In Healthy Living On 08 November 2017
Eating out is both fun and social. As a Clinical Nutritionist practitioner, I have found that most of my clients are quite wary about the food choices and end up feeling guilty after a social or family outing. There’s confusion in their minds about what to order and how to choose right food. In fact, several studies have also pointed out that eating out can lead to over-eating and poor food choices Here are a few tips to help you to pick choose food at your favorite cuisine or social gathering without sacrificing your health goals: Plan your outings: It’s always beneficial to keep number of outing less, say not more than 1 to 2 meals a week. If you know in advance which restaurant you are visiting, then check out menu on their web site, so you can plan what to order. Choosing food before you arrive makes it easier to avoid snap decisions which you might regret later. Eat a healthy snack before you arrive: especially if you know the healthy choices are limited. For example, a burger café might not offer any healthy choices. A low calorie snack like roasted Chana or yogurt could make you feel full and limit the intake of high calorie junk. Drink Water: Before and during your meal. Replacing sugary cocktails like margaritas or pina colada or juices with plain water is a great way to avoid additional calories. Be First to Order: Usually, in social situations people mimic each other and eating out is no exception. Be first to order so that your decisions or choice of menu is not influenced by others. Go from Low to High: Order salad or clear soup before ordering any other dish on menu. Tossed salads, boiled chana salad, lemon coriander soup, green salad with separate salad dressing etc. This can be followed by healthy snacks such as barbecued chicken, grilled fish, steamed momos, barbecued or stir fried veggies. Desserts should be limited, instead, opt for fruits or black coffee. Always ask and be specific: about how the food is prepared and what the gravy contains etc... Talk to head waiter or Maitre d’hôtel about the menu. Menu description that uses creamy, crispy, stuffed, fried, dipped, scalloped is likely to be loaded with fat and sodium. Skip bread basket, butter roti, naan and have plain tandoori dishes. Opt for tomato based gravies than white cheese based ones. Portion Size: it’s always better to share a dish with huge portion size such as sizzlers biryanis or burgers. Else, order for smaller portion or you can also ask the waiter to wrap up excess portion in ‘take home’ containers. Slow & Chew: eating out should be an enjoyable event to meet family, friends and catch up with good times. So, try to shift your focus from eating to enjoying. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly, this ensures less calorie intake and avoid overeating. Beware of Buffet Mania: People generally underestimate portion sizes at free- to- eat buffet meals. Remember, you don’t have to eat everything that’s been laid out. Pick 2 or 3 dishes which you like the best. Simple technique like taking a smaller plate will help, so that you will eat less. If it’s a big plate then fill half of the plate with Salads and vegetables. Limit Alcohol and Mixers: Even a healthy alcoholic drink like red wine can add significant calories (1 glass about 280 Cals) to your diet. So take a small measure of alcohol, say 45 ml of vodka/ Gin/ whisky or a small glass of wine, and use low cal mixers like tonic water, lemon water or diet drinks, instead of juices or aerated sugary drinks. Lastly, it’s always better to look at your diet holistically. Everybody likes to eat out once in a while for pleasure without worrying about whether it’s healthy or not! If you are following a good diet most of the times, then occasional indulgence will not affect your health adversely and it’s good for your soul too. Just focus on mindful eating without feeling guilty and dining out would be a great getaway!
