Salads are popularly known as the dieter’s delight. Unfortunately a lot of salads that are often promoted as healthy might not be as healthy as they appear. Infact sometimes might even carry double the amount of calories than a bowl of pasta! Its very easy to add calories to a dish but how do you make it equally easy to reduce them.
The secret to the calorie count of every salad is in the sauce. Four signs that make salad fattening are : creamy dressing, red meat like bacon toppings, oily dressings and lastly cheese. Your next question would be how to choose a healthy salad from the menu without compromising on the flavour of it. We have a few answers explained for you right here:
Combine fruits with vegetables for that extra flavour: Fruits contain natural sugar that adds flavour without burdening the salad with extra calories. It is also the best substitute for artificial sugar. Citrus fruits can be added to enhance the flavour and give it a tangy taste for more variety. Both fresh fruits and dried fruits add flavour, texture and nutritional benefit to the salad. This combination adds antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals to your diet. Besides the reduced calories your body is getting the best of nutrition packed in one meal! Read more
Figs can be eaten either fresh or dry and has a sweet taste and variety of health benefits that it provides. Though in India fresh Figs are not easily available but can be found in the form of dry fruits popularly known as Anjeer. The high amount of calcium, iron and potassium present in it along with the high amount of fiber and low fat makes it a healthy food to include in your diet which can be eaten alone or mixed in yogurt, salad and toppings on cereals and oatmeal.
Figs are nutritious but do they help in weight loss ? Should one eat figs regularly if you are trying to lose weight. Lately figs are fast becoming popular with nutritionists that are recommending it as a part of weight loss diets. Let us help you understand why it might not be the healthiest weight loss food option.
Lets start with understanding the calorie and nutrition content of figs. Figs are rich in Vitamins A, B1 and B2, manganese and potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus. The high levels of potassium and low sodium helps people with hypertension. High calcium levels present in figs promote bone health. High mucilage content in figs, helps to heal and protect sore throats. Figs also contain beta-carotene as well as benzaldehyde (anti-cancer compound), flavonoids and a digestive enzyme called ficin.
Dried figs provide higher amount of calories than fresh figs and around 100gms provide 220 calories approx. Though it is recommended to be eaten in moderations but its sweet taste and pulp makes it addictive making you eat more than actually required. Other than the calories figs are sweet and have a medium glycemic index of 61 and a glycemic load of 16 which is high.
The high glycemic load (GL) of figs makes the blood sugar levels rise as dried figs quickly release high level of sugar in the body which may not be helpful for people on weight loss and people suffering from type 2 diabetes. The high amount of fiber and high glycemic load makes the body feel satisfied. The GL provides energy and makes you feel fuller longer making you crave less food. This might make you miss out on a balanced diet which is essential to regulate the metabolism in the body.
Besides it high glycemic load figs have other benefits also. The high fiber content improves digestion and benefits people with constipation. The fiber helps in throwing away the toxins out of the body. They have anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidants present in them fights diseases and cancer in the body. They help regulate blood sugar levels and reduces cholesterol in the body.
Foods that are sweet and provide quick energy should be eaten early in the day so that the energy released by them can be burnt in the day itself. Also figs are recommended to people who have iron deficiency. Every diet especially available online is very generic and might not be applicable to you. You need a diet plan that is customized to your lifestyle, eating habits and medical conditions. Its important to get professional consultancy from a qualified fitness expert before you start any diet plan.
Antioxidant is another very freely used terms by promoters of wellness, nutritionists and healthy living. What do you really mean by antioxidants and why does our body need them. Lets start from the beginning. Oxygen is the prime ingredient for our body’s metabolism. It is this the process that changes food into the fuel for our body to continue living. While our food is digested with the help of oxygen it releases certain oxidized particles in the body which are also commonly known as free radicals. These free radicals are potentially dangerous and cause cellular damage that can lead to serious diseases like cancer, heart problems, aging etc.
Free radicals are not only created by regular metabolism of food in the system. Factors like pollution, smoking, over exposure to the sun, high cholesterol food further aggregation the production of the free radicals in our body.Therefore it becomes imperative to use enzymes that neutralize the effect caused by free radicals in our body. Antioxidants are the most powerful and effective molecules that help control and destroy these free radicals in the body. Our body naturally has tendency of producing antioxidants but with age, lower immunity system begins to diminish. Fortunately there are many natural resources of antioxidants available in the form of vitamins and minerals. Fruits, nuts, spices and vegetables are the best and most easily available resources. You can reduce free radicals in your body by adding these food groups to your diet.
Here is a list of some food Sources rich in antioxidants
Zinc – Nuts, chicken, beans like kidney beans, chickpea, cashew nut, oats, seafood (mildly)
Selenium – Nuts, chicken, fish, wheat flour,
Phytoestrogens – Soya, flax seeds, nuts,
Probiotic – Yogurt
Spices: Turmeric, cinnamon
Eat a fruit every time you have a growling stomach. Its the healthiest substitute for a snack as it is packed with nutrition and can actually boost your metabolism. There are variety of fruits present through out the year offering loads of nutrition packed in different flavors. Binging on fruits is specially helpful when you are trying to lose weight or are on a weight loss diet. Seasonal fruits then become an ideal in-between meal snacks. Fruits contain phyto-chemicals and antioxidants help fight free radicals and diseases in the body.
Regular consumption of fruits promote healthy heart health reducing the chances of cardiac problems, lower blood pressure and keeps cholesterol in check. The vitamins and mineral quality of fruits can’t be replaced with supplements as it is a natural source and gets absorbed by the body easily. Summers offer a range of fruits which are full of taste, colour and nutrition. Add 1-2 fruits in your diet and experience the change.
Some Summer Seasonal Fruits
Water Melon: Eating 100 gms would add just 20 calories to your diet. Though it is sweet but the high amount of water and fiber lessen the calories present in it. It is refreshing and reduces body temperature, blood pressure, inflammation and many other health conditions. It has the highest concentration of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant which improves heart health. It contains vitamin, A,C and B and minerals like potassium, calcium and is fat free. Enjoy its juice or eat raw in salads.
Mangoes: 65 calories is what it provides for 100 gms. You could eat a small sized mango before a workout as it is high is carbohydrates but with a low glycemic index. vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium along with phenolic compounds are present in mangoes. It is rich in minerals and has high anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory properties. Check the portion control while eating mangoes for weight loss.
Plum: 52 calories Potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous are minerals present in plum along with Vitamin A, E and c. It provides 55-60 calories per 100 gms though consume 2 fruits. It is high in fiber and boost immunity and protects against cancer. It is a healthy fruits.
Jamun/Jambul: High in vitamins and minerals like iron, manganese, zinc, calcium, sodium and potassium. It contains antioxidants like Tannic acid, Gallic acid and oxalic acids along with alkonoids. It is beneficial for diabetics and eating 100 gms adds 60 calories approx.
Musk Melon: Eating a cup of muskmelon will add 50-55 calories with lots of fiber and carbs for energy. It is rich in vitamin A, B and C along with potassium, magnesium and sodium. Improves constipation problem. It has anti-oxidation properties and improves metabolism.
Gone are the days of bulking up and looking like Arnold schwarzenegger. Now Edward Pattison’s (Star of the twilight Series) body is the new rage. Getting lean and having the definition is still not as easy as it sounds. In fact it is still more difficult to get lean than bulk up. People and bodybuilders usally eat meats as protein sources to bulk up. Unfortunately there are very few natural ways of getting lean. One which is often forgotten due to the quest for a bigger body is the importance of vegetables in the diet. Vegetables are low in calories and full of vitamins and minerals and fiber for better digestion . Besides this they also help develop leaner and strong muscles due to the high quality nutrients present in them.
Vegetables have very little fat in them which is crtical for reducing body fat to achieve the lean muscular look. Vegetables like cabbage, spinach and parsley are rich source of glutamine which is an amino acid which is the building block of protein and helps build more muscle mass, promoting digestion and tissue repair. The vitamins and minerals with antioxidants reduce inflammation in the body and boost immunity.
Vegetables also boosts muscle growth in older men also as the mitocondria activity in the cells provide more energy to the muscle to perform longer and with power. Doing adeqate resistance exercise with healthy diet will keep them stronger and in better shape reducing chances of injury.
A new study in the February issue of Cell Metabolism traces that improved performance to increased efficiency of the mitochondria that power our cells. The study suggests that foods that contain nitrates make your mitochondria work better and are known as power plants of the cells. Green vegetables are rich in nitrates that boost mitochondria activity giving us more energy during workouts for building leaner and bigger muscles. Good sources for green vegetables are spinach, parsley, kale, asparagus or other green leafy vegetables.
Add a bowl or two of vegetables for better metabolism of nutrients and higher level of energy for building lean muscles. Vegetables are fat free and low in calories reduce the fat percentage in the body giving you a ripped body. Fiber in vegetables keeps you fuller so that you don’t indulge in munching in between meals and avoiding eating extra calories for any storage.
You’ve heard that tea is good for health. So, many people drink tea any its variations instead of carbonated drinks, etc. Now tea variations are like iced tea, green tea, black tea, milk tea, etc. Some are healthy, some are not. We’ll tell you which ones to go for between iced tea and green tea.
Iced Tea is a popular choice as a daily beverage for refreshment. But most iced tea options contain Read more
Higher fat at breakfast may be healthier than you think, concludes a new University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) study. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, insulin resistance and other cardiovascular disease-risk factors. Read more to know how to prevent metabolic syndrome by eating breakfast.
Want to shed those extra pounds but still eat your favorite junk foods? Well, drinking tea could be the solution. Researchers at Kobe University, Japan found that regular consumption of tea also suppressed damaging changes in the blood linked to fatty foods that can lead to type 2 diabetes. Read more to know how Read more
Fruits are primarily sugar by weight. Sugar has a bad health rap, some people wonder if fruits are on the approved list? But the natural sugars in fruits is not bad. The glycemic index of most fruits is quite low and they can actually help you lose weight. The fiber and water content in those fruits will keep you feeling full for longer, which will cut down on cravings.
The antioxidants found in fruits strengthen the body’s immune system. Studies have shown that diets rich in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Fruits provide essential vitamins and minerals, fibre and other substances that are important for good health and looking good. Fruit rich diet will also keep your skin glowing.
These benefits outweigh the sugar carbohydrates in fruits and we recommend eating at least 2 fruits a day. Did you know apples reduce risk of cancer, and guavas are loaded with Vitamin C for body immunity.
Now that we’re clear that fruits are healthy, but are fruit juices healthy? Processed juices are often loaded with sugar to make them taste better, have preservatives for longer shelf life and and don’t have most of the fruit fiber. Fresh fruit juices are slightly better since they don’t have preservatives and might have more fiber, but we definitely recommend eating the whole fruit for maximum benefit.
Weight loss tip: Replace your dessert with fruit to lose weight!
Ever scolded kids for eating too much ketchup? Well it turns out, that eating ketchup can actually be healthy. It’s the Lycopene, you see.
Lycopene is the nutrient that makes tomatoes and ketchup red. Diets rich in lycopene actually reduces chances of heart diseases and even cancer. And the poor ketchup is among the richest sources of lycopene. In fact, lycopene is a stronger antioxidant that beta carotene. Diets rich in lycopene are associated with lowering the risks of various sorts of cancer, especially skin, prostrate and digestive tract.
According to a study at Harvard University, women with the lowest heart disease risk averaged about 10 milligrams or more of lycopene a day, that is the equivalent of half a cup of tomato ketchup daily.
The other benefits of ketchup due to lycopene include reduction of cholesterol, reduction in risk of developing diabetes, reduces risk of gum diseases, reduces osteoporosis, reduces risk of cataracts, increases male fertility and has anti aging benefits.
Cooked tomatoes contain a higher lycopene content than raw tomatoes. In fact tests show that lycopene is more readily absorbed into the body when it is processed into a sauce or paste or simply cooked.
All ketchup brands are not created equal and they can be high in sodium and sugar content, so we suggest that you make the right choice to make the most of this tasty, popular sauce.
Are you trying not to gain weight, and do you drink fruit smoothies, because you think they are healthy? Well, watch out!
Many fruit smoothies contain added sugars and high-fructose corn syrup and are so high in calories, that they sabotage your diet, than help you lose weight. The key here really is in the ingredients. Check if the fruit smoothie contains added sugar, or syrup. Many fruit flavourings added to smoothie are loaded with sugar, so they seem healthy, but they’re really not. They syrups, flavouring and added sugar really pack on the calories and promote fat storage.
A healthy smoothie should be made from fruit, instead of fruit concentrate (since that contains added sugar) and made with plain yogurt instead of ice cream or frozen yoghurt will contain nearly half the calories and significantly less sugar. And, it will provide all of the calcium, vitamin and antioxidant capacity that a smoothie is supposed to have.
Need a great breakfast, mid day snack, or a post workout shake?
Here it is: Take 6-8 strawberries, 1 ripe banana, 2 cups plain low fat yoghurt, 1/2 cup crushed ice, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp vanilla essence and blend it all in a food processor. This makes 3-4 servings.
This shake is loaded with fiber, protein and good carbohydrates to keep you going for longer, besides all the vitamins and antioxidants from the fruits and honey. Each serving of this smoothie should be about 60-80 calories. This smoothie also has a medium glycemic index.
So, make yourself this smoothie and enjoy it knowing that its good for you This strawberry smoothie is a great post workout snack!
To make this a weight gain smoothie, swap the yoghurt with vanilla ice cream. Don’t worry, ice cream can be healthy.
As the Indian summer is going away, apples are in season (as is running- you do know about the Delhi Half Marathon right?). Apples are delicious fruits and they provide a whole lot of nutrition. We’ve all heard that apples are good for you. Lets find out how.
First, they’re loaded with fiber- both soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber helps to reduce your bad cholesterol, and the insoluble fiber keeps you regular. The fiber keeps you feeling full for longer, so apples are a great snack for people trying to lose weight.
Besides that, they provide a rich dose of vitamin C, which boosts the body’s immune system. Apples are also loaded with flavanoids and antioxidants that reduce free radical damage in your body (free radical damage can cause premature aging of skin, cancer, etc). Multiple studies have linked regular apple consumption to lowering heart risk disease and cancer.
Maybe there is truth to the old adage- an apple a day, keeps the doctor away.
With the Navratras, the festive season kicks off- Eid, Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali, the list goes on. With all the celebrations, comes a truck load of fried food and sweets. With all the extra calories, it’s not surprising that this is when people put on the most weight. With the festive season any diet caution goes for a toss. Add to this the social gatherings, all the alcohol, the late night snacking, etc.
So, here’s a list of things to do this festive season to enjoy it and still not derail your health and gain all that unwanted weight:
1. Be picky- Don’t eat because you’re being offered. Friends and family will try to force feed you, but be firm with them. If you must for courtesy, then eat a small portion.
2. Indulge in the healthy sweets- We have a guide to the healthiest Indian sweets. Sandesh is a healthy option – since it is dairy based and is steamed. There are many low sugar desserts also available. We don’t suggest desserts with artificial sweeteners since there long term use might be associated with side effects.
3. Portion Control- Part of the celebration is to enjoy all the sweets and the fried food. So, indulge but control the portions. Also, try to balance it with eating fruits and other lower calorie foods. Even with healthy sweets, the calories can add up. One large cup of Kheer can range from 300-500 calories. Halwa/Laddoos are even more calorie loaded for the same serving size, since they have higher fat content.
4. Make time for exercise- Celebration shouldn’t mean not getting exercise. Take out at least 30 minutes for your exercise- go for a run, hit the gym, play a sport, do some yoga or just squeeze out a bunch of push-ups and squats at home.
5. Drink lots of water- Often our body mistakes thirst for hunger. When you’re craving a snack and you shouldn’t be, drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. If you’re still hungry, go ahead and feed yourself sensibly.
6. Take it easy on the alcohol- Besides being loaded with calories, it promotes fat storage in the body. So, its double damage- you’re consuming more calories and storing more fat.
7. Eat your green vegetables- Your mom was right! Green vegetables loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients and fiber, which helps to keep you full for longer.
8. Be Active- If you like Dandiya, dance away the night. Dancing burns a lot of calories. Vigorous dancing can burn up to 350 calories per hour, so burn that belly fat and have fun while you’re at it.
Use this festive season fitness guide and enjoy the festive season!
What do you do to get beautiful? Splurge on high-end beauty products? Or simply get a cosmetic surgery done? I have something simpler for you- buy groceries that make you beautiful. Yes, these are essential products can help you not just be healthier, but look more attractive too. And this beauty isn’t just skin deep
Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, hazelnut for the vitamin E dose to internally keep your skin hydrated and protect it from damage and early aging.
Fruits: Pomegranate, blueberries, avocado and citrus fruits. These fruits have great antioxidant capacity that translate to wonderful and healthy skin. Just a bit of lime juice squeezed on your salad will not only give that tangy taste but will also give you spurt of instant energy leaving you feeling fresh!
Yogurt & Cottage Cheese: Also know as the radiant protein works wonder on your skin. Apart from calcium, cottage cheese supplies your body with selenium, an essential mineral. Low fat dairy products in general are full of vitamin A and work magically on your skin. If you have a thyroid problem or diabetes that’s even more reason to stock up!
Vegetables: Spinach, beans, broccoli are high in vitamin A as they have antioxidant properties and help in development and maintenance of epithelial cell (also the outer lining of the skin)
Water: Good hydration is your skin’s best friend. When we say water we mean water in its purest form and not in soups, juices or soda. So ensure that you’re getting at least 8 glasses down your system.
Flaxseed: For the omega 3 punch. They are tasteless and can be sprinkled on your breakfast cereal, in a sandwich, your protein shake. Now, that’s easy
Fish: Your skin needs essential fatty acids and oils that will help nourish your skin. They add luster and softness to your complexion.
Sexy Spices: Spices and herbs are inherently anti-aging. Finally something that’s always there on an Indian menu!
With this list of beautiful foods you can give your fridge and your skin a beautiful makeover and get that glow without trying too hard!
Don’t know where to buy these exotic fruits and vegetables? Check out our post on where to buy beautiful groceries.
If you’ve got some sweet cravings, try this for complete sensory satisfaction.
Ingredients: 1 slice multigrain bread, 1 tbsp honey, half banana, 1 tbsp peanut butter.
Note: All these ingredients are Fitho recommended foods.
Toast the bread, spread the peanut butter on it. Slice the banana and place it on the toast. Drizzle it with the honey.
It is just delicious, supremely satisfying and healthy. The sweetness of honey and banana will fix your sweet tooth. The peanut butter will make it decadent and the unsaturated fat (healthy fat) will keep you feeling full longer. As will the fiber and protein from the multigrain bread. Besides those, this dish is loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. It will also give you long lasting energy. Great snack to power a long workout (have it 45 minutes before your workout)
As you bite into it, its a sensory overload. Make yourself one and slowly savour the taste.