I’ve applied for anticipatory bail from Balramgarh Sessions Court for what I’m gonna be writing this week. Because who knows, like moral brigade, there may just be a diet brigade baying for my blood after this, for spoiling the young generation. Well, let them hang me but I have to give my views on this one. A recent study in UK revealed the five ‘dangerous’ foods that are instrumental in giving us stress. You would think that makes for a fairly easy calmness column because I just have to preach that you should avoid consuming these to stay calm. Right? Wrong. Because when I looked at the list, I realized that I would much rather swim non-stop through the Suez canal than give these up. And I don’t even know how to swim. So, here are the ‘bad five’ and why I think the British researchers can take a hike.
1 Bread: ‘Processed food items such as white bread deplete the levels of vitamins in the body, hence leaving it prone to stress,’ says the study. Lo karlo baat. First the British teach us fancy phrases to help us earn our ‘bread and butter’, and then do research to tell us not to eat that bread. Pray tell, weren’t we taught in school that we should be ‘breaking bread’ with our friends to encourage bonding? I follow it quite religiously, and refuse to give up on bread for the fear of losing that bond. And all those itching to tell me that the above quotes use bread only as a metaphor for food should just go away and not even think about spoiling my poor joke.
3 Coffee: Haww. They actually thought someone would give up coffee if they’ll use jargon like ‘stimulating effect of caffeine on the cardiovascular system may lead to rise in blood pressure and hence mental stress.’ Are they out of their minds? Poets and authors have written books on relaxation while holding a steaming cuppa in their hand and staring out of the window. How can they suddenly blame poor coffee for the stress in this world? How, how?
4 Potato chips: If coffee is innocent and harmless, it is blasphemous to urge people to give up on something as pitiable and meek as potato chips. The study says, ‘chips contain a lot of salt, which can make you dehydrated and retain water, leading to stress’. I suspect ISI’s hand in this research. They want us to be devoid of simple pleasures in life and shove us into the throes of depression. Why else would some study claim that retaining something as pious as water in our bodies will stress us out? For most of us, potato chips are all we can afford in the coveted junk food segment and I’m prepared to go on a ‘chips-unto-death’ fast if some firang scientists try to take away that right from us.
5 Alcohol: Did they actually say give that up? They’ve got be kidding. The noble beverage has single-handedly taken the task of drowning the entire world’s sorrow in itself and the rotten researchers want to snatch it away from us? Who hasn’t sat on a bar stool with a glass in hand and experienced stress melt away. What gives these scientists the right to claim that just because alcohol ‘leads to disturbance in the normal sleep cycle, it can lead to chronic stress and anxiety.’ I bet when this study got published, the researchers would have opened champagne to celebrate and later slept like a log. Hypocrites.
Okay, fine. I know you know that whatever I’ve said above is a big bundle of non-sense and that the research findings are a well-established truth. But, I’m not sure if taking away all the things I love, even in the name of proven science, would give me a stress-free and calm life. And I’m also not sure if I need a boring calm life anyway. Do you? Sonal Kalra wants to bargain with scientists to let us have everything — in moderation. Maybe someday a study will prove that ‘nothing induces stress, unless taken in excess’. Hey, that rhymes!
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