- Written By: Shilpa Shetty Kundra (Bollywood actress, a health-freak and fitness expert) and Luke Coutinho (International Health Expert and holistic nutritionist)
- Genre: Non-fiction Diet Book
- Originally Published: 2014
- No. of Chapters: Divided into 5 Parts
- Price: 299 Indian Rupee
- Summary: There is nothing new in this book. This book includes our grandmother’s advice and the richness of the Indian diet. It teaches us how to lose weight while eating tasty and nutritious food in the right way. The best part of this book is it teaches you about the nutritious value of the locally available food (including some interesting recipes) instead of those expensive fancy western food in an easy way for a layman to understand how calories, carbohydrates, proteins, fats work. It has busts all the ‘big FAT myth’ without being preachy. This book also contains an elaboration on different Indian spices, oil, grains, and even chutneys among other food items and ingredients. Overall it can help you to understand your body better and live a healthy lifestyle.
Lessons/ Tips learned from this book to lose weight and have a healthy lifestyle
Part One: Indian Food
- A good and healthy diet should be easy to do and sustainable, keeps you motivates, gives you nutrition, fits into your lifestyle, prevents or cure diseases, builds strong immunity because it’s just not about losing weight, it’s, in fact, changing and adapting a new lifestyle forever. The same diet chart does not work for everyone. It depends on where you live, your body type, the kind of work you do, how much you sleep, your stress levels, your mental and physical health, your habits, and lifestyle.
- A traditional Indian Diet is a complete balanced diet as it includes carbohydrates (roti, rice, bhakhri etc), proteins (pulses, legumes, milk & milk products, fish and meat), fats (oils, ghee, nuts, and seeds), fiber, vitamins and minerals (fruits and vegetables). If these are taken correctly i.e. 50% of carbohydrates, 30% of proteins, 15% of fats, and 5% of vitamins and minerals, then you have a properly balanced diet.
- The spices used in Indian cooking like turmeric, cumin, mustard seeds, heeng, ginger, garlic, green chilies… have medicinal properties that help to increase our immune system and prevent many diseases.
- Indians avoid preservatives. They cook fresh food every day.
- As human beings, we have six tastes- sweet, salty, bitter, sour, astringent, and spicy. All these tastes are included in Indian meal along with dessert, if not at least they eat jaggery to cut the cravings of sweet.
- Fruits should be eaten only on an empty stomach; not after a meal or even with bread. Eating fresh fruits and drinking fresh fruit juice slowly can help graying hair, balding and dark circles, boosts energy, and great for the skin.
- Adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon in your green tea, lemon water, soup, curries… will help you to burn fat to some extent by increasing the metabolic rate. It also helps with diabetes and cholesterol.
Part Two: What Is Going Wrong?
- Packaged foods are loaded with preservatives, artificial ingredients, and chemicals that can cause cancer, heart disease, and other ailments. So do not get fooled by the food industry to save your time, and if you must buy something ready-made then buy products with fewer ingredients and natural preservatives.
- Oestrogenic compounds found in soya cause your body to store excess fat and also lead to cancer and other diseases. It contains the highest level of pesticides among agricultural products, also has a high source of phytoestrogens which bring hormonal imbalances.
- We eat wrong foods due to the easy availability of packaged foods, to satisfy our cravings, to deal with our emotions (when we are low, we eat sugary or junk food to feel better), to socialize, and due to busy lifestyles.
- Foods like Aerated Drinks (Carbonated water, Caramel color, Natural Flavors, Caffeine, Phosphoric acid, High-Fructose corn syrup), Refined Sugar, Artificial Sweeteners, Processed Foods are not good for health. They are very addictive and increase your weight. They bring many diseases like cancer, obesity, diabetes, brain tumors, kidney, and liver damage, etc.
- To kill your sugar addiction, start your day with fresh fruit, replace refined sugar with jaggery or natural honey, distract yourself for 10 to 20 minutes from sugar cravings, include L-Glutamine in your diet (Contains in food like beef, chicken, eggs, cabbage, beetroots, beans, spinach, parsley, and miso)
- Animals are fed with growth hormones in order to increase their milk production, and antibiotics to decrease the risk of infection which we eventually drink, thereby allowing them into our bodies. As a result, it increases our weight, and girls reach puberty earlier than they are supposed to. Better replace animal milk with plant milk.
Part Three: Understand What You Eat
- What you eat will show on your body so better eat the right food in the right way.
