Food is an important part of our everyday life. However, thanks to modern lives, many of us are left to cut corners when it comes to our food. This careless attitude toward one’s diet is counterproductive and harms the body in the long run. Ruti Gomes, a 32-year old aspiring nutritionist from Mato Grosso, Brazil, shares her thoughts in this exclusive interview.
Q. Ruti, as a nutritionist, what suggestions do you have for people to improve their eating habits?
A. I always tell people one thing – it’s okay if you love to eat but you can’t live to eat. Food is a necessity. Like everything else, it must be taken in moderation. Each one of us must take our own responsibility when it comes to our relationship with food. Whether you are eating out or prefer home-cooked meals, taking small steps like eating slowly, chewing well, and taking your mealtime seriously goes a long way.
Q. The concept of whole foods has been grabbing popular imagination. What’s your take on this?
A. Whole foods are wholesome. They help in maintaining blood sugar and some even help maintain the good bacteria in your gut. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is generally a good idea as they are full of fiber, vitamins, and essential minerals. Besides, whole foods contain phytochemicals which are excellent for securing the health of each cell.
Q. Why do you think people continue to crave processed foods, despite what studies have shown regarding their ill effects?
A. The simple answer is willful ignorance. There’s plenty of literature out there that shows that processed foods are laced with chemical substances that are alien to our bodies. However, it’s not easy to let go of them once they have entered your life. The trick is to do it slowly. Like any other form of addiction, this drooling and craving for excessive salts and sugars is hard to let go of. It’s like breaking a big bad habit. It takes time and patience. I encourage people to keep a record of the smallest of good changes they experience during their conscious withdrawal period. The incentive is often enough to keep them going. For Ruti Gomes, taking food seriously is akin to taking life seriously. She doesn’t believe in living a bland life when it comes to food but points at the dangers of trashing the body with unorganized and unhealthy eating.