My name is Udit, I am born & raised in Bangkok (Thailand), parents are of Indian decent & I am the founder of Pranaa Food For Life. This year (2020) I will be turning 30 years old.
I want to start off by saying that I am not Vegan. The large lifestyle change in my life took place about 4 years ago now, when my father who suffered from Heart Disease had to operate to put stents in his heart well before the age of 60. He then decided he wanted to make a huge change in his life, so that he would not be dependent on medication for the rest of his life.
He turned himself to become 100% plant based for his own health & today he has better health risk factors than 5-10 years ago without the use of any medication. His own personal results, along with my own trials of the diet convinced me – Bangkok needs a healthy plant based delivery option! Since launching Pranaa I also do try to adopt a predominantly plant based diet (80-20) within my lifestyle.
I know - giving up a big part of your life is difficult, especially when you do not have any disease or underlying health reason to give up food. That is why our food choices are often emotionally or socially bound to us more than any other reason. When I am out with my friends, for birthday celebrations or any other list of social reasons, sometimes it is easier just to indulge in the wrong food choices. Being physically active also makes it even harder to give up the food you crave, because you often don’t see any weight gain & hence think little about the damage we do to our bodies internally.
BUT I want to be clear: in the same way that many of us may smoke, consume alcohol or any other substances that are bad for our health, just because we do these things doesn’t make them a good choice for our health. I DO NOT endorse the consumption of animal products being beneficial in any way towards our long-term health. We all get to make our own life decisions; I would never force someone to give up something that is important to their life. However, my goal is rather to educate, to speak up for a side of nutritional sciences that is often ignored. Let us use scientific research to fuel the food choices we make rather than our emotions & gut feel.
Nutrition is so personal, the science behind it still receives so much criticism. I will try to avoid debate here, I am not a doctor & do not want to make any diet claims. I can only state some basic facts about the fundamental difference between the source of your food.
It is a fact that all animal products do not contain any fiber in their biological structure. It is something only found in cell walls & only plants have cell walls. The reverse of this is also true, that only animal products contain cholesterol whereas plant sources do not. I believe most people would want a high fiber, low cholesterol diet for their health. People argue that saturated fat & cholesterol in your food doesn’t necessarily lead to higher blood cholesterol but if I was given a choice I would eat more food with fiber & less with cholesterol.
In addition, vegetables are also the lowest calorie density food groups we know so the chances of gaining any weight or overeating becomes extremely difficult when you need to chew through 30kg of carrots & cucumbers every day to be overeating. That’s why my recommendation for anyone looking to improve their diet (Disclaimer – Not a Doctor): To increase their intake of fresh fruits & vegetables every day. Your stomach will be more full from eating high volume food groups & the overall calories will remain relatively low. This way you will also get all the necessary vitamins & minerals you need every day! The process of having to chew & slowly digest your food will also mean that your blood sugar levels will not spike so fast and impact your insulin resistance!
Secondly, animal products are a luxury product. They require a large amount of energy, water & resources to produce. Large arable land needs to be created in order to grow crops to feed the animals, they are then pumped with antibodies to prevent us from catching any diseases from them & then they are sent to large factory slaughter houses to give us the ultimate product. The energy transfer across the food chain is about 1%, so every time we must feed a farm animal, we are being extremely wasteful with energy. Unfortunately, animals do not have the ability to take Sunlight – an energy source in abundance & turn it into organic matter. Only plants can do that. Plants are the most energy efficient living species we know, the building blocks of life on Earth.
An example to think of when looking at the energy cost of consuming animal products: Would it be cheaper to have children or to be partners with no children that you needed to feed every single day of your life? Feeding extra mouths for the sake of feeding ourselves regardless how anyone tries to debunk it cannot be more energy efficient. I am just not convinced it can be true.
These are just my opinions on the debate of what is the best food choices for us all long term & the main reasons why I started Pranaa here in Bangkok.
My childhood dream was to be a professional athlete, now entering my 30’s my goal is to continue to keep playing casual sports leagues well into my 50’s and beyond. I aim to be fitter & healthier in the upcoming stage of my life than I was in my teenage years. I know first-hand that adopting the plant based diet will allow me the best chance of prolonging my health and physical condition.
I hope I have convinced some of you to at least give Pranaa a go once! As I said we do not discriminate so if you want to start off with just 1 day a week please join us in the #MEATLESSMONDAY movement to give up animal products 1 day a week. We have a special promo running on Mondays, so be sure to check for discounts on our Promotions page.
Thanks to all who read till here. Much love and respect from me to you for your time.