Healthy food practices for the new decade 2020

May 21, 2020

The new decade is here and so are resolutions that work around healthy food practices. The last decade saw a number of food habits and trends, many of which fell flat as a soggy salad.

From fad diets to innovations, there was a lot of action in the food biz. Health experts analyze the trends of the last decade and what was wrong with them.

were just so many to mention: Keto to the Mediterranean diet, which gained attention in the last decade. While many of them have proved their results among people, dietician Pavithra N Raj, chief dietician, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, says that people get attracted to fad diets and follow them for a few days and then abandon them.

She explains, “There should be some discipline in a diet. Whenever starting a diet, understand it well. After starting a Keto diet one could end up with high triglycerides, or with gout after a high-protein diet.

Instead, one should focus on a diet which is balanced. Keep carbohydrates minimal and focus on consuming high-fibre food like wheat, ragi or jowar.” Limit fat intake and focus on physical activity, she adds. “One should remember to work out for 30 to 40 minutes, hydrate oneself despite whatever the season is.”

Nitrogen-infused foods Consuming nitrogen-infused foods like ice creams, drinks were hot favorites among some. There were incidents of oesophagal ruptures caused by such items. “Incidents of stomach ulcers were also observed,” notes Pavithra.

Raw food and vegetable diets though such diets sound ‘healthy’, they deprive one’s body of sodium and necessary nutrients. “Lack of sodium can even lead to cramps and is needed for electrolyte balance,” says Pavithra. One could also end up feeling bloated, due to the excess fibre in such a diet, she adds. “Gastrointestinal issues can escalate, people who have borderline thyroid stand at risk and a calcium deficit can happen,” she says.

Intermittent fasting a concept which many link to Ayurveda and other roots, Intermittent Fasting (a 12 to 14 hour break from food, mostly between lunch and next day’s breakfast) was considered by many in the last decade.

While many claim that this practice helps control sugar levels, there have been reports of diabetics suffering low sugar levels, which is risky. Gastric issues can also occur.

What are the food trends or diet practices that should be avoided?

Following are the diet practices that can be avoided in 2020.

1. Instant Foods : Home-cooked food has taken a back seat as instant food options become popular. One can blame packed and stress-filled schedules for this and the convenience factor attached to such food.

To maintain palatability, these foods are mostly always high in sugar, salt or oil. Suparna Mukherjee, in charge-clinical nutrition & dietetics, Narayana Health City says one should “plan, cook and carry."

2. Polished food is another no-no. “Unpolished rice or cereal should be consumed. Green gram dal, pulses like kabuli chana should be consumed. Black rice is high in antioxidants and fibre,” she adds.

3. Charcoal food : Activated charcoal is still in a research phase. While some studies say charcoal in food helps reduce cholesterol, there are no studies that prove that it is beneficial. “Since its carbon, it should anyway be consumed only in small potions,” says Suparna.

4. Gluten-free food : Research over the years proves that gluten restriction is only required for people who are sensitive to it. If it proves sensitive to an individual, then they should avoid it, else gluten-free foods should not be consumed, advises Suparna.

5. Infused water : Most health and fitness freaks got really innovative with infused water. Ranjani Raman, dietitian and nutrition consultant, Nutrition Tattva says, “It is a good way to stay refreshed but is not a long-term weight loss solution or sustainable form of drinking water. People often end up adding sweet fruits to water.

Apple cider vinegar

Several people took up consuming apple cider vinegar to lose weight.

“It might have benefits because of the properties vinegar has but when produced commercially they are not healthy because of the preservatives and chemicals, “says Rajani.

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