In SAAOL, we have tried to divide all the food groups as per their calorie content the divisions of the food are as follows:

1.    All vegetables and salads along with vegetable soups and dal soups are grouped under 20 Rs. notes as they give 20 Kcal of energy per serving (one serving means 100 gm of raw salads or vegetable)

2.    All fruits except for banana and mango, are grouped under 50 Rs. note as they give 50 Kcal of energy per serving (one serving means 100 gm of raw fruits)

3.    All cereals like 1 chapatti, 1 Katori cooked rice,1 Katori poha, 1 Katori upma,1 bread slice, 4 medium-sized idlis, 1 naan, 1 kulcha, 1 Katori thick dal, noodles, or 1 paper dosa, all give 100 Kcal of energy hence assigned as 100 Rs. note. Few vegetables also come under this like potato, sweet potato, and arbi, and two fruits also belong to this list; mango and banana, along with 200 ml double toned or skimmed milk.

4.    All fried and oily food (like poori, samosa, kachori, pakoras, etc), non-vegetarian food, egg, full cream milk, and sweets come under 500 Rs. note as they give 500 and more than 500 kcal of energy in a single serving.

5.    All fried sweets (like rasgulla, jalebis, Kaju Barfi, laddoo, etc) and high calorie fast foods (like pizza and burger with extra cheese, French fries with cold drinks, etc.), all nuts and seeds (100 gm), khoa, ice creams, pudding, and few fruits like dry apricot and dates are also grouped under 500 Rs. notes as they give 500 Kcal of energy in a single serving.

With the grouping, as shown above, it must be clear to you which food has to be taken and which have to avoid, in terms of their calorie content. But as a layman, most of you might get confused or might forget which food has to be taken liberally, which has to be taken moderately and which should be restricted completely. For this I just relate these different calorie foods with traffic signals; it is quite simple to understand.

All food comes in 20 Rs. and 50 Rs. can be taken without giving a thought, they are always safe and beneficial for the health, they have GREEN SIGN, which means whenever you are served with them you don’t have to stop to judge whether to proceed with the eating or not, you can eat them anytime to your heart’s content. All the food which comes under 100 Rs. note, as mentioned in the list above have YELLOW SIGN, which means you have to consider twice, before eating them; ‘how much and when you have you are having them’, as they contain quite good calories and should be consumed very thoughtfully. Now, comes the last two categories which are of 300 Rs. note and 500 Rs. note they bear a big RED SIGN which means whenever you are served with them you have to stop immediately to avoid any accident (diseases) in your life, you should not even think of eating them if you really want to live a safe and disease-free life.

Now, SAAOL thinks, things are further simplified; you just have to remember these simple dietary guidelines before you take your food and rest will be fine for you. This sign system of SAAOL has become very popular among the patients as they find it very easy to remember the dos and don’ts of the diet with the reference of their day to day life that is a traffic signal. Now, many times they tell me jokingly, that now whenever they look at their dish, they first look for these Green, yellow and Red signals and then only start eating!

This is nothing but a gradual onset of that thinking process where health starts coming in mind before anything else, Dr. Bimal Chhajer prefers to call it DIET LITERACY.

Hope you liked this blog regarding SIGN OF FOOD.

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