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Maintaining a healthy diet is of prime importance during a wedding season. Slightest of negligence can lead to unaccounted fat, leading to cardiovascular and other diseases. While working out can help to stay away from putting on the extra pounds, a healthy diet goes a long way in ensuring that the body functions at the optimum level.
Here is a list of important tips that will help to follow a healthy diet and refrain from putting on extra weight:
- Stay away from unnecessary fat: Most wedding parties have numerous food options. The high fat items such as dairy product, oily dishes should be eschewed in order to ensure that the body is not overstuffed with unnecessary fat that is difficult to get rid of.
- Look at the portion size: Another good way of maintaining a healthy diet is to pick and choose the right dishes and go for small portion size rather than going all out for the one dish one likes. There is no harm in trying multiple dishes, but the same should be done in small portion sizes.
- Planning for the day: One critical aspect of eating healthy is to eat throughout the day. On the day of a wedding, there are many people who tend to save the stomach for the party meal or drink. This is a very bad approach as far as eating healthy is concerned. A good way to plan the day is to eat light throughout the day. Salad, for instance, comes as a relief during the wedding session.
- Making a routine: Sticking to a diet chart helps a great deal in maintaining a healthy diet. The diet chart should comprise of multiple options. For instance, one need not stick to an oatmeal for breakfast every morning. Variety will help to break the monotony and encourage a person to stick to the diet routine.
- Calorie count: In continuation of the diet chart, keeping a rough count of the calorie consumed on a daily basis also helps to stick to a healthy diet. Calorie count is a good way of keeping track of what one is eating and how much impact it will have in the longer run. Since wedding parties tend to possess a lot of food items, a rough calorie count will help an individual to balance the calorie count in the next few days.
- Refrain from too much drinking: Staying away from alcohol can be difficult in wedding parties, but their consumption increases the urge to eat more. It, therefore, makes sense to not consume more than a couple of drinks in any wedding party.
Today, olive oil is known as one of the healthiest oils for cooking food because of its low level of saturated fats. Olive oil is also said to be able to aid in weight loss, reduce cholesterol, lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, slow down the ageing process and protect against certain types of cancer. However, not all types of olive oil are the same. Olive oil is extracted by crushing olives and is categorised on the basis of the type of pressing, acidity levels and extent of processing undergone.
Some of the common types of olive oil available are:
- Extra virgin olive oil: This refers to oil produced by the first ‘pressing’ of olives. This oil is extracted using only mechanical or other physical means and does not involve the use of heat or chemicals. The only processing is subjected to is washing, decanting, centrifuging and filtering. The maximum acidity level of this oil is 0.8%. Extra virgin olive oil has no added flavours or aroma and is said to have a superior taste.
- Virgin olive oil: This is the second grade of olive oil. It has slightly higher level of acidity than extra virgin olive oil. It may seem to have a slight flavour imperfection as compared to the earlier oil. This is most commonly used type of olive oil.
- Refined olive oil: Oil that is produced by subsequent pressings of the remaining olive flesh is known as refined olive oil. It has a lighter colour and is less viscous as compared to virgin olive oil. Unlike virgin olive oil, refined olive oil is bleached and deodorised. It may also be mixed with a little virgin olive oil. This type of oil has the same levels of monosaturated fat, but has very little antioxidants.
- Olive pomace oil: The crushed flesh and pits left over from the extraction of olive oil is known as pomace. This may further be used to extract oil known as pomace oil. Pomace oil is an inferior oil that may be mixed with olive oil to improve its taste and texture.
- Unfiltered olive oil: As the name suggests, the unfiltered olive oil contains bits of olive flesh. While this may enhance the flavour of the oil, it also causes a sediment to be formed at the bottom of the bottle. This sediment may become rancid over time and lower the shelf life of the oil. Unfiltered olive oil should ideally be used within 6 months of being bottled.
Apart from the above, there are a number of other types of olive oil such as early or late harvest olive oil, hand picked olive oil, single estate olive oil and flavoured oil.
Fibre is crucial for proper digestion and 85 % immunity of the human body is due to digestion alone. Scientists have recently concluded after years of study that the human brain and gut are indeed connected. This leads us to the question whether we are looking after our guts to stay healthy and fit for years to come?
