Articles on healthy living

Myth or Fact? Your Healthy Living Mystery

Ms. Tehzeeb, Dietitian/Nutritionist
#1: Fat-free OR low-fat milk and dairy options are better and healthier than their whole-milk counterparts. Myth OR Fact?MYTH: Fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamins A, D, E and K) only get absorbed in the presence of fat. Removing fat from these products thus lowers your body’s ability to absorb said vitamins. Moreover, fat helps provide not only taste, but also satiety and a lasting feeling of fullness. Would you rather drink a large amount of watered-down milk or a small amount of the real deal?#2: Rice and potatoes are fattening and I should avoid them at all costs, especially at dinner. Myth OR Fact?MYTH: A balanced meal needs to consist of all three macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats). In fact, nutrition school teaches us that 45-60% of our meal should come from a carbohydrate source. Rice and potatoes are not ‘fattening’ and a blanket ban is unfair to say the least. However, if you overeat (eat above and beyond the needs of your body), it would mean that the food you eat (it could be potatoes, rice or even broccoli) will get converted to fat and stored.#3: Excess protein intake can be damaging for my kidneys. Myth OR Fact?FACT: Before you start blaming any specific protein sources, re-read the statement. Excess protein could be damaging to the kidneys—not protein from a specific source! Here’s the rationale: NH3+– CHR – COO- What you see above is the chemical structure of protein. Imagine that your body has met it’s protein requirements and used up the protein it needs for whatever functions were designated for the protein to perform (repair, recovery, hormone synthesis etc.). Now there is excess protein in the body. What is the body going to do? Protein can’t get stored in the body. It has to get converted into another form to be stored. Look again at the nitrogen group (NH3+). There is no way for the body to store or use this nitrogen and thus, when there is excess protein in the body, it needs to eliminate the nitrogen group. This group then gets converted into urea in the liver and the kidneys take the responsibility of excreting the majority of this urea. This process of eliminating the nitrogen group is inconvenient and is what puts load on the kidneys. We reiterate again that the problem is excess protein—not protein from a specific food source.#4: 1-2 tsp of ghee to my daily diet is good for my skin, bones and joints. Myth OR Fact?FACT: Firstly, ghee is prepared from the fats of whole milk. So all the fat-soluble vitamins and minerals along with the healthy fat content is retained. Fat-soluble vitamins are essential for the healthy growth and development of not only our bones, but also our brain! Imagine that. Moreover, ghee contains carotenoids and antioxidants which promote skin cell growth, good vision and immune health, as well as a reduced risk of certain cancers and heart disease. So many benefits for a food item which tastes so yummy to start with. It’s a real win-win.#5: Walking is the best exercise for me. Myth OR Fact?MYTH: This is like saying daal rice is the best food for me. Daal rice is great but you can’t be eating it all day everyday. You need to vary the nutrient profile and incorporate different foods as well from time to time. You see where we are going with this? Walking/jogging/running is one form of exercise known as cardiovascular exercise or exercise meant to increase the strength of your heart muscle and give you endurance. There are also strength-based exercises and flexibility-based exercises and a good workout routine needs to have all these forms as part of it.#6: The body has an unlimited capacity to store fat. Myth OR Fact?FACT: Oh how we all wish this were a myth. Although I probably wouldn’t have a business to run if that were in fact the case. Yes, the body has an unlimited capacity to store fat. This means that excess carbohydrates get converted to fat and stored, excess proteins get converted to fat and stored and excess fat gets converted to fat and stored. Sigh.#7: Bananas, strawberries, sitaphal and chickoo are high in sugar and thus very bad for me especially if I am pre-diabetic or diabetic. Myth OR Fact?MYTH: There are 3 types of simple sugars-glucose, fructose (fruit sugar) and galactose. All fruits have fructose or fruit sugar. Fruit sugars are natural and nature is wonderful. Do you think nature would be the reason you have diabetes? Or is it those cakes, biscuits and low-fat preservative-infused khakras? Fruit sugars DO NOT spike your blood sugar. They merely give it a slow, steady rise and it is ludicrous to blame these fruits (bananas, strawberries, sitaphal and chickoo) for your excess sugar intake or your diabetes. Below is a diagram to better facilitate understanding:P.S. Do you have any statements you’re wondering are myths or facts? Write them in the comment box or email us and we will be happy to add them onto our future series!

Lifestyle Management Is Key to Healthy Living

Dr. Yogesh Joshi, Ayurveda
Lifestyle is a set of attitudes, habits, or possessions associated with a particular person. Lifestyle is related with the things, what a person dose in his daily routine. Lifestyle is related to what a person eats? How a person thinks? What a person dose for his well-being? And what is a person’s daily routine? Lifestyle has a very large effect on every once physical and mental health. We will se how lifestyle effects out body.Our body is a complicated machine. It is completely dependent on the nature for its nourishment. As we work daily and do our daily routine, our body elements have to face ware and tear. This ware and tear is to be replaced by good quality and quantity of the body elements. If these body elements are replaced by good quality and quantity then our body elements become healthy and no week loops are left in our body. But if these body elements are not replaced by good quality and quantity week loops are left in our body and that part starts creating stress in our body.This is the start of stress.Our body consists of following basic body elements:-1. Lymph2. Blood3. Muscle4. Fat5. Bone6. Bone marrowFurther they are classified in Proteins, carbohydrates, Fats and etc.We have different factories in our body to create these elements. Each factory has to be provided with good raw material to produce the good product. All the process in the factory should run in proper manner. Proper energy should be provided to each part of the factory to run the mechanism in proper way and all the waste products should be thrown out after the formation of the good product. If this process of formation of all elements is in proper way then only the healthy product is formed and when it is supplied to the proper place by proper way then only the body gets nourished in proper manner. If there is any problem in the process coordination between these elements is disturbed and our body starts generating stress in the body. As body and mind are related to each other stress effects on both mind and body. It is also seen that if mind is disturbed then it affects the body.Due to our existing eating pattern, working pattern which we say is our existing lifestyle our mechanism of digestion is disturbed. Due to this disturbed mechanism of digestion, forming of our body elements is also disturbed. Due to this nourishment of our body is not done and it creates week elements our body due to which our immunity system gets disturbed and person gets infection very easily. Due to decreased immunity, our body is not able to fight against the infection ,so we have to rush for a course of antibiotics. Further it also creates deficiency in our body and we have to take support various iron, vitamins, proteins, calcium & food supplements. Due to decreased immunity various systems of our body gets affected. Where there is more deficiency of the elements in the body, the particular system gets affected and different types of diseases are caused.By finding a correct cause and a place where the mechanism is disturbed, stress on the body and mind can be controlled. A person can regain the immunity by correction of lifestyle and there will be no necessity of supplements to be consumed. This will help a person to live a healthy and diseases free life for many long years.

The Myth - Healthy Diet?

Dr. Raviraj Francis, Physiotherapist
Indians have huge vitamin deficiency figures compared to Global standards.Various food myths are to be blamed for this.As a clinical Physiotherapist and Nutritional expert I suggest some facts that need to be addressed: 1) Indians are more stressed and give less importance to physical exercise compared to their global counterparts.2) Eating at proper times should be strictly adhered to (5 small meals if on a diet or 3 proper healthy meals).3) Eating healthy should be the mantra, for eg: filling yourself with snacks like samosa, vada, shev, chakli instead of proper wholesome food.4) The myth that non-veg food gives you more strength or veg food will never give you heart disease is all a propaganda by various people. Speaking scientifically vegetarian people can have more strength than a person who consumes meat, also a vegetarian may die of cardiac diseases as compared to a person who consumes red meat daily.5) However certain facts have to be taken into consideration like B12 (nerve function) is found in meat and Iron is found in high quantity in green leafy vegetables. However, if your religion or culture doesn't permit meat then there are supplements which are available in the market.6) Just remember no amount of supplement or fancy food will give you the amount of vital vitamins which a wholesome food gives you.7) Last but not the least 'eat smart' - a boiled potato will give you the same nutrients minus the cholesterol that comes from a fried potato. Bon appetit!

Make Food Safe to Eat- Food Safety the Best Security for a Healthy Life

Dr. Rekha Gupta, Dietitian/Nutritionist
“From farm to plate make food safe”It is very necessary to create awareness regarding food safety to avoid foodborne diseases. We can't see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. Handling food is as important as buying and storing them. It becomes my duty as a nutritionist to bring awareness regarding food safety to the common man.These are some common facts which should be kept in mind while handling food:Purchase refrigerated foods the last and don’t buy packets which are leaking or torn.Never thaw food on the counter. Harmful bacteria’s grow when foods are in the danger zone between 40°F and 140°F.  Thaw foods in the refrigerator, cold water or in the microwave.Don’t taste food to see if it bad because you can’t see, smell and taste bacteria with your eye. Furthermore, you are increasing the chances of contracting a disease. Don't leave food out of the refrigerator for more than two hours or one hour if it is over 90°F outside. Instead, always refrigerate foods in a timely matter.Never eat any raw eggs because they may contain Salmonella or other harmful bacteria. Instead, cook eggs thoroughly, avoid foods that contain raw or undercooked eggs.Always marinate raw meat, seafood and poultry in the refrigerator. Otherwise of bacteria growing on meat becomes very high.Cooked food is safe only after it’s been heated to a high enough internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria.Illness-causing bacteria can survive in on your hands. Washing your hands the right way can stop the spread of these bacteria.Sponges and kitchen cloths can hold on to harmful foodborne pathogens and cause a serious health risk. Always sanitise your sponges at least every other day and replace them every week.Five keys to safer foodFood safety is a shared responsibility. It is important to work all along the food production chain – from farmers and manufacturers to vendors and consumers. Five keys to safer food offer practical guidance to vendors and consumers for handling and preparing food:Key 1: Keep cleanKey 2: Separate raw and cooked foodKey 3: Cook food thoroughlyKey 4: Keep food at safe temperaturesKey 5: Use safe water and raw materials.It is our responsibility to keep food safe and free from contamination of any kind to have a good health. 

