Monday, October 10, 2011

5 reasons for eating more whole foods

'Whole foods' is one of the commonest term used these days. For all practical purposes it means those foods which (more or less) are in their original form.

Why eat whole foods?

1. More nutrients: Minimal processing ensures that they retain more nutrients.eg. choose Whole wheat flour over refined flour and parboiled rice over basmati.
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2. Have more fibre: It is beneficial for the gut health. It normalizes bowel movement. Eat raw salad vegetables like carrots, radish, lettuce, beet root, spring onions etc.
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3. Good thermic effect: More energy is needed to digest them than required for refined foods. Have negative calorie vegetables like cucumber, lauki (bottle gourd), turai (ridge gourd), falli (beans), capsicum, tinda etc.
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4. Provide satiety at a lower calories: If you eat whole foods they'll fill you up in lesser calories as compared to refined foods. Also they take longer digestion time and thus you feel full for a longer period of time. Therefore they stay in your gut for a longer time preventing hunger pangs. Eg. Oats, wheat/bajra daliya (porriage) etc.
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5. Loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants: Raw fruits and vegetables are loaded with beneficial phytonutrients which protects the body from free radicals.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fats- some facts

Fats is one of the essential nutrients required by our body. Here is quick view about what fats in the market are all about.

Vegetable oils- these are liquid at room temperature like til/sesame, soyabean, nariyal/coconut, sarson/musturd, sunflower, Jaitoon/olive, mungfali/peanut

Animal fat- fish oil, butter and ghee (yes, all dairy products are included in animal products)

Hydrogenation- a process by which liquid oil is changed to solid fat. Basically turns it into trans fat or 'bad fats'. Please avoid as far as possible. These include Dalda, vegetable ghee, margarine

Saturated fats- These are present in animal fats or made from vegetable fats by the hydrogenation process. eg. Ghee/clarified butter, butter, dalda, vegetable ghee(made by hydrogenation), margarine

Unsaturated fats - These are liquid at room temperature. eg. vegetable oils or fish oil

Monounsaturated fat- It's a good fat. Try looking for MUFA on the pack. It helps in controlling blood cholesterol levels.

Polyunsaturated fat- It's a good fat. Look for PUFA on the pack.

Cholesterol- It is present naturally only in animal fats. Our bodies make cholesterol by using the fats eaten.

Hydrogenated fat: Made from hydrogenation process. To avoid as much as possible and eliminate from our diet.

Omega-3 & omega-6 - these are polyunsaturated fats. Good for health when taken in the correct ratio of 3:1. Sources of omega-3 are:fish oil, chicken, eggs, oily fish, leafy vegetables. Sources of omega-6 are:oils like corn, sunflower, safflower

How to choose the packaged foods from the market shelf has become a tedious task with the numerous varieties available these day at the supermarket. 'What to eat' by Marion Nestle is hailed to be a guidebook of the food aisles. I came to know about it in the post by fooducate.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

4 lessons from Bollywood - reasons to Quit Alcohol

1. "daru peene se liver kharaab ho jaata hai"- Amitabh Bacchan's dialogue in Satte pe Satta

A very apt and simple statement about the effect of alcohol on liver. More people should follow this one to stay away from Alcoholic Liver disease.

2. "Phir na kehna Michael daaru pee ke danga karta hai"- Lyrics from a bollywood song
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Most of the people can't "hold their drink" as the phrase goes and binge drinking leads to a more destructive scenario. In India domestic violence is a common scenario especially among the uneducated masses.

3. "main tumhare bacche ki maa banne wali hun"- Common dialogue in hindi movies.
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Teenage pregnancies have seen a rise in UK due to teenage drinking. Alcohol and unprotected sex goes hand in hand. Statistics are not available for India as unmarried pregnancy is a taboo here, but rest assured, it's not uncommon.

4. "ek ke do, do ke chaar mujhko toh dikhtein hain" - lyrics from song jai jai shiv shankar
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Consumption of alcohol affects your nervous system leading to vision and balance problems.

So SAY NO TO ALCOHOL in bollywood style:
"maine ek baar jo commitment kar di, uske baad main khud ki bhi nahi sunta"

(Salman in Wanted)