"Finding a cure is always less advantageous than finding a treatment." Although science and technology grow at an exponential pace, it is pretty obvious that drugs and treatments will persist heavily incentivized. Hence it is essential to know the value of our daily diet to take best decisions for our personal well-being.
It is an unfortunate reality that our pharmaceutical companies have been prioritizing expensive drugs over cure. At a time when medical expenditure is becoming a major worry and is found to have a significant influence on social security costs, it will be worthwhile to reconsider our approach towards what we "eat". Instead of paying attention to our diet when we are sick, let's analyze the power of foods and their impact on our health.
‘Trending superfoods and fancy diet plans might sound exciting, but it is best to consider home as a destination point, in order to maintain healthy habits.’
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) or lifestyle diseases have been rising at an alarming pace across the globe. Cardiovascular diseases like stroke, heart diseases, respiratory disorders, and diabetes account for 80 percent of these NCDs. Till a few years back, these lifestyle disorders more prevalent in the aging population and affluent societies. However, in low and middle-income countries like India, where malnutrition is still not a completely solved problem, there has been a sharp increase in lifestyle disorders. The increase of these disorders among the younger population adds to the complexity.
An unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco have been observed to be the major contributing factors for most of these diseases. The good news is that 80 percent of these NCDs can be prevented with slight modifications in lifestyles. There is evidence that adopting healthy dietary changes, physical activity and abstaining from alcohol and tobacco can help achieve the desired results.
Diet plays a major role in adopting a positive lifestyle. A person who is conscious of what goes in his diet could have better control on overall quality of life. It is important to understand the value of our everyday diet to take the best decisions for our own well-being. You are what you eat.
Thanks to the existing knowledge, we are clear on what we have to eat. The basics of nutrition emphasize eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and sugars.
While what we eat is important, interestingly, how, when and where we eat has an influence on reaping the best of what we eat.
Fancy diet plans and trending super foods might sound exciting. But to sustain healthy habits, it is best to consider home as the destination point.
Here are a few points to consider:
Decisions start at shopping:
What we eat is not a dietary choice made at home, it is a decision made while shopping at a grocery/vegetable store. Pick the right place to shop, spend quality time on food labels and buy fresh. Healthy and tasty can go together by adding a wide variety of fresh produce to your diet. This can often be consistently followed in our home kitchen.
The discipline of time:
Beginning from breakfast, the appropriate timing of each meal is vital for matching the body's circadian rhythm. A healthy and timely breakfast is a great way to start the day on a positive note. Chrono-nutrition deals with correlating timing of diet with metabolic patterns of diseases. Evidence suggests that irregularity in eating meals is associated with an increased risk for metabolic syndrome high BMI, blood pressure and increased risk for cardiovascular diseases.
From the common cold to cancer, weight loss to weight gain, many home remedies can help the body perform better. There are plenty of options to serve the needful vitamins, anti-oxidants, and essential elements through the right diet. However, it will be good to plan your dietary choices in consultation with your doctor.
Portion size and optimization:
Since there is a personalized approach to cooking, portion size can be optimized with minimal wastage of food.
When the healthy food comes at economical value, sustenance is a great possibility.
Home food can bring the opportunity to enhance emotional wellness. Eating together around a common table is perhaps the best way to strengthen family bonding.
Seek professional support in establishing/supporting healthy dietary patterns at home.
Medical debt is considered the number one reason for personal bankruptcy today. Let us wake up to this reality and instead of falling prey to lifestyle compromises, together raise a toast to good health with a wholesome and hygienic meal made in the home kitchen.
(Dr. Vijay Janagama is Director - New Initiatives, SuVitas Holistic Healthcare. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org )