Monday, March 16, 2009

Authentic Indian Junk Food

Junk foods are a Dietitian's worst nightmare! What is junk food anyway and why is it such a taboo word?It is actually a slang word for foods which have very little or absolutely no nutritional value and yet are very palatable and popular. In India, the general mindset is to limit junk food to just pizzas and burgers,so avoid these, and you are eating healthy food-not true. What about the Indian junk food? They are equally as bad as their western counterpart, if not worse. Let me list out some of the "Authentic Indian Junk Food" that we all so unknowingly consume:
  • Mixtures/chivdas/ farsans:don't we all have a couple of packets of these in our houses. Whether it is 'ghathia' from Gujrat or 'murukkus' from Madras,we all have our hot favourites!
  • Bajjis/pakodas: whether it is a rainy day or not,we like it with a cup of hot 'chai' or even with our meals.
  • Vadas/pooris: eaten as a snack or even for breakfast,these deep-fried foods are not helping you maintain your weight or your lipid levels!
  • Paani-puri/ sev puri/bhaturas: a-ha, a visit to your friendly neighborhood 'chaatwala' and you loose count of the calories you gleefully tuck into!
  • Vada pav: our very own authentic Indian burger. Just white bread with deep fried mashed potatoes in a besan/chickpea flour coating.
  • Butter Masala dosa/cheese dosa/Chinese dosa: all ways to to make the 'dosa' as unhealthy as it can get.
  • Gobi Manchurian: even the Chinese will have a fit if they eat this so called 'Chinese' dish.
With these Indian junk food, and the fact that most of these are still being fried in 'trans-fat',we are probably eating the worst.Here's a solution,check out the Healthy Snack options and try eating them instead all this month, and you might just acquire a taste for eating nutritious food!


chow and chatter said...

love it esp, the manchurian part my bro loved it when we went to Chennai!, I also find it funny when folks put sugar in dal
I used to work with Pakistanis in England and they loved their snacks also, but veg samosa has veg right!! he he just teasing, everything in moderation

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

Yup-know when to say 'no'!That's the mantra :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the comment. Well, it sounds like a good trade. There is so much about nutrition I've learned this past year, but there is so much to learn. That's why I love it so much, you never stop learning! :)

What specific thing do you do as a Dietitian? I keep changing my mind about getting a minor in Psychology or Exercise Biology. I don't know the exact careers you can get with those, but they both interest me. Lately I've been leaning more toward Exercise Biology. But I guess I have a couple of years to decide exactly! :)


Lori said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Loved this post. I appreciate it when people reflect on those not-so-healthy foods in their own cultures. When traveling I always get the feeling that we are blamed for our junk food spreading to other countries (which is certainly true), but some moderation is needed with the local foods as well. I've learned Brazil has A LOT of foods that need to be eaten in moderation to avoid some unhealthy results. :)

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

Lori-I totally agree with you. It'll be interesting to read about the local junk food in Brazil!!

sangeeta said...

this is so true , we always corelate junk food with other cultures n the homemade ones are conveniently ignored......we always need to have a check.......n find new ways to make them lighter for me this way.

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

That's great Sangeeta!Do let us know how you make it lighter-post some recipes too!!

Anonymous said...

Truly all fried foods are junk.