From indulging in a whole meal to embracing ‘healthy’ options, working professionals set a new trend of eating right. You can catch them holding a shaker of whey protein, lounging and sipping after a heavy workout. They are easy to spot in front of the counter at a fast food joint, staring at the menu, trying their best to count calories before they order. One can even see them at the friendly neighbourhood Kirana store, anxious to find whether the fresh batch of sprouts has arrived.
The subtle shift in eating habits and patterns in the city of Nizams, which started as a trickle, has now started to look like a norm. These days, a heavy dinner is definitely out of the menu only to be replaced by a meal of Idli or Dosa, never mind if it is served at a roadside bandi.
The demand for piping hot Jowar Roti (Jonna Rotte) is such that every other residential colony in the city has an outlet. Watch closely the entrance of parks in Hyderabad where the health-conscious go to in the wee hours. It’s hard to miss the array of counters selling health beverages, fruits and salads.
Dr Janaki Srinath, assistant professor, Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University, and National Executive Member, Indian Dietitic National, feels that people are more aware and educated about nutrition these days. The renowned nutritionist also shares that their demands from nutritionists are very specific and there is a definite trend of ‘eating right’. “What is heartening is that the younger generation here is very well-informed about what they eat. On a cautionary note, people who have pre-conditions like diabetes, hypertension or other ailments, they need professional help. They should not try to self-help,” says Dr Janaki.
There was a time when people used to adopt ‘proper diet’ in times of health crisis; but, these days, eating it right and healthy has become a mantra, a way of living. And, driving this newfound love for ‘good’ food in Hyderabad are the millennials in the age group of 18 to 35 years, who don’t seem to care about counting calories but do care about eating right.
While the dining out culture has never been so vibrant, Hyderabad, at present, is witnessing a gradual shift in eating choices, and gravitating towards what often is described by nutritionists as ‘conscious indulgence’.
The message from the tech-savvy generation, who are constantly exposed to world trends, lifestyles, new cuisines through social media, is very clear: “We will indulge once in a while but, at the same time, be conscious of our food choices”.
Numerous studies in eating patterns of Indians too have indicated that the young generation is travelling to new destinations, has access to world trends and exposure to new culture, and are willing to embrace it all — including the food habits.
Several research papers have also indicated that 40 per cent of the working professionals in urban Indian cities tend to eat out at least three to four times a week.
“There has been a consistent increase in the number of working professionals expressing interest in getting more information on how to eat healthy and stay fit,” says Dr Lahari Surapaneni, nutritionist and food scientist. She shares that people are willing to try new kinds of health foods like millets, quinoa, low fat dairy etc.
“Working professionals are certainly making changes in their lifestyle such as taking lighter dinners, eating 2-3 hours prior to the bed time, including fruits and vegetables in daily diet, eating less outside and cutting down on added sugars and highly processed foods,” she adds.
Nutritionists point out that often working professionals get exposed, through various means, to different cuisines and they crave to have it in Hyderabad.
And this is what has dictated a change, a proliferation of ‘new-age’ diners in Hyderabad that are primarily based on new eating trends. Recognising this craving to consume something new, unique, healthy and organic, eateries in Hyderabad have also started adding exclusive ‘Healthy’ sections to their menu.
So, while Hyderabad Biryani continues to hold its pride of place as the king of meals on the dinner table, there is enough space and demand for healthy smoothies, shakes, protein-based cookies, low-calorie desserts and juices laced with protein powder, which was not the case a few years ago.
There is a definite sense of acceptance that the nightly visit to Ram Ki Bandi is here to stay but, at the same time, a bowl of salad from the nearby Subway or a cup of brown rice is just as important.
Gone are the days when dinner usually meant a heavy meal. With roadside eateries offering a number of mouthwatering, ‘lighter’ options at night time, foodies seem more keen on making their dinner a ‘night breakfast’ with ready-to-serve items like Idli, Dosa, Pav Bhaji, Chaat and other dishes which were, so far, considered as snacks.
With the stretches of Madhapur abuzz with food joints late at night, the IT hub is slowly and steadily turning out to be a ‘food bazaar’. And even in other parts of the city — be it Moosapet or Kukatapally, Dilshuknagar or Tarnaka, everyone from bachelors to families are flocking to have instant food served on the bandis.
eating habitsOne of the Dosa trucks lining the streets of Madhapur.
Raj Kiran, an employee in Tech Mahindra, says, “My work gets over after 11 pm. So, instead of a heavy meal, I prefer to have a plate of Idli or Dosa while returning home.”
Another techie, U Suraj, who was enjoying a Rava Dosa at Idly.com in Madhapur, too echoes the same view and says that ‘late office hours meant a lighter meal’. “No thali or biryani for me, please. Since I hit the sack only after midnight, I prefer to have something that is light.”
Aishwarya, a student pursuing fashion designing, says her reason to go for a Sandwich or an Idli instead of a complete meal at night was to be able to sleep comfortably. “A heavy stomach does not allow me get a proper sleep,” she reasons. #KhabarLive