Articles on fast food

Dangers of Processed Food

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
It is very easy to grab a packet of chips, biscuits just to suppress your hunger for a particular period of time. But once you understand that how these processed foods are made then it becomes easier to select the healthier options instead of going for processed foods on daily basis. Following are the reasons which are going to reflect why one should not include processed foods on the daily basis.1. Processed foods ruin digestionBecause all the nutrients, vitamins are completely stripped of the food product once it gets into processing steps. It actually weakens our digestive system and allows harmful bacteria to enter in our body. One should always make healthier options before choosing any of the processed foods.2. Processed foods triggers health problemsProcessed foods contain various preservatives, additives so that a product shelf life won’t effect. But these additives which contain specifically phosphates can affect our kidneys and also weaken our bones as per one of the researches. And some of the studies also showed that refined sugars, processed flours, vegetable oils and many other ingredients commonly found in processed foods are largely responsible for the chronic inflammation problems in body.3. Processed Foods contain pesticidesIn order to work more for genetically modified foods, the farmers have to apply pesticides which can end up into final product so in this way processed foods have high chances of having pesticides in comparison with fresh food groups.4. Processed foods can be addictive and lead to weight gainProcessed foods tend to over stimulate the production of dopamine, also known as the "pleasure" neurotransmitter, which makes you crave them constantly. So, your body tempts to eat much more than the normal intake which in time make the person addictive as well as it add unnecessary fat in the body.

Healthy Foods That Are Actually Junk Foods!

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
With a busy lifestyle, everyone wants quick, tasty, reasonably priced and easily available foods. Though you may think that they might be healthy options but they are completely opposite. Here are some foods mentioned which many of us might consider healthy but actually are unhealthy foods.1. Instant noodles Maggi/ noodles hardly take any time to cook and taste good but all you are adding to your body is refined flour. The wax present in them forms a layer in our intestine which takes at least three days to flush out from our system. You can swap this with a vegetable upma or poha. It will provide you with good carbs and the veggies will add fibre making it a complete meal.2. Cornflakes with milk Many of us think this is a safe breakfast option as it contains milk but the truth is that the flakes you eat only add more sugar to your diet and not much nutrition. It will only add more weight to your body. Instead of this, you can switch to daliya or muesli with skimmed milk and a handful of nuts sprinkled on the top. This will give you fibre with essential fatty acids and other essential nutrients.3. Fruit Juice/ Packaged Juice You may think that gulping down a glass of a preserved fruit juice is a great way to start your day, but they are mostly packed with sugar. Switch to a better idea have orange itself rather than juice. Whole fruit offers you all the vitamins and minerals, along with tummy-filling fibre that can help tame hunger pangs until lunch. Or you can also replace orange juice with 1 glass of low-fat milk or skimmed milk.4. Pasta/White Pasta Pasta/white bread is an empty calorie food as it is made from refined and processed flour. This means that it is deficient in nutrients. Instead of white pasta/white bread you can opt for whole wheat pasta, whole wheat rolls (stuffed with veggies or paneer), and multi-grain bread.5. Diet Soda Diet sodas are actually empty calorie as they contain only artificial sweeteners and no essential nutrients in it, which increases the risk of certain types of cancer. Instead of energising yourself with diet colas, you can switch yourself to lemon water or coconut water.6. Fat-free Foods Just because a product is labeled ‘fat-free’ or ‘low-fat’ doesn't mean it’s healthier or even lower in calories. Fat-free products lack fat, but they make up by adding sugars or other unhealthy ingredients. Some of the most popular low fat foods are baked potato chips, diet namkeen, frozen yoghurt, nutralite butter, etc.In fact, when people are given foods marked as low fat, they chow down 25 to 44 percent more calories than when foods are labeled as regular fat.From the nutritional standpoint the above mentioned foods are not considered as healthy due to nutrient deficient. Practical piece of advice eat healthy, manage portion control, stick to natural foods and exercise. This the only way you can lose weight and keep it off.

How to Last a Fast?

