Tag Archives: minerals

Jalebis – How Unhealthy are they?

Jalebi is the name of a deep fried India sweet delicacy. It is regular served at all festivals and major celebrations. It is made up of refined wheat flour and saffron, which gives it the yellow or orange colour. It has other variations such as Imarti. Yogurt, water, sugar, flour and baking powd

 

 Refined wheat flourer are the primary ingredients for fermentation 

of batter for Jalebis. The batter is then piped in concentric circles into hot cooking oil for frying, resulting in a crisp and chewy delicacy. Quite often this is again drizzled with some sugar syrup after frying.
Ingredients which are used to make jalebis are not healthy. They include:

1) Refined wheat flour

Refined white flour contains almost no natural minerals and vitamins. In fact, it contains simple sugars which spike blood sugar levels that lead to obesity and diabetes, heart related problems, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure levels. It even increases your food cravings and contains little to no fibre, leading to digestive problems like constipation.

2) Sugar

Jalebi is filled with sugar syrup which makes jalebi high in calories. This can again spike your blood sugar levels, leading to obesity and even high cholesterol, which is bad for your heart. So, if you ever really feel a craving for jalebis, either moderate their consumption or simply avoid them since they are packed with unhealthy ingredients and cause fat promoting disease.

3) Oil

Hydrogenated oil which is used for frying jalebis, contains trans fats (when hydrogen gas passes into the vegetable oil it gets converted into trans fat). Trans fat is primarily used to elongate the shelf life of a product.
Trans fats is the worst type of fat, since it reduce the body’s good cholesterol levels and shoots up the bad cholesterol. It can even cause heart diseases and is linked to diabetes.

Jalebi is very unhealthy by eaten just by itself. But, it is often served with an accompaniment or in a combination with another sweet, which can make it much worse. For example jalebi is often served with rabdi, which is very high in saturated fat and sugar.

After going through the ingredients of Jalebi, it is quite clear that even eating Jalebi in moderation can cause spikes in your blood sugar and other many health issues. In fact, it could be a dangerous food for those suffering from diabetes or pre-diabetes. So avoid it completely, and if you really can’t avoid craving it, then stick to eating a very small serving of Jalebi.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Why are Oranges So Healthy?

Orange is a citrus fruit and very beneficial for your body, like most other citrus fruits. An orange offers lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber, with minimal calories. While orange juice is also full of nutrients, you tend to miss out on most of the fiber, so it is better to consume the whole fruit. An orange is a great snack between meals and is easy to carry and eat.

Nutritional history of oranges
One medium orange contains 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 250 milligrams of potassium, 19 grams of carbohydrate (14 grams of sugar and 3 grams of dietary fiber) and 1 gram of protein. Oranges also contain various vitamins and minerals like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, selenium and copper.

Health benefits of oranges
1. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that combats the formation of free radicals that can cause cancer .While adequate vitamin C intake is necessary and very beneficial, the amount necessary to consume for therapeutic purposes for cancer is beyond oral intake.

2. Oranges contain a good amount of potassium, choline, fiber and vitamin C, which is also good for the heart. An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to Mark Houston, M.D, M.S, an associate clinical professor of medicine at Vanderbilt Medical School and director of the Hypertension Institute at St. Thomas Hospital in Tennessee.

3. It is also helpful for blood pressure patients because oranges are rich in potassium and have vasodilation effects which help to control the pressure of blood in our body.

4. According to the American Heart Association, eating higher amounts of a certain compound found in citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit may lower ischemic stroke risk for women. Those who ate the highest amounts of citrus had a 19 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke than women who consumed the least.

5. Oranges are also good for the skin because of the presence of antioxidants that can help fight skin damage and even help reduce wrinkles. Basically, it helps in formation of collagen of skin.

Make oranges an essential part of your diet. It’s a seasonal fruit, so make sure you eat them every day as long as they are available. Not only will it boost your immunity and provide health benefits, it will even act as a low calorie food to aid in weight loss.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Why Popcorn is So Good For You

Popcorn is a type of corn that expands from the kernel and puffs up when heated. But did you know that this whole grain snack has its own health benefits and can be included in a list of snacks below 100 Calories. Let us find out why popcorn is so good for you.

Popcorn is a healthy snack because it contains a large amount of the healthy antioxidant substances called “polyphenols”. It helps in detoxifying cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Polyphenols are found in a more concentrated form in popcorn as compared to fruits and vegetables because polyphenols in fruits and vegetables get diluted in the water content. However, popcorn cannot replace fruits and vegetables in your diet because it lacks in vitamin and minerals, which is important for your overall health.

According to a study done by American Chemical Society (ACS) the amount of polyphenols found in popcorn was up to 300 mg a serving as compared to 160 mg for all fruits per serving. Also, popcorn is low in calories as 1 cup of air-popped popcorn provides approximately 30 Calories and therefore; can be enjoyed every day without worrying about the additional calories.
The hull of the popcorn which is a hard covering over the kernel is rich in fiber content but many people avoid eating it because it has a tendency to get caught in the teeth. But it is the part which is highest in fiber and polyphenol content.

The main concern with popcorn is it’s preparation. The best way to consume popcorn is when it’s air popped with a little added seasoning. Added butter or fat will add calories and saturated fats to your healthy snack. There are many commercially available packed corn kernels found in local markets which just needed to be heated in a microwave. But they are generally high in calories with saturated fat content and are also high in sodium content. There has been some evidence that the Teflon-like coating of some bags used for microwave popcorn can get broken down with heat into unwanted substances, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The chemical, which appears to be potentially carcinogenic in lab animals, is partially released onto the popcorn when the bag is heated up and can then be absorbed, once again in partial amounts, into the blood stream.

Enjoy your popcorn plain and air popped to derive maximum benefit from it, with hardly any additional calories.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Which is Healthier – Rice or Chapati?

Both rice and chapati can be nutritious, but chapatis are a bit more nutrient dense than rice. Both of these foods are rich in carbohydrates. Though of equal caloric value, their nutritional value differs as chapati has higher amount of proteins and fibers than rice.

Rice is a starchy food which makes it easily digestible whereas chapatis get slowly digested which results in a feeling of satiety for a longer time and hence good for weight watchers, and helps to maintain blood sugar levels.

Let’s see which is healthier -

Macronutrients: A 1/3 cup serving

of rice contains – 80 calories, 1 gm protein, 0.1 gm fat and 18 gm carbohydrates, whereas, a small chapati contains 71 calories, 3 gm protein, 0. 4 gm fat and 15 gm carbohydrates, including 2 gm fiber.

Vitamins: Both rice and chapati provides Folate, a water-soluble B-vitamin. Rice is a better source of Folate than chapati.

Minerals: Each serving of chapatis provides you with calcium, phosphorus, iron and potassium whereas rice provides the same amount of iron but less phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Rice doesn’t contain any calcium.

Considerations -

While chapatis are higher in fiber, protein & micronutrients than rice, they are also higher in sodium whereas rice doesn’t contain any sodium. If you are watching your sodium intake, then rice will be a better option.

One should opt whole wheat chapati or multi-grain chapati or brown rice, as they are healthier and much more nutritious. Both wheat and rice have a similar glycemic index which means that they raise the blood sugar level to the same extent. As long as you restrict the quantity, it does not matter what you eat. If 2 portions of cereals as 1 chapati and 1 small katori rice are consumed, it is definitely alright.

So, don’t just avoid rice, simply ensure the portion size of rice.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Healthy Snacks and Dips for Card Parties

Its difficult to portion control when it comes to snacks. They are consumed while standing and socializing that might prevent the mind from registering the damage done in terms of calories. With moods elevated for the coming festive season and friends, family and relatives getting together for card parties, its difficult to escape the snacks. Snacks are also known as finger foods,  are small in size but can be very high in calories as most of them are either deep fried or consumed in large quantities. This  directly impacts the waist line and reverses any weight loss that you might have achieved especially for this festive season.

Prawn Salad (Cr/freedigital)

Not considering all snacks to be unhealthy but most of them are made from using cheese, refined flour, oil, high carb ingredients and many of them are deep fried. Also the dips which offer different flavors can be equally unhealthy if the ingredients have high salt, sugar or high fat.

We know it that its not just the snacks that play spoil sport to your weight loss resolutions but also the alcohol that accompanies it. If not the alcohol then the sweetened soda beverages, cold drinks, packaged juice, soda water etc are there to keep sipping on your favorite snack. Now we don’t want ti imply our options but present you some healthy options for consideration. Even if you are eating healthy options portion control is a must as every extra calorie consumed gets saved as fat in your body.

There are plenty of healthy snack options available and using some culinary skills and keeping out the unhealthy ingredients you can prepare or outsource some snacks for better health and taste.

Some Healthy Dip Options

Hung Yogurt Dip: Hung yogurt or greek yogurt is a healthy option as it is rich in nutrition and keeps a check on calorie intake. To make a dip you can use shredded garlic cloves, table spoon olive oil, chopped coriander and peppermint, some chilly flakes and salt for taste and combine it with greek yogurt. It tastes delicious and is a great substitute for   cheese dips, mayonnaise or other fattening dips.

Hummus: Chickpeas is the main ingredient in the recipe which is an excellent source of protein and important vitamins and minerals. Mash the chickpeas in a blender and mic chopped garlic (optional), seasame paste, olive oil, lemon juice and garnish it with coriander or peppermint leaves. This is a great dip that can be eaten with breads and cereals, pita bread and is filling too.

Green Chutney: This is a common dip in Indian menus and and compliments all the snacks. You can prepare green chutney in a variety of ways. You can make it in combination of coriander leaves, peppermint leaves, raw mango, lemon juice and salt for taste. If you want to further experiment it you can add a paste of onion and garlic paste in it to further the taste.

Fresh Vegetable Platter: For vegetable salad you can have plenty of options of vegetables that you can mix and prepare different salads. You could use fruits for a mixed taste and bring in more flavor to it. Simple salads with tomatoes, cucumber, radish, carrots, bell pepper, cruciferous vegetables are mostly available. You could add lean meat options, cottage cheese etc to avoid making the salad plain and simple. Even boiled eggs or scrambled eggs can add flavor to your simple salad.

Whole wheat Pita Bread: Pita bread is a great substitute for chips to be served as snacks. It has fiber and protein in it that helps you get fuller faster and longer preventing  you to continue nibbling. The salt in chips is highly addictive that’s what makes you keep munching them and before you realize it you have finished a large packet of chips all by yourself.

Barbecued Chicken: Everyone loves Barbecue chicken and vegetarians can opt for barbequed veg platter. Chicken is a nutritious food option rich in protein and low in fat if the fat is removed properly. Grill your chicken in the open and with some spices and dips enjoy eating it while you play cards and make some money.

Dry Fruits: Some different healthy dry fruits that you can casually munch while concentrating on your game can be a interesting choice. It will add nutrition to your body, is small in portion and can be eaten directly. Offer almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashew-nuts etc. Peanuts or peanut salad can be a healthy option as well.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Are Salads Healthy?

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.

Salads (Cr/freedigital)

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! (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Is Flavored Yogurt Healthy

We require 2 teaspoons of sugar in a day if you are looking to lose weight and  about 4 teaspoons if you just want to manage your current weight. But don’t just count the sugar consumption in your tea and coffee but all the other sources that you might consuming sugar indirectlylike your sweetened soda’s, colas, candies, sweetened cornflakes and flavoured yogurt. Often diet programs and nutritionist brag about eating yogurt in the diet as it has probiotics, vitamins and minerals, protein etc which promote better health and is low in calories as well. But is flavored yogurt as healthy as non-flavored yogurt?

Plain Yogurt (Cr/freedigital)

Flavored yogurt which come in a variety of mouth watering flavors don’t contain the real fruit in it but conatins the pureed form which is high in sugar content. Compare the ingredients of regular yogurt and flavored yogurt to understand the difference in  calorie intake. Around 200 gms of flavored yogurt contains 25 grams of added sugar. The extra sugar gets stored in the body as fat and over a period of time this continuous weight gain can cause health complications. The sugar in the flavored yogurt increases the calorie intake by 100 calories for a 200 gm serving.

We are not saying that flavored yogurt is the main reason behind your weight gain. What we mean is that foods like flavoured yogurt are often marketed as health foods. They might be relatively more healthy than the other processed foods but they still are hidden source of high calorie food that are often misunderstood as fat free.

When talking about weight loss it is not just important to eat healthy foods but manage calories either by portion control or choosing healthier options. Sugar provides instant energy and no nutrition. People who have blood sugar problems could experience a sudden increase in sugar levels with flavored yogurt. Instead flavor your yogurt seperately with fruits that you want. Flavored yogurt is also high in sodium content causing water retention in the body and resulting in bloating. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Best Healthy Energy Drink

These days a lot of people for better health, higher energy, more strength and fitness are adding health drinks in their diet to improve their daily nutrition intake.  We have put together a simple analysis on which are the popular health drinks in the market and which one is the healthiest energy drink of the lot. The three most popular health energy drink brands are horlicks, bournvita and complan. All of them claim to enhance growth, provide added nutrition and even promoted as meal replacement option as they carry sufficient nutrition to compensate for a single meal.

Kid drinking milk (Cr/freedigital)

Reading the nutrition label of the best selling health energy drinks we found that the base of all the three health drinks are nearly same when compared to their carbohydrate, fat and sugar value. We require carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle building, fat for basic functions etc. The health drinks contain a large number of vitamins and minerals which improve the cell functions in the body.

Below are the nutrition content od horlicks, bournvita and complan

Complan: Milk protein – 18 gms; Fat – 11 gms; Carbohydrate – 62 gms of which sucrose is 27 gm.

Bournvita: Protein – 7 gms; Fat – 2 gms; Carbohydtare- 84 gms of which sugar is 70.3 gm.

Horlicks: Fat – 2 gms; Carbohydtare- 79.2 gms of which sugar is 13.5 gm.

The major portion of the health drink is carbohydrates that easily breakdown in our bodies to provide energy. The carbohydrates can be simple sugar like sucrose and glucose which instantly breakdown in our body to produce energy. Bournvita has highest amount of sugar and carbohydrates in total. Though each health drink is fortifies with important vitamins and minerals like iron, b vitamins, vitamin a, d and e which has various functions in the body is is beneficial. Horlicks contains the least sugar as compared to other healthy energy drink and contains fiber of the grain which is healthy for the stomach.

These energy drinks are mostly consumed with milk and carry sufficient amount of fortified nutrition. Even though they highlight the vitamins and minerals on the packaging in reality carbohydrate is the major component of these health drinks. People who are looking to lose weight should avoid health drinks and look for more natural foods like fruits and vegetables which are packed with vitamins and minerals and are low in calories as compared to any other food. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Benefits of Seasonal Fruits

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.

Watermelon (Cr/freedigital)

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.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Healthy Seasonal Vegetables

Vegetables offer low calories, no fat (when eaten raw) and add lots of vitamins and minerals to the diet. Through out the year we see different vegetables in the departmental store or being sold by our local vendors. We encourage consumption of seasonal vegetables for two reasons, first they are cheaper and secondly they are fresher than those not in season. Most of the vegetables available in summer have high water content as they keep the body cool and replenish the lost nutrition caused due to sweating and general heat. Vegetables are also high in fiber content which keeps us fuller with a healthy digestive system.

Vegetables (Cr/freedigital)

Vegetables are not always tasteless and boring. If prepared well they can be better tasting than most of the processed food available. Besides they build immunity and improve the metabolic functions in the body. People especially watching their weight or suffering from any therapeutic condition or even just living healthy should include portions of vegetables in their diet either as salads or stir fried. You could eat vegetables raw, cooked, individually or in a combination with other vegetables, legumes, cereals, etc. Here are some seasonal vegetables that you can eat this season for good health.

Some summer vegetables and their benefits in keeping us healthy

Lady Finger/Okra/Bhindi: This vegetable is low in calories and it adds just 30 calories per 100 grams. It contains vitamins A, C, K and B vitamins along with flavnoids. It is rich in anti-oxidation properties and helps in vision. It contains important minerals as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium. Healthy for people on weight loss as it makes you fell full and adds lots of nutrition too.

Tori/Ridge Gourd: It is beneficial for the stomach and helps reduce blood sugar levels. 100 gms of Ridge Gourd adds just 20 calories to the body. It is rich in nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamin c, riboflavin, thiamin, iron and magnesium. The high fiber and low fat content make it effective for weight loss.

Pumpkin: A bowl of pumpkin will add just 30 calories to your diet besides supplying  a lot of vitamins and minerals to the body. It is rich in vitamin A, C and E along with iron, magnesium, potassium, niacin and dietary fiber for better digestion. It contains carotenoids which improve the immune system. It has anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory properties.

Bottle Gourd/Lauki/Bottle gourd adds just 12 calories per 100 grams. It is 96% water and contains vitamin c and B vitamins. Sodium, iron, potassium are presnt in the vegetable and contains high amount of dietary fiber. It is extremely effective in weight loss, reduces constipation, improves complexion and has a cooling effect on the body.

Gavarfali/ Cluster Beans: Gavarfali (cluster beans) are rich in iron, folic acid, calcium and are an excellent source of fibre. They are best eaten with lentil dals. It only contains 25 calories every 100 gms. High in dietary fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals. Also recommended for weight loss as it  improves metabolism.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo