Plus our family grew, and my job got busier. So it was a needed break. During this time, things percolated in my mind, and I think I have a few fresh things to say which I will add to this blog over the coming months.
I will post excerpts from the book (with some edits to make them easier to read) in the hope that the message reaches a wider audience. If you would like to get a copy of the whole book, click the book image below. It will take you to the Amazon page.
Indians all over the world, including those in South Africa, Canada, Singapore, Fiji, Mauritius, United Kingdom, and the United States have reported high rates of chronic diseases, especially heart disease... Studies show South Asians (Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalis, and Bangladeshis) living in the United Kingdom have up to four times a greater risk of developing heart disease than other racial/ethnic groups and at a younger age!
This isn’t surprising considering the lifestyle transition we have made into the twenty-first century; Modernization, urbanization, and technology have reduced the amount of physical activity we do on a daily basis. Our jobs are less physically demanding than before, and most of us spend the lion’s share of the day sitting, either in front of a TV/computer or in a car. When we come home, our families and chores usually take priority over going to the gym or a quick jog, even if it was on the agenda. Or we easily think of various reasons why we can’t work out: “I have a headache.” “I am too busy and/or stressed.” “I just want to relax.”
And we prefer to eat traditional, home-cooked Indian food—the way we ate growing up—yet our time constraints sometimes limit us to more packaged, processed, and refined Indian foods.
Compare this to the way our grandparents lived: everybody typically walked everywhere, knew where their food came from, and ate meals that were freshly prepared, not prepackaged or microwavable. Our diet and lifestyle have changed dramatically since our grandparents were our age, and our mental and physical health is paying the price.
Expanding waistlines aren’t only evident in US immigrants. Indians at home and abroad are besieged by the twin epidemic of diabetes and heart disease. This may seem puzzling considering most Indians around the world eat a diet based on vegetables, grains, and pulses (edible seeds, such as peas, beans, lentils) plus occasionally meat for [many].
A typical Indian meal may consist of flatbread (roti) or rice, stir-fried vegetables (sabjee), lentils (dal), and yogurt (curd). This would lead you to believe that the modern Indian diet is “healthy.” But considering alarming rates of chronic diseases common in the Indian community today, we need to rethink our diet. We must reevaluate the modern Indian diet and make necessary changes to ease the burden of these diseases.
Although there are many reasons for increased risk and prevalence of chronic diseases in the Indian population (e.g., genetic, cultural, lifestyle), this book considers how the modern Indian diet, one high in refined carbs and low in fiber, increases the risk of developing health problems such as high blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. We review how the traditional Indian diet transitioned to include refined products, and how our lifestyle and culture have led to unhealthy eating habits.
Carbohydrates are integral to Indian dietary traditions, so we offer a way to reintroduce nutritious ancient whole grains (higher-quality carbohydrates) to help prevent and reverse today’s common nutrition-related disorders. We call this “B2B,” going “back to brown.”
Stay tuned for the next excerpt, which will be posted here in the near future. For the book, click here.