Ms. Tehzeeb, Dietitian/Nutritionist
As an Indian national, surely, you will not only have observed some form of fast at some point, but also known someone within your close circle who did the same. Religious fasts are ritualistic acts which have existed for centuries now. As a country, we take our fasts quite seriously. The West is in fact only recently catching up to the idea of ‘fasting’ and creating juice cleanses, 5 hour fasts called ‘Fast 5’, half a day fasts etc. as a means to ‘cleanse’ and ‘detox’ the body. Fasting is quite the trend off late. So what’s the verdict then? Is fasting good for your body? Should you fast as a diabetic patient? Read on for clarity.Just to get some basics out of the way, fasting is when you willingly abstain from certain foods, drinks or both for a stipulated time period of the day or several days. Reasons could be religious or personal or a combination of the two. However, it is important to remember that giving up food and beverage is an act which symbolizes something greater. The ritual of fasting is a form which has a deeper essence.For instance, in Christianity, the idea of Lent is to cultivate self-discipline by giving up an unhealthy behavior-this could range from overeating to smoking to excess television viewing. In Hinduism, fasts during Navratras are observed as a means to, amongst other things, inculcate virtues like stoicism and build willpower and inner strength. In Islam, fasts are observed during Ramadan to build empathy towards those who have little to eat and drink every day. All faiths point us to the common virtues of charity, generosity, good-will, self-discipline, abstinence and self-control and what better way to build these than through a medium as powerful as food itself?Even if you’re a cynic and a non-believer of religious rituals, fasting does have some legitimate psychological and physiological benefits to boast for:One day or a few hours without all food or specific foods is enough to make you realize just how much our lives revolve around foodFasts focus on eating lighter meals as a means to allow your digestive tract some downtime. With our massive Sunday brunches and wedding buffets and endless rounds of appetizers and drinks, the stomach rarely gets any downtime unless we schedule it deliberately via a fastPerhaps you know this already but giving up alcohol for any amount of time will only do you good (yes darling, red wine included)But fasting also has some possible downsides:AcidityDehydration (especially if you observe dry fasts)Migraine or hunger induced headachesLow blood sugar (cause of concern especially if you’re a diabetic)Should you not fast if you’re diabetic then?Unfortunately, there isn’t a very black and white answer to this question. Consult your doctor who could help you with the precisions and guidelines on this. However, broadly, as a diabetic, what’s important for you is to avoid any grand deviations in your blood sugar levels. Bearing this in mind, we have designed sample meal plans for Lent, Navratri and Ramadan. Please note that there are broad guidelines/principles based on which we have listed specific foods. The listed food items are not set in stone and could be swapped or replaced with other items which share a similar nutrient profile.Too often, we see clients/patients fast and then feast/binge/overeat once the fast is completed. This would cause huge disturbances and fluctuations in your blood sugar and it would make your poor pancreases work overtime to release enough insulin to cover all the glucose just sitting in your bloodstream. Work on avoiding these scenarios via these 3 simple steps:Step 1: Focus on eating slowlyStep 2: Chew the meal contents thoroughly as opposed to gulping (yes, we know you’re starving but please make an effort)Step 3: Eat a decent, not ginormous, amount at one goAren’t you looking forward to these fast-friendly foods? Haven’t they already made the upcoming rituals a lot less dreary and more fun?!For more comprehensive meal plans and to have specific queries resolved, do touch base with us

Fasting, feasting, and everything in between!

