Pros and Cons of Indian Foods
A famous bodybuilder once said “If you want to build a good body, eat Indian Foods”. Let’s not hit the nearby Indian Restaurant and wait for us to finish reading the blog please? 😉
Pros and Cons of Indian Foods
Food is food. No matter how you cook it. Yes, there is debate on raw v/s cooked foods but that’s outside the scope of this blog. So, I was saying food is food. Right? What makes one style of cooking healthier than others is the ratios used. In other words, is there a “balance” in one cuisine v/s the other.
Pros of Indian Foods
1) Variety: No other cuisine in the world may be able to offer the kind of variety Indian cuisine offers. Because India is a land where there is a huge diverse population, and diverse climatic conditions, the growth of a variety of foods is possible. That gives us the opportunity to not only enjoy the variety in terms of taste, but also in terms of nutrients.
2) Condiments: People say masalas aren’t good. I disagree. It depends on what you use. Condiments such as Turmeric, Ginger, Garlic, Cinnamon, Cardamon, these offer more than just flavors. I know you can do your own research on how these condiments are beneficial for you. Did you know the spices were used to preserve food in a natural way during hot climatic conditions when there were no refrigerators. Nature has a way of taking care of us. Although, I do recommend using Cayenne Pepper and/or Green Chillies instead of Red Chilly.
3) Farmers Food: This could be a con if you’re not a farmer. As in, if you’re not working hard. Farmers eat a ton of carbohydrates, for obvious reasons.
4) Adaptogens: Adaptogens aren’t limited just to Indian Foods but many other cultures as well. I have a separate blog on Adaptogens and you can read it here. The two main Adaptogens that come from India and are being sold in many of the Organic stores in the US/Canada are Holy Basil (Tulsi) and Ashwagandaha. Extremely potent in nature and there is a reason why they are referred to as Adaptogens, they bring the human system to a state of homeostasis aka equilibrium. In the Indian Culture, Tulsi plant is worshiped and is often mixed in tea for a variety of reasons.
Cons of Indian Foods
1) Unbalanced nature of foods in the plate: While this is not necessarily a con, it was designed to feed a farmer. Carbohydrates are easily available as a source of energy and farmers need that kind of energy to survive the entire day. This is not necessarily a con. We sit on our chairs all day long, reading mindless blogs such as this one instead of eating in the right ratios. Indian foods focus heavily on carbohydrates, replace some of the carbohydrates with protein and you could have a balanced plate to adjust to your activity level.
2) Heavy Duty Fats: Whenever I visit Punjab, I am shocked to see the amount of fat people eat there everyday. Fats are very important in your diet, especially to balance the endocrine system and for the brain, but just because something is good for you, doesn’t mean you overdo it. It again comes down to my first point, “Where is the Balance”. This is exactly why I asked you to not rush to the nearby Indian Restaurant because
(a) Restaurant Food is not authentic.
(b) They load it up with sour cream to fill you up so you eat less which equals amazing profit margins when it comes buffets.
(c) Load up with Salt and Soda: Same reason as above.
3) Simple Carbohydrates v/s Complex Carbohydrates: White Rice, White Flour, White Sugars are almost used everyday. While it may work for the hard working worker for whom the simple carbohydrate might provide instant fuel or maybe after a hard days work the nutrient timing is such that the simple carbohydrate works in their favor, the Insulin spike for someone at a desk job might not a good thing. If you look at the meal plans on this website (that are taken from P90X program), there is a recovery drink right after a workout. Nutrient timing a huge factor in delivering nutrients to your system. If timed correctly, a simple carbohydrate can be used to your advantage. But let’s face it, most of us aren’t farmers. We don’t need simple carbohydrates, post workout is an exception, which is why the Recovery Drink is “earned”. Again, this might not be a con, so to speak, but speaking from someone who has a desk job, having a ton of simple carbohydrates could translate into a bigger waist size and a whole lot of other problems.
So, there you go! I love my Desi food! But, keep the balance!
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