Are you tired of feeling guilty after indulging in your favourite foods? Well, we have good news for you! Let us tell you some healthier alternatives to some of the most popular Indian staple foods. So, you can satisfy your cravings without compromising on your health. Get ready to upgrade your diet and say goodbye to guilt! While traditional Indian foods are rich in flavour and nutrients, some of them are high in calories, saturated fats, and sodium, which can lead to various health problems. In this article, we will discuss five staple foods that need to be replaced with healthier alternatives.
Here are 5 staple foods that can be replaced with healthy food alternatives
1. White rice
White rice is a staple food in most parts of India, especially in the southern and eastern regions. However, it is high in refined carbohydrates and low in fiber, which can cause blood sugar spikes, weight gain, and other health issues. Instead of white rice, one can opt for brown rice, quinoa, or millets like foxtail, barnyard, or kodo, which a study published in the journal Nutrients found that can improve glycemic control, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in overweight and obese individuals.
Also read: Switching from white rice? Know how to cook brown rice
2. Refined flour
Refined flour or maida is a common ingredient in Indian foods, including bread, pastries, and snacks. However, it is stripped of its nutrients and fiber during the refining process and can cause insulin resistance, inflammation, and obesity. One can switch to whole wheat flour, oats, or millet flour, which are high in fiber, protein and vitamins and can promote digestive health, weight loss and heart health. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, replacing refined flour with whole wheat flour can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and improve insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese adults.
3. Deep-fried foods
Deep-fried foods such as puris are still widely eaten on a day-to-day basis in India. Samosas, pakoras, and vadas too are popular fried snacks which are high in trans fats, can raise bad cholesterol levels, cause inflammation, and increase the risk of heart disease. One can choose to steam or grilled foods instead of frying them or opt for baked or air-fried snacks made with whole-grain flours, vegetables, and herbs, which can provide a crunchy texture without the added oils.
4. Sugar-laden beverages
Sugar-laden beverages like sweetened tea or coffee is something that we don’t start our day without. But they are high in calories, added sugars, and artificial flavors, which can lead to diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay. One can replace these beverages with unsweetened herbal teas, coconut water, buttermilk, or fresh lime juice, which are low in calories, rich in antioxidants and electrolytes, and can help hydrate the body. According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water or unsweetened tea can reduce the risk of obesity and metabolic disorders in adults.
5. White bread
White bread is a staple food in most Indian households and is commonly used to make sandwiches, toast, and other snacks. However, it is made from refined flour and is low in fiber, which can cause blood sugar spikes and lead to weight gain. According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, replacing white bread with whole wheat bread can improve digestive health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
By replacing these five staple foods with healthier alternatives, one can improve their diet and reduce the risk of various health problems.