Ms. Raminder Kaur Deshmukh, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Hey!! watch out Navratra's are ahead.As navratra's are here and everyone is prepared for the festivities ahead. If you are undertaking an extending fast one must take special care.Here are some tips which one can follow:Keep yourself hydrated by choosing coconut water/green tea/lemon water/water/fruit shakes/fruit yogurt/vegetable juices.Eat at every regular interval of time.One should take fruit in breakfast as it will energize your body.Avoid oily and fried food like fried potato/ fried tikki/ puri's etc. as it will lead to weight gain.Try to adapt baked/ grilled food like baked potato/ grilled stuffed potato with green chutney.Include sago(sabudana) khichdi with lots of veggies as it will give you feeling of fullness and also provide you fiber.Include sabudana kheer with low-fat milk as a sweet option or prashad. One can add dry fruit to it.At the time of snacking one can have roasted makhana with green tea or tea or baked chips with green tea.In dinner, one can have fruit shake with chia seeds/ veg. samakia with salads/ roasted or baked paneer with veggies.Fasting doesn't mean one have to starve for the whole day and eat more food at one time which is known as feasting. When we overeat our stomach stretches to accommodate extra food. we gulp more food at a time which also lead to heartburn or acid reflux. This occurs due to fasting for the whole day and feasting at a time.It is better to chew food well and eat slowly as it takes 20 minutes for the stomach to signal the brain when we are full. Overeating also lead to bloating/ acidity/ heartburn/ abdominal cramps etc.Hence, one should fast in a healthy manner.SAMPLE MENU FOR THE UPCOMING NAVRATRA'S:Breakfast: Fruit with milk/ fruit shake with 5 to 6 almonds.Mid-morning: Lemon water with fruit /coconut water with fruit/ green tea with fruit.Lunch: Grilled sabudana vada with green chutney/ Buckwheat flour (kuttu atta) chapati with vegetable and salad and ghiya raita/ Baked sabudana tikki with vegetable and curd/ Vegetable samakia rice with curd and saladAfter Lunch: Green teaEvening: Green tea/ tea with baked chips/ Roasted makhanaDinner: Paneer tikka/ milk with fruit/ A bowl of veggies and salad/ Petha+ ghiya soup with vegetable/ Apple soya shake with chia seeds/ Curd+fruit smoothie.

How to Delete the Calories From Your Favorite Junk Food?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Everyone is allowed a vice. For most of us it is the love of food. While we understand you don’t want to stop yourself from doing what you love the most, we might have a solution that can help you do damage control.A great way to counter those extra calories ingested during an indulgent moment is exercising. However, this does not guarantee that you can eat as much as you want & never gain weight. Exercising regularly and seeing results may encourage you to eat healthier and also help you in decreasing the stress that often leads to emotional eating. The number of calories exercise burns varies according to your weight. The below listed calculations are for someone weighing between 60Kg to 70Kg. So, here you will find a list of popular high calorie snacks which we cannot help but indulge in and religiously get the guilt pangs after consumption. Let’s get started: Cafe Latte: 200 Calories. That’s right! 200 is the special number that gets added to your system every time you indulge in a medium sized cafe latte. And this number is without adding any extra flavour or whipped cream to it. Even if you choose a non-fat version of the milk, it still ends up adding up to those many calories. So what do you do when catching up with friends at your favourite coffee place? Well we have the perfect solution for you! Just go ahead and order your cup of pleasure. All you need to do after indulging in one of these is go biking for 30 minutes and any chances of those extra calories making room around your waist will vanish. Small Slice of Cake:250 caloriesWho doesn’t absolutely LOVE cake? Yes, we like to have our cake and eat it too!The only teeny little problem with indulging in this is the excess baggage of added calories it comes with. How we would love to see a low calorie creamy cake of our favourite flavour and enjoy it endlessly without feeling guilty. Well as this remains a dream, we do have an alternative plan which will make you burn those cake calories right off after you are done devouring your slice. All you need is a pair of legs and comfortable shoes. Just walk for 50 minutes and all that cake-bulk will melt away. Samosa: 300 CaloriesThe yummy little stuffed triangle snacks have high calories written all over it. But while enjoying them we tend to ignore that fact. It’s only afterwards when we start feeling bloated from ingesting the oil and starch rich snack, we end up repenting it. What if I were to tell you that you may go ahead and enjoy one 300 calorie rich samosa without having to worry about the extra weight it is going to add to your body? Well I am not kidding, you actually can indulge in a samosa without feeling guilty if you sincerely dedicate 30 minutes of stairs climbing to your day. The energy required to climb stairs for 30 minutes will burn those 300 samosa calories and leave you feeling healthy and light. And if you already didn’t know this, climbing stairs is a great workout which is super convenient and free of cost as I am sure you can find a suitable flight of stairs around you! 1 Pint of Beer: 180 caloriesNothing helps you wash over a tough week better than a pint of beer with a few close friends. Beer is a convenient drink even for the weekdays as it is not too strong, gives you an easy high and does not give you a hangover the next day. The only drawback to beer is that it sets you back 180 calories per pint. So you need to be extra careful and keep track of your consumption. A 40 minute moderate intensity session of badminton can help you do damage control of a single pint of beer and it is fun! A Single-Patty burger: 500 CaloriesNo matter how health conscious we are, we always end up binging on that one burger after months of resisting. Who can blame us! The burger is such a scrumptious piece of art that we end up convincing ourselves to eat like there is no tomorrow. The problem arrives when tomorrow comes and you feel super guilty for binging out on a burger and adding those unnecessary calories to your body. Well the good news for you is that a one hour session of zumba will evaporate those extra calories and will get you back in shape.Keep in mind that the more you eat these high calorie foods the more effort you will have to put in to burn those extra calories off. So plan your junk cravings around a workout and you should be okay. Enjoy!

