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Diet Planning Tips

Clinical & Therapeutic Diet - All You Should Know!

Clinical & Therapeutic Diet - All You Should Know!

Therapeutic diets are prepared to optimize the nutritional requirements of an individual in order to treat a range of ailments or to improve one’s ability to eat. A diet prescribed by a physician is a part of the treatment plan for a clinical condition or a disease to eliminate, increase, or decrease specific nutritional needs in the diet and minimize the risk of injuries.

Dieticians recommend therapeutic diets either to improve the patient’s overall health or to maintain a healthful lifestyle. For example, many patients undergoing dialysis are on diets that are therapeutic to their cure so that they observe maximum improvement in condition from the dialysis.

Purpose of Therapeutic Diet:

The following are the main purposes of therapeutic diet-

  1. To maintain good nutrition
  2. To rectify any deficiencies that may have occurred
  3. To boost the metabolism
  4. To help you maintain a healthy weight

Therapeutic diets can prove beneficial to certain conditions such as-

Along with dietary management, injury and safety concerns are also a major factor. The capability of swallowing food may affect the choice of diet consistency that needs to be followed. Dieticians recommend particular therapeutic diets for patients who have difficulty swallowing. They should be served foods that are chopped, thickened liquids, or pureed, to reduce the risk of choking.

Types of Therapeutic Diet:

A therapeutic diet, also known as a clinical diet, refers to a special diet plan that manages the intake of certain nutrients or foods. It is usually an alteration of one’s regular diet. Some common clinical diet examples include-

  • Gluten-free diet – includes legumes, lentils and beans; grains like millet, quinoa; carrots, parsnips; berries, and apricots
  • Clear liquid diet – includes plain, flavoured, or carbonated water; fruit juices excluding the pulp (apple juice or grape juice); fruit-flavoured beverages like lemonade
  • Full liquid diet – fruit juices; butter, custard and pudding; ice cream and frozen yoghurt, sherbet; soup, broth, and syrups
  • Diabetic diet – healthy fats that come from fish oils, olive oil, nuts, flaxseeds, and avocados; high-fibre cereals made from whole grains; fresh fruits and veggies
  • Low-fat diet – whole grains, vegetables and fruits; dairy and meat products; legumes and beans; sweet potatoes, egg whites, and mushrooms

The dietician or physician may recommend changes in one’s therapeutic diet, depending on the patient’s response and development in overall health condition. Remember, a specific diet that may suit one person may not be ideal for another. It is best to leave up to your physician/dietician to decide which particular diet you should stick to.

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Changing Habits For Better Health!

Changing Habits For Better Health!

Today, our lifestyle is a serious threat to our health. We live in a way in which we do not provide the right food to the body, nor do we exercise it right. Taking into account the fact that we consume so much processed food and even more unhealthy food, is there something that can be done? Well, of course! Without having to put much effort, follow some simple steps, which will result in plenty of benefits.

Remember, the main area of focus in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle is your diet. After all, it is true that this has massive effects on the health of any person, regardless of the stage of life he or she is at.

  1. Sleep better: Over the longer run, it is impossible for a person to prosper health-wise if he or she does not get a sufficient amount of sleep, according to what is actually needed. A few simple things which can be done to improve a person’s sleep are cutting out caffeine and alcohol from one’s diet. While it may seem that alcohol helps a person sleep better, it does throw the sleep cycle out of whack. Similarly, caffeine has properties which contribute in keeping a person up for longer hours.

  2. Eat a balanced diet: When it comes to the ideal diet for a healthy person, it should contain an adequate amount of nutrients and should also be balanced so as to not overload on any one set of nutrients. Comprehensiveness has its much required advantages. So adequate portions of fresh fruits and vegetables is a must, while you should keep a check on the consumption of sugar, fast food and starchy food items.

  3. Quit smoking: Smoking is one of the worst habits any person can have and it does no favours for any individual, regardless of the situation that is faced. If no problems are faced, it can create its own! Apart from the repercussions on the heart, what also occurs when a person smokes is that the bones are weakened and the bladder is irritated. Additionally, the risk of cancer increases. So, who would want to compound the normal troubles of life with the misery all these things can provide?

  4. Focus on fitness: Regular exercise is something which is quite underrated. Consistency is said to be key. As a matter of fact, it improves sleep and does wonders for a person’s mood, apart from other health benefits such as keeping the weight in control. It not only protects joints, but also helps overall health, and can go a long way in letting you lead a healthy life.
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Pregnancy - Know Nutrition Required In It!

Pregnancy - Know Nutrition Required In It!

During pregnancy, a woman needs to take care of her body and her baby. One of the most important parts of pregnancy is the level of nutrition and diet of the woman. This has a direct bearing on the growth of the baby as well as the progression of the pregnancy. Nutrition is a matter of deciding what kind of food one should eat and the kind of food that one should stay away from, at this point. Weight management and looking after your sugar and blood pressure levels is also a part of this nutrition plan that you will follow during your pregnancy.

In case you are confused about the diet and nutrition plan that you must follow during your pregnancy, then here is a plan that you can use. Do remember to consult your doctor so that it may be customised as per your body and specific conditions.

  1. Grains: You will need to ingest at least seven to eight pounds of grains in a day. These may include wheat, rice, and other local grains like Ragi, Bajra, Jowar and other such grains. You must create a good balance of these grains. But do remember to find out if your doctor would recommend the use of grains, depending on the state of your health. You may also want to watch out for signs like constipation and loose motions in case your body is not able to tolerate excessive amounts of grains. You can also stick to cereal for breakfast and other grains for lunch and dinner. Try and create a mix of grains with which you can make rotis or flatbread to be had with vegetables.
  2. Fruit: You will need to have at least two cups of fruit a day. In case you are diabetic or you are suffering from gestational diabetes or even a high level of sugar, you may want to consult your doctor about the amount of fruit that you can have during the day. This is also a good substitute when you are having sugar cravings during your pregnancy. Try and have plenty of fruit and mix up the colours as the fibre will also help in dealing with any constipation that you may be going through.
  3. Vegetables: It is imperative to have at least three to four cups of vegetables a day when you are pregnant, as this will supply a lot of nutrients, minerals and vitamins to the growing baby. You may especially want to stick to vegetables like broccoli that have a high iron and folate content which can give a good amount of folic acid. This is usually required for good growth of the foetus. As with fruit, you will need to mix up the colours and have something from each colour group every day. You can combine this with some amount of meat as well.
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Eating Habits - How To Ensure Health In It?

Eating Habits - How To Ensure Health In It?

Who does not want to be in shape & look slim? of course all of us! To maintain the beauty, many of us are working hard to keep their body in shape and hence is ready to go for anything just to lose weight. People pay heavy money for gym and fitness training centres for their weight loss and health. We stop eating our favourite foods to look slim. Many of us are opting for some meal replacement shakes, medicines or supplements for this purpose.

However, we generally ignore the simple healthy eating habits that have a major role in weight loss & health. Only menu selection is not sufficient to achieve weight loss and health targets. Menu is important but its not everything, it is one of the important part of healthy living. It has been beautifully illustrated in Ayurvedic text also that how important are your habits.

How we eat is as important as what we eat.”

Methodical & disciplined eating helps to extract best out of food for body & soul. Food is not just to fill the stomach, it is to nourish every cell of the body.

You can make your food to work like a superfood by complimenting with eating habits.

Let us look at some of the healthy eating habits that will surely help you to maintain your best:

  1. Morning Detox: After you wake up early in the morning, have one-two glasses of lukewarm water. After plain water take some detox drink some herbal tea or herbal juice to give a kick to the metabolism.
  2. Drink your food: Its an old saying that we should drink our meals rather than eating.  This is one of the healthy food habits as slow chewing of food will help you in digesting the food well and lowers down your calorie intake. As it is said that it takes around 20 minutes to realize that you have eaten fully after you consume any food.
  3. Eat before you feel excessively hungry: It is always seen that once you get hungry, you tend to eat more than your normal diet. It is because pancreas secretes more insulin which leads to control of body sugar. And hence, increase in fat consumption.
  4. Maintain Optimum Hydration:  yes, be careful, I am not advising you to have a lot of water. The word optimum has been used to define the quantity of water. It means drink as much as your body needs. For the sake of weight loss drinking gallons of water is not going to be worth. Water is the best cleanser, as we need water right from waking up to the bed. But keep in mind not to gulp down a bottle at once. It should always be consumed sip by sip for better functioning. The best indicator of hydration adequacy is your urine colour. If you find it yellowish means a little more water is needed, but if it is clear means taking adequate fluids. Excess water intake could be a reason for dizziness and bloating.
  5. Golden 75:25 Rule: Divide your stomach into imaginary four parts &Food divided according to its state. Consume solid food in 50% of space, liquids 25%, rest 25% should be left empty, to maintain space for digestive juices and gases. Means Never ever overstuff yourself.
  6. Avoid any liquid or green tea or slim tea just after meal: As the golden 75:25 rule is telling us to keep some space, drinking just after meal will be the violation of this rule. Maintain a gap of 45 min to 1 hour before consuming anything else after a major meal.
  7. Meal timings: Eat At fix intervals, to set the body clock. It will boost up metabolism and weight loss.
  8. Follow 12: 12 clock: your first meal will decide your last meal timings. For example, if you wake up a 6 am, taking breakfast at 8 am, means finish your dinner by 8 pm. Consider your eating clock of 12 hours only. Before and after taking plain water or herbal tea without sugar is not harmful.
  9. Eating food is a Ritual: Do not try to be multitasking while having food. Watching tv, mobile, talking to someone, emotional disturbance, playing, all this should be avoided while having food. Eat with full concentration and positive thoughts to get the best out of it.
  10. Sitting Cross-Legged: Is the ideal if your knees are flexible enough. Avoid standing meals for better digestion.
  11. Take care of incompatible foods: Virudh aahar is a slow poison. Milk and citrus, melons and other fruits, banana and milk are the few examples.
  12. Maintain food orders according to its taste: Sweet, sour, salt, pungent, bitter and astringent, it should be the order of having food in vedic diet plan. However, it is a little difficult, as dishes prepared now a day are too complex.

To sum up: Tune in with your gut, listen to your stomach & instinct and gather knowledge to follow a path of good health. You will surely achieve your targets.
 

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Salt - Know Good & Bad About It!

Salt - Know Good & Bad About It!

The salt content in food is a natural fact. People prefer salt in their food items in order to have taste, but medical research studies have suggested that excessive intake of salt leads the individuals to suffer from high blood pressure which is harmful to their wellbeing. Over the past century, medical research has become quite advanced. According to various researches, high consumption of salt in food can make the health conditions of the individuals get worse to a wide extent. Not only high blood pressure but consuming too much salt or sodium can cause heart complications for the individuals. However, the doctors have prescribed that the salt in the diet can have some health advantages which can positively impact the health conditions of the people.

Pros of containing salt in diet:

  1. Salt helps to control the blood sugar levels thereby improving insulin sensitivity
  2. Salt can act as a natural antihistamine, i.e., improving an allergic reaction or ensuring prevention from an asthma attack
  3. Salt intake helps to maintain proper stomach pH
  4. Sleep quality can also be improved through the intake of salt by suppressing stress and pressure from the individuals
  5. It also helps the body to function properly by enabling the nerves and the muscles to work appropriately
  6. Moreover, the intake of salt in the diet can also regulate blood pressure and volume

Apart from all these beneficial factors, medical science has listed certain drawbacks or cons of intake of salt that can affect the health conditions of the people. Scientists have proved and showed evidence that excess of salt in the diet can cost various innocent lives.

The negative factors of excessive salt intake have been listed below:

  1. Though salt level can regulate the blood pressure but intake of excessive salt leads to putting up the blood pressure to a considerable extent affecting their health conditions
  2. People can also suffer from hypertension and heart failures due to excessive consumption of salt in the food
  3. Stomach cancer, kidney stones and obesity can also be caused due to salty diet
  4. Intake of an excessive amount of salt leads to chronic fluid retention leading to heart failures
  5. Salt intake can cause obesity and vascular dementia
  6. Osteoporosis is also another danger that can take place in the people due to the intake of salt in their food.

Thus from the overall discussion, it can be said that medical researchers have thoroughly generated their views regarding the fact that salt or sodium intake can leave both the positive and negative impacts on the lives of the people. Hence, it is widely recommended by the doctors that people must reduce their salt consumption in their diet to reduce blood pressure and maintain a healthy living.

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Low Carb Diet - Know Side Effects Of It!

Low Carb Diet - Know Side Effects Of It!

A low-carb diet limits the amount of carbohydrates you consume daily. Carbohydrates are the fibres, starches and sugar found in vegetables, fruits, milk products and grains. These are further classified as simple natural, simple refined, complex natural and complex refined.

Refined carbohydrates are found in processed food items such as white bread, pasta, cakes and cookies, aerated drinks and soda. Common sources of natural carbohydrates include –

  • Grains
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Milk
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Legumes – peas, beans, lentils

A diet low in carbohydrates can help you lose weight and improve your metabolism. You might want to switch to a low-carb diet if you are aiming for weight loss or are looking to change your eating habits.

Health Risks of a Low-carb Diet

On one hand, a low-carb diet has been shown to keep away metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. However, there are a few risks associated with this diet. Studies reveal that reducing the intake of carbohydrates drastically may have the following side effects –

Health Risks of a Low-carb Diet -

Constipation -

Certain types of diet limit the consumption of carbohydrates so much that it leads to gastrointestinal disorders – acid reflux, dyspepsia and others – as well as bone problems. Moreover, you miss out on the essential nutrients that your body requires to function. Not getting enough of these nutrients can result in vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

Restricting carbohydrate intake to 20gms a day may lead to ketosis. Ketosis refers to a condition where your body does not get adequate glucose (sugar) to transform into energy. So, your body breaks down the stored fats and causes ketones to build up, triggering symptoms like nausea, headache, and mental/physical weakness.

If you are looking to cut back on your daily carbs intake, you should get in touch with a nutritionist/dietician first. He can prepare a diet chart for you while keeping in mind your overall health requirements.

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Nutritional Requirements Of Sportsmen - Know About The Vital Ones!

Nutritional Requirements Of Sportsmen - Know About The Vital Ones!

When it comes to athletes and sportsmen, merely having a balanced meal is not enough. Athletes burn much more energy than an average person and hence need to consume additional calories. Getting the right nutrition can make a big difference in an athlete’s performance. To calculate the required calorie consumption, one must take into account the individual’s height, weight, gender and level of physical activity. An athlete must pay special attention to three categories of foods; carbohydrates, fats and proteins. 

1. Carbohydrates - Carbohydrates are the most important fuel source for sportsmen. When the body ingests carbohydrates, the sugar and starch in it are converted to glucose and stored as glycogen. If the body does not have enough glycogen while working out, it will begin to burn fats and proteins to get its energy. This can make your performance levels drop. Bread, cereals, rice, high fibre fruits and vegetables and pasta are some food items that are rich sources of carbohydrates.

Along with eating the right food, it is also important to eat at the right time. On a normal day, an athlete should consume 1-4grams of carbohydrates per kilo of body weight 1-4 hours before exercising to give the body the necessary energy for your workout. However, if your exercise lasts for more than an hour, you should eat additional carbohydrates during the session. Your body also needs carbohydrates within half an hour of completing an activity to help the muscles recover.

2. Proteins - Proteins help build muscles and thus are essential for bodybuilders and endurance athletes. It should account for 12-15% of your daily calorie intake. However, the actual amount of protein required depends on the athlete’s growth rate, rate of healing and physical activity level. The human body cannot store protein and hence it is not advisable to eat an excessive amount of this nutrient as it will simply be stored as fat. Proteins can be found in many food items including meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts and beans.

3. Fats: There are two types of fats needed by the human body; saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Combined, they should account for not more than 20-30% of your daily calorie intake. For low to moderate intensity exercises, fats are the primary source of energy but for workouts of higher intensity, fats become a secondary source of energy to be used only when the body runs out of glycogen. Meat, milk, eggs and cheese are good sources of saturated fats while vegetable oils are rich in unsaturated fats.

Along with eating right, athletes also need to pay special attention to hydrating their bodies. Drinking cool water is the best way to stay hydrated. Water is lost while exercising through sweat and hence must be consumed before, during and after exercising.

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Best Celebrity Diet Secrets To Help You Slim Down!

Best Celebrity Diet Secrets To Help You Slim Down!

It is common for most of us to wonder how some celebrities just don't seem to age - both in terms of looks and physique. It is not easy and requires, in addition to a lot of hard work, loads of determination and self-constraints to achieve that.

Different bodies react differently to different food items and there is no one size fits all. Though media claims and promotes various celebrities' diet plans, a word of caution.  A detailed physical examination and discussion should be done to identify what will work best for you. Listed below are some things that have helped celebrities lose weight. 

