Wednesday, September 28, 2011

5 Foods which you can live without

1. Fizzy drinks- They have been repeatedly proven to be unhealthy. They are linked to diabetes, obesity, loss of bone density, dental decay and heart diseases. Read more about them here and here

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Substitutes: Lemonade, coconut water, sparkling water, plain tap water, buttermilk

2. Alcohol- Apart from being a social nuisance, it can get very addictive and come in the way of your life. It does not incur any major health benefit , in fact it dehydrates the body and affects the liver adversely when overly used.

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3. French fries- Usually found in fast food joints are loaded with trans-fat (the BAD fat) barely have any nutritional value; one can definitely live without them. If you are addicted then try healthier substitutes like this one.

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4. Refined flour- It is practically devoid of all the B-complex vitamins and minerals. Whole wheat flour will work in most of the recipes demanding white flour/ maida. Refined flour produce is only good for clinical conditions where one has to take low fiber diet eg. Diarrhea, inflammation in intestine, perforation, bleeding ulcers etc.


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5. Sugar- Yes, each and everyone of us can live without it! Sugar is just refined carbohydrate which we have developed a fondness for. Spare yourself and your teeth by saying NO to candies, sugar lollies, toffees, bubble gums, sweet drinks and avoiding all sugary items as far as possible.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Bugs (bunny) life!

I love cartoons and bugs bunny has to be one of the most likeable characters ever. But why are we talking about cartoons on a health blog? ? ? and why Bugs bunny?


Simply because, he's one of the best role model for a healthy  lifestyle.

Learn from Bugs bunny

1. Be super active- try baseball, basketball, dancing, even surfing! Just be physically active everyday.

2. Snack smart- Ever seen bugs snacking on doughnut? ? Go for low cal snacks like carrots.

5. Laugh a lot

6. Relax - You need the rest. It improves mood and performance.
So have fun and stay fit like Bugs bunny!!


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Friday, September 16, 2011

Keeping teeth healthy- easy steps

Do you know that bacterial action continues upto 30 min. after you have finished your meal ??

Since we all cannot spare time to brush after every meal or snack, here are a few easy tips to combat tooth decay.

1) Get a dental check-up every year- You'll know how much help you require. You might trap the cavity before it goes bad.


2) Rinse mouth thoroughly with water after every meal.

3) Floss once a day, preferably before sleeping at night. Flossing help reduce the bacterial action at night when saliva production is low.


4) Brush your teeth twice a day preferably after meals.

[Note: Person already using fluoridated water should avoid fluoridated toothpaste - excess fluoride can cause mottling.]

5) Use a mouthwash regularly.

Remember the anti-plaque force!

6) Have a healthy diet.

7) Allow yourself some sunlight (about 15 min. in the morning) to get some Vit. D. Without actually eating!!

8) Don't smoke or chew tobacco- They remove the protective layer of the teeth.



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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Prevent tooth decay


Most of us have visited the dentist at some point or the other while growing up. Quite a few of us have got our cavities filled too! Oral hygiene is stressed upon but diet of the person is equally important.

A sensible diet can make dentist's visit a routine check-up instead of an ordeal. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Have sufficient vit. D, calcium and phosphorus (good for bones will be good for teeth) in your diet.

2. Snack smart- Eat less sugary snacks. Eg. Vegetable salads, bhutta (fire roasted corn cob), plain or salted lemonade, unsweetened milk, roasted nuts, cucumber salad, boiled eggs, cheese crackers, apple, pears , sprouts salad or carrot sticks.

3. Include meat and dairy in your diet. A high protein diet is often good source of minerals.

4. Reduce the intake of Phytic acid (present in grains and reduces the absorption of minerals) by soaking, sprouting and fermenting.
Note: even though oats are high in Phytic acid, the rolled oats available in the market are processed to remove it.


5. You can chew sugarless gum or Indian household mukhwaas like toasted fennel seeds- they help salivation which keeps bacteria at bay.

6. Avoid foods that cling on to the tooth viz. sticky sweet gums or chewing gums, hard candies, lollipops, chewable candies, potato chips, raisins, fries, cookies, cakes etc.

7. Avoid energy drinks & colas. They contain acids which enhance tooth decay. If you consume one, rinse your mouth immediately afterwards.

8. Avoid sugary nibbles- Have the whole dessert in one go(preferably with meals) instead of taking small helpings throughout the day. Tooth decay is hastened if continuously exposed to damaging foods (even in smaller amounts).

9. Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco - Tobacco causes tooth decay and stains apart from being the major reason of oral cancer.

Remember: What you eat affects your teeth!

For additional info, watch this space. Queries are invited.

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Gluten free diet

Gluten free diet has been in the news, as is evident by its popularity with the hollywood celebrities and with the emerging labeling trend on the packaged foods (its still new in India). It has become somewhat of a fad-diet too for all types of food allergies.

What is Gluten free diet?

Gluten is a part of the grain protein (mainly found in Wheat, rye, jowar/barley, buckwheat and sometimes jai/oats). A diet free of all these grains and their products is known as gluten free diet.

Who needs to follow this diet?

People suffering from Celiac disease, Non- tropical sprue or Gluten sensitive enteropathy need to follow this diet. They are allergic to the alcohol soluble portion of gluten (called gliadin) which triggers an immune reaction leading to intestinal damage, thus affecting nutrient absorption. A person sensitive to gluten, needs to avoid these grains and their products (usually for life) because even a small amount can make them very sick.

Being a Celiac in India
Its often a blow to those who can't imagine that they will not be able to eat roti (the staple indian flatbread, usually made from wheat flour). But all is not lost, many options are available for Indians locally.

Natural Gluten free foods
Rice - rice flakes, rice flour; Bajra ; Ragi; Corn flour(makai atta); Pulses/dhals of all kinds as well as besan; Soy; Sago (sabudana);Eggs ; Milk and dairy products; Fruits & vegetables (all kinds; oils and fats; meat & poultry etc.


Things to remember

1. Avoid wheat or maida (white flour) based products eg. Pasta, semolina (suji), bread, paav, pizza, buns, cakes etc.
2. Never mix or store gluten free foods with other foods.
3. Be aware of how a food is made/processed. Eg. Gulabjamun, Jalebi, Ladoos etc. have gluten in them.
4. Read labels at all times. The labeling of food as Gluten free means that it will have no more than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten in the food. Avoid a packaged product with the following things listed in the ingredients like:

a) Modified food starch
b) Caramel colour
c) Malt
d) Bleached wheat flour
e) Dried soy sauce
f) Hydrolyzed wheat protein
g) Maida (All purpose flour)

Oh! and yes, it doesn't have any benefits for a normal person, so no need to jump on the wagon to be like a celebrity.