Category Archives: Food & Diet

Wise Breakfast Choices

We are constantly being told that breakfast is THE most important meal of the day. You cannot start your day without any fuel — eating breakfast improves your concentration, alertness and overall performance and keeps you going through the day.

However, all of the above apply only if you have a healthy breakfast that does not overload your system with excess carbohydrates or even the bad kinds of fat.

Making the right choices of food for breakfast is as important as the meal itself! If you start your day on a high-carbohydrate, high-fat meal you are going to end up feeling sluggish and lethargic in the morning itself.

What’s more, if the pattern of your breakfast is constantly that of high calorie foods, in the long run it is going to expand your waistline, show up a few more kilos on the weighing scale and negatively affect your lipid profile.

So in the following pages, we’re going to give you the lowdown on the worst, fair and best breakfast choices.

Puri Bhaji
Serving: 1 plate (4 puris)
Calories: 450
Fat: 20 gms

Medhu Vada
Serving: 2
Calories: 260
Fat: 15 gms

Batata Vada
Serving: 2
Calories: 320
Fat: 15 gms

Aloo Paratha
Serving: 2
Calories: 580
Fat: 21.5 gms

Potato Toast
Serving: 1
Calories: 368
Fat: 22.9 gms

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why the above rank as the five worst choices.

All are high on fat and very low on nutrition, ie they contain a lot of empty calories. These options are also very high on salt and low on fibre. Unfortunately, a lot of offices usually serve vadas and samosas as part of the mid-morning snack and most people end up having them as a second breakfast, so imagine the calorie overload early in the morning! Whether you are watching your weight or not, the above are options that should be in the category of ‘To be eaten once in a blue moon’!

Veg Upma
Serving: 1 mk
Calories: 180
Fat: 5.5 gms

Potato Poha
Serving: 1 mk
Calories: 185
Fat: 5.4 gms

Idli Sambar
Serving: 2
Calories: 312
Fat: 11 gms

Dhokla
Serving: 5
Calories: 110
Fat: 2.5 gms

Onion Pudla (salty)
Serving: 2
Calories: 350
Fat: 11 gms

As a nutritionist, I am asked nearly everyday — ‘Why can’t I include Upma or Poha or any of the above for breakfast?’

While all the above options are not fried and therefore not very high fat choices, they contain a lot of processed/refined carbohydrates and as a result, are low on fibre. Such foods affect and raise your blood glucose levels very quickly and also cause it to drop equally quickly, resulting in low energy and hunger pangs within an hour of eating. Whenever there are high levels of blood glucose in the bloodstream after a meal, some of this excess sugar may be burnt off if you are an active person — but most of it is converted to fat and stored in the body, causing weight gain!

Oatmeal Porridge
Serving: 30 gms
Calories: 250
Fat: 2 gms

Milk with Bran Flakes
Serving: 30 gms
Calories: 250
Fat: 2 gms

Egg-white Omelette with 2 slices of bread
Serving: 2 whites
Calories: 180
Fat: 5 gms

Daliya (salty) with veggies
Serving: 1 mk
Calories: 150
Fat: 5 gms

Brown bread sandwich with veggies
Serving: 2 slices
Calories: 250
Fat: 5 gms

Oats contain soluble fibre; this fibre is broken down slowly by the body, as a result of which energy is released into the blood stream gradually, keeping you going for the next two-three hours. The porridge can be made more nutrient-rich by adding two walnuts for omega 3 fatty acids & a few (three to four) raisins to add to the taste.

Milk with bran flakes is another ready-to-eat breakfast for people on the go, who don’t have much time to cook. You get good quality protein from milk and you get fibre from the cereal which keeps you full, along with several other nutrients which the cereal is fortified with. Add a fruit to this mix and you have a perfect start to the day!

Egg whites can be had boiled, scrambled or as an omelette. If you are watching your weight or your cholesterol, it is best to do away with the yolks and add veggies. However, if you are fit, exercise regularly and keep your meals low-fat, it’s okay to add one egg yolk twice weekly for Vitamin B 12. Eggs are a good source of high-quality protein and have a good satiety value. You can have high fibre or multigrain bread to go with it and can even add a fruit later to improve the overall nutrient value.

If you prefer an Indian-style option, daliya with added veggies is a good choice. Wheat cracks or daliya are nothing but broken wheat and contain a high amount of fibre. While it is not a source of high-quality protein, it helps keep you full for a longer time. If you want to improve its nutrient content, add a cup of milk with sugar and eat it as porridge.

Brown bread/multigrain sandwiches are also a good choice for people who have no time to cook. This high fibre sandwich can be further fortified by adding two or three teaspoons of cottage cheese or just one slice of low-fat cheese. Make sure you add a lot of vegetables — put in more of coriander chutney and less than a teaspoon of butter if you are watching your weight. Having a glass of milk with the sandwich will make it a more wholesome meal.

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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Take Care, Honey

They say, you are what you eat. But do we know what we are eating? Do we know who is cooking and who is serving us the food we take into our kitchens and then into our bodies?

The more I dig into this issue, it is clear that our world of food is spinning in directions that we know nothing about. This is not the way it should be.

Take honey. A sweet preserve that we take for granted comes from the bees that collect it from the nectar of flowers. We pick up the bottle from our local shop, believing that the honey has been collected naturally, it is fresh and certainly without any contaminants.

In most cases, we would even think that small farmers produced it or it was collected from the wild and packaged by large companies. In any event, we believe it is the honey that nature produced, collected and delivered to us, as nature would have wanted.

But little do we know
how the business of honey has changed. Nobody explains that the culture of food is intrinsically linked to biodiversity, of plants and animals.

But mess with biodiversity and you mess with food. The ubiquitous bee is one such instance. Some years ago, leading scientific institutions sold the idea of introduction of the European bee (Apis mellifera) into India, as it was a more prolific producer of honey.

This economically viable bee took over the business, virtually replacing the humble but more adapted Indian bee (Apis cerana) from our food. At the same time, the business of honey was also transformed.

It moved away from the small producers collecting honey from the wild and cultivating honey in natural conditions. It got consolidated into a highly organised business, controlled by a handful of companies.

Now it is these companies that handle all aspects of the trade – from the supply of the queen bee to the paraphernalia of bee-housing, feeding and disease-control to the producers, spread across different states.

It is an outsourced business
, run by franchisees whose job is to find places, like the apple farms of Himachal, where there is nectar for bees to suck.

We have lost the biodiversity of the bee and we have lost the diversity of the business. Business is not about food. It is about commerce.

But nature has its way of getting back at us.
The European bee is now showing signs of over-use across the world.

In the US and in Europe, there is worrying news about honeybee colony collapses – where bees are disappearing from colonies, not to return. This is hitting crop production as bees play a critical role in pollinating food crops across the US – a service, which is officially billed at some $20 billion annually.

The trade in pollinator bees involves carting bee colonies across the county, where crops need their service. But now there is evidence that this overwork, combined with the use of nasty new pesticides, new diseases and immune-suppressed bees, is destroying bees.

In India, we are no different. The dependence on one introduced species and emphasis on over-production mean bees are overworked in this competitive business.

As disease grows, the answer is to feed bees antibiotics liberally, mixed in sugar and other syrups. The bee makes honey and with it comes the lethal dose of unwanted antibiotics in our food.

When the Pollution Monitoring Laboratory of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) checked honey, it found a cocktail of antibiotics – mostly banned and severely prohibited to be in our food.

It found everything from the commonly used Ampicilin, Enrofloxacin, Ciprofloxacin, Erythromycin to the strictly banned Chloramphenicol in the honey made and packaged by the biggest and the most known. These antibiotics in food are bad for us, as any doctor will tell you, because they add to the bugs getting resistant to antibiotics.

The fact is that CSE’s laboratory checked two foreign brands bought from our local store. We know that there is strict control in these countries against antibiotics. In fact, Europe has kicked hell and banned Indian honey for having these antibiotics.

They do this because they say they care about their health.

Good. But the question is what about our health? Who cares about
this? Both brands that were checked had the same and even higher levels of antibiotics in them. The fact is that why should they care, when our government does not? The same government, which makes strict standards for the exported honey, could not care about what we are using domestically. There are no standards for antibiotics in Indian honey.

There is certainly no check on what ends up on our tables and in
our bodies.

But do not be surprised. This is the age of takeover by the big and the powerful only because we have compromised and have complicit food regulators. The recently set up Food Safety and Standards Authority has been dead on entry.

Do not be surprised. But be angry. This is not a takeover we
should allow.

It is about us. Our bodies. Our self.

Your comment is very much awaited.


Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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An Uncommon But Serious Ailment

What Is Gluten?

The only treatment

The only treatment

Gluten is the common term for a group of proteins found in wheat, rye, barley, and grains derived from them or having different names like triticale, durum, kamut, semolina, and spelt. Grains are so common in our diet that gluten is second only to sugar as our most commonly consumed ingredient.

What Is Celiac Disease?

The digestive system is the set of organs that digest food and absorb the important nutrients the body needs to stay healthy and grow. One important part of the digestive system is the small intestine, which is lined with millions of microscopic, finger-like projections called villi. Nutrients are absorbed into the body through the villi.

People who have celiac disease have a disorder that makes their bodies react to gluten. When they eat gluten, an immune system reaction to the protein gradually damages the villi in the small intestine. When the villi are damaged, the body is unable to absorb the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to stay healthy. People with celiac disease are therefore at risk of malnutrition and can develop anemia or osteoporosis.

The body’s inability to absorb nutrients can also mean that young people with untreated celiac disease may not grow properly and may have weight loss and fatigue. In addition, people who have celiac disease may be prone to developing other diseases, such as thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, and gastrointestinal cancer.

What Causes It?

Experts don’t know exactly why people get celiac disease, which is also called gluten intolerance, celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, or gluten-sensitive enteropathy.

The disease has some genetic background, which means that it may run in families. Just like eye or hair color, people inherit the genes that make them more likely to get celiac disease from their parents and grandparents. If an immediate family member (such as a parent or a sibling) has celiac disease, there’s about a 5% to 10% chance that you could have it, too. Celiac disease affects people of all heritages and backgrounds.

It is estimated that 1 in 133 people in the United States has the condition, although many don’t know that they do.

Signs and Symptoms

It’s important to diagnose celiac disease early before it causes damage to the intestine. But because it’s easy to confuse the symptoms with other intestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome or lactose intolerance, teens with celiac disease may not know they have it.

Some common symptoms of celiac disease are diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating, and weight loss. Someone with the disease may feel tired and could be irritable or depressed. Some have skin rashes and mouth sores. Teens with undiagnosed celiac disease may go through puberty late.

Someone might not show any symptoms until going through an emotionally or physically stressful event, such as going away to college, illness, or an injury or pregnancy.

How Is It Treated?

Once celiac disease is diagnosed, a doctor will help treat it. Although there is no cure, celiac disease can be managed successfully by following a gluten-free diet. People with celiac disease need to follow this diet for life. Because gluten can be found in everything from breakfast cereals to prepared luncheon meals, they need to be very aware of what’s in the foods they eat.

If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, a doctor or dietitian who specializes in celiac disease can help you develop an eating plan that works with your lifestyle.

Luckily, the small intestine can heal. Although this process may take up to a year, many people start to feel better after just a few days on a gluten-free diet. But feeling better doesn’t mean that people with celiac disease can resume eating foods containing gluten. Because the genes that cause the disease are present in the body and the immune system continues to react to gluten, the symptoms and problems will return if someone with celiac disease starts eating gluten again.

Taking Care of Yourself

The good news about celiac disease is that most of the delicious and yummy foods, including birthday cake and pizza, can be prepared without gluten. So if you have celiac disease, you can still find ways to enjoy most of your favorite foods — you just need to do some research and be aware of what’s in the foods you eat.

Here are four things you should do if you have celiac disease:

  1. Learn to read labels to find out if a food contains gluten.
  2. Learn which foods are gluten free.
  3. Find alternatives to wheat, barley, and rye flours and other gluten-containing grain ingredients for your recipes.
  4. Find a support group where you and other people with the condition can share up-to-date information.

While the law requires the labeling of wheat-free products, be aware that “wheat free” doesn’t necessarily mean “gluten free,” as wheat-free products may have barley and rye (gluten-containing grains) in them.

Finding Gluten-Free Foods and Ingredients

Most grocery stores carry few gluten-free products these days. You may be able to find gluten-free bread, cereal, baking mixes, cookies, and crackers at your local market. For a wider selection, make a trip to a health food store. Be aware that lots of natural markets and health-food stores keep foods in bulk bins. It’s not a good idea to use even gluten-free products from these bins because the risk of cross contamination is very high.

Many specialty shops online also sell a range of gluten-free products, such as bread, pizza crusts, and pastas. Many regular and online shops even sell gluten-free flour blends that you can use to make your own pancakes and waffles, pizza dough, cookies, and brownies.

Eating a gluten-free diet is a lifelong commitment. But if you have celiac disease, you are not alone. Lots of support groups, cookbooks, and websites are dedicated to living a gluten-free life. To make sure you always have the most current and accurate information, consider joining one of the national celiac organizations. There are even gluten-free summer camps and special support groups just for kids and teens.

Grab the e-book where every recipe is completely gluten-free, sugar-free (except fruit), digestion-friendly, allergy-friendly and low glycemic with meat, poultry, fish meals and tree-nut-free, dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian options for most recipes.

Click Here for eBook
Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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The Magic of Wonder Foods

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

Watching Angelina Jolie down a tall glass of strawberry milk, Jessica Alba relish a piece of sinful dark chocolate and closer home, size zero Kareena Kapoor lick her fingers after finishing her eighth meal of the day makes you wonder, where does the food go? Are they all blessed with a high metabolic rate? Do they invest millions in body shapers? Are they bulimic? Or do they live on their treadmills? The reality bite? They eat and they eat right.

  • Blueberries: Not only are they a rich source of antioxidants but also reduce ageing and help in keeping off abdominal fat.
  • Asparagus: Being a natural diuretic, it helps to shed water weight. Asparagus also contains phytochemical glutathione, which has antioxidants and cancer preventing properties.
  • Apples: Rich in fibre, they keep you satisfied for longer, which is the key to maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Eggs: High in proteins, eggs are good for long lustrous hair. Being a good source of Vitamin B12, they help break down fat too.
  • Yoghurt: A rich source of good bacteria, it strengthens and stabilises the immune system. These probiotics can also work in our bodies to benefit our complexions, leaving the skin softer, smoother and less prone to breakouts.
  • Green tea: Aids digestion, detoxifies the body, making the skin glow. It also helps burn calories.
  • Salmon: A rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids that help burn fat and add glow to the skin. Salmon contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid that improves skin elasticity, so you’ll have fewer fine lines.
  • Cabbage: Contains cancer fighting goodness like chemical sulforaphane and phytonutrients which act to prevent damage to cell membranes from free radicals and is excellent for detoxification.
  • Dried plums: Great for digestive health, they also keep the heart healthy, reducing cholesterol levels. Plums contain potassium, magnesium and boron which regulate blood sugar levels and reduce wrinkles.
  • Beets: The natural yellow or betacyanin and the purple or betaxanthin of the beets are pigments that are potent phyto-chemicals and antioxidants fantastic for protecting from the damage that free radicals can cause to the body.
  • Pomegranate juice: Loaded with antioxidants, it is also said to destroy breast cancer cells, halt the development of lung cancer and lower the risk of blood pressure.
  • Papaya: Beneficial for skincare and repair, it can be used to eliminate old dead skin cells, dandruff and other skin disorders and even reduce signs of premature ageing.
  • Cinnamon: Reduces cholesterol levels in the body and regulates blood sugar, making it extremely beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes.
  • Sardines: Contain Omega 3 fatty acids that aid brain function and calcium and Vitamin D for strong bones.
  • Pumpkin seeds: Said to be the most nutritious part of the pumpkin, they contain high levels of magnesium which is good for general well being. They also contain L- tryptophan, a compound that acts naturally against depression.
  • Turmeric: Helps in digestion and contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It also acts as a great antioxidant.
  • Almonds: High in alpha linoleic acid, they can speed up the metabolism of fat as they contain good fat. Almonds are an excellent source of the skin loving antioxidant Vitamin E, providing 35 per cent of the required daily value.
  • Soyabeans: Contains choline which breaks down fatty deposits and blocks fat absorption.
  • Milk: Being rich in potassium, vitamins, calcium and protein, milk helps make the bones stronger. It’s external application leads to healthy skin and shiny hair.
  • Dark chocolate: Full of antioxidants, it also reduces signs of premature ageing and is being used in skin treatments worldwide.
  • Strawberries: Used topically in traditional medicine to treat burns and other skin irritations due to their astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Chili: Capsaican, the chemical that makes chili so spicy, improves the body’s ability to clear insulin from the blood stream leading to increased fat burn after the meal.
  • Cherry: The iron content in cherry is 20 times higher than that in apples or oranges. It promotes the formation of haemoglobin.
  • Bean sprouts: Rich source of proteins, vitamins, minerals and fibres. They can prevent freckles and dark spots.
  • Avocados: A good source of biotin, avocados help to prevent dry skin and brittle hair and nails. When applied topically, they hydrate parched skin.
  • Tomatoes: Besides being a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are considered a highcarotenoid fruit. These nutrients may help slow down cellular damage from free radicals.
  • Walnuts: Walnuts are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help put shine in your hair, aid in making skin smoother and younger.
  • Beans: Legumes help repair cells that have suffered free radical damage. During digestion, protein breaks down into amino acids, which help to speed the repair and regeneration of skin cells and collagen.
  • Mushrooms: Great for skin, they have anti-ageing properties and also boost hormone secretion in women.
  • Carrots: Rich source of Vitamin A, which is essential for good skin. They also improve eyesight.

P.S.:- While I was looking for info to write the above article I stumbled upon a great e-book where you would get to know everything that you ever wished to know about weight reducing diets. You shall come across a great deal of amazing facts which shall make you realize that it is not at all necessary to starve yourself to get that fabulous body. You just have to be aware of what to eat which shall make you lose a huge amount of weight beyond your wildest imagination.

Watch the video with patience, it is extremely informative. And then do not waste time to grab the e-book.

See the video

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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Stop Contaminating Yourself

BEWARE AND STAY AWAY FROM JUNK – An Eye Opener

Sinfully delicious

Sinfully delicious

How do you define junk food?
It’s high in calories, low in nutrition.

Junk food is everywhere. You and your family probably eat it every day. Sugar-laden breakfast cereals, snack bars, biscuits and cakes, crisps and chips, soft drinks, sweets, ready-meals, fast food like burgers – so much of what’s on offer on the supermarket shelves is produced on the cheap (but not sold cheaply), full of unhealthy ingredients – it’s not nutritious, it’s laced with addictively tasty fats, sugars and salt, it just is not worth eating.

Junk Food – it’s aptly named. Now, wise up on the junk food facts.

JUNK FOOD FACTS – CHILDREN

  • The junk food industry deliberately targets children as young as 2 in a bid to create brand preference and lifelong loyalty.
  • Advertisers question kids and tap into their play to create ads and products with guaranteed child-appeal. Fast food chains use the lure of free toys to get kids to persuade their parents to spend. A desirable toy can double or triple weekly sales of kids’ meals. And every child brings along at least one adult too.
  • Artificial flavours in foods aimed at kids can be twice as sweet as the artificial flavours used in adult food. Children are being trained to find the natural bitter or sour notes that mingle with the sweetness in natural foods unpalatable.
  • Many children now prefer man-made flavours to the taste of real food. How will they ever switch to fresh, unadulterated food?
  • Flavourings and colourings can cause asthma, rashes and hyperactivity. Many countries – but not the UK – ban them from children’s food.
  • UK companies spend £300m annually on ads aimed at kids. The average British child watches tv for 2 hrs 20 mins daily.
  • Children in the US have over $500bn a year to spend. The average American kid spends 25 hours a week watching tv, and sees around 20,000 ads a year for junk food. That’s one every 5 mins as they watch, and 3 hours of them in any one week.

JUNK FOOD FACTS – SOFT DRINKS

  • The metal can costs more than the ingredients, which are primarily water mixed with additives, sugar or sweetener, and caffeine. A can of cola contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.
  • Soft drinks are aggressively marketed by fast food chains, because they are so profitable, at around 97% profit on the price per cup. The bigger the cup, the greater the profit.
  • In the US, average adult consumption of soft drinks is around 500 cans a year.
  • Twenty per cent of American under-2s are given soft drinks – laden with sugar and additives – every day.

