The analysis for the recipes in Amrit has been conducted by Karen Yee. Karen is a senior research dietitian at Brigham & Women's Hospital. She was on the team that designed, validated and tested the DASH and OmniHeart studies.  Here is her introduction for the book:

India; land of fragrant basmati rice, source of Ayurvedic medicine, a cuisine known for its spices and vegetables, a country that practices widespread vegetarianism.  Who knew Indian food could be fattening and un-healthy? Here is a cookbook whose goal is to take some traditional favorite Indian dishes that are less than healthy and make them heart-health-friendly. 

You may be surprised to hear that Asian Indian men and women living in the United States have a high risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.  Asian Indians who immigrate to other countries have 3 to 5 times the risk of developing heart disease than the native population
.1  According to self-reported data presented by the CDC, in 2008 Asian Indians adults have twice the prevalence (14%) of diabetes compared with other Asian populations living in the United States (Chinese, 6% and Japanese, 5%).  According to the adults surveyed, 21% reported having hypertension and 9% reported having heart disease.2 This survey asked if their doctor or other health care professionals had told them they had these conditions, so these percentages are likely an under-representation of actual rates due to the self-reporting and utilization of healthcare.  Even worldwide Asian Indians have a high risk of heart disease.  According to the World Health Organization, by 2010, 60% of the world’s cardiac patients will be Asian Indian.3 

Due to the high risk it is essential that Indian men and women take an active role in maintaining their heart health.  Maintaining heart health includes seeing a doctor regularly, getting regular physical activity, and the most difficult for some, eating a heart healthy diet.  The typical Indian diet tends to be high in carbohydrates and fat which can contribute to heart disease risk.  There are many foods that can be included in a diet to improve one’s risk of heart disease.  Registered Dietitians, like me, are health professionals that are specially trained in assessing people’s diets and assisting them to make the necessary changes to live a healthy lifestyle.  Utilizing medical professionals to help assess and make recommendations is essential for maintaining good health.

The recipes included in this cookbook were designed to include foods that contribute to a heart healthy diet. Purnima Nandkishore saw a need in the Indian population to have heart healthy recipes available while maintaining the flavors and traditions of Indian cuisine.  She has done extensive research to use foods that have an important role in a heart healthy diet.  There are notes with the recipes explaining the role of each special ingredient.  Each recipe has been analyzed using a nutrient data base (Processor SQL Edition, Version 10.4) and the nutrition information is included.

- Karen Yee MS, RD, LN
1. Vardan S, Mookherjee S, et al. Special features of coronary heart disease in people of the Indian sub-continent. Indian Heart J. 1995; 47:399-407.
2. Barnes P, Adams PF, Powell-Griner E. Health Characteristics of the Asian Adult Population: United States, 2004-2006. Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics. Number 394, 2008.
3. Makaryus AN, Dhama B, et al. Coronary Artery Diameter as a Risk Factor for Acute Coronary Syndromes in Asian-Indians. Am J Cordiol 2005;96:778-780.