Friday, 13 January 2017

This New Year, Learn to Diet the Right Way

It’s a new year, lots of excitement, lots of resolutions the do’s and don’ts. Not leaving out the diet resolutions also. You hear things such as am losing 15kg this month, I don’t want to eat unhealthy anymore, and I will go jogging every day, all this and many more you hear from people all around.
As a nutrition expert and dietician, I will be giving out some tips that will be helpful and will keep you going throughout the year 2017. When you commit to making just one simple change each day, it helps create powerful momentum toward a happier, healthier life. You don’t have to be unhappy like this.

In this new year…

  1. Instead of spending time and energy excluding foods you think are “bad,” redirect your efforts to including more nutrient-rich foods and you will automatically crowd out the less healthy options. Start by trying to add one fruit and one vegetable to your daily intake.
  2. Set aside 30 minutes each week to sit down with your calendar and plan the week ahead. Schedule your workouts, plan your meals, and make your shopping list.
  3. Water is part of every single function of our body, so being well hydrated literally helps our whole body work better. Ditch the soda!
  4. Start the Day Healthy! Make a green juice in your blender with just four ingredients: 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of fruit, the juice from 1/2 lemon and a handful of spinach or kale.
  5. Try to fill half your plate with colourful seasonal fruits and vegetables, and then split the rest between lean protein and whole grains.
  6. Make exercise a habit in year 2017.
  7. Sitting down at meals helps you naturally eat less and enjoy food more because you are more alert and mindful, rather than rushing and randomly grazing.
  8. Be mindful of portions.
  9. Set SMART goals. A SMART goal is one that is specific, measurable, accountable, realistic, and time specific. For example: I am going to stop my late and heavy dinner and will eat at least 6pm.
  10. Strategically leave healthy snacks around.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Processed red meat related to higher risk of death, plant protein to lower risk

Did you grow up with a parent who would fill half your dinner plate with meatloaf, chanting the importance of eating enough protein to grow big and strong? A new study published in the Aug 1 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that a bowl of lentils and quinoa may have done you more good than that meatloaf.
The study reviewed protein intakes of more than 131,000 women and men from the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study. After tracking their diets for up to 32 years, the authors found that a higher intake of red meat, especially processed versions (sausage, bacon, hot dogs, salami), was linked to a higher risk of death, while a higher protein intake from plant foods carried a lower risk. These plant proteins appeared the most protective from heart disease deaths, especially among participants with at least one of the following unhealthy lifestyle habits: smoking, heavy alcohol intake, overweight or obesity, and physical inactivity.
“Overall, our findings support the importance of the sources of dietary protein for long-term health outcomes,” says Mingyang Song, MD, ScD, a research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and at Massachusetts General Hospital. “While previous studies have primarily focused on the overall amount of protein intake, from a broad dietary perspective, the particular foods that people consume to get protein are most important.”
The authors suggest swapping red and processed meat with healthy, plant proteins like nuts, beans, legumes, and cereals. If you do eat animal protein, choose mostly poultry and fish, which were not related to premature death in this study.
Vegetarians may rejoice over these findings, but if you’re skeptical of tofu, try these tips to gradually add more plant protein into your diet.
  • Make a meatless version of your favorite chili recipe by replacing the meat with plenty of beans: hearty kidney beans, chickpeas, or pinto beans.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds to your breakfast yogurt or oatmeal.
  • Add ½ cup rinsed, drained canned beans to your salads.
  • Instead of cheese, try hummus onto your sandwiches. Instead of processed meats, spread almond, peanut, or sunflower seed butter on whole grain toast.
Source: Harvard nutrition source 

Friday, 9 September 2016


Oatmeal is the best breakfast choice for cereal lovers.
Oatmeal in Bowl and Spoon

It’s made from ground oats, which contain a unique fiber called beta-glucan. This fiber has many impressive health benefits, including reduced cholesterol.

In addition, beta-glucan is a viscous fiber that promotes feelings of fullness. One study found that beta-glucan increased levels of the “fullness hormone” PYY and that higher doses had the greatest effect.
Oats are also rich in antioxidants, which protect their fatty acids from becoming rancid. These antioxidants may also help protect heart health and decrease blood pressure.

Although oats don’t contain gluten, they’re often processed in the same facilities as gluten-containing grains. Researchers have found that most oats are indeed contaminated with other grains, especially barley.

Therefore, people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should choose oats that have been certified as gluten-free.

One cup of cooked oatmeal contains about 6 grams of protein, which won’t provide the benefits of a higher-protein breakfast. Oatmeal made from steel-cut oats provides about twice as much protein.

To boost the protein content of an oatmeal breakfast, prepare it with milk instead of water or serve it with a side of eggs or a piece of cheese.
Bottom Line: Oatmeal is rich in beta-glucan fiber, which lowers cholesterol and increases feelings of fullness. It also contains antioxidants
Culled from Authority Nutrition

Friday, 8 July 2016

5 surprising benefits of walking

The next time you have a check-up, don't be surprised if your doctor hands you a prescription to walk. Yes, this simple activity that you've been doing since you were about a year old is now being touted as "the closest thing we have to a wonder drug," in the words of Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of course, you probably know that any physical activity, including walking, is a boon to your overall health. But walking in particular comes with a host of benefits. Here's a list of five that may surprise you.

1. It counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes. Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people to determine how much these genes actually contribute to body weight. They then discovered that, among the study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day, the effects of those genes were cut in half.

2. It helps tame a sweet tooth. A pair of studies from the University of Exeter found that a 15-minute walk can curb cravings for chocolate and even reduce the amount of chocolate you eat in stressful situations. And the latest research confirms that walking can reduce cravings and intake of a variety of sugary snacks.

3. It reduces the risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers already know that any kind of physical activity blunts the risk of breast cancer. But an American Cancer Society study that zeroed in on walking found that women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer than those who walked three hours or fewer per week. And walking provided this protection even for the women with breast cancer risk factors, such as being overweight or using supplemental hormones.

4. It eases joint pain. Several studies have found that walking reduces arthritis-related pain, and that walking five to six miles a week can even prevent arthritis from forming in the first place. Walking protects the joints — especially the knees and hips, which are most susceptible to osteoarthritis — by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them.

5. It boosts immune function. Walking can help protect you during cold and flu season. A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder.

Source: HarvardHealth

Thursday, 16 June 2016

10 Healing Benefits of Ginger

Ginger is an ancient wonder spice and is given the status of a "natural medicine chest" in ancient Ayurvedic medicine. That’s because this wonder spice has time-tested, digestion-friendly properties, in addition to its numerous other health benefits. 
In India, ginger is liberally used in daily life. Ginger-infused Chai is a household favorite, and it’s grandma’s antidote of choice for battling cold and flu! 
On millions of dining tables in India, you’ll see matchsticks of fresh ginger that have turned a soft pink from being soaked in lemon juice and salt: a zingy accompaniment to any cooked meal.
Try some fresh ginger just before a meal to stoke your digestive fire and support a healthy gut! You can grate it up and squeeze it into a hot tea, add it to juices, baked goods, smoothies and more... experiment and have fun. 

Let’s give this knobbly root a closer look.

10 Terrific Benefits of Ginger

  1. Haven’t been feeling hungry? Eat a little fresh ginger just before a meal to inspire your appetite and activate your digestive juices
  2. Eating ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body. 
  3. Ginger clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the clearing your sinuses that can flare up seasonally or during colder months. 
  4. Feeling airsick or nauseous? Ginger can help, preferably tossed in a little honey.
  5. Can’t stop the toot-a-thon? Gas—oops—guess what?! Ginger helps reduce flatulence! 
  6. Tummy moaning and groaning under cramps? Munch on ginger. 
  7. Reeling under joint pain? Ginger, with its anti-inflammatory properties—can bring relief. Float some ginger essential oil in your bath to help aching muscles and joints. 
  8. Just had surgery? Chewing ginger post-operation can help overcome nausea. 
  9. Stir up some ginger tea to get rid of throat and nose congestion. And when there’s a nip in the air, the warming and healing benefits of this tasty tea are even greater! 
  10. Bedroom blues? Try adding a gingery punch to a bowl of soup. (Psst...the Ayurvedic texts credit ginger with aphrodisiac properties)

3 Ways To Use Ginger

1. Spicy Fragrant Ginger Rice
Cook basmati rice. When you take the lid off the pan, quickly stir in finely chopped garlic, ginger, green chilies and fresh cilantro leaves—the burst of flavor and fragrance will drive your senses crazy with desire!

2. Ginger In Your Tea 
‘Grate’ idea: grate some ginger root and put it in your tea or through your juicer. Our cleansing and healing Ginger and Turmeric Tea is amazing for you! You could also try our super simple Ginger Lemon Detox Drink for a quick pick me up.

3. Gingery Dessert
Try our delicious Ginger Slice with loads of beneficial and healing ingredients 

Source: FoodMatters

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Sugar-sweetened beverages

Soft drinks are a prime source of extra calories that can contribute to weight gain and provide no nutritional benefits.  Studies indicate that liquid carbohydrates such as sugar-sweetened beverages are less filling than the solid forms – causing people to continue to feel hungry after drinking them despite their high caloric value. They are coming under scrutiny for their contributions to the development of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.
  • The average can of sugar-sweetened soda or fruit punch provides about 150 calories, almost all of them from sugar – usually high-fructose corn syrup. That’s the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of table sugar.
  • If you were to drink just one can of a sugar-sweetened soft drink every day, and not cut back on calories elsewhere, you could gain 10-15 pounds in a year.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

What Causes Weight Gain?

1. Diet: The quantity and quality of food in your diet has a strong impact on weight.

2. Genes: Some people are genetically predisposed to gain weight more easily than others or to store fat around the midsection.

Genes do not have to become destiny, however, and studies suggest that eating a healthy diet, staying active, and avoiding unhealthy habits like drinking soda can prevent the genetic predisposition to risk for obesity.

3. Physical inactivity: Exercising has a host of health benefits, including reducing the chances of developing heart disease, some types of cancer, and other chronic diseases. Physical activity is a key element of weight control and health.

4. Sleep: Research suggests that there’s a link between how much people sleep and how much they weigh. In general, children and adults who get too little sleep tend to weigh more than those who get enough sleep.

There are several possible ways that sleep deprivation could increase the chances of becoming obese.

Sleep-deprived people may be too tired to exercise, decreasing the “calories burned” side of the weight-change equation.

People who don’t get enough sleep may take in more calories than those who do, simply because they are awake longer and have more opportunities to eat.

Lack of sleep also disrupts the balance of key hormones that control appetite, so sleep-deprived people may be hungrier than those who get enough rest each night