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  • Diet Resolutions - Common Pitfalls

    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 déjà vu – broken promises of going on a ‘Diet’-year after year.  Why are these promises broken? In most cases it is because “Fad Diets” never work. Self experimentation and wrong nutritional guidance can play havoc with your health.” 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. It’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 “off “the 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. ‘Copy – Paste’ 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.

  • Travails of Menopause- Part 2- Osteoporosis

    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  

  • Choose to live Healthy!- We always have a choice

    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

  • Oil Kitchen!

    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, I’m South Indian.  We can’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, that’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. It’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.  

  • Exam Time? De-stress with Right Foods

    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.  

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Geeta Shenoy

Dietitian & Nutritionist in Mumbai (Chembur), India 

Looking for weight loss in Chembur or in Mumbai? Interested in excellent weight loss service online or in Mumbai? Then contact me. You can view my reviews and experience of my clients who have successfully reduced weight through healthy weight loss diet charts. NO Fad / Crash Diets, NO Starvations, No Gadgets and No Unsubstanciated  claimes! Dietitian Geeta"s diets aims at overall nutritional correction with comprehensive individual assessment,  simple and practical  with long term results and  benefits
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