Healthy Food Shopping on a Budget

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Food prices are increasing everyday. Unfortunately, incomes don’t always keep up with it! This should not stop you from eating healthy. Here, we have some great tips for you on how you can eat healthier, and stay within your budget!Avoid Junk FoodTry to maintain a budget diary and note every time you spend money on food. Evaluate how much you spend on soda, cookies, packaged food, eat out lunch and dinner, etc and try to avoid them. It will keep you and your pocket healthy. This will also help you in spending more money on high quality food.Go SeasonalSeasonal fruits, seasonal vegetables that are locally grown, best match the nutrition requirements of people living in the area. The other advantage is that seasonal foods cost less to grow, so you pay the right price for them.  For example; in summers you should go for watermelon, mangoes, plum, berries, etc and in winters you can opt for oranges, peas, apples, turnip, spinach, fenugreek leaves, etc. However, all season fruit and vegetables like papaya, banana, etc can also help you. So, the more you focus on purchasing seasonal food, the healthier and tastier your meals will be and the more money you will save.Go Shopping with Grocery ListEvery time, before going to shopping make a list of everything you are going to purchase and focus on healthy and nutritious food and try to remain stick on it. By this you can avoid purchasing unnecessary foods and can manage your budget.Fresh foods over PackagedPackaged foods may contain high amount of sugar and sodium to act as preservative, but are also expensive. For example, instead of buying packaged orange fruit juices, try to buy whole orange fruit. Always buy fresh over canned or packaged foods. This not only save your money but also give you more nutrition.Be experimentalInstead of spending money on expensive unhealthy desserts, try making healthy desserts at home. For example; you can try homemade oatmeal cookies with less sugar, a piece of dark chocolate, or yogurt with fresh seasonal fruits.Be colorfulNatural colors in food correspond to a variety of nutrition. So, shop for fruits and vegetables of all kinds of colors. For example, use red and yellow pepper in green leafy vegetables or yellow corns and carrot in black beans and lentils. Besides providing you with great nutrition, they also make the food look delicious!Buy in bulk but Cook in PortionsIt sound strange but it is true to keep a healthy eating on a budget you should buy vegetable to grains to meat in a bulk, and store it well. This not only helps you in budget maintenance but also cut down your shopping time, thus, leaving you more time for everything else.If you stick with these healthy eating and food shopping tips, you’ll be healthier and save more money!

Healthy Diet for Teenagers

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
These days, due to peer pressure and the influence of glamour world, teenagers aspire to be in a skinny frame and in order to achieve that instantly, teenagers go with practices like surviving on carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners, smoking and eating meager food.“Trying to stay thin can take you away from eating a wholesome diet, and lead to bad skin, dull looking hair and unhealthy nails”.Helpful Hints to Plan a Diet for Teenagers:Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Never forget that.This should be the main meal while planning diet for teenagers. Breakfast kick starts your body after eight hours of sleep when energy was being slowly used up. This is the longest time your body will have gone without eating, so you need to fill up the supply of energy to get you through the day. About one quarter of your body needs is found in breakfast, and that’s a substantial amount to skip out on. It has been scientifically proven that your concentration levels are much lower if you don’t eat breakfast, and it may also lead to you snacking on unhealthy food throughout the day - so leading to you becoming overweight.Fitness and Exercise RegimesThese may be fast disappearing in a teenager’s life due to the lack of physical activity opportunities in schools, as well as the type of exercise on offer not always being appropriate or enjoyed by teenagers. What to do then? Walk everywhere, ride your bike, go running with a friend in a park nearby, go to the local sports, go swimming, there are local pools in most areas, start up a team yourself with local friends i.e. football or basketball, or even a running group.Healthy optimum foods which should appear in diet for teenagers:• Fresh fruit and vegetables (between five and ten per day)• Whole meal bread – Not white bread as it contains very few nutrients• Salads to include; lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, radish, beetroot, onion, nuts• Nuts unless of course you are allergic• Dried fruits such as apricots, raisins, dried berries• Fish – salmon, sardines, mackerel• Rice• Whole-wheat pasta• Six to eight glasses of waterUnhealthy foods which should not appear in diet for teenagers:• Any fast food – bought at a fast food outlet• Fizzy drinks of any kind – bought from shops or machines• Crisps and savory snacks in packets• Processed foods such as microwave dinners• Sweets, chocolate, ice-cream• Cakes and biscuitsRight now you may be thinking that you can’t live without a packet of crisps on the way home from school or that favorite fizzy drink, but unfortunately it really is up to YOU to decide! Only you can make those changes to your diet and your energy levels. If you are serious about being healthy, then think about your nutritional intakes and your fitness levels every day. Try not to be ‘faddy’ about being healthy, just do your best, be gradual and eventually it will become second nature!

