fried food Archives - Munmun Ganeriwal
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fried food

Nothing gives more joy than sitting by the window on a rainy day, eating hot pakodas and sipping some adrak chai. But most of the time, instead of enjoying our deep fried goodies, we are scared eating them. Let’s get to know myths & facts about deep frying & whether its healthy or not.

Question 1 – Isn’t Deep fried food Fattening?

– The USFDA has reviewed its dietary guidelines in 2015 saying that there is no upper limit to one’s daily dietary fat intake. In simple words, the ban on total dietary fat has finally been lifted, and it’s none other than the USFDA asking you not to worry about the fat & indulge in your bhajjiyas guilt free 🙂

Second point is that Nutrition science tells us that addition of fat to a meal brings down its glycemic index. Presence of Fat in a meal delays the process of converting food to blood sugar. Hence, the more fat, the slower the sugars or carbs are digested, and lower is the glycemic index. Not difficult to understand why we have food combinations like aamras and puri. If the mangoes in aamras are infamously known to increase your sugar levels and make you fat, the deep fried puri along with it makes sure the GI of the overall meal stays in check.

Question 2 – What are the best oils for deep frying food?

– We need to consider two things to determine the best fat that will not break down at high temperature to create toxic compounds- one is the smoke point and other is the stability of the fat.

Ghee has the highest smoke point & being the most stable fat that undergoes very little oxidation when heated, it makes for the first best medium to fry food. Second to ghee are filtered oils from local oilseeds like mustard, coconut, sesame and groundnut.

And, What about olive oil? Well, olive oil because of its low smoke point is not suited for deep frying. To know more about oils, do watch my You tube video on Olive oil v/s Indian traditional oils.

Question 3- Can we reuse the oil?

– Oil that you are frying in should not be reused as reusing oil oxidises the fat, forming free radicals and compounds which are harmful to our health. The only exception to this is Ghee, and that’s because of its unusually high smoke point.

Question 4 – Is deep fried food healthy?

– The answer to this is both yes and no. It is certainly healthy when you are making your deep fried stuff at home. Why? Because at home, you can make sure you are using nutrients and antioxidants rich ghee or filtered oils, you can also make sure you do not reuse the oil and eat them fresh and hot.

While you eat them outside say at restaurants, most of the time, these parameters are beyond our control. Also, most of the time, at restaurants and hotels, the deep frying is done twice, one before and one again just before serving you.

Question 5- How much can we eat?

– The act of overeating the healthiest food in the world can also create toxicity in the body. So like with everything, do not go overboard, eat slow and eat mindful.

Keep calm, eat the fried, and eat it wise!

Image credit- Google images

Confused by the misinformation about potential health problems with traditional Indian foods? Get in touch with award-winning Mumbai dietitian and nutritionist, Munmun Ganeriwal, a strong advocate of the holistic, wellness benefits of fresh, local, and traditional Indian foods

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NOTE: The following article was written by me and was published by leading Indian newspapers like Economic Times, The Indian Express, Hindustan Times and Economic Times amongst many others on 18-19th Oct 2017.

Overeating, over drinking or going completely sleepless creates toxicity for your mind and body, and hence the need to fall back upon a ‘detox diet post Diwali. Staying in balance during the festivities will ensure you don’t end up needing a post Diwali detox.

Few tips to remain in shape during the festive season are-

* Start your day with a teaspoon of gulkand (or a teaspoonful of gulkand mixed in milk). Rich in probiotic bacteria, gulkand works at enhancing your gut flora and thereby curb acidity, constipation, bloating and make your belly look flatter & thinner.

* In the middle of all the preparations, cooking, shopping and socialising, make time to eat. Starving during the day and binging at dinner represents the classical fasting and feasting behaviour. Eating every 2-3 hours will make sure you don’t end up feeling bloated, acidic, dull or tired. In short, you don’t end up needing a post-Diwali detox.

*Sweets: Stick to the traditional homemade sweets, laddoos, halwas, barfis etc. Made at home the traditional way, they are nutrient dense and regulate our blood sugars. Result of which is that you don’t crave and reach out for a bar of chocolate loaded with harmful preservatives and commercial sugars.

* Anything in excess is a bad idea. Distribute the sweets among your domestic help, watchman, driver and other people around you. This will reduce your chances of over indulging in them.

* Fried Food: Since the homemade namkeens like mathris, wadas, chaklis etc are deep fried in ghee or filtered oils like groundnut, sesame etc., they provide for essential fatty acids which work at lowering the overall GI of the food item. Their blood sugar regulating effect will keep you satiated so that you do not end up binge eating later.

* Avoid the packaged/processed ones since they are loaded with trans fats and high GI carbs, both of which together make for a lethal combination.

* Alcohol: If drinking till the crack of dawn makes your Diwali night come alive, ensure you sip on it slow. “Mindful drinking” will ensure you do not end up over drinking. Do not mix your drinks.

* Also ensure that you are not on an empty stomach. Eat a good wholesome meal before leaving home like poha, upma, cheese toast, khakra ghee etc.

* Eat deep fried snacks/starters or good fats like cheese along with your drinks as it will help to form a thin lining in the stomach to digest the alcohol easily and prevent you from having a bad hangover the next day.

* Drink enough water throughout the day and between your drinks.

Wish you a happy and colourful Diwali!

Image credit: Google images

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