📷 Come winter and the palate yearns for filling and nutritious Indian foods that warm the stomach and the soul. Gajar ka halwa, sarson ka saag, Thukpa, Undhiyu are all desi food specialities cooked and consumed in winter. Eating certain Indian winter foods like garlic, Jowar, Bajra, til (sesame seeds) is recommended. But what’s the right kind of food your body needs during winter?
Macronutrients are the nutrients that are needed in large quantities for normal growth and development. Macronutrients are the body’s main source of calories to fuel life processes.
High carbohydrate diets are beneficial during cold weather. The advantage of a high carbohydrate diet is that the Respiratory Quotient (RQ) of carbohydrate diet is around 1.0 and this gives rise to the increase in arterial oxygen saturation. Carbohydrates provide a higher yield of energy per mole of oxygen. A diet high in carbs is shown to enhance glucose metabolism.
It is necessary to maintain adequate consumption of food in cold environments, especially under physically active conditions. There is a widespread perception that cold weather conditions contribute to an increased appetite. The evidence for this hypothesis is derived from changes in body weight. However, the reported increase in appetite is also associated with changes in other aspects of the subject’s environment such as increased activity levels, energy expenditure due to thermogenesis, social isolation and modification in the diet.
There is evidence suggesting that carbohydrates are more important than fat in fueling metabolic heat production during cold exposure. Some researchers studied the contribution of Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat to energy expenditure during 2hr exposure to warm (29ºc) or cold (2ºc) environments. The cold exposure increased the expenditure of energy almost 2-5 times more than that found in the subjects in a warm environment. This increase in energy expenditure resulted in an increase in Carbohydrate Oxidation by 5.9 folds and 63% in Fat Oxidation. Protein Oxidation was unaffected.