Recently India's top food regulator FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Association of India) slapped a show-cause notice on McDonald’s for belittling freshly cooked food and vegetables in its advertisements.
The bone of contention: a full page advertisement by McDonald's in New Delhi and Mumbai newspapers that said “Stuck with Ghiya-Tori Again? Make the 1+1 Combo you love"
“Tendency of the food companies to disparage freshly cooked food and vegetables that are healthier is a matter of grave concern. Such adver-tisements are against national efforts for promoting healthier and right eating habits. Food companies must desist from issuing advertise-ments/publicity materials which are in violation of Food Safety & Stand-ards Act, 2006 and rules/regulations made there under,” states Pawan Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) FSSAI.
Now, every knows everything there is to know about how bad junk food is. One meal can sometimes be an equivalent of (or higher than) what you are supposed to eat in an entire day.
It is a no brainer that fast food is bad for us because it is extremely high in fat, and high in sugar, and high in salt. The three red flags all doctors warn us about.
See even if they are heating up your burger in the oven before giving it to you, you do know that the pattie has been fried in fat.
The sugar content is sky-high too; one cola can give you 8-10 tsp of sugar. Yes 10 tsp, which equals to about 180-200 odd calories. Digest that!
Plus they are loaded with additives and chemicals and preservatives and lots of sodium too… all harbingers of (very) bad health.
So why do we eat them? Taste and convenience. And also because the companies who make them have spent a lot (really a lot) of money to make them addictive. And hired the best advertising and marketing brains.
So What Can You Do?
Besides staying wise, and seeing though the glib advertising, you could follow these fast food fixes too:
The more junk you eat, the more you crave. Plus it is hard to resist food when it’s right in front of you, and that too tasty, junk, which doesn’t need any preparation, and effort on your part. So the first step is to make them less accessible.
Make rules: I would say pencil them in (strictly) only twice a month. No more. And stick to this rule. Also always go to the restaurant and eat; don’t order in.
Be Smart With Your Orders: With a slice or two of pizza with vegetables, order a salad and skip the colas. Also always scout the menu very carefully and opt for the less offensive (to your health) foods.
Beware of Super Sizing: it costs more to eat less. Yes, sad but true. This is a great marketing ploy to get you to buy more; drawback is you will end up eating more fat, cholesterol and sugar just because you think you are getting more bang for your buck.
Forget Fried: You don’t want the extra fat, and yes the meanest devil of all the trans fats, which the junk food deliver plenty of.
Water it Down: No aerated drinks please. Have water with meals. Save both money and calories.
And as far as ghiya - tori (bottle gourd and ridge gourd) are concerned, well this might be a surprise for you but these humble, underrated foods have a sedative effect on us. That means they calm and relax us thanks to the good amount of the essential nutrient choline they deliver. Choline works as a neurotransmitter that works on the brain and helps prevent stress, depression and other mental disorders.
Recipes to Make Your Giya-Tori Taste Good!
Put one clove of garlic, half chopped onion, half deseeded and chopped lauki, three cups of pureed tomato, one tablespoon olive oil, one teaspoon white wine vinegar, half tea spoon salt, one-fourth teaspoon black pepper in a blender and process until smooth. Chill and slurp.
Combine 1 cup bottle gourd (or ridge gourd), thickly grated with one cup of water. Cover and cook on a medium flame for few minutes. Cool and add to 1 cup beaten yoghurt. Add 1/2 cup mint leaves, finely chopped (pudina), 1/4 tsp roasted cumin seeds (jeera), 1/4 tsp black salt, 1 1/2 tbsp roasted and coarsely ground flax seeds. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and have chilled.
Mix 8 halves of crushed walnuts and 4 deseeded, chopped dates into 1 cup beaten yogurt. Add cooked lauki or tori (grated) and top with 1 tbsp honey. Chill and have.
Ghia peels, sprouts subzi
Grate bottle gourd, wash the peels and keep aside. Stir fry onions, and small cubes of potato, add salt, red chili powder and ghia peels. Add sprouts, sprinkle some water and cook till done.
. Read more on Fit by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsMcDonald's Vs Bottle Gourd: Why the Ghiya-Tori Won This Battle . Read more on Fit by The Quint.