Indian history always projected that Indian traditional foods are typically based on mixed of different food items. All of them was always seasonal and local grown. Typical meals were always fusion of all important food groups e.g. cereal, pulse, vegetables, milk and milk products and fats and oils. Diverse foods help Indian to receive needed nutrients. Though regional variation in dishes prepared with generous use of spices to impact flavours.
When we assess these from nutrition points, we all agree that our heritage food practices are always combination of all required nutrients. Or we can say Indian traditional foods are always better balanced with all required allowances.
With time, transition of foods associated with rising interest on minimum variation on food items e.g one pot meals. Which actually reduced variation of spices to variation of food items. Diverse in food items always provide diversified nutrients energy (kcal), protein, fat, carbohydrates, fibres, vitamins and minerals. Based on likes and dislikes were shaped food choice sand reduced variation in food items directly reducing variation of nutrients. “Nutrition transition” directly proportionate to rising rates of obesity and non-communicable chronic diseases.
In present era apart of a la cart order and one pot meal still Indian Thalis are available in any religion and state of India. Irrespective of region or state, Indian traditional THALIS provides combination of spices, food items. In food items include cereals, pulses, vegetables, milk and milk products, fats and oil, and fruits. Which is very similar to historical foods. THALIS cover certain nutrition principles:
- High in satiety.
- It met nutrition requirements
- It met maximum nutrients.
- Consider like and dislikes.
- Balance meal with nutrients
- Portion of each food item is controlled
- Based on availability of seasonal food items.
- High in fibre to slow digestion.
- It satisfied family budget
Now you planned what you will choose when you will visit restaurant / hotels?
Dr. Suparna Mukherjee, Senior Dietician – Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics at Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Bommasandra, Bangalore