Articles on cheese

Say Cheese! It Isn't That Bad!

Ms. Tehzeeb, Dietitian/Nutritionist
To say that cheese tastes good would be stating the obvious. We all know that. In fact, that is precisely why most of us have the urge to steer clear of it and have it nowhere near our pizzas and sandwiches. However, what if you were to learn that cheese isn't so bad after all? It actually has several benefits to offer. As a health counselor, one of the biggest challenges I face is getting my clients to overcome their fear of cheese. The idea of being able to eat cheese when “on a diet” seems pitiful at best, ludicrous at worst.If you love cheese as much as the next person, below are five health-related reasons to say yes to cheese:1. Yes, cheese contains fat. But aren't we past the era where we still believe that fat makes us fat? Yes, fat does have double the amount of calories (9 per gram) when compared to protein and carbohydrates (4 per gram). But guess what? This is exactly why we associate cheese with words like 'heavy' and 'filling.' You need a small amount to feel satiated and it digests slowly, keeping us fuller for longer.2. Cheese isn't all fat. It also contains protein and has an entire host of amino acids to offer. Too often, people complain about how they think they aren't getting enough protein. Adding some cheese to your diet would be a good way to stock up on protein.3. Calcium and phosphorus — micronutrients that aid bone health, better cartilage formation and tooth health can also be found in cheese.4. One of the most popular nutrient deficiencies that we hear about these days is B12. In fact, it is increasingly becoming second nature to most individuals who live stressful lives. Cheese, owing to its fermentation processes, is rich in B12 and can help us meet our daily needs.5. Zinc, a micronutrient that aids our digestive system, stress levels and immune system is also abundant in cheese.Talk about a rich nutrient profile! I may not go so far as to tell you to make your diet cheesy, but go ahead and enjoy consuming the fresh, unprocessed cheese that you are most certainly entitled to.

5 Reasons to Avoid Processed Foods

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Foods that are alter from their natural state after being taken through various artificial processes. If it's boxed, bagged, canned or jarred and has a list of ingredients on the label, it's processed. Methods used to process foods include: • Canning • Freezing • Refrigeration • Dehydration • Aseptic ProcessingNeed for processing foodProcessed foods are more convenient. Many working professionals choose processed foods over natural foods to save time and to eat something ‘tastier’. But convenience isn't the only thing you get when you eat processed foods. Here is a list of ingredients that manufacturers add to processed foods: • Color • Stabilizer • Emulsifiers • Bleach • Texturizers • Softeners • Preservatives • Sweeteners • Hide Odours • FlavoursYou could be unwittingly filling your grocery cart with highly processed foods that can adversely affect your health. Avoiding processed foods that contain these and other chemical additives greatly benefit our health.Health effects of processed foods1. CancerPeople who regularly consume processed foods may have an increased risk of developing pancreatic and other types of cancer. Some synthetic chemicals used in the processed food industry are known to have carcinogenic properties.2. Obesity and DiabetesHeavily processed foods are usually higher in sugar. This blocks the hormonal signal that tells your brain that it's time to stop eating. High fat and high salt content leads to water retention. Lack of nutrients and fibre results in unhealthy weight gain and consumption of empty calories.Read more about importance of high fibre foods.Consumption of sugar loaded processed foods leads to spikes in blood sugar levels. According to the World Health Organization, processed foods are to blame for the spike in obesity levels and other chronic diseases around the world.3. Shorter Life span and promotes agingProcessed foods could shave years off your life. Your face could start resembling crinkle-cut chips if you turn to munching processed foods on a regular basis. A 2012 study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that people who cooked at home at least five times a week were 47% more likely to be alive after 10 years than people who relied more on processed foods. Scientific research shows that processed meat is a very strong contributor to ageing. Processed meats include those that have been smoked, salted, cured, or preserved with chemicals, such as nitrates.4. Hidden Kidney KillersKidneys naturally balance the amount of sodium stored in your body for optimal health. When your body’s sodium is low, the kidneys essentially hold on to the sodium. When body sodium is high, your kidneys excrete the excess in urine but if for some reason your kidneys can't eliminate enough sodium, the sodium starts to build up in your blood. Because sodium attracts and holds water, your blood volume increases, which makes your heart work harder and increases pressure in your arteries. Chronic kidney diseases can make it hard for your kidneys to keep sodium levels balanced. Processed foods are typically high in salt and additives that contain sodium. This includes bread, preserved and frozen meals, processed meat, pizza, cold cuts and bacon, cheese, soups, and fast foods. Get more information on how healthy are packaged soups.Avoid foods with ingredients like "sodium phosphate," "calcium phosphate," and "phosphoric acid," or anything with "phos-" in the word.5. Inflammation in bodyPeople who eat food consisting processed ingredients two to three times a week face a significantly higher risk of developing asthma. Food preservatives can also trigger asthma. Sulfite additives are commonly used in food processing or preparation and may trigger asthma in those people who are sensitive. Processed foods have the ability to create inflammation in the body. Trans fats and sugar is common in fast-food menu items triggering inflammation, an unhealthy condition tied to asthma. Read about trans fat and how to avoid it.Avoid the drive-thru and eat fruits and vegetables at least three times a week.

Diet for Painful Bladder Syndrome

Dr. Anish Kumar Gupta, Andrologist
Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS) is a chronic health condition that causes pain and pressure in the bladder and pelvic area. It can cause an urgent need to urinate, a frequent need to urinate, or both. Although PBS cannot be cured, it can be treated. Researchers have found there are dietary changes you can make to help manage and avoid flare-ups. Below are just a few examples of foods/beverages that are friendly for such patients and those that are not: FruitsFriendly - Bananas, melons, pears, apples   Avoid - Lemons, limes, oranges, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi fruitVegetablesFriendly - Cucumber, green beans, bell peppers, beans Avoid - Chili peppers, onions, tomato products, picklesMilk/Dairy Friendly - Cheeses, eggs, milk, sherbet / squash (no citrus or chocolate flavors)Avoid - Chocolate ice cream, processed cheeses, soya products, yogurt (lemon, lime, orange or chocolate)BeveragesFriendly - Water, pear juice, milk, tea (peppermint), vanilla milkshakeAvoid - Alcohol, chocolate milkshake, coffee, cranberry juice, soda, tea (regular, green, herbal, iced) tomato juice, sports drinksICN Food ListIf you need help selecting bladder-friendly foods, there's an app for that.  The ICN Food List, available for Android and iPhone, provides a reference guide you can use while shopping and eating out.  The app contains a database with foods divided into three categories: bladder-friendly foods, foods worth trying cautiously and foods to avoid.Happy eating, and have a healthy bladder!

Is Ice-Cream a Source of Dairy?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Ice-cream is one of the most favorite milk based dessert. For some it’s a reward for scoring well in exams, for some it is to celebrate a special moment and some eat it leisurely as a source of calcium. But can this dairy product contribute to your daily calcium requirements and maintain your bone strength? Let’s find out -Ice-cream is made by churning and chilling a mixture containing high-fat milk or cream, fructose or glucose-based sweeteners, usually in the form of corn syrup, and flavorings such as vanilla or chocolate. When the mixture freezes, it develops the rich, creamy consistency of ice-cream.The nutritional content of different type of ice-creams varies but in general it is an energy dense food. It mainly comprises of carbohydrates and fats. Half a cup of ice-cream contains 15-18 gms of carbohydrates and 7-10 gms of fat. Half a cup of vanilla ice-cream provides 137 calories, as compared to 1 glass of skimmed milk which has 93 calories majorly providing good quality protein.Ice-cream is a high-fat food, since it must contain greater than 10 percent milk fat to be designated ice-cream, with some products having as much as 16 percent. Milk fat is largely cholesterol, a saturated fat. When your blood cholesterol level is too high, it can build up as plaque, a fatty deposit in your arteries that interferes with blood flow and raises your risk of heart disease and stroke. Ice-cream is also high in sugar, which makes up the majority of its carbohydrate content. Consuming too much sugar may contribute to health problems such as weight gain, cavities and increased levels of blood triglycerides, another unhealthy type of fat.According to experts, foods made from milk which have little to no calcium, such as full cream milk cheese, butter, ice-cream are not considered part of the dairy group. These products contribute significant amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat and if consumed on regular basis can increase risk of lifestyle diseases like heart disease, diabetes, weight gain etc. To lower your risk for high cholesterol and sugar-related problems, consume ice-cream in moderation or chose low fat substitutes. Some ice-cream substitutes like frozen desserts are marketed as a low fat low calorie product but these can be high in sugar containing as high as 40 gms of sugar. So, the rule of thumb is to eat your favorite scoop in moderation and pick healthy milk derivatives like low fat milk, low fat cottage cheese, curd and buttermilk to complete your daily calcium requirement.

