Articles on south beach diet

Simple Tips for a Balanced Diet

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
We are all familiar with the concept of eating right. There is so much information about all sorts of healthy foods and their calorie value. There is enough being written about how vitamins are good for you and what are the rich sources of this nutrient. But rarely do we get to know the approximate quantity that is required by the body on a daily basis. What makes a balanced diet. To make it a little simpler for you we decided to give you an overview of what should make your daily dietary intake.The key nutrients that are required for smooth functioning of the diet are proteins, fat, fiber, minerals, iron, carbohydrates, vitamins and calcium. A diet that includes all these essential nutrients, in correct portion, is known as a balanced diet. Based on the average calorie requirement for a male weighing 60kgs: 2700 or a female weighing 55 kgs:2100 here is a list of essential foods to maintain your weight :Chapati/Rice: Carbohydrate is the most important fuel of the body.  Its the refined carbohydrates like sugar, white bread, sodas and other processed foods that make you gain weight, make you prone to diabetes and heat diseases.Read more about the bad and the good carbohydrates. A daily meal should consist of 4-5 portions of carbohydrates in a day.Milk or Dairy products: Dairy is essential for calcium, protein, phosphorous and magnesium. Infact some recent studies even suggest that dairy can help you cut belly fat. A minimum serving of 1-2 glasses of dairy is required every single day.Vegetables:  Vegetables are the most important part of a balanced diet. A minimum of 3-5 servings of vegetables are required daily to get minerals, fiber, iron and most vitamins. The fiber in vegetables also helps regulate the use of sugars in the body while helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.Fruits:  Need to eat atleast 2 fruits a day to fulfil your requirement of vitamins in the body. Fruits besides providing essential vitamins boost immunity to stay away from infections with its anti-oxidation properties to destroy free radical.Pulses/Poultry and other meat: This is the main source of protein If you believe in the myth that eating extra protein will add muscle mass then you are wrong. Instead the body will process according to the requirement of the muscle and the extra protein will get saved as fat in your fat cells. 2-3 servings are more than sufficient for your daily protein intake.Water:  Human body is 70-75 % water and forms the bulk of blood and tissue fluid and is therefore essential for transporting nutrients, hormones and waste products around the body. Water is also essential to help digest the food and generate the energy required of body movements and other physical activities. Minimum of 10-12 glasses are important for normal functioning of the body.Fat: Extremely important for absorption of vitamins in the body. It also helps maintain the elasticity of skin. You require atleast 4-5 teaspoons of oil/butter everyday. So for all those people who consider fat as their enemy should reconsider adding it to the diet. The real enemy is the trans and saturated fat usually found in processed food. Infact fat can help you improve memory and build muscle.Different age and lifestyles demand more intake of certain nutrients to counter the deficiency and restore the balance. This is a general dietary intake for an average person.

Choose a Right Weight Loss Plan

Ms. Geeta Shenoy
Mirror mirror on the wall, how I wish my flab to fall? After trying out various fad diets, tasteless liquid potions, body breaking gym workouts, ready to use internet diet charts; your weight loss efforts have not made any impact on weighing scale. So now, you have finally decided to take help of a dietitian for reducing your excess flab Sounds familiar?Consider these points before zeroing  down on your choice of a program - weight loss centre, professional  dietitian, fitness spa or naturopathy which is going to impact your lifestyle and overall health.Avoid crash programs. Losing 10 kg in a month is not going to make you look and feel any better. You will end up losing lots of lean body mass muscles, water, & bone tissue. What's more, this weight is going to boomerang once you are 'off 'this diet.Ask for Credentials of your Dietitian/ Nutritionist - just as we ensure about our doctors / other healthcare givers, find about the degree, clinical experience and expertise of your dietitian. Do not hesitate to ask about the testimonials, diet plans, nutritional supplements or gadgets, follow up schedules etc. Dietitians are not magicians, who can make your flab vanish in a short time. Do not believe exaggerated promises.Set a realistic goal. This depends on your age, body frame, underlying conditions, physical limitations and maintainable weight.  Reaching ideal weight may not always be possible but even 10-15% of weight loss is going to make substantial difference to your fitness level.Go in for a customized diet plan. All of us have different genetic make up, medical problems, digestion issues, religious beliefs, food choices etc. A diet program has to consider these aspects and build a program around it.Accept the lifestyle changes which are sustainable and feasible for a long time. Eating boiled spinach, vegetable juice, over- rated expensive super foods, health shakes can be physically, emotionally and financially draining. Make your limitations clear at the beginning of program, so that you can be offered alternate choices. Remember there's always a choice.Emphasize on reducing body fat than numbers on weighing scale. Reducing body fat will give you leaner and slimmer look that you want while too much loss of lean body mass will end up with brittle bones, tired & saggy skin, pallor, excess hair loss etc.Lastly, believe in yourself and put in your efforts for making the weight loss program successful. Make a small note of deviations/ cheat foods, add more steps in your daily walking or workouts, learn about healthy food choices when you are dining out or travelling, learn about portion sizes etcGoing from flab to fab is a journey which should and must change your lifestyle permanently. Only then it will be a truly successful   program.

