- Instant noodles
The reason I picked instant noodles at the top of my list is that it is one of the most sold unhealthy packed food. The reason instant noodles is unhealthy because it contains maida, flavor enhancers, color and it is very high in sodium.
- Fruit Juice (packed/processed)
Most of the fruit juices contains excessive amount of sugar in it which makes it super unhealthy. Also, when you extract juice of any fruit it loses its fiber content. Eating whole fruit is always the best healthy option. Instead of juice one should eat whole fruit.
First of all it contains huge amount of sugar, then soda is also not good for bone health.
- Deep fried foods
Major nutrient your body gets from deep fried snacks such as samosa or pakora is unhealthy fat. If you eat it roadside, then they will use same oil again and again for frying samosa or pakoras so it becomes even unhealthier since oil loses its entire nutrient.
Even though momos are not fried or sauted it is not healthy because its maida (refined flour). But if it would have been made with whole wheat flour, it could have been still very healthy. Maida is nothing but empty calories. It is made by stripping all the good things away from the whole wheat.
Biscuits are nothing but maida and sugar. It is just empty calories. There is no home in India where you couldn’t find biscuits. So, knowingly or unknowingly we eat sugar every day in the form of biscuits. You can replace biscuits with roti or paratha. I know there are many brands selling sugar free biscuits but these biscuits are very costly and are very low in other nutrition, so choice is yours.
- Junk Food – Burger/Pizza
Now a day burger has become a staple food for youth. The reason it is unhealthy is that not only burger bun is made up of Maida, the chicken patty in it is deep fried plus it contains cheese, mayo and lots of sodium. Also, Pizza is a big brother of burger. Pizza is also all maida, cheese, butter, salt and miniscule amount of veggies.
But, if you eat these foods in moderation i.e. once in a week/fortnight, then these foods will not be that much harmful.
What are Healthy Breakfast Foods?:
We all think that cornflakes and oatmeals are healthy but have you ever thought of why our ancestors were super healthy even though they never had eaten such western breakfast. Let’s find out some really healthy Indian breakfast.
- Idly Sambhar
Idly are just steamed rice. I can bet that no other breakfast meals available in the restaurant are as low on fat as idly is. But Idly alone won’t be nutritious but with sambhar it becomes a whole food since sambhar is made up of dal and lots of healthy vegetables. You can replace rice and make idly with oats or ragi for making it super healthy.
I would say there is a tough fight between dhokla and idly for being the healthiest breakfast meal since both are steamed. Dhokla is made with gram flour which is nothing but chickpeas flour. It is rich in fiber, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, vitamin B-6 and thiamine. I know list of nutrients is very long!!!
I love Methi Thepla since it not only contains whole wheat flour but also methi. Thepla is a staple gujrati snack. Just have it without ghee to make it low calorie breakfast meal.
- Mix veg Paratha
Just use leftover vegetables or dal to make parathas for your breakfast and you are done with most of the nutrition quota for your day.
Mix Fruit Salad
You usually get around 120 cal from salad. It is full of nutrition and fiber in it keeps my stomach full for long time
- Egg omelette with veggies
This gives me around 140 cal. Vegetables provide me fiber which keeps my hunger in control for long time. Eggs provide me protein helps me to build lean muscle mass.
For recipe –
- Mixed Nuts
I eat mixed nuts which usually gives me around 130 calories. I eat 5 almond, 5 pistachios, 5 cashews, 2 walnut and 3-4 peanuts. It is full of fiber and healthy fat. It gives me energy and also keeps me full for longer time. Nuts also help me to maintain ideal weight.
- Mixed Sprouts
This is a powerhouse of nutrition especially if it is sprouted. It gives me around 120 calories and tons of nutrition. Sprouts are rich in protein and vitamin b complex which is very hard to find in vegetarian food specially.
Khakhras are the perfect snack food as they are very filling and are very low in fat. Khakhra’s are also very low in calories. Methi khakhra is my favorite since it is loaded with goodness of fenugreek along with whole wheat
Less Costly & Healthy Eatables:
Banana is the cheapest fruit available in the market. Banana contains several essential nutrients, and has benefits for digestion, heart health and weight loss.
Banana is an ideal pre-workout food.
Cucumbers are extremely low in calories, but extremely high in nutrients, so they make a filling and healthy snack. Cucumbers also contain potassium and can help with lowering blood pressure.
Best way to eat cucumber is in the form of salad.
Just eat 1 clove of garlic in the morning and it can help with cold, flu and even high cholesterol. Even garlic has proved to reduce the risk of cancer, due to its Anti-Carcinogenic properties
Tomatoes are a very nutritional food source rich in anti-oxidants, vitamin A and C, folic acid and beta-carotene. They are also rich in a substance called lycopene. From your skin to your heart, and even your immune system, your entire body will benefit from eating tomato every day.
Just like cucumber, eat tomato in the salad or even tomato juice or soup can be made and drink every day.
Sprouts are powerhouse of nutrition and high in fiber to keep your stomach full. They contain fewer calories compared to other snacks and are excellent sources of vitamin K, C, fiber, and other essential minerals.
Sprouts can be eaten in the form of sprout salad or even sabji could be made out of sprouts.
- Betel Leaves
This heart-shaped leaf is loaded with good health. The leaves are full of vitamins like vitamin C, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and carotene and are a great source of calcium. It is believed that the components present in betel leaves can reduce the level of sugar in the blood, thus treating diabetes.
Just make sure to not eat tobacco with it.
Curd has a number of health and nutritional benefits, and eating curd every day helps your system stay cool, improves your digestive system, and helps get rid of stomach problems. It is also high in calcium and protein, beneficial for those who are lactose intolerant and can’t take in milk.
Don’t eat sugar in the curd otherwise it will become unhealthy and also curd can be consumed in the form of buttermilk.
- Seasonal Fruit
Never eat fruits which are not in season because it will be costly as well as prepared with chemicals. I always eat seasonal fruits since it is healthy and also cheap. For example, watermelon in summer costs less than 25Rs for 1 kg, whereas if you buy watermelon in winter it will cost you no less than 70-80Rs for 1kg.
- Pulses (Dal and beans)
Pulses are a good source of iron, zinc, phosphorous, fiber and B-vitamins, which many people are deficient in. Pulses are low fat, high fiber, no cholesterol, low glycemic index, high protein, high nutrient foods. They are excellent foods for people managing their diabetes, heart disease or coeliac disease.
You can use them in every meal of the day from breakfast through dinner in the form of dal, sambhar, wada or even dal paratha
Amla is the richest source of vitamin c. If consumed every day, it is beneficial for good eye sight, skin, heart and even weight management.
One could eat amla daily in the form of achar, murabba and even juice.
A cup of oats gives 5 g of protein and an impressive 4 g of fiber, which helps regulate your body’s sugar usage to hold your hunger in check. Studies also link increased dietary fiber intake with lower body weight, cholesterol levels, and risk of type 2 diabetes.
One could eat oatmeal in the morning or use oats instead of rice in khichdi. One could also add oats flour to the regular flour to make chapatis super healthy.
(Author B K Sushant is MA, MJMC, MBA. Freelance Journalist writing for mainstream media in Delhi. National Media Coordinator, Brahma Kumaris Organisation. Media Educator and Trainer (on soft skill development for inner empowerment and excellence in life)
Founding Member of ‘Society of Media Initiative for Values’
Dedicated life to socio-spiritual services and character uplift of mankind through Brahma Kumaris organisation, for last 40 years.
You can access him through:
Mobile: 9350922333 / 7014986288