10 Things to Avoid in Pregnancy

Dr. Sujoy Dasgupta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Pregnancy is a journey of a woman from womanhood to motherhood. Each and every pregnancy is precious and so women usually remain anxious about their lifestyle and food habits. Most of the pregnant mothers do not hesitate to sacrifice their comfort and habit, only to keep their baby safe. Here are the few tips which describes what are the common food items that must be avoided in pregnancy.  1) Some fishesFishes are integral part of most of the non-vegetarian Indian dishes. Majority of the fishes are not harmful, rather most of them (particularly fresh water fishes) are rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acid, that helps in brain development of the baby.You must take those. But remember, always take well cooked fishes. Avoid raw fishes like “Sushi” as they are likely to contain bacteria and parasites, causing stomach upset, that can lead to early labour and even damage the baby by causing premature delivery. Avoid refrigerated and smoked sea fish and other seafood as they are likely to be infected with a harmful bacteria, called listeria. Listeria infection is notorious for causing fever and infection in mother. More importantly, it can pass into the baby causing miscarriage, serious infection and even death, either before delivery or immediately after delivery.Avoid fishes containing mercury and other pollutants,particularly, big fish like shark, shellfish,  salmon, tilefish, king mackerel etc because they contain higher levels of mercury which can harm an baby’s immature nervous system. 2) Some dairy productsWhile intake of properly pasteurized and boiled milk is highly recommended, if you can tolerate it, because of high energy, carbohydrate, protein, fat and mineral content; raw milk, unpasteurized milk should be totally avoided, as they may contain harmful bacteria, particularly listeria, as mentioned earlier. Similarly, soft cheeses should not be taken in pregnancy.  3) Alcohol and smokingExcessive alcohol in pregnancy can cause ‘fetal alcohol syndrome’, characterized by abnormalities in face, heart, brain etc and evenmental retardation. These babies are likely to have growth disturbances. . Smoking can cause miscarriage and low birth weight of the baby that may even cause still birth. Passive smoking is also equally important. So, both mother and father should avoid smoking. 4) CaffeineExcessive caffeinated food can be a cause of miscarriage. Do not take more than 2 cups (or 200 mg) of coffee per day. 5) Under-cooked meat and eggsThese can cause food poisoning, as well as listeriosis. Also, there is chance of transmission of a parasite, toxoplasma, which can cause miscarriage, still birth and abnormalities in the baby (problems in heart, brain, eye, intelligence etc). Cook eggs until the yellow and white parts are firm. It’s better to avoid restaurant foods. 6) Unwashed fruits and vegetablesThese items may carry certain bacteria that can lead to stomach upset. They are also known cause of causing listeriosis, as explained above. Avoid long refrigerated vegetables and salads made in restaurant. Raw vegetable sprouts, often taken for high minerals and protein, should be avoided as they may also harbor harmful bacterias.   7. Some juicesAvoid fresh and raw juices as they may contain harmful bacteria like listeria and even toxoplasma. Choose packaged juices as they arepasteurized and are kept under refrigeration.8. Fatty FoodsWhile some fat is needed for brain growth and energy of the baby, excess fat may cause excessive weight gain that may increase the risk of high blood pressure and even diabetes, both can affect mother and baby. Mothers with excess weight are more likely to have premature delivery, problems during delivery and infection. Again repeated cooking of fatty food should be avoided, as it is more harmful to both.9. Herbal supplementsBecause their safety during pregnancy is not known, it’s best to avoid herbal supplements during pregnancy. This also includes herbal tea. . 10. DrugsDo not take any drugs without consulting your doctors, whatever problem you are having.Even avoid excessive vitamin use as excess dose of vitamin A can damage the heart, face and brain of your baby and make it mentally handicapped. Some painkillers can cause heart defects in the baby. Some antibiotics may also be unsafe.