Is Raw Food Diet Healthy?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
People are constantly experimenting with food to lose weight. Some eat maple syrup all day while some eat raw or uncooked foods to get that size zero. Most fad diets are unhealthy. But sometimes even the more healthy seeming diets like the raw food diet may not be totally healthy. Let us tell you why eating raw food can or cannot be all that good for you.Raw diet consists mainly of uncooked, unprocessed plant foods. Raw food is low in calorie and usually sourced naturally. Eating a raw diet full of fruits and vegetables has its advantages of getting plenty of vitamins and minerals but there are a lot of missing nutrients in this diet that can lead to severe deficiencies.Vitamin B12 is the most common deficiency found in people that eat this diet. This nutrient is naturally available in animal sources and is critical to nerve and red blood cell development. Deficiencies can lead to anemia and neurological impairment.This diet doesn't have enough protein. According to ICMR minimum of 20-25% of adults daily calories should come from protein. Protein is a major component of all cells, including muscle and bone. It is needed for growth, development and immunity to fight off infections and protect the body.This diet might help you lose weight because how much raw food can you actually eat. Besides unhealthy weight loss it also makes your immune system vulnerable putting you at higher risk of falling sick or catching infection. Raw food diet lacks lycopene, usually found in cooked tomatoes, which are responsible for plasma lycopene levels, which are thought to play a role in disease prevention.Overcooking and heating is known to destroy nutrition in food. But did you know that cooking vegetables and beans actually enhances digestibility and absorption of many beneficial and nutritious compounds in the body? Cooking also helps destroy some of the harmful enzymes that interfere with the absorption of nutrients in the body.Recent studies confirm that the body absorbs much more of the beneficial anti-cancer compounds (carotenoids and phytochemicals - especially lutein and lycopene) from cooked vegetables compared with raw. Scientists speculate that the increase in absorption of antioxidants after cooking may be attributed to the destruction of the cell matrix (connective bands) to which the valuable compounds is bound.Eating raw food is good for health and is an important feature of a healthy diet. But that does not mean that one’s entire diet has to be raw to be in excellent health or lose weight. There are healthier ways to lose weight like eating a balanced diet and exercising. Our body requires all nutrients for optimum health.

10 Healthy Benefits of Walking Daily

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
Daily walking is the best exercise for health. It is a great exercise and it keeps the body away from diseases. As simple and easy may it seem but do you know why and how walking keeps you healthy?Continue to read this article to know more.10 Benefits of daily walkingWalking everyday for one hour can help you loose around five to seven kilograms of excess weight. Walking keeps away obesity, high blood pressure and heart diseases.Daily walking decreases the estrogen hormone in women which can decrease the risk of breast cancer after menopause.Daily walking maintains the serotonin level which keeps stress and high blood pressure in check. It also decreases the cholesterol by increasing” High density Lipoprotein”.Scientific studies have shown that walking increases the T-cells which slow down the AIDS virus.Walking induces increased blood flow and flexibility in the muscles.Walking refreshes the mind and body. It increases the body’s defense to fight against the diseases. It increases the secretions of the adrenal gland which relieves the stress. Walking induces the movement and friction of joints which forms new joint lubricants and hence restricts joint lock. Walking slows down the degeneration of the bones and fights from Osteoporosis.Waking induces the heavy breathing which fills the lungs with oxygen and increase the lung capacity, so it is a good exercise for the lungs.Heart patients are advised not to walk straight after the meal because the blood flows towards the digestive system to digest the food. Walking straight after having a meal can stress out the heart.You should dress accordingly to the walking. Shoes, clothing, proper walking technique and posture are very important. Always carry a water bottle so that you do not get dehydrated.A few medical terms used in this article, you should know about:Osteoporosis: A disease in which the bones get too porous and weak.Menopause: Is the time when the menstrual cycle stops permanently in women.