Articles on junk food

Why Junk Food Is Junk!

Ms. Raminder Kaur Deshmukh, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Junk food is a food that is calorie dense but nutritionally unbalanced and unhealthy. In recent years, the consumption of this food has increased drastically, especially in metro cities due to easy availability of its taste and socio-economic status.SOS (sodium,oil,sugar): Junk food is high in sodium, oil, and sugar (SOS) and hence there are few complications that may lead to over consumption of these.Junk food is "JUNK" because studies have shown its impact on:WEIGHT GAIN: Most of us are gaining weight because of fast food like burgers, pizzas, hot dogs, french fries and colas etc as they are full of calories, due to a high amount of oil and sugar present in them. Snack on whole fruit, wheat crackers as they contain lesser calories.DIABETES: Our insulin levels are elevated if we eat refined flour or processed sugar, like the kind present in colas, fruit juices, pasta, noodles, bread etc. All of them are devoid of the fibre and nutrients which are essential for us to control blood glucose level.HORMONAL IMBALANCE: A healthy diet keeps hormonal levels in check whereas junk food may make us more susceptible to mood and behavioural changes, especially in teenagers.NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES: These may occur, leading to loss of energy. The concentration levels of the students may also reduce. This kind of food also results in malnutrition.INCREASED STROKE AND HEART ATTACK RISK: Since this type of food is laden with salt it may increase the risk of B.P and hence a stroke. If you have a weakness for potato chips, opt for low sodium homemade zucchini chips.TOOTH DECAY: A diet rich in sugary sweet increases the risk of developing cavities. Eating junk food with high sugar content will lead to painful visits to the dentists.GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEM: Eating too much junk food might cause gastrointestinal problems. Junk food is highly processed and hence there is no fibre in it. If you don't get an adequate amount of fibre, you may suffer from constipation. Replace your  junk food treat with fibre-rich oatmeal, homemade multi-grain sandwiches. Some people may suffer from acidity as the oil is reused for some period and may lead to the chemical changes in the oil. Hence, leading to indigestion and acidity.  Food is food, but if it doesn't have any nutritional value then it's junk and if it's junk then why to consume it? Give it a thought before queuing up with your kids at your favourite fast food outlet.

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!

Junk Food Before Bedtime Causes Nightmare

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Nightmares are disturbing or scary dreams that suddenly wake you from deep sleep. They often set your heart beating due to fear. Nightmares tend to occur most often during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, when most of the dreaming takes place.Nightmares in adults are mostly spontaneous. But they can also be caused by a variety of factors. In this article we will discuss how junk food consumption has been linked to nightmares.Junk food comprises of all unhealthy foods. It has little to no nutritious value and is literally ‘junk’ to the body in terms of benefits provided. It only causes harm in most cases. It’s not just the spicy junk food to watch out for before you sleep. Ice cream, candy bars, pizzas, burgers trigger more brain waves, causing nightmares. Several things may account for this effect. An obvious possibility is indigestion.There are three major ingredients of junk food which have effects on dreams, i.e Spice, simple carbohydrates and saturated fat content.Effect of Spicy food Consumption of spicy food elevates the body temperature A spicy meal at night can often lead to poor sleep. Nights that included spicy meals, results in changes in the sleep patterns. Just before we fall asleep, our bodies begin to lose some heat to the environment, which actually helps to induce sleep. Body Temperature is controlled through a process known as thermoregulation. The temperature of our body is controlled by mechanisms such as shivering, sweating, and changing blood flow to the skin, so that there are minimum temperature fluctuations in body. When an imbalance in temperature occurs, it leads to nightmares and poor sleep. Effect of Fat and Carbohydrate Content of FoodCertain foods may negatively influence dreaming. Carbohydrates in junk foods ingested before going to bed are the main culprit. Eating meals or snacks high in simple carbohydrates during later hours of the night can increase brain activity and body metabolism, which lead to nightmares. Rise in the blood glucose level in the body result in a restless night of sleep, triggering nightmares.Junk food is something that we should refrain from eating. Now that research has shown a connection between junk food and low quality sleep and nightmares, there is more reason to stay away from it, especially before going to sleep. Nightmares will lead to low quality sleep, leading to low energy levels and slower metabolism. This will further affect health and promote weight gain.

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.

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!

Effects of Processed Food on Our Health

Ms. Tripty Bansal, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Most foods we eat are processed in some way. Apples are cut from trees, ground beef has been ground in a machine and butter is the cream that has been separated from the milk and churned.But there is a difference between mechanical processing and chemical processing.If it’s a single ingredient food with no added chemicals, then it doesn’t matter if it’s been ground or put into a jar. It’s still real food.However… foods that have been chemically processed and made solely from refined ingredients and artificial substances are what is generally known as “processed food.”Processed Foods Are Usually High in Sugar and High Fructose Corn SyrupProcessed foods are usually loaded with added sugar… or its evil twin, High Fructose Corn Syrup. Sugar is “empty” calories – it has no essential nutrients, but a large amount of energy. Sugar consumption is strongly associated with some of the world’s leading killers… including heart disease (because it leads to increased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes (due to insulin resistance), obesity and cancer.Most people aren’t putting massive amounts of sugar in their coffee or on top of their cereal, they’re getting it from processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages.Processed Foods Are Often High in Refined CarbohydratesThe carbohydrates found in processed foods are usually refined, “simple” carbohydrates. They act just like sugar and lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. This can lead to carb cravings a few hours later when blood sugar levels go down again. This phenomenon is also called the “blood sugar roller coaster” – which many people who have been on a high-carb diet must have experienced.Labels like “whole grains” that are often written on processed food packages, including breakfast cereals usually contain whole grains that have been pulverized into very fine flour and are just as harmful as their refined counterparts.If you’re going to eat carbs, get them from whole, single ingredient foods, not processed junk foods. Processed foods are “hyper-rewarding” they hijack Your Brain and Makes You Addicted Unlike whole foods, which contain a mix of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fiber and water to help you feel satisfied, processed foods stimulate dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter, making you feel good even though the food lacks nutrients and fiber. This artificial dopamine stimulation only lasts so long and eventually leads to intense food cravings and, ultimately, food addiction.If you’ve ever tried to cut back on sugar, you may have realized how incredibly difficult it is. In some cases, it may seem impossible.When we eat these foods often and in large amounts, the dopamine receptors start to down-regulate. Now there are fewer receptors for the dopamine. This means that the next time we eat these foods, their effect is blunted. We will need more junk food next time we eat in order to get the same level of reward.Sugar and other junk foods, due to their powerful effect on the reward centers of the brain, function similarly to drugs of abuse like cocaine and nicotine. The exact same brain centers are at play. There is no difference, except the substance of abuse is different and the consequences of relapse aren’t as severe. People who have a certain predisposition to addiction become addicted to these foods and lose control over their consumption.This is basically how sugar and other junk food “hijack” the brain chemistry to make us crave more and eat more.Processed Foods Contain All Sorts of Artificial IngredientsIf you look at the ingredients label for a processed, packaged food, chances are that you won’t have a clue what some of the ingredients are. That’s because many of the ingredients in there aren’t actual food… they are artificial chemicals that are added for various purposes.Example: The label of a canned food or a chocolate bar may look like that:Ingredients: Amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethole, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl Nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerbate, heliotropin, hydroxphrenyl-2butanone(10% solution to alcohol), a-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbone and solvent3Looks delicious, doesn't it? And this is just a small sampling of the SIX THOUSAND chemicals used to process foods.Highly processed foods often contain:Preservatives: Chemicals that prevent the food from rotting.Colorants: Chemicals that are used to give the food a specific color.Flavor: Chemicals that give the food a particular flavor.Texturants: Chemicals that give a particular texture.Processed foods can contain dozens of additional chemicals that aren’t even listed on the label.For example, “artificial flavor” is a proprietary blend. Manufacturers don’t have to disclose exactly what it means and it is usually a combination of chemicals that are blended in to give a specific flavor.Most Processed Foods Are Low in NutrientsProcessed foods are extremely low in essential nutrients compared to the whole, unprocessed foods. In some cases, synthetic vitamins and minerals are added to the foods to compensate for what was lost during processing. However, synthetic nutrients are NOT a good replacement for the nutrients found in whole foods.Also, real foods contain much more than just the standard vitamins and minerals that we’re all familiar with. Real foods… like plants and animals, contain thousands of other trace nutrients that science is just beginning to grasp.The more you eat of processed foods, the less you will get of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and various trace nutrients.Processed Foods tend to be Low in FiberSoluble, fermentable fiber has various important health benefits, but most processed foods are very low in fiber because it is lost or intentionally removed during processing.It Requires Less Energy and Time to Digest Processed FoodsFood manufacturers want their processed food products to have a long shelf life. They also want each batch of the product to have a similar consistency and they want their foods to be easily consumed. They are often very easy to chew and swallow. Most of the fiber has been taken out and the ingredients are refined thus we only burn half as many calories digesting and metabolizing processed foods compared to whole foods.The result is that we can eat more of them in a shorter amount of time (more calories in) and we also burn less energy (fewer calories out) digesting them than we would if they were unprocessed whole foods.Processed Foods Are Often High in Trans Fats or Processed Vegetable OilsProcessed foods are often high in unhealthy fats. They usually contain cheap fats, refined seed- and vegetable oils (like soybean oil) that are often hydrogenated… which turns them into Trans fats. Hydrogenated (trans) fats are among the nastiest, unhealthiest substances you can put into your body.Vegetable oils contain excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, which can drive oxidation and inflammation in the body. Several studies show that when people eat more of these oils, they have a significantly increased risk of heart disease, which is the most common cause of death in many countries today.The best way to avoid trans fats is to avoid processed foods. Eat real fats like butter, coconut oil and olive oil instead.Here are just a few reasons you might want to think twice before opening a packet of namkeens or chips or buying other canned fruits or meats or going for a burger or cookie:CANCER - Some synthetic chemicals used in the processed foods industry are known to have carcinogenic properties. In fact, a seven-year study conducted by the University of Hawaii of almost 200,000 people found that those who ate the most processed meats (hot dogs, bologna) had a 67 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer than those who ate little or no meat products.OBESITY - Heavily processed foods are usually higher in sugar, fat and salt, and lower in nutrients and fiber than the raw foods used to create them. According to the World Health Organization, processed foods are to blame for the spike in obesity levels and chronic disease around the world.HEART DISEASE - Many processed foods have trans fatty acids (TFA), the dangerous type of fat you don't want in your diet. TFA's give a rise to LDL, the dangerous cholesterol, and squash HDL, the good one.So the bottom line is Just Eat Real Food!When we replace real, traditional foods like butter, meat and vegetables with crappy, processed junk foods, we get fat and sick.Real food is the key to good health, processed food is not. 

