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 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!