Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Towards Better Health Through Gourmet Food

By London Young

Eating right wasn't always on the tips of our tongues like it is today. Back in the 60s and 70s, nutrition and exercise were afterthoughts, when they were thought of at all. Most people just ate what was on their plate, whenever they felt like it. Some people were overweight, of course, but obesity was not a problem like it is today. Many remained healthy without paying any special attention to what they ate or how much they worked out.

Those days very simple food would be prepared at home and special dishes were prepared only on festive occasions or if some guests were invited and not otherwise. There were no blenders, mixers or micro waves. Grinding, powdering and such preparations would be done manually, and women folk of the house remained healthy on account of all these exercises. Men and children too remained healthy because everything was made at home and hence were pure and fresh.

Buying jams, sauces, pickles, powdered spices, cakes, from outside which contained preservatives were unheard of. Ladies of the house would take lot of interest and pain to prepare such things at home to ensure purity and freshness. The afternoons were spent in making such items, unlike in the present days where such time is reserved exclusively for watching TV and enjoying siesta or a number of women too are busy working outside home. Interestingly, gourmet cooking was naturally observed as that was the only option then!

These increasing time pressures resulted in food manufacturers introducing convenience items, frozen and dry meals with high calorie counts. Bakeries and fast food restaurants became more and more prevalent, and over generations, people got more and more used to the idea of eating out and bringing in.

This, combined with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, may be responsible for our current obesity epidemic and its myriad health problems. Processed foods are everywhere, and serious health issues like diabetes, heart disease and liver diseases became more and more prevalent. This is why health care is such a touchy issue, we've eaten ourselves into such a poor state of health that treating our ailments is a multi-billion dollar industry.

When condition became so worse with lots of patients, people began understanding the significance of gourmet cooking and exercises. It is good to note that people have at last realized the situation in which they were living at. People now want to take care of their body and stay away from diseases.

Some health-conscious individuals have taken it to an extreme and only eat 100% natural, healthy foods, avoiding additives and preservatives, and keeping an eye out for things like saturated fats and high-fructose corn syrup. Restaurants and grocers have noticed, and are offering more fresh and organic choices like nuts, sprouts and other produce that are not only better for you but better tasting. More refined cooking techniques also allow these ingredients to retain more of their nutritional value, rather than cooking it all away.

Most of the people are now aware of harmful food and the diseases they cause. There are a lot of recipes which are fat-free and healthy. People have stopped taking non-vegetarian food. People have changed a lot. They have made an about-turn in their life regarding health and fitness.

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