  1. Regular, well-balanced meals - It is a popular belief and advises that eating regular, small-proportioned meals with the right mix of protein, carbs and fats is the best way to lose weight.  Of course, there has to be a supplement to this including a good workout regime, reduced alcohol, reduced refined sugars, etc., but most people believe starving to be skinny is not the healthy way to go. Another good rule to follow is the 80/20 rule - enforce discipline and let 80% of your food be nutritious and 20% can be damaging (chocolate cake included). Most would also set a daily intake target and keep a count of the calories that are ingested.
     
  2. Increased fibre - Be it greens or vegetables, fruits or dry fruits, added fiber makes you feel full and reduces the amount of food ingested.  Atkins diet, which pumps your body with fiber for 3 consecutive days helps by flushing out a lot of toxins and is one of the most widely followed detox diet plans.
     
  3. Flush out with Lime Juice - Beginning the day with a glass of lime juice and warm water is supposed to flush out the toxins and reduce weight.  Adding ginger and mint is believed to make this work better.
     
  4. Replace red meat with chicken - While chicken is believed to increase the protein intake levels, reducing red meat is believed to help reduce weight.
     
  5. Get away with the dairy - A lot of dairy products, which forms the main source of proteins, especially for vegetarians is believed to add to the weight. If weight loss is your goal, then dairy should stay out of your food.

A lot of celebrities also use natural boosters and suppressants to reduce appetite.  Removing alkaline food items from your menu, gluten-loaded food items, alcohol, refined carbs, are all followed too. Weight loss supplements are another option but should be used only under the supervision and as a last resort.

As mentioned, celebrity diet patterns should not be followed blindly. They are highly personalized and seek advice before adopting them.

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Right Ways To Gain Weight!

Right Ways To Gain Weight!

If you have been that extremely skinny guy in your high school days, never getting picked for the soccer team, then it is time to fix that stubborn weight issue. Worry not, it’s fairly easy, all you have to do is make changes in your diet. Diet is the primary component that can help gain weight.

Some tips you can follow and design your diet plan accordingly are mentioned below:

  1. Increase your appetite by eating more to gain weight. But do it step-by-step and not by stuffing yourself too much at one go. Add one extra chapatti or more rice than you normally consume, or you even start with fruits by eating an extra one every day. Ghee, oil or butter can not only help increase your weight, but it may increase weight by increasing your fat percentage in your body. Rather you can eat a proper well-nourished diet and increase your muscle mass and not only the fat accumulation in the body.
     
  2. Carbohydrates are needed to gain weight but include healthier options like banana, potato, mango, whole grain, rice, etc. Instead of sugar-rich food items like chocolates and other junk food items. Carbohydrates are classified into simple and complex carbs. Reduce on your simple carbs like sugar and sweets which later on converts to fats. Complex carbs like whole grains, beans or fibre-rich vegetables and fruits can be consumed for a healthy weight gain.
     
  3. Consume protein-rich food items after your workout to increase your muscle mass. And eat good fats like nuts and seeds in your diet. Eating a handful of pumpkin or flaxseeds is a good way to give your body the fat intake it needs. Though junk food items like vada pav or burgers are loaded with calories, they only increase body fat and not muscle mass. This is not the right way to go around. Every meal should comprise of carbs and protein. Post-workout nutrients and a well-balanced diet with the proper combination of carbohydrates and protein is the most important to maintain your muscle mass and weight gain process.

Sample Meal Plan -

To give you more opportunities to get the calories to gain weight, aim to eat 3 meals and 2-3 snacks a day. For breakfast, enjoy generous servings of whole grains like whole-wheat bread with beans or egg whites, paneer or Cereals and a glass of milk with nuts will be a good combination.

Mid-morning can be fruit juices, fruit milkshakes, 1-2 serving of fruit or granola bars. Lunch and dinner can be incorporated with 3-4 wholegrain chapattis with a serving of pulses, paneer, chicken or fish and a serving of vegetables with a portion of rice OR 1 bowl of khichdi which serves you with good cereal pulse combination. In between meals if you feel hungry you can have sprouts or roasted channa. Evening you can either grab a whole wheat sandwich, a whole wheat roll or a whole wheat sub.

Bedtime you can either have a glass of milk or either banana /mango/strawberry milkshake.

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Diet Tip!

Avoid 'light' or 'low-calorie' versions of food and go for the full-fat or traditional options. Prepare hot oatmeal or other cereal with milk, not water. Consult a dietitian or nutritionist to make a diet plan that will help you gain weight in a healthy way with the food you enjoy. 

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