The advisory that one should take part in food in moderation (mitha) has very few takers. Eating for delight and not complying with the age-old diktat is a human frailty not observed in any species other than human beings. Birds, beasts, insects and aquatic creatures are speechless role models of assuaging their hunger without over-indulging in food, although the caterpillar is perceived as a voracious gourmet. Its human version is marked by bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder characterised by binge eating, often followed by purging. At the other end of food consumption pattern is anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder characterised by a strong desire for restricted consumption with fear of gaining weight even though the person is underweight. The denizens of forest are also known to fast in order to recover from many afflictions unlike humans who choose to seek Physician’s advise, often not learning any lesson to avoid repeat of the distress. Not to yield to is the temptation of hogging food as a means of delight is the simple ground rule not followed by most people.
Knowledge connecting the multitude of components of all food consumed by populations in different regions continues to expand reaching the stage that it is beyond the capacity of lay people to grasp and comply, except to a limited extent. In short, even those who have not been to the school are aware of the harm salt and sugar cause to people diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes respectively.
Edible oils, including ghee and also chilli-based condiments commonly present in the diet of the land’s masses also figure in the doctor’s advice to those marked by diet restrictions to a far less extent than sugar and salt. The prospect of being served with saltless dishes at lunch and dinner comes as a surprise, thanks to its virtual invisibility in the culinary world. One is prompted to recall the idiom that life begins at forty and starts showing. Unlike the availability of mimics of sugar, not to forget their harmful properties, common salt based on the element sodium has only one alternative based on potassium, which is not much favoured by the Physicians. Salt bears another feature of coming into the market with added iodine, implicated in goitre.
While the simple implications of over-eating is not hard to grasp, those advised to be cautious about consuming salt to address their health issue of high blood pressure and inflammation are always in a dilemma of choosing between zero-salt and some-salt. Their family Physician is the best friend, philosopher and guide in their state of being deprived their dietary delight.