The food industry, in today’s era, is moving towards exploring a variety of food options that its customers would like. People are getting conscious day by day and want to remain fit in their lives for a variety of reasons. Therefore, the restaurants are exploring to serve options which are called ‘healthy’ in terms of their calorie content, nutritional facts and much more. But, the question of time is that ‘Are these food options really healthy?’
Well, as the restaurants and other food sellers offer, the healthy options are not really healthy. The foremost reason for stating this is their nutritional facts itself. The packaged food consists of processed carbs, which further has starch, sugar and fiber in it. The processed form of such ingredients is not really good for an individual’s body. Words like “multigrain,” “wheat,” and “7 grain” do not actually mean what they say. Many breads, for instance, labeled this way actually contain refined grains, which lack the fiber of whole grains and can make your blood sugar spike faster after eating, leading to cravings. Most of the products which claim to be healthy are not so, because what they essentially contain is refined grains, sugar and artificial chemicals. If we talk about the healthy options being offered at restaurants and cafes, they are either infused with some processed ingredients, dressed up with unhealthy sauces, or are cooked in unhealthy vegetable oil to make them taste delicious. Furthermore, MSG is another common ingredient being added to a variety of dishes for flavor enhancing which still remains controversial on how it affects a human body.
While fast-food chains have ostensibly been trying to offer more healthful options, a new study finds that the health impact of their menus has not improved — to the contrary, in fact. The individuals end up paying double the cost at restaurants in the name of healthy food and having an intake of nothing but the same(or only a little less) amount of calories, as compared to the junk food. For instance, submarine sandwiches are said to be a replacement of the junk food available in the market. However, it is actually made up of flour bread and contains sauces (apart from the vegetables and other fillings) which are as unhealthy as equivalent to an Italian dish (such as pasta). Yet another example, specific to North India, could be the North Indian food that people choose to eat outside, considering it as a healthy option in front of Chinese or Italian cuisine. The North Indian food available in the restaurants and cafes includes oils and creams which are not really good for our health.
Cooking food at home has always been and will be a better option towards healthy lifestyle over eating from restaurants. However, the fruits and vegetables available in the market outside are also not pure. They are injected with chemicals and hence do not contribute in a healthy way. Because of this reason, people are now moving towards gardening on their own. Another possible solution in moving towards a healthier life could be using home made products over processed food. To illustrate, a family could use homemade butter in place of the packaged butter available in the market because even when the butter packaging says it is a ‘lite’ version or ‘low fat’ butter, it would contain calories much more than the butter made at home with milk.
In a nutshell, it is right to say that the so called ‘low-carb’ or ‘fat free’ food is nothing but the processed form of the junk food and has an equal amount of fattening products and products which could otherwise be harmful for the public at large. So, do not just trust the labels mentioned on the products and menu cards of the restaurants; instead create your healthy meals in the traditional way at home to stay fit in the long run.
Academic Associate, ICoFP