DISGUSTING JUNK FOOD FACTS ABOUT THE FOOD ON YOUR PLATE

  • Canned spaghetti
    A helping of carbohydrate, salt and sugar, with virtually no fibre, anyone?
  • Chicken nuggets
    Low cost nuggets are cheap because they contain as little as 16% pulped chicken, bulked out with water, chicken skin, proteins removed from bone, hide, or poultry feathers, mechanically retrieved meat; plus the ubiquitous sugar, additives and salt.
    They also contain bulking agents used to soak up the water that’s injected into chicken to increase the weight – and the profit. Minced meat can hid a multitude of revolting ‘extras’ : carcinogenic antibiotics, recycled cat food, and poultry mixed with beef proteins have all been found in chicken destined for the production line.
  • Chocolate muffin
    Ruinously high in sugar, and made with the big baddie of the junk food industry, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil which has zero nutritional value, and damages heart and arteries.
  • Fries
    Fat-packed and low in nutrients. May be coated with additives and salt.
  • Fruit yoghurts, ready-made sauces, fruit drinks, baby foods – and more.
    Modified starches, along with colourings and flavourings, mimic the texture of fresh fruit and veg, so that manufacturers’ can use less of the real thing. They also mask rancid flavours’ and smells.
  • Milkshakes
    A simple-sounding ingredient, like ‘artificial strawberry flavour’ can in itself contain around 50 chemicals. And not one single strawberry…

What’s in some of that Junk Food?

  • One teaspoon of sugar is extracted from a stalk of sugarcane one metre in length!
  • A super-sized order of McDonald’s fries contains 610 calories and 29 grams of fat.
  • A king-sized order of Burger King’s fries packs 590 calories and 30 grams of fat.
  • A king-sized Burger King meal, (Double Whopper with cheese, large fries and large drink) contains 1,800 calories (mostly derived from fat and refined sugar). To ‘burn’ these calories would take nearly 6 hours of cycling (at 20 miles per hour).

Click to know more

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Junk Food Advertising

  • The food industry spends over $33 billion per year in the US alone to advertise food products that could be classified as junk food.
  • The majority of food advertising during children’s television programming is for sweetened cereals, soft drinks, candy, processed snacks and fast foods.
  • The average American child sees around 20,000 ads a year for junk food.
  • Over 90% of American children eat at McDonald’s at least once per month.
  • American teenagers drink an average of 760 can of soda pop per year (with boys drinking about 25% more than girls).
  • The average American of any age drinks over 500 cans of soft drinks per year.
  • Nearly 20% of children under 2 years of age are given soft drinks every day in America!
  • The average person today consumes more sugar in two weeks than a person a century ago would have eaten in a whole year. That’s a junk food fact!

Harmful Effects of Junk Food

  • The regular consumption of junk food is the leading factor in obesity and excess weight.
  • Obesity is second only to smoking as a cause of death in America.
  • 46% of Canadian adults are either overweight or obese, with obesity in children increasing three-fold over the past 2 decades.
  • Consumption of soft drinks containing sugar has been linked to weight gain and an increased risk for development of type 2 diabetes.
  • Studies have revealed that obese people have twice the rate of chronic health problems as people of normal weight. This includes a 100% greater chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, 50% increased likelihood of developing heart disease. Obese men are nearly 90% more likely to get colon cancer.
  • Junk food diet is a major cause of heart diseases.
  • High cholesterol resulting from junk food puts undue strain on the liver, causing long-term damage to this essential organ.
  • Research has suggested that diets high in fat may also impair essential brain functions, like concentration and memory.

The junk food facts about soft drinks alone are alarming. There is compelling evidence that regular consumption of soft drinks leads to:

  • Increased rates of bone fracture
  • Increased risk for osteoporosis
  • Increased risk of weight gain and obesity
  • Increased risk for Type II Diabetes
  • Increased risk for kidney stones
  • Increased rate of tooth decay and other dental problems
  • Junk food facts are numerous, and the negative effect of junk food on health and wellbeing is undeniable.

The unhealthy facts about junk foods and fast foods make shocking reading. But at least they enable you to make informed decisions, next time you go grocery shopping, or want a quick meal out.

P.S. Sick of feeling unattractive, overweight and tired?


Desperate to find an eating plan that makes you look and feel better – for good?


Is it even possible…?


Why don’t you find out for yourself?