Know Why Are You Craving Foods

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Have you ever thought why right around midnight you crave for chocolates, burger, french fries? That's what it is. Nothing but craving, usually for unhealthy foods. Cravings can indicate a lack of key nutrients or a desire to fill an emotional imbalance. Your body is smart. If you're not consuming enough of the right things, your body will signal you to consume foods high in fat and calories.Your body tells you just what it needs, but you have to learn how to speak the language. Here are certain reasons which will reflect that why your body is craving for food.StressMaximum times it is being seen that people who take lot of stress leads to food cravings and the reason behind it is that when we are stressed we generally grab for high calorie and high fat foods because they are comforting foods, carbohydrates boost our levels of the hormone serotonin, which has a calming effect. And recent research also suggests that the combination of fat and sugar may also have a calming effect.DietingDieting can also be one of the reason which leads to food craving. If the person is not taking balanced meals or missing nutrients from his / her diet then it may end up in binging to unhealthy food groups on the daily basis.Bodily NeedsIt's possible that you may be craving nutrients your body is deficient in. Low blood sugar can cause carbohydrate cravings, since low glucose levels indicate that the body's glycogen stores have become depleted (often due to heavy exercise or going long periods without eating).LifestyleSome cravings exist due to habit. For instance, your family may have eaten dessert every night after dinner while you were growing up. Now, if dessert doesn't appear every night after dinner, you crave something sweet. Or maybe the cravings are all in your head. The mind is a very powerful tool, and mental associations can often trigger cravings.

Disadvantages of Fasting for Weight Loss

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Fasting has been around for a while. Mostly used for religious purposes it is also considered a technique to lose weight. Some people also use it as a detox mechanism but the fact is there are organs & natural foods that are already doing that job.Do you think then fasting is the right & effective approach to weight loss?Let us explain through facts whether fasting is good for you or not.There are different definitions of fasting. Some people fast without any foods or water at a stretch while some are flexible and allow themselves to have raw fruits, water & caffeine. Fasts lasting a day or two are unlikely to be dangerous for most healthy adults. But the following people like the elderly, anyone with a chronic disease, pregnant women, and children fall under the high risk category and are advised against any type of fasting.Fasting can be dangerous if followed for prolonged periods, anywhere from three days to a month. What happens to your body when you fast?You lose weight. But that’s because you have drastically cut down on your calories. Also you are not losing fat this instance instead that change on the weighing scale is reflecting the loss of water in your body. Remember our body is 70 % water and that’s why on a fast one loses the “water weight” which comes instantly back the minute eating is resumed. Fasting also slows down the metabolism that’s the reason why a lot of people tend to put on weight even when they have been on prolonged periods of fasting instead of really losing it.Next time you are thinking about fasting to lose weight you might want to reconsider going through that route especially when the end results can this discouraging.The healthy and the most effective way to lose weight are to get into a routine of healthy diet and regular exercise. Following a balanced routine not only leads to a healthy weight loss but also a fit and toned body.Basic Eating Rules to follow include:-Plan your meals in advance. This will help you manage healthier meals.-Don’t give too much gap between your meals. Giving too much gap will lead to binging and snacking on unhealthy food.-Eating too often might burden your digestive system and will not really help you keep the weight off in the long run.-Don’t eat if you are stressed or exhausted.

