Healthy eating vs. expensive eating


By Dr. Sanjeev Kumar.

Are costly fruits more healthy? Dr. Sanjeev Kumar (M.D. Paediatrics) guides you through the importance of eating the right fruits in a right way and discloses the myths attached to them.

We have always heard our elders telling us about the importance of fruits in our diets. Naturally low in fats, calories, cholesterol and sodium, fruits are made 90-95 % of water. And water, as we all know is a very essential part of our body. Not just that, fruits are rich in carbohydrates and fibers, which are important for the smooth functioning of our digestive system.

The notion that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” should be modified to “a fruit a day keeps the doctor away”. During my college days, my mentor Dr. R.P Kala was once attending a patient. When the patient asked Dr. Kala if he could eat apples, Dr. Kala immediately replied, “absolutely not”. As a curious student I asked, “Sir why did you tell him not to eat apples?” Dr. Kala replied, “because apples are 40 rupees a kg and even I can’t afford it, how can a poor man afford them.” Then Dr. Kala asked me “when did you have your last apple?” I said, “I don’t remember but probably around Deepawali,” to which he said, “now a days apples are too costly to be afforded”. The room echoed with laughter. But he was right.

Whenever I ask well-to-do families about their preferences in fruits, they name the costliest and most exotic fruits and dry fruits. Often parents give pomegranate juice to their weaning child. Instead, I advise them to give banana shake or mango shake. These juices are of no use, they are 95% water and give a false satisfaction. These do not give value for money and they are unhygienic too, even when extracted at home. Seasonal fruits are the best and the most suited.

It is a myth that Mangoes are warm fruits and bananas are cold. It is a mere coincidence that mangoes ripe in summers, in the hot and humid weather, which is the season of boils. Mangoes are a good source of vitamin A, iron and a lot of minerals that are required to be replenished during the summers and prevent us from heat stress. Similarly, Bananas ripe in winters, this is the time when cough & cold is transmitted easily. Bananas are a good source of vitamin C which protects us from cold.

Instead of going for cashew nuts, I would advise go for groundnuts. They are wonderful, easily available and are cheaper. Kids enjoy munching them, they are a good source of energy and proteins.

Milk is good but a costly affair and from the TV news channels and other media sources we hear about its adulteration. Whereas eggs are a superb source of calcium and proteins as milk. It is quite cheap and there is no scope of adulteration. Both of them are from animal source and both are non veg.

Conclusion : Healthy eating does not necessarily mean expensive eating.

Dr. Sanjeev Kumar

Faridabad Medical Centre

Phone: 0129-2980378, Mobile: 9891001441



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