The Aga Khan Health Board has a long-standing involvement in improving the nutritional knowledge and the dietary practices of the Jamat. In 1997, AKHB published a science-based book entitled, A Taste of Healthy Asian-Indian Cuisine, which incorporated the latest knowledge about nutrition and revised our traditional Indian recipes to make the recipes lighter and healthier, by maintaining the desired flavors.
I am pleased that AKHB is now publishing a well-organized and updated eBook series that incorporates recent advancements in nutritional knowledge and dietary guidelines. Recent years have seen a vast increase in our knowledge of nutrition, nutritional values in various foods, as well as our understanding of the strong connection between our dietary intake, our health, and our overall well being.
While the ever-increasing knowledge and recommendations about food may seem to be confusing at times, the general trend has been to consume lighter (less caloric) foods and increase consumption of nutritionally-dense foods. Today, there is more emphasis on ensuring that meals are well-balanced and incorporate more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans.
There is more emphasis on the importance of fish, such as salmon, and the relationship between vitamins and nutrients in different types of fish. Additionally, there is the continuous effort to eat less fat, less sugar and when eating them, to eat in moderation. Finally, there are recent trends of eating all natural or organic foods.
As more and more Jamati members spend their meal times on the go, lunch has become a frequently overlooked meal and a common trap for overeating and poor nutrition. For a healthy lunch, try to incorporate plenty of greens, vegetables, whole grains, sprouts, lentil soups, a portion of fish or lean meat and a variety of fruits. Try to avoid all sodas and drink more water or fresh squeezed juices. It is important not to consume too many calories at lunch, as lunches filled with high fat, refined carbohydrates, fried foods and chips cause mid-afternoon fatigue and hunger. Often times, in order to ensure that you have a healthy lunch, it may be necessary for you to bring a lunch prepared from home with you. Of course, the eBooks with its many healthy recipes will make your work much easier.