- Avoiding carbohydrates to lose weight is not a good idea. Good carbs (Brown and Red Rice, Oats, Millet, Wheat, Barley, Corn) are required for your health and fat loss, and bad carbs (White Rice, White Bread, Pasta, White flour, Candy, Chips ) can damage your health and immunity and make you put on weight. The absence of good carbs can cause sleep disorders and behavioral changes, along with low energy and fatigue.
- The human body needs 0.8-1gram of protein per kg of your body weight. Excess protein that does not get utilized by the body is converted to fat and puts a load on your kidneys. Lack of protein makes you feel tired, weak, flabby, hair fall issues, skin issues, get injured quickly and take a long time to recover. Foods rich in protein are nuts, milk products, seeds, beans, grams, lentils, mushrooms, green vegetables, eggs, meat, etc.
- Low-fat diets cause depressions, frustrations, irritations, and unhappiness. We need good fats (Ghee, coconut oil, nuts, dry fruits) for healthy brain functioning, a strong immune system, to maintain the body’s hormonal balance, and energy production. Whereas bad fats (include in cheese, butter, cream, red meat, palm oil, etc.) clog our arteries and cause internal inflammation.
- Replace your table salt with sea salt or rock salt because table salt is the most processed salt from which all-natural nutrients have been washed away and excess consumption can lead to many diseases like kidney stones, arthritis, gout, gallbladder, etc. Whereas sea salt includes nutrients like sodium, potassium, magnesium, silicon, phosphorus, and calcium which is good for your skin, aching feet, aiding weight loss, lets you stress-free, stronger immune system, and for total health care.
Part Four: Lose Weight While You Eat Right
- When you do not eat the right food, your body adjusts to producing more insulin, and once the body releases insulin, it is unable to burn fat. Therefore it’s hard to lose weight for people having high insulin levels.
- Most people falsely believe that they should only be eating egg whites and not the yolk to be healthy and lose weight. In fact, 99% of the important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are found in the yolk of the egg, and not in the white. Eating 2 eggs in breakfast will help you to consume 400 fewer calories over the next 24 hours. Thus, it helps to control your appetite and burn body fat.
- Losing weight begins from your thought process.
- To lose weight include fat burning and metabolism booster foods such as almonds, fruits, whole grains and beans, vegetables, cinnamon, lentils, bananas, coconut oil, cabbage, eggs, coffee, turmeric, green tea, lemons, capsaicin (found in chili & cayenne peppers).
- Focus on fat loss and not weight loss.
- You can not lose weight: if you are skipping your breakfast or having a skimpy breakfast, consuming aerated drinks, taking low-fat foods, smoking, frequently eating at restaurants, excessive consumption of alcohol, thyroid imbalance, high intake of Glycemic Index foods (white sugar, white flour, baked and processed goods), your workout has gotten monotonous and your body is used to the pace, not keeping a gap of 2 to 3 hours between dinner and bedtime, liver problem, not chewing food properly, more than 3 hours gap between meals, and also due to stress levels.
Part Five: Cook Healthy to Stay Healthy
To lose weight and enhance your health this part includes several recipes.
- Salads: Beetroot Salad, French Bean and Peanut Salad, Bean Salad, Paneer Salad
- Veggies: Rice Noodles with Vegetable or Seviyan, Rawa Dhokla, Stir-fried Mushroom
- Non-vegetarian Delicacies: Grilled Fish, Grilled Chicken
- Indian Recipes for Weight loss: Ragi (Ragi shake and Upma made with Ragi), Oats (Tangy oats with lemon, Idli made of oats, The Great Indian Oat Bowl), Tomatoes (Masala Tomato Soup, Tomato Soup with Tulashi)
- Healthy Vegetable Juices for Weight Loss: Carrot Juice, Beetroot juice, Cabbage Juice, Cucumber Juice, Celery Juice)
- Chutneys/Pickles are freshly made most of the time which is full of vitamins and other nutrients. The addition of fresh green leaves also ensures the abundance of chlorophyll.
Weaknesses of The Great Indian Diet
- Readers can not find out which part Shilpa has contributed and which part is written by Luke Coutinho.
- Drawbacks are not mentioned if food like coffee, ghee, spices… are overeaten.
- Real-life examples are very less.
- Milk and soybean are criticized, which is not 100% true. They have their own benefits if taken correctly.
- The book is concerned about Cancer disease a little too much.
- Readers find this book bit patriotic about the Indian Diet.
Overall this can be a helpful book for beginners looking for a healthy lifestyle and losing weight. It is a very basic and beginner-level book that busts the big fat myth. Anyone can easily understand the writing. It is a very practical diet book that can be easily adapted in our life.