Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or just going to visit India for the first time, you must have heard of a big problem that any unprepared voyager inevitably faces in this vast South Asian country.
As you probably guessed, the article is about delicious yet very specific Indian food, namely how you can avoid catching “Delhi belly” and protect your stomach while enjoy eating unique local dishes.
#1 Don’t Judge the Restaurant by its Décor
When it comes to India, even the most pretties and expensive place gives you no guarantee except for that you will have to pay more.
Try to avoid buffet, regardless of whether it’s hot or cold. Alas, cooks used to compose buffets from stale ingredients. The price may be too high: diarrhea, fever and cramps may turn you voyage into hell.
#2 Avoid Eating Meat
Given India has the lowest meat consumption rates (about 3 kg/year for a person in contrast to 121 kg and 125 kg in Australia and the US correspondingly), avoiding this product seems quite reasonable. So even if you can’t live a single day without eating meat, you’ll have to restrain yourself at least while traveling.
#3 Never Eat Street Food
The last thing to do in India is to eat street food. Although it may look tempting, you will change your mind once you get know the facts of death from E. Coli and other kinds of infection.
One would rather not eat at all than consuming street food. A few days of total starvation are much better than such an unjustified risk.
#4 Eat with Your Hands, not Utensils
How can you be sure that plates are clean? Most likely, they were wiped with unclean clothes and do contain some bacteria. Not only you should eat with your hands but also leave a “safety gap.” Yeah, don’t eat to the very bottom! Soap and water are your best friends!
#5 Drink Bottled Water
Instead of drinking tap, well and river water, use either hotels’ filtration systems or bottled water. If you stay in a decent place, ask whether the filtration system is safe enough to use water from it. Don’t drink while taking a shower. Use bottled water to brush your teeth.
Ideally, you should avoid any contact with water except the bottled water.
#6 Don’t Eat Too Much Spicy Food
Unless you are accustomed to eating spicy and oily foods; peppers, garlic and curry are not the best way to get a fiery boost.
The bad news is that even if you have ordered a dish without garlic or chili, you will get it. Therefore, be sure to have either water or sour or milk food to neutralize the effect of spicy ingredients.
The Bottom Line
To sum up, let’s re-check the “dos” and “don’ts’ to survive the breathtaking trip to the land of contrasts:
- Drink only bottled water.
- Avoid too much spicy and oily food.
- Keep your hands clean.
- Don’t overeat.
There’s nothing special about these tips, and they are applicable to almost any country. Given the poor sanitary conditions in India, you should pay special attention to what you eat.
After all, you are what you eat!