Pulses or dals and dried peas and beans

Pulses are the major food extensively used in Indian kitchen. Incorporated in every meal and in different forms. It’s not only dal but papad , cheela , sattu , bari is made from various dals. In India pulses and legumes consists of bengal gram whole or dhal or roasted, black gram, cow pea, field bean, green gram whole or dhal , horsegram , khesari dal , lentil , moth beans , peas green or dry or roasted, rajmah , red gram , soyabean, goa beans , malmandi,sutari , etc.

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Pulses and beans are reputed to lower blood cholesterol and help diabetics by reducing post meal rise in blood sugar. The ability of carbohydrates to raise blood sugar depends on their speed of absorption. Leguminous seeds and beans provide high fiber as well as antinutrients (phytates , tannins,saponins,enzyme inhibitors ),their gradual absorption results in a lower rise of blood sugar than with equal amounts of carbohydrates from other sources. They are thus recommended for diabetics. The soluble pectin and gum fiber in lentils helps to lower cholesterol and stabilise blood sugar. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors may work with fiber to stabilise blood sugar levels. It also helps to lower the levels of chemical in blood that contributes to premature cardiovascular disease in diabetics. The complex carbohydrates are digested slowly and release glucose gradually into the bloodstream helping to maintain normal glucose levels. The soluble fiber in beans and lentils may help to decrease serum cholesterol levels as well as glucose levels and it also helps to prevent weight gain. These provides a fair amount of protein in the Indian meal. One cup of thin dal provides 100 calories. Dried peas and beans should be cooked into thin consistency. One cup of dal twice a day is allowed in a vegetarian diet. In a mixed diet one cup of dal per meal is allowed in exchange for an egg or meat , fish, chicken or one cup of milk and its products. Along with energy and proteins pulses and legumes provide invisible fat , vitamin B1 , vitamin B2 , folic acid , calcium , iron and fibre. One serving or 25 grams of dal provides 15 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 85 kcal energy. Soyabean is the exception, 25 grams of Soyabean provides 10.8 g protein and 108 kcal energy.

Diabetes is a complex disorder. It is very difficult to follow the restrictions whole life. It leads to frustration resulting in cheating, stealing of food . Certain modifications in the diet is a small effort to make the food more attractive and add variety.

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Lipsmacking Lentil spread or dip – cook lentils alongwith garlic , puree , add yoghurt and fresh lemon juice.

Lentil pancakes – soak lentils , make a batter , add Indian curry powder ,cook like a pancake.

Lentil burger patties- cook lentils , mash , add seasoning and breadcrumbs to make patties. Just arrange like burger.

Lentil pasta sauce – make a pasta sauce by pureeing cooked beans and garlic with broth and cumin and oregano seasoning.

A little innovation and change in the preparation of food results in happiness in the family.


Relatives or friends at home, opt for some health drink instead of soft drinks or cold drinks or bottled juices. They all are laced with sugar , maybe preservatives or acids , etc.

WHAT I DO? (You can give a try)

A simple task. Take an empty glass bottle with a narrow mouth (plastic bottle if glass bottle is not available). Wash and dry it in sun. Fill it to the top with crystalline sugar. Squeeze lemon juice (about 1 kgs of fresh lemon for 1 litre of glass bottle )and pour into the sugar filled bottle. Its a fun to watch the lemon juice finding it’s way through the sugar crystals . When you pour the juice in, the sugar will settle down to about two third of the height of the bottle . Put the cap tightly and keep it in the sun for two to three days. Shake it twice or thrice a day to dissolve the sugar. After three days , store it in a cool dry place. It will last for more than a year.

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Make a nice refreshing drink with adding two tablespoons of the lemon squash to a glass of chilled water or cold water. You can also add jaljeera powder or black salt or mint leaves for added flavoured drink.

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Because of the high percentage of sugar , no chemical preservative is needed. Safe for kids as well. Lower in calories than the usual soft drinks. No acids or gasses present.

HEALTH GUIDELINES FOR YOUR CHILD AND you as well. ..Simple but vital

It’s not very difficult. Just decide

What to feed your child. Just the normal food cooked for the family. The child is a part of the family, why make something special for him. The food should be according to the requirement of the child. Strong flavours and very spicy foods should be avoided. The food should be nutritious. It should be equally nutritious for the mother and father as well. We all love to munch wafers , chips , enjoy cold drinks or soft drinks or fruit juice , eat processed ,packaged ,ready to eats but just check that atleast the child eats three nutrient rich foods a day. It’s not sufficient but nowadays most of us don’t even consume three healthy nutrients. If the child eats all the nutrients you are the fortunate mother. The healthy food which a child as well you require are whole wheat breads , pulses , dairy and dairy products, green vegetables, yellow or orange vegetables, fresh fruits , nuts , egg or low fat non vegetarian products.

The meal is ready. Where would you and your child eat it? The whole family should eat together without television, mobile phone or any other distraction. It affects the concentration of the child and it affects your weight. The child should be seated on a proper chair or a high chair so that he can eat the food , feel the food ,play with food so that he can enjoy the food. If you can’t leave your favourite tv shows , just plate the food in the kitchen according to the requirements and do not take second helping of the tasty food. When we watch tv or films or computer we are distracted from the foodstuffs and we don’t know how much quantity we have eaten.

Now the most important point is when should you feed the child? As an infant the feeding patterns are different but as the child grows , the meal timing should be fixed according to the family routine. Three major meals , the breakfast, lunch and dinner and two snacks time , midmorning and evening snacks is suitable for you and the child. Do not skip breakfast as it is the most important meal. Do not give anything except water between the mealtimes. Children cannot differentiate between hunger and thirst. So providing anything else instead of water will suppress the hunger at the meal.

The 3 W’s, what ,where and when has to be followed for a healthy child and a healthy you. If we all follow this What Where When I am sure everyone will be fit and healthy.

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