Hundreds of Indians die annually because of poor diet according to a report by Lancet. The Lancet report tracked food consumption trends of 15 dietary factors from 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries. The report also made the shocking finding that about 11 million deaths and chronic diseases worldwide are associated with poor diet. In 2017, more deaths were caused by diets with too low amounts of foods such as whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds than by diets with high levels of foods like trans fats, sugary drinks, and high levels of red and processed meats, according to an article published in PTI. In India, low intake of whole grains (below 125 gms per day) was the leading dietary risk factor for death and disease in India and also countries like the US, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Russia, Egypt, Germany, Iran, and Turkey. India ranked 118th with 310 deaths per 100,000 people.

Christopher Murray, at University of Washington, was quoted as saying that poor diet — high intake of sodium, or low intake of healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, and vegetables — was responsible for more deaths than any other risk factor in the world. The study evaluated the consumption of major foods and nutrients across 195 countries and quantified the impact of poor diets on death and disease from non-communicable diseases (specifically cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes). The causes of deaths included 10 million deaths from cardiovascular disease, 913,000 cancer deaths, and almost 339,000 deaths from type 2 diabetes.

Here are simple ways in which we need to up our intake of healthy foods by sneaking fresh vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and whole grains:

  1. Make nut butters: Consumption of nuts – almonds, walnuts, pistas, cashews etc. is good for your health. But if you want to these in a more interesting way, whip up nut butters with this simple recipe. Eat this butter as a dip or as a spread on a slice of wholegrain bread.

Just toast almonds or walnuts or peanuts and whisk in a blender with a bit of salt till it turns creamy. You could add honey to make it sweeter. Transfer to a jar.

  1. Make vegetable noodles: For making pasta or noodles, ditch the store-bought maida ones. Instead, use vegetables like carrots to make vegetable noodles by making thin strips using a spiraliser or a peeler.
  2. Add seeds to dishes: From flax seeds to pumpkin seeds and chia seeds to watermelon seeds, you can give your pulaos, smoothies, cereal bowls an extra dose of nutrition by adding these seeds.

With inputs from PTI