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Traditional Food Categories - Based on Their Effect on Consumer Behaviour

Updated on October 20, 2019
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The author hails from South Indian village, situated in the South-West coastal region. He is into farm science and agriculture.

A spicy food on the cooking
A spicy food on the cooking

Food for thought

Healthy food is necessary for a healthy life. But you may not know that even though the food is healthy, it acts directly on your physiology as well as your emotions, thereby your personality behaviour. For those who are aware of it, hope that this article will take through a useful reading, refreshing your knowledge. Today, fast-food habit and frozen food habits are spoiling the lives of the eater in many ways. In essence, you can choose your food for a peaceful life at the same time get the benefit of good health.
When we categorize the food, we may come across Chinese, Indian, Continental, English, Moroccan, Peruvian, Japanese, Australian, American food, etc based on a regional basis. On the other hand, the foods are categorized as vegan, vegetarian, non-vegetarian, ova-vegetarian or Lacto-vegetarian, artificial food supplements, etc. based on food form.
Now, this piece of article will take you through the Indian traditional system of the food categories, knowing about that can give you a choice of control over your mind. According to this categorization, mainly the foods are of three types, Sattvik (meaning essentially contented), Rajas (warmer and spicy) and Tamas (sedentary) food, or you may call it an essential mild food, spicy saucy piquant food and sleepy sedative food, respectively.
Let us get an idea of what these are.

Food makes you happy

One feels that the food you eat must be healthy, hygienic and delicious to relish it. We spend a lot of time and money for the food to meet our expected requirement.

Three categories of food

Mild food for calmness (Sattvik)

The first category is mentioned as Sattvik (essentially contented) and has an essential form of food mainly consisting of vegetables, fruits, cereals, pulses and dairy products. By eating this, one feels calm and cool. It is mostly balanced food, in terms of the diet which gives energy and important essential nutrients for the body.

Those who are doing prayer, meditation, yoga or rituals may take a mild food. Such food habits always keep you alert and balance their mind perfectly. Recently, this sort of mild food is becoming very popular as everyone wishes to have control over their activities and ultimate success.

Spicy food for dynamic strength (Rajas)

Foodies and partying youngsters like spicy food, traditionally mentioned as Rajas (kings). They want this for a very tasty and spicy feeling while eating. What it would cause, after eating, are physiological warmth and dynamic attitude. However, subsequent burning sensation and heaviness of the stomach are the side-effects. It creates restlessness and dashing nature with an agitated mind. Dashing nature of a person and problems with digestion reminds for diet-conscious people to keep such food away from the diet. For example, onion, garlic, chillies and meat individually or in combination form Rajas food.

Regular eating of spicy food makes the person’s temperament highly hostile. It also leads to ill-health within a short period of time associated with obesity. Spicy preparations made up of fat, meat, onion and the garlic fall under this category.

Stored foods have coupled illness (Tamas)

Cooked food of the previous day or frozen foods, as well as fermented foods, are falling under the sleepy sedative food category known as Tamas food (sedentary). Alcoholic foods and beverages, cold drinks, cocoa chocolates and ice creams also fall under this type of food. Such foods cause an uneven balance of mind, illness of thoughts and subsequent ill-health in general. Regularly consuming such foods makes you mostly non-alert and causes long time sicknesses.

People who wish to have short-term happiness or enjoying the illusion of mind may take such sedatives. Some of the persons take it occasionally to achieve something and leave it. However, if you become addicted to such kind of food, you will not be in your own control. Moreover, you spoil the life of others also, that is not a socially appreciated behaviour.

Salad made of curds and the vegetables is very cool
Salad made of curds and the vegetables is very cool

Diet table for normal persons

On waking up
1 cup with milk with low sugar
Cofee/ Tea(Milk-50 ml)
1 cup without sugar
2 slices
or Chapati/ Idly/ Dosa
3-4 nos
Mid Morning
Lime juice / buttermilk
One cup without sugar
Rice/ chapati
75 g/3 nos
Pulse preparation
50 g
Sambar/ Curry/ meat
75 g
150 g
1 cup
4 O'clock
Coffee/ tea/ milk-50ml
1 cup without sugar
+ 2 biscuit/ a fruit
Rice/ chappathi
75 g/3 nos
1 cup
Sambar/Curry/ meat
75 g
150 g
1 cup
9 O'clock
Skimmed milk
1 Glass
Per day
5 g/ day
Vegetarians should include
Extra milk
200 ml
25 g
100 ml

General recommendation

May Be Avoided
Oil & Fat
Virgin coconut oil, coconut oil, groundnut oil, rice bran oil, mustard oil, gingelly oil,
Refined oil, dalda, margarine, unknown oil
Sugar produts
Skimmed milk & Milk products
Milk, curds, buttermilk, fresh milkshakes
Cheese, cream, condensed milk
Root vegetable
Onion, carrot, radish
Beetroot, yam, potato, tapioca and colacasia
Green Leafy vegetables
Other vegetables
Orange, sweetlime, papaya, apple, watermelon, few grapes, plaintain (few)
All other fruits like banana, sapota, custard apple, mango,
Alchohol, soft drink, squash, jam, jelly, biscuit, pudding, cake, nuts, oilseeds, confectionaries

Packaged food may be avoided

Packaged food may be avoided to the extent possible, including bread, biscuits and milk. Prepared food may be eaten warm and fresh. Fresh fruits and vegetables may be eaten immediately after cutting. Cooked food may be used within three to four hours for good effect. This is also supported by the science of Ayurvedic medicine.

Packaged foods are considered as Tamas food category. Food prepared and packaged and whether or not kept inside oven or refrigerator are all considered under this category. Wine, squash, juice, etc. kept under room temperature more than 6 hours are falling in this category. Milk and ice cream, cut fruits, vegetables, etc. kept inside the refrigerator, whether recooked or used for boiling and baking are also are Tamas food. Therefore, avoiding such food will help you to enjoy a well-balanced life.

Final words

Next time when you cook, you may recall this piece of article on food categories, which may be useful to you in the long term. Let the children and adults also know very well, regarding the type of food they are eating. So, deciding on what you should eat, will decide your behaviour and your life with the loved ones for a happy future.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Halemane Muralikrishna


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