Corn has always been in news as the enemy of the dieters. Is it really as unhealthy as they speak of it to be? Let us understand what makes corn healthy or unhealthy and what is the best form to consume it in.
Corn can be eaten boiled, steamed or grilled and is highly nutritious in its natural form. It provides instant energy for the body as it is high in carbohydrates and its high amount of fiber provides a healthy digestive system. It is low in fat and it also tastes goods to eat it regularly alone or in combination of fruits, vegetables, cereals etc. It has anti-oxidation properties along with flavnoids, carotenes which helps it fight diseases and free radicals. Corn is rich in phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, iron and selenium. Corn is a good source of vitamins B1, B5, C, and E, as well as phosphorus.
Though eating corn in its natural form is healthier than eating it in some of its other processed products like corn syrup, fructose which are alternate substitute for sugar.
Another popular way of eating corn is as breakfast cereal made by combining milled corn with sugar. The major ingredients include milled corn, sugar, iron, high fructose corn syrup and vitamins (A, B, C, D, and E). Cornflakes are high in glycemic index which quickly converts the sugar into energy which increases the blood sugar levels in the body and therefore not a healthy breakfast option, especially for those that need to control/manage their blood sugar.
Corn syrup is made from corn which is sweeter than sugar and is digested in our body in an unhealthy manner and is fattening in the body when consumed. This corn syrup is cheap in cost and sweeter so it is used in various commercial products like chewing gums, toffees, cadies, baked products, indian sweets, cheap tomato ketchup, sweetened soda’s and beverages and drinks. It is highly substitued for sugar and is often used in baked products to maintain the moisture and keeps products fresher for longer periods.
Consuming corn in its natural form is healthy but high fructose corn syrup used products don’t provide the same health benefits as corn kernals as its constitution and nutrition value changes. Read nutritional value to know the form of corn used as it can hamper your weight loss and have not so healthy benefits on the body.
We have always emphasized on breakfast being the most important meal of the day. Healthy breakfast not only nourishes the body but also is very effective for weight loss. Some people eat unhealthy breakfast which not only adds empty calories but depletes the body of daily nutrition intake. Eating junk food, deep fried, fattening foods will only promote weight gain and keep you feeling heavy and sluggishness all through the day. Let us pin point some of the not so healthy breakfast options that are eaten by most of us and at times even considered healthy.
Corn Toast with cheese: The corn and cheese toast is made of a white sauce batter that has corn and cheese added to it. The white sauce batter is made out of white flour and contains no nutrition, while corn is nothing but starch. Mostly white bread is used as the base of this toast which is again an unhealthy option.
Parantha: Many people have a habit of eating paranthas for breakfast Read more
Wrong posture or over working the muscle can causes inflammation in the tissues causing pain, redness, swelling and stiffness. Inflammation can happen in any patrt of your body from your toes, legs, joints to the neck, eyes etc.
People who play sports, workout in the gym or general physical exertion can result in inflammation where the body starts to fight the wear and tear of the tissues of excess exercition causing inflammation in the area.
Too much of fat in the body, sugar, protein and dehydration can increase inflammation in the body. Stress and lack of sleep also cause inflammation in the body which can lead to aging and developing diseases. Diseases causes by severe inflammation may not get perceived by the body and grows in the body without much of physical pain.
The following foods can help to reduce inflammation Read more
You have a good appetite and probably binge regularly to keep your cravings at bay. Constant urge to binge is the biggest problem that sets us back with weight loss. Eating less or portion control gives us the feeling of non-satisfaction. You might eat three slices of bread, but your body still makes you crave 2 more. This habit of eating more than our daily requirement makes us consume more calories than is required. This obviously results in weight gain and thus begins the quest for a quick solution in form of a fad diet to get rid of the extra weight fast.
Research has shown that exerting too much self-control on food makes people more likely to behave aggressively toward others, and people on diets are known to be more irritable than otherwise. You become very sensitive to your diet over a period of time and sudden changes makes you react increasingly when you are not satisfied with your food. So, choosing the Weight Loss Program is very important.
Doing this can be a challenge if you go with a standard weight loss program that is not made according to your lifestyle, routines, habits and medical issues. It can make you stressed, angry, unsatisfied and irritated. Low satisfaction also results in decrease in efficiency levels.
Also, most often you don’t lose weight you maybe following a diet plan. Don’t blame yourself, since the body responds to what is right for it. Your not being able to lose weight is because it might your weight loss program might not be setup correctly. Here are tips to check when looking for the Best Weight Loss Program:
Diet + Exercise: Weight loss is most effective when the program consists of a combination of diet and exercise. Metabolizing the nutrition is important and is not possible with out workouts.
Lifestyle: There are multiple options for nutritious food but many of us are bound by our eating habits, availability of foods, choices etc. Diet and exercise plan made on our lifestyle will have best results and you will follow it easily as the nutrition suggested will be from your current diet.
Body Psychology: The body has its own psychology and takes time to adapt to new diet program. A good diet plan will gradually push you from your current diet to the best nutritious diet suitable for you. Body takes time to adjust especially if you seldom change your diet.
Medical Conditions: There are many medical conditions that can affect your weight. A good weight loss plan takes all those medical conditions into consideration. People with diabetes and hypothyroid weight loss have different diet requirements altogether. Similarly new mothers looking to lose weight after pregnancy or PCOS have different requirements. There are many other medical conditions that affect your diet and exercise… For best weight loss results, the right weight loss plan should cover your medical conditions in details
Personalized: You should have an expert health manager dedicated to understanding your needs and supporting you always. Support of a expert when on a weight loss program is what most programs lack. Look out for a diet program that offer dedicated, expert support till the time you are on the plan. This expert can help you inculcate the good habits while you lose weight and also answer all your queries and questions that will help you ease into a healthier lifestyle change smoothly.
Flexibility: Traveling, social obligations like weddings, parties, dinners, lunches etc always come in the way of progress. These situations are a part of everyone’s lifestyle and impossible to avoid. An effective weight loss program is flexible enough that travels with you and helps you stick to your program no matter what the social commitment is.
Easy & Adaptable: A good weight loss program should be easy to follow and you should be able to adapt it into your lifestyle easily.
Long Term Results: A good program because of the ease, adaptability & customization to your life, helps you lose weight while your on the program, as well as helps you keep the weight off!
Pizza is generally not the healthiest food around, but we all love pizza, and are definitely going to eat it.
If you’re going to eat pizza, why not make the right choices, so you can enjoy your pizza and not feel guilty about eating unhealthy!
Most people focus on diet to manage diabetes. But to really manage diabetes well, you need a proper diabetes management plan that focuses both on diet and exercise. We’ve already told you how to manage your diet with diabetes. Here, you can see the benefits of exercise to help you manage diabetes.
Glucose is metabolized better in the body, when you exercise. More glucose is forced out of the blood stream and into the cells where it is used for producing more energy. Exercise increases the body’s efficiency, because it increases the tissue sensitivity to insulin in patients suffering from Type-2 Diabetes. When you are exercising, your muscles are in use, so they use up more blood glucose, helping to reduce blood sugar levels.
See how exercise helps in lower blood sugar levels:
- You lose calories when you exercise which helps in weight loss, and helps improve insulin sensitivity.
- Exercise will increase the circulation of blood in your arms and legs, the problem area with diabetics.
- Exercises helps in increasing HDL (good cholesterol) which helps in reducing the bad cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart attacks.
So, try to manage your diabetes effectively. If you need help, Fitho provides a great diabetes management plan. See how we helped Suresh get rid of his diabetes, and now he looks 10 years younger.
People with diabetes are required to manage their bloog sugar levels. So, many diabetics watch out for sugar in their diet,
but is that enough? We have a list of foods besides sugar that could be equally harmful for diabetics, because they have a high Glycemic Index. Foods with high Glycemic Index increase blood glucose levels. For non-diabetic people, when your blood glucose level rises, your body produces insulin to reduce the increased blood glucose levels. People with diabetes are not able to produce enough insulin to reduce blood sugar levels. As a result of this, its important for them to avoid foods with high Glycemic Index.
So, what are the foods that diabetics must watch out for, besides sugar and sugar based foods? Let’s find out…
Dates: It sounds like a healthy fruit, but it has a Glycemic Index of 103 (sugar has a glycemic index of 68!).
Corn Flakes: Mistaken to be healthy, this breakfast cereal has a high Glycemic Index of 87. Often, HFCS is used in corn flakes, that has been linked to obesity- read more about corn flakes.
White bread: We’ve warned you before about how white bread is your weight loss enemy. Besides having a high Glycemic Index of 73, this food has truly no nutrition besides empty calories.
Biscuits/Cookies: Another food that is often mistaken to be healthy, besides the fact that biscuits can promote weight gain, the primary ingredients are refined flour and sugar, both of which have a high Glycemic Index, so it raises your blood sugar significantly. Definitely a no-no food for diabetics
Packaged fruit juices: The Glycemic Index of most fruits fall into the low or medium category, which is acceptable, but packaged fruit juices are not good for diabetics. Most packaged fruit juices have added sugar. Even without the added sugar, many fruit juices have a high Glycemic Index. Find the Fitho choice of healthiest orange juice and healthiest mango drinks.
Our list of surprising no-no foods for diabetics is not over yet. Part 2 of this series, for the complete list of danger foods for diabetics, including the one that’s advertised as a health food!
Did you know that any brown coloured bread, can be called Brown Bread? It could be white bread, coloured with molasses or brown sugar that can also be called brown bread. So, on the face of it, don’t assume that all ‘brown bread’ is healthy. So, is wheat Bread healthy? Read below …
Well, any bread can be called Wheat Bread. Most of the bread available in the market uses wheat as its ingredient. so any bread using wheat as its ingredient, can be called wheat bread. Similarly, any bread can be called whole wheat bread, since whole wheat can be one of the ingredients
So, how do you know, what is real ‘whole wheat bread’? Check the ingredient listing. Ingredients are listed in order of decreasing weight- The first ingredient should be ‘whole wheat’ or a whole grain. That shows that whole wheat is the primary ingredient of the bread.
Why you should eat whole wheat bread, or multi-grain bread over white bread? The basic reason is that white bread is made from refined flour (maida), so it has a high Glycemic Index, which means that it basically acts as sugar in your body. And we’ve told you how sugar makes you fat. Basically, white bread is bad for anyone trying to eat healthy, lose weight, or diabetics (people who need to control their blood glucose level). Also, whole wheat bread or mutligrain bread uses the whole grain, so it has a higher fiber content, more protein and vitamins.
So, is whole wheat bread great for you? No, because whole wheat bread does not have a low Glycemic Index. Its better than white bread, so its a healthier alternative, but no green tea health food
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!
Ice Cream, the classic dessert, get a bad rap for being unhealthy since its loaded with fat and calories. But fat and calories should not be the only factors to test healthiness of food. There are plenty of other factors like nutrients like carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, protein and last but not the least Glycemic Index that affect the health value of food.
Ice cream for example uses milk as one of its ingredients. Studies have shown that three daily servings of dairy can reduce belly fat. Since ice cream contains a high amount of fat, it slows absorption into the digestive system. As a result of this, it is more satiating than other desserts and keeps you satisfied for longer. Also, as a result of high fat content, it has a relatively low Glycemic Index for desserts- Due to this lower GI, it does not spike your blood sugar. High GI foods can promote fat storage in the body.
As we stated in the first line, ice cream is high on fat and calories, so watch your portions. Our suggestion is to go for low fat ice cream, not fat free, since fat free ice cream will have a high GI. As for the toppings, skip the sugar, saucy stuff. If you must, add a few nuts or fruits, since they’re loaded with goodness.
Since ice cream is not as unhealthy and is loaded with calories, it is used on many weight gain diets!
In India, there is a common notion that biscuits are healthy food. Many people eat them as a part of their weight loss diet. But the truth is that they’re really not that healthy. Read on to find out more.
The primary ingredients for biscuits are refined flour and sugar. Both sugar and refined flour are simple carbohydrates. When you consume these, it spikes your blood sugar level, and promotes fat storage in your body.
Since eating biscuits can spike your blood sugar, its not good for diabetics either. Biscuits are also loaded with fat used in the cooking process, so its adds up the calories and fat.
If you want a healthy snack, try healthy smoothies – Choco PB Smoothie and Strawberry Smoothie, or this delicious dessert. You can even eat Almonds- loaded with protein, antioxidants, vitamins and healthy fats.
So, the next time someone offers biscuits as a weight loss food, feel free to enlighten them about the unhealthy side of bisuits
Samosas are the ultimate moral war in the unhealthy world of Indian snacks. They are irresistible, but so unhealthy. If only there could be healthy samosas, life for many would be easy.
Well, we have some good news- a recipe for you to make healthy samosas. We still haven’t found a place where you can get healthy samosas, but we can tell you how to make them healthier.
The maida (refined flour) used for the crust acts inside your body the same way sugar would. It has a high glycemic index, so it spikes your blood sugar, and promotes fat storage. Read here for details. So, you know, even samosas are not sweet, they’re not good for diabetics.
Then, the samosa is deep fried, so the outer crust absorbs all the oil and gets loaded with calories. To further drop its health quotient, the unhealthy samosa is stuffed with potatoes that are cooked in oil and fat!
But worry not, Fitho is here to your rescue. Make the following three swaps in the samosa recipe, and your samosas will be much healthier.
- In the dough, instead of using only maida (refined flour), mix in equal amounts of atta (whole wheat flour). So, the samosa will still retain its flaky and crisp crust, but will have more fiber, protein and vitamins.
- Instead of deep frying them, bake them in an oven. This saves all the calories and your heart from all that saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Instead of the same potato stuffing, use other veggies like peas, carrot, cauliflower. You can even stuff them with any kind of cooked meat, and turn up their protein content.
So, make these swaps in your samosa recipe, and load up on these samosas! Get more healthy recipes here.
The title says it all- white bread is not on your side in the war against fat, health, diabetes. If anything it promote fat storage, and diabetic tendencies. Read on to find out.
White bread is made from refined wheat flour (maida) which gives it a high content of simple carbohydrates. Then, it contains added sugar to improve flavour, further increasing the simple carbohydrate content. To top it, many people add a layer of sugar laden jam to their white bread- completely loading their snack with simple carbohydrates. These simple carbohydrates (carbs with high GI- read more here) promote fat storage in the body. There are also theories that also link consumption of excess sugar to suppression of the immune system.
So, you should really watch your white bread consumption. People with high blood sugar (diabetes) or those trying to get in shape, you should completely avoid white bread. Due to the high glycemic index of white bread, the glucose level in your blood spikes, that leads to fat storage and an increase in the production of insulin to compensate.
Wheat bread is a great alternative to white bread- it provides you with long lasting energy from the complex carbohydrates, more soluble fiber which helps to cleanse your arteries of the plaque choking them and does not promote fat storage in the body. So, give wheat bread a shot!
Traditionally, when people think of breakfast cereal, they think of corn flakes and milk. Yes, breakfast is good for you. But what is odd, is the association of corn flakes with healthy food. Many people eat corn flakes to lose weight or reduce harmful belly fat.
The base ingredient is corn, but along with that the other major ingredient are sugar, malt flavouring, and high fructose corn syrup. All these ingredients have a high content of high GI carbohydrates. In fact, there is a huge controversy linked to the excessive use of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in food- it has been linked to obesity, since it promotes excessive food consumption and insulin resistance in the body. As Indians, we already have the ‘belly gene’, and are prone to diabetes. Consumption of high GI carbohydrates only increases that risk.
Besides the health effects of HFCS, corn flakes has a high content of high GI carbohydrates, which promote fat storage in your body. Besides the fat storage, high GI carbohydrates increase your blood sugar drastically. This high blood sugar level promotes fat storage in the body. This is the ‘sugar rush’ or ‘energy rush’ that you experience after eating sweets. Your brain’s job in the body is to balance all processes. So to counteract this increased blood sugar level, your body over produces Insulin. (Insulin is a hormone which regulated blood sugar levels. For more, know more about Insulin). With extra insulin in your system, your blood sugar level reduces drastically. Your brain assumes this low blood sugar is a signal of less energy, and you experience that laziness post a carbohydrate heavy meal (rice, white bread, etc). Your brain also signals you to eat, since it misinterprets these low sugar levels for lack of energy in the body.
Calories and Nutrition in Corn Flakes: Each cup of corn flakes (approx 25 grams) contains, 21.7 gms of carbohydrates and only 1.7 grams of protein and low fiber content if any. Due to its low protein content, it will not keep you full for long. Each cup of corn flakes has approx 95 calories.
Some breakfast cereal ads might show that corn flakes help you lose weight, but they only expect to eat limited corn flakes for your meals. The irony of corn flakes is that its low in fat, but the high sugar content promotes fat storage!
If you really enjoy corn flakes, then have it with some low fat milk, and add a dose of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants with fruits like berries, apples or bananas. It’ll make a delicious and healthy breakfast and great post workout snack. If you’re diabetic, watch your diet- we have the complete list of foods that diabetics should avoid.
What’s your Health IQ?
Try this quick myth buster fitness quiz, and test your fitness knowledge. For each question, note down your answer (True or False). Once you complete all 9 questions, check your answers with the correct answers given below.
The best part about this fitness quiz is that if you crack it, you can gloat in the glory of being a myth-buster And if you don’t crack it, then read the answers to become a myth-buster.
State whether the following statements are True or False -
1. Toe touching helps to reduce fat?
2. Potatoes are fattening?
3. A non-vegetarian diet makes you fat?
4. By doing a 200 crunches a day, I can lose my paunch and get a six pack?
5. Eating Banana and Milk will make me fat?
6. Walking is a great exercise to get in shape?
7. I’m diabetic. I should avoid sugar, but refined flour (Maida) is okay for my diet?
8. Nuts are high in fat, and thus bad for you?
9. Running is only for kids and athletes?
Answers are given below -
If you score:
0-3: This is the average score for this fitness quiz. Don’t believe any information without understanding why it is so. You should read the explanations below to understand better.
3-6: Congratulations, you are above the average fitness awareness levels. Read the answers below to understand more.
6-9: You are well aware of fitness information. You should educate the people around you with this information. Hope you are using your knowledge of fitness information to your benefit.
6. Partly True
8. Partly False
Answer Explanations -
- Every time you bend to touch your feet, you stretch your back muscles, and compress your belly. So, your belly fat is getting compressed.
Now, think about an analogy – take a rubber ball. Compress it 20 times. Has the rubber reduced? Similarly, by compressing your fat, it doesn’t reduce. You might burn some calories doing this, but that calorie burn is minimal.
2. Potatoes are very healthy vegetables – they’re loaded with energy providing carbohydrates, fiber, protein, iron, Vitamin C and other minerals. They Glycemic Index of a potato is not high.
But potatoes absorb fat, so depending on the cooking process they might absorb the oil/butter. So, its the potato concoction that can be fattening, but not the poor spud by itself.
3. Many meats like fish and chicken are high in protein, and low in saturated fat (bad fat). The protein helps to build muscle, which in turn burns calories.
Again, the cooking process might make it fattening. If you eat butter chicken, its not the chicken itself that is fattening, but the curry that is loaded with cream and fat.
4. Crunches help you work those abdominal muscles, but not lose fat on that belly. Read on to see why crunches won’t help you get that six pack.
5. Banana and milk are not fattening. Both banana and milk have a relatively low Glycemic Index, so its not the carbohydrate content that makes you fat. The total calories from this concoction are lower than a bag of chips. Besides, it provides you with lots of nutrients.
6. Walking is an exercise and may help you burn calories. But the calorie burn is not significant enough to make a big enough dent in your fat loss plan.
Also, your body gets used to walking very fast, so it burns fewer calories when walking the same distance. What do you do then? Read to find out how to overcome weight loss plateau!
7. Maida (refined flour) has a very high Glycemic Index, and has the same effect on your body as sugar.
8. Nuts are loaded with unsaturated fat (good fat) and have cholesterol lowering power, along with protein.
9. Most adults in India assume this. But why should running be limited to kids and athletes. According to a recent study, running can actually help you live longer and healthier.