Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Oats or Not

In the last few years, this new cereal has discreetly entered in Indian breakfast. With a strong lobby of nutritionist and medical experts backing this as a healthy alternative, we have to see how it makes its permanent seat in our grocery list. For sure, it has a host of good daily nutrients like complex carbohydrate, soluble fibre, phytochemicals and protein.

Oats has its origin from Northwest Europe. It is a staple diet of Scottish people. Unlike other cereals, it has better tolerance for cold wet climate for cultivation.

Is oats a must for a healthy heart?

Indians are traditionally eating variety of cereals in the form of roti, upma, idli, pongal, payasam, dosa, paratha, ragi-mudde etc. Wheat, jawar, bajra, ragi, soya, sorghum, barley, rice, maize, rye, other millets were important part of our diet based on season. And we have always looked at breakfast or tiffin meals as yummy & spicy.

So, why this new twist of a healthy oats! Were we missing something, which now west has discovered and enlightened us?

Oats is marketed initially by powerful international brands like Kellogg’s and now it has effectively copied by Indian brands like Saffola, Horlicks and Britannia.

Today, modern Indians are in some way losing its heritage of rich, diverse, wholesome dietary pattern. We can blame this to developing economy, nuclear family and time constraints. Oats surely wins here, as it is almost ready to eat.

Genetically, we have better tolerance for Indian grown cereals and millets. Oats can be added as an additional cereal in our daily diet. It can also be effectively mixed with Indian cereals to prepare our traditional breakfast.

So enjoy this journey of globalization in food behaviour. Just keep your roots intact, while flirting with international variety.

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