How does our plate look like? Have you ever thought of this? The answer probably is ‘No’. We are often either so engrossed in just finishing the meal that we seldom notice ‘how much are we eating’ and ‘what are we eating’.
A typical Indian meal is predominantly cereal-based i.e. either rice or parathas or chapattis or rotis or bhakris. These foods are usually accompanied by a pulse-preparation such as a dal, some vegetable and at times curds or buttermilk. To make our meal more interesting, we do include fried papad, chutneys and pickle. And lastly, our meals are incomplete without sweets or desserts.
More than half our plate is full of cereals – rice or parathas or chapattis or rotis or bhakris. The remaining space is occupied by small portions of dal, vegetable, curds, sweets and other accompaniments such papad and pickle.
What nutrients do these foods give us?
|Rice or parathas or chapattis or rotis or bhakris||Energy, carbohydrates, some proteins|
|Dal and curds||Energy, proteins|
|Vegetables||Vitamins and minerals|
|Fried papad , pickle||Fats and sodium|
|Mithai/ sweets/ desserts||Loaded with energy, carbohydrates, fat|
If this what our plate looks like, we get a lot of energy i.e kilocalories, lot of carbohydrates, some protein, ample fats and little vitamins and minerals. This form of a meal may not meet our daily requirements of proteins, vitamins, minerals and fibre. On the other hand, our consumption of cereals exceeds our requirement. Over a period of time, this excess carbohydrate may be stored as fats in our body; something completely undesirable.
How can we avoid this?
The answer is modify our plate….something like this
A quarter of your plate should occupy rice or parathas or chapattis or rotis or bhakris. The next quarter should have dals/ fish/ meat. The remaining half should be vegetables and fruits of all colours. This can be accompanied by curds/ buttermilk especially for those who are vegetarians. This plate will provide you adequate and not excess amount of carbohydrates, adequate amounts of protein and ample amounts of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Vegetables and fruits provide us key antioxidants and fibre which help in detoxifying our body and keep it disease-free and healthy.
A Healthy Plate is the key to a Healthy Life. All you got to do is rearrange your plate by removing the excess rice/ paratha/ chapatti/ roti/ bhakri and add ample amounts of fruits vegetables and low-fat dairy products.