Nutrition scientists are saying that their attempt to demystify food by dividing it into carbs, protein and fat as macronutrients has only led to more confusion. The only ones to benefit have been the big food companies. There is a multi-billion-dollar weight-loss industry preying on a simple fact—fear and confusion about what to eat. Let’s look at two of the simplest and time-tested tools we can use whenever we are in doubt about feeding ourselves right.
Food to plate: Also called food miles, this is the distance food travels from where it grows to your plate. Lower the food miles, better the food. In simpler words, eat what grows around you, eat what is in season and eat by cooking food in regional recipes. So out goes the kiwi, the dragon fruit, the quinoa, and bring back the sitaphal, the chiku, the jowar, bajra, ragi along with rice.
The grandmother test: Did your grandmother eat this food when she was your age? If no, then you can safely avoid it, no matter if the latest ‘research’ is promoting it as the saviour. Food is genetic medicine and food which a family has eaten for centuries is your best bet. So ghee and not olive oil. Poha/upma/idli/ dosa/parantha and not oats/cereals, etc.
As research belatedly catches up with the invaluable oral wisdom on food we were handed down for free (and thus don’t value), it is becoming clear how right your grandmother was about most things food. It’s just that she forgot that she has to sell it to you not on account of taste but how it would affect your waistline.