Can we really afford healthy food?


We all know about healthy eating, this diet and that diet. We know about the benefits of home cooked, local and organic food. 

 The nutritional information on the back of packaged foods includes details about all the bloody sugar and excessive salt, but we eat anyway. We eat because there is no other alternative. 

Today, most couples are working. Either visiting chefs cook their meals or they cook themselves between work appointments (yes, during WFH). Even visiting chefs are not there all day and we have snacks to eat too.

But how much would you want to cook while on the phone? The bare minimum. To get you through the afternoon or a few hours. For example, a rice with some tadka or tempering without curry or dal, or a paratha with a pickle. Turmeric is the magic ingredient for all such people. It turns the food yellow and makes it seem like a complete, nutritious meal. But it is a yellow illusion.

The irony is that we can make money, lots of money, but we can't eat nutritious food. It's just not available. 

Cooking doesn't always help either. I agree with the feminists, men should cook. There is a change. Most of my male friends, myself included, can do more than simple cooking. They can survive, and the ones who never tried and depended on their mothers, wives, or sisters learned during WFH.

But can couples cook every morning, every evening, and every night? It's not practical. We have to rely on outside food. Nowadays, money can buy huge houses, long and exciting trips, excursions, Himalayan journeys, but not nutritious food.

Then what is the way out? 

We should find a balance between nutritious food and not so healthy food. 

The following six points can help 

1) Exercise Exercise Exercise. It is vital, necessary as the air we breathe. 

Even if you eat healthy, you need to exercise. Imagine how much you should do if you eat unhealthy. The body can only absorb proteins, vitamins, minerals if the energy that is taken in through food is used. When we talk about the non-digital and non-covid era, people moved their bodies a lot. Embracing technology is the need of the hour, but we should balance our entire lifestyle to embrace it perfectly. 

2) We should know our limits whether we eat healthy or unhealthy foods. Eating too much of anything, healthy or unhealthy, is bad. As a rule of thumb, if you wish to eat one extra chapati or spoonful of rice, consider eating one more. If the answer is NO, then don't even take that one chapati or spoonful of rice. (Excerpts from Rujuta Diwekar's video)

3) Be aware of what is healthy and unhealthy. Many people don't know or have doubts about what falls under healthy and unhealthy foods.

And I know those tempting food photos we see on the internet. A good photo does not mean that it is a healthy food. Such food bloggers and professional photographers click photos. With all due respect to such professionals, these photos are meant for presentations. 

The key step here is awareness. You don't have to make anything up, just talk to the crazy friends or the slim aunts who don't even touch cakes or roll their eyes when they pass through a sweet shop. 

If you don't know such people, read books. This is the easiest and most convenient way. Any book from Rujuta Diwekar is a good starting point.

4) Since we know we can't eat nutritious food all the time. Let's try to allow as few unhealthy meals as possible in a week. For example, the party at the office that you can't miss, samosas as an evening snack that you have to take because you have no other option at the office, countless teas because you don't have time to cook at home, cold sandwich on the plane because you want to follow the crowd and don't have a home cooked meal.

Plan your meals and allow yourself as few unhealthy meals as possible. This way you will know when you are crossing the line into unhealthy eating.

5) Learn to cook. This is a life skill we should all master. Our jobs don't give us the nutritious food, they give us the resources to learn and cook nutritious food. We should realize that this is the only way out when there are so many tempting and tongue licking foods out there. 

6) Embrace local foods and spices and don't rely on foods that come to your kitchens from far away. The industry adds preservatives to foods to extend their life.

 A simple rule is that foods with a certain shelf life can be considered optimally good. 

In the end, can we really afford healthy food? Yes, with an optimal balance, because we are dependent on outside foods that are not always fresh or local. 

The unhealthy food industry shapes and influences our lives to a great extent. The only way out is to be aware of it and find a balance in it.

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.

Chetan Maheshwari

Hello, I am a Project Management Professional, and an author and a blogger by passion. I like good sarcasm and humor. Books, people around me, and nature inspire me, and my blogs and book reflect the same.


Let me know what you think

  1. Very well written article. Balance and awareness are necessary.

  2. Replies
    1. Yes, you are right...Balance and knowledge are important factors..Thank you so much

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