Negative Calorie Diet Foods

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
All foods contain some calories, so calling something a Negative Calorie Food seems like an oxymoron. But negative calorie foods are for real. So we'll tell you all about the benefits and side effects, along with clarifying others points around these negative calorie foods and negative calorie diets. Read on to know more about these negative calorie foods.What is a negative calorie food? Are they for real?Simply put, any food that creates a deficit of calories is a negative calorie food. All foods contain calories. When you consume them, energy is used in chewing and digesting the food. If the calories burnt from digesting the food is more than that provided by the food itself, its a low calorie food. Most vegetables (other than starchy vegetables) tend to be negative calorie foods. Below is a list of negative calorie foods.List of Negative Calorie FoodsAsparagus, Beet Root, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Hot Chili, Cucumber, Garlic, Green Beans, Lettuce, Onion, Radish, Spinach, Turnip, ZucchiniAre negative calorie foods good for health?As you can see, the negative calorie foods listed above, most of them are nutritious vegetables provided vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Also, most of these foods are a part of the Indian diet and you may also call them fat burning foods which are easily available in the departmental stores.Should you be a negative calorie diet to lose weight?Basically, no! Eating a negative calorie diet will create a calorie deficit, but it is much like a crash diet, since it does not provide enough calories. Similarly, negative calorie diets do not provide adequate protein, fat and carbohydrates for your body. Even though many low calorie foods have nutritive value, only eating them is not suggested.So, how to use negative calorie foods to lose weight?To use these negative calorie foods to lose weight, eat them along with your regular meals. Ensure you're getting adequate protein, fat and carbohydrates in your regular meals. For maximum benefits have these negative calorie food either raw, steamed or very lightly cooked. This has 3 benefits:- It reduces the overall calorific value of your meals. - Increases your daily nutrition- vitamins, fiber and antioxidants rich foods. - Fills you up for longer, so you cut junk food cravings.

15 Best Weight Loss Foods, You Should Eat

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
If you think starving yourself for reducing weight is the only way to shed those extra pounds than you are completely wrong. Here we have put together a list of foods that will help you lose weight fast. The best thing about these foods is that not only do they promote weight loss but they also provide adequate nutrition to the body to help you stay healthy. So forget crash diets or starving yourself, eat these fun food options for better health and weight loss. 1. Eggs Egg is one of riches source of protein in diet but people often leave out the yolk because of its high cholesterol content. The yolk of the egg contains the good cholesterol that helps fight the bad cholesterol.As eggs is the sound source of protein so it offers satiety and fullness for long, reducing the chance that you will reach to unhealthy foods between the meals and prevent extra fat storage in body. Eggs are healthy, easily available and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 2. Almonds Almonds are powerhouse of nutrition and provide a good variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to the diet.. Almonds are good for weight loss as they are low in calories and contain healthy amount of fiber, which will satisfy your hunger, so you feel full for longer and will not binge on unhealthy snacking. 3. Dark ChocolateDark chocolate with high cocoa content is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and minerals like copper and potassium. However, 1 bar of 162 gram contains 51 gram of total fat. So, to get the maximum benefit of weight management gets a bar of chocolate and split it with your friends. A couple of pieces will benefit you, but a whole bar will pack on the pounds! 4. Yogurt The calcium in yoghurt not only helps to make your bone stronger but also help you in avoiding weight gain.. The mineral appears to help curb production of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to the accumulation of abdominal fat. 5. Green teaGreen tea is a good source of antioxidants and beneficial Polyphenols, which provide anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic benefits. Unsweetened brewed green tea is a zero calorie beverage and contains much less caffeine as compared to milk tea/coffee. It is also known to have different health benefits which are helpful in avoiding stress, chronic fatigue, treating skin conditions and improving arthritis by reducing inflammation.6. OatmealOatmeal is a rich source of complex carbohydrates and fiber. These types of carbohydrates slowly release energy in your body and fiber keeps you full for longer. Fiber does not get absorbed in human body but it adds bulk to your meal and you don’t feel hungry soon. So, oatmeal is a very good option if you are looking to shed some unwanted fat from your body. 7. Lentils Lentils are good source of protein, fiber, iron, folic acid, and magnesium in your diet. It keeps you full for longer and helps you in avoiding overeating in your meal. It also helps you in losing weight as you will not feel hungry soon. Also, they are rich in soluble fiber that are thought to lowers blood cholesterol and keeps your bloodstream healthy. 8.  SalmonSalmon is one of the best as well as lean sources of protein .It helps you feel full for longer hours without adding fat .It is a healthier choice than meat and it is packed up with good fat i.e. MUFA’S. So, replace fatty and junk foods with salmon to reduce overall calorie intake, which will eventually help to lose weight.9. Brown Rice Brown rice is a fiber packed alternative less than white rice. It is a low energy density food, meaning it’s heavy and filling but low in calories. It is also helps in balancing blood sugar levels. With all the positive points, you still have to watch portions while consuming this food group because it is not a low calorie food. 10. Pomegranates Being in a list of healthy fruit, pomegranates are also loaded with folate and disease fighting antioxidant. They are also low in calories and high in fiber. It also curbs down sweet cravings and will not let you to catch hold of unhealthy stuff, which might lead you to gain weight. You can pop the seeds of pomegranate in salads, curd and while preparing fruit chaat.11. OrangesEating oranges not only help you to provide vitamins i.e vitamin C and folate . They are also a good choice if you are looking for weight loss as they are fat free, low in calories and energy density as well as high in fiber. According to a study published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in May 2009, as people who ate more of these foods were more likely to lose weight than those who ate less.12. ApplesApples are one of the fruits that is high in pectin, which is a soluble fiber that helps you to feel full and satisfied. Include apple as snack and you may just feel like eating little less when it comes to eat your meal.1 apple contains 2.4 g of dietary fiber.13. PearJust like apples, pear are also rich in pectin fibre, which has also shown to suppress appetite as well as curb down the sweet tooth craving that occurs between the meals.1 pear contains 3.1 g of dietary fiber.14. PeppersCapsaicin, this compound is present in peppers that gives them their spice. This property of bell peppers helps to boost metabolism, and ultimately helps to lose weight.15. Red beansBeans are good source of protein which give feeling of fullness and help you not to binge on unhealthy fat. You can include beans in the form of salad.Include these foods in your daily diet to lose your weight. You can also speed up your weight loss by adding any physical activity in your routine. Doing workout minimum 30 minutes for 5 days in a week will not only keep you active but also help you in burning calories. A proper balance in your diet and workout will definitely lead you to success in your weight loss.