Click to know more

Click to know more

Visit http://tinyurl.com/3yf6234



Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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Cure Yourself

Nature & Us

Nature & Us

Since a long time I wanted to write this one, but could not bring myself to focus on the task. I knew I would do it someday, but at the same time I also knew that the task was a huge one and it would take many months, for me, to complete the book. I used to get overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the project.

But, goaded on by my family and friends, my online readers and my website team, I finally decided to begin. Thus began a long and arduous journey. I started collecting my thoughts and put them down on paper. After I managed to get the blueprint ready, began the process of collecting information. Hours, days and months were spent on this task, which resulted in a huge volume of data, which had to be scrutinized and edited.

My team and I spent many nights going through reams and reams of info and deciding what to retain and what to reject. After the content was finalized, my technical team swung into action to compile the entire content into a well designed e-book, which I could present to you.

This e-book is all about natural health and natural remedies, and my intention is to stop you from running to the doctor at the slightest sneeze or rumbling in your stomach. Why not try and find out how to take care of minor ailments with whatever is available in your kitchen and refrigerator?

The natural healing powers of some common vegetables, fruits and spices are simply amazing. Mother Nature has gifted us with so many things which we are not aware of. This book is my humble attempt to bring you closer to her.

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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Know Your Chicken?

Know Your Chicken

Know Your Chicken

While preparing dinner at a friend’s place this weekend, a thought about chicken crossed my mind (because I was making Butter Chicken).  Did you know that chickens have different classification types?  You have heard the terms “broiler”, “fryer” and “roaster” used in describing chickens, but you may have thought that they were just interchangeable adjectives.  But actually, there are many terms used to describe chickens that are based primarily on their age and weight.

After further research, I also learned that the best method for cooking a chicken depends on the type.  This is due to the ratio of surface area to volume of the chicken.  Smaller chickens have less volume in comparison to their surface area, so heat enters more quickly into the bird but there is less meat to cook.  Therefore, faster methods of cooking like frying are recommended for them.  Larger chickens on the other hand have much more volume and need more time to cook.  Since their surface area is relatively smaller, this means that a slower method is necessary in order not to burn the surface, which is why slow roasting is recommended.

So here are the most common types of chicken:

Broiler – These are 2 to 3 months old and are 1.5 to 2.5 pounds.  The best methods for cooking them are broiling, grilling, or roasting.  In addition to the quicker methods being necessary due to the ratio of the birds’ volume to surface area, quick methods are needed for broilers since their skin is more tender. A slower method of cooking (particularly in a liquid) would cause the delicate skin to become dry and stringy.

Fryer – These are 3 to 5 months old and usually weigh 2.5 to 3.5 pounds.  It is best to fry, saute, roast, fricassee, or poach them.  When you purchase pre-cut chickens, they are often fryers or broilers.

Roaster – These are normally older chickens that weigh 4 to 6.5 pounds.  Since they take longer to reach their final point, they also tend to be more expensive.  As you learned above, the best ways to cook larger birds are slow methods.  You should roast, poach, or fricassee them.

For those of you who are more sophisticated eaters, there is also squab.  Squab is a baby chicken weighing 0.75 to 1 pound, and it is best to cook them via broiling, grilling or roasting.  On the other end of the scale, there are Capon and Caponette chickens.  These are specially fed castrated male roosters (yes, you read that right) that are usually 4 to 7 pounds.  They are known for being tender, juicy and flavorable.  It is best to roast, poach or fricassee them.

So there you go.  Probably more information than you thought you would ever know about chicken.  And on that note, I will leave you with a joke…

Juan was driving down a country lane in his pickup when suddenly a chicken darted into the road in front of him. He slammed on his brakes, but realized that the chicken was speeding off down the road at about 30 miles an hour. Intrigued, he tried to follow the bird with his truck, but he couldn’t catch up to the accelerating chicken. Seeing it turn into a small farm, Juan followed it.

To his astonishment, he realized that the chicken had three legs. Looking around the small farm, he noticed that ALL of the chickens had three legs.

The farmer came out of his house, and Juan said, “Three-legged chickens? That’s astonishing! The farmer replied, “Yep. I bred ’em that way because I love chicken drumsticks.”

Juan was curious. “How does a three-legged chicken taste?”

The farmer replied with a glum face. “Dunno. Haven’t been able to catch one yet.”


Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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