Want to get your family to eat healthier? First, take stock of your kitchen as traditional food choices contribute significantly to an unhealthy lifestyle.

I “spring clean” my kitchen every month, right before visiting the supermarket for monthly groceries. It has not only helped me get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but has also helped others in keeping their Type 1 diabetes and high cholesterol levels in check.

Here are some pointers about what you should keep and throw if you’re trying to feed your family healthier:

THROW
Namkeens like bhujia, mathri, moong dals and other fried snacks.

KEEP
Roasted or ready-to-eat, low fat snacks like murmura (puffed rice), soy sticks and bhuna chana. These are low in calories and work best for weight watchers. You can also keep nuts like almonds and walnuts out on the counters to snack on-the-go.

THROW
Refined flour, which is devoid of fiber.

KEEP
Wheat or multigrain flour rich in oats/soy/chana/wheat which incorporate soluble as well as insoluble fiber in the diet.

TIP
Mix flours in the proportion of 3:1 (wheat:oat/soy/chana). The same proportion can be used to prepare regional foods like idli, dosa, momos, cakes or biscuits. Mixing the flours keeps bowel as well as cholesterol and sugar under check and also initiates weight-loss.

THROW
Ghee, which is high in saturated fats.

KEEP
Refined oils like olive, mustard, canola, rice bran, soy which are sources for PUFA and MUFA that help keep lipid profiles in check.

TIP
Use a combination of oils ie one in the morning, another in the evening. Also make sure the total amount of fat (including butter, ghee or refined oil) should not exceed 500g per person a month. Stock these in your kitchen by this rule only to ensure visible fat consumption is fairly within limits.

THROW
Table-salt containers.

KEEP
Lemon.

TIP
Do not keep salt at the table, whatever you add while cooking should be enough. This will help avoid degenerative disorders associated with high BP and prevent water retention. For an added zing, squeeze a lemon instead.

THROW
White rice.

KEEP
Brown rice high in fiber and other water soluble B vitamins.

TIP
Replace white rice with brown for all rice preparations like pulao, idli, dosa etc.

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Written by Neha Jain

Neha Jain

She may have multiple degrees to back her expertise, but Neha Jain believes there’s nothing complex about nutrition. There is no magic formula for a healthy diet – the trick lies in balancing a variety of food groups and ensuring you’re eating the right portion size. With an MSc in Food and Nutrition from Delhi University and diplomas in naturopathy and yogic sciences, Neha is also a certified diabetes educator with extensive experience in endocrinological disorders and weight reduction, having worked with renowned endocrinologist Dr Ambrish Mithal in Delhi. Her goal is to help people find easy ways to make healthy choices, and believes HealthifyMe has simplified her task with its technology. Neha’s made the right choices for her family – she’s helped her husband control his high cholesterol levels and borderline diabetes by changing the meal plan at home, and introducing him to regular exercise – and now she’s hoping to ‘healthify’ you too.

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