Tag Archives: insulin resistance

Why vegetarians might live longer?

Vegetarians might live longer, according to a new study in

the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, “Eating a vegetarian diet may be associated with living longer”.

Being vegetarian is healthy but sometimes just eating vegetarian food might not be enough. Though a vegetarian diet is balanced and contains most of the essential nutrients, there might be some micro nutrients missing from the otherwise healthy and light diet, for eg., Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Heme(iron), etc.

Here are some of the benefits of having a vegetarian diet:
1. Lowers Blood pressure
The ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fat (P/S ratio) in the diet may affect blood pressure. Increasing the P/S ratio to 1 or more with approximately 25% of energy as fat has been associated with low blood pressure in hypertensive patients. This effect appears to be independent of sodium balance or body weight. This mechanism of blood pressure lowering effects is thought to involve prostaglandin metabolism.

2. Lowers the risk of heart diseases
Low glycemic index diets may preserve HDL cholesterol and thus have a potentially positive effect in reducing CHD risk. They may reduce plasma fatty acids and may suppress production of release of signaling hormones from adipose tissue, reversing dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. The foods are slowly absorbed and have metabolic benefits which decrease the risk of CHD.

3. Lowers the risk of cancer
Antioxidants are chemicals that interact with and neutralize free radicals, thus preventing cancer causing free radicals from causing damage. Antioxidants are also known as “free radical scavengers”. Fruits, vegetables, and grains are rich sources of dietary antioxidants, which include beta-carotene, lycopene, and vitamins A, C, and E (alpha-tocopherol).

4. Lowers the risk of diabetes
Vegetarian diets are high in fiber, which slows down the emptying of the stomach and delays intestinal transit. This reduces the rate of glucose absorption, lowers blood sugar rise, and decreases urinary glucose excretion.

5. Helps control your weight
Vegetarian diets are high in fiber, low on the glycemic index and low in calorie density, which helps you fill your appetite and also provides satiety. Higher intake of vegetarian food may help you cut calories. Due to slower rate of digestion and absorption in the small intestine, nutrient receptors in the gastro-intestinal tract are stimulated for a longer period of time, resulting in higher satiety levels.

Being on a vegetarian diet won’t help you get all the essential nutrients that your body requires. According to the food guide pyramid, intake of animal foods like eggs/chicken/fish should be 2-3 servings a day to make up for the nutrients lacking in vegetarian diets.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Being Thin Does Not Mean Being Healthy

Increased body fat percentage and being overweight result in lifestyle disorders that cause heart disease, hypothyroid, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Excessive saturated fat consumption increases the cholesterol levels in the body. Certain types of fat are bad for health and some are  equally important which are commonly referred to us essential fat without which the body will fail to absorb and process nutrition in the body. Read here to know more about this.

The distribution of fat varies between gentics and gender. Women tend to store more subcutaneous fat which is under their skin. Distribution of fat in women is generally in their hips and thighs area while men tend to store more fat in the middle area or the abdomen. Once the person enters adolescence the fat cells don’t increase in number instead they only increase or decrease in size. Its the male and female hormone that decide the fat deposit destination in the body. For example women with big bellies are considered  to have higher levels of testosterone ( male hormone) in their system that causes fat accumulation on the stomach. While if men have large hips its due to the high levels of estrogen (female hormone) in that body part.

We presume that fat people are more prone to metabolic disorder ( also known as lifestyle disorders) but a study by Ruth Loos at the Medical Research Council in the U.K. found that lean people with a specific genetic variant were equally at risk of diabetes, heart disease even though the reports confirmed lower fat percentage in the body. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo