Sunday, November 29, 2009

Seasonal Foods II

Make your food choices according to the seasons:

  • In summer, include light, cooling foods. You can enjoy fruits like strawberries, apple, pear, and plum; vegetables like cucumber, gourds, leafy vegetables, and citrus fruits like oranges, watermelons; and spices and seasonings like peppermint and fresh coriander leaves.
  • In rains, turn toward the more warming, autumn harvest foods, including carrot, sweet potato, onions, and garlic. Also, emphasize the more warming spices and seasonings including ginger, peppercorns, and mustard seeds.
  • In winter, turn even more exclusively toward warming foods. Remember the principle that foods taking longer to grow are generally more warming than foods that grow quickly. All of the animal foods fall into the warming category including fish, chicken, beef, and lamb. So, do most of the root vegetables, including carrot, potato, onions, and garlic. Eggs also fit in here, as do corn and nuts.

Reasearch Supporting Seasonal eating:

In a research study conducted in 1997 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in London, England, significant differences were found in the nutrient content of pasteurized milk in summer versus winter primarily due to differences in the diets of the cows. With more salt-preserved foods in winter and more fresh plants in the summer, cows ended up producing nutritionally different milks during the two seasons. Similarly, researchers in Japan found three-fold differences in the vitamin C content of spinach harvested in summer versus winter.

Seasonal Foods I

The basics of healthy eating comprises of the following points:
ʥ Nutritious
ʥ Seasonal
ʥ Fresh
ʥ Appetizing
ʥ Offer a variety
ʥ Offers food combination
ʥ Moderation
ʥ Balance
Natural and unprocessed foods are much more nutritious then processed and packed foods for the simple reason that they come directly from mother nature without any chemicals and preservatives in them, thus helping us to remain in our natural state.
Eating according to what is available during the season is one of the best ways to live healthy. Eating seasonal foods helps our body to be balanced. During summers, we come across the juiciest fruits and vegetables. These help to cool the body and replace the lost fluids. These juicy fruits and vegetables are not available during winters or other seasons. Seasonal foods offer the best flavor, nutritional value, & are less expensive. Besides, they are great in freshness if they are locally grown.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Weight Loss Or Health Loss?

At the end of the 17th century, Morton described a condition that was seen in adolescents and young adult women who were affected by it.One hundred and seventy years later, Gull in England & laseque in France gave the condition its current name.
The condition I am are talking about is anorexia- it is a disease characterized by intense fear of gaining weight, body image distortion, which can lead to serious complications like amenorrhea. Women & even men in today’s western world are struggling hard to keep themselves in with the fashion world without caring if in the bargain they are sacrificing their long-term health! They induce into voluntary self-starvation and emaciation. In this condition weight loss is considered as a sign of extra ordinary achievement and self-discipline, weight gain is perceived as an unacceptable loss of self control.
So here is the million-dollar question can one lose weight and still maintain good health?
The answer is yes!
One needs to follow a good eating pattern and make sure to maintain a regular fitness regime.
Foods like low fat milk, fruits, and vegetables, nuts, curds, cereals, & legumes should form a major part of the diet.
Fats again a tabooed substance in a dieters list should be taken in moderation as when completely lacking, it can lead to EFA deficiency.
Avoiding colas, fast foods, chats, and the most popular Indian version of burger- Vada Pav! This itself can make a big difference.
However occasionally indulging in these, foods should not lead to a guilt feeling but instead this should serve as a motivation to hit the gym and sweat the fat out!
After all the taste buds too need scrumptious foods now and then.
Eating in moderation is the key to avoid unwanted weight gain.
Having small & frequent meals keeps the metabolic rate ‘up’.
The bottom line is do not deprive yourself of food instead sweat it out by exercising and eating healthy.

Healthiest Choices In Meat

Choose wisely:
When it comes to cutting down on fats,many a times it becomes difficult to do for many of us mainly due to the high consumption of meat.However if one choose wisely and takes care as to what type and cut of meat one is consuming, the task becomes much easier.
Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.Most meats have about the same amount of cholesterol, roughly 70 milligrams in each three-ounce cooked serving (about the size of a deck of cards). The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than six ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, fish or seafood a day.
The leanest beef cuts usually include sirloin, chuck, loin and round. Choose "choice" or "select" grades rather than "prime." Select lean or extra lean ground meats.
Lean pork cuts include tenderloin or loin chops.
The leanest lamb cuts come from the leg, arm and loin.
Remove all visible fat from meat and poultry before cooking.
Remove skin from poultry before eating.
Choose white meat most often when eating poultry.
Duck and goose are higher in fat than chicken and turkey.
Grill, bake or broil meats and poultry.
Organ meats — such as liver, sweetbread, kidneys and brains — are very high in cholesterol.
Cut back on processed meats that are high in saturated fat and sodium.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Eat well Stay well!

Eat a variety of Nutrient rich foods. There are about 40 essential nutrients, which constitute a healthy diet. There are a few tips for top nutrition, which are vital for a healthy eating plan.
ʥ Stay away from Butter or cream based sauces.
ʥ The more processed the foods the more unhealthy it is, therefore opt for fresh veggies, fruits, grains, & pulses, which are baked, grilled or broiled.
ʥ Stay away from deep fried foods such as samosas, wadas, wafers etc.
ʥ Restrict your sugar and alcohol consumption as these contribute to empty calories.
ʥ Never skip your breakfast as its important to supply your body with energy at the start of the day.
ʥ Avoid junk food during snacks.Grab an apple instead of that french fries.
ʥ Switch from colas and other carbonated beverages to healthier beverages like green tea, coconut water or fruit juices.
ʥ If you are a meat eater, stick to lean meat. White meat as in chicken and fish is healthier. Make sure the fat is trimmed of the chops.
ʥ Drink lots of fluids to keep your system clean like coconut water, soups, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, or just the simple water shall do the trick.
ʥ Create a sacred space for eating. Eat your food in a quiet and uncluttered environment so that you can experience the food's essence and truly enjoy you food.
ʥ Do not starve yourself of the foods you are fond of. Eat your favorite high calorie foods in moderation and only sometimes.

Benefits Of Fiber

Fiber is classified as either soluble or insoluble. When regularly eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, soluble fiber has been shown to help lower blood cholesterol and may also help reduce the risk of diabetes and colon and rectal cancer. The American Heart Association recommends that you eat at least 25–30 grams of dietary fiber — in both soluble and insoluble forms — every day. The more calories you require to meet your daily needs, the more dietary fiber you need. Try to eat at least 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories you consume.
  • Foods high in soluble fiber include oat bran, oatmeal, beans, peas, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits, strawberries and apple pulp.
  • Foods high in insoluble fiber include whole-wheat breads, wheat cereals, wheat bran, cabbage, beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts, turnips, cauliflower and apple skin.
  • Replace low-fiber foods (white bread, white rice, candy and chips) with fiber-containing foods (whole-grain bread, brown rice, fruits and vegetables).
  • Try to eat more raw vegetables and fresh fruit, including the skins when appropriate. Cooking vegetables can reduce their fiber content, and skins are a good source of fiber.
  • Eat high-fiber foods at every meal. Bran cereal for breakfast is a good start, but try to include some fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and beans in your diet, too.
  • Be sure to increase your fiber intake gradually, giving your body time to adjust, and drink at least six to eight 8-oz. glasses of fluids a day.
  • Read the Nutrition Facts label on all packaged foods that claim to contain oat bran or wheat bran. Many of these products actually contain very little fiber and may also be high in sodium, calories and saturated or trans fat.

How to Avoid Fats in Diet

By now all of us know that excess of fats in our diet is harmfull for our health. In a pursuit of cutting down on fats we often take drastic measures like going on a crash diet or restricting our diets severely, which either results on severe health problems or binging. Instead of taking such measures which sound exciting but non implementable,here are a few easy tips to avoid ecess fats in our diet:
· Use skim or low fat varieties of all dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, cream, ice cream)
· Avoid all oils. If a recipe needs some oil/butter/ghee, use olive or canola oil in small quantity. Make a habit of brushing or spraying the oil in the pan instead of pouring.
· Use non-sticking utensils for cooking.
· First, heat the utensil, and then add (preferably spray) oil. A heated pan spreads the oil better.
· Substitute baking, barbecue or grill for frying, if possible.
· Look the labels on the food products carefully. Look for labels of low fat or reduced fat.
· Don't be carried away by the words 'No Cholesterol' on labels. Majority of vegetable products are cholesterol free. It is the fat content of the item, which matters.
· Avoid conventional fast foods. Salads, sandwiches, fresh fruits are best fast foods.
· When you go to a hotel, give instructions to add only very small quantities of oils for cooking.
· Eat only when you feel hungry.
· Avoid eating while watching TV. You eat a lot and you do not realize while watching TV.

Food Poisoning

Food poisoning happens when you eat or drink something that has been contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, viruses, or parasites. It can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, fever, cramps, nausea and, in some cases, very serious illness. People tend to get sickest from contaminated foods when their immune systems are not strong enough to protect them, as in the very young, the elderly, or those with suppressed immune systems.
So how do you avoid food poisoning? The key is to keep naturally occurring organisms from growing and multiplying in your food. Harmful organisms multiply when the conditions are favorable, such as when:
• Food is left out at room temperature beyond safe time limits.
• Leftovers are not stored properly.
• Food is eaten when past its expiration date.
• Foods are not cooked adequately.
• Raw foods contaminate other foods.
• Milk or juices are unpasteurized.
• Foods, such as produce, are not washed.
The following food poisoniong treatment or remedies are simple to follow and you can get quick relief:
1.Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in a cup of hot water before a meal to prevent acid indigestion.
2.Add three drops of garlic oil to half a cup of soya oil and rub onto the stomach after food.
3.Drink a herbal tea of mint, raspberry, camomile and blackberry.
4.Drink one cup of ginger tea after meals to promote a good digestion and for hearetburn, nausea, etc.
5.Eat some bread, says Julian Whitaker.Bread has a tendency to soak up the poison and can give you a quick relief.
6.Drink 2 tablespoons of undiluted apple cider vinegar (pasteurized).
7.Time is generally the best remedy. If you feel indigestion, or get sour burp, and/or loose motions, or for general stomach upsets, you can drink Jaljeera (a mixture of cumin, salt, asafetida and other herbs) 2-3 times. Let the poison get out of your body through vomitting or motions. First will throw poisonous foods and then water (Drink lots of water with sugar and salt). You should be alright in less than 24 hours. Start this treatment as soon as you start getting sour burps. You may drink mint essense (3-4 drops in water) after you eat in a restaurant or party or you have overeaten.
8.In most cases, the effective treatment is to lie down and drink plenty of bland fluids such as water, diluted fruit juice or light tea.

Note: it is important that you consult a doctor in case of food poisoning as it may become a serious health threat if neglected.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Importance Of Breakfast (II):
Breakfast Basics :
Imagine you are a car. After a long night of sleeping, your fuel tank is empty. Breakfast is the fuel that gets you going so you can hit the road. You need to provide enough new energy for your body to get started and to keep you functioning until lunch.
A six-year study compared the mental and physical efficiency of a group of adults throughout the day, some of who ate healthy nutritious breakfasts while others did not. When compared to those who ate breakfast, the people who did not became less efficient as the day went on. Their productivity improved after eating lunch, but by the end of the day their work completion was slower than those who had eaten breakfast.
For children, a good breakfast is even more important. Children who do not eat a good breakfast become tired in school and have shorter attention spans, especially late in the morning. In one study, test scores of children who did not eat breakfast were generally lower than those who had eaten a well-balanced morning meal. Another good reason to make sure that children have a balanced breakfast is that four out of five children do not get enough vitamins and minerals from lunch and dinner alone. By adding breakfast, children are more likely to get the vitamins and minerals they need. In addition, children who don't eat a good breakfast tend to eat more junk food during the day – snacks that are high in fat and sugar and low in nutritional value.
Breakfast Improves Academic Performance and Diet
Breakfast helps improve mental performance and concentration during morning activities. Children who skip breakfast will be more sluggish, less attentive and have less energy to carry out their morning tasks. Teachers observe that children who come to school hungry experience more learning difficulties compared to well-nourished children. Studies show that breakfast eaters perform much better in their schoolwork and show extra energy in sports and other physical activities. Besides assuring optimal development and growth, positive effects on alertness, attention, performance on standardized achievement tests and other skills important for academic success are enhanced for those who eat breakfast on a daily basis.
Some teens choose to skip breakfast as a means to lose weight. This is not a good way to lose weight.
It makes people more likely to snack throughout the day and eat a larger meal at lunch and dinner. As a result, skipping breakfast may cause weight gain by making them eat excessively later in the day.
High-fibre, carbohydrate-rich breakfasts help kids feel full longer thus they may snack less.
Be Creative With Your Breakfast Choices
It's easy to squeeze a good breakfast in, even if your child isn't that hungry. First, have your child drink a glass of liquid, such as water or orange juice. This will help increase her appetite. If she is not used to eating breakfast, you can start by having her eat a small amount at first and then have the rest of the meal mid-morning. As your child gets used to eating breakfast, slowly increase the amount of food she eats in the early morning.
A good breakfast should include nutritious foods from three of the four food groups. Whole-grain bread or cereal, fruit, milk, yogurt or eggs are good breakfast options. For children older than two years, 1% low-fat milk or non-fat milk is a good beverage to include with breakfast. If your child doesn't enjoy the types of foods generally associated with breakfast, consider a sandwich or a serving of leftovers that may appeal to her more.
Some foods might surprise you. For example, many toaster waffles are actually quite low in fat. Top them with some fresh fruit, add a glass of low-fat milk and you have a quick and easy breakfast that combines good taste and good nutrition.
The point of breakfast is to feed your child's body the protein and energy it needs to start the day and to carry her through to lunch. Of course, children often learn most by example, so it's important for parents to set a good example and have a nutritious breakfast each day too.
Suggestions To Get Your Children To Eat Breakfast Each Morning:
Offer variety. Mixing a variety of healthy cereals, especially those that are lower in sugar, are a good source of carbohydrate and fibre for children. In addition, skim or 1% milk supplies needed calcium and protein.
Make it easy. If pressed for time in the morning, try cutting up fruit the night before, so it's ready to add to cereal or yogurt.
Be creative. Breakfast does not have to be limited to cereal or toast. A whole-wheat English muffin with mozzarella and tomato sauce or an omelet with vegetables may seem unconventional to parents, but if a child enjoys it, it can be a healthy choice.
Don't Have Time for Breakfast?
If pressed for time in the morning, try cutting up fruit the night before, so it's ready to add to cereal or yogurt.
Try these timesaving tips: Text Color
Keep convenient foods on hand, such as yogurt, fruit, cheese, instant oatmeal and whole-grain bread.
Have your child eat ‘breakfast-to-go' on the bus, in the car, or while walking to school.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Importance of Breakfast (I) :
Fuel Up and Start the Day Right:
Consider all the times you remember being encouraged to eat breakfast — especially by the master-of-all-things-sensible: mom. With breaking news about nutrition available every day through the media, it may be difficult to believe that health professionals are still trying to help the public to master "the basics." Often overlooked, yet key to preventing many commonly seen health problems, are the commonsense principles upon which a healthy, balanced eating pattern rests.
Enter breakfast. If asked, most people would acknowledge that eating something in the morning is a good idea. Yet, nearly one-fifth of adults don't eat at all in the morning. Many of those who do eat breakfast could stand to improve on their choices. According to Foodwatch, a Minnesota-based consulting firm that monitors food trends, the number of people eating "dessert for breakfast" — mainly refined carbohydrates — is on the rise.
A classic excuse for skipping breakfast is often about dieting. People feel that by ignoring the first meal of the day, they are reducing their caloric intake and promoting weight loss. A vicious cycle is started to eat a larger meal toward the end of the day and actually not be hungry for breakfast the next morning. Our body loves to be fueled often to perform well.People, who claim they are cutting calories by skipping breakfast, also are the very same people who are found snacking later in the day and fighting the low energy battle in the late afternoon and evening. Breakfast was designed to rev up your body for the rest of the day by boosting your energy, keeping your eating patterns even and stimulating your body's metabolism. No wonder those who skip breakfast are constantly in the "focus on weight loss" mode.
Along with this, comes the lament that by eating breakfast, hunger pains are felt throughout the day. This warrants a closer look at other eating habits. Are the types of carbohydrates chosen to
start the day simple or complex carbohydrates? Foods high in sugar, even the "natural" fruit sugar will raise blood sugar levels quickly and trigger hunger and sleepiness a few hours later. Your body still may be hungry from not getting enough fuel 24 hours ago and just responding to the feast or famine cycle of the day before.
Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas:
  • Carry a container filled with whole grain cereal to work and top with soy milk (in juice box container).
  • Have 1 piece of any seasonal fruit.
  • Combine low-fat or non-fat yogurt with fruit and cereal.
  • Have low fat paneer paratha with mint chutney or curds.
  • Blend fruit, milk and yogurt for a breakfast smoothie.
  • Roll up a plain roti with scrambled Egg and tomato ketchup.
  • Have leftovers: last nights spinach rice or paneer bhurji with brown bread