Five Questions And A Glimpse Into the Pakistani Diet


One of the Dieticians, Sehba K., at our Park Avenue office is Pakistani and has provided some interesting insight about the Pakistani diet.

-What are the benefits of the Paki diet?

The Pakistani diet incorporates a great variety of foods, which means it is rich in nutrients and flavors.   The use of a large number of spices, such as cloves and turmeric, add to the health benefits of this diet while enhancing its flavor profile at the same time.

-What are the cons of the Paki diet?

The methods of cooking Pakistani foods can have adverse effect on one’s health.  Often,  too much oil is used to fry onions, tomatoes, and spices, which are key ingredients in Pakistani meals.  Using too much oil in heating vegetables can also damage the antioxidative effects of vitamins.  Deep fried foods, such as fish and kebabs, are staples of the Pakistani diet.   Desserts are usually full of butter and ghee, concentrated sources of saturated fat that can damage the heart.  Finally, the combination of oily, spicy foods at snacks or meals can exacerbate heartburn and gastritis.

-What about portion sizes of grains?

The Pakistani diet can be heavy in grains, with servings of rice being well over a cup and roti servings being at least 2 pieces per meal.   To better balance the meal, reduce the serving of rice to ½ cup and roti to 1 piece.   Add in 1 cup of fresh salad or cut up vegetables, 1/2cup of daal, or ½ cup of cooked, nonstarchy vegetables such as eggplant, spinach, or cauliflower.

-What is mustard oil, how is it used, what does it taste like?

Mustard oil is type oil found in Southeast Asian food store. It has a distinct, slightly bitter flavor and is high in unsaturated fatty acids.  Mustard oil is used in heating spices and making curries as it enhances the intensity and flavor of spices.  In Pakistan, mustard oil is also used in moisturizing skin and is also used as part of a hot oil treatment to condition hair.

-Where can someone find these groceries and what are some of your favorite Pakistani foods?

Pakistani groceries can be found at any Pakistani or Indian food store, specifically in Coney Island, Brooklyn, Jackson Heights, Queens, and Curry Hill, Manhattan.  My favorite Pakistani food items include fresh roti, scrambled eggs with onions and spices, goat curry with potatoes, and cooked cabbage.

Thanks Sehba!

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  • Haleemchik


Park Avenue Nutrition Wellness Services