Tag Archives: omega – 3 fatty acids

Eat This to Get a Body Like Hrithik Roshan and Farhan Akhtar

Believe it or not, along with your workout, eating more of the right kind of fats will not only enable you to lose extra body fat, but will also help you gain lean muscle mass, resulting in a more defined and ‘ripped’ look.

The best way to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol) in your body is by reducing the amount of high-glycemic carbohydrates and saturated fats and getting more of omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats.

Unsaturated fats are those that have one or more double bonds in their fatty acid chains. Made up of two kinds of fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, these fats provide slightly fewer calories than saturated fats and somewhat less energy. Polyunsaturated fats also contain Omega-3 fatty acids that are necessary to maintain a healthy body.

A recent research from Uppsala University shows that saturated fat builds more fat and less muscle than poly-unsaturated fat. When you get calories from polyunsaturated fats (like salmon, olives, olive oil, nuts, etc.), you gain muscle mass.

Studies show that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and poly-unsaturated fats (PUFA) improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease. Research also shows that unsaturated fats may benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which can be especially helpful if you have type 2-diabetes.

PUFA have the potential to increase insulin sensitivity in muscle tissues. This means that our body uses insulin more effectively to transport nutrients into muscle cells where they increase cell volumization and protein synthesis and at the same time decrease the fat storing properties of insulin in your favor, helping you to stay leaner. They also have a positive effect on thyroid hormones which helps burn fat more efficiently.

Your daily fat intake should be less than 25% to 35% of your total caloric intake. Out of this total, up to 7% can be saturated fats and less than 1% should be trans- fats. The remaining fat in your diet should be from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

The dietary source for unsaturated fats include oily fishes like salmon, herring, sardines, tuna; olive oils, sunflower oil, soybean oil, flaxseed oil, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, etc.

A healthy and clean diet along with a dedicated workout routine is what will get you even close to as fit and ripped as Hrithik Roshan or Farhan Akhtar.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Nuts – The Secret Weight Loss Weapon

Nuts are one of the foods that provide you a variety of essential nutrients and healthy fats. It keeps you fuller for longer and is a powerful weight loss food.

Nuts are high in calories, but the healthy fats help curb your appetite as they keep you fuller for longer. This means that you have to moderate consumption of nuts. Having a handful of nuts when you feel hungry can help you control cravings for unhealthy snacks.

Nuts are a powerhouse of good nutrients, packed with protein, fiber, monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, copper, and antioxidants. Although they are high in fat, it’s unsaturated heart-healthy fats.
Nuts have less cholesterol-raising saturated fat. On average, 62 percent of the fat in nuts is monounsaturated fat, which supports healthy levels of protective HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and does not raise blood levels of harmful LDL cholesterol. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids that lower triglycerides and blood pressure. Walnuts are especially rich sources of alpha-linolenic acid, some of which is converted to heart-protective omega-3 fatty acids.

Most nuts, and especially almonds, are good sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant. Nuts contain other nutrients like folic acid, selenium, magnesium and several phyto-chemicals. Certain compounds in nuts have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or anticancer properties.
Nuts also contain dietary fiber that reduces cholesterol and improves blood sugar and weight control.

How do nuts help you lose weight? Firstly, nuts are high in healthy fats. These fats help control your appetite and cravings, which makes them the ideal mid meal snack. Secondly, nuts are high in proteins, which help build muscle. Higher muscle mass means greater calorie loss during rest and a higher metabolic rate. Thirdly, nuts provide a variety of other essential nutrients that improve our overall health. A healthy body results in higher fat burning capabilities and a control on unnecessary cravings.

1 handful of almonds (30 gm) provides 172.5 calories.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Best Foods to Fight Depression

Depression is a disorder associated with major symptoms such as increased sadness and anxiety, loss of appetite, depressed mood, and a loss of interest in pleasurable activities. Lots of things play a role in getting a person depressed. Most often, it’s situational – a loss, a death, a big change in life, social environment, life events, etc. But when it lasts for a very long time, it becomes something more that needs help where the brain doesn’t work quite right. Low serotonin levels (the neurotransmitter) are linked to depression, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue.

People who are depressed find it difficult to function on a daily basis, they have feelings of worthlessness, and they often lack motivation and are prone to insomnia, in many cases. The benefits of medication and therapy are well known, but there’s another important area to consider, your diet. Important nutrients needed to fight with depression are well described below -

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

These essential fatty acids are needed to build the brain’s neural connections as well as the receptor sites for neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Research has shown people with depression appear to have lower levels of omega-3.

