20 July 2015 Society Mind your body

The Omega Of Plain Eating

Dal chawal ghee khao, it’s not bad at all.
The Omega Of Plain Eating
Illustration by Saahil
The Omega Of Plain Eating
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

Not so long ago, fish oil, more specifically Omega 3, was supposed to deliver us from every known disease, from depression to heart problems to infertility. Now it seems the weight-loss industry is getting bored of it. So let’s introduce the new kid on the block—virgin coconut oil—and celebrate it with the same pomp as virgin olive oil and promote it as having the same benefits as fish oil.

In the next wave, I am quite sure, will be rice. And the one after that will be about eating rice, fish and coconut together in a specific proportion. The whole thing could take place anytime in the next 15-50 years to catch on.

But here is a fact check:

  • You could die (okay, it’s too dramatic), suffer lifestyle diseases because you are waiting for nutrition science to catch up with native wisdom on food.
  • India’s heritage already has a tradition of eating these three—rice, fish and coconut—together. There is also a tradition of not eating fish during monsoon (the respite lets them breed) and making way for fried food like bhajiya.
  • NICE (National Institute for Health Care and Excellence), UK updates guidelines (in July 2014) to say that they are against recommendations of Omega 3 supplements for lipid modification and heart health.
  • Recently, the USFDA admits that it got it wrong by saying cholesterol consumption was a threat to public health (for 40 years). It is not; please eat fat and cholesterol, because it’s a nutrient.
  • Where does this leave you? Dal chawal ghee khao, it’s not bad at all. And don’t fret if you are a vegetarian, it’s okay. You get your fats and Omega 3 by just plain eating right.

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