by Suditsha Sanyal
Did you know that most healthy food items can also pose a serious threat if not consumed in moderation? Cooking in an overheated olive oil can be hazardous too! Debunking myths around instant noodles now
I vividly remember when I was a kid how eagerly I use to wait for Sunday breakfast time. That’s because Sunday breakfasts meant Maggi. My mom used to cook yummy Maggi with assorted veggies and we used to love this mouth-watering breakfast.
Maggi was launched in India in the early eighties and has been one of most popular breakfast and snacking item since then not only among kids but also among adults.
The overwhelming popularity of Maggi has also put it under intense speculation. A lot has been said about instant noodles, including Maggi and they have been under the scanner and scrutiny. Instant noodles have been branded as an unhealthy food item because of the high level of calories in the form of fat and carbohydrates in them.
But, the truth is that there is nothing as healthy and unhealthy food. The body needs a balanced diet and a balanced diet is an assortment or blends of seven basic food groups. The key point here is that a balanced diet plays a very important part in proper functioning of organs and tissues. The seven building blocks of a healthy and balanced diet include carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, fibre and water. Calories, which are derived from carbohydrates and fats, play a very important role. Carbohydrate provides the energy to the body to carry out physical activity. Similarly, fats help the body to maintain a constant temperature. Furthermore, it also participates in the production of hormones and absorption of vitamins and is an important source of energy.
As per the recommendations made by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Dietary Guidelines for Indians, a balanced diet includes approximately 50-60% of total calories from carbohydrates – mostly from complex carbohydrates; 10-15% from protein and 20-30% from both visible and invisible fats. Moreover, the daily count of calorie intake is 50/g depending upon age, physical activity and physiological status of an individual.
It is worthwhile to mention in the “Is Maggi unhealthy?” debate is that Maggi strikes a perfect balance. It follows the recommended ratio as prescribed by ICMR, i.e., energy from carbohydrates (56%), protein (10%) and fats (33%). Moreover, the fat content per serve (per pack) in the various Maggi noodles is 11-13 g and is well within the recommended proportions. It is about 1/5th of the total fat requirement for a person’s daily diet. And the fat content is much less as compared to other popular food-on-the-go like vegetable cheese sandwich, dosa or aloo parantha (Indian home-made bread).
You will be amazed to know that a Maggi is one such brand which has their noodle-cake undergoing a 5-step cooking process before it gets packed and made available in the market for a purchase. From getting steamed to undergoing a baking process, the noodles are then quickly fried for about a couple of minutes. Just before packing it in an attractive packet, the noodle cake is dried and cooled.
Therefore there is no harm in eating Maggi. The key is moderation – which is of paramount importance. A single food is definitely not the best source of all the nutrients. Hence a variety of food is required to suffice the need of an individual to carry out day to day tasks. A balanced diet with regular physical activity is the key to a good and healthy lifestyle.
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