3 January, 2019
Snacking is a common habit among Indians, and in that, we have so many favorite foods like samosa, kachori, a variety of chats, chips, diamond cuts (tukdi), chaklis or murukku, mixture, pakoras, namkeens, kebabs, papads, and more. Any gettogether is incomplete without a choice of these, being a part of the spread. From morning snack to evening snack, to appetizers, we love having these foods any time, and we cannot help it.
All of us know that fried foods are not suitable for our health, but we cannot help it; especially when it is so much a part of our daily life. As they say, it is only the brave souls that can stop eating these stuff at just one helping. The usual tendency is to go for a second helping! So, why is it important to learn to avoid fried foods? Are they harmful to our body as they are made out to be? Here are a few pointers that can get you thinking.
It is a fact that fried foods contain excessive calories and that these lead to obesity. We also know that obesity leads to many other diseases like diabetes (especially Type 2 diabetes) and heart conditions (failures and attacks), apart from causing many other issues. Hence, it is important to avoid fried foods. Anything fried usually loses water and absorbs a lot of fat, which increases a lot of calorie content.
Fried foods also contain more of transfats, especially those sold as packed foods. Most of these foodstuffs are put through a process called hydrogenation, wherein the oil is heated to extremely high temperatures. Studies have proved that trans fats increase the chances of a person developing diseases like cancer, diabetes and even those that are related to the heart. High transfats are a cause of rising in bad cholesterol in the body and that as we know, is what can lead to issues with your heart. However, one should understand that the naturally occurring trans fats found in certain foods are not bad for the health. It is only the artificially obtained ones like this that are harmful.
Without saying, it goes that when you have had more of greasy and oily food, it affects your digestion. While still young, one may even be able to survive by eating such foods, however, as we age, digestive power lessens and hence, eating fried foods can cause a lot of digestive issues. Many people find themselves stuck with indigestion issues like irritable bowel syndrome, and acid reflexes. At times, one may even need medical help to overcome the problems that have developed due to eating greasy foods.
Fried vegetables lose most of their nutritional value, that is so important for seniors in their everyday diet. We can benefit from this nutrition when the vegetables are eaten fresh or cooked in a healthy way. Eating more fried foods can contribute to malnutrition.
Few studies suggest that fried foods aid in the development of carcinogens in our body. Further studies are going on to conclusively prove this in the case of humans, while animal studies have demonstrated that fried foods contain Acrylamide, which increases the risk of developing cancer.
The way forward
So, it appears that there is more than one reason for people to stay away from fried foods. While they are no doubt highly appealing to our palate, they do not contribute anything positive towards our health and does the opposite. They can create or aid a lot of serious health problems, which are avoidable. However, the idea is to limit the intake, if not avoid it altogether. Also, the use of healthy oils such as coconut oil, groundnut oil, mustard oil, rice bran oil, soya bean oil, sesame oil, flaxseed oil, etc. are the healthier ones to use, when frying cannot be avoided. So, please do watch out when you reach out for that samosa next time and figure out if you can have a bowlful of healthier fruits instead.
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