Foreword from Dr. Nasiruddin Jamal – Chairman, AKHB for USA 1999-2005

Eating a large, satisfying dinner is one of the trademarks in our culture. Unfortunately, over the last decade or more, it has become a well established fact that people from South Asian descent are known to suffer increased rates of cardiovascular disease. While the reasons are not entirely clear as to why we suffer a disproportionate rate of cardiovascular disease, it is evident that having a diet high in fat, having high cholesterol, being overweight, and living a sedentary lifestyle are all contributors. Additionally, all of these indicators can cause a host of other problems, including high blood pressure, different types of cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and joint

The good news is that a healthier lifestyle may prevent some of these problems. To take full advantage of an enjoyable evening meal, we should practice prudence in eating. This means that we can all benefit from eating smaller portions and increasing the intake of fiber, fruits, and vegetables, while reducing simple sugars and avoiding foods with a high fat content. Increasing exercise, such as walking at least 30 minutes a day, 3-5 times during the week, will go a long way to promote good health and reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.

Dinner is a wonderful time to bring families together. Meals consumed as a family have considerable social benefits for the entire family, especially for young children and teenagers. Dinnertime is a perfect occasion to share experiences and feelings. Eating together promotes bonding, love, and security, and it provides an excellent opportunity to share our common values and ethics. It is also the best time to introduce new foods and healthy eating habits to the entire family.

I am pleased that AKHB is presenting this series of eBooks designed to help the Jamat understand the importance of
healthier cooking while maintaining the flavor of our heritage. We cannot change our genes, but by trying the numerous recipes offered throughout this series, we could make considerable changes to our lifestyles and increase the quality of our lives.

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