Navigating Nutritional Transition
A Holistic Approach to Healthy Eating
In recent times, a noticeable shift has been observed in our dietary habits. We are rapidly moving away from our traditional and culturally rooted eating practices, instead embracing the food habits of the Western world. This transformation is what experts refer to as “nutritional transition.” Ideally, what suits us best is what grows locally in our soil—food that our bodies can naturally assimilate and digest. When we import and consume food, our bodies must exert additional effort to assimilate and digest it.
It’s worth noting that statistics reveal most processed and packaged foods labeled as “low calorie” may indeed be low in calories but lack the pranic value essential for our well-being. In India, food isn’t merely sustenance; it’s a ritual. Traditionally, a part of the meal is offered to the divine before we partake in it.
Observing our grandparents, we often witness their vibrancy and energy even in their later years. The secret lies in the discipline they followed regarding their needs and wants, exercise, and their diet, with a key component being locally produced food. In today’s world, there’s an overwhelming abundance of choices, leaving many individuals not only confused about what to eat but also what to cook.
Questions like “What should I eat?” “When should I eat?” “Is tadka permissible?” “Can I have ghee?” “Can I substitute a paratha with a pizza?” “What about calories?” “What about fruits?” flood the minds of many.
Our bodies require a consistent supply of energy, as everything we consume is ultimately converted into sugar. Maintaining balanced blood sugar levels is crucial to ensure a steady supply of glucose in the bloodstream for both mental and physical energy.
Complex carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, beans, pulses, and whole grains release glucose steadily into the bloodstream. On the other hand, sugary foods such as biscuits, cakes, chocolate, pasta, white rice, and white bread break down easily, leading to rapid spikes in blood sugar levels and an increase in insulin secretion. This can set you on a rollercoaster of sugar cravings and, ultimately, result in significant health problems, including type 2 diabetes and heart issues.
The solution is refreshingly simple—eat regular meals and snacks, never skip breakfast, and steer clear of sugary foods, caffeine, and alcohol.
Having interacted with numerous clients over the past 25 years, I’ve witnessed varying degrees of healing and improvement. Those who make remarkable progress are the ones who take responsibility for their health. Many people mistakenly believe that managing their health is solely the doctor’s responsibility, assuming that paying a fee will resolve their problems. In reality, this is seldom the case; those who take charge of their well-being tend to achieve the best results.
The responsibility for your health is in your hands, particularly for the women of the household, who often prepare the family’s meals. There are three pillars of health: diet, exercise, and medicine when required. Food is not just nourishment; it has the power to heal, provide energy, and uplift your mood. It’s vital that we pay attention to what we consume.
Becoming a healthier version of yourself doesn’t require a fancy diet or expensive supplements. You merely need to view food as energy—positive and negative. Acknowledge that each individual is unique, with different dietary needs, and understand that you are in control of your life. Embracing these facts will lead you to eat better and feel better. You’ll have a stronger body, clearer thoughts, increased intuition, and make more informed decisions in life.
One useful practice is to maintain a food log. This will hold you accountable for what you eat, how much you eat, and whether you turn to specific foods when emotionally upset. Understanding your eating patterns will empower you to make informed choices and improve your overall health.