In Child Nutrition On 04 June 2017
Monsoon, soon will be knocking at our doors! Dark clouds, strong winds and heavy rains, changes into lovely climate and naturally, everyone longs for a plate of crisp bhajia and a hot cuppa tea! But soon this romantic venture turns into daily nightmare especially for parents of infants and school going children. Incessant rains, flooding and putrid garbage brings in host of health epidemics like jaundice, typhoid,malaria, dengue, and other food borne illness.With little support/help from family health of children can be managed well during this period. Try these few health friendly tips to keep your children away from monsoon ailments: 1. Drink clean and boiled water. Increase consumption of hot fluids like vegetable soup, chicken soup, hot chocolate,clear soups , green tea etc 2. Completely avoid eating unhygienic,uncovered roadside food, even if it looked tempting and hot, as it is often either reheated or refried. 3. Have nutritious/ light/ hot home cooked food like dalia, mung khichadi, saut?ed veggies, paratha, muthia ,dosa, idli with sambar,pancakes etc 4. Avoid raw / uncooked salads, chutneys, sandwiches,sandwich spreads, cold cuts, sushi etc. Wash fruits thoroughly before eating. 5. Try to increase immunity by including foods like walnuts, flaxseeds, groundnuts, curds, soybean, tofu, almonds, sprouts,and whole grains like ragi, jowar , bajra etc 6. Clean and wash thoroughly all leafy vegetables before cooking. One can immerse veggies in mild lactic acid solutions or salt water, in order to remove dirt and kill germs. 7. Do not eat left-over food. Humid and high temperature can increase the bacterial growth in left over foods. Discard them. 8. Keep children well covered during day /night to keep them safe from mosquito bites. Use mosquito repellants and gels which are safe for children 9. Do not ignore any sniffles/ fever. Keepchildren well hydrated and contact doctor immediately. Let this rainy season be season of joy for your little ones rather than illness!
In Health Tips On 27 March 2017
%u200B Every year months from Feb to May are full of tension for parents of school/ college going children. "Mom,I have a headache, I can't go for the exam.""Dad,I feel like vomiting, I can't sit for the exam.""Mom,I have a terrible stomach ache, I can't attend this test."These are some of the common excuses that students come up with when they are unableto cope with exam stress. Exam anxiety disorder affects almost 40 percent of children, including adolescents. Stress levels spike,especially during major exams.Some students become withdrawn, cranky and irritable and even throw tantrums. Food wise- excessive consumption of tea/coffee in order to stay awake, binge eating like finishing packets of chips/ wafers, eating large amount of ice creams,colas, energy drinks , are quite common. Some students end up falling prey to alcoholism, smoking, drug abuse and excessive use of anti depressants.Studies suggest that what a child eats during this period affects his/ her mood.Increased stress level can make child reach for sugary/fatty food which in turns leads to lethargy. A child%u2019s diet is neglected during exam as they are given their favourite junk food/drink as a bribe to study well which is counter productive to his/her overall well-being. Add to it are various myths which parents fall for. To list a few- 1. Consume coffee or tea to keep awake- Caffeine in tea/coffee will certainly boost up energylevels, but only temporarily. They whip the body to work harder and cause chronic fatigue when used over a period of time. 2. Add ghee in the food to increase memory- In fact, too much of ghee or fried foodswith make digestion slow and body sluggish. In order , to boost up memory add good omega 3 fatty acids which are present in fish, walnuts, spinach, flax seeds,methi, urad dal, flax oil etc. 3. Adding food supplements to milk will increase exam performance- Most of the supplement contain more sugar, malt and cocoa which just gives sudden surge of energy and then it dips down. In addition, dairy products make one sleepy, making it difficult to study at night. Child should be encouraged to eat complex carbohydrateslike missi roti, dalia, brown rice with veggies, sprouts, oats with veggies which will give sustained energy release. In order to get best out of your child, adopt following: 1. Nutritious breakfast like upma/poha/oats/eggs is a must. Do not allow to skip meals. 2. Let the child eat smaller portion so that he/she does not feel too full but at the same time has energy/alertness to study. 3. Let the child snack on almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pistachio, eggs(whole) which boosts brain. 4. Give simple nourishing home cooked food which includes green leafy vegetables and also fresh fruits. 5. Give plenty of liquids like plain water, coconut water, fresh fruit juices(preferably without sugar), kokum water, soups. 6. Avoid giving tea/ coffee to help child stay awake. 7. Avoid eating out as exam is increased stress level and low immunity time for children, so they are highly prone to fall sick.Child can carry veg sandwich or chapatti role (filledwith his favourite veg) to exam hall 8. Have a good night%u2019s sleep. It%u2019s practically useless to study just prior to exam, burning midnight oil. A restful 7 hrs sleep will make the child energetic and concentrate well during exam. 9. Emphasize on light exercise like walking and deep breathing which will bring down the stress levels. Finally,parents should empathise with children. They should give them enough space and emotional support, instead of hovering over them all the time. Examination is not the time to introduce new foods and inculcate good habits. Balanced diet should be imparted right from the beginning in order to achieve good exam performance.
