The consumer is now looking for a healthier avatar of popular snacks and food items with growing awareness and the realization that 'you are what you eat'.
Low-fat dairy products, nutrition bars, diet chips and snacks, organic fruits and vegetables, reduced sugar items are only some of the healthier options consumers are reaching out for.
AdvertisementIt's no surprise therefore that the health products market size is expected to increase to 55,000 crore from 10,000 crore rupees by 2015.
Along with buying health food products, consumers also need to educate themselves on 'fat' in-order to truly eat and feel healthy.
This often spoken about, but misunderstood word, and has resulted in a lot of people believing that shunning fat altogether is the answer to a healthy diet.
While it is advisable to avoid certain kinds of fat there are other fats that are good for the body and are essential for its proper functioning.
Saturated fats and trans-fats should be avoided and good fats like monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats like omega 3 and omega 6 should be included in the diet.
Dr Aashish Contractor, a heart specialist at the Asian Heart Institute: states "The problem is that most individuals eat a diet that has excessive calories and is rich in wrong kind of fats such as animal fats and dairy fats that increase cholesterol and therefore the most common consequence is increased risk of heart disease."
Foods high in saturated fat raise the LDL or bad cholesterol level in the body and should be avoided, Dr Aashish Contractor explains further "If LDL or bad cholesterol is too high in your blood, some of it sticks to the walls of blood vessels and is absorbed.
The end result is large fatty deposits in the blood vessels which cause the vessels to become stiff, narrow and less responsive to triggers to expand and constrict, reducing the blood flow to the heart and other organs. This leads to heart diseases and potentially a heart attack.
Therefore, it is important to make lifestyle changes, exercise regularly, eat healthy and minimalize the sources of bad fats. Alongside other fats in daily diet, cooking oil is an everyday source of fat and it is advisable to make a wise choice by using an oil that is trans-fat free, has low saturated fat content and provides good fats such as omega -3 fatty acids to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease."
Many experts believe that Canola oil is a heart healthy options with studies indicating that one and a half tablespoon of canola oil can reduce a person's chances of cardiovascular ailments because of its high unsaturated fat content (93 percent), it is also free of cholesterol and trans-fat, and has low saturated fat content (7 percent).
The rise in demand of healthy food products indicates that the Indian consumer has perhaps realised that to lead a healthier life and avoid lifestyle diseases it is important to substitute regular unhealthy foods with healthier ones. So think twice next time you go grocery shopping, look at the ingredients and think of the effect of each one on your body.
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