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Children of Obese Mothers Have Higher Heart Risk

Weight loss is a lot more than just about looking good. Its about good health. People associate obesity with personal health but recent studies have suggested that mothers who are overweight can have an effect on the heart health of their child at birth. Other issues such as fetal distress and increased risk of obesity, hypertension and metabolic disorders later in life were also identified. According to this study children of obese and overweight women have a higher risk of premature death from heart attacks and other cardiovascular related diseases.

A Scottish research showed a 35% higher risk of dying before the age of 55 for adults whose mothers were obese during pregnancy. It also stated that maternal obesity increases the risk of premature death and hospital admission for cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke and angina.

Obese people are at a higher risk of heart disease, because of their lifestyle and eating habits. According to another study, being overweight in pregnancy may cause permanent changes in appetite control and energy metabolism in the unborn child, leading to a greater risk of heart problems in later life. The study highlighted the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, sensible eating habits and sufficient activity during pