14. Minimum Diet

Use one grain at a time. Chapati, rice and pulses, milk, ghee, gur and oil are used in ordinary households besides vegetables and fruit. I regard this as an unhealthy combination. Those who get animal protein in the shape of milk, cheese, eggs or meat need not use pulses at all. The poor people get only vegetable protein. If the well-to-do give up pulses and oils, they set free these two essentials for the poor who get neither animal protein nor animal fat. Then the grain eaten should not be sloppy. Half the quantity suffices when it is eaten dry and not dipped in gravy. It is well to eat it with raw salads such as onion, carrot, radish, salad leaves, tomatoes. An ounce or two of salads serve the purpose of eight ounces of cooked vegetables. Chapatis or bread should not be eaten with milk. To begin with, one meal may be raw vegetables and chapatis or bread, and the other cooked vegetables with milk or curds.

Sweet dishes should be eliminated altogether. Instead gur or sugar in small quantities may be taken with milk or bread or by itself.

Fresh fruit is good to eat, but only a little is necessary to give tone to the system. It is an expensive article, and an over-indulgence by the well-to-do has deprived the poor and the ailing of an article which they need much more than the well-to-do.

Any medical man who has studied the science of dietetics will certify that what I have suggested can do no harm to the body, on the contrary, it must conduce to better health.

Harijan, 25-1-1942