Consider this modern diets have left millions worldwide with deficiency of fibre. And, this is really alarming because high - fibre foods help to guard against cancer, heart disease, kidney stones, PMS, obesity and diabetes.
Fibre comes in two varieties- soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre turns to gel in the stomach, slowing digestion, which helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar. Insoluble fibre remains untouched all the way to the large intestine aiding in proper evacuation of the GI tract. Since fibre is never absorbed into the body, you have to eat sufficient quantities of it every day. Experts suggest that you need 25-38 gm of fibre each day in your diet. But how do you get this amount?
Here is a list of 10 high- fibre foods for jacking-up fibre content
- Legumes like split peas or ‘dals’: Fibre content - 16.3 gm per cup. Eaten as a staple food in India, split peas are full of proteins and fibre. They can be had in soup, stew and dal form.
- Lentils like quinoa: Fibre content - 15.6 gm per cup. They are also good source of protein, iron, folate, manganese and phosphorous.
- Artichokes: Fibre - 10.3 gm per medium vegetable. Reservoir of vitamins A, C, E, B, K, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, Artichokes are one of the top most high antioxidant food.
- Peas: Fibre - 8.8 gm per cup. They are also filled with protein, Omega-3s, vitamins and folates and contain insoluble fibres
- Broccoli: Fibre - 5.1 gm per cup. A power packed cruciferous vegetable, full of anti-oxidants.
- Brussels sprouts: Fibre - 4.1 gm per cup. Contains balance of soluble and insoluble fibre apart from nutrients like vitamins C, K, B1, B2, B6, folate and manganese.
- Oatmeal: Fibre 4 gm per cup. Great for breakfast with milk!
- Flax seeds: Fibre - 3 gm per tablespoon: Tonnes of nutrients are packed in the humble flax seeds. They contain protein, thiamine, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, Omega-3 fatty acids and fibre. They reduce cholesterol and help ease symptoms of menopause.
- Avocados: Fibre 6.7 gm per half fruit raw. Pack with the goodness of vitamin C, E, B6, folate, vitamin K and potassium. Contain healthy fats that help to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Pears: Fibre - 5.5 gm per medium fruit. This fruit contains Omega-6 fatty acids which helps keep the cells in brain and nerves healthy.
A healthy diet is not only important for that toned waistline, but it also keeps your bones healthy. Two of the most important nutrients needed for healthy bones are Calcium and Vitamin D. Calcium helps in strengthening your bones while Vitamin D facilitates calcium absorption in the body. If the bones are not healthy, it can lead to bone disorders such as osteoporosis and rickets.
If you want to keep your bones fighting strong and healthy, here are some diet tips that you can follow:
Consume Yoghurt: A very good breakfast option, Yoghurt contains 30% of calcium and 20% of Vitamin D as per RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance), both being vital for healthy bones. It also contains little in terms of calories so that you don’t have to lose sleep over your waistline.
Milk: If you think milk is just for kids, think again. Milk is one of the best sources of protein and calcium; infact it contains 30% of calcium as per RDA. So yes! Drop all inhibitions and drink that glass of warm milk to keep your bones healthy.
Cheese: Another milk-based product, cheese is also rich in protein and calcium. You need to make sure that the cheese you consume is the fat-free version in order to restrict calorie intake.
Sardines: If you are planning on getting a fish sandwich for lunch, then you are on the right track. Sardines are not only rich in Omega-3 Fatty acids, but they also contain calcium and Vitamin D is high amounts.
Eggs: Don’t fear the egg yolk. Not so fast now! Egg yolk contains Vitamin D, an essential nutrient that facilitates calcium absorption in the body. Eggs are also one of the best super-foods as they are a powerhouse of various nutrients.
Spinach: Remember Popeye, the cartoon sailor whose muscular frame was attributed to spinach. Now let’s get down to the facts. Spinach contains calcium, fibre and iron – all very essential for your body. Consuming spinach regularly is one ‘go green’ way to keep your bones healthy.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Food plays a vital role in lowering the cholesterol apart from timely medication. Here is a list of 10 foods that contribute to a great extent in lowering the cholesterol level:
- Oats: Changing the morning meal is the first action you should take. Oatmeal can bring down the LDL level to a staggering 5.3 percent in a matter of 6 weeks. It contains beta-glucan, which is capable of absorbing the LDL present in the blood.
- Red wine: You can cheer to reduced cholesterol with a glass of red wine in hand. A study conducted by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain found that red wine can reduce the cholesterol level up to 9 percent owing to a vital component known as Rioja present in it.
- Salmon Fish: Fatty and salmon fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids. They are known to be extremely effective for diseases such as dementia, cardiovascular diseases and much more. A study conducted by the Loma Linda University found that Omega-3 can increase the HDL by up to 4 percent.
- Nuts: Nuts can reduce the cholesterol by up to 9.3 percent, a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed. 1.5 oz of regular consumption of nuts greatly helps in bringing down cholesterol. Since nuts are very rich in protein, portion control is necessary to refrain putting on weight.
- Beans: A research conducted by the Arizona State Polytechnic University revealed that adding beans to soup can bring down the LDL up to 8 percent. Owing to their rich fibre content, they effectively absorb cholesterol. Some of the beans that can be tried include kidney, black and pinto beans.
- Cocoa: A study conducted by the AJCN reported that the daily intake of cocoa increases the HDL by over 20 percent in 3 months. Due to its high antioxidant content, it streamlines the blood flow and doesn’t let platelets stick together.
- Garlic: 2-3 cloves of garlic per day can dramatically reduce cholesterol-limiting LDL into the artery. It can prevent other conditions such as blood pressure, infections and blood clotting. Garlic can be consumed with any regular dish.
- Olive oil: Olive oil has multiple health benefits. It contains a compound known as MUFAs that lowers cholesterol and helps to get rid of abdomen fats. You can use it with salads, roast vegetables and marinate chicken.
- Avocado: Avocado contains monounsaturated fat that helps to raise the level of HDL and lower the LDL in the body. It contains Beta-sitosterol that absorbs cholesterol and brings down the count of it in the body. Owing to its high-calorie content, portion size should be looked into.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Vitamin A is essential for various body functions and the most important are vision, immunity, skin & hair health and correct genetic transcription. Signs of Vitamin A toxicity include bone pain, brittle nails, hair loss, fatigue, dry and fissured skin and abnormal liver function. Deficiency of Vitamin A leads to night blindness.
Some interesting facts about Vitamin A:
- Vitamin A is a fat-soluble Vitamin, thus requires fat for effective absorption.
- Normal level of Vitamin A required for proper body functioning is about 3000 mg per day. A person could also end up eating more of Vitamin A on a regular basis, which could lead to Vitamin A toxicity. If it is consumed from natural sources, it is not harmful; however, if synthetic Vitamin A is consumed, it may end up as a toxin in the body.
- Every 100 g of sweet potato contains about 19200 IU of Vitamin A. Sweet potato can be consumed in cooked, baked, cubed, raw or frozen form. It can be used in multiple ways and is one of the most Vitamin A rich foods.
- Carrots are the most popular and rich source of Vitamin A. Every child knows that carrots are good for vision and eye health. Carrots can also be consumed in baked, cooked, raw or frozen form. Every 100 g of carrot contains about 17000 IU of carrot, which takes care of daily requirements.
- Green leafy vegetables are another rich source of Vitamin A. This could be spinach, lettuce, beet greens, turnip greens, collards, kale, or other greens. Each of them contains sufficient amounts of Vitamin A, and including about 100 g provides about 14000 IU of Vitamin A. These can be used as salad dressings or cooked with lentils to make a variety of dishes.
- The liver from any animal is the most effective nonvegetarian source of Vitamin A. Consuming liver 2 to 3 times per day gives sufficient amounts Vitamin A for men, women and children. Cod liver oil, which is available widely in the market is also a good source, if meat is not available.
- Dry fruits, such as apricots, which are sundried and used when there is no season for apricots, are another rich source of Vitamin A. Dried peaches and prunes are also good sources for this Vitamin.
- Consuming about 2 egg yolks per day provides all the required Vitamin A for your body. It does contain cholesterol, but the body does need small amount of cholesterol too for various functions.
- Dairy products, such as butter and cream from cow's milk which are especially fed on grass are again great sources of Vitamin A.
- Small amounts of Vitamin A are also present in cantaloupe melons, pumpkins, squash fruits, beetroot, bell peppers and most importantly in seasonal fruits.
