Unhealthy Food

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The discussion on healthy food or rather unhealthy food is never ending. There are many dimensions to this discussion. So, is home cooked food healthy? Or is clean, hygienic food, healthy? Or is food low on calories, low on sugar or low on fat healthy?  Should we go ‘organic’ or should we take the ‘GMO free’ route? Sure enough, different people have different takes on what is “healthy”. To understand this better, we need to understand what ‘healthy food’ means.

I would say ‘A food’ that contributes positively towards the physical and mental well-being of an individual is healthy food. In most cases we cannot take up the topic of ‘healthy food’ in isolation. It is highly intertwined with one’s lifestyle and an individual’s medical condition and needs. There is no universal ‘mantra’ for eating healthy.

Fruits and vegetables are in general very healthy and if you include a variety of them in your diet you would most likely get your daily requirement of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrate, dietary fibers and believe it or not protein. However, one may argue, what if it is Genetically Modified or if it is laden with chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Is it still healthy? If we cook our food don’t we lose a lot of these nutrients?

Let’s examine meat, poultry, game and seafood in our diet. They are an excellent source of protein and iron. They also provide essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Seafood is a good source of vitamin A & D, Omega 3 & 6 and a host of minerals. The scientific community has long suspected that the inclusion of fish in early human diet significantly contributed to the development of the human brain. But we cannot ignore the fact that seafood may have abnormally high concentrations of chemical toxins and heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead. This is due to the dumping of industrial wastes into our rivers and oceans. FDA recommends limiting the intake of fish high on the food chain, such as sharks and mackerels, to 2 serving a week.
Red meat and animal fat have significantly high cholesterol and may lead to a build-up of high uric acid levels in the body.

So, what really is unhealthy? I feel no food is unhealthy on its own, if had in moderation and a variety of it is included in a person’s diet.  It is the combination of lifestyle, food habits and ignorance, which makes food unhealthy.

Ashwini Kumar

Chef Ashwini is a Worldchefs & City and Guilds certified culinary educator, with over a decade of experience as a chef, and as a culinary instructor / trainer. With bachelors in hospitality management, the realms of the culinary industry are intensely explored into. Harboring exceptional motivation & passion in the field, paired with proven track record of culinary ability & creativity, attention to detail. The forte now being, but not limited to, international cuisine, patisserie, bread making, artisan gelato making & training, sous vide cooking, and cook chill cooking. Being a culinary educator for a continual period of time, there is consequential specialty in, culinary training, in the creation and assessment of course / training programme and course content. Momentous ability to mentor and guide students.

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