Food is not just about fuel for our body. It is about family and community and we nourish those things when we eat well. A doctor tells us the importance of eating well and what you can do for a healthier life.
“To eat is a necessity but to eat intelligently is an art” – François de la Rochefoucauld.
The year 2020 has arrived and a lot of resolutions are doing the rounds and “eating clean and mindfully should definitely be one of them. Growing up in a house where both my parents were “chef de cuisine” in their own right, cooking and eating were a big affair. Even as a child I have vivid memories of shopping for vegetables, fish, etc, with my dad. Grand evening hours were then spent putting it all together and eating as a family.
Food was then not only a source of energy but also of happiness. The simple pleasure of doing something together as a family and eating together like a unit. Today, of course, things are different. With restaurants around every corner, food apps, delivery services and lack of time we “eat on the go”. With little thought put into nutrition. Also eating “out of a box” rarely brings everyone together to the table. So along with the art of eating meaningless calories, we have also mastered the art of eating alone.
How junk food impacts your health
The problem is we aren’t eating food anymore but “food-like products”. Much of what is ordered and not made is highly processed food with excessive fat, salt and sugar and hence “junk”. They are high on taste and look but fall short of providing the essential nutrients to our bodies.
The only thing junk food give us is empty calories, bad cholesterol and heart disease. They increase our weight, blood pressure and blood sugar-containing high amounts of sugar and fat with little dietary fibre, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Food scientists who have spent years studying what makes junk food so addictive have concluded that the overall “orosensation” of junk food makes us consume it again and again. Food companies go to great lengths to get the perfect crunch in their potato chips and fizz in their soda. They spend huge amounts of money to get the perfect visually appealing advertisements for their products.
Hence, it is no wonder that obesity has become an epidemic and cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in both developing and developed nations. It is predicted that by 2030 the number of cardiovascular deaths will increase to 137 per cent. Sadly now no one is “too young” to die of a heart attack. Conventional coronary artery disease also predominates in young adults accounting for about 20 per cent of heart attacks.
The importance of eating well
It is time to think out of the box and stop eating from one altogether. Someone has rightly said, “You are what you eat, so don’t be fast, cheap or easy.” Food is not just about fuel for our body. It is about family and community and we nourish those things when we eat well. The whole process of bringing together a meal and eating it together is not only nutritional but also therapeutic. The time spent with our families in the kitchen or around the dining table, the meals and laughter shared are invaluable and irreplaceable.
Food is health and health is beauty. Long shiny hair, glowing skin, bright eyes and a toned body never goes out of style. 90 per cent of our health comes from the kitchen, from what we eat. So as we begin 2020, let us do ourselves the favour of eating towards a healthy, disease-free life.