Ughh,,, today I at some really bad food that looked like this
What do you do when you have just gone to try a new restaurant where everything that you've ordered shows up looking like this, just floating in oil and cream ?
I can see one source of much of the fats in Indians' bellies, it is the type of Mughlai foods we all grew up eating. I remember eating dishes like these, with dum aloo, daal makhani and butter naan. Yum!; but no more ..... We have a diabetes explosion. Boom !
So how did we compensate after at the 21 Gun Salute :
Since this lunch, at dinner we eat mostly live foods, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, with hummus and some gluten free bread (can substitute with whole grain or whole wheat bread). The emphasis of this article is that in managin disease through food you have to PLAN your food; but you still need to live a life and if you end up going to a bad place you have to remember to make up for the bad food you just ate.
I do feel better now and I have learnt what to order next time I end up at such a place (kababs). Some notes if you have to eat there :
1) We skipped as much of the gravy as possible at the restaurant
2) We were eating Pudina Parathas which were whole wheat versus the white flour in naan.
You know, I find it hard to say this but I feel like my health has improved through this business trip rather than getting worse. And I haven't really exercised even one hour. But I ate really well.
I would start my day with a Large Mix juice from Arden's Garden, along with a large Ginger shot and an extra juice for later. It was new to me and took some effort but it was awesome for my health. The Ginger was to keep colds&coughs at bay while traveling, it worked. But all the fresh fruits and juices; they've added up.
Then I have avoided Pizza and Pasta, or eating gluten free pasta twice, and I feel great. I have eaten some gluten but I am on gluten-light diet where I eat the least possible gluten. I had rice on many occasions.
So I feel great ! I feel light and I feel my skin looking better. I am curious to see how my bloodwork will look like.
Budget : So just to be clear to people traveling while eating healthy :- this does cost more than fast food. If I need $ 15/day to live on fast food diet, I would need $25-30/day here plus the effort to get to this food (it is not as convenient either). But look at the big picture; would you spend more in healthcare ? I think feeling better at then end of my trip is a good sign that I will not be spending more on healthcare from some chronic disease.
More Specifics for the avid readers/learners :
- I ate the above breakfast + snack every day
- I kept another really healthy natural snack like some raw Cashew+raisin+xyz snack-bar
- lunch was always out but I almost always ate a salad (60-70%), or vegetarian and no cheese, avoided fried.
- dinner was out and at many places. Here are some healthy choices I can suggest:
Did you know that not all oatmeal is the same. I am surprised to see that almost all the oatmeal I have found is the highly processed kind of "instant oatmeal". These have a higher GI than white bread (83 vs. 71) ! Additionally they may have salt, sugar and gluten added to them for a real deal processed food experience for your body; packaged to look like a "healthy option".
Less processed foods typically have a lower GI and the same holds true here. The best oatmeal are steel cut, "non-instant" oatmeal, followed by rolled oats. Here's an article explaining the different types of oatmeals.
However I've only found instant oatmeal in India. I even found a "sugar free" oatmeal. Wow. Hey isn't oatmeal sugar free naturally ?
Please do not eat this if you are diabetic. It is good for cholesterol but the GI is too high for diabetics. Wait till I can find you a source of less processed oats. If you know a source of Steel Cut or Rolled Oats please let me know. I need some for my Dad.
So I have started now working with Dad on his diabetes reversal plan. My wife's Mama is also diabetic and yesterday over lunch we started working on his diabetes too. They both suffer from one similar problem : the need to eat bread. I am struggling to find ways to substitute this basic need. If you have a suggestions that you know please email me.
Why is bread bad ? Here is the explanation. Both people mentioned above are having brown bread. But if you look at this Harvard chart on Glycemic Index you will notice that White Bread and Whole Wheat Bread both have a GI of 71. There is a specific Whole grain bread mentioned which has a GI of 51. Now which bread does the brown bread of India belong to; I suspect it is on the higher side. Firstly it has no grains in it. I am even scared it may be white bread with coloring in it. But how to substitute it ?
My Dad was going to the factory, about 1.5 hrs away and he was going to pack the "usual" (a couple of tomato sandwiches). We came up with an alternative. Roti + a green vegetable like spinach subzi and a carrot subzi. Also he should have my juiceman's juice. He doesn't like salads too much so the fresh juice will give him the raw food benefits.
Could it be said that India's diabetes has grown with the consumption of bread ? People don't see it as any different than a chapati (GI of 30) but there's a HUGE difference. I wonder if the introduction of bread & white flour has led to an increase in diabetes in our population ?
Yay, finally back in business. Just got Internet at home yesterday. Starting to feel settled. Traveling to Lucknow today for a couple of days. Early morning flight.
So what do you eat if you are diabetic or overweight and traveling through Delhi airport's T3? Today I had to make that choice.
Well I skipped McDonald's out of principle. I never find anything healthy there.
Then we had "The Food Street". They were serving - Chole Bhature, Poori Bhaji and Aloo ke Parathey. Great way to get fat. Note, Aloo ke Parathey are not as bad as the rest, but I guessed that looking at the rest of the breakfast menu there it would probably be laden in oil.
Costa coffee has great coffee but pastries and pre packed white bread sandwiches do not help with losing weight :)
So I opted for what I deduced was the least bad option - "Vaango". You can get lots of low fat options; their food is pretty fresh and is not microwaved. I went for the Thaali with utthapam, idli and vada. I could've skipped the vada to be healthier but couldn't resist. Instead of the free 7up I got a sugarless Filter Coffee; yummy.
The meal was satisfying and filling. I am blogging in the morning thanks to the coffee :)
Yes the meal had a high GI but like I said, "this was the least bad option". Since I am not diabetic this meal was good for eating not just empty calories.
If you are diabetic I would suggest you plan your meal and get some food from home, (there is almost nothing with low GI that I could see) but if you can't, hopefully this will help you make a better choice.
Have you travelled through Delhi airport while trying to lose weight or manage blood sugar? What do you suggest? I'd love to hear.
Junior Gupta is the founder & Chief Research Officer of Cure My Diabetes. He has spent over 8 years of research of food, nutrition and diseases.