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Indian diet 50% short of high-quality Protein

After food shortage in India was resolved by the green revolution, nutrition experts in India found that the Indian diet was inadequate in the intake of good quality protein. According to experts, the diet should be balanced including carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Protein is an essential component for every stage of life.

During pregnancy, the vegetarian mother should take milk for high-quality protein. After birth, the requirement of protein is very high in 0-2 age group and Adolescence. In the old age, people consume less food and proportionately the consumption of protein is also reduced. During the old age, the amount of protein should not be lowered.

There is a misconception in India that protein is for body building only. Protein is required in every stage of human life. On the other hand, if you have a protein only diet and do not exercise then the protein will go out of the body with urine. You must have a balanced diet of high-quality protein, carbohydrates and fats.

For instance, you can have idli with sambar, rice with rajma and a glass of milk. All the three meals in a day and the two snack must include a high-quality protein food. Milk, poultry and meat are sources of high-quality protein which is digestible. Vegetables are less digestible compared to the nonvegetarian sources.

Nutrition experts say that cereals are a good source of protein, and the ideal ratio of consumption of cereals and proteins is 60:40. Too much or too little protein is not good for health. During the healing process of some diseases, protein is essential.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle we must follow the right ratio of protein, energy and exercise.high-quality protein

In order to increase the awareness of protein among the Indians and to clarify the misconceptions, Indian DIetetic Association (IDA), Delhi Chapter on 18th July declared 24th-30th July 2017 as ‘The Protein Week’. Dr B Sesikeran, renowned nutritional pathologist said,  “In India, there are many myths around the sources of protein, people are confused about their dietary protein intake and often assume that it is for body builders only, however, protein is a fundamental nutrient across life stages that helps in maintaining good health and active ageing.”

The initiative is supported by Protein Foods Nutrition Development Association of India (PFNDAI). Protein intake impacts every life stage. “Our vegetarian diets are already deficient in protein both in quantity and quality, so we need to supplement with protein which not only fills up the gap but is high quality enough to ensure our cereal and pulse-based protein quality would be elevated,” said Dr J S Pai, Executive Director, PFNDAI.

Speaking at first such initiative in the country, to spread awareness and discuss myths and realities of protein, Ms Anuj Agarwala, Nutritionist, Department of Pediatrics, AIIMS and Former President, IDA Delhi Chapter, said “It is important to begin early and focus on a protein rich diet right from the start, which should be continued through all the life stages of development and growth. Children particularly have high protein demand to propel their growth during growing years, as they grow in spurts. Demands for protein among children is particularly high during preteen and teen phases of growth spurts.”

During The Protein Week, IDA with PFNDAI, will hold educational seminars across the country to spread awareness and discuss myths and realities of protein.

Nadia writes about her experience of interview with Lifestyle Today News

Remember the smiling Nadia Clarke’s interview with Lifestyle Today News two months back. Nadia wrote a blog about her visit to Anchal. She narrates beautifully about how she felt about Being interviewed by me for Lifestyle Today News. You can also watch the video of the interview here. Given below is the quote from her blog.

I was interviewed by a lady and I cannot remember what I said as I panicked when she asked if my Dynavox could say ‘Namaste’ I tried but it could not pronounce the word.  Imagine it, lots of people watching, camera crews, children excited and my Dynavox won’t speak Hindi. How embarrassing!. Even though Sam Spelt it to me in sign language, I then typed it correctly but the lady who was interviewing me for Lifestyle Today  news did not recognise the word when she heard it. I panicked, and was swearing inside my head! I was on the Indian TV news! Argh!!! Luckily Sam saw the panic in my face and helped out, phew!!

More Indian than you think

As India has a population of 121 billion, which is one-sixth of world population, Hollywood movies produced nowadays have an Indian angle to capture the Indian audience. May be it is an Indian actor, a shooting done in an Indian location or the story of an Indian family. Anyhow, Hollywood knows that Indians watch or buy only those content or commodity that has an Indian angle.

There is no doubt that the Indian way of thinking, contributed to the success of Lufthansa airways. In fact I started noticing the Lufthansa Commercial only because of the Indian angle given to the TVC #MoreIndianThanYouThink. The Lufthansa Airlines commercial shows the German Airlines serving Indian food and welcoming the flyers with a Namaste will capture the attention of any Indian.

Every state in India has a different diet, however one commonness in the spicy ingredients used in all the preparation. For instance, Keralites have mountains of rice with rivers of buttermilk and fish curry prepared in Kerala tamarind for lunch. A friend from Kerala who recently went on her first international flight trip, felt the food of the International Airlines she travelled were beggarly. For her the little bowl of spice-less rice was like having a starter. After hearing such experiences I firmly believe that Lufthansa Airlines providing Indian cuisine on the flight is a great blessing.

Be it the creamy layer of the Indian society, or a middle class Indian, when they go on a foreign trip they crave for spicy Indian food, so they sneak in electric cookers inside the hotel room and cook some Indian food on their own. When someone flies abroad their predominant worry is about missing authentic Indian food. Hence to know that Lufthansa will provide spicy Indian food on the flight is a great relief for the Flyers.

While staying abroad with my father when he was on an outside India posting, he used to always advise me to stick to Indian values. For instance in that place people used to have soft drink or coffee after Lunch and Dinner. My father said such habit is not customary to the lifestyle in India. After returning to India, I wasn’t fussy at all about food, and hence my cousins say they could hardly believe that I was abroad for 3 years.

On the other hand, I had a tremendous exposure to the cultures of various countries, and I watched more English movies and daily sops. And since my friends used to read a lot I also inculcated the habit of reading lot of English novels. Hence I had a cosmopolitan outlook, while following the culture, habits and dressing style which is very much Indian.

Ever since I got employed, I always worked in the English departments of media, educational institution etc. Staff in this department have an air of sophistication and western style of communication. Hence other departments feel a bit reluctant to mingle with the group. Wherever I worked I was the common link between the other departments; the peons and the helpers feel that I am one among them. They fail to understand what I was doing in the sophisticated English department. As far as I was concerned, I could get a sneak-peak and a better understanding of the different classes of the society. There is always a peculiar Indian touch in my articles because of my Indian lifestyle. I can give one example.

Once I was doing a story of the sugar level and other ingredients of popular soft drinks in India. I was not particularly happy with the story because all I had to do was to write about the sugar content and other ingredients of various soft drinks. I gave some box stories about the goodness of lemon juice and how sodas are made locally in India and so on. There was lot of appreciation for the box items, and the reader and reviewers felt that the Indian box stories were more interesting than the main story which was about the big soft drink companies in India. My typical Indian look and manners gave me an edge in inter-department communication that helped me in delivering all the projects provided to me with an Indian touch that was well received by the readers.

Definitely Lufthansa is thinking more Indian than I thought the German Airline could think of. Lufthansa Airlines will reap the benefit for being more Indian than I and all fellow Indians think.

4 Lent food of Kerala Christians

Yesterday, was Easter and the 40 days of fasting and 10 days of the passion week has come to end. This year many people said that they never knew that christian fasted and abstained from non-vegetarian food, including milk and alcohol, for 50 days in a year.

Fasting, abstaining from certain food, penance and praying has relevance in the Christian religion, from the time of Christ itself. Christ went on a 40 days fast in the wilderness, before beginning  his 3 years ministry leading to his Crucifixion and Resurrection. 40  days lent is one of the basic foundation the Orthodox and the Catholic churches, founded by the Apostles. Believers get purified, detoxified and they get the energy to survive spiritually for the next one year.

Christianity came to Kerala in the early days itself, when St. Thomas (who is know as Apostle of India), came to India in AD 52. In the past 2000 years, Kerala Christian’s tradition of prayer, food, and culture is a blend of the Bible, the life of Jesus, the association with other Apostolic Churches in the world and Kerala tradition.

The first forty days of fasting is purely full of prayers, fasting even without drinking water upto 12:00 pm; and having lunch after the Mid day prayer and kneeling 40 times. The simplest form of fasting is abstaining from meat, fish and egg for 50 day. The toughest form of fasting depends on the one who fasts. Some of the Ashram priests, it is said, have light lunch including kanji (water rice or gruel) and stir fried moong (green gram). And they have even lighter supper — Such men do not live by bread alone but by the word of God.

There are a lot of symbolism connected with the lent season, which raises nostalgia. Certain lent food prepared during the last 10 days of the passion week have lot of symbolic value. The 40 days of fasting ends on the Friday before Good Friday, and the next 10 days are dedicated for more prayers and more spiritual activities.

Here are some the food items which are symbolic of certain holy days of the Lenten period:

Lent Food
Kozukattai

Kozhukattai Saturday

The family of Lazarus, and his two sisters, Martha and Mary, was Jesus’s favourite. Lazarus died and was buried. On the third day Jesus came and rose Lazarus from the dead. It is said that Kozukattai was one of the favourite food of Jesus. He had kozukattai with Lazarus family. The raising of Lazarus from the dead is remembered on this Saturday.

People make kozukattai at home and share it with friends, relatives and neighbours. Kozuattai are steamed rice dumplings with a stuffing of cocounut gratings, jaggery and a pinch of cardamom.

 

Lent Food
Pesaha Appam

Vattayappam/Pesaha Appam

The tradition of Pesaha Appam dates back in the Jewish tradition 2000 years before the birth of Jesus. The Jews remember the Passover day when the Israelite’s left the Egyptian slavery and started their Exodus to Israel. During the preparation to leave Egypt, the Israelite’s were asked by Moses to prepare unleavened bread. On the day before his Crucifixion on Good Friday, Jesus observed the Jewish Passover festival with his 12 disciples, at the house of Mark. The ‘Last Supper’ painting of Michelangelo depicting the event is very popular.

Kerala Christian prepare unleavened bread or Pesaha appam (Pesaha mean Maundy Thursday) with rice flour and urad dal as the main ingredients. There are a number of different variation of preparing pesaha appam. And an accompaniment called Pesaha pal is also prepared. In traditional homes all the members of the family gather round the table, with the head of the family at the main chair. The youngest member of the family will ask the head of the family about the relevance of the festival. He will explain and distribute the appam to the family members.

Good Friday Kanji

Lent food
Good Friday Kanji

Rice Gruel (kanji) at the end of the long Good Friday service is a nostalgia for Kerala Christians. After fasting for the whole day, and having Chorukka (bitter drink) at the end of the service, the Rice Gruel, with stir fried green moong (green gram) and kadu manga(a special mango pickle) is an incomparable delicacy blended with spiritual and traditional values. In olden day the Kanji was served in earthen place with jack fruit leaves shaped as spoons.

Lent Food
Wherever Kerala Christians go they carry their tradition – Courtesy Roshini and Manu Stephen, ScotlandVellayappam

Vellayappam

Vellayappam is kind of dosa prepared from rice flour, crated coconut and; fresh coconut toddy or yeast used as leavening agent. On the two main festivals of Kerala Christians, Christmas and Easter, vellayappam is prepared in large numbers for the relatives, neighbours and helpers. For a Kerala Christian Christmas cake is exotic. For them vellayappam with chicken or mutton stew symbolises the celebrations of Christmas and Easter.