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The above is very important to question to ponder. Healthy eating habits were deeply instilled in our ancestors, thus they were always concerned about the type of food they consumed, also in terms of the quality and quantity. Sri Lankan food is so diverse that different food items were made available based on the type of the person, physiology, and type of meal. Currently, such practices are not being adhered now. The current generation is somewhat lacking in the healthy eating department; they more or less prefer to eat from out, grab a quick snack.

That could be the inherent reason for the sprouting of cafes and eateries all over the island. The repercussions of such actions will to many illnesses in the later stages of your life. Over 26.1% of the total Sri Lankan population is overweight. Sri Lanka is known for its delectable wholesome cuisine and our little island is rich in its exotic fruits and vegetables. However, our people are getting sicker day by day. What could be the problem?

Sri Lankan fruit vendor’s stall on the way from Negombo to Kandy.

Sri Lanka is a country of high biodiversity and food had never been scarce. It has been said that traditional people consumed food not only for “nourishment but also for therapeutic purposes.” This is obviously not the case right now. Rice being our staple food, Sri Lankans have the tendency to overeat it in comparison to the accompanying curries. Also, some make it a point to have rice for all 3 meals for the day. This is a highly unbalanced combination. Rice is high in carbohydrates; a high consumption of it will increase the risk of type 2 Diabetes. It is advisable to reduce the rice servings, but increase your intake of vegetables and meat/fish.  You might as well, substitute white rice for red rice, if you actually want to be healthier. Not limiting to rice, bread, string hoppers, hoppers, Pittu have a high content of starch in them; therefore it is advisable to eat in moderation, along with vegetables. It is important that you consume the required amount of vitamins and minerals, to prevent malnutrition.

Eating Tips

Sri Lankan rice and curry palette has plenty of iron, vitamins and minerals. Be it be, Dhal curry, Jackfruit curry  (Polos maaluwa), Penwort Salad (Gotukola sambol), Brinjal eggplant (wambatu Moju), chicken curry (kukul mas mirisata. However, most importantly leafy vegetables are utmost important to our diet.

Typical and traditional Sri Lanka dish of boiled rice, curry of fish and vegetables.

Our grandmothers often make it a point to feed us gotukola, karapincha, kathurumurunga either in form of kola kenda, mullung. However, now when we come to think of it, we rarely consume those immensely wholesome vegetables, which is filled with vitamins and minerals. Either due to our dislike for it (considering now we are adults and there’s no one to shove it down out threats), or because of our busy schedules, we tend to forgo these leafy vegetables. When was the last time you willingly had a mug of Kola Kenda? I bet you can’t remember!

Though Sri Lanka is a country rich in its fruits produce, however Sri Lankans often do not consume the required amount of fruits.

When was the last time you a fruit salad for dessert? It is either replaced by cake, pudding, watalappan or ice cream. This is the case now, but our ancestors cultivated their own produce in their home gardens, which were free from harmful chemicals. We love devouring a truckload of sweetmeats rich in refined sugar, whether its in our dessert or in our morning cup of tea. We often rely on sweetened drinks like sodas, juices and tea. If we could drink juice (unsweetened) or eat fruits, in place you could reduce the chance of heart disease, the number one cause of death worldwide.

There was a time when most of our people had the privilege of consuming a glass of fresh milk in the morning. This was the practice in the rural areas.

Nowadays, we simply opt for milk power to obtain artificial calcium, without realizing that most of the natural nutrients and vitamins in milk are lost while being powdered. Yes, fresh milk is expensive comparatively, as there is a huge gap between supply and demand; however the main issue lies where people are unaware of the harmful effects of powered milk. Consequently, they tend to prefer it over fresh milk. Misleading advertisements are the main cause fro this. You might want to protect yourself from osteoporosis, due to the harmful effects, you might encounter worst ailments!

Life assortment tea, black, green, fruit

Obviously now there are various methods of reducing fat and being ‘healthy’. By engaging in physical exercise, sophisticated diet plans. It is more or less trying to impress another or simply trying to fit in. Irrespective of the reason, looking after your health is the biggest investment you could do.

But many people have the misconception that eating healthy is expensive; this shouldn’t be the case when our country has been blessed with delicious food packed with nutrition! So eat a Kos maluwa, drink a glass of Kola Kenda, eat your mallung, drink your water and you will absolutely be fine!

 

 

Written by Gayara Rajapakshe
Team UniSnap

 

 

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