Tuesday, 6 April 2010
Today in our lab we all had breakfast together. It is an agreement between us to prepare and have breakfast together if anyone of us is having birthday. It is a time to wish and also to enjoy a hearty breakfast. I would say German breakfast is one of the best in the world. Eventhough it is an assembled one rather than freshly prepared, it contains fat, protein and carbohydrates in proper propotions. Brot (bread) as they call, come in many different varieties. Germany boasts to have 600 (!) different varieties of bread. From whole corn to simple white breads, from rye, millet, corn, potato breads to the usual wheat ones, breads topped with different seeds like linsen, sunflower, seasame and pumpkin, multigrain bread to pumpernickel, the list goes on endlessly. Along with bread there will be a variety of cheese, seasonal fruits, vegetables like cucumber, paprika and tomato, several variety of deli meats and sausages, eggs and butter. Look at the picture colourful isn't it? It is not only colourful but has all the necessary components like protein, fat, carbohydrate, calcium, Iron, vitamins and anti-oxidants. Brot is cut open, then a thin layer of butter is applied followed by a spreadable sausage and cheese, then a few slices of cucumber, tomato and herbs like basil or salad leaves are inserted between the cheese and this assembled sandwich is eaten with a cup of strong coffee or a fruit juice. The main thing I like about this breakfast is, it is a perfect example for a balanced diet.
Our traditional Indian breakfast is also a perfectly balanced one. But because of our hectic life style we do not have time to prepare everything. If we prepare idly no time for sambhar and chutney so we end up eating idlies with pickle. Because of the time-consuming preparations involved we just prepare one part and omit the rest. I have seen people who look upon cooking extensively everyday as a sinful act. Many eat rice and potato curry on a daily basis either out of love for the combination or for convenience. My dear hubby eats rice with pickle even if there are other side-dishes available. My worry is that we Indians cook food, but not completely. Most of the time we consume just carbohydrates and say we are eating healthy food. Just beacuse we are cooking something at home on a daily basis doesn't mean it is healthy.
In this diet conscious world fat is looked upon as a poison. I see Germans consuming more fat in the form of butter, cheese and red meat. But they have very less fasting triglycerides and high amount of good cholesterol. But most Indians have high fasting triglyceride values and very low good cholesterol. A doctor advised one of my friend to stop non-veg consumption because his fasting triglyceride levels are higher. But the reality is he is a vegetarian!!! 25-35% of your daily carloric requirement should come from fat. You are doing no good by cooking in a teaspoon of oil or by consuming defatted milk and yoghurt, especially when you are in the prime of your age. The most important thing one should have in mind is to eat wisely by selecting a variety of food inorder to bring a proper balance in protein, fat and carb intake. I think I have gone out of topic but I really wanted to write about this. So coming back to the point, I really enjoyed todays German breakfast.