Eat more – Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. Flax-seeds, chia seeds and walnuts are also good sources.

B Vitamins

B vitamins are important for nervous system function and the production of energy from food and are considered “anti-stress” nutrients. They help to relieve anxiety and treat depression. Niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folic acid (B9) all work with the amino acid tryptophan to produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter.

Eat more – Legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, green leafy veggies, eggs, chicken, red meat and milk.

Eat less – Refined grains and processed foods.

Tryptophan

Serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible to fight depression, is manufactured in the body using the amino acid tryptophan, which must be supplied through the diet. Tryptophan is also needed to produce melatonin, which is vital for getting enough sleep.

Eat more – Lean chicken, turkey, beef, brown rice, fish, milk, eggs, cheese, nuts, bananas, peas, pumpkin, potato, corn and spinach.

Trace minerals like selenium, zinc, magnesium, etc. along with antioxidant-rich foods too play an important role in the development of brain and helps keep depression at bay.

At last I would like to introduce you with the following 5 foods to fight with Depression -

1) Nuts & Seeds: They are a good source of protein and magnesium, which help in the production of serotonin, a “feel-good” brain chemical.

2) Green Tea: Despite the caffeine, the L-theanine (an amino acid) found in green tea seems to be profoundly relaxing and have a calming effect, up to eight hours.

3) Raw Garlic: Garlic’s anti-oxidant properties play an important role in fighting fatigue-causing free radicals. Garlic contains the highest amount of selenium among foods.

4) Avocados: Aside from being the highest source of tryptophan, avocados are also one of the richest sources of protein, folate, and the heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids.

5) Fatty-Fish: There’s a reason why fish is known as “brain food”. Fatty fish such as wild salmon contain the omega-3 fatty acid – DHA, which has been shown to increase the membrane quality and nerve function of gray matter in the brain.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

10 Foods for Great Skin

Skin is the largest organ of the human body. If you’re healthy on the inside, you will look healthy on the outside as well. Here are some foods that can help you in making your skin flawless, soft and smooth.

Almonds: Almonds are rich source of vitamin E which acts as a sun blocker. Studies have shown that if you consume 14 milligrams of this vitamin per day that is similar to about 20 almonds and then were exposed to UV light there are less sunburned than those who took none. “Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that helps to protect skin cells from UV light and other environmental factors that generate cell-damaging free radicals”, explains Jeffrey Dover, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University.

FlaxseedsFlaxseeds are rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which erase spots and helps in reducing fine lines. The benefit of flaxseeds for skin is especially noticeable in those who have skin sensitivities or are prone to dry skin. They also help in reducing skin irritation, tissue inflammation and redness because of high omega-3 content.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are rich source of lycopene and phytochemical that make tomatoes red and also help in eliminating skin-aging free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays. The content of citric acid in tomatoes are very useful to remove dirt and reduce oil production. That’s why tomatoes are very useful to lighten the skin and overcome blackheads.

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet Potatoes are good source of vitamin C, which smoothes out wrinkles by promoting collagen formation and the more collagen you have, the less creased your skin looks. They are also good source of natural, health-promoting compounds known as beta-carotene and anthocyanin. Beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A in our body and it has anti-oxidant properties that help in fighting against damage caused by free radical. Anthocyanin fights pigmentation and provides anti-inflammatory benefits to the skin.

Spinach: Spinach is rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and lutein. Vitamin A is important for the beauty of skin tone. Vitamin C plays significant role in the repair as well as the growth of skin cells. Lutein is a type of a carotenoid that protects your skin from UV damage.

Apples: Apples are rich source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and copper. Copper is an essential mineral that contributes to healthy skin. It promotes the formation of melanin, the brown-black pigment that colors your skin. Melanin in your skin protects you from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and therefore acts as natural sun protection.

Walnuts: Walnuts are rich source of Vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids and anti-oxidants which are essential to skin regeneration and elasticity. Walnuts also include chemicals that help boost circulation, bringing oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells. Just 4 walnuts a day will provide you with all their skin-protecting benefits.

Turmeric: Turmeric is an excellent exfoliating agent and can help you defeat the signs of ageing. Curcumin, a poly-phenolic compound is the principal pigment that imparts deep orange color to the turmeric. In vitro and animal studies have suggested that curcumin have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric can be used to make different face packs which will provide you the maximum benefits and keep your skin flawless.

Ginger: Ginger aids in digestion which speeds up the removal of toxins as well as promotes your blood circulation which in turn helps you in reducing spots and aging process. Ginger is also rich in Vitamin C which helps you in fighting against wrinkles. Apart from this, ginger has great anti-inflammatory properties due to presence of gingerols which promote evened skin tone and skin smoothness.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is beneficial for oily or combination skin types. It helps to tighten skin pores and makes your face clear and smooth. It can also help rid your face or back of acne by both drying out the skin and bringing blood and oxygen to the skin surface.

Include above food in your diet to not only have a healthy body but also a healthy skin with much smoother and flawless look.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Heart Healthy Diet Tips

Your heart, like any other organ, functions 24 hours. It is the centre of all activity and all the other organs depend on the heart function. So, if you keep your heart healthy, your body remains healthy too! You have probably heard all kinds of advice for keeping your heart healthy, but it isn’t that complicated. Following a simple and healthy lifestyle will make sure your heart is functioning fine. Here are some easy to follow diet tips that you can use for yourself and your family -

1. Increase fiber in your diet

Fiber is that part of the plant food that is not broken down in the intestines by human digestive enzymes. Fiber can be either insoluble or soluble but most fiber-containing foods have both properties. Lentils, whole grains, beans, fruits & oatmeal are commonly available foods containing fiber. Soluble fiber is thought to reduce your bad cholesterol as it can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Recommended intake of fiber is 35 to 40 grams per day. The best way to increase fiber in your diet is by making sure you eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Incorporate high-fiber foods into your diet with simple tweaks to your recipes — for example, by adding beans to soup, oats to your favourite smoothie, etc.

2. Include nuts

Nuts are a heart healthy snack as they are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids which are considered as essential and good fats for the body. You can include a handful of nuts to your daily routine, for example, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, flaxseed, pistachio, etc. Nuts contain good fats which can reduce your bad cholesterol levels and raise your good cholesterol levels. But on other hand nuts are also high in calories; therefore, keep a check on the amount you are consuming. You can include them in your diet by adding chopped almonds, walnuts or crushed flaxseed to your salad.

3. Consume fish twice in a week

Fish is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids which is a heart healthy fat. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that may reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the body can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease and many other severe health problems. Omega-3 fatty acids may decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, decrease stroke, reduce heart failure risk and reduce irregular heartbeats. Also, in children they may improve learning ability. Eating at least one to two servings a week of fish that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, herring, sardines and tuna helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. To ensure maximum health benefits from fish avoid frying fish and instead choose to steam, grill or roast.

4. Add Fruits to your diet

Fruits like apples, papaya, orange, berries, etc contain pectin, beta- carotene, flavonoids, antioxidants and other vitamins that help you in keeping your heart healthy. These nutrients protect your organs from free radical damage and keep your blood vessels healthy. Include a minimum of 2-3 servings of fruits in your regular diet. Also, opt for fresh whole fruits instead of canned fruits or packaged fruit juices to get the maximum heart health benefits.

5. Make an exercise routine

Exercise helps improve blood flow and reduces cholesterol levels in your bloodstream. It also helps in burning unhealthy fat from your body and keeps your heart healthy. Try to make a routine of a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity for 5 days a week to keep your heart healthy.

A simple heart healthy recipe packed with fibre: Make oats with 1 cup milk for breakfast. Add sliced apples, chopped almonds and sprinkle some flax-seeds.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Healthy Food For Kids | Healthy Food For Children

Kids need a filling and nutritious diet for growth and unhealthy foods will slow down their growth if the daily nutrition is not met accordingly. From carbohydrates for energy to go non-stop through out the day, the amino acids from protein to build muscle and recover them, vitamins and minerals for healthy functioning of organs and chemical reactions in the body
and fat for good cholesterol and cushioning of organs.

Kid eating(Cr/freedigital)

Though kids like foods that are surprising and delightful to their taste buds. Get creative with your recipes and start making your food nutritious and attractive. Here are foods for kids to kep them healthy. Give your child plenty of options ranging from chocolates to everything that they like.

Cornflakes with milk and fruits: We all feed our kids with cornflakes but make it more healthy with adding fruits to it. Include the fruit that your kids like eating. Strawberry, grapes, nuts, seeds, apples, bananas etc. This meal will provide your kid with carbs, protein and essential vitamins and minerals along with iron to improve metabolism.

Eggs: Eggs provide a lot of satiety and protein, vitamins and minerals. Make it healthier by adding a slice of cheese or add a few slices of vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber etc. The meal will keep the kids feel fuller and have lots of nutrition for a good growth.

Sandwiches: What about adding a slice of lean meat for non-vegetarians and cottage cheese for veggies ? Play around with your stuffing options with boiled mashed potatoes, cheese slice, tuna or vegetables. Choose whole grain bread or multiflour bread to make it more healthy.

Drinks: Say no to aerated drinks including the cola’s and sweetened sodas as they would add empty calories which is not healthy for a childs growth. Provide other varities from fresh fruit juice, lemonade, buttermilk, banana milk shake, mango shake and other shakes with fruits, nuts and seeds.

Walnuts: For healthy functioning of mind omega fatty acids are equally important. Walnuts, flaxseed and fish products like salmon, tuna etc are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids which are important for developement of childs brain.

You can pick lots more  healthy options for your child. Keep foods providing empty calories and junk that add no nutrition away from their diets. Use less oil in the food and avoid fried foods. Follow these basics and keep your kids healthy.

 

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Food With Fat For Health Benefits

Fatty Foods

Fat has an important role to play in the smooth functioning of body just like how protein is important for muscle building, carbohydrates for energy and vitamins and minerals for other nutrition. The minimum requirement of essential fat for men is 2-5% and women is 10-12%, anything below which physical and psychological health would be effected. When one consumes fat more than the daily requirement it then it gets stored in the belly, thighs and all over the body. Fat helps in healthy cell function and keeps the skin healthy and stores energy in the body and provides 9 calories per 1 gm of fat.

Essential fat is required for brain functioning, bone marrows, central nervous system muscles and healthy functioning of the body

It provides cushion to internal organs of the chest and abdomen.  These essential fats are often confused with the bad fats that increase the LDL bad Cholesterol. Essential fats actually increase the HDL good cholesterol levels improving heart health and improves the flow of blood in the arteries.

Here is a list of Fatty foods for good health

 

(more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Fish Oil Benefits

Fish oil comes from the tissues of oily fish. It is extremely beneficial because it contains omega 3 fatty acids: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The human brain is comprised of 60% fats, and approximately half of that fat is DHA, omega 3. This might mean that nature intended the human brain to be “powered” by fats, so if you don’t have enough, your brain might not be able to run properly.

Consuming fish oil has many benefits from reducing risk of cancer to weight loss.

Fish Oil capsules

Here are few health benefits of popping that fish oil capsule everyday:

Brain Health: Boosts your memory and focus capabilities, improves the growth area associated with behavior, and decreases depression and suicide risk. Researches from Harvard School of Public Health have shown deficiencies in omega 3 fats have been linked to depression, anxiety, mood swings, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Heart Health: Fish oil that is high in omega 3 fatty acids helps prevent heart disease by keeping your heart strong and healthy. Fish oil helps with cholesterol regulation and helps reduce the formation of clots
American Heart Association mentioned “Omega 3 fatty acids benefit the heart of healthy people, and those at high risk of or who have cardiovascular disease.” Research has also shown that omega 3′s can help reduce or prevent heart rhythm abnormalities by making the heart stronger.

Arthritis Aches and Pains: Studies have shown that fish oil supplementation, rich in omega 3′s, can help alleviate these pains due to inflammation in those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

During Pregnancy or infancy: Omega- 3 is required for the fetus brain to develop properly; it needs a great deal of the omega 3′s, DHA and EPA. Adequate levels of omega 3 intake are associated with less attention deficit and hyperactivity and higher IQ’s among infants.

Psoriasis, Acne, and Other Skin Disorders: Fish oils have anti-inflammatory properties which help acne or other skin disorders get much better.

Cancers: DHA and EPA omega 3′s, found in fatty fish and fish oil supplements, may protect against these types of cancers including breast, prostate, testicular and ovarian cancer.

Latest research is showing that fish oil consumption also helps in reducing belly fat, and boosting muscle growth.

Best Ratio of DHA to EPA:
Both DHA and EPA have different physiological roles. DHA omega-3 fatty acids are recognized as a physiologically-essential nutrient in the brain and retina. It’s required in high concentrations for providing optimal mental performance (cognitive function, memory, focus, learning ability) and visual acuity.

While EPA plays an important role in regulating blood flow and maintaining a healthy heart system.

As far as the EPA: DHA ratio of a fish oil supplement goes look out for 2:1 or 3:1 ratio.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo