Tag: LDL

Asthma and diet

Asthma and diet


Asthma results when triggers cause swelling of the tissues in the air passages of the lung, making it difficult to breathe. Typical symptoms of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing. Food triggered asthma is unusual.

Check out how diet can affect asthma in different ways.

First, some foods can provoke asthma attacks by causing an allergic reaction. Foods that trigger attacks (according to your susceptibility), can be:

  • Foods containing the additives benzoates(E210-19), sulphites
    (E220-8) or gallates (E310-12)
  • Cider, wine and beer
  • Foods containing yeast or mould, such as bread and blue cheese
  • Foods, drinks and snacks containing colorings E102, E104 and E110
  • Cow”s milk, cereals (wheat), eggs, fish, soy, and nuts (especially

At the same time Food can also help to control the severity of an attack. One of the best-known foods for doing this is coffee, due to
the caffeine.

Some Foods can actually dilate air passageways, by thinning the mucus and opening them up for freer breathing. The foods in this category include the spicy, pungent foods like chili, hot mustard, garlic  and onions. Thesehot foods work by stimulating nerves, resulting in the release of watery fluid in the mouth, throat and lungs.

some foods can control inflammation of the. that help to do this include
onions (these are particularly good), fatty fish (fish oil is a  proven anti-inflammatory high in omega  3 fatty acids and vitamin C-packed foods.

To Control Asthma eat plenty of:

  • Foods rich in  B vitamins such as green leafy vegetables and pulses
  • Good sources of magnesium such as sunflower seeds and dried figs
    People who have asthma and are obese, show improved lung function
    when they lose weight, so perhaps the most important reason for eating
    a healthy diet is for weight control. A healthy diet may also help to
    reduce the symptoms of asthma by adding natural anti-inflammatory
    foods and by avoiding food allergies that might provoke asthma

Food as Natural Medicine:

Some foods can improve your health because of compounds they contain called phytochemicals, bioflavonoids, or essential fatty acids. If you have asthma, you may wish to increase your consumption of foods that are natural anti-inflammatory agents and anti-histamines. These include:

  • Apples and red onions for quercetin.
  • Walnuts, soy, and oily fish for their Omega 3 essential fatty
  • Berries and Colorful fruits that have several different healthy
Coconut oil….To use or not to….

Coconut oil….To use or not to….

coconut_oilCoconut oil and its usage has always been in the news. Every person is advised not to look at coconut oil. But I feel this is baseless.

Coconut oil is just like any other oil. It gives the same calories ie 9 calories as any other oil. The only hiccup is that it provides saturated fats. It does not contain cholesterol at all as we know no plant source can provide cholesterol to us. Excess intake of saturated fats can increase the cholesterol levels. In fact excess intake of any oil can increase the cholesterol levels.

  • It contains lauric acid which is known for its anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
  • The lauric acid also helps to prevent heart problems and does not increase the LDL levels which contributes to heart disease.
  • It contains medium chain triglycerides which do not contribute to heart disease and can be very useful for recovery from various diseases and in many gastrointestinal diseases as it is turned into a energy source and the absorption is much better and hence helps people who have digestive problems.

My great grandmother used to pour coconut oil over her idlis and dosas and she died of old age at 95 years without any complaints. But that was the only saturated fat in her diet. She had a lot of fiber in the form of vegetables and was a pure vegetarian. Coconut oil was the only source of fat in her diet and did not eat any junk in the form of home made chips etc. She continued to do house hold work such as cleaning and dusting of furniture and washed her clothes(not in the washing machine).

We can take a cue from this. If a teaspoon of coconut oil is added to a vegetable of quantity half kilo, it is not going to harm us. So coconut oil is safe from tempering our pulse and vegetable preparations.

But it is arguable to see that the cardiovascular disease are on the increase in the southern states in India. I can tell you why. In these areas, 90% of the people use coconut oil for cooking. Take a look at the cooking practices. Deep frying is done with coconut oil so the fat in it gets hydrogenated and voila! you are eating hydrogenated fats. Excessive snacking on fried food will definitely increase your LDL cholesterol.

Non vegetarian dishes are cooked with grated coconut and coconut oil. If the skin of the meat is not removed or if the fat is not trimmed, then the saturated content increases three fold. You are getting the saturated fats from coconut plus the fats from meats especially red meats like pork and mutton. Pork lard clubbed with other fats is very hazardous. The poor culprit has been coconut oil but not the red meat.

Hence the incidence of cholesterol problems is on the rise. Hence try to avoid the excess combination of saturated fats.

Keep the intake of any oil at minimum. The allowance is 4 tsps per day. It is safe to combine coconut oil and other oils in your diet. If you use coconut oil for tempering and other oil for cooking, it is quite safe as long as you are not deep frying and are within the allowance of oil intake. Do not add excess of coconut in gravies. You can search for other alternatives like yogurt for thickening.

Those who hype about coconut oils are those who do not use it in their cooking. The northern parts of India are more of meat eaters and their share of saturated fats come from butter, ghee and full fat milk products and for the south indians, our share comes from coconut oil.