Tag Archives: heart diseases

What does whole grain or whole wheat actually mean?

Supermarket shelves are packed with breads claiming to as be “whole grain”. We all know that we should consume whole grains and not the refined grains. But are they all healthy?

Studies show that eating whole grains instead of refined grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases. So what does whole grain means? Whole grain means that all parts of the grain are used, including the nutritious germ and bran. They are higher in vitamins, minerals and fiber, which helps to keep you feel fuller. They are also richer than refined grains in anti-oxidants and phytochemicals. In general, the phytochemicals in whole grains, including lignans, phytoesterols, and polyphenolics, help protect against cancer. The fiber found in whole grains may ferment in the gut, lowering colonic pH (a higher colonic pH is a cancer risk). It’s been demonstrated that fiber, especially soluble fiber, can reduce serum lipids, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol—all factors in heart disease development.

In the grain-refining process, most of the bran and some of the germ is removed, resulting in loss of dietary fiber and loss of vitamins and minerals.

Whole wheat is one kind of whole grain, so all whole wheat is whole grain, but not all whole grain is whole wheat. The whole grain also encompasses other grains like brown rice, oats, barley, buckwheat, bulgur and corn. And the term “multi-grain” simply means ‘more than one grain’, but not necessarily ‘whole’ grains.

So how could you get the whole grain or whole wheat in your diet? Start by checking the ingredient list for the word ‘whole’ before the names of grains, and look for products that list a whole grain as the first ingredient, indicating that it contains more of this than any other ingredients. For e.g., to make sure that the bread you are buying is made from whole grains, look at the label: whole wheat flour or whole grain flour should be among the first ingredients listed. However, every food item labeled as 100% whole grain doesn’t mean that it contains only whole grains. Other than grains, they also contain sugar, malt syrup and invert sugar.

So, next time while shopping, check the ingredient list and nutrition label to see what you’re really buying. Limit the consumption of food products that contain refined grains added with solid fats, sugars and sodium. Increase whole-grain intake by replacing refined grains with whole grains.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Best Exercises for Abdominal Fat or Love Handles

After belly, thighs and arms and butt the other common weight gain area is your waist. Over a period of time, weight starts to collect on the side of your stomach which is also known as “love handles” or “tyres”. All these terms are nothing but common slang for abdominal obesity.

Eating unhealthy food and no exercise is the most common cause of love handles. These tyres were mostly seen on women in the past but now more and more men seem to develop it in their late twenties & early thirties. Indians are genetically inclined to accumulate fat around their waist which is also linked to Type 2 diabetes and heart health.

The simplest way to check for abdominal fat is to measure your waist. Run a tape measure around your waist at about the level of your navel. Breathe minimally, and make sure not to pull the tape measure so tight that it depresses the skin. The average BMI  (Body mass Index) of an Indian woman ranges from 18-24.9 , a waist circumference greater than 34-35 inches is considered high risk to lifestyle diseases.

Another way to measure abdominal fat is by calculating the waist to hip ratio. This is done through simple calculation of taking the ratio of the waist and hip. The healthy range in women is less than .7 and men is less than 1.

The best way to lose weight is through exercise and watch what you eat. Ensure that your body is getting adequate nutrition to improve the metabolism. Do not resort to fad diets as they might show weight loss in the short term but in the long term you put the weight back on besides depriving your body of important nutrition resulting in multiple deficiencies in future. For healthy weight loss, consult a good professional weight loss expert to help you lose weight and get fit.

Here are a list of exercises that are very effective to lose abdominal fat or love handles:

Running: Love handles are fat accumulated on your sides. So it is more about burning the fat in the body. You can lose maximum fat by running or doing any cardio exercise. Running allows you to burn maximum fat in a workout other than boosting metabolism. So do start running in variations and push yourself more for quicker results. Include sprinting, bounding,
German drills, etc in your plan. Burning maximum calories starts burning fat gradually from the body. Manage your diet and eat adequately according to your daily requirement to allow fat to burn faster.

Crunches: Love Handles are part of your core and require core to be worked to exercise the area and build some muscles underneath. Crunches are highly beneficical is strengthening your core for better balance in the body and provides strength for intense workouts. Do crunches on medicine ball and see the muscle gain.

Side Crunch: Working the obliques help in reducing the love handles on the side and side crunch is very effective for oblique muscles. Lie down on right side of your body with right arm over your chest. Crunch your left armpit towards the left hip and raise your legs while crunching. Repeat and do both sides.

Elbow to Knee Crunch: You could do elbow to knee crunch either standing or while lying down. Lie down on the floor with knees bent and arms over your chest. You have to touch your right elbow with the left knee and alternatively. While doing the exercise, move your torso for the exercise. This works the rectus abdominis and obliques while the standing one works the entire mid section and hip flexors.

Side Bends: Stand straight with dumbbells in your hands by your side. Alternatively bend your side and stretch the other side, holding for a few seconds and then do the other side. This execise stretches the love handles and improves blood flow in the area.

Burpees: It is a aerobic exercise which is a combination of a few exercises mixed together for greater fitness. To perform the exercise, stand straight in the first step. Then get down to squat position. Third put your hands on the floor and throw both your legs back stretching your back and looking up in the air. In the fourth step bring back your legs to the squat position and lastly jump up to starting position. Repeat. This exercise not only stretches the core and works the entire body but the faster version of it burns many calories too.

Russian Twist: Sit on the floor with your knees bent and hold your arms straight in front of you and lean your back a little while your torso is at 45-degree. Brace your core and rotate to the side and as far as you want. Repeat for both sides and mind the posture. This exercise also helps build the muscles on the side and works the core. To make this exercise more intense hold a weight between your hands or lift your feet in the air and perform the exercise.

Wood chop: It is again one of the finest twist exercise which can be done with an object, cable, dumbbell, bat, base ball bat etc. As you pull the weight across your body, you rotate your hips and bend forward slightly so the weight ends up slightly below your hip. Keep your torso, chest and head in line with your hips. Do it for both sides.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most popular nutrients in the body. It is water soluble in nature and cannot be stored by the body. Since it is predominantly required to protect the body one needs to ensure that the diet includes this essential nutrient on a daily basis. The most important benefits of Vitamin C is that it protects the body by building immunity and fights the body inflammation helping reduce colds, coughs, heart disease and cancer.

Citrus fruits(Cr/freedigital)

Vitamin C is an antioxidant which eradicates free radicals from the body and keeps the body in fighting mode from all foreign substances. It is also responsible for producing collagen present in muscles and bones useful in wound healing of all types. Therefore is a very popular for beautiful skin and is used in lot of cosmetics. The most popular  sources of Vitamin C are citrus fruits like orange, tangerines and grapefruits and Fresh green leafy vegetables and lemon, strawberries, and lime.

Benefits of Vitamin C

Absorption of iron (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Yoga for Weight Loss

         

Yoga could be considered the best exercise form to stay fit and healthy in the long term. Yoga focuses on holistic health and fitness. It helps you lose weight, calms your mind, tones your muscles, improves flexibility, and can cure and prevent many health problems. Yoga serves the purpose of both, beginners starting out a new weight loss program and advanced level fitness fanatics. Some yoga exercises are good for beginners who want to start losing weight but are not motivated enough to start running, lifting weights or doing high intensity yoga routines. Yoga helps increase flexibility in the body gradually motivating you to start increasing intensity of your physical activity. Moreover, you don’t have to head out of the house or buy expensive equipment, since yoga can be practiced from the comfort of your home. All you need are some comfortable clothes and a yoga mat and you are good to go. So start you off on your holistic weight loss journey by trying some of these yoga exercises that can melt away the pounds.

1. Ardha Chandraasana:

This pose also called half-moon pose, it is great to tone your buttocks, upper and inner thighs. If these are your problem areas, this is the pose for you. The added stretch on the sides of your stomach helps burn off those unsightly love handles and strengthens your core.

2. Kumbhakasana

Also known as the plank pose, this asana is the most simple as well as effective pose in Yoga. It strengthens and tones your arms, shoulders, back, buttocks and thighs.

 3. Halasana

This pose (plow pose) is great for those who sit for long hours and tend to have bad posture. It tones the muscles of your buttock and strengthens your shoulders and thighs. It also stimulates the functioning of the thyroid glands, parathyroid glands, lungs and abdominal organs, therefore helping the blood rush to your head and face, improves digestion and keeps the hormonal levels in check.

 4. Utkatasana:

Also known as the chair pose, this aasana requires concentration and focus on the muscles being used. It strengthens the core muscles, thighs and tones the buttocks

5. Vrksasana:

 Also known as the tree pose, this aasana is great for the core and abdominal muscles. Apart from concentrating on your core it also helps your mind focus and tones the muscles of the thighs and arms.

6. Suryanamskar:

Surya namaskar also known as sun salutation is a set of yoga aasanas done in succession. It has amazing weight loss result since it employs various forward and backward bending aasanas that flex and stretch the spinal column activating a wide variety of muscles throughout the upper body and mid section. Believe it or not, this is a full body workout like no other. It has a deep effect in detoxifying your internal organs through copious oxygenation and has a deep relaxing effect.

7. Ardha Matsyendrasana :

 This is also called Half Lord of the Fishes pose, is specifically designed to increase the capacity of your lungs so it can inhale and hold more oxygen. Apart from that it stretches out the spine and tones the thighs and abdominal muscles. According to yoga practitioners this pose stimulates the digestive system helping you digest food more efficiently and burn fat all over your body.

8. Veerbhadrasana 1:

This asana stretches your back, strengthens your thighs, buttock and tummy. It also helps in making you more focused and opens up your chest so you can breathe better. This is an excellent pose to melt away the fat from your midsection.

9. Veerbhadrasana 2:

This is an aasana is a continuation of the veerbhadrasana I. This asana is great to strengthen the muscles in your back, thighs, abdomen and core.

10. Balasana:

 Also Child pose is a great stress buster. It gently stretches the hips, thighs, ankles, calms the mind and helps relieve stress and fatigue. It is also a great remedy for that lower back pain you might have from long hours of sitting.

Yoga is simple and effective to get started to being fit. For effective results from yoga, monitor your junk food intake and manage meal timings. Being consistent in following your yoga routine is equally important.

 

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— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Balanced Diet

Healthy Meal

We are all familiar with the concept of eating right. There is so much information about all sorts of healthy foods and their calorie value. There is enough being written about how vitamins are good for you and what are the rich sources of this nutrient. But rarely do we get to know the approximate quantity that is required by the body on a daily basis. What makes a balanced diet. To make it a little simpler for you we decided to give you an overview of what should make your daily dietary intake.

The key nutrients that are required for smooth functioning of the diet are proteins, fat, fiber, minerals, iron, carbohydrates, vitamins and calcium. A diet that includes all these essential nutrients, in correct portion, is known as a balanced diet. Based on the average calorie requirement for a male weighing 60kgs: 2700 or a female weighing 55 kgs:2100 here is a list of essential foods to maintain your weight :

(more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Caution: Child Obesity in India on the Rise

Pizza’s & Burgers  and junk food joints have become a hot spot for children now a days to fill their tiny stomach’s. Well, pizza’s & the burgers taste nice and exciting but are unable to provide the nutrition that is required for healthy living. Obesity in children has tripled in the past two decades and an alarming concern for us to take note of the fact. The rate of development of mind and body in children decreases with junk food due to the empty calories it provides. A regular pizza provides about 600-800 calories whereas a burger provides you with around 300 calories.

Obese Child

A research report written about a study on Prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents. According to that report 16 % children 6-19 year old are overweight or obese
“this is three times what it was before. In addition, this report brings out the fact that also during this same time period an additional 15% were “at risk of becoming overweight”.

Researchers also warn that children who are fed with junk food have lower IQ than their counterparts who ate nutritious food.  Junk food may fill the stomach but cant provide the quality of energy which nutritious foods provide. Junk foods are high in saturated fat and oil which leads to high cholesterol levels make you feel lazy and drowsy, resulting in lower concentration levels in children. Junk food decrease the efficiency which is important for children. Heart related diseases are growing with obesity and weight gain is normal for people on a junk food diet.

Once the habit is developed for junk food, it gets very difficult to get rid of the addiction. To ensure that kids do not make this unhealthy lifestyle a permanent part of their life one should start inculcating good nutritional habits from the beginning. Ensuring enough physical activities is an equally important aspect of every child’s growth. In case you need professional assistance to get you started on a healthier lifestyle for your family call us for a free consultancy and speak to our expert now.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

5 Fruits to Boost your Health

Fruits are a major and natural source of  many vitamins, minerals and other natural substances to protect you from chronic diseases. Fruits are available through out the year and some are seasonal too.

Here is a list of commonly available fruits that you can include in your daily diet to boost immunity to stay away from infections with its anti-oxidation properties to destroy free radicals. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo