Tag: yogurt

Identify fake foods at the supermarket

Identify fake foods at the supermarket

A stroll in a super market on a regular basis helps us to spot a lot of “health foods”. A lot of low cal, low fat options are available. But are they really what they promise!!!

Lets have a look at few of them

  • Low calorie ice creams- These usually are filled with artificial sweeteners and a long list of preservatives.They differ in very few calories from the real ones. Stay away from them
  • Low fat oils- The joke of the century. All oils have the same calories and differ only in the kind of fats.
  • Diet coke- Another hoax and no better than the real coke. Just filled with artificial sweeteners and colour.
  • Baked potato chips- I have seen people fill their carts with these. They may be lower in calories but are low in fiber and nutrients.
  • Low fat cookies-  These are filled with starch fillers to compensate for the creamy texture. Do you have the time to compare the calories?
  • Low fat yogurt- Yogurt made of 3% fat is 60 calories, while the low fat version contains 54 calories. Why pay more for 6 calories? Better off eating the real version.

Hence all that are low fat and low cal are not healthy.

OK there are a few products which are beneficial such as low fat milk. So get smarter and diet better…


Identify fake foods at the supermarket

Identify fake foods at the supermarket

fake foodsA stroll in a super market on a regular basis helps us to spot a lot of “health foods”. A lot of low cal, low fat options are available. But are they really what they promise!!!

Lets have a look at few of them

  • Low calorie ice creams- These usually are filled with artificial sweeteners and a long list of preservatives.They differ in very few calories from the real ones. Stay away from them
  • Low fat oils- The joke of the century. All oils have the same calories and differ only in the kind of fats.
  • Diet coke- Another hoax and no better than the real coke. Just filled with artificial sweeteners and colour.
  • Baked potato chips- I have seen people fill their carts with these. They may be lower in calories but are low in fiber and nutrients.
  • Low fat cookies-  These are filled with starch fillers to compensate for the creamy texture. Do you have the time to compare the calories?
  • Low fat yogurt- Yogurt made of 3% fat is 60 calories, while the low fat version contains 54 calories. Why pay more for 6 calories? Better off eating the real version.

Hence all that are low fat and low cal are not healthy.

OK there are a few products which are beneficial such as low fat milk. So get smarter and diet better…


Why eat green peas and other beans….

Why eat green peas and other beans….

Green PeasMany of us have been eating beans in our diet, but have we ever thought about their benefits. Yes, it is still great to eat baked beans for breakfast now.

Let us first look at the health benefits of beans.

  • They are rich in fiber, both soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber present helps to slow down the entry of glucose into the blood stream, helps to lower ‘LDL’ or bad cholesterol. The fiber combines with the bile salts and excretes it, thereby reducing the cholesterol content in the body. The insoluble fiber helps to relieve constipation with a laxative effect and hence helps to prevent gastrointestinal disorders.
  • It helps to lower homocysteine levels, a compound known to increase the risk of heart disease. Folate helps to lower homocysteine levels. Elevated blood levels of homocysteine are an independent risk factor for heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease, and are found in between 20-40% of patients with heart disease.
  • Manganese content in beans help to release various enzymes for energy production and for release of antioxidants.
  • The magnesium present in beans helps to improve the flow of blood through the veins and arteries and thereby prevents blood clotting and hence prevents heart attacks.
  • Beans are a good source of many of the B vitamins and also bring good supplies of calcium, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium for our bodies.
  • It is the cheapest source of protein and is said to be low in fat. The bean protein on combination with whole grain cereals helps to provide the good quality of proteins required for vegetarians and also for others with out the saturated fats which are present in meats and dairy.
  • The phytoestrogens present in few of the beans such as soyabeans helps to protect against various cancers in women.
  • Beans has been quite beneficial in diabetes as it helps to maintain blood sugars, hence should be liberally used by diabetics. Diabetics can eat these to have healthy and satisfying meals. It provides energy but still stabilizes blood sugar levels.

Hence use beans in your diet for its health benefits. If using the canned variety, look for the ones that are not preserved in sugar and fat.

Beans can be incorporated in the diet in various ways such as

  • Bean soup- steam beans and do not throw away the water. Add the spices you like and have a bowl of this soup for your meals.
  • Saute beans in tomato puree and have them with whole wheat bread.
  • Add cooked beans in salad with lots of veggies.
  • Beans can be used for filling up sandwiches.

My favourite recipe with beans.

Ingredients for one serving

  • Cooked beans-25-30gms
  • Yogurt or curd -100ml
  • Kelloggs wheat flakes with bran
  • Salt, pepper, cumin powder, chilli powder.
  • veggies- chopped onions, tomato, coloured peppers etc

Mix all the ingredients together and serve immediately.

Are you getting enough calcium in a day?

Are you getting enough calcium in a day?

milk_calciumA client of mine during a counseling session told me that she has stopped drinking milk as someone told her that it can make her fat. If she has been avoiding milk, she has been losing out on calcium…

Calcium is a mineral which makes up our bones and teeth. It helps in muscle contraction, nerve function,blood clotting etc

Calcium also triggers weight loss and has been proved by various studies. It has proven to reduce fat and cut down weight. It helps to reduce blood sugars, cholesterol and blood pressure.

It is recommended that one should take 1000-1200mg of calcium per day.

Let us have a look at the various sources of calcium which mainly is dairy.

  • Milk- opt for fat free or 1% fat milk. Drink at least 2 glasses per day. Helps to prevent strokes, heart attack, osteoporosis and may be even cancers.
  • Yogurt- I do not suggest fat free varieties as there is no much difference in the calories I have read on labels. But If you do come across authentic brands, go for them. Yogurt can be a post workout snack  or a late afternoon snack.
  • Soya milk which is fortified with calcium and tofu made out of soya milk is a good source of calcium.
  • Cheese- yummy to eat, opt for low fat varieties and you can eat a cube or a single or melt it on a salad, whole wheat slice or in pasta.
  • Cottage cheese- can be had as a snack with stir fry veggies.

By adding these dairy products in your diet, you can avail the much needed calcium from these diets.

How to eat a power lunch….

How to eat a power lunch….

power_lunchBreakfast and Dinner are the meal times always in the news. But lunch too is as important as any other meals. Now you may wonder why is it important to have a good lunch. Mid day is the time when the brain supply of feel good chemicals namely dopamine and norepinephrine which are required for alertness, start waning. These chemicals keep you mentally active, attentive and more proactive. You can think more clearly, if these chemicals are in optimum levels.

These chemicals are produced from the protein you eat. So if you feel the afternoon slump after lunch, you may be either eating more calories than what your body needs or a high fat, high carb diet.

The best way to eat to stay alert is to have a lunch that contains protein, enough carbohydrates basically complex carbs and is low in fat. When you supply protein in your diet, these alertness chemicals are produced and your noon slump also vanishes. More alert you are, more is the productivity(happier bosses too).

Protein sources than can be included are beans, legumes and all pulses, lean chicken, cottage cheese, low fat yogurt, fish, shell fish, soyfoods and eggs occasionally.

Do not eat red meats such as beef, pork, processed meats such as sausages, bacon, salami, organ meats, full fat dairy products etc.

What about carbs? Indians being genetically born to eat carbs, cannot imagine lunch without cereals. Choose complex carbs such as whole grain breads, brown rice, wheat, ragi, bajra, jowar etc.

Whole grains or complex carbs help to soothe and relax the mind, not sleepy and sluggish as carbohydrates provide another type of chemical known as serotonin. You will be more focused and calmed. These help to sustain the energy levels and prevent you from feeling “low”. If you eat more of the refined carbs variety such as maida or refined wheat flour, white rice, white breads, you will end up feeling more slumpy, too relaxed and sleepy(sounds familiar, does it not!). Now you know why you are snoozing off after the lunch with poor protien or nil protein and white carbs.

What about fat? Low fat food choices bring out the best in your lunch. Hence do not opt for meat with skin, deep fired food, fried chicken too many egg yolks, ice creams with lot of sugar(refined carbs) and fats(slump food), desserts(same as ice creams) and also that sneaky chocolate after food.

A few pointers:

  • Dont eat too much of the good stuff, the effect will be reversed.
  • Keep the foods low in fat. This will help in better digestion and make you alert.
  • Do not arrive too hungry for lunch, you will end up eating too much. So opt for a healthy midday snack.
  • Avoid alcohol as it dulls your mind and can make you do wrong choices.
  • Do not polish of the breads in the complimentary bread basket or choose a high fat appetizer.
  • Do not eat to much of carbs or you will end up having a late afternoon slump with an extra calming effect by serotonin.

This can also apply to your dinner, if you are meeting up with a cleint or a boss so that you stay alert through the meal.

Stay alert, stay active…