Top Food Sources of Calcium

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Human body needs calcium to build strong bones when we are young and to keep bones strong as we get older. Moreover, it's also needed for the proper function of nerves, muscles, kidneys and the heart. Not having enough calcium in the diet is one of the many factors associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and low bone density.Expert's advice to always initiate adding the calcium rich food sources before starting with additional supplements. Dairy products are the most obvious choice when it comes to calcium rich foods but they are not the only food source which provides calcium. Here’s a list of top food sources of calcium to help you get your daily recommended allowance -Milk: A glass of milk is one of the best way to start your day and to fulfill your calcium requirements. Go for low fat milk and avoid adding high sugar flavoring powders. Go for cinnamon, cardamom or unsweetened cocoa powder. 1 cup low fat milk provides 102 calories and 305 mg calcium.Yogurt: Yogurt is a tasty way to get your daily calcium. 1 cup low fat plain yogurt provides 154 calories and 415 mg calcium. It is one of the best food sources of calcium. Avoid flavored yogurts as they contain added sugar and calories. Go for home-made plain yogurt with fresh fruits.Tofu: Also known as Bean curd, it is a soymilk derivative. It is a common component in many East Asian and southeast Asian cuisines. A little sour than our regular cottage cheese, 100 gm provides a good 350 mg calcium and 76 calories. Include pan-grilled or lightly sautéed Tofu in curries or salads.Spinach: It can be used in various preparations and can be a part of every meal due to its unique taste and texture. 1 cup of cooked spinach contains 41 calories and provides 245 mg of calcium. It has been said that oxalates and phytates present in spinach hinder calcium absorption. However, cooking spinach reduces the effect of these compounds and helps in calcium absorption.Sesame Seeds: These nutty and crunchy seeds are a rich source of calcium and good fat which also make them a must have food for lactating women. 1 tbsp of sesame seeds provides 52 calories and 88 mg calcium. But make sure you do not go overboard with the quantity.

Vegan Diet

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
So what is a Vegan Diet:The new Vegan Diet is becoming the hottest trend in the society.So who are these Vegan People and what is a vegan diet?All the answers are here.Vegan people don’t include chicken, fish and meat in their diet. They only eat fruits and vegetables, without using any animal products and by products like dairy or eggs.  Vegan people do not use animal by products like honey ,skin,leather,wool etc.They have their own environmental, ethical and health reasons why they live like this. The Vegan diet is the diverse. It contains mainly plant based produce like green leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. The vegan Diet contains all the necessary dietary factors like:Protein: Vegans get their Proteins from lentils, chickpeas, tofu, peas, peanut butter, soy milk, almonds, spinach, rice, whole wheat bread, potatoes, broccoli, kale.Fat:Vegan Diet has no cholesterol and artificial fats Hence Vegan Diet has been proven helpful in Cardiovascular diseases .Their natural fats include oils, margarine, nuts, nut butters, seed butters, avocado.Calcium:Vegans do not eat calcium products derived from animals so their source of calcium are:dark green vegetables, tofu made with calcium sulfate, calcium-fortified soy milk and orange juice, okra, turnip greens, soybeans, almond butter, broccoli, bok -choy, commercial soy yogurt.Vitamins:Iron: Beans and dark green leafy vegetables like Spinach, are  good sources of Iron. Iron absorption is increased markedly by eating foods containing vitamin C along with foods containing iron.Zinc:Grains ,Legumes and Nuts are good source of zinc and should be induced in vegan diet.Dairy produce replacements:The following substitutions can be made for dairy products:Soy milk, rice milk, potato milk, nut milk, or water (in some recipes) may be used.Buttermilk can be replaced with soured soy or rice milk. Soy cheese available in health food stores. Crumbled tofu can be substituted for cottage cheese or ricotta cheese.

