Bad carbs and the modern Indian diet
According to Dr. McCarrison’s experiments on the diets of British India, the Sikhs’ traditional diet was the best in terms of health. It was based on coarsely ground wheat, milk and fermented dairies, dals, vegetables, fruit, and even meat.
In his view, the worst diet in terms of health was that of the “rice-eaters of the south and east of India.” The Madrassi diet, as he called it, was “excessively rich in carbohydrates, and [there was] deficiency of protein, mineral salts and vitamins.”
Dr. McCarrison observed that the production and selling of Indian food was becoming increasingly industrialized during the British Raj. Heavy milling (or refining) of grains became commoner, and McCarrison didn’t like what he was seeing.
He said, “I have little patience with those who would have us believe that ‘white flour’ is as good an article of diet as ‘whole wheat flour’. White flour, when used as the staple article of diet, [cause people] to build up their dietaries with a staple of relatively low nutritive value.”
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