We are what we eat

Food is essential for our body for producing energy as well as for growth and maintenance of cells – the basic constituents of our body. So what we eat is of paramount importance to our health and well-being.

Modern nutritionists are of the view that we should reduce the number of calories we consume everyday. And add more fruits and vegetables into our diet. Red meat and foods rich in saturated animal fats are a strict no-no. Alcohol consumption should be reduced to one or two drinks, not more that three times a week.

But personally, I believe that diet and nutrition is much more of a personal thing. A lot of research that is taking place is based in the United States which is a developed country, and whose people have got a habit of consuming the so called “junk food”. Obesity, especially among children is endemic there and most of the advice we see in the media is directed toward their people.

I believe that one’s diet should be more in tune with factors like age, body type, and activity level. Nutritionists will also agree. A growing child who is attending school needs a diet that is nutritious and has more calories than a daily laborer who does bimanual labor. Also, certain people are lean and lanky and they can have a little bit more of fat and calories than the ‘fat” men of their age.

Also, people who do a lot of physical activity, like, sportsmen and people who do manual labor need more calories than people who lead a more sedentary lifestyle.

When thinking about dietary-advice a story comes into my mind.

A young Kerala doctor went to a foreign country for her graduation and when she came back she took charge in a government hospital. One poor farmer came to see her. He is thin and frail as a pencil. She metes out her advice to him.

“Do not consume high-fat foods. Stay out of red-meat, fried foods, and egg yolks. And do not consume more than a couple of drinks per week”.


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