The mere thought of biting into a chilled watermelon or sipping chilled watermelon juice during summer is a refreshing thought. What many do not readily realise is that not just they are not just a refresher, but they are also loaded with multiple health benefits. Another surprising fact is that they have been in use since 5000 years ago and are referred to in ancient literature. There are about 300 varieties and are easily available during summer.
Many may think that watermelon is loaded with water. However, there are also multiple compounds including vitamins and minerals; vitamins C, A, B1, B5, and B6; minerals like potassium and magnesium, and compounds like carotenoids and lycopene. These have multiple benefits on the health and so watermelon can be consumed without any second thought in abundance.
Read on to know some of the wonders of this melon.
- Hydration: One of the best remedies to avoid the ill effects of summer is to improve hydration levels, and there could be no better way to do this than with watermelon (eat it or drink it!) It is 92% water, and therefore leaves you refreshed and rejuvenated.
- Heart health: Lycopene helps reduce cholesterol, reduce thickening of artery walls, and reduces oxidative stress. The various minerals and vitamins also add to the heart health qualities of watermelon. The citrulline in it also increases nitric oxide level in the body, which expands or dilates blood vessels and improves blood pressure.
- Anti-inflammatory benefits: The lycopene and Vitamin C reduce the levels of C-reactive protein which are responsible for inflammation. The antioxidant levels also lower inflammation, thereby reducing the onset of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- Eye health: Watermelons, through their anti-inflammatory effects, reduce the onset of age-related macular degeneration. Those who already have it can also see the delayed progression of the condition, thereby prolonging vision loss.
- Muscle soreness: Those who have muscle soreness should reach out for a slice of watermelon to get instant relief from this soreness. Watermelon also improves exercise endurance and performance, and the added benefit on the heart also improves exercise tolerance.
- Skin and hair benefits: These benefits come from multiple sources in the melon. The vitamin A helps improve skin regeneration, vitamin C helps collagen formation and improved skin tone. Lycopene and beta-carotene help control the damage caused by sun exposure and pigmentation.
- Digestive benefits: The very nature of watermelon almost completely water and high fibre directly benefits the stomach. It cleanses the stomach and promotes bowel movement. Not just the red portion, even the rind and seeds are beneficial as there is a lot of citrulline and chlorophyll which are also healthy. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
"Getting back in shape” – These are the words that are simpler said than done. Some people treat every day with a renewed vigorousness and attack them with an aim to lose the excess fats. But in most cases even after spending hours at the gym and having a regularised diet may not be effective in losing the weight proportions. The chances are that they are ignoring one fundamental principle in any weight loss procedure - Doing things the right way. Hitting the gym hours together and starving cannot make you lean. They can lead to other health conditions altogether. Having a proper schedule both in the exercise and in the diet are mandatory to achieve an appropriate weight loss. Let us walk to through some of the common mistakes that are hampering weight loss.
- Protein intake: Protein intake is crucial, but having too much protein is not recommended as the excess protein can get stored as fat. They can eventually add to the weight instead of reducing it. Maintaining the average grams required per day is the healthier option. The dietician can chart it down as per the person's body condition.
- Vegetables: While most people add vegetables as a part of the diet they are mostly in the cooked format, thus by the time it is taken in all beneficial components are reduced. It is advisable to eat raw vegetables in subtle quantities, as eating too much raw can also be hard on the digestive system.
- Fruit juices: Just having a cup of juice in the morning is not enough as most fruits have sugar and they can indirectly increase your blood sugar levels. Always make it a point to have a healthy breakfast loaded with fibre and protein as they give all the energy to support a person throughout the day.
- Exercises: It is a common misconception that doing an exercise repeatedly can help in contouring that part. This is not correct as the muscles need time to rest before getting on the next set of exercise. Have the training evenly spaced out so that the strength gets retained in the muscle? In this way, the results also will be long standing. Also initially when starting to exercise, the results will be drastic, but over a period wears out. This does not mean that the effects are not visible. It is simply our body's way of stating that it has accustomed to the new routine and it will make the necessary changes in its own time. Remember that weight loss is not a single day achievement.
- Walking: Man has been designed to walk. Hence do not restrict yourself from this nature's biggest gift. Walking half a mile can rejuvenate the body both physically and mentally.
- Sleep: Having a good relaxed seven to eight hours sleep is also mandatory for the overall body condition. Make sure that the rest is always included as a part of the weight loss program.
