Thursday October 18, 2018

Want To Know? Should You Wrap Your Food Items In Newspaper or Not?

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Bhelpuri served in Newspaper, Wikimedia
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New Delhi, Dec 10, 2016: Wrapping food items in newspaper is bad for your health as its ink has multiple bioactive materials with known negative health effects, FSSAI said on Friday.

Wrapping food in newspapers is an unhealthy practice and the consumption of such food is injurious to health, even if the food has been cooked hygienically,” the Food, Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) said in an advisory.

“Printing inks may also contain harmful colours, pigments, binders, additives, and preservatives. Besides chemical contaminants, presence of pathogenic micro organisms in used newspapers also poses potential risk to human health,” the advisory said.

The advisory also said that even paper/cardboard boxes made of recycled paper may be contaminated with harmful chemicals like phthalate which can cause digestive problems and also lead to severe toxicity.

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“Older people, teenagers, children and people with compromised vital organs and immune systems are at a greater risk of acquiring cancer-related health complications, if they are exposed to food packed in such material,” the advisory warned.

The advisory comes after Health Minister J.P. Nadda’s directions to the food regulatory authority against the practice of wrapping and covering food items in newspapers in India.

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Speaking in this regard J.P Nadda said: “It has been observed that vendors have been using newspapers in packing and serving food, which is harmful. I urge the public to dissuade the vendors from doing so.”

According to the advisory, the Commissioners of Food Safety of all States/Union Territories will initiate systematic campaigns for generating awareness among all the stakeholders to discourage the use of newspapers for packing, serving and storing food items. (IANS)

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Stop Mindless Snacking With These 2 Essential Steps

Don't think of snacks as extras, instead consciously work healthy bites into your diet, and make some smart snacks a part of your food plan for the day.

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Snacks
Eat Peanuts, Chickpeas, to Lower Cholesterol and Improve Blood Pressure. Pixabay

Snacking is not a mindless pursuit. And unlike universally thought, snacks are not devoid of benefits. In fact, if done right, it can be a perfect way of incorporating important, often missed out nutrients to our daily diet. But for that to happen you need to become a smart snacker. Its a skill easily learned, as long as you master and follow the two essential smart snacking rules.

Kavita Devgan, a renowned nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi, lays down the rules of healthy snacking:

*Ensure that you choose to eat only those snacks that are made from right ingredients. This in fact is an accurate way of ensuring that the nutrients we need are added to our diet. A few of my favourite ingredients include Kaala Channa, nuts like almond, cashews and seeds, olive oil and whole grains.

* Kala Channa, a nutrition powerhouse, delivers a lot of fibre that helps regulate our blood sugar and is also loaded with nutrients that help save us from seasonal disorders by boosting our immunity.

Snacks
The best snacking to boost and maintain heart health is one low in refined carbohydrates, sugars and processed foods. Pixabay

The easiest way to get a stockpile of multiple vitamins and minerals, even difficult to find trace minerals, is to eat snacks that have nuts and seeds added liberally to them. Besides they also deliver high levels of essential fatty acids (EFA’s), wholesome fibre, and much needed good quality protein (with all essential amino acids). My personal favourites are almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds and sesame seeds.

* It is always better to opt for truly baked, healthy and wholesome snacks as they are actually good for you. In fact, one of the best ways to lower fat consumption is to switch from deep fried snacks to baked snacks as they will help you keep both the calories and fat consumption down easily.

* Pick up snacks made in olive oil, as this is the smartest way to ensure omega 3 and to correct the good vs bad fat imbalance in our diet. It is the best way to keep our digestion humming along, keep constipation away and to keep cravings away. A snack made with whole grains (ragi, wheat, oats, jowar, amaranth, bajra etc.) is the best way to add nutrition to our diet and stay full for longer too.

* Make snacking a conscious activity. Snack mindfully, not mindlessly. It is essential that we not only snack smart but we also pick and select our snack smartly. So, wizen up to the misleading marketing messages and avoid snack packs that don’t deliver what is promised on the face of their pack.

Snacks
Eat good food. Pixabay

* Look out for promises and phrases like Fat-Free, Low in Calories and Lite snacks. Don’t take them on face value. All it takes is flipping the pack to the back and reading all ingredients, their proportions, style of making etc. to understand the health and calorie quotient of the snack you are picking up.

* Don’t think of snacks as extras, instead consciously work healthy bites into your diet, and make some smart snacks a part of your food plan for the day. This way they will work for you constructively. Finally, always focus on eating snacks that deliver something extra (yes more than just satisfaction and calories). That way you add value to your daily diet via the snacks that you eat and score some health too along the way.

Shikha Sharma, a dietician based out of Delhi, expresses her opinion on snacking carefully:

Also Read: A Diet Rich in Nutrients Helps in Living Longer: Study

* Focus on Clean Label. Consumers and regulators continue to put new pressures on food manufacturers, asking for even more information on the label. Consumers want to know the origin of their food. Food transparency strategies are now critical elements of the industry – no longer optional.

* Many varieties of snacks and breads sold in supermarkets have taken a huge hit in recent years as consumers are shifting to more health and wellness foods. More gluten-free and clean-label baked formulations are cropping up in stores, thanks to consumer demand for more transparent options that are convenient and more nutritious. (IANS)