Is High Protein Diet Good for Health?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
High protein diets are one of the most popular and most followed diets for weight loss all around the world. Bodybuilders and nutritionists recommend a high protein diet for muscle building and in increased athletic activity. But dieters often get confused and relate this with low carb-high protein diets which is the basis of most of the fad diets like Atkins diet and South Beach diet.While adequate protein intake is required for muscle building, muscle strength and toning, increased protein intake coupled with restricted intake of other nutrients (carbohydrates & fats) can be harmful for the body. Diets with up to 30% protein are considered reasonable by experts, whereas diets with over 50% protein and restricted nutrients are high protein diets.Are High Protein Diets Safe?High protein diets can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Protein is important for the body but so are carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Eliminating whole grains, fruits and vegetables can increase your risk of Vitamin B and Vitamin E deficiency. Also restricting required daily intake of fat can lead to poor skin, hair and absorption disorders.Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy to the body. If restricted, body is forced to derive energy from fat and protein. This in turn leads to production of harmful bi-product named ketone bodies. When excessive levels of ketones get accumulated in the system, it can lead to multiple organ failure and can be fatal. Even if restricted diet is followed for a short term and the level of ketones does not reach dangerous levels, it can be damaging to body organs particularly kidneys.High protein diets require your body to process more calcium. Protein diets low on dairy products can be harmful for bones. Research shows that women who eat high protein diets based on meat have a higher rate of bone density loss than those who don't. Women who eat meat lose an average of 35% of their bone density by age 65, while women who don't eat meat lose an average of 18%. In the long run, bone density loss leads to osteoporosis.Not all protein is created equal. Some high protein diets promote foods such as red meat and full fat dairy products, which can lead to increased cholesterol levels and may increase your risk of heart disease.One should always aim for a healthy and gradual weight loss. As it is a very personal and individual process, a health expert can help you design a diet that works best with your lifestyle, includes food that you enjoy and has the right combination of nutrients required by your body. Choose smart carbs such as whole grains, seasonal fruits and vegetables, lean proteins such as chicken breast, eggs, low fat milk and milk products, fish etc. and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, healthy oils to achieve your ideal weight the right way.

Low Carbs Food for Diet

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
health conscious or health enthusiasts prefer to stick to a low carb diet which basically means cutting out fruits, cereals, grains and sugar from the diet.A low-carb diet is a diet that restricts carbohydrates, such as those found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. It is high in protein, fat and healthy vegetables. There are many different types of low-carb diets, and studies show that they can cause weight loss and improve health.Sources of Low carb diet:Meat: Beef, lamb, pork, chicken and others. Grass-fed is best.Fish: Salmon, trout, haddock and many others. Eggs: Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs are best.Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and many others.Fruits: Apples, oranges, pears, blueberries, strawberries.Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.Dairy: Cheese, butter, heavy cream, yogurt.Fats and Oils: Coconut oil, butter, lard, olive oil and cod fish liver oil.ALMOND FLOURMade from finely ground almonds, paleo-worthy almond flour  can be suitable for your six-pack.almond flour also has higher amounts of protein, heart-friendly monounsaturated fat, and the supercharged antioxidant vitamin E than grain-based flours do.AMARANTHGrains are never going to be the lowest-carbohydrate option  Like quinoa, amaranth is also a source of the necessary essential amino acids to help show your muscles some love. Amaranth becomes viscous once cooked in water, as it releases its starch. Try it as a stellar alternative to oats for your breakfast porridge.This gluten-free grain supplies significant amounts of manganese, a mineral required for proper metabolism.DairyTOFUTofu isn't only for vegetarians! It also offers an inexpensive low-carb protein option for carnivores who want a night off from meat. Compounds in soy called isoflavones, which are used to make tofu, may have blood-pressure-lowering powers.Alone it doesn't taste like much, but when you add tofu to sauces or other foods, it soaks up flavors brilliantly. Try it as a cheap protein in stir-fry, or marinate it like you would steak and slap it on the grill.PUMPKIN SEEDSThese are a surprising source of whole-food protein, with about 7 grams in a crunchy serving. Of note, none of their carbohydrates are sugar, making them an even better way to elevate protein content in salads, oatmeal, yogurt, or cottage cheese. You can turn to pumpkin seeds for a source of testosterone-boosting zinc. CATFISHcatfish is an inexpensive way to load up your muscles with pure high-quality protein. Fillets are great steamed, grilled, oven-roasted, or pan-seared.PINK SALMON Pink salmon is an economical option with lower levels of toxins such as mercury than what's found in most canned tuna. Canned salmon have plenty of the omega-3 fats that have been shown to reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness and stimulate muscle protein synthesis.CHICKENChicken have richer flavor and their juicy meat is less prone to drying out during cooking. Leave the skin on during cooking for even more flavor, but if you're concerned about the extra fat calories it delivers, strip it off before eating.TURKEYTurkey is an easy way to infuse your meals with carb-free protein. Use it for burgers and meat sauces. To trim fat calories, look for packages made with ground white meat.  turkey contains a full arsenal of the essential amino acids that can pump up your muscles.

Eat Less Carbs - for Healthy Heart

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Low-carb diets have been popular for years as a way to lose weight quickly. Aside from quick weight loss, the benefits of a low-carb diet include: increased energy, reduced sweet cravings, reduced mood swings and studies are showing a reduction on cholesterol, triglycerides level in the blood. Basically meaning a healthier heart! Read more about the study below.Read below why Indians (and South Asians) specifically, should take more care of their heart health. And that the key, is keeping it low carb, not no carb! Watch your blood pressure and sugar Indians should pay heed, as Indians are 3 times more prone to heart diseases as Europeans and Americans. We previously partnered with the Go Red Sari campaign to promote for heart health among women of Indian origin.So, how low your carbohydrate intake should be is crucial-  One of the side effects of extremely low carbohydrate intake (lower than 100 g per day) is Ketosis (as seen in Ketogenic diets). Where your body will burn fat incompletely to produce a substance called ketone, which is a substitute brain fuel. This may cause light-headedness, nausea and bad breath.A good low carb diet to avoid these complications is the Glycemic Index Diet and South Beach Diet where the focus is on changing eating habits so that the majority of the foods consumed are from the low GI food group. These foods take longer to break down into glucose in the body. This does two basic things: produces a more even level of glucose throughout the day and stops cravings and hunger from occurring as much.Or The Zone Diet, which is based on nutrient ratio where carbohydrate is 40% which is lower than the usual 55-60% of total calories but not low enough to induce ketosis.More about the study Study by Krauss, Ronald, et al.  published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported the following benefits of going low-carb besides weight loss:-- Low-carb diets are helpful, even without weight loss. This is important for people who aren’t overweight, but respond to low-carb diets for health problems such as high blood pressure, glucose tolerance problems such as reactive hypoglycemia, or other risk factors for heart disease or diabetes.- Further confirmed that simply reducing carbohydrate tends to reduce weight, without any other intervention also.- Showed LDL particle size rises with low-carb diets alone. So making it more heart-friendly.

Healthy South Indian Snacks

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
South Indian foods are known for their simple preparation methods and high nutritional value. These foods are usually made from simple and healthy ingredients. A lot of rice and lentil is involved in the preparation of these dishes and we already know that rice and lentils are super healthy foods. The flavouring includes but is not limited to coconut and curry leaves which leave a tantalizing taste in our palates. The cooking methods involved are more towards the healthy side as they usually use steaming, sautéing, stewing or pan-grilling for most of their preparations. A recent study conducted by the researchers of college of home science, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai have found that out of the four metro cities, Chennai was found to be the most nutritionally balanced when it comes to traditional breakfast habits.The thing to be wary of when watching calories is the addition of coconut in the form of oil, milk or grated plain coconut, adding ghee, peanuts or using deep-fried preparation methods can increase the fat content and overall calories of the dishes.Now, let’s look at some of the healthy south Indian snack foods and analyse their nutritional facts.1.Idli These are steamed cakes made from seasoned rice-lentil batter. As these are steamed, and the overall use of oil is minimal, they are low on calories and high on nutrition. It packs a good blend of carbohydrates and proteins. Adding sprouts or vegetables to batter can increase the nutritional value. Avoid coconut chutney; instead have mint or tomato chutney. These are perfect for breakfast with sambar or as an evening snack with chutney.- 1 medium Idli has 39 calories, 2 gm protein, 8 gm fiber, zero saturated fat and zero cholesterol.2.Upma It is one of the common and staple breakfast options. It is made by dry roasting semolina and cooking with sautéed vegetables. It is light on the bowel and is quite filling as well. Semolina is a refined grain but adding vegetables adds fiber and makes it a wholesome meal. - 1 cup home-made vegetable upma contains about 280 calories, 11 gm protein, 59 gm carbohydrates, 6 gm fat, and zero cholesterol.3.Adai This is a popular south Indian snack. Batter is made with rice and a mix of 2-3 whole pulses with vegetables, curry leaves and spices. This mixture is then cooked on a non-stick pan just like pancakes. Nutritionally it serves as a balanced source of carbohydrates, proteins and fiber. - 1 medium Adai pancake has 165 calories, 2.5 gm fat, 15 gm carbohydrates and 1 gm protein.4.Rasam It is a light, moderately spicy soup prepared by making a base of tomato, tamarind pulp, black pepper, spices and adding steamed vegetables and lentils as per choice. It is best for winters and monsoons and is also beneficial in cold, cough and fever. It is good for bowel health and aids in digestion. This can also be consumed with steamed rice as a spicy curry. - 1 cup of Rasam can contain 45-60 calories, 2-3gms fat, 4-6gms carbohydrates, and 1-2 gms protein depending upon the vegetables or lentils added.5.Sundal This is an easy to prepare, healthy and nutritious snack. The dish is prepared by lightly sautéing pre-boiled legumes with green chilies, mustard seeds, and coriander in 1 tsp oil. Grated coconut is also a part of this preparation, which is high in calories, so, it is advisable to skip the same to keep the calorific value to a healthy range. Sundal is a good source of soluble fiber and lean protein. It is a filling snack and can be included as a mid-afternoon or evening meal. - 1 cup of chickpea sundal contains 280 calories with 4gms fat, 49gms carbohydrates and 15gms protein.

Good Carbohydrates and Bad Carbohydrates

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Over the past decade, carbohydrates have received a lot of flak. Many of the really popular low carbohydrates diets like Atkins diet and South Beach diet have condemned bad carbohydrates, creating what we call Carbophobia. We feel sorry for carbohydrate-rich foods. All they’re trying to do is provide us with energy, but our lifestyles are so sedentary now that we barely burn the energy. So, our body being the frugal spender, likes to save up all that extra energy as fat in our body. Is it really the fault of carbohydrates, or ours? That our lifestyles have changed to burning fewer calories and consuming more calories. That’s a debatable topic. Anyway, we’re here to solve the mystery of good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates – to help you understand which carbohydrates are good for your health and which carbohydrates are unhealthy for you. Carbohydrates are chemical compounds that are digested by our body and absorbed into the blood stream to supply our body with energy. Now, the glycemic index or the GI is a measure of how fast carbohydrates are absorbed into the blood stream. The faster they’re absorbed, the higher the GI, and vice-versa. For most sedentary adults, foods with low GI are better. This is because when we consume high GI foods, they rapidly increase blood sugar levels. This signals our brain to store fat – So, the effect of eating high Glycemic Index foods – they can make you fat.Low GI foods, on the other hand, provide sustained energy and are better suited for sedentary lifestyles. High GI foods are sugar, corn flakes, white bread, most white rice, candy. Low GI foods are most fruits and vegetables, pulses, meat, milk and nuts (are healthy).Note that high GI foods are also useful when your body needs energy, especially for athletes, those indulging in prolonged physical activity, etc.So, whether carbohydrates are good or bad is really dependent upon your lifestyle and your needs. What we suggest is have a balanced healthy diet and be active. Go out and play a sport, run, get some exercise – this classic exercise is good for men and women, or just hit the gym. Carbohydrates aren’t the problem, it's our inactivity that is root of the “I’m getting fat” problem.

9 Foods to Help You Become Skinny - the Healthy Way!

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Rather than experimenting with all kinds of diet and causing your body more harm than good, a balanced diet is your best option. Therefore for best and long term results choose a weight loss diet program that understands your lifestyle and caters to it.Best foods to become skinnyYou don’t have to splurge tons of money in order to buy some very exotic variety of food or skip food all together in order to lose weight. All you need is healthy and nutritious food. Here is a list:Red beans: A good source of protein which keeps you full and keeps you away from binging on unhealthy fat. Your go to food for slimming down.Almonds: Powerhouse of nutrition. They provide a good variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to the diet. Low in calories and high on fiber - perfect weight loss snack.Yogurt: The calcium in yogurt makes your bone stronger. The mineral in yogurt helps to curb production of the stress hormone cortisol, responsible for accumulation of abdominal fat.Green tea: Unsweetened brewed green tea is a zero calorie beverage. It 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 etc.Know why green tea is harmful if taken in excess?Brown Rice: A fiber packed alternative to white rice. It is a low energy density food, meaning it’s heavy and filling but low in caloriesApples: A complete snack. A soluble fiber that helps you to feel full and satisfiedLemon Water: This high source of vitamin C, helps in better absorption of calcium and increases the fat burn process. Have one glass of warm water with lemon and honey as the first thing in the morning for best results. Read about benefits of lemon.Vinegar: Vinegar reduces body fat deposit (including visceral fat), lowers blood pressure and reduces blood sugar spikes from consuming high glycemic index foods. Since it is not very easy to consume vinegar, here are some ways in which you can do it:Use it as salad dressingDip your multi-grain bread in itAdd a tsp of white vinegar in your soupMarinate the meat in vinegarHave 2 tsp before meal (try Apple Cider for better flavour).Lots of Veggies: The healthiest sources of nutrition, vegetables are great for weight loss. Low calories, high fiber, low glycemic index - everything that you could ask for! The benefits of eating vegetables are numerous, especially if you are aiming at becoming skinny - the healthy way!Some healthy Indian diet optionsSprout chat: Easy to make and can be used in multiple ways.It could be consumed as a protein rich snack.Dhokla: A healthy and nutritious snack. A good combination of carbohydrate and protein.Khichdi: It contains protein from dal, carbohydrates from rice and is easy to digest and light for the stomach.Besan ka cheela: Made of gram flour, is a instant, nutritious, low calorie, protein rich recipe ideal for breakfast and snack time.Chola/chickpea chaat: A complete meal by itself, as a bowl only has 280 calories, is filling and packed with nutrition!A balanced diet, to get skinny fast, is when your daily dietary intake is based on your individual body type and its requirement. Get more information on simple tips for balanced diet. It doesn't tell you to starve or eat just a specific food. It focuses on complete daily nutrition. In order to lose weight, it is important that you keep a holistic approach with your food.Eat healthy, Live healthy.