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Indian Superfoods: Change the Way You Eat Paperback – 13 Jun 2016
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Rujuta has again hit the bull's eye with her latest book. In simple words she illuminates us to important facts of everyday food items like Ghee, Rice, Jackfruit, Coconut etc. After reading I am actually glad and thankful that the foods mentioned are so nutrient rich and all are locally available. I highly recommend this to all people who want to be healthy. --By Sudhir on 19 June 2016
We all need this back on our kitchen shelf! A must buy! From the awesomeness of Ghee to eating the poor mans jackfruit. Such sound advise. --By A. Wal on 14 June 2016
Rutuja's books are always helpful and educating one over food and habits. This one is def a BIG YES BUY for everyone. Foods we need to eat daily and the amount of knowledge imparted over foods like Ghee, Kokum, Banana, Cashew, Coconut, Rice and more will make you read more of it and totally worth a buy. Thanks Rujuta for breaking our daily traditional notions. Loved it. --By S J on 13 June 2016
About the Author
Rujuta Diwekar is one of India's top nutritionists and the author of three best-selling books, including Don't Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight, the country's highest-selling diet book.]
From the Publisher
A Conversation with Rujuta Diwekar
We caught up with Rujuta Diwekar, nutrition expert, bestselling author and diet guru to Bollywood superstars to talk why we need to put away those acacia seeds and goji berries and instead pay attention to our grandmother’s advice on what to eat. In her new book, Rujuta urges us to look into our own kitchens and backwards to discover secret foods for health, vitality and weight loss. An excerpt from an interview with the author.
|Question||People usually associate the term ‘superfoods’-foods packed with nutrients with exotic, often foreign things like kale and broccoli. In the book you urge readers to turn to Indian everyday foods to get their daily dose of essential nutrients. Do you think there is a general lack of awareness about the merits of our ancient traditions among millennials?|
|Answer||Rujuta Diwekar: Absolutely. This is mostly because we associate ‘cool’ with all things imported and foreign. Our impression of local, native food is poor, we deem it as ‘sadak chaap’ even. We want our kitchens Italian, commodes western (even if it means having to put up big signs warning people not to climb on them to squat!), we put glass facades on our buildings even while the temperatures soar past 40 degrees Celsius. It is my observation that being ‘modern’ and having access to disposable income makes us to ape the West blindly.|
|Question||What was your ultimate goal in writing this book? What kind of change do you hope for it to bring?|
|Answer||Rujuta Diwekar: There is no such thing as an ultimate goal, to me writing is like exercising or singing, all I want to do is submit myself to the activity wholeheartedly and derive joy out of it. The change that I hope to bring through the book is to get people to live better lives, to be more aware. Local food is ecologically smart and keeps farmers in business. It is invariably rich in nutrients and can be converted into delicious meals that help regulate blood sugar and alleviate stress. Around our cities are farms with fertile soil where farmers grow grains, fruits and vegetable, I want these farms to thrive. I want farmers to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty and for people to stay away from clinics that treat diabetes!|
|Question||As a nutritionist, we have observed that your advice is often path breaking, anyone who is on a diet of any sorts is often told to stay away from sugar, fatty foods and carbs, and yet here you are, advocating their consumption. What should one pay attention to when including these items in their diet? How does one identify the optimal quantity of consumption for each of these food types?|
|Answer||Rujuta Diwekar: If you look at how the top universities across the globe are teaching nutrition, there is nothing path breaking in what I am saying. The syllabus that Indian nutritionists study is lopsided, like most courses taught in our country. Most big nutrition scientists and academicians have been screaming from the roof tops that we need to eat like our grandmothers did – local, seasonal produce cooked using regional recipes. Our grandmothers have always done what the current USFDA guidelines are asking health professionals to do – steer clear of nutrient (less carb, more protein, good fat, etc…) based plans and instead advocate the consumption of wholesome food. You may have observed your grandmother eating dahi rice in the summer and dal rice in the winter, not crabs with B-12 and starch with amino acids! This is real life application of ancient wisdom. This is science in practice. The best way to know what to pick is by expanding our knowledge about what grows in different regions of the country. We should also pay more attention to conversations around us about food. Most of our food practices have been passed down from one generation to the next through the oral tradition. This includes what to eat, how to eat, how much to eat and when to stop eating. In fact, sophisticated nutrition labs want a patent on your grand mom’s wisdom; there’s a word for that, bio-piracy. Instead of following our grandma’s sage advice we bluntly ignore it, rubbish it. Our arrogance can best be described as stupid.|
|Question||What do you think is the biggest misconception about sugar and saturated fats that is being peddled by nutritionist? Why do you think this is the case?|
|Answer||Rujuta Diwekar: The biggest misconception is about calories. That somehow they can be measured, and that if one were to eat 500 kcals less, this would lead to an equivalent amount of weight loss. To reduce losing fat to one equation is to do grave injustice to the many magical reactions that go on in the body at any given time. Food is not just calories, just like you are not just your body. To reduce your existence to the body is to negate your very presence in this world. The same principle applies to food as well. The Western world is already changing its tune for fat consumption and cholesterol - there is no upper limit on how much fat to eat and cholesterol is now a nutrient, not just some heart attack causing agent. Our health professionals should stay abreast with these developments. If they remain ignorant of these changes, how can the patrons be blamed for their lack of knowledge? The science is evolving and our community of doctors and dieticians should change their approach with it.|
|Question||Most of us have heard tales about the benefits of consciously consuming everyday items that can be found in our kitchens and our local markets from our mothers and grandmothers, and now we also have your book. Other than these two methods, what are some of the other ways in which we can learn about the benefits of Indian foods?|
|Answer||Rujuta Diwekar: Hatha Yoga Pradipika says that a person who has achieved the highest state of wisdom knows when to stop eating. As I said earlier, there is no alternative to paying attention. Paying attention to what you eat and how much you eat is the cornerstone to leading a fulfilling and disease free life.|
|Question||What was the criteria used in the selection of superfoods that you have mentioned in the book? You are busting misconceptions about certain foods and also advocating use of certain other foods. How did you come about making these decisions?|
|Answer||Rujuta Diwekar: The foods that I picked to feature in the book were the ones that go with all cuisines. I was especially conscious to pick those plants that had a cultural and spiritual significance and were native to our land. These 10 foods are representatives of many others like them. They are typically foods that for whatever reason have been neglected, misunderstood or simply underutilized.|
|Question||What is the one definitive mantra for healthy living that you religiously follow?|
|Answer||Rujuta Diwekar: Live while you are alive.|
|Question||Do you think exercise and certain lifestyle choices play a role in increasing the potency of these superfoods? Can one consciously maximize the benefits of these foods? What are some of your recommendations?|
|Answer||Rujuta Diwekar: Oh yes. Staying physically active through the day is important, as is committing 150 minutes each week to exercise. Other lifestyle choices like following a regular bed time, doing a job you love and spending time with friends and family also helps improve the quality of life. Food in many ways is magical, it has the power to inspire. It can motivate you to utilize that gym membership you paid for, or give you the courage to walk out of a bad job or relationship. It gives you the vigor to stay alive!|
|Question||How do you like to spend your leisure hours?|
|Answer||Rujuta Diwekar: Finishing pending interviews and fantasizing about my next Himalayan trek!|
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