Want to Improve Food Habits of Your Children?

Dr. Varsha Padhye, Homeopath
I have come across many parents complaining about food habits of their children. More commonly the complaints are as follows. Children take long time to eat, they just don’t ask for food, they prefer eating junk foods, chocolates etc. they are averse to eat healthy food such as green leafy vegetables, fruits, milk, and children don’t make fuss in eating spicy, hot food from hotels. Here are some tips to improve food habits of your children.Involve your children in your cooking activities e.g. accompany them to purchase vegetables, let them pick the vegetables. In weekends let them help you arranging vegetables in refrigerator, ask them to wash. Give them easy tasks in kitchen such as stirring chutneys, salads, and lemonades. Praise them for their cooking. Develop their interest in food handling and making.Take help of some books or charts and make them understand the benefits of eating healthy homemade food. Using same technique, tell them bad effects of junk food on the body.There are many cookery shows on television channels. Watching them along with kids helps them increase their interest in food. It also increases their appetite.Children love mother’s company by sitting near kitchen platform. Ask them to taste first bite and give their opinion about dish. Make them feel important.Children love to imitate parents. Try to improve your food habits if they are faulty.Try to improve your cooking and take interest in it if you are not a good cook.Try to improve presentation while serving fruits to children. Make attractive fruit dishes, shakes, toppings etc. and serve them in colorful containers.Eating green leafy vegetables is the last choice of most kids. Making tasty palak (spinach), methi  (fenugreek), rajgeera (amaranth) parathas will solve your problem. Try cooking dishes out of green leafy vegetables, which are of less irritating taste. Eg. Palak paneer, palak khichadi, thalipeeth(thick roti made of various flours, onion, leafy vegetables and seasoning), Dosas with veggies, Idli or noodles are the dishes that can be used to  make your little ones eat leafy vegetables without any fuss .Try innovative approach to make your child eat healthy food.Sight of food, smell of food stimulates secretion of digestive juices in the body which helps in digestion of food, so avoid letting your children eat food while watching television.Inculcate discipline in children. Show some strictness when you want to do them the right thing.Involve kids while deciding menu at birthday parties. Ask for their help. In weekends try to have atmosphere and arranging table like in restaurants. Kids love such fun. Stimulate their creativity by doing salad decoration, baking along with them. Let them understand that homemade food can be more interesting and healthy than hotel food.

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!