Today more than 95 per cent of chronic diseases are caused by wrong food choices, intake of toxic food and ingredients, nutritional deficiencies and lack of physical exercise, said K. Bhaskarachary, Senior Scientist in the Food Chemistry Division of the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad.
Mr. Bhaskarachary was addressing a seminar on “Nutrition and our Present Lifestyle” organised by the Confederation of Women Entrepreneurs (CoWE) of India, in association with the Department of Applied Nutrition, Siddhartha Mahila Kalasala, at the college seminar hall on Saturday.
Mr. Bhaskarachary said in spite of the progress achieved over the years, food with nutritional quality had been denied to millions. As many as 850 million people across the world suffered hunger while in India, it was 260 million.
“Our dependence on a few crops has negative consequences for ecosystems, food diversity and our health. The food monotony increases the risk of micro-nutrient deficiency. We are slowly forgetting how to identify, cultivate, cook and conserve hundreds of local varieties that have adapted over time to the climactic conditions and the characteristics of every kind of land,” he said.
“Millets are off the kitchens because people don’t know how to cook them. Wheat and rice are the only two cereals Indians eat. This situation has led to vitamin deficiency in many people. Our grandmother knows better than anyone else about a balanced diet.”
“Diet modification can do the trick. Eat a diverse diet and that will lead to a healthy ageing,” he urged. “The challenge is to find out ways to add the taste factor to healthy foods.”
A cookery competition on low cost nutritious recipes, model and poster presentation on Food Science and Nutrition and organic food stalls by women entrepreneurs of COWE was organised on the sidelines.
COWE chairperson A. Subhashini, Siddhartha College Principal T. Vijayalakshmi, HoD Applied Nutrition K.N. Varalakshmi and others were present.