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Food for the health conscious

Wanna eat regular food and still stay healthy? Try out this restaurant

EAT AS many idlis, dosas and chappathis as you like and walk home feeling light. Well, for all those who are used to eating fat-rich, high-cholesterol food, this will be an altogether different dining experience. For once, you can have a hearty meal and still stay in shape.

The `speciality diet' on offer at the Diet Kitchen of the Coimbatore Diabetes Foundation (CDF) will definitely cheer up obese persons and diabetics. "For those having health problems, there are very little choices when it comes to eating out. That's why we decided to start this restaurant," says Dr. V. Sekar, managing trustee of CDF. It's a diet kitchen all right, but don't think you will get to eat only pathiya sappadu (food sans all fat, spice and flavour) here.

Instead, what you get to see is an expansive menu card that has, wonder of wonders, all those melt-in-the-mouth desserts on offer. And, besides the prices, the menu also gives you information on the calories in each dish. There is even a calorie chart and you can also seek advice from the dietician.

"We want to inculcate healthy eating habits among people, " explains B. Lakshmi, a dietician at CDF.

For breakfast and dinner, you can try idli, dosa, chappathi and upma. There are four types of idlis - dhal idli, fibre idli, vitamin idli and the good old plain idli (Rs. 12 for three) and a whole variety of dosas to choose from. But, then, is this not regular breakfast fare? How is it different? The idlis are low on carbohydrates because green gram and dhal are added to the batter and the quantity of rice reduced. "The carbohydrate content is about 90 per cent in ordinary idlis and dosas. By adding protein-rich ingredients (pulses and boiled vegetables), we bring it down to 60 per cent," Dr. Sekar says.

A South Indian breakfast is incomplete without mouth-watering chutneys. At the Diet Kitchen, you have an assortment of chutneys. From the regular tomato and mint chutneys to radish to cabbage and bottle gourd chutneys.

But, why call it a `Kitchen'? "We wanted to provide a feel-at-home dining experience," Dr. Sekar says with a smile. "We serve traditional food, prepared differently and are planning to extend the service. We'll soon be launching packed lunches for executives," he adds.

For lunch, choose from South Indian meal (Rs.20) and a special meal (Rs.25). The special meal (dubbed the weight-reducing lunch) has more of boiled vegetable and salads. Even diabetics can partake of the `fructose sweets' available here, which help prevent the blood sugar levels from shooting up, as it wont to happen with regular sweets.

Will this food tickle the taste buds of people? "There is a perception that you cannot cook tasty food sans oil and coconut. It is possible to prepare delicious food without all these ingredients," he says. For starters, the restaurant offers soup, fresh juices and salads. The kitchen is open between 6.30 a.m. and 9.30 p.m. For details, call 2553770, 2549882 and 3122725.


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