Category: Guest articles

ORGANIC FOOD –Is Good, Does Good and Tastes Good

ORGANIC FOOD –Is Good, Does Good and Tastes Good

organicFarming practices used before the 1900’s are classed as organic. It was only after this that added chemicals such as urea and DDT were brought into farming – previous to this, farmers didn’t have the knowledge and simply put, were happy enough with things as they were; as most of us today would be. After all, home grown food is often the nicest, most tasty food we put on our plates.

For some reason, during the 1960’s and 1970’s the concept of organic food became a separate entity to the ‘normal’ food we were then buying. Consumers had been effectively duped into believing that what they were buying, was food as nature intended, it not appreciating that the chemicals which were added during growth of the ‘normal stuff’ were what actually made the food abnormal in the first place.

The importance of healthy food is unaltered and is extremely beneficial for people of all ages. Health enthusiasts feel the importance of Satvik Bhojan. Going Satvik, is in a sense, going back in time. A time when the cultivated product you ate came from soil replenished with healthy manure and mulch and an Organic food is an attempt to give to the body a food that is wholesome while pleasing to the senses.

Organic foods are those foods that are grown, processed and packaged without using chemicals. Organic cultivation uses organic seeds, organic fertilizers, compost, organic root stimulators, and organic pest control methods.

Some of the advantages of organic food are:

  • Safer as free from pesticides and chemical additives or preservatives.
  • Considered to be safest for children and pregnant ladies.
  • More nutritious as Organic food is rich in minerals, vitamins and fibers.
  • It Tastes Good
  • Safe for farmers
  • Good for nature

Organic food covers a wide range of our daily food needs. It includes food items like cereals, pulses, spices, sugar, salt, cooking medium (oil), ready to eat, ready to cook etc.

`Let healthy food be your medicine rather than medicine be your food!’

Hippocrates-Father of Medicine

The term Organic differs from commonly used terms like Natural, Local, Sustainable, Green etc. as only organic produce is certified by approved certification agencies.

Every farmer, who wants to be an organic producer, first of all registers his farm and production, with some accredited certification agency. Organic food are inspected and certified by these different accredited certification agencies at every step from production to packaging and hence assuring a safe food to customers. Every Nation implements their own National Standards for Organic Products. On the basis of compliance with their National Standards for Organic Production, a trademark, a logo is granted which is displayed on each and every product thus certifying it to be an Organic Product. Here are some of the trademarks to look for on the products you wish to purchase: INDIA-NPOP, India Organic, ECOCERT, USDA Organic, APEDA etc.

Organic foods have been accepted due to their apparent health benefits over chemically grown food as studies and researches have shown that chemicals have a lethal impact on farming and life. The residues of some toxic chemicals in food stuff may lead carcinogenic, mutagenic, neuropathy, nephropathy, reproductive disorders etc.

This awareness on healthy food habits is growing so as the demand. The Organic foods are selling like hot cakes in Urban India. They are now been made available in all major stores of different cities and people prefer to have it over conventional food no matter if they have to pay 20 to 30 per cent more as compared to conventionally grown foods. The pricing includes the cost of consultancy for cultivation, cultivation practices, organic seeds, manure, packaging, labeling, inspection, certification, branding, marketing etc. However, remember that these can disappear when supply increases, especially in those countries with policies to encourage organic farming.

Compared to conventional foodstuff, Organic food is more perishable as it doesn’t use pesticides or preservatives, so for customers it is suggestible to buy in small quantities and replenish stock regularly.

Health foods cannot change a family history of diseases related to diabetes, heart and liver. They do not guarantee a disease-free life, but can definitely help combat diseases.

Where to buy Organic food?


• Organic Sansar: MSB-IIB-105, New Siyaganj, Tel: 9993519656, 9993440363, (0731)-2530220


• 24 Letter Mantra: Golden Residency, 79/7, Belandur, Outer Ring Road, Tel: 41486611, 41486622; Shop No. 3, Amenity Block, Adarsh Palm Meadows, Ramagondanahalli, Marathahalli, Tel: 25395206

• Green Channel: 20/1, Ali Asker Road (off Cunningham Road), Tel: 41235739

• Khandige: 68/1, Jaraganahalli, Near Sarakki Gate, Kanakpura Main Road, Tel: 26714599

• Namdhari’s: 821, Kusal Arcade, 20th Main, 80ft Road, Opposite National Games Village, Koramangala, Tel: 51103777, 51103778

• Sahaja Samruddha: No. 7, 2nd Cross, 7th Main, Sultanpalya, RT Nagar, Tel: 23650744


• Navdanya: In Dilli Haat and A-60 Hauz Khas, Tel: 26532561, 26532124, 26532460

• Fabindia Overseas Pvt. Ltd: Central Hall, Khan Market and other Fabindia outlets, Tel: 41757142/43/44

• Khadi Gramodyog: Lok Nayak Bhawan, near Khan Market

• Whole Foods store: Community Centre, New Friends Colony

• Dubden Green: 4-A, Shahpur Jat, Tel: 32905310, 9810131343

• Many local grocery stores in Delhi also increasingly store organic foods. For instance, some of the In and Out stores attached to Bharat Petroleum petrol pumps have an organic food section. So does Malik Stores and Taste in Defence Colony Market.


• Godrej Nature’s Basket: Hiranandani Garden, BG House, Powai, Tel: 25707706

• Foodland Fresh: 1, Mermaid Building, Nr JW Marriott, Juhu, Juhu Tara Road, Tel: 26184402

• Magna Nutrition: 143, Sassoon Building, 3rd Floor, Kala Ghoda, Fort, MG Road, Tel: 66237834, 22671763, 22670512

• The Health Shop:1/B, Doctor House, Ground floor, opposite Jaslok Hospital, Kemps Corner, 14, Peddar Road, Tel: 23523503, 23524122

• Uday Organics: 2 Bajaj Wadi, Santacruz (W), Station Road, Tel: 32932611

• Good Food Company: Ground floor, Super Processor Compound, Lalbaug Industrial Estate, Parel, Tel: 24713050

• Fabindia: 137, Jeroo Building, Kalaghoda, Fort, MG Road, Tel: 22626539, 22626540

What causes Fatty Liver

What causes Fatty Liver


Before discussing about “Fatty Liver’, let us learn something about the organ itself.

-Liver-  is also called The “Silent” organ in the body.

Generally people talk about their teeth, hair, lungs, heart, face etc, but very rarely about Liver and its existence, even though Liver happens to be the largest organ in one’s body weighing roughly one and a half kilos. It resides in the upper right part of one’s abdomen, well protected by ribs. It is said that it does more than 500 types of jobs and if any one of its major jobs  fails  , one can better start making funeral arrangements. One can not  find any  other way of over-emphasizing the importance of this vital organ in the human body than mentioning it in the manner  as above.

Liver  participates virtually in everything, as for example, it provides muscle fuel, if one wants to play a game of Golf, digest one’s breakfast, manufacture the Vitamins that helps one’s night vision and so on. Its job is endless. This being so, is it not one’s duty to take care of this vital organ from diseases? protect it from any damage? and at least minimum care, so that it can do its job silently and help one to lead a healthy life free from diseases.

Hepatitis, Fatty liver, Cirrhosis, Cancer, etc, are some of the common diseases affecting the liver.

Now lets just discuss about Fatty Liver

What is Fatty Liver?

Fatty liver is a condition where fat or triglycerides deposit in the liver.Some fat in the liver is mormal, but if it makes up more than five to ten percent of the weight of your liver , you would be at risk. Alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

What causes metabolic fatty liver disease?

1. Alcohol consumption.
2. Metabolic causes like diabetes mellitus, obesity.
3. Hepatitis C.
4. Drugs.
5. Starvation.

1. What are the diseases most commonly seen in Fatty liver?

Fatty liver itself is an abnormal condition and it increases the risk of developing conditions like Cancer, hepatitis, Cirrhosis, etc. At these latter two stages, jaundice might also develop.

2. Does diet play any part?

diet rich in fat and calories raises the chance of obesity-induced insulin resistance.

3. What is the treatment?

Treatment starts with weight reduction, but not rapidly. An average of 1.6 kgs/ week is recommended. The target should be 10% reduction of the baseline weight.Depending on the stage and symptom of the disease, medications are prescribed.Diet, exercise, and certain medications are the recommended ways to reduce weight.Bariatric surgery is advised for morbidly obese patients.

