Why Indians are Stressed and Unhealthy

By Aakar Patel

Manmohan Singh had his arteries bypassed on Saturday, a procedure that increasing numbers of Indians are having. Last year, medical journal Lancet reported a study of 20,000 Indian patients and found that 60 per cent of the world’s heart disease patients are in India, which has 15 per cent of the world’s population.

This number is surprising because reports of obesity and heart disease focus on fat Americans and their food. What could account for Indians being so susceptible — more even than burger-and-fries-eating Americans?

Four things: diet, culture, stress and lack of fitness.

There is no doctrinal prescription for vegetarianism in Hindu diet, and some texts explicitly sanction the eating of meat. But vegetarianism has become dogma.

Indian food is assumed to be strongly vegetarian, but it is actually lacking in vegetables. Our diet is centered round wheat, in the north, and rice, in the south. The second most important element is daal in its various forms. By weight, vegetables are not consumed much. You could have an entire South Indian vegetarian meal without encountering a vegetable. The most important vegetable is the starchy aloo. Greens are not cooked flash-fried in the healthy manner of the Chinese, but boiled or fried till much of the nutrient value is killed.

Gujaratis and Punjabis are the two Indian communities most susceptible to heart disease. Their vulnerability is recent. Both have a large peasant population — Patels and Jats — who in the last few decades have moved from an agrarian life to an urban one. They have retained their diet and if anything made it richer, but their bodies do not work as much. This transition from a physical life to a sedentary one has made them vulnerable.

Gujaratis lead the toll for diabetes as well, and the dietary aspect of this is really the fallout of the state’s economic success. Unlike most Indian states, Gujarat has a rich and developed urban culture because of the mercantile nature of its society. Gujaratis have been living in cities for centuries.

His prosperity has given the Gujarati surplus money and, importantly, surplus time. These in turn have led to snacky foods, some deep-fried, some steamed and some, uniquely in India, baked with yeast. Most Indians are familiar with the Gujarati family on holiday, pulling out vast quantities of snacks the moment the train pushes off.

Gujarati peasant food — bajra (millet) roti, a lightly cooked green, garlic and red chilli chutney, and buttermilk — is actually supremely healthy. But the peasant Patel has succumbed to the food of the ‘higher’ trader and now prefers the oily and the sweet.

Marathi peasant food is similar, but not as wholesome with a thick and pasty porridge called zunka replacing the green.

Bombay’s junk food was invented in the 19th century to service Gujarati traders leaving Fort’s business district late in the evening after a long day. Pao bhaji, mashed leftover vegetables in a tomato gravy, served with shallow-fried buns of bread, was one such invention.

The most popular snack in Bombay is vada pao, which has a batter-fried potato ball stuck in a bun. The bun — yeast bread — is not native to India and gets its name pao from the Portuguese who brought it in the 16th century. Bal Thackeray encouraged Bombay’s unemployed Marathi boys to set up vada pao stalls in the 60s, which they did and still do.

The traveling chef and TV star Anthony Bourdain called vada pao the best Indian thing he had ever eaten, but it is heart attack food.

Though Jains are a very small part (one per cent or thereabouts) of the Gujarati population, such is their cultural dominance through trade that many South Bombay restaurants have a ‘Jain’ option on the menu. This is food without garlic and ginger. Since they are both tubers (as also are potatoes), Jains do not eat them, because in uprooting them from the soil, living organisms may be killed (no religious restriction on butter and cheese, however!). The vast majority of Ahmedabad’s restaurants are vegetarian. Gujaratis have no tolerance for meat-eaters and one way of keeping Muslims out of their neighborhoods is to do it through banning ‘non-vegetarians’ from purchasing property in apartment buildings.

Even in Bombay, this intolerance prevails. Domino’s, the famous pizza chain, has a vegetarian-only pizza outlet on Malabar Hill (Jinnah’s neighborhood). Foreigners like Indian food, and it is very popular in England, but they find our sweets too sweet. This taste for excess sugar extends also to beverage: Maulana Azad called Indian tea ‘liquid halwa’. Only in the last decade have cafes begun offering sugar on the side, as diabetes has spread.

India’s culture encourages swift consumption. There is no conversation at mealtime, as there is in Europe. Because there are no courses, the eating is relentless. You can be seated, served and be finished eating at a Gujarati or Marathi or South Indian thali restaurant in 15 minutes. It is eating in the manner of animals: for pure nourishment.

We eat with fingers, as opposed to knives and forks, or chopsticks, resulting in the scooping up of bigger mouthfuls. Because the nature of the food does not allow for leisurely eating, Indians do not have a drink with their meals. We drink before and then stagger to the table.

As is the case in societies of scarcity, rich food is considered good — and ghee is a sacred word in all Indian languages. There is no escape from fat. In India, advertising for healthy eating also shows food deep-fried, but in lower-cholesterol oil.

The insistence by family – ‘thoda aur le lo’ — at the table is part of our culture of hospitality, as is the offering of tea and perhaps also a snack to visiting guests and strangers. Middle class Indians, even families that earn Rs10,000 a month, will have servants. Work that the European and American does, the Indian does not want to do: cooking, cleaning, washing up.

Painting the house, changing tyres, tinkering in the garage, moving things around, getting a cup of tea at the office, these are things the Indian gets someone else to do for him. There is no sense of private space and the constant presence of the servant is accepted.

Gandhi’s value to India was not on his political side, but through his religious and cultural reforms. What Gandhi attempted to drill into Indians through living a life of action was a change in our culture of lethargy and dependence. Gandhi stressed physical self-sufficiency, and even cleaned his toilet out himself.

But he wasn’t successful in making us change, and most Indians will not associate Gandhi with physical self-sufficiency though that was his principal message. Indian men do no work around the house. Middle class women do little, especially after childbirth. Many cook, but the cutting and cleaning is done by the servant. Slim in their teens, they turn thick-waisted in their 20s, within a few years of marriage.

Since we are dependent on other people, we have less control over events. The Indian is under stress and is anxious. This is bad for his health. He must be on constant guard against the world, which takes advantage of him: the servant’s perfidy, encroachment by his neighbors, cars cutting in front of him in traffic, the vendor’s rate that must be haggled down. Almost nothing is orderly and everything must be worried about.

In the Indian office, the payroll is a secret, and nobody is told what the other makes. Knowledge causes great stress, though the lack of information is also stressful, leading to spy games and office gossip.

Because there is no individualism in India, merit comes from seniority and the talented but young executive is stressed by the knowledge that he’s not holding the position he deserves. Indians are peerless detectors of social standing and the vertical hierarchy of the Indian office is sacrosanct.

Dennis Kux pointed out that Indian diplomats do not engage officially with an American of lower rank, even if the American was authorized to decide the matter. In the last decade, when Indians began owning companies abroad, the Wall Street Journal reported on cultural problems that arose. Their foreign employees learnt quickly that saying ‘no’ would cause their Indian bosses great offence, so they learnt to communicate with them as with children.

Indians shine in the west where their culture doesn’t hold them back. In India honor is high and the individual is alert to slights from those below him, which discomfort him greatly.

There is no culture of physical fitness, and because of this Indians don’t have an active old age. Past 60, they crumble. Within society they must step back and play their scripted role. Widows at that age, even younger, have no hope of remarriage because sacrifice is expected of them. Widowers at 60 must also reconcile to singlehood, and the family would be aghast if they showed interest in the opposite sex at that age, even though this would be normal in another culture.

Elders are cared for within the family, but are defanged when they pass on their wealth to their son in the joint family. They lose their self-esteem as they understand their irrelevance, and wither.

This article is reproduced from The News (January 25, 2009) with permission of the author. Read the article in French here.

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  • Pratik
    Posted at 19:56h, 07 June Reply

    I think the key here is moderation and I guess Indian food is misconceived as food we get in most restaurants. I am not sure if it is true. Yes we eat junk food but that is not our daily thing. And I can give an example of this from my own personal example. I had gained significant amount of weight about a year before my wedding. I was living as bachelor that time. Since then I got married, after one year of it I compared my pictures before and after marriage. I can see a huge difference in myself. I have lost my double chin, waist size, lean overall. Almost 10-15 lbs of difference easily. And I have not controlled anything. Eating regular home cooked food which has roti, rice, lentils, sprouts, veggies, milk and fruits. But I eat in moderation, 1-2 chapatis (oil only sometimes), one or half bowl of rice, lentils and regular veggies. If I eat things like paratha, pav bhaji, paneer recipe (once in few months), the next day I balance by having soup and fruits. I don’t like ghee and cheese (no form of cheese).I have butter and milk but butter only during pav bhaji. NO eggs, meat or maggi like things. regular oil and home cooking oil levels. Not too much not too less. And that helped me lose weight.

  • hiwatscooking
    Posted at 12:17h, 19 August Reply

    very true. sometimes truth is very hard to accept especially is it is bound with our culture and values … if our food is sooo healthy as many claim here , why is the average lifespan in india too low and high diabetic population here

  • Vishnu_Karthik
    Posted at 22:53h, 02 September Reply

    South Indian Food has no veggies? ARE YOU BLOODY HIGH!?

    Except for breakfast..our meal is literally incomplete without Kari.

    and its ridiculous but don’t lump ALL Indian food with the insane gujjus and their love for sweet! i can assure you except for certain special occasions MOST Indians don’t eat that much sweet.

    and Thirdly just cus our Kari is cooked doesn’t mean it loses its nutritional value! cooked veggies have their own pros&cons.. i’d suggest you eat BOTH raw&cooked veggies.

    “Middle class Indians, even families that earn Rs10,000 a month, will have servants. Work that the European and American does, the Indian does not want to do: cooking, cleaning, washing up”
    Actually that’s a very recent urban phenomena in India.. its very stupid but it exists because unskilled labourers and dirt cheap in India.. unlike in the west that and Indians are just lazy in general.

    and lastly NO Indian food isn’t inferior..at least traditional south Indian Food anyway! you can easily eat as much veggies&meat you want with your rice..

    “Indians shine in the west where their culture doesn’t hold them back”
    LOL wut? Indians shine in the west cus.. WEST IS A DEVELOPED you are such a self-hating Indian prick… first i thought this blog was just a naive jab at Indian diet but now the problem is India’s culture.. SPARE ME your droll!

    “There is no culture of physical fitness”
    Yeah in a country which has hosts a 3rd of world’s poor.. yeah physical fitness my FOOT!

    “Widows at that age, even younger, have no hope of remarriage because sacrifice is expected of them”
    Oh yeah right. are you talking about 1950’s? cus i can guarantee you i see more divorces&remarriages in Urban Indian than EVER..

    You ending words makes me picture a typical bitter,sad lonely fat Gujju eating a Jalebi LOL

  • suresh kumar k s
    Posted at 05:29h, 22 September Reply

    Although most of the point are true, but the points about traditional food I am not satisfied. Because its the most scientific food culture you will ever see around the world. You might be not aware of the fact that ayurveda is totally about how to eat what to eat when to eat. I have observed this with the fact that my grandmother (96) and old people like her are physically strong than 50-60 people. So the change in lifestyle which came with population explosion and with it inflation in vegetables and other food items. So real reason is not the inherent nature but the adapted one which is more econimical..

  • Arvind Kotte
    Posted at 05:31h, 22 September Reply

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  • sameer
    Posted at 23:57h, 29 September Reply

    99 percent in India vegetables and fruits in chemical based and high pesticide which extremely harmful for health..so my question is to all what kind of healthy foods we are talking in India…other develop countries foods quaility..or is veg or is non veg is absolutely pure but India all vegetables and milk fruits are chemical and based..if anyone said on thise blog that we Indian is poor health so why we jealous?…that is bitter truth that we Indian are unhealthy in the world..

  • lakshman
    Posted at 14:30h, 09 October Reply

    i am an indian from a normal village we farm most of all veggis at home and rice also we our self farm in our paddy feilds which is pure more valuable product and we have a very fresh meat and live sea food choices not like every thing kept for long time in cold storage.
    i seen many deveoped countries is more far worst in the context of price quality ratio. we wont use pesticides or any chemical solutions we use traditional old methods for farming, its not about the india its about the people that do the things around ,for some, it is business , lot of other countries making plastic rice and plastic eggs. why cant indian youth can study about agriculture, instadd of engg and medicine may be they wont earn money in those fields ,and problem we did not respect our farmers, there are lot of farmer leads to death every year due to loss in farming, i think one day we dont get any thing natural, we might need to take tablets instead of meal,

  • sps
    Posted at 10:42h, 29 October Reply

    Author of this article does not seem to have knowledge on other than Indian food. I stopped reading this article after two paragraphs.

  • Rhea Khan
    Posted at 21:59h, 17 November Reply

    Great article and BANG ON with the points raised.

    I want to speak on the typical Indian diet ratio – particularly the vegetarian carbs – pulses combination which is prevalent all over India.

    Pulses (lentils, beans, legumes etc.) as we know, have a med-high carbohydrate content and a med-low protein component (an incomplete protein however – it needs a carb like rice/wheat/corn to become a complete protein n order to be absorbed by the body)

    Pulses are healthy, sure. BUT Indian diets tend to pair pulses with carbs – especially due to vegetarian food traditions (but even amongst people who eat non veg who also eat a carb-pulses combination regularly) – in order to provide some form of protein intake. So far fine. PROBLEM is that in this vegetarian means of getting protein – the meal ratio of carb : protein becomes highly skewed – with a HUGE percentage of carbs and far too little protein.

    To get an idea, a nutritionally balanced meal to provide optimal health should (roughly) have 50 % calories from carbs, 25% – 30% calories from protein (and 15% calories from fat). This is achieveable if you pair a carb with a complete protein like eggs/poultry/meat/seafood. But when you try to eat completely vegetarian – by eating pulses with a carb – the ratio becomes 75%-80% calories from carbs!!! and maybe just 10% – 15% cal from protein.

    This skewed ratio has health repercussions. It explains the greater insulin sensitivity and higher rates of blood sugar related health problems amongst Indians – even though obesity is not so prevalent. This often leads to higher fatigue levels – classically the need to have an afternoon nap for example !
    (Not eating meat / organ meat / eggs also leads to a high incidence of anaemia amongst women especially as well which is another cause of chronic fatigue.)

    The basic nutritional deficiencies caused by this imbalance is prevalent amongst most Indians who follow diets through generations eating this combination of carbs and pulses – leading to smaller build/stature, leaner build, and particularly the prevalence of fatigue as mentioned just before leads to cravings for energy kicks – through sugary foods (indian sweets or the practice of adding molasses to all foods for example in Gujarati foods) or a craving for satiation kicks from fat usually in the form of deep fried foods eg. jain food (fried in refined oil – verry badd).

    These are part of the reason why Indians are some of the unhealthiest people in the world and suffer from health problems like blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol/heart problem and age relatively younger than people from other parts of the world. (The other reason is a chronic lack of exercise / fitness)

  • Indian
    Posted at 07:24h, 08 December Reply

    OMG. This article is gold. Very well written. The bluff needs to be called and these kinds of real-world-information must be imparted in schools. I have been living abroad and been overwhelmed by how fit everyone around me seems to be as opposed to how everyone I see in India has the omnipresent belly fat. Seriously, you can see the ugly belly fat even in the sport-stars, not just those who lock themselves in rooms for the divine exams.

    Posted at 07:40h, 24 March Reply

    Amazingly honest, we Indians blindly believe that our dals and overcooked sabzi with roti or rice are very healthy. We refuse to learn healthy eating habits from other cultures because we innately feel superior. So we claim our food is vegetarian, but it’s actually grain based. We consider idli, dosa, upma poha to be healthy. When they are mostly rice or wheat based. We consume refined oil and believe that rice bran oil and pomace oil are good, when these are the most unhealthy oils. We deep fry everything till it tastes only of spices and salt. We need to wake up, our diet and cooking style is making us the diabetes capital. Facts speak louder than wishful thinking.

  • tourbusoverthehill
    Posted at 06:36h, 24 May Reply

    I have to agree with this writer. I work with Indian groups coming directly from India such as the Thomas Cook groups. Nee do bus tours and I am the tourguide. I have definitely noticed that the Indians above forty or so are almost all on the heavy side and quite anfew of the younger ones too. I had thought it genetic actually. But then I join them for the occasional buffet lunch and see the Indian eating style in action. They really love to eat a lot. I love their food and eat too much of it too. Only once in a blue moon however.

  • G (@gargiu)
    Posted at 21:12h, 26 May Reply

    ghee is healthy, its the vegetable oils, processed canola oils that indians are using which is unhealthy and not stable at high heat and clogs arteries.

  • Bharath
    Posted at 00:15h, 23 June Reply

    South Indian Idly consisting of both Carbs and proteins and steam cooked is definitely a healthy food.Today Youngsters want Momos of maida,which is terrible.

  • SouthAsian
    Posted at 15:34h, 20 July Reply
  • Sameer
    Posted at 20:02h, 18 August Reply

    Well, all mentioned above in article is very true. I am Indian staying in West. Here we are considered as most unattractive personalities in the world.

    I would like to mention some reasons based on each parameter

    1) Obese with belly coming out. Most of the Indians have misconception of word ‘Fitness’. A guy who does 50 Hindu Pushups and drinks milk and eats ghee is considered fit saying that he can digest such diet. In west, it is unhealthy habit.

    2) Some Indians are so thin that they look weak individuals. Smoking might be reason. Well, whole world smokes. But combining smoking with bad food habits make problems worse.

    3) As Student, I attended many cultural programs organized by international students from other countries. Almost all of my Indian friends didn’t like food at all these events which was much more nutritious. I noticed that their food is not that much tasty because we eat somewhat extreme tasty food (either too spicy or too sweet). It is considered as bad habit in most of other cultures (Chinese, Korean and most of east Asian cultures). They say that such extreme flavored food excites your emotions and can be reason for feeling stressed and restless.

    4) Apart from this, Western people here like to exercise on weekends. Their weekend activities are very different from Indians. They go for Rock climbing, Hiking, bicycle riding and many adventurous activities. I enjoyed these activities with my friends almost every weekend. Now Indians who work in same companies and have same work time have different activities for weekend. Watching movies, getting together and eating what we call delicious food (Again extremely flavored Indian food) or bullshit discussion are common Indian activities.


    1) Here very few Indians become friendly with other nationality people. So for foreigners it seems rude behavior. Here people nod their head when they pass other person while walking, jogging. Now, first of all you will rarely find Indian jogging and second they don’t nod at all.

    2) In any event, mostly Indians stay together in their group and don’t talk to anyone else apart from that specific Indian group. Now when you go somewhere thousand miles away from your country, it is normal to have more friendship with someone from your region. But I have noticed that Indians are not at all comfortable to talk to foreigners with friendly way the way they talk to us. When Indian speaks to foreigner it always look either defensive or offensive. On the other side, even though some nationalities have problem with English, their tone seems more polite and their smile looks pleasant.

    3) In almost every culture, it is accepted that we should it with spoons and forks. Most of Indians here just use them when some other nationalities are around. Many Indians, especially south Indians eat by their hands even at Indian restaurants. It feels so shameful even sitting near such person in Indian restaurant.

    So overall this is scene in Western part. Very few Indians look smart, charming and attractive physically or by behavior or manner wise to foreigners

    • Ravi Chandran
      Posted at 11:16h, 23 December

      your mentioning you are ready to follow food pattern of other country. Grow up kid.. food is made through according the geographical pattern.. and our health is bad because of unhealthy lifestyle and no hardwork..

      eating by hands is shamful for you na.. http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/why-eating-with-your-hands-is-good-for-health/

      and am really sorry to say you are not respecting your roots

    • idiot849
      Posted at 19:49h, 03 April

      That is because America is full of non-Jatts. Go to Surrey where Punjabi Jatts now own the wrestling podiums and so many are representing in the Olympics for Canada like Arjun Bhullar.

  • Ravi Chandran
    Posted at 11:21h, 23 December Reply

    the entire concept is delivering the wrong concept about Indian food. i think this concept is promoting some brands food products to india or he was never knew about healthy food.. coconut oil, ghee, til oil are more better then olive oil

  • SouthAsian
    Posted at 12:55h, 06 January Reply
  • ajan
    Posted at 21:53h, 08 January Reply

    Worse is 99% indians will be defensive and wont ever change. Typical indian behaviour

  • Ganesh
    Posted at 22:53h, 16 February Reply

    I am a South Indian. Have lived in the Western part of India and in the South. Have many South Indian friends. Have eaten in many South Indian homes. I find the following statement in the story completely untrue.
    ” Indian food is assumed to be strongly vegetarian, but it is actually lacking in vegetables. Our diet is centered round wheat, in the north, and rice, in the south. The second most important element is daal in its various forms. By weight, vegetables are not consumed much. You could have an entire South Indian vegetarian meal without encountering a vegetable. The most important vegetable is the starchy aloo. Greens are not cooked flash-fried in the healthy manner of the Chinese, but boiled or fried till much of the nutrient value is killed.”.
    Either the author has never eaten in a South Indian home OR has decided to prove a point and constructing this. Sad.

  • Ganesh
    Posted at 22:57h, 16 February Reply

    Incredible. Statements like these from someone whose articles are published in newspapers.
    “We eat with fingers, as opposed to knives and forks, or chopsticks, resulting in the scooping up of bigger mouthfuls. Because the nature of the food does not allow for leisurely eating, Indians do not have a drink with their meals. We drink before and then stagger to the table.”
    As if in all Indian homes, people down a couple of pegs before getting down for lunch or dinner. Unbelievable

  • Ganesh
    Posted at 22:59h, 16 February Reply

    You mention “In the Indian office, the payroll is a secret, and nobody is told what the other makes. Knowledge causes great stress, though the lack of information is also stressful, leading to spy games and office gossip.”
    Payroll is a secret everywhere. Why should it be public. Salary is based on competence.

  • Ganesh
    Posted at 23:01h, 16 February Reply

    Why make it political.
    “The vast majority of Ahmedabad’s restaurants are vegetarian. Gujaratis have no tolerance for meat-eaters and one way of keeping Muslims out of their neighborhoods is to do it through banning ‘non-vegetarians’ from purchasing property in apartment buildings.”

  • Ganesh
    Posted at 23:07h, 16 February Reply

    The assumptions made here is, Western practices are correct and Indians do not measure up. for eg: “Because there is no individualism in India,”.
    If you were to look back, the west had these same issues. Now that we are aping the west, we would get there too.
    Many take pride in comparing the Indians to the west as if the western way or the western KPI is the norm.

  • idiot849
    Posted at 19:45h, 03 April Reply

    Haryana is the medal winning capital of India in combat sports. Say it to a jats face and then talk. We aren’t fat we are well-built and tall males.

