Healthy balanced diet – understanding the ‘fat’ factor

People are facing a lot of health problems these days and unfortunately one gets to hear of high cholesterol levels even in teenagers. This is a direct consequence of having too many processed foods that are so tempting for the new generation. Fruits or wholesome homemade food have taken a backseat. But the time has come now to tighten our belts and get back into shape. It would also be perfectly correct to say that high cholesterol levels are also a fall out of lack of exercise. When one can walk, one prefers to take transport, be it private or public. Most of the evening hours are spent sitting in front of the television and that too with the dinner plate in hand!

Low fat options

We should now incorporate healthy eating habits into our daily plan. We can substitute high fat foods with low fat food, which is made without the addition of visible oil or with very little of it. One can always question the pros and cons of an oil-free diet. The main thing is that we cannot do without oil. But we can certainly do with less oil in our food. And the sooner we adopt this mode of cooking the better for our health in the long run. One samosa adds 369 calories to your day’s intake, a small 105 grams pack of French fries add 320 calories. Instead, why not have two idlis which are just as filling but allow only 60 calories? Some more ideas: switch over from buffalo milk to cow’s milk – will save you up to 50 calories and 2.4 grams of fat per 100 grams. The yogurt you make will have less fat and so will the paneer.

All foods have fat

It is also necessary to understand that even if no visible oil has been used in the cooking process, all foods do contain some trace of oil/fat. Seeds like poppy seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, peppercorns, sesame seeds and turmeric powder do have some fat content. No food is ‘fat free’, it can only be labeled as ‘low fat’ and there are no great health hazards in having ‘low fat’ foods. Even a basic arhar/toovar dal preparation has a fat content that one can talk about – 100 grams has 1.5 grams as compared to 3.7 grams in a moong dal preparation. Dals are not eaten raw and once they are cooked they do have additions of seeds and spices.

Why do we need oil

Our bodily functions do need oil to operate at the optimum as they need to be lubricated well and for this all naturally present oils are good. All are aware that oil not only enhances the taste but also makes the cooked food look good. Yes, even some salads taste better with a dash of salad oil or olive oil. Oil is an integral part of most recipes because it removes the unpalatability of the dish, it adds the needed softness as also flavour and nutrients. We have seen that we do need fat for lubrication, the fat-soluble precious vitamins and for energy.

To sum up, it is recommended to follow a diet that is low in fat but healthy in essential proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. A good diet is primarily what we should be looking at. And also eating sensibly, exercising regularly will ensure a long and healthy life to all! For some ideas refer to Khumb Hara Pyaaz.

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2 thoughts on “Healthy balanced diet – understanding the ‘fat’ factor

  1. not to mention the big blob of jelly (A.K.A the brain) sitting inside everyone's skull is made up of almost all fat!! & Cholesterol is the starting material for each & every hormone the body needs to function!

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