India eulogises unity in diversity. Different cultures, traditions and festivals, and we celebrate them all with huge pomp and show. However, our rich eating habits have had an adverse effect on our health as Indians are witnessing a steep rise in their blood sugar levels.
In a sincere effort to counter this and cater to the growing number of health-conscious grocery shoppers, companies are launching products with the ‘health’ quotient being the prime area of research. ‘No preservatives’, ‘fat-free’, ‘no GMO’, ‘no cholesterol’, ‘wheat-free’, ‘fibre-rich’, ‘no salt’, ‘sugar-free’, ‘zero calories’ are the most trending trends in the market. Today’s food must announce exactly what they have or don’t have, to get off the shelf. The alternative food revolution is here and is biting a substantial chunk off the ready-to-eat food business.
Lack of physical work and our sedentary lifestyle has led to major health problems. It is astonishing to see young boys and girls suffering from a serious disease like diabetes which is actually a health disorder. We do not say quit, but everyone must bring about a change in their eating habits. Try to have a protein-rich diet with fewer fats. Today there is a healthier version of almost all your favourite cuisines or desserts, just opt for them.
The improved taste of ‘healthy’ foods is another big driver for this business. Food for diabetics was a horrible proposition for years as it tasted bad and looked worse. Today it is not the same. Today, diabetic food or sweets are not just sweetened by a sugarfree sweetener; they are also fat-free, cholesterol free and have a better taste with natural sweeteners that are healthy. Even if there is no immediate health concern, replacement foods are becoming popular in Indian families.
With all these new alternatives, there is little on the Indian plate that can’t be replaced with something else that claims to be healthier. But what is convenient today becomes inconvenient tomorrow. In terms of nutrition, nothing beats a home-made meal, whether it’s dal-roti-sabzi or idli sambar. Some of the home-made meals naturally balance nutrition needs. You don’t say that you’ll have more fibre one day, a vitamin-rich food another day or fatty food tomorrow when eating at home; you just eat what you cook and it helps you stay healthy.