  • saianshi
    Posted at 07:05h, 14 April Reply

    Our culture prohibits talking whilst eating for health and safety reasons, lest we choke as food enters the wind pipe, if we are eating too fast or talking and eating or both. We all have experienced this as children, haven’t we? That was safety. The other less known reason is that we are encouraged to engage all five senses as we eat, thereby increasing the nutritional benefits tenfold. Fingers to deploy your sense of touch. Smell to deploy your sense of smell. Taste, sound and sight, likewise. All this is possible only when one is completely present in the moment, when one is conscious, mindful, aware. Our heritage boasts of an advanced culture..you see that’s where this eating with fingers and not talking while eating comes from.
    Now what you eat is not half as important as when you eat. Like everything in nature , our bodies follow a rhythm. Our digestive system is attuned to the movement of the Sun. It’s the strongest when the sun is at its full strength in the sky.i e at noon. The birds stop eating after sunset, and we’d benefit vastly if we did too. I’d like to recommend a book by Diamond Harvey, Fit for Life, which explains the rhythms of our bodies and I think just knowing them will help us eat better, live better.
    Grains, have more nutrition than all vegetables put together. Grains deliver strength, which is vital for a healthy life. One will never feel full and satisfied by eating just greens. And feeling satisfied is very important.
    Feelings and thoughts play the most vital role toward our health. Any dis-ease first takes birth in our thoughts and feelings. Meditation helps live a life that is free of mental clutter and sufficient detachment that again takes care against being overrun feelings that drain our vital life force. People will consider you a source of strength and comfort. Moreover anything lacking in the body or any complications are resolved without medical interference.
    Anybody interested in investigating this further can read Louise Hay”s bestseller. Another book by Anita Moorjani,’Dying to be me’, will surely give you first hand evidence of the role of thoughts and feelings in the making or breaking of our health conditions.

    All the best!

  • Arpit Patidar
    Posted at 06:13h, 13 May Reply

    We should not make perception about Indian food by looking only at restaurants. Food cooked at home is much healthy that restaurants. Restaurants use more quantity of oil to make food spicy. This is the way they differenciate from simple food of home and run their business.
    Indian is a farming society majorly and people at village do lots of physical work. So the quantity of ghee or sugar can be justified but urban Indian should definitely modify their diets.

  • Halima
    Posted at 09:38h, 22 May Reply

    I enjoyed reading this article, and agree that most of the delicious food in India have few vegetables, and most are swimming in oils or fried. It is true that the diet is based on wheat in the North and rice in the South. What you say about Indians not talking at meals is correct and was told that by a person who I was eating dinner with. What I notice is that the majority of the men are very thin, while their wives are not. Also the very poor are all very thin in general, which suggests they are not getting enough calories. Thank you for your informative and honest article!

    • Ganesh
      Posted at 18:01h, 26 May

      Most of the home-made foods do not swim in oil. This is my experience. Vegetable consumption among the middle class and the wealthy is quite high in India. Yes, the poor as is the case all over the world get what is cheap. In India it is just rice/roti. In the west it is fast food.
      BTW, there is nothing wrong with either Rice or with Wheat. In any diet, Carbs are essential.
      The only thing missing in urban areas today is, the overall fitness has gone down – primarily due to inactive lifestyles, This is what is resulting in heart ailment.
      So, enjoy your traditional food/cuisine whatever it is. Just make sure you have a active lifestyle.

  • Rajiv dixit fan
    Posted at 09:24h, 26 May Reply

    Best food for a strong body or make a huge distance from disease remove wheat aata from your kitchen replace it from black chickpeas because chickpeas contain 24 gm protien in 100 gm value and wheat aata contains only 4 gm protien in 100 gm value.Next thing i talk to you is Indian cow milk(A2 milk) this is best thing for drink in the world.Add butter in your diet which made up from A2 milk it has good fat for body.Add Nuts,Beans,green leafy vegetables in your diet.So let’s talk about foods you do not eat burger is so bad for body because there is no fibre so it is so hard to digest and not have any nutrions.Don’t eat potatoes they contain so much carbs when excess of carbs in the body result obesity.Don’t eat meat or eggs go vegetarian because this is meth non veg is better than veg

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