High Protein Breakfast Helps to Reduce Cravings

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it give you energy to start a new day, but breakfast is linked to several health benefits, including weight control and one’s performance in his/ her respective field.ImportanceEating breakfast increases metabolism more than any other meal of the day and can help protect against heart disease and other life-shortening health conditions, according to the Harvard Medical School. Skipping breakfast leads to overeating later in the day and may contribute to obesity, according to Mary Ellen Camire, a nutrition professor with the Institute of Food Technologists. A healthy, filling breakfast helps control appetite throughout the day, encourages the body to burn more calories, and can even improve memory and school performance.Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast can help give you:- A more nutritionally complete diet, higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals- Improved concentration and performance in the classroom or the boardroom- More strength and endurance to engage in physical activity- Reduces food cravings in later part of the day.A recent study conducted by researcher of University of Missouri has found that eating healthy, high protein breakfast increases satiety and reduces hunger throughout the day.A high-protein breakfast takes longer to move through the stomach, allowing dieters to feel full longer, which bolsters their ability to resist reaching for more food. High-protein breakfasts reduce the amount of ghrelin -- a hormone that stimulates a feeling of hunger -- in the bloodstream more effectively than high-carbohydrate breakfasts. A high-protein breakfast led to greater satiety and lower reward-driven eating behavior than a low-protein breakfast, according to a University of Missouri study published in "Obesity" in 2011.Study shows that , reduces cravingsThe study targeted young people, who are quite prone to skipping breakfast. Approximately 60 percent of teens skip breakfast on a regular basis. Not eating breakfast not only increases the chances people will snack during the day, but it also impairs cognition. Students who eat breakfast are more alert and generally perform better in class.In the study, some subjects ate no breakfast, others ate a typical breakfast such as cereal and milk, and the rest ate a high-protein breakfast of Belgian waffles and yogurt. This study concludes that those who ate either breakfast had (obviously) reduced appetite at lunch time. However, those who ate the high protein breakfast had a significantly reduced appetite. This suggests that eating a high-protein breakfast could help prevent unhealthy snacking and even be a way to help people lose weight.A high protein breakfast can give you the perfect start to your day. Protein can be a great way to fuel up after a long night's rest. Here are some reasons why you should enjoy a breakfast that is high in protein..Why Eat Protein?Protein is a building block of cells throughout the body. It is necessary for healthy skin, nails, muscles, cartilage and blood. Protein helps to build and repair bodily tissues, and it is used to produce hormones and enzymes. When you eat protein for breakfast, you will feel more energized and ready to take on your day. You are also more likely to feel full longer, which can lead to healthier eating habits and possibly even weight loss.HOW TO SNEAK PROTEIN IN YOUR BREAKFASTRecent studies support the idea that getting 15-30 grams of protein in your morning meal is the best way to jump start your metabolism, prevent mid-morning sugar crashes, and manage overeating all day long. Protein is a great slow-burning fuel for your body, tamping down your appetite for hours after a meal. As a result, a protein-rich breakfast can actually help you and to maintain a healthy weight.Here is the list which highlights the good sources of protein that one can include in his/her diet:- Eggs- Sea food- Milk and milk products- Beans- SoyYogurt and beans are both low-fat protein sources that can be part of a healthy breakfast, and eggs remain a highly valuable breakfast protein food. People who eat two eggs along with toast and fruit for breakfast show reduced caloric intake for a full 36 hours after eating the breakfast, according to the Institute for Food Technologists.OTHER BENEFITS OF HIGH PROTEIN BREAKFAST- Increased Satiety- Reduced risk of heart disease- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetesWARNING REGARDING THE PROTEIN SOURCESWhile a high-protein breakfast offers a number of health benefits but it is important to choose high-protein options that do not contain excess fat. High-protein sources like red meat and full-fat cheeses can be high in saturated fats that can outweigh the benefits of satiety throughout the day. Instead, opt for lean protein choices like egg whites, lean ground beef, skim milk, steamed sprouts or low-fat yogurt. Lean protein food selections offer the benefits of a high-protein breakfast, without harmful effects like weight gain or increased cholesterol levels that can stem from eating high-fat protein sources.

