Fundas of food fads
Life Positive|December 2021
Diet trends have recently surfaced in the wake of COVID-19. Based on her expertise, Naini Setalvad guides us as to which of these we should adopt.
Naini Setalvad

2021—the year of food and flu. Simultaneous to the rise in COVID cases was a rise in dietary advice, kitchen experiments, and healthy food. Every few days, newspapers, magazines, and social media would present to you the newest food trend or health fad that you have been missing out on. But one must bear in mind that any new trend needs to be vetted and the pros and cons must be well understood before you dive in. So, let me ease your effort and give you the low-down on health food trends that hit the mark and those that missed it.

Halim seeds: These seeds have been doing the internet rounds all of this year. Used as a natural galactagogue for ages, it increases milk production in lactating women and iron stores in the body. But most people miss one integral factor: it is a goitrogen, i.e., it interferes with the functioning of the thyroid glands. So, if you suffer from a thyroid disease or have a history of thyroid disease in the family, you must tread lightly.

Carbohydrate replacement: I have been dealing with the carbohydrate policing for a while now, but this year, the trend only grew stronger. Your wholegrains are either being cut out or swapped with other alternatives. For example, bell peppers have superseded toast. Now that simply doesn’t make sense. Always keep in mind that carbohydrates are good for you; they are the primary energy source for your brain, providing the much-needed fibre and satiation. So don’t go down the replacement route.

Pickling: This year was all about DIY kitchen trends, such as pickling, and I am all for that. In fact, I too tried my hand at my mother’s age-old pickling recipes. Not only are pickles simply delicious, but they also contain gut-friendly bacteria that improve digestive health and elevate your mood—much needed to deal with the work-from-home stress, wouldn’t you agree?

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