enriching our food with antioxidants, act as diuretics, add fiber to our diets.

 

  • Use of ground spices-Turmeric powder acts as an antiseptic and hence most of our meat our always washed and then smeared with turmeric. Fenugreek powder helps to reduce blood sugars.

 

  • Healthy cooking methods– Most of the dishes are ground, sauteed, steamed, stir fried, pressure cooking which are healthier methods and retain more nutrients than baking. Hence less trans-fats in the food. But sadly deep fried foods are a delicacy, that is where we fall back.

 

  • Fresh Ingredients– Most of the dishes are made from the scratch with fresh ingredients and always seasonal vegetables and fruits are used. Curry leaves, ginger, tamarind, lemons, raw mangoes etc are available in most of the Indian households.

 

  • Low processed food– Yes, canning, microwave dinners etc are non existent in Indian cooking. But yes, such foods are being imported for variety.

 

  • Natural preservatives– Salt, sugar, etc are the preservatives used rather than any chemicals being used.

 

  • High intake of vegetables– Most Indians feel their meals are incomplete without a sauteed vegetable. Tomatoes and onions are always used while cooking. Although intake of fruits depends on the affordability but again gooseberries, papayas, guavas, mangoes, star fruits, lemons are grown again in most of the gardens.

 

  • Use of nuts and seeds– Ground pastes of cashews, almonds, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, coconut etc provide good fats and are widely used for thickening and as the base for cooking.

 

Most of the Indian dishes are easy to cook and if these concepts are continued to be used, then Indians can continue to eat and stay healthy if moderates amount of exercise is added.

Sanjana M Shenoy is a A dietitian from Mangalore, Karnataka, India. Having worked as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India. She is also a consultant for corporate's like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows. She consults at her Diet and Nutrition clinic "Nutrihealth" in Mangalore. Also is a visiting consultant to various hospitals in and around Mangalore and also runs an active online consultation.

3 Replies to “Why Indian cooking is healthy..”

  1. Indian cooking is good because it has evolved over thousands of years on principles of Ayurveda. Also it uses only locally and easily available ingredients making it environment
    friendly with no carbon footprints. Unfortunately we do not use common sense and blindly
    follow research financed by global food marketing companies.

    India, wake up!!!

  2. Dear sanjana,
    I need a big favor from you.Im 5`1 and 65kg.gave birth last year but still have the baby fat.can u pls.help me out with a proper diet plan and the needfull information .I Will be very thankful to you.

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