Tag Archives: oatmeal

Foods That Build Muscle

Do you also spend hours at your gym lifting heavy weight, but are unable to see any sufficient muscle gains? Then here are some foods you should include in your diet to build muscles. 

1. Eggs

Eggs are one of the richest sources of protein with highest biological value. It is a reference to the measure of how well a food can support the human body’s protein needs. 1 large egg of about 50 grams contains approximately 6 grams of protein. This can be considered as the best protein for your muscles. Many people avoid eating yolk because of its fat and cholesterol content. However, if you want to build your muscles you need not avoid the yolk, as it provides vitamin B12, which is necessary for fat breakdown and muscle contraction. Also, fat present in yolk is healthy fat that helps in lowering the levels of bad fat from the body.

2. Almonds

Almonds are a good source of alpha-tocopherol, which is a form of Vitamin E that gets readily absorbed by the body. It is important for your muscles as vitamin E protects your muscles from free radical damage. You can have some almonds with a fruit before a workout. How many almonds should you munch? Two handfuls a day should do it. A Toronto University study found that men can eat this amount daily without gaining any weight. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that those men who consumed the most vitamin E—from food sources, not supplements—had a 67 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease than those eating the least vitamin E.

3. Salmon

Salmon fish is a good source of high quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It can decrease muscle-protein breakdown after your workout and helps in fast recovery. But avoid having fried fish and opt for grilled or roasted fish with some sautéed vegetables with it. It also helps you in reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Researchers at Louisiana State University found that when overweight people added 1.8 grams of DHA—an omega-3 fatty acid in fish oil—to their daily diets, their insulin resistance decreased by 70 percent in 12 weeks.

4. Yoghurt

Yoghurt is an ideal combination of protein and carbohydrates for exercise recovery and muscle growth. It also contains live culture which helps in digesting other nutrients present in your food. You can add some sliced fruits to your yoghurt to make it high in fiber content. The extra carbohydrates from the fruit will boost your blood levels of insulin, one of the keys to reducing post exercise protein breakdown. Also, yoghurt is one of the few foods that contain conjugated linoleic acid, a special type of fat shown in some studies to reduce body fat.

5. Cottage Cheese

It a good source of casein protein which is a slow digesting dairy protein. As compared to other dairy products, cottage cheese elevates the levels of amino acid and keeps them high for a longer time. This helps in building muscles.

6. Olive Oil 

Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats which act as anti-catabolic nutrients. Catabolism is a pathway of metabolism which leads to muscle breakdown for releasing energy. Anti-catabolic nutrients provide energy to your body and protect your muscles from breaking down. And while all olive oil is high in monos, try to use the extra-virgin variety whenever possible, it has a higher level of free-radical-fighting vitamin E than the less chaste stuff. Also, Olive oil and monounsaturated fats have been associated with everything from lower rates of heart disease and colon cancer to a reduced risk of diabetes and osteoporosis.

7. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a rich source of complex carbohydrates. These types of carbohydrates slowly release energy in your body. You can have a cup of oatmeal 1-2 hours before your workout. It will give you enough energy to complete the workout. You can add some fruits and nuts to your oatmeal to increase the fiber and protein content. 

You can include these foods in your diet to improve muscle growth, but to be healthy and fit you need to balance your diet in terms of protein, carbohydrates, fats and other minor and major nutrients. 

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Is This the Best Breakfast for Losing Weight?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is the first meal after the night’s long fast, and before the start of a new day. The type of food consumed for breakfast varies from place to place. It generally includes Complex Carbohydrate from Cereals or Grains, Proteins from eggs or beans, and vitamins, nutrients and more complex carbohydrates from Fruits. Breakfast should be balanced and include most of the essential nutrients, predominantly Complex Carbohydrates, Protien, Fibre, and Calcium.

There are various breakfast options. For example:
• Fruit Yoghurt
• Cereals(Wheat Flakes, Cracked Wheat, Oats)
• Eggs & Toast
• Chilla
• Poha
• Idli, Dosa
• Baked Beans & Toast
But if you are targeting to lose weight or stay fit, you need to choose the right breakfast.
Oatmeal has been found to be amongst the best breakfast options. We give you the reason why.

Why oat-meal over other breakfast cereals?

