Tag Archives: kidney

Is Belly fat linked to kidney diseases?

Have you ever thought whether the processed foods you are eating are causing adverse health effects? Processed foods that are laden with phosphorus might increase the risk for kidney diseases.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins claim that, “reducing your waist circumference and cutting down on dietary phosphorus has been linked to lower levels of protein in the urine (albuminuria). The presence of this protein in urine is one of the first indicators of kidney disease.” The study found that every one-unit increase in waist-to-hip ratio was linked to a loss of blood flow through the kidney’s tiniest filters, the glomeruli, of about 4 milliliters per minute.

Kidneys are the major excretory organs in our body. They are also known as the guardians of our body’s nutritional wealth. Phosphate is widely distributed in all the cells and body fluids, and plays a vital role in enzyme reactions and tissue metabolism. The metabolism of phosphate and calcium is closely linked, and these minerals usually occur together in food. The serum level of phosphorus increases in kidney failure.

As dietary phosphorus is readily absorbed by the small intestine, any excess phosphorus absorbed is excreted by the kidneys. The regulation of blood calcium and phosphorus levels is interrelated through the actions of parathyroid hormone and Vitamin D.

Some investigators are concerned about the increasing amounts of phosphates in our diet which can be attributed to phosphoric acid in soft drinks and phosphate additives in a number of processed foods. Serum phosphorus increases with a high phosphorus diet. High phosphate levels in the blood reduce the formation of the active form of Vitamin D (Calcitriol) in the kidneys, hence reducing the blood calcium. This further increases PTH released by the parathyroid glands and also decreases the urinary calcium excretion. Parathyroid hormone decreases tubular reabsorption of phosphate in the kidney, leading to increased excretion of phosphates.

Processed foods high in phosphorus increase acidity in blood which triggers the release of stress hormones and these stress hormones increase insulin in the body. Increased level of sugar in the blood gets converted to fat and hence gets stored in the adipose tissues throughout the body. Apple-shaped people are at more risk of getting this disease than pear-shaped people.
Hence, limiting the intake of processed food may help prevent risks of kidney diseases.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Is Thandai Healthy?

Thandai is a refreshing milk beverage specifically served during Holi festivities. Even consumed during the summers in across India, thandai makes you feel cooler and serves as an instant energizer in the scorching summer heat. The ingredients present in the thandai even have a few health benefits.

So here are the benefits as you plan to down glasses of thandai during Holi:-

1. Fennel Seeds

Known for antioxidants, anti-flatulance and cooling properties.

2. Peppercorn

It is considered the king of spices. It has medicinal properties that prevent the formation of intestinal gas, stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid in stomach which helps in digestion. Peppercorn also promotes sweating and urination for removing waste from our body.

3. Watermelon seeds

Watermelon seeds are a good source of energy, protein and iron. Watermelon seeds also contain lycopene which is good for male infertility.

4. Rose petals

Rose petals are rich in vitamin C,D,K and E and other organic acids like malic acid,citric acid and pectin which help in building a strong immune system, strengthening the digestive system and detoxifying the urinary tract and kidneys.

5. Almonds

Almonds are loaded with healthy fats. They are also rich in Vitamin E. They are good for the brain and heart as they have cholesterol regulating effects.

6. Milk

Milk is known as the best source of calcium and protein for vegetarians. It is also a rich source of micro nutrients like zinc, phosphorus and iron. Cold milk is known to be an antacid and has cooling effects on the body.

7. Poppy seeds

Poppy seeds contain minerals like iodine, manganese, zinc, magnesium and copper. They also contain thiamine and riboflavin as well as B vitamins. The presence of linoleic acid in poppy seeds protects the body from heart attacks and other heart disorders.

8. Pumpkin Seeds

High in Omega 3 fatty acids and the heart-healing mineral-magnesium, this is also Nature’s natural relaxant.

9. Saffron

Saffron has many therapeutic applications in many traditional medicines as antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-oxidant, digestive, anti-convulsant.

10. Bhang

Bhang give relieves from stress and anxiety. It is used as intoxicant and is also used for the treatment of common ailments like vomiting,nausea,fever,sunstroke etc.

Thandai gives instant relief to the exhausted body and mind and provides a shot of energy. It also helps to cope with problems related to acidity and constipation. It even enhances appetite.

But along with the benefits, there are few harmful effects of thandai, considering the way it is prepared for mass consumption during holi and other occasions. You should keep these factors in mind and moderate it’s consumption. So here are the harmful effects-

1. Sugar

The sugar content of thundai is very high, so not only will it spike your blood sugar levels, it can also become an obstacle in weight reduction.

2. Full fat milk

Milk used in thandai is full fat milk, which may increase the cholesterol and saturated fat levels in your blood and increase the risk of heart disease, other than hindering your weight loss.

3. Bhang

If bhang is consumed in excess, it increases your heart rate which causes psychosis and high blood pressure, apart from slowing of the metabolic rate. It is difficult to moderate bhang consumption as the onset of it’s intoxicating effects takes some time, by which time you might have consumed more than your body can handle. So, be cautious while having bhang in thandai.
There is isn’t any need to completely avoid thandai, since not having it would leave your holi incomplete. But have it in moderation and not much harm will be done. If you follow a good exercise and diet routine regularly, one or two glasses of thandai will not make much of a difference.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Is A High Protein Diet Good for Health?

High protein diets are one of the most popular and most followed diets for weight loss all around the world. Bodybuilders and nutritionists recommend a high protein diet for muscle building and in increased athletic activity. But dieters often get confused and relate this with low carb-high protein diets which is the basis of most of the fad diets like Atkins diet and South Beach diet.

While adequate protein intake is required for muscle building, muscle strength and toning, increased protein intake coupled with restricted intake of other nutrients (carbohydrates & fats) can be harmful for the body. Diets with up to 30% protein are considered reasonable by experts, whereas diets with over 50% protein and restricted nutrients are high protein diets.

Are High Protein Diets Safe?

High protein diets can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Protein is important for the body but so are carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Eliminating whole grains, fruits and vegetables can increase your risk of Vitamin B and Vitamin E deficiency. Also restricting required daily intake of fat can lead to poor skin, hair and absorption disorders.

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy to the body. If restricted, body is forced to derive energy from fat and protein. This in turn leads to production of harmful bi-product named ketone bodies. When excessive levels of ketones get accumulated in the system, it can lead to multiple organ failure and can be fatal. Even if restricted diet is followed for a short term and the level of ketones does not reach dangerous levels, it can be damaging to body organs particularly kidneys.

High protein diets require your body to process more calcium. Protein diets low on dairy products can be harmful for bones. Research shows that women who eat high protein diets based on meat have a higher rate of bone density loss than those who don’t. Women who eat meat lose an average of 35% of their bone density by age 65, while women who don’t eat meat lose an average of 18%. In the long run, bone density loss leads to osteoporosis.

Not all protein is created equal. Some high protein diets promote foods such as red meat and full fat dairy products, which can lead to increased cholesterol levels and may increase your risk of heart disease.

One should always aim for a healthy and gradual weight loss. As it is a very personal and individual process, a health expert can help you design a diet that works best with your lifestyle, includes food that you enjoy and has the right combination of nutrients required by your body. Choose smart carbs such as whole grains, seasonal fruits and vegetables, lean proteins such as chicken breast, eggs, low fat milk and milk products, fish etc. and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, healthy oils to achieve your ideal weight the right way.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Four Yoga Poses That Will Keep You Cool Through Summer

Benefits of the Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha-Matsyendrasana):

The Ardha-matsyendrasana helps in cultivating flexibility and strength in the spine. Its a great “cool down” pose that also smoothes stiff necks and upper back and tension caused by stress, poor posture, or prolonged periods of sitting in one position.

The alternating compression and release of the abdominal region flushes this area with blood and give massage the internal organs. Muscles of the stomach and hips are also toned from repeated practice of this asana.

Half Spinal Twist Pose

How to perform the Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha-Matsyendrasana):

- Sit comfortable in a cross-legged position.

- Straighten both legs out in front. While bending your right knee, bring the heel of the right foot close to the left hip. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Side Effects of Unhealthy Fad Diets

Any average person suffering from weight issue has at least once in their life have given a shot and tried these fad diets. Its natural for anyone to first indulge in self help before they fail, or their situation in some case worsens, that they seek out professional guidance. Take a minute and reflect on what might you have exposed your body to unintentionally.

Balanced Diet

Most of the fad diets are popularly termed as “yo-yo” diets that give you a short term solution to quick weight loss but do not guarantee any long term sustenance of the weight loss. Besides it deprives body of nutrition resulting in low blood pressure, reduced energy and fatigue. If you continue to under nourish your body with an unbalanced diet your metabolism also starts to slow (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo