Murtaza Jafry Business development manager in Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

16:40 Gulf News: Extreme dieting goes against evolution, especially since we have such developed taste buds.

16:45 Nikhil Prakash: I agree to the first part of the statement. Extreme dieting would definitely affect the normal course of human evolution. However, I don’t think this has anything to do with taste buds being evolved or not. For normal growth, we have to have a balanced diet and making it taste better, makes it easier to eat, and this in turn could develop the taste buds over the course of many years.

16:48 Murtaza Jafry: Everybody needs energy to survive and food is energy. In any case no one should think that isolating themselves from food would help lose weight. The result would only make them weaker.

16:50 Purvi Gokani: Our taste buds and capacity to eat and digest food has developed over the years, therefore, extreme dieting is neither natural nor healthy.

16:54 Gulf News: Man was created to eat not to abandon food groups.

16:55 Nikhil Prakash: I agree that man was created not to abandon food groups. It is still unclear wether humans are actually supposed to be vegetarians, fruitarians or omnivores.

16:56 Purvi Gokani: Man wasn’t exactly created to eat, but what we eat and abandon is rather rooted in our religious beliefs.

16:56 Nikhil Prakash: Over the course of growth, it becomes clear what foods can be digested by that particular person.

16:57 Purvi Gokani: It also depends on the natural condition that people live in such as those in coastal areas who are brought up to eat fish. I think that we can adapt to what we can digest if eaten over time, like we can adapt to new tastes, so our body can adjust the digestion, in most cases. For example, Indian nursing mothers don’t eat normal food after delivery for months whereas in the UAE we are trained to eat everything so that the new-born can adapt to all food groups.

17:01 Nikhil Prakash: Yes agreed, and sometimes when we grow up we develop intolerances as well. We just need to find the substitute to that particular food group in such cases.

17:08 Murtaza Jafry: What we need to do for both dieting and gaining energy is to be aware of the ingredients of different dishes that we like and also the ones that we should eat.

17:09 Nikhil Prakash: We are what we eat.

17:10 Purvi Gokani: But the doctors (especially nutritionists) don’t necessarily prescribe a good balanced diet. First hand experience, as I’ve gone on many diets, wherein doctors follow a point system where it does not make any difference what you eat as long as you stick to a particular number of points.

17:12 Murtaza Jafry: There is no doubt about the fact that food was created to be eaten: carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the three elements that our body needs at all times. Along with these elements, there are a lot of compounds that are not healthy for our body.

17:12 Gulf News: Happiness is being thin.

17:12 Nikhil Prakash: I disagree, it’s a fad, and sadly many pursue it.

17:12 Purvi Gokani: Absolutely not. Happiness has nothing to do with being thin or fat.

17:13 Murtaza Jafry: I, personally might not agree with it but, yes, the majority does.

17:14 Nikhil Prakash: Happiness would mean staying healthy and thin does not necessarily mean being healthy.

17:15 Murtaza Jafry: I remember a survey regarding this which suggested that fat people believe happiness is only achieved by being thin, while thin people believed in the opposite.

17:16 Purvi Gokani: Happiness can also mean to be able to eat what you like, even if not healthy. I’m fat and most people in my family are, but most of us are generally healthy, too. We love all types of different foods, and we are all happy.

17:17 Nikhil Prakash: Well Purvi, but that doesn’t mean that being fat is healthy either. It’s about perception and sometimes a healthy person may appear to be ‘fat’ when he/she is actually not.

17:17 Nikhil Prakash: I agree with Murtaza. It’s about finding the right balance.

17:17 Murtaza Jafry: The conclusion is that the person should know how fast he or she gains or loses weight. And then according to that, they should be conscious with their appearance linked to their food.

17:18 Purvi Gokani: I feel that unless health issues restrict you, you should be able to eat what you like. I don’t claim being fat is healthy but it isn’t necessarily unhealthy either. I know people who eat healthy balanced home-cooked food and are still fat, and/or have health issues.

17:20 Nikhil Prakash: There are various tools available to gauge your levels such as BMI – the body mass index, which one can use to see what their current levels are in order to try to make the necessary changes.

17:20 Purvi Gokani: Health and happiness is a state of mind and well-being should not be tied to you being fat or thin.

17:20 Murtaza Jafry: I agree Purvi, but there is one thing that I would like to add in your statement and that is to know what you like, and how productive it is and then eat. Before liking something you should have a productive reason for it.

17:20 Nikhil Prakash: Stay healthy and stay happy as well as allow yourself to cheat and indulge once in a while. And I agree completely to happiness being a state of mind.

17:21 Purvi Gokani: Liking cannot be linked with reason as for example we all like ice cream and chocolate, but that is hardly productive. So, being thin or fat also depends on your metabolism and Nature of work rather than what you eat. You could eat right and still be fat with an inactive job.

17:23 Murtaza Jafry: I would conclude the discussion by telling you that things that are productive always last longer. Know whatever you do and whatever you eat. Everything has a positive and a negative effect. Don’t combine them both and neither be afraid of the negatives, instead try harder to be positive in everything you do.

- Compiled by Donia Jenabzadeh/She is a trainee with Gulf News