In a particular research, participants were asked to eat one of the cereals between oats and another breakfast cereal. The participants who consumed oatmeal felt fuller for longer durations and had lower food cravings through the rest of the day. This lower craving or hunger was due to the high fibre content in oatmeal.But along with high fibre content, oatmeal offers many other health benefits:


Oatmeal in the morning for breakfast can keep your body lean, because it is packed with fiber that keeps your hunger away for longer, metabolism regulated, cholesterol lowered, and blood sugar levels stable. Have your oats with some milk and nuts to increase the protein content, and that creates the perfect food to build muscles.

Vitamins and Minerals:

Oatmeal contains several important nutrients that help keep our immune systems strong to fight off illnesses and infections. Nutrients such as zinc, selenium, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, copper, magnesium, and manganese are found in oats. Without these nutrients our immune system would not function properly and we would be sick all the time.

Mood Boosters:

If you suffer from depression, mood swings, anxiety, panic attacks, and anger management issues, you should eat oatmeal regularly. Oatmeal contains loads of complex B vitamins that are essential for keeping us calm and stress free.


Oatmeal is a good way to start your day is because it helps prevent and fight off cancers such as colon cancer. Oatmeal contains antioxidants which help remove toxins from the digestive system and prevent formation of cancer cells, especially colon cancer cells.

Oatmeal is packed with nutrients to keep you going for the entire day. It is a complete food and works very well for weight loss diets. Not only does it fight fat, it fights diseases and bad cells in the body. Include oatmeal in your regular diet to improve your overall health.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Skipping breakfast can make you feel grumpy and fatigued throughout the day. Taking just 15 minutes to eat something healthy and filling in the morning can improve your mood, energy levels, fitness, and can help in weight management too.

Following are some healthy breakfast ideas to help you get the maximum out of your most important meal of the day.

Oatmeal: What better way to gain the strength and energy to carry you through a hectic morning schedule than with a steaming bowl of freshly cooked oatmeal. They have the perfect balance of all macro and micro nutrients. They have cholesterol lowering, blood sugar stabilizing, and bowel strengthening qualities. Add some chopped fruits and nuts to make it a complete meal.

Vegetable Daliya / Broken Wheat: The distinctively nutty grain is versatile, low in calories and loaded with nutrients. It is an excellent source of fibre, is low in fat and is a rich source of complex carbohydrates which keeps stomach full for long. Making a savoury porridge and adding vegetables increases the fibre, vitamins and mineral content making it a well balanced nutrient rich breakfast.

Omelet & Toast: Egg is no doubt a superfood. Egg white consists of good quality protein and the yolk is loaded with anti-oxidants and B vitamins that have been shown in studies to raise HDL (the good cholesterol) and lower triglycerides. Egg yolk also significantly boosts metabolism and fat burning process. A vegetable omelet of 2 egg whites, 1 yolk with whole wheat toast makes a perfect breakfast with all nutrients in appropriate proportions to give you the right start for the day ahead.

Besan Chilla: The nutty flavor and taste of Besan or chickpea flour makes it a tasty breakfast option. Besan flour is naturally higher in protein than wheat-based flours. It is a good source of folate and B6, crucial for growth and development. It also delivers a boost of iron, magnesium and phosphorus. It doesn’t contain gluten, so it makes a good substitute for wheat flour in gluten-free diets. Make the batter for Besan pancake or Chila with curd or milk; add vegetables and pan-grill with minimal oil. Have it with a glass of low fat milk or curd.

Yogurt with Muesli: Muesli and yogurt make one of the perfect food combination and one of the healthiest breakfast meal option too. The crunchy muesli and smooth textured sweet plain yogurt also pack wholesome nutritional goodness apart from a good taste. Plain Muesli is a good source of complex carbohydrates with high fiber content. Yogurt is a rich source of calcium and a good source of protein. Top it with up with some fruits and nuts to increase the antioxidant content and nutritional value.

Fresh Fruit Smoothies: Fruit smoothies are an easy way to nourish your body with essential nutrients. All you need is a blender, fresh fruits, plain yogurt and low fat milk. Smoothies are a good source of fiber and vitamins which help in maintaining a strong bowel and build immunity. The soluble fiber found in fruits helps slow digestion and may help control blood sugar and lower cholesterol. The low-fat dairy contains calcium and vitamin D, which helps your bones stay strong. It also provides protein which makes it a well balanced breakfast meal option. Avoid using flavored yogurts or full fat milk which adds on to calories and fat.

It is better for your health to eat breakfast than to skip it. And it’s definitely better to eat a healthy breakfast, packed with nutrients in appropriate proportions than a breakfast comprising of refined flour, added sugar, excess salt and saturated fat.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Top 10 Natural Appetite Suppressants to Keep You Full

Healthy lifestyle is achieved by a combination of a well-balanced diet and regular exercise routine. A balanced daily diet should contain 3 healthy meals and 2 minor in-between snacks. A healthy controlled appetite plays an important role to help maintain a balanced diet and a healthy weight. But you do not need a pill or some kind of a replacement meal powder to suppress your appetite or help control unwanted cravings. Some foods can be healthy and at the same time can act as appetite suppressants, helping you to stay full for longer.

Following is the list of top 10 natural appetite suppressants -

Almonds: These are packed with appetite controlling fibre with ¼ cup almonds providing about 4gms of fibre. They also provide healthy fats, vitamin E, and a fair dose of antioxidants. They help keeping the stomach full for longer and hence in maintaining a healthy weight.

Oatmeal: It contains a wide range of healthy and vital nutrients in appropriate proportions. Half a cup of this superfood provides 5 grams of bowel healthy fibre. It has also been found to increase levels of appetite regulating hormone, hence helping in controlling hunger. A bowl of oatmeal in skimmed milk is a heart and bowel healthy breakfast to kick start your day in the right way.

Water: Often when the body is thirsty we misinterpret the sign as a hunger pang and end up consuming extra calories. The next time you feel you are hungry, start with a glass of water. You might not feel the need to eat. Water also helps you stay hydrated and drinking a glass of water before meals is also a good practice to help control portions.

Apples: An apple is a perfect mid-afternoon snack. Apple contains stomach filling soluble fibre and sugar regulating pectin to help you stay full and also maintain energy levels. Finally, apples require lots of chewing time, which helps slow you down and gives your body more time to realize that you’re no longer hungry. Plus, they just taste good!

Eggs: Eggs contain good quality protein and healthy fats which helps in keeping stomach full for longer. A breakfast with 2 egg whites,1 yolk is found to help control appetite from 24-36 hours.

Lemons: Have a sweet tooth you just can’t control? Try having something sour. A salad with lemon dressing before meal or a glass of lemon water post meals can help you manage your sweet cravings and help you avoid extra calories.

Soup: Studies have shown that those who start their meals with a cup of broth based vegetable soup consume fewer calories during their main course. Also, it is beneficial to maintain bowel strength and gives a healthy dose of fibre, vitamins and minerals .

Green Leafy Vegetables: These are nutrient packed powerhouses which are low in calories and rich in fibre which allows you to enjoy plentiful of these without being guilty of adding extra calories and hence keeping hunger at bay.

Spices: Adding Cinnamon in smoothies and tea, cloves and ginger in vegetable curries can help to control appetite. These spices help stabilize blood sugar levels and the meal is processed slowly hence keep you feeling of full for longer post a meal.

Flax-seeds: They are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids and stomach filling fibre. Freshly grounded or whole, they can be added to curd, shakes and salads. A tsp of flax-seeds can help you stay satiated and fuelled at the same time.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Are Dried Figs Healthy for Weight Loss

Figs can be eaten either fresh or dry and has a sweet taste and variety of health benefits that it provides. Though in India fresh Figs are not easily available but can be found in the form of dry fruits popularly known as Anjeer. The high amount of calcium, iron and potassium present in it along with the high amount of fiber and low fat makes it a healthy food to include in your diet which can be eaten alone or mixed in yogurt, salad and toppings on cereals and oatmeal.

Fresh Figs (Cr/freedigital)

Figs are  nutritious but do they help in weight loss ? Should one eat figs regularly if you are trying to lose weight. Lately figs are fast becoming popular with nutritionists that are recommending it as a part of weight loss diets. Let us help you understand why it might not be the healthiest weight loss food option.

Lets start with understanding the calorie and nutrition content of figs. Figs are rich in Vitamins A, B1 and B2, manganese and potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus. The high levels of potassium and low sodium helps people with hypertension. High calcium levels present in figs promote bone health. High mucilage content in figs, helps to heal and protect sore throats. Figs also contain beta-carotene as well as benzaldehyde (anti-cancer compound), flavonoids and a digestive enzyme called ficin.

Dried figs provide higher amount of calories than fresh figs and around 100gms provide 220 calories approx. Though it is recommended to be eaten in moderations but its sweet taste and pulp makes it addictive making you eat more than actually required. Other than the calories figs are sweet and have a medium glycemic index of 61 and a glycemic load of 16 which is high.

The high glycemic load (GL) of figs makes the blood sugar levels rise as dried figs quickly release high level of sugar in the body which may not be helpful for people on weight loss and people suffering from type 2 diabetes. The high amount of fiber and high glycemic load makes the body feel satisfied. The GL provides energy and makes you feel fuller longer making you crave less food. This might make you miss out on a balanced diet which is essential to regulate the metabolism in the body.

Besides it high glycemic load figs have other benefits also. The high fiber content improves digestion and benefits people with constipation. The fiber helps in throwing away the toxins out of the body. They have anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidants present in them fights diseases and cancer in the body. They help regulate blood sugar levels and reduces cholesterol in the body.

Foods that are sweet and provide quick energy should be eaten early in the day so that the energy released by them can be burnt in the day itself. Also figs are recommended to people who have iron deficiency. Every diet especially available online is very generic and might not be applicable to you. You need a diet plan that is customized to your lifestyle, eating habits and medical conditions. Its important to get professional consultancy from a qualified fitness expert before you start any diet plan.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Quit believing in myths and start getting real. Rev up your metabolism naturally through food and workouts.  Clock your meals and sleep patterns at a definite time allowing your body adapt to the patterns to show results. Avoid yo-yo diets or crash diet and stick to your normal routine. Instead know the foods that you eat and learn healthy eating habits for a faster metabolism.

Here are a few breakfast ideas for you

Eggs: Poached eggs with a glass of milk and a multi grain toast. Eggs & milk provide with protein and important minerals like calcium , phosphorous etc. Toast providing some carbohydrate & fibre to keep you full of energy and (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Is Oatmeal Healthy?

Oatmeal is the latest thing to recommend for a healthy breakfast. But is oatmeal really healthy? Let’s find out.

Oatmeal is overall healthy. It provides healthy carbohydrates. It is a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber and contains essential amino acids for optimum functioning of the body. The fiber slows down the digestion of starch and helps in regulation of blood sugar levels and keeps you away from heart risk. The fiber makes you feel full for a longer time which helps you lose weight. Further, the soluble fiber present in it helps in reducing LDL ( bad cholesterol).

It all sounds wonderful, but should you be eating oatmeal for every meal? Probably not, since (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Low Calorie Granola Bars Healthy Recipe

Granola bars are not exactly low calorie & healthy naturally- since they are loaded with sweeteners, they can have a high sugar content. Read if cornflakes are healthy? So, we’ve created a healthy low calorie granola bar recipe for you- with slow burning carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, protein, minerals, vitamins & low fat. Grab one of these low calorie healthy granola bars as a quick snack between meals. This can also be eaten as a post workout snack.

Low calorie healthy granola bar recipe below. This batch makes 12-16 bars:

Photo- Low Calorie Healthy Granola Bars Recipe (stefnoble@flickr)

Ingredients: Low calorie granola bar recipe

1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup shredded wheat cereal
1 cup almonds
1.5 cups dried fruit (raisins, plums)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
2 tbsp honey
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Cooking Process: Low calorie granola bar recipe
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil coat an 8 x 8 inch baking pan and set aside. (take some butter on your fingers and run it along the pan to coat it with minimum butter)
2. Place the oats, shredded wheat, nuts, dried fruit, cinnamon, and salt in a food mixer until the mixture is finely chopped (size of a lentil).
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, honey, and vanilla. Add the oatmeal mixture and stir, till its mixed evenly.
4. Transfer to the baking pan and flatten down gently with the back of a spoon or spatula to spread evenly.
5. Bake about 18 minutes until the edges turn golden brown and the bars are done. Let bars cool completely in pan before slicing and serving.

These low calorie granola bar recipes are a great snack when you’re at work, in college, out shopping, or even at home. Due to the minimal use of sugar, these granola bars can be diabetic friendly food also.

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— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo