You may feel like you are doing everything right, eating well, exercising, and living a healthy lifestyle. But despite this, you find that your health just isn't where you want it to be. You’re not sure why. You have a sinking feeling that it has something to do with your diet, but can't seem to place your finger on exactly what.
Don't worry, you're not alone. In this age of information overload and mass confusion, especially with all things health, it's difficult to know what is rooted in evidence and what is not.
Chronic Lifestyle Diseases, like the name suggests, have their roots in our lifestyle - diet, exercise and stress. Diet plays the biggest role in determining your health. When you eat right, along with regular physical exercise and mental relaxation, you can get your health back on track.
What is "Eating Right"?
The best available balance of evidence points towards eating a diet comprised largely of unprocessed plant foods. This is what we call Whole Food Plant Based. What this means is plant foods with all their components intact. This excludes all animal foods including meat, fish, eggs, and all dairy products and all processed ingredients including oil, maida, white rice, sugar, jaggery, and alcohol. Then what do you eat? The answer is simple - fruits, berries, vegetables, greens, pulses and legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, and mushrooms. You can cook it, roast it, bake it, grind it and with some imagination and skill you can make a whole variety of delicious dishes including pizzas, pastas, chocolates, sweets, snacks, burgers, dosas, cakes, and cookies.
Simple changes like using brown rice instead of white rice, baking pakodas instead of frying them, and sauteing in water instead of oil can go a long way towards enhancing your nutritional intake. A well balanced whole food plant based diet is the best upgrade you can make to your life for better health, energy levels, and mood.
Why is This Important?
Do you know what is the #1 cause of death in India? Heart Disease. Heart attacks are responsible for 15 lakh+ deaths in 2019. That's one Indian dead every 20 seconds.
The good news is heart disease is preventable, treatable, and even potentially reversible in a majority of patients through a whole food plant based diet, exercise and meditation. What you eat is probably killing you slowly. Your diet is the #4 risk factor for death if you live in India.
The reasons for high prevalence of heart disease in India includes a diet high in saturated fats, refined sugars, simple carbohydrates, and sedentary lifestyle among others. A whole food plant based diet is the only therapy proven to effectively reverse heart disease in a majority of patients. When you upgrade to eating unprocessed plant foods, you are automatically eliminating saturated fats, refined sugars and simple carbohydrates from your diet in one clean sweep. This combined with regular physical exercise and good stress management practices safeguards you from the leading cause of death among people in India. If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, this is best bet to get your body and mind back on track!
Not only heart disease, India is also deemed as the world's capital of diabetes. The diabetic population in our country is close to hitting the alarming mark of 69.9 million by 2025. Hypertension or High BP is one of the most common non-communicable diseases in India, with an overall prevalence of 29.8% and a higher prevalence in urban areas at 33.8%. These are only 3 of the many chronic lifestyle diseases and Indians are at high risk of all three.
While the problems manifest differently, they have the same root causes and therefore call for the same solutions. A whole food plant based lifestyle, regular physical exercise and good stress management practices.
Barriers and Solutions
We understand that it can be hard to find time to eat healthy or find the time to exercise. Learning how to cook differently, make a variety of new foods and planning and prepping for it may be difficult, especially along with work. Eating a diet high in saturated fats and refined sugars is not only bad for your waistline, it is also bad for your heart and overall health. Now even more so given that obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high BP are all comorbidities that may delay recovery and also increase risk of succumbing to Covid-19.
This is why at Sampoorna Ahara we have doctor designed, nutritionally complete, 100% whole food plant based meals. Apart from meeting your macro-nutritional requirements, our meals are immunity boosting, high in antioxidants, and have the best blend of ingredients to improve overall health. To support your transition every step of the way, we have a range of whole food plant based everyday staples like breads, buns, nut butters, cream cheese, spreads, breakfast jars and more. We also have healthy whole food plant based treats to meet your snacking needs (and cravings) cakes, cookies, snacks, sweets, energy bars and more!
Make the switch. Gift yourself good health, take care of your body today, so that it can take care of you for the years to come!
Dr Achyuthan Eswar