Tag: oats

Diet to manage and prevent Gout

Diet to manage and prevent Gout

Gout pain

Gout or gouty arthritis is a disease mainly due to high uric acid levels in the blood. Uric acid is one of the end products of protein metabolism. It has been categorised into acute, where it affects one joint mostly the large toe and chronic where it can affect more than one joint. Uric acid accumulates whenever there is an excessive breakdown of protein in our body or in our diets.

The kidneys are unable to eliminate the excess uric acid, which then form crystals which build up in the joints causing inflammation and can be highly painful as my clients say. High uric acid levels can also cause kidney stones over a period of time.

Risk factors to develop gout

  • Hereditary-Genetics can play a role in patients developing gout.
  • Overweight/obese conditions- mainly due to more tissue or protein available for breakdown
  • Gender- Risk is higher in males than females
  • High intake of purine rich food
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Poor water intake
  • Exposure to cold weather conditions

How can you prevent/manage gout-

  • Avoid foods rich in purines such as organ meats, meat extracts, fish such as mackerel, sardines, herring and mussels, yeasts and limit those foods that contain moderate amount of purines such as whole grains, cauliflower, spinach, legumes such as beans, peas etc, mushrooms, meat soups, broths, asparagus, oats, chicken, wheat germ etc.
  • Lose weight and try maintain ideal body weight.
  • Eat a balanced diet of 55-65% of carbohydrates, 10-15% protein and 25-30% of fats in our diets.
  • Restrict/ eliminate alcohol.
  • Hydrate well. Drink at least 2-4 litres of water and other fluids daily.
  • Exercise daily.

There has always been a debate that eating less protein can control gout and many blindly follow very low protein diets, but studies show that eating the right amount of protein per day can help. A qualified dietitian can help you to determine your daily protein requirements and help you to eat better and maintain an ideal body weight.

Multigrain: Real or fake

Multigrain: Real or fake


Eating whole grains is necessary to get our much needed carbohydrates, the major source of fuel for our body. If you drop into a supermarket, it gets very confusing to chose the right grains. The latest trend seen is “multigrain“. Now is it for real? Do not confuse this term for whole grain.

Let me elaborate on this. “Whole grain” means when its bran, germ and endosperm are present intact. This is the superior type of carbohydrate.”Multigrain” means that the product comprises of several grains, but it does not specify “whole grain” present in it. Grain such as ragi, wheat, maize etc do not add up to whole grain. Most of these products contain very little whole grain and most of the grains are refined. You will need to look closely at the label to see whats added. Do not get fooled by 5 grain or 7 grain breads and other multigrain products.

Food companies can go to any length to make their product sound “healthy”. Read labels and look for the prefix “whole” in front of the gains added. Out of the seven grains,atleast 4-5 grains would be whole. Stick to whole grain, not mutigrain!!!

Look up these sites for more information on Multigrains.


Tips to a healthy heart

Tips to a healthy heart

healthy_heartHeart disease is the most common killer disease in the world.  Let us look at a few tips to cut down the risk of heart disease.

  1. Drink green tea- Green tea contains antioxidants that can reduce cholesterol and decrease blood pressure.
  2. Fiber up your diet- The more fiber you include, lesser is the risk of heart disease. So add oats, bran etc in your diet.
  3. Eat fish- Fish contain omega 3 fatty acids which help the heart to function better.
  4. 100% fruit juice- Juices such as orange juice and grape juice are said to contain antioxidants which help to decrease homo cysteine levels which are the main cause for heart disease.
  5. Add Flaxseed- to your porridge or smoothie to prevent clogging of arteries.
  6. Add garlic- adding garlic to cooking helps to cut down artery blocks.
  7. Eat dark chocolate- rich in antioxidants making the arteries more elastic.
  8. Go bananas- Bananas contain potassium which helps to cut down blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Trying out these tips will take you closer to leading a healthy life free of heart disease

How can you use flaxseed…

How can you use flaxseed…

flax_seedsWe had seen various facts about Flax seeds, so now lets look at the uses. A lot of questions are asked on where one can add them.

Flaxseed powder can be added to warm milk. A teaspoon daily in warm milk is great before going to bed.

It can be added to whole wheat flour while baking bread, muffins etc. This increases the fiber content of the baked food.

It can be added to oats porridge which is eaten for breakfast.

The oil should not be used for cooking as it cannot stand high temperatures for cooking. It can be added to salads for the dressing.

Now you try these various tips to use flaxseed in your daily diet.

Gestational diabetes in Moms-to-be

Gestational diabetes in Moms-to-be

Query from a concerned mom-to-be:

“I am 12 weeks pregnant and my father and all his siblings have Diabetes, so I am worried about getting gestational diabetes. What changes do I make to avoid getting Gestational Diabetes?”

Diabetes is a common condition afflicted to many. But Gestational Diabetes may be a new term to many. In simple words, it means developing high blood sugars during pregnancy. It is said to commonly affect 3-10% of pregnancies. This can either mean undetected diabetes and or diabetes developed during pregnancy.

What are the risk factors for Gestational Diabetes?

  • Family history of Type 2 diabetes or Gestational diabetes.
  • Being overweight,obese before and during pregnancy or excess weight gain during pregnancy
  • Maternal age-Pregnancies above 35 years of age.
  • Excessive stress
  • Wrong eating habits during pregnancy

It can also occur due to hormonal changes that occur in a woman during pregnancy.

Now how can you prevent GD and enjoy a safe pregnancy?

It has always been advised to plan a pregnancy as one can get physically as well as mentally ready. Physically, healthy weight changes if overweight or obese and changes in eating habits are always advised. But as most of the pregnancies are unplanned, women after 5-6 months of pregnancy are asked to under go a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT).

If the GTT comes high, then a lot of risk factors need to be altered.

Although weight loss is strictly prohibited, weight maintenance is required. A healthy diet and a regular exercise routine is very important.

The main concern in GD are the carbohydrates as the have the greatest impact on blood sugar. Hence it is very important to eat the same amount of carbohydrates in every meal along with some protein and fat. A healthy diet should contain whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat products, ragi, bajra, jowar, oats and pulses and legumes such as bengal gram (channa), Kidney beans (rajma), green gram(moong), sprouts etc.

Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid refined sugars such as maida, fruit juices and lower your intake of sugar and fat. Completely avoid junk food such as hamburgers, pizzas, chips, cookies, coke which are completely unhealthy for your blood sugars and bad for your baby.

Eat enough protein by including milk and milk products and other protein sources such as lean meat like chicken, eggs and fish. Refer to what not to eat during pregnancy for further information.

Increase your calcium intake by including soya milk, low fat milk, cheese(yes, it is allowed), peanut butter, green leafy vegetables etc.

Iron too is very crucial. Hence include eggs, lean meat, fish and green leafy vegetables.

A few guidelines for healthy eating during GD:

  • Eat 3 small meals and 2-3 snacks in between. Do not skip meals. Try to eat on time as much as possible. This will prevent sugar spikes.
  • Completely avoid alcohol. No amount of alcohol is safe.
  • Caffeine too should be limitted. Stick to not more than 2 cups of coffee per day.
  • Do not try to “diet” or try to eat very less, to bring about changes in your weight and blood sugars.
  • Determine your weight gain with your doctor. He/She will help you with your weight gain in regard to your pre-pregnancy weight.
  • Work out a diet plan with a competant dietitian who will help you to eat healthy.
  • Eat a variety of foods.
  • Keep a record of your food intake.

Last but not the least. Exercise!!!! Walking is the safest exercise, so walk for at-least 30 minutes daily. A healthy diet and regular exercise can do wonders to you and to your baby.