As Pakistanis, we love to eat. Be it a spice-laden biryani, a nihari boti floating in oil or irresistibly sweet Gulab jamuns. Because of this, our obsession does cost us more than just a few Rupees. As hard and bitter as it may sound, these tasty foods are eaten by a vast majority of Pakistanis. Both, the rich and the poor have fallen victim to some deadly diseases. However, it’s fair to mention that eating these foods in moderation, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle is acceptable. Here is a list of some of the unhealthy foods in Pakistan that we love eating.
No one can deny the unconditional love for French Fries. “Aloo kae chips” is what we call them. Be it McDonalds’ steaming hot crispy fries or the spicy fries from Liberty market. These snack are eaten anywhere and at any time. Little do we know that these harmless looking potatoes are often the cause of diseases such diabetes, heart disease and in severe cases, cancer.
If you religiously follow Youtube, you may have seen the famous video of a news reporter being interrupted by a crowd of over enthusiastic men. These men announce slyly that they would like an “Andae wala burger”- an egg sandwich. The stunt certainly endorsed the food product, where everyone was rushing to have a bite. However, even before becoming an internet sensation, these burgers have been highly popular. Bun Kabab; the economical version of a fast food burger, has always occupied the hearts and appetite of every Pakistani. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the spices can severely disturb the intestines and may lead to stomach ulcers.
Gol gappay, or paani puri are round, mouthwatering delights, that have been known to be a source of high calories. Therefore, no matter how small or harmless they may seem, their appearance can fool you into consuming thousands of calories.
As a nation, we are clearly obsessed with spices and our every food is incomplete without some ‘masala.’ Dahi mix chaat is a combination of various spices such as coriander, ketchup and cumin. These are added to yogurt and chickpeas to make a tasty treat.
These small, triangular morsels are yet to be declared Pakistan’s national snack. A samosa is primarily a form of thin pastry, which is shaped into triangles after being filled with something inside. A samosa is deep fried and makes us feel hungry faster, increasing the chances of obesity.
Similar to samosas, pakoras are the perfect snack for a cold, rainy day or during the month of Ramadan. However, they have a high cholesterol rate and can cause obesity. Chances of heart diseases may also increase.
Kachoris are delicious potato morsels that are deep fried and served hot. However, the oil used is mostly unprocessed or recycled, and is a common cause of acidity. Long-term issues linked with these include obesity and coronary diseases.
A sweet Pakistani delicacy that constitutes a major part of our festivities and evening tea contains high levels of sugar, oil and flour. These ingredients may in turn cause diabetes, high blood pressure and constipation.
Silver foiled sweets (Mithai)
Mithai or sweets covered in silver foil paper are extremely hazardous to health. Even though they give an appetizing look, they are covered in aluminum that accumulates body tissues that can affect bones and even the brain. Aluminum poisoning is also one of the suspects for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Only two pieces of Gulab jamun can cost you 387 calories alone. Consuming a whole bowl can therefore be extremely unhealthy.
Pizza may have been the creation of the Italians but is now wholeheartedly accepted and loved by our foodies. The sad part is that the food containing a high amount of calories, fat and sodium may raise your blood cholesterol level, making you prone to heart diseases. Moreover, the saturated fat in a pizza crust is likely to block your arteries which in the worst case can cause a heart attack.
An Arabic dish, Shawarma are no doubt palatable but far from a healthy one. The meat is marinated with fat and sodium seasoning and is therefore hazardous if not consumed in a right amount.
Roadside Sugarcane Juice
“Gannay Ka Ras” or sugar cane juice prepared on local stands have shown evidence of high bacteria contamination that can cause food poisoning. Therefore, unhygienic conditions under which the juice is produced and consumed makes it more susceptible to hazardous diseases.
As distressing as this list may seem, they all our junkies that are slowly poisoning our body system effecting a healthy lifestyle. Even though we all love eating it and may not be able to avoid it for long, little that can be done is to consume it occasionally and in the right amount. If you face any health related issues, book an appointment with a doctor for consultation.