4 Foods to Fight Belly Fat

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Most people are not overweight but have a slight belly. While some work hard to get rid of it the others get comfortable with it and accept it as a part of their appearance. Before you get too comfortable you should know belly fat is the worst kind of fat and it puts you at increased risk for many health problems – diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. There are easy ways to get rid of your belly fat. One of which is eating the right food. Here are 4 simple foods to fight your belly fat – Yogurt: Latest research shows that yogurt can even help you lose weight. The calcium in yogurt not only helps to make your bone stronger, a study at University of Tennessee found that participants who consumed 3 daily servings of fat free yogurt on a 12 week basis gained less fat around their mid-section than those who didn’t consumed dairy products containing less calcium. The mineral appears to help curb production of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to the accumulation of abdominal fat.Cheese: Its a good source of calcium, protein, phosphorus and fat. Having a moderate amount of cheese will not add up to your calories as it only takes a little cheese to make you feel full. A 30-gram serving of Cheddar cheese contains approx 7 grams of protein and 200 milligrams of calcium. Cheese not only keeps you full for longer but also supplies your body with essential nutrients.Nuts: They are little powerhouse of nutrition and provide a good variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to the diet. Nuts contain high amount of monounsaturated fatty acids that are considered to be good fat for the body and helps in managing the level of cholesterol and even help in fighting the bad fat in your body. Add nuts to your daily diet for better health & weight loss.Fish: Eat fish to fight belly fat. Fish contain a fatty acid known as omega-3 that may also help reduce fat storage by lowering cortisol levels. Fish is also good for building muscles – and the more muscles you have, the more calories you burn. Besides food one must exercise to fight belly fat. Doing at least 20 minutes of exercise three times a week can help trim the waist line and also slow down the accumulation of fat around the waistline. Get at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep and reduce stress to naturally manage your healthy and keep belly fat under check.

Gaining Weight with an Indian Diet!

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
Usually Weight loss is the most searched topic in health section,but the pain of being skinny or underweight is the one that only people who are suffering from it can imagine.The following is a Weight gain diet plan one can follow to get the desired body along with proper exercise.Note: This diet plan is for gaining weight. It is entirely based on Indian Food. IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONSDrink at least 10-12 glasses of water every day.Maintain your body weight within normal limits.Avoid fats, sweets, Ice-creams, soft drinks, chocolates, butter, ghee, sugar, salt and fried/junk food stuff.Avoid tinned and packed foods.Be liberal with fruits and vegetables.Maintain good personal hygiene and sanitation.Follow the diet plan and exercise schedule regularly and strictly to lose the required body weight. Try to have your dinner at least 2 hours before you go to sleep.EARLY MORNING( 5:00 a.m. To 6:00 a.m. )   Dalia (Without Sugar)20-50 gms. Black (Sprouted) gramsAlmonds (5 to 10 piece)Half Glass of Skimmed Milk (Without Sugar)BREAKFAST(7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.)1 Glass of Non Fat Milk,1-2 Bananas / 2-3 Food Supplement (+ or) 1-2 slices Toast with White butter/vegetable, cheese, sandwich (+ or) 1-2 Parantha with white butter/curd prepared from (Non-Fat) milk or corn flakes. AFTERNOON(11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. )    1 Glass of fresh juice (No Salt) (or) 2 Boiled potatoes with salad.       LUNCH(2:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m.)Dal (or) sabzi (Boiled and prepared in refined oil or olive oil)(+) Green Salad(+) 1 Bowl of Curd/Raita (Non Fat Milk)2-3 Chapatis of 1 Plate Brown Rice(+) Vitamin B-Complex.After 15 to 30 Mins Plain water as per your capacity.EVENING(5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.)  1 Glass of Juice/Shake/Soup (+) 1-2 Bananas/1-2 Boiled Potatoes/25-50 grams if Raw Cheese with Salad.DINNER  Same as Lunch + (Soyabean, Raw Cheese, Green Veg., Non Veg.)(Don’t ad B-complex)After 15 to 30 Mins,Plain water as per capacity + 5 Mins Walking.Before Sleeping½, Glass of Skimmed milk (Food Supplement- 1-2 spoons).