The Dietician's Take:
A good dietician would say- "Have patience in any weight loss treatment." This is very much true as weight loss is a step-by-step procedure and avoiding these common mistakes can make the impact more profound and everlasting. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
The obsession over getting the perfect body has gotten into everyone's psyche. Thanks to well equipped gyms and easily available home kits, this obsession is no longer a dream. But the gym trainers and bodybuilders suggest that in order to build muscles, following a healthy diet is also necessary. A healthy diet helps to develop the central muscle mass and burns the extra fat in the body.
Here is a list of foods you should include in your diet which will help you to gain muscle:
- Eggs: Eggs are rich in proteins and help in overall development of the muscles, making it a must have inclusion in your dietary regime. Also, the good cholesterol found in the egg yolks helps to prevent atherosclerosis.
- Nuts: Nuts such as cashews, almonds or pistachios are a perfect blend of fats, fibres, and proteins. Every ounce of cashew or almonds contains 150-170 of top-class calories. Daily intake in a small amount will help you to get the calories without any significant weight gain.
- Lentils: Lentils are useful to develop the central mass of the body. A cup of ready-to-eat lentils has a protein content of 18 grams and an overall content of 40 grams of top grade carbohydrates. A diet consisting of green salad, lentils and brown rice is recommended by gym trainers for the development of body muscles.
- Spinach: Spinach contains rich amounts of the amino acid called 'glutamine', which helps in the development of the lean muscles. Besides, a daily intake of spinach might also help to build the overall muscle strength of the body.
- Apples: Apples contain certain polyphenols which help to build the muscles and prevent any form of tiredness in the muscles. Also, polyphenols are also useful in burning the extra fat which makes it an essential fruit to have before workouts. If you are not comfortable with apple, you might also try oranges as your pre-workout fruit, which perform more or less the same function as apples.
Note: Besides the above mentioned ones, you can also include oatmeal, yogurt, organic milk, fat free chicken and beans in your dietary routine for muscle development, along with regimented body building schedules. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dietitian/Nutritionist.
There are many myths about diabetes, especially related to what you can eat and what you can’t. Lots of people think that diabetics shouldn’t eat sweets at all. This is not true. Similarly, all carbs and fats are not bad. A high protein diet is also not required and there are no special diabetic meals. So, what should you as a diabetic, eat to combat diabetes? Read on to find out:
- Low glycemic index foods: Complex carbs are best for you as they limit the amount of sugar released into your blood stream and are digested more slowly and prevent your body from releasing too much insulin. These are also called low GI foods as well as slow-release carbs and are also high in fibre. Processed carbs like white bread, pasta, and rice, as well as sodas, packaged meals, and snacks must be junked. These are all called high glycemic index (GI) foods and spike your blood sugar.
- Manage sugar wisely: Diabetes doesn’t mean that you can’t eat sugar or desserts. It means you have to be smart with sugar, like
- Take smaller servings of your favourite desserts as they are best eaten in moderation.
- Reduce the sugar in your diet slowly rather than at once. This will give your taste buds some time to adjust, reducing sugar cravings.
- If you want to eat dessert, hold back on carbs in a meal. Balance out meals so that you don’t eat too many carb-heavy foods.
- Add some healthy fat to your diet, as it slows down the digestive process, which means that your blood sugar levels don’t spike as quickly.
- Eat sweets along with a meal and not alone: Sweets eaten alone can spike your blood sugar levels a lot.
- Don’t drink alcohol: Alcohol is full of calories and carbs and cocktails are loaded with sugar. Alcohol can interfere with diabetes medication and insulin, as well.
- Avoid junk, soft drinks, soda and juices: They are all packed with sugar.
- Avoid processed or packaged foods: These are loaded with hidden sugars. Eat food cooked at home.
- Remember high protein diets are not always good: Studies have shown that if you eat too much protein, especially animal protein, you may become insulin resistant. A healthy diet for diabetics includes protein, carbohydrates, and fats for the body to function properly.
- Eat more of these
- Healthy fats found in raw nuts, olive oil, fish oils, and flax seeds.
- Also eat more fruits and vegetables. Avoid juices.
- Eat more high fibre cereals.
- And avoid foods like
- Trans fats which means all deep-fried foods
- Fast foods, especially cakes, pastries, and chips
- Red meat
Remember, your overall eating patterns are very important. It’s also important to eat at regular intervals and avoid missing meals. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.