4.  Is it possible to lead a normal life With a fatty Liver?

Fatty liver is a life long condition. Still with a few lifestyle changes,necessary treatment,and periodic check up with the doctor there is no reason why a patient suffering from fatty liver should not enjoy a normal life.

You can also read on ways to cure fatty liver

Do you also have a fatty liver? How do you cope up with it, have you done any modifications in your life style to control fatty liver? Please do let us know.

Prevent Osteoporosis and Age Beautifully

Prevent Osteoporosis and Age Beautifully

By Maye Musk, MSc(Dietetics), MSc(Nutritional Sciences), RD(Registered Dietitian)

About the writer….
Maye Musk is a New York City based registered dietitian, Ford model and 61-year-old grandmother of 7. She has had practices in San Francisco, Toronto and Johannesburg.

She is my role model who has taken the field of dietetics and nutrition to newer dimensions.

Thanks Maye for this wonderful article…To know more about Maye Musk, visit her site

Thank you,

To look good and feel young, we need to have a lot of energy and stay healthy. Focusing on good eating and activity habits to prevent ageing diseases like osteoporosis, will keep us walking upright and aging beautifully.


Osteoporosis is a silent bone disease that leads to loss of bone mass and is widely prevalent in India. Fractures are a common cause of morbidity and mortality in adult Indian men and women.

Hip fractures occur at a relatively earlier age in Indian males and females, compared to western counterparts; and a higher male-to-female ratio suggests that Indian males are at a higher risk for hip fractures. This may be because men seeking hospital attention is greater than that for women.

Up to 50 million Indians may be affected. Low vitamin D level and low calcium intake seem to be the major contributing factor to poor bone health and osteoporosis in India.


Clients come to see me with osteopenia, mild bone loss, out of fear of osteoporosis, a crippling disease resulting in a stooped back and bones that break easily. Besides the cost of this disease, losing independence and lowering quality of life is a concern.

–       Bones are built up to maximum strength until age 30

–       A bone feels like a rock but it isn’t, it’s living tissue. The body is continuously making new bone and replacing old bone. We need to give the body a constant supply of bone-building calcium to prevent bone loss.

–       There is high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the Indian population despite the availability of abundant sunshine. This includes urban and semi-urban Indians, postmenopausal women, pregnant women, school children and newborns. Studies have shown that the majority of urban office workers and hospital staff have moderate to severe vitamin D deficiency.

–       In a US study, the fracture rate in women with low bone density was nearly double that of women with normal bones, and four times higher in women with osteoporosis.

–       In the USA, the incidence of osteoporosis is higher with women (25 – 30%) than with men (12 – 15%). Higher consumption of fruits, vegetables and cereals was associated with greater femoral bone mineral density in men in a study of 907 adults aged 69-93 years old.


–       Family history: Genetics play a role as body types run in families.

–     Frame: small and thin. Indians have low bone mineral density as compared to western Caucasians, which could be attributed to differences in skeletal size.

–       Age: older people are at higher risk for fractures.

–       Race: Caucasian of northern European descent and Asians are at higher risk.

–       Menopause: After menopause, estrogen falls to the point where women can’t absorb enough calcium to replace the bone they naturally lose. A little plumpness after menopause increases estrogen levels and is good for her bones. Just a few extra pounds….

–       Poor diet: Low calcium intake: This is the main mineral that builds up bone density. Other nutrient deficiencies increase the risk for osteoporosis such as vitamin D, magnesium, manganese, Vitamin K and boron.

–       Anorexia: leads to low estrogen production and increased bone loss.

–       High protein intake: High-protein foods tend to be high in phosphorus, a mineral that depletes calcium out of the bone. The more phosphorus you consume, the more calcium you need to maintain your bone mineral density.

–       Soda: these beverages contain phosphorus. Also, soda replaces milk.

–       Vegans (people who eat no animal products at all): As calcium in milk and dairy products is better absorbed than calcium found in vegetables or supplements, strict vegetarian diets containing no milk may increase risk.

–       Certain vegetable compounds: The oxalates in spinach and sweet potatoes and phytates in legumes and grains decrease the absorption of calcium. These foods should be included in the diet as they contain some calcium which counteracts these compounds.

–       Salt: a high salt intake increases loss of calcium in the urine.

–       Coffee: More than two cups a day can decrease bone density in older women. Be sure to add milk or drink a café latte.

–       Alcohol: maximum one serving a day.

–       Excess Vitamin A supplementation.

–       Smoking depletes minerals from bone and decreases bone-preserving estrogen in blood.

–       Sedentary lifestyle.

–       Drugs can rob the bones of calcium. These include: cortisone, prednisone, thyroid hormones, anticonvulsants and aluminum-based antacids.


You cannot change your sex, race, build and age, but you can change your eating habits and activity.

Healthy lifestyle (diet, exercise and sunlight exposure) can have a major positive impact on the bone metabolism and bone health of Indians. These public health measures are recommended for the population at large as they are efficacious, safe and cost-effective.

Eat Well

Plan daily intake of calcium-rich foods. See a registered dietitian for a healthy meal plan.

– Milk (including skim milk and 1% milk) is the best. Milk contains lactose and is enriched with vitamin D; both nutrients help with the absorption of calcium. Many people who have trouble digesting lactose can drink one or two servings of milk with solid food and not have problems. A recent study showed that women over 65 reduced bone loss by 12 to 25% over 2 years if they received adequate calcium intake.

– Cheese, fortified cottage cheese and yogurt are also good sources of calcium. Low fat options contain the same amount of calcium as high fat types.

– Canned salmon and sardines with bones.

– Calcium fortified orange juice

– Collards, turnip greens, rhubarb, broccoli, kale, oranges, almonds contain calcium.

– Vitamin D: in fortified milk, eggs, salmon and sardines with bones, cheese, fortified margarine and fortified breakfast cereals.

– Sun: although it’s best to keep out of the sun, a little can supply the essential vitamin D. Expose sun to hands, face and arms three times a week for 5 – 15 minutes before sunscreen is applied. That should be adequate as 80 – 90% of vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight.

– Magnesium: seeds, soybeans, wheat germ, seafood.

– Manganese: nuts, avocados, oatmeal.

– Vitamin K: spinach, broccoli, green cabbage, tomatoes.

-Boron: applesauce, peaches, pears, cherries.

– Omega 3 fats: salmon, sardines, walnuts. Saturated fats can influence bone density negatively

– Soy protein and its isoflavones, genistein and daidzein: soy-type foods three times a week: edamame, soy burgers, miso soup, calcium-fortified tofu.

– Lower salt, soda, caffeine and alcohol intake.

Activity (important for bone strength)

–       Walk or exercise every day for a 30 – 60 minutes.

–       Swimming strengthens muscles and gives a good stretch.

–       Stretching exercises to move joints.

–       Weight-bearing exercises have been proven to prevent bone loss.


As a public health measure, it is important to encourage children to drink

milk and play in the sun. This will ensure adequate calcium intake, vitamin D synthesis, and exercise. These three are the crucial elements in determining peak bone mass. There is thus an urgent need for greater public awareness in this regard. The peak bone mass of the population can be increased significantly by appropriate and timely intervention in children.


See your dietitian before buying a supplement. A diet rich in bone-producing nutrients is your best choice.

Do I take supplements?

I’m Caucasian, 61 years old and grandmother of 7, and am not on estrogen replacement therapy.

I don’t take any calcium supplements because I love dairy foods: milk in my breakfast cereal and yogurt and cottage cheese during the day. I eat well most of the time, am active nearly every day, have never smoked, and have a moderate intake of caffeine and alcohol. My mother (95) started with osteoporosis three years ago so I plan to stay on track.


Your doctor will advise you on drugs after measuring bone mineral density, particularly in postmenopausal women who have had fractures or a family history of osteoporosis.

For the middle aged and elderly, early detection and treatment of osteoporosis with available agents can significantly reduce the risk of fractures and associated morbidity and mortality.

In India, and elsewhere, pharmacological interventions are expensive and should therefore be targeted to only those at high risk of fractures.


We need to eat well and be active. See a Registered Dietitian for your healthy,  personalized meal and activity plan.


[1] Natl Med J India. 1996 Nov-Dec;9(6):268-74.Links Osteoporosis in India–the nutritional hypothesis. A. Gupta

[2] Indian J Med Res 127, March 2008, pp 263-268. Osteoporosis in Indians. N. Malhotra & A. Mithal

[3] Bone mineral density and dietary patterns in older adults: the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76(1):245-252