In Health Tips On 29 December 2015
A typical conversation in my clinic with a client Me: So Mr. X, how much oil do you consume in a month? X: Just about a litre for each member of my family but we use the most expensive, heart -friendly **** oil with omega -3, zero cholesterol, you see. And of course, only virgin olive oil for salad dressings (proudly). Me: What about ghee, butter or cheese? X: Oh! Ghee is absolutely homemade from buffalo milk; butter thrice a week with brown bread, cheese is only when we eat pizza, once a week. We also do healthy snacking on nuts, cashews, almond and walnuts. Me: What about coconut? X: Hey, Iâ€™m South Indian. We canâ€™t cook food without coconut. But we use not more than 1-2 a week. Me: And weekends? X: You see, Saturday & Sundays dinners are eaten outside .After all, thatâ€™s the only family time we have. My children love Italian and Mexican food. Its healthy naa!! (Ha, Ha! Are you kidding me? I was thinking to myself). I think as a nation we are oil and fat-friendly people and moreover, we are unaware about how excess fat has creeped up in our daily foods in an unhealthy way. We cook vegetables till they lose their original flavour, colour and texture, we love to see oil floating in curries and almost everything we eat is far away from its original form , be it gajar ka halwa/ milk shake/ almond burfi/ walnut muffin. Between traditional eating and western food adaptation, we try to find healthy ways (so we think) and end up eating total fat far more than our requirements. As a result, the next generation is moving fast towards childhood obesities, blood pressure in twenties, cardiac problems in early thirties, diabetes, PCOD, infertility, arthritis, etc., all lifestyle diseases. Itâ€™s time to stop and think and get some facts right: If you are want to lose weight, you have to limit the total fat in your diet. Total fat = visible fat + invisible fat, visible fat being oil, butter, ghee, peanut butter and invisible fat being paneer, meat, fish, egg, almond, walnut, khoa, cheese, avocado, including flax seeds, chia seeds, etc. In a typical weight loss plan, total fat should be only 45-50 gms. - 4 tsp from visible source and 2-3 servings from invisible sources. Even the most heart- friendly oil is not fat free. We can only alter the fatty acid composition by changing oils or including healthy invisible sources. Do not confuse between calorie-free and fat- free food. A fat- free or reduced fat food still may contain the same calories as normal food and in weight -reduction diets, calories count! Read labels carefully. Foods which give more than 10% of RDA (recommended dietary allowance) of calories from fat per serving should be red flagged. They may contain more than 5 % fat per 100gm serving (for example, whole milk contains 6.6% fats). Learn about portion sizes, healthy cooking styles and follow a holistic diet which takes into consideration all the above factors.
In Weight loss On 03 December 2015
â€˜Mirror mirror on the wall, how I wish my flab to fall?â€™ After trying out various fad diets, tasteless liquid potions, body breaking gym workouts, ready to use internet diet charts; your weight loss efforts have not made any impact on weighing scale. So now, you have finally decided to take help of a dietician for reducing your excess flab â€¦ Sounds familiar? Consider these points before zeroing down on your choice of a program - weight loss centre, professional dietician, fitness spa or naturopathy â€“which is going to impact your lifestyle and overall health. Avoid crash programs. Losing 10kg in a month is not going to make you look and feel any better. You will end up losing lots of lean body mass â€“ muscles, water, & bone tissue. Whatâ€™s more, this weight is going to boomerang once you are off this diet. Ask for Credentials of your Dietician/ Nutritionist - just as we ensure about our doctors / other healthcare givers, find about the degree, clinical experience and expertise of your dietician. Do not hesitate to ask about the testimonials, diet plans, nutritional supplements or gadgets, follow up schedules etc Dieticians are not Magicians, who can make your flab vanish in a short time. Donâ€™t believe exaggerated promises. Set a realistic goal. This depends on your age, body frame, underlying conditions, physical limitations and maintainable weight. Reaching ideal weight may not always be possible but even 10-15% of weight loss is going to make substantial difference to your fitness level. Go in for a customized diet plan. All of us have different genetic make up, medical problems, digestion issues, religious beliefs, food choices etc. A diet program has to consider these aspects and build a program around it. Accept the lifestyle changes which are sustainable and feasible for a long time. Eating boiled spinach, vegetable juice, over- rated expensive super foods, health shakes can be physically, emotionally and financially draining. Make your limitations clear at the beginning of program, so that you can be offered alternate choices. Remember thereâ€™s always a choice. Emphasize on reducing body fat than numbers on weighing scale. Reducing body fat will give you leaner and slimmer look that you want while too much loss of lean body mass will end up with brittle bones, tired & saggy skin, pallor, excess hair loss etc. Lastly, believe in yourself and put in your efforts for making the weight loss program successful. Make a small note of deviations/ cheat foods, add more steps in your daily walking or workouts, learn about healthy food choices when you are dining out or travelling, learn about portion sizes etc Going from flab to fab is a journey which should and must change your lifestyle permanently. Only then it will be a truly successful program.
In Health Tips On 16 November 2015
Most dangerous culprits are outside food. Invest in a well equipped kitchen, for example, microwave oven, air fryer, water filter, non stick pan etc. Those who are always in rush, invest in a good cook. Do not watch TV, surf internet or talk on phone with family/ friends while eating. Pay attention to your meal, chew food properly and eat slowly. We may never know if the vegetables on your table are loaded with pesticide. Buy them from local vendor and wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly before eating. Do not overcook, fine chop, or mash into juices Eat 5-6 small meals a day. Do not skip meals or starve yourself, it may cause more harm than good. Keep healthy snacks handy in your office drawers or bags such as roasted chana, peanuts, fruits, soya milk (1 serving packs),khakra etc Do not eat leftovers. If you want to store leftovers , then store them at correct temperature. Opt for nutritious, fresh food in office canteens While dining out, choose from variety of salads and barbequed (tandoori) foods. Also, choose clear soups, lightly cooked vegetables and steamed or grilled items. Avoid mayonnaise, deep fried or oily food items. Ready made meals, protein shakes and meal replacement powders are healthier, quicker and tastier Increase water consumption to beat heat, pollution, food adulterations which increase stress on kidneys. Drink at least 2-2.5 litres of fluids daily. Use only whole grain products such as 100% whole wheat bread , whole wheat flour, wheat bran, hand pounded or brown rice, and whole grain cereals such as rice flakes, oats, ragi , jowar etc. use these in place of white bread, polished rice, maida , cakes, biscuits etc. Avoid smoking strictly and completely. Avoid alcohol, excess tea and coffee. Exercise enhances blood circulation, increases energy levels and nutrient availability to the body. Hence exercising 30-40 min, 4-5 days a week is beneficial Get adequate rest .Keep regular sleep hours of 7-8 hrs minimum. Even if it is in divided time , it works
In Health Tips On 04 November 2015
Osteoporosis is a disease where decreased bone strength increases the risk of fractures and women in post menopausal stage are most susceptible due to reduced oestrogen hormone. A woman loses 20% of her bone mass in first 5-7 years after menopause. By 70 years she will have lost as much as 30% of her 20 year old bone mass, which then becomes thin, porous and brittle prone to fractures. Additionally, wrong food habits such as quick fixes for meals, ready to eat foods, irregular eating times, skipping meals, excess dieting and binging, lack of exercise put additional load on already nutrient starved body . A women is more vulnerable to osteoporosis if: Mother /sister who have suffered fractures Has early menopause Smokes Crash diet often Thin and small boned Not borne child Over indulgence in colas, alcohol Lifestyle changes such as balanced meals, regular exercise, adequate sleep and recreational activities can bring about considerable improvement in health. Calcium and vitamin D are the most important nutrients which will help prevention of osteoporosis. Try to incorporate following foods in your diet - skimmed milk, fish, cheese, oranges, soya, spinach, papaya, cashew, almonds, figs, turnip, beans, peanuts, curd, paneer, along with vitamin D supplement and exposure to sunlight. Menopausal women have beneficial effect of following vitamins too. Vitamin A- To prevent vaginal infection Vitamin B6-To reduce heart disease B12 and Folic Acid - to ward off depression Vitamin C- reduces breast cancer risk Vitamin E- to prevent hot flushes, reduce heart disease, protect brain
In Women Nutrition On 07 October 2015
By the time they are in their late forties most women become so cynical about the approaching menopause, that even minor symptoms like irritation and sudden temper are attributed to it (sometimes a clever excuse too!). But, the fact is that menopause can create some nasty, painful and even embarrassing moments for women. Nearly 88% of women between the age of 45-55 years suffer from symptoms such as hot flushes, night flushes, night sweats, dizziness, burning sensation in feet and hands. These symptoms can be triggered by anxiety, over-exertion, coffee, spicy food and even synthetic or body-hugging garments. Other short term symptoms include palpitations, facial hair, lethargy, fatigue, fainting, itchy skin, genito- urinary infections, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, hysteria, unreasonable fears, and wrinkles. Tips to ease hot flushes: Belly breathing (Kapalbathi) and deep breathing reduces bodyâ€™s core temperature slightly. Brisk walking or any aerobic exercise for about 30 minutes a day. Aromatherapy and body massages helps to sooth the body and increase blood circulation. Vitamin E containing foods like almonds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, sweet potato, spinach, asparagus, avocado, fortified oils, etc. Fluids like lemon juice, barley water, buttermilk and green tea. Avoid hot drinks and hot baths. Fruits and veggies and phyto-estrogen rich foods i.e., peas, chowli, rajma, soy, etc. Boron in apples, cabbage, figs, plums, prunes and strawberries helps the body to hold on to estrogen supply. Black Cohosh herb reduces severity of hot flushes and night sweats.
In Health Tips On 25 September 2015
2016 is almost on the horizon and we are once again busy looking out for new year resolutions and for many of us it gives a a sense of dÃ©jÃ vu â€“ broken promises of going on a â€˜Dietâ€™-year after year. Why are these promises broken? In most cases it is because â€œFad Dietsâ€ never work. Self experimentation and wrong nutritional guidance can play havoc with your health.â€ Here are some of the common mistakes/myths about weight loss: Skipping meals - most often this is either breakfast or lunch and due to lack of time and hectic work schedule. One can never lose weight by missing meals. In fact, starvation increases the level of stress hormones and encourages the body to conserve the energy by turning it into fat. Eating only soups/salad/ boiled food/Single Food Diet- These are non-sustainable diets in the long run. You will be amazed at the variety one can get to eat in a well planned diet and still reduce weight. Internet misinformation - not all information on internet is reliable. Itâ€™s always better to seek professional help from your doctor/dietician. Unrealistic expectations - drastic weight loss plans boomerang and result in equal or more weight gain once you are â€œoff â€œthe plan. Weight loss has to be essentially loss of fat from the body. Else, one can end up losing muscle mass, bone density and body water, resulting in hair loss, dry skin, anemia, chronic fatigue, irritability, mood swings and osteoporosis, just to name a few. â€˜Copy â€“ Pasteâ€™ Meal plan - No two individuals are same and can have various underlying problems like hormonal imbalance, Hypothyroidism, vitamin/mineral deficiencies etc., which need to be addressed in a Customized, holistic diet plan. Instead of going on a diet, make a resolution to become a healthier, happier and fitter person. Nourishment and not deprivation is the key. Weight loss should follow as a natural side effect.