How To Avoid Food Addictive

The Processed Food Industry (from fast food restaurants to the huge factories that create and package processed foods) is really only concerned about one thing… their corporate profits.

It’s a numbers game… and the sad fact is that growing and distributing fresh, healthy food is far more expensive per unit than manufacturing packaged food products that are ready-to-eat or “instant” or very easy to prepare… and that can sit on a shelf (in the store or in your pantry) for long periods of time without spoiling (“shelf-life”).

To create these modern nutritional marvels requires a great deal of tampering with the original food (if there ever was one), and numerous “added ingredients” as well as a bunch of food preservatives. And let’s not forget artificial colors, flavors and pesticides.

Let me let you in on a little secret… The bottom line to staying healthy & fit is to stick to a healthy diet… and nothing is healthier than eating organically grown fruit and vegetables.

Often referred to as “Raw Food,” organically grown and pesticide-free produce has been proven to be the safest and healthiest food for the human body. It is naturally filled with nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

So here’s a list of Food Additives that you really need to avoid!

1. Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

Every so often a new “buzz word” is discovered by the news media whenever they talk about health or fitness issues. Until recently, the most often heard health topic in the news concerned Cholesterol levels.

Granted, Cholesterol is still an important issue and concern for many people (especially Boomers); but the newest kid (buzz word) on the block seems to be Trans Fat.

Does that mean anything to you? It should if you’re one of the millions who have fallen for the margarine trap. Or if you enjoy having a “packaged” muffin or pastry with your coffee in the morning, you need to know the hard cold facts about the dangers of eating foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.

It’s made by using a process in which vegetable oil is “infused” with hydrogen. When that occurs, the level of polyunsaturated oils (a healthy fat) is drastically reduced and “Trans Fats” are created.

Do a quick search on Google and you’ll discover that Trans Fats are closely associated with heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, atherosclerosis and all the other problems related to elevated cholesterol.

2. BHA and BHT

The preservatives BHA and BHT are man-made ingredients that prevent oils used in processed foods from becoming rancid. Both are considered to be “Carcinogens” by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS).

They’re both recognized for causing sleep disorders and are associated with numerous diseases and health problems including skin rashes, hair loss, liver and kidney damage, pancreatic cancer, fetal abnormalities and growth retardation.

In the last 40 years, the rate of Cancer deaths in the US has increased by over 50%! This is not a coincidence! Think about the fact that BHA and BHT have both been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals, and even the US DHHS says they’re unsafe for human consumption, yet the FDA continues to maintain that they’re safe to be used in the foods we eat.

Read the label before you buy… if it contains BHT or BHA, put it back.

3. Azodi-carbonamide (ADA or Bromide)

In food processing, ADA is an additive used in manufacturing of Bread products; it’s used for bleaching flour and as a preservative, keeping bread soft and preventing it from becoming stale.

Use of Azodi-carbonamide as a food additive is illegal in parts of Europe and in Australia. The UK has identified Bromide as a possible cause of asthma and the use of ADA in food processing in Singapore can result in up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of $450,000!

Why?

Because the main use of ADA is in the manufacturing of foam plastics, like Styrofoam! The thermal decomposition of ADA releases nitrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and ammonia gases which are trapped in the polymer as bubbles in a foam product.

Common examples are Styrofoam cups, gaskets for car doors and windows, padded floor mats, padded inserts for shoes, etc… And yet it is still found in several bread products sold in the USA.

Ever wonder why Wonderbread was so soft and could stay that way for weeks (if not months) on the shelf? Well, now you know.

4. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Commonly used as the “flavor enhancer” in Chinese food, MSG has become one of the few additives that are now being recognized for its unpleasant side effects. It’s not uncommon to see signs in windows in Thai and Chinese restaurants that say “No MSG!”

But MSG is not just in Asian cuisine; it’s also a common ingredient in “flavor packets” and “marinades” in supermarkets. MSG is what is called an excitotoxin; a toxin that binds to certain receptors in your brain.

It basically “turns off” the neural receptors that tell you when you’re full, making you want to consume more food. It also over-stimulates your brain, resulting in an intense “rush” as your dopamine levels suddenly rise. The side effects of MSG include throbbing headaches (migraine trigger), rashes, dizziness as well as respiratory, digestive, circulatory and coronary concerns.

5. Olestra (Olean)

Hailed as a calorie-free fat substitute, Olean is a widely used chemical ingredient in numerous snacks, crackers and potato chips. Obviously what first comes to mind is that this is a good thing, being a “calorie-free” fat. But there’s a price to pay.

This additive is known to inhibit the body’s ability to absorb and assimilate several vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients. Side effects? How about severe bloating and gas as well as diarrhea and uncontrollable anal leakage?

Basically, not a pretty picture… a chemical ingredient that will add extra fat to your waistline, and then, to top it off, possibly surprise you with some unexpected explosive anal leakage? Uh, no thanks… Read that label.

6. Artificial Sweeteners

It should be a crime… People mistakenly think that they are doing their body a favor by using “Diet” versions of their favorite drink or foods… all in the effort to lose weight; but the truth is, artificial sweeteners are far worse than natural sweeteners.

They’re man-made chemicals that have some really insidious side effects… like cancer and neurological (brain) disorders because of the high toxicity of their eventual chemical breakdown within the body.

And to top it off, when combined with other food additives, they can have a far more potent effect on nerve cells. Don’t believe it? Read some of the many scientific research papers on the internet on the side effects of Saccharine and Aspartame.

If it says Diet (artificially sweetened) on the label… Stay away!

7. Refined White Sugar

Highly processed sugar is so common, it’s found in just about everything… but especially in processed foods. Start reading those labels and you’ll be amazed by the high amounts of sugar in soft drinks, baked goods (bread, cookies & pastries), pasta, tomato sauce and all kinds of canned foods and soups.

Unless you’ve been living on a desert island for the last 50 years, you’ve undoubtedly heard that white sugar consumption (and the corresponding spike in insulin levels) will cause weight gain, bloating, fatigue, arthritis, migraine headaches, lowered immune function, obesity, tooth decay, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease.

8. Artificial Coloring

Artificial colors are chemicals added to foods and drinks for no other reason than to make them more appealing to the consumer. Many are derived from coal-tar and can contain up to 10 parts per million of lead and arsenic and yet are still being recognized as safe by the FDA. Others come from a wide range of less than appetizing sources.

Carmine, the most common ingredient in red food coloring is a clothing dye that dates back to the ancient Aztecs and is made from the crushed shells of a South American beetle. Carmine and other artificial colors have been known to cause severe allergic reactions as well as ADHD in children and may contribute to visual & learning disorders as a result of nerve damage.

9. Pesticides

These days, there’s really no way to get around this one… short of growing your own produce, or buying all your food from an Organic farm. Sadly the vast majority of food products (like 99.99%) has been in contact with and includes the residue of pesticides.

Over two billion pounds of pesticides are added annually to the amount that is used every year; and as the global demand for food escalates, there’s no end in sight. Many of those pesticides (used outside the USA) are known carcinogens.

In countries with no legislation to protect its citizens from the use of such pesticides, there’ve been near epidemic numbers of cases where these toxins have severely diminishing the body’s ability to resist infection, as well as contribute to a higher percentage of miscarriages and birth defects.

10. Sodium Nitrate and Nitrite

We saved this for last because of the ongoing debate about Sodium Nitrate (andNitrites ~ what Sodium Nitrate becomes in the process of curing meat)…
Thus, instead of completely avoiding Sodium Nitrate, we recommend you really limit to a minimum the amount of food you eat with Nitrites in it.

For several centuries, salt (Sodium Nitrate) has been used as a curing agent & preservative for fish & meat. Today it’s found in Deli-meats and in highly concentrated amounts in bacon, salami, pepperoni and other processed meats.

Nitrates and cancer

Several decades ago, researchers suggested Nitrates were linked to cancer in lab rats. This received a lot of media attention; but what received far less attention was when it turned out they were wrong.

The National Academy of Sciences, the American Cancer Society and the National Research Council all agree that there’s no direct cancer risk from consuming limited amounts of sodium nitrate… in fact, despite its bad reputation, Nitrites can actually prevent a very deadly disease!

Nitrates and Botulism

One special property of Nitrate is that it prevents the growth of Clostridium Botulinum… one of the most toxic substances known. Clostridium Botulinum produces Botulism, a paralytic illness that can quickly lead to respiratory failure and death.

Botulism bacteria are peculiar because unlike most microbes, they actually require an oxygen-free environment to live. Once exposed to air, it dies; so it tends to appear in canned foods, vacuum-packed foods, food stored in oil and improperly cured meats.

Interestingly, it turns out that Sodium Nitrate is especially effective at preventing the growth of Botulism.

Sodium Nitrate and a Healthy Diet

Considering that Sodium Nitrate occurs naturally in organic foods like spinach, carrots and celery, all the fuss about nitrites seems like typical media-driven hysteria. Moreover, when you consider the increased likelihood of contracting Botulism from eating Nitrate-free meat, it’s actually the nitrate-free foods that present the higher health risk.

Despite how delicious they might taste, a steady diet of processed Deli-meats will undoubtedly result in some less than desirable effects on one’s health. And not just from the Sodium Nitrate; but in concert and conjunction with all the other preservatives, additives and chemicals found in any processed food.

Studies show that frequent eating of processed meats can result in some rather unpleasant side effects that include headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Long term diets that included large daily amounts of Deli meats have been known to cause cancer, heart disease, embolism and strokes.

The Bottom Line…

If you have to buy or use a processed or manufactured food product, just be sure to read the Label! Better yet, stick to Organic Raw Foods purchased from a Whole Food or Organic Food Market and learn to cook without using a bunch of man-made chemicals and artificial ingredients.

The importance of proper nutrition cannot be emphasized enough. Your health is directly related to what you eat!

Most modern supermarket food is nearly worthless… filled with an abundance of empty calories and high fat & sugar content. The sad fact of the matter is there are are hardly any vitamins or minerals in processed foods.

Only Organic, fresh, raw foods possess high amounts of nutritional energy… and you don’t have to worry about reading the ingredient list on a bunch of raw vegetables!

Unfortunately we can’t always get or eat totally organic foods all the time… so it then becomes vitally important to supplement our diets with food supplements (vitamins, minerals, enzymes and anti-oxidants) in order to keep our digestion & metabolism running smoothly and to keep our bodies as healthy as possible. Just remember…
You are what you eatand “The longer the shelf-life… the shorter your life!”

Tips To Make Your Food Safe

Of all the environmental and heath issues, food safety commands the most urgent attention from authorities when regulations are found to have been broken. Recently in China, there have been several food safety scandals resulting in huge financial losses and reputation damage to the country and its food exporting sector. The climax occurred in July 2007 when it was announced that the former head of the State Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Xiaoyu, accepted bribes in exchange for issuing state food product safety licenses. He was subsequently executed in accordance with China’s tough official stance on corruption. Prior to this, there had been a number of scandals involving the food sector. Jinhua Ham was found to have been treated with a poisonous pesticide before sale (2003); the production of counterfeit baby food formula which led to the death of around 80 babies hundreds of cases of severe malnutrition in 2004; and most recently in 2008, contaminated baby formula produced by the Sanlu Group led to an occurrence of kidney disease with numerous casualties.

The fact that the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration (set up in 2003 to take control of food safety issues) was itself the target of investigation for corruption has led to a resurgence in the uptake of third-party audited standards for food safety in the country. Foreign importers from China do not trust Chinese national standards and are demanding exporters adhere to international standards such as ISO 22000 inspected by global certification bodies. Similar incidents have occurred in Japan, most notably with the Snow Brand dairy company, which was found to have falsified food safety records in the wake of a tainted milk products scandal in 2002.

Most nations have a government authority to manage those issues from production to sale to consumers. They advise on national legislation and deliver food safety requirements for home-produced and imported goods. These include the Food Standards Authority in the UK, the US Food and Drug Administration, as well as the State Food and Drug Administration of China. At the EU level, the Eropean Food Safety Authority (EFSA) conducts risk assessments on food safety in cooperation with national governments and provides independent advice and communication on current and emerging risks.

The HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) guidelines published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization are a fundamental part of the important food safety standard being developed by the International Standards Organization (ISO), ISO 22000. There are seven HACCP principles that must be followed. These dictate that food producers must conduct a pre-production hazard analysis to identify and address biological, chemical or physical issues that make food unsafe for human consumption; establish good safety monitoring systems; and implement comprehensive documentation procedures. The application of HACCP principles and procedures are mandatory in the US for food products including meat, juice and seafood, and they are generally applied elsewhere as the basis for third-party food safety certification.

As shown by the China examples, Food Safety certification is absolutely critical for food retail and international trade. Without it producers and suppliers cannot sell their goods. There is significant business and reputation risk attached to how certification is obtained and it is advisable to get certified to well-recognized standards awarded by reputable third-party certification bodies.

Launched in 2005, the ISO 22000 is already one of the best recognized international food safety standards. It provides for food safety management systems for any organization, regardless of size, involved in any aspect of the food chain. To meet the standard an organization must demonstrate its ability to effectively control food safety hazards in order to ensure that food is safe at the time of human consumption. It incorporates the HACCP principles outlined above.

Prior to the ISO standard, the BRC (British Rail Consortium) Global Standard for Food Safetywas established and is trusted by leading global retailers to deliver effective supply chain management and legal compliance. The Global Standard is part of a group of product safety standards, together enabling certification of the entire food supply chain, and was the first standard in the world to be approved by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GSFI).

Formerly called EurepGAP, GLOBALGAP sets voluntary ‘pre-farm-gate’ standards for the certification of agricultural products and Good Agricultural Practices. Standards are awarded by approved third party certification bodies in over 75 countries. GLOBALGAP is a business-to-business label and is therefore not directly relevant to consumers.

Other leading standards, more on the ethical side of food production, are the US based Food Alliance Certification and SQF Certification. Food Alliance Certification is given to North American sustainable food products that cover issues such as the humane treatment of animals and the exclusion of hormones, non-therapeutic antibiotics, GM crops or livestock and certain pesticides as well as soil and water protection at farm/ranch level.

SQF (Safe Quality Food) Certification is awarded by licensed certifiers globally and provides independent certification that a supplier’s food safety and quality management system complies with international and domestic food safety regulations. SQF certifications have been awarded to thousands of companies operating in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America.

 

The Meaning Food Shortage

The UN claims that Food production must double by 2050 to meet the demand of the worlds growing population. However, most of the worlds productive farmland is already in use, so increased food production will require extending intensive farming methods with greater use of pesticides and fertilizers leading to the increased release of greenhouse gases. Paradoxically, UK government policy is attempting to deal with both of these problems simultaneously with plans to “boost food production in Britain and reduce its impact on the environment”. Is this realistic, or is there an easier way?

Calculations based on waste and calorie intake suggest that the UK has access to at least double the food necessary for adequate nutrition. Since farming, retail and eating habits are probably similar throughout the developed world, this implies there is no real food crisis in terms of the amount produced, only in how it is consumed. Therefore, a better strategy must be to focus on reducing food waste rather than growing more. This would minimise the impact on the environment, reduce food expenditure, and achieve better food security with a healthier lifestyle for the population.

Using our present methods, significant food waste occurs at all stages of the food industry. The first waste stream occurs at the production stage due to damage and accidental harvesting through weather, pestilence and machinery, resulting in unsuitable quality and appearance. In storage, losses can be attributed to pests and micro-organisms causing reductions in the nutritional values and edibility of food. Further losses are generated during processing and packaging due to the handling of food and by shrinkage in weight or volume. Whilst foods which contradict safety standards need to be removed from the food chain, such regulations can conflict with efforts to reuse food waste such as in animal feed. The amount of food wasted before arriving at the retailer is unknown but may amount to at least 20% of that farmed.

Of the food which arrives at the retailer 5% is wasted due to exceeding ‘use by’ dates and package damage. Dr Martin Caraher, an expert in food policy at City University in London, says: “Use-By dates are in retailers financial interests. If customers throw food away, they have to replace it by buying even more. Use-By dates can be a happy accident for them”.

The largest waste stream is by the consumers themselves who throw away 30% of all preventable wasted purchased food. Whilst a proportion of this is discarded by being left uneaten on the plate or unserved, much food is rejected for being unfresh or beyond the ‘use by’ date of the package label. Whilst this could be blamed on poor domestic management, consumers are heavily influenced by marketing practices, and have limited control over purchase quantities and the packaging of food, which are the responsibility of the food industry.

Finally, including children it is estimated that we eat on average about 2320 Kcal/day/person in the UK. This, could be an underestimate, yet is still 10% more calories than is necessary for an average persons recommended intake based on the UK age distribution and gender and reference nutrient intake tables. In addition to placing extra strain on the food supply chain, this can lead to a variety of health problems for individuals who eat far more than their required intake.

In total, according to these calculations only about 45% of the food actually farmed is actually necessary for adequate nutrition, and most of the remaining 55% of waste is preventable, amounting to the equivalent of 72 million tonnes of greenhouse gases per year in the UK. This is approximately 10% of the total UK output and almost as much as its entire transport system!

There have been previous initiatives to reduce food waste. The official UK government line is that “most of the major supermarket retailers in the UK….have committed to work with the Government’s waste-reduction programme (WRAP) to identify ways they can help us, their customers, to reduce the amount of food thrown away”.

However, are we taking a too lenient line with the food industry? The Sustainable Development Commission thinks so. It condemned targets set by WRAP as “unambitious and lacking urgency”. with multi-buy promotions helping to fuel waste and obesity in Britain. Mr Lang, who is also professor of food policy at City University, London said that three years ago, the government-funded WRAP left it up to supermarkets to find voluntary “solutions to food waste” in an agreement dubbed the Courtauld Commitment. “The Government is frankly not using its leverage adequately. It really should toughen up on Courtauld, which must be enforced because this is ludicrous”. An 18-month study, which found that “too many supermarket practices are still unhealthy, unjust and unsustainable”, said Wrap should adopt a “more aspirational approach to reducing waste in food retail by setting longer-term targets and [supporting] a culture of zero waste”.

All this suggests that voluntary regulations are either ineffective or far too slow to take effect. The bottom line is that waste is endemic to contemporary economic ideology because corporate obligations require them to increase growth and profits and an effective means of achieving this is by encouraging excessive public consumption. Until these objectives are replaced with ones that are more beneficial to society than businesses, any significant progress in meeting sustainable targets without imposing strong regulations will be very limited.

Based on this information it is possible to draw up a list of obligations that could be imposed on the food industry to significantly reduce food waste.

1 Retailers should be obliged to stock a proportion of food, that would be presently rejected due to appearance, but otherwise meets safety standards. This could be marketed as cheap ‘sustainable’ produce in addition to, or possibly in preference to expensive organic foods which are of dubious health and environmental benefits.

2 Hotels, Restaurants and other communal places of eating could purchase this sustainable produce to meet their environmental targets. The food could can be re-cut for aesthetic value or simply merged with other foods in pies & stews etc.

3 Retailers should be obliged to sell all stocked food by a ‘use by’ date or pay a tax that should be set high enough to discourage waste. One method of achieving this would be to introduce a variable pricing mechanism based on the demand throughout the sale period which is gradually reduced to near zero by the use by date.

4 Damaged packets should be re-labelled as low carbon pet food or animal feed if this doesn’t endanger safety, or if this is not possible, biodegraded using composting and anaerobic digestion to produce methane for fuel and enrich agricultural soil.

5 To avoid consumer waste, all foods should be purchasable in smaller amounts at a constant unit price and separated into compact sealable units to ensure they are kept fresh as long as possible. This would avoid excess buying which often leads to waste.

6 Retail policies that lead to excess buying should be discouraged. These include moving items around the store and placing essentials at the rear of store to encourage coverage and residence time. Retail promotion and prominent positioning that encourages purchasing should also be reserved for sustainable products.

7 When new products are introduced small samples should always be offered, so as to avoid buying large quantities of unwanted food.

8 Unnecessary purchases and impulse buying could be minimised by avoiding trips to the retailer altogether through Internet ordering and cost competitive and environmental delivery schemes such as the COAST system suggested in this report. This purchasing system would help consumers manage shopping more efficiently via web based shopping lists, by anticipating when a new item is needed from the date and their purchasing history. This system would reduce waste and excess eating by minimising any excess food lying around the home.

9 Restaurants and fast food outlets should always offer the option of smaller portions with a proportionate reduction in price. Private servings are obviously more difficult to reduce; however, promoting a general culture of rejecting waste and extravagance should be nurtured amongst the public.

10 Health advice needs to consider promoting more durable foods in preference to perishable fruit and vegetables if these offer a more practical, equally nutritious and ‘low carbon’ alternative.

11 Temperature sensitive strips could be placed on selected packages that warn the consumer if the fridge thermostat has been set too low.

12 Set tough annual targets for reduced waste throughout the food industry

These measures should increase the worlds food supply by reducing food waste rather than increasing production with a corresponding benefit for the environment.

Let’s not be reticent about confronting businesses and politicians with these ideas if they claim to be genuinely concerned about minimising waste, and ensure we are not fobbed of with offers of voluntary measures and green wash!

Understanding Food Management

Food is such a basic part of our existence. Our lives revolve around it from our waking moment onwards. Food and feasting go hand in hand and even celebrations all over the world and across all cultures are centred on food. Our ancient Indian scriptures divide food into three categories, such as-

Satvic or pure foods: These are foods that heal, comfort, juicy, smooth and increase longevity, intelligence and strength and are digested well by our system.

Rajasik or the tasteful foods: These are salty, spicy, bitter, salty and can give rise to ill health, grief or discomfort.

Tamasik or the impure foods: These include stale, cold, left over foods, impure and half cooked causing great harm to the mind and the body.

Food is one aspect of our life that we take for granted. We are less mindful of the food that we consume. We leave our body to deal with the constant abuse from our day to day lives and lifestyles. We, humans, without taking our body for granted, need to create health generating systems and build a oneness with food, productive exercises, yoga, corrective breathing and meditation, rest and sleep and be spiritually aware and conscious. These steps translate into better stamina, strength, tone and energy with emphasis on the whole body as an entity, one that accentuates wellness and wellbeing.

The food we eat lays the foundation for every cell and tissue in our body. The purpose of food is to nourish us, build strength and to give vital energy. Digestive harmony is the key for release of this vital energy needed for healthy living. The science of Ayurveda – the creative and constructive life science – says that every part of our mind and body is governed by the DOSHAS – the bio-energetic force or elements that sustain life. Refined, processed and preserved foods are all totally devoid of this nutrition and vitality. Wholesome, raw and natural foods that have absorbed the cosmic energy, and are super charged with ample rainfall and sunshine must be utilized to the fullest for health and wellness.

The father of medicine, Hippocrates said “thy food is thy medicine. You are what you eat and what you eat you become”.

To most of us eating good food is just another chore and a trivial thing to do. How many of us are really mindful of the fact that good food performs miracles inside our cells and tissues and is responsible for 80 percent of our transformation. Food has a subtle effect on our minds as well. Food plays a pivotal role in influencing our brain behaviour, our moods, and thought processes and in handling stress. It is these wholesome, natural foods that bestow health and vigour liberating and protecting us from us from illnesses. Studies have shown that there are two dietary processes in the human body-nourishing and cleansing- that need to be regulated with good and sensible dietary habits. If neglected, it can lead to a build up of toxins which are the basis for most mental and physical degeneration.

Health is not just a great body or a zero size figure but covers physical fitness, mind science and spiritual growth and our efforts should be an integrated approach towards wellness. To achieve this eat appropriate foods that do not erode our digestive system. Yes, I mean, go real easy on all those junk foods, soft drinks, stale, cold foods and excessive meat eating and alcohol. Instead, begin to love fruits, veggies, nuts and foods in their natural wholesome form. It is important to ‘cater to your hunger and not pamper your appetite.’ I am urging you to follow this and not call it a ‘diet’. It is not intended for weight loss alone. On the contrary, it is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

So, let us celebrate good health.

How often have you come across the words ‘healthy’ and ‘food’ in the same sentence, but chose to ignore it? Despite being aware of the many benefits of eating healthy, I see so many people around me taking their health for granted. Our body is what we make of it. So why fill it with unhealthy food and end up bearing the brunt of it.

Eating healthy has innumerable advantages, some of them being:

1. Helps prevent and control health problems like heart diseases, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes.

2. With good nutrition your body becomes better equipped to deal with stress.

3. Good food stimulates the body to create more killer cells to ward off infections thus promoting immunity.

4. Food provides us with disease fighting antioxidants and can slow the natural process of ageing.

Indian diets, with mindfulness and planning are natural and unprocessed comprising of grains, pulses and dals, fruits and vegetables, nuts and oilseeds; all in adequate amounts to maintain health. Diet and Nutrition are responsible for 70 to 80% of your entire transformation. Food also influences your thought process, attitude and behavior. There are foods which can make you feel high, there are foods which can make you irritable and temperamental, there are foods which can excite you, and there are foods which can relax you.

Indian diets suit Indian population the best depending upon our culture, climatic conditions, atmosphere, pollution etc. Once a while enjoying other cuisines is great, but would you ever want to solely depend on pastas and burgers too often and face the risks attached to consuming such unhealthy, non fibrous foods?

As mentioned above the health risks are plenty! Our diets include complex carbohydrates from jowar, bajra, ragi, whole wheat etc as opposed to the refined carbohydrates. Our diets are designed to protect our hearts with low levels of oils, fats, sugars. In fact our diets strike this perfect balance of all food groups, nothing too much and nothing too little. High sugar intake is proportionate to diabetes, high fat levels can lead to hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, heart diseases, strokes etc.

My golden rules for better health:

Remember, our bodies are tailored to consume what we have been since childhood and what our fathers, fore fathers have been consuming. Our diets of rotis, dals/pulses, veggies, sprouts, salads etc on a daily basis will ensure complete health as opposed to constant consumption of junk foods /burgers/pizzas/excess amounts of cheese, cream etc. Relish on all that you love, but remember, anything too little or too much is equally damaging…

Guidelines for healthy eating and weight management

Follow these golden rules/steps of healthy eating for achieving a healthy weight loss and to maximize your health and longevity:

1. Frequent small helpings of food are recommended. Eat slowly. Eating frequently prevents hunger pangs, provides constant energy and maintains metabolism efficiently.

2. Select foods based on your preference and do not worry as much about the number of calories you consume but concentrate on combining the right foods and on the portion sizes. Do not deprive yourselves. This is likely to cause you to eat more the next day.

3. Add a wide variety of foods to your daily diet. Include wholesome foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, sprouts, and whole grains. These foods provide all the essential nutrients and fiber which are necessary for growth, good health and immunity.

4. Drink daily 8 to 10 glasses of liquids like water, and herbal teas. These drinks are fillers are hunger managers.

5. Include fresh fruits, fresh unstrained vegetable juices, vegetable, sprouts, whole grains, nuts and low fat milk/yoghurt.

6. Drink a glass of ginger/green tea after a heavy meal. This hastens digestion and improves metabolism.

7. Consume healthy snacks like salads, crackers, fruits, unsweetened and low fat yogurt, wholegrain biscuits and muffins.

8. Read labels well and choose foods that do not contain chemicals like preservatives and additives. Organically grown foods are a healthier option.

9. Avoid bad fats like butter, cream full-cream milk and rich salad dressings and sauces. Take care not to eliminate sources of good fats like nuts, seeds and olive oils which contain unsaturated fatty acids. Use these foods in moderation.

10. Eliminate white flour products like breads and biscuits, pastas, white rice, processed foods and sugary breakfast cereals. They lack fibre. They also cause a spike in our insulin level leading to fat storage.

11. Exercise on a regular basis. Stretching, yoga, calisthenics, walking and other mild forms of aerobic activities are recommended. These exercises can be done at home or in a gym with guidance. Stress can be reduced through yoga,meditation, good rest and sound sleep.

12. Avoid soft drinks, and juices. Also avoid sweets, desserts and fried snacks. Instead, eat a variety of nutrient dense foods. Limit the consumption of processed foods, fried foods and fast foods. If you must have them, remember to exercise moderation. Moderation is the key when you eat what you want without feeling deprived.

13. Use cooking methods like stewing, steaming, grilling and roasting instead of frying.

Good health is the result of conscious commitment that involves many factors like the food we eat, exercises, mental well-being, rest and sleep. Consistency is the most important factor when it comes to good nutrition. When you are often on the run, you need a plan that you can easily adopt and one that features a foundation of healthy food. Eating frequent well balanced meals is essential for anyone who wants to lose or maintain weight, have energy and stamina throughout the day, boosted immunity, to improve focus and concentration and above all for Mickeymizing your wellness quotient!