How to manage with junk food in such a busy and outgoing life?

In our efforts to spread the word about healthy and happy living, we have started a unique Q&A series where our readers ask the questions and we get them answered by experts. Below is a concern raised by one of our readers…

Hi Doctor,
Could you also give suggestions on how to manage with junk food in such a busy and outgoing life?

Dear Seema,
I suggest you plan smart food strategies and ration junk food consumption.
Let’s take a minute to define junk food. Pre-packaged snack food, chocolates and packaged sweets, carbonated soft drinks, and fast food like pizza and burgers are all examples of junk food. Manufacturers process the raw ingredients, often adding hydrogenated oils, trans-fats and monosodium glutamate to enhance taste and prolong the shelf life of the product. If you can get away with total substitution, nothing like it. You may need to alternate the junk food and the healthy options for an initial period, then gradually limit junk food to stay healthy.

Read the label
Given the range of convenience foods available, you need to carefully consider what each one has to offer. It is worth taking the time to look at the labels, before making a decision whether to buy it or not.

The good news is that today, there are many healthy savoury snack foods on store shelves. Khakra, low-fat bhel puri, soya nuggets, baked chakli, and multigrain biscuits make tasty choices. With consumers becoming more health conscious, new products keep entering the market, so keep a lookout for what’s in store.

Here are some strategies to battle temptations (intelligent eating): 
• Whole wheat base pizza instead of a regular pizza.
• Veggie cutlet multigrain burger instead of a regular burger.
• Fruit smoothie instead of milkshakes.
• Roti roll with spicy chicken/paneer filling instead of a frankie.
• Strawberry/banana dipped in fruit yoghurt instead of dessert.
• Home-made nimbu pani instead of fizzy drinks.
• Whole wheat pasta and veggies in the creamy sauce instead of regular pasta in the creamy sauce.
• Grilled/roasted chicken nuggets instead of deep-fried chicken.

A renowned fitness expert and author, Dr Namita Jain is the recipient of Honorary Post Doctorate title from the Young Scientists University, USA for excellence in the field of healthcare and wellness. She holds a Post Doctorate from KEISIE International University, South Korea and is Managing Director of Kishco Limited.

She consults as a Wellness Specialist at Bombay Hospital. Namita Jain has authored 11 books on health and wellness. Her latest book, Low Fat Low Guilt is a recipes and lifestyle book featuring low-cal recipes of delicious soups, salads, wraps, toasts, rice dishes, pastas and dips, making healthy eating a pleasurable experience.


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