Business Wire IndiaResearch publication by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Down to Earth (DTE) reveals that 61 percent deaths in India are due to lifestyle and non-communicable diseases. Modern chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are killing more people than ever before. It is alarming to note that India has the largest number of diabetics at 50.8 million; the number of obese people doubled between 2005-2015; 26 percent of all the deaths in India are due to cardiovascular diseases, and according to World Health Statistics report of 2018, only 3.9 percent population is spending over 25 percent of household expenditure on healthcare.
So, what are our alternates? While physical activity can definitely help India fight with lifestyle diseases but running around on a treadmill won’t get your body proper nutrients. We have started to celebrate International Yoga Day bringing India on global health awareness map but it’s a pity that we do not recognize that healthy eating accounts for 70-80 percent of weight management with exercise being the rest.
Recently the Forum of Indian Food Importers (FIFI), an apex chamber dedicated on working towards bringing quality and safe food to Indian commerce, took the responsibility of doing research on the subject of healthful eating to stand tall against the lifestyle diseases. It has reported that there can be a healthy cure for the cost diseases, they quoted that eating plant-based foods primarily almonds and walnuts help fight the risk of obesity, diabetes, health diseases, and overall mortality. Walnuts are a rich vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acid, which must come from food or supplements which are known to be beneficial in aiding against cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity.
Consuming almonds, as part of an overall healthy diet, improved a number of heart disease risk factors including curbing the onset of cardiovascular diseases and helping to reduce levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol in the blood apart from reducing inflammation. Almonds are a rich source of natural protein, healthy fats and are high in dietary fiber. They are a high glycemic index food, help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and controls blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Atul N. C Peters, Head & Senior Consultant at the Apollo Institute of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery said, “I am a big advocate of a hearty lifestyle and healthy eating, after being in profession for over 19 years I suggest my patients to eat right and balanced diet to fight against obesity and related lifestyle diseases. I prefer to cure and prevent my patients with nutrition that keep the body-building forces together – like almonds and walnuts should be consumed as staple diet as they are heart healthy, with their combination of protein, fiber, good fats, they satisfy hunger cravings and help in weight management and, studies show inverse relationship between consumption of health nuts and diabetes. Walnuts as a rich source of omega-3 essential fatty acid are important for body's normal metabolic functioning.” Dr. Peters is also a "Certified Fitness Trainer" from International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA).
Why wouldn’t you opt for not buying more nutritious food? Because, few don’t know what to eat and a majority cannot afford what they should eat. Creeping prices of health food items like tree nuts, leave consumers with a dilemma in the supermarket every day.
Upon enquiring with Ms. Neha Gupta, a consumer at INA market, said, “I cannot standardize my shopping basket and have stopped buying almonds and walnuts as they are going off my affordability range. As much as I know the health attributes and the medicinal benefits I would love to buy it for my father on regular basis but, it is now a luxury item for my family. We buy almonds and walnuts for guest to show our status but, cannot eat it on a routine basis. The strain on the pocket is too high.”
Oh, Nuts!!!! What my heart will do without almonds and walnuts?