4 Ways Fast Food Is Ruining Your Body

Dr. Geetanjali, Dietitian/Nutritionist
The name 'fast food' comes from the fact that it can be prepared and served in a jiffy and not to mention, tastes delicious. Don't be fooled by the smell and the taste, they have such little to no nutritional value that they can hardly be called food. They are rich in calories, fat and sugar that lead to various kinds of health conditions. Popular junk foods include gums, sweets, carbonated drinks, desserts, dried foods; you probably love them now but after knowing their effects on your health you might want to eliminate them from your diet. Here are some of the conditions which can be caused by consumption of excessive fast food:Heart diseases: Fast food contains high amounts of trans or saturated fats that can clog your arteries and lead to high level of cholesterol later in life. People who have junk food more than four times a week increase their risk of dying by 80%.Obesity: Adolescents who have poor eating habits are at high risk of being obese. Gaining a lot of weight beyond a recommended proportion can cause many health problems. Junk foods have sugar and calories that lead to weight gain. It has also been noticed that people who are prone to eating more fast foods are less likely to consume fruits and vegetables and this further weakens their immune system.Peptic Ulcer:Peptic ulcer is a disease that occurs in the gastrointestinal tract; it is acidic in nature and causes extreme stomach ache. Spicy oily and salted food combined with stress and alcohol can lead to this condition.Diabetes: Busy work schedule prevents many people from cooking at home and they take resort in fast food but it is advisable not to let work get in the way of your health. Consuming regular fast food coupled with poor lifestyle and lack of exercise lead to obesity which in turn cause Type 2 diabetes.Cut down on junk foods and incorporate fruits and vegetables and also make time to include a daily exercise routine to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Is It Possible to Eat Healthy Food at Nearby Fast Food Joint?

Dr. Rahul Varma, Pediatrician
With changing culture and family dynamics in India, there is more and more nuclear family with both parents working. Life has become busy; so many parents opt to eat out at a food joint rather than preparing a healthy meal at home. And with media exposure and cultural change, children are also demanding. Due to this more and more children are overweight and are at increased risk of obesity and other major diseases.Eating fast food once in a while is fine, but it should not become a regular feature of your child’s staple diet. Twice a month, eating out will be just fine, not more than that.Being a parent, it is our responsibility to provide child with healthier options and lead with example. We can encourage them to go for healthier options.Few things to keep in mind while eating out that can help you and your kids are:Control the portion size: This is the most important factor in maintaining a healthy weight. Do not get carried away by temptation from food joints who offer to upgrade to larger size or combos to save money. The price difference between a medium drink and large is kept very small so that you are tempted to buy a bigger one.Encourage them to eat roasted, steamed or boiled food rather than fried. It helps to decrease the number of calories and is much healthier option.Order some salad or fruits along as a side dish. It will make you fuller at very low calories and with healthier options.Order some non aerated drinks (without soda) like water, juice or milk. Avoid aerated drinks with soda like cold drinks; they are just empty calories. But to go for healthier options like fruit juices or smoothies.Do not get lured by word “Diet”: Diet food or diet cold drinks or diet chips are not a healthy option. Diet cold drinks have artificial sweetener and other stuff inside which can even be more dangerous (most of such drinks have labels stating that not meant for less than 18 years). Diet chips still have lot of salt (high sodium content) and masala that is not good for your heart and cholesterol.Similarly “Fat free” does not mean a healthy option and you can eat large amount. They still have carbohydrates and lots of calories which can make you obese. Remember you can buy a new house to stay but you have only one body to live.If your body is not in good shape, all your materialistic wealth will be of no use.Respect your body: Eat healthy, do exercise and be mentally strong.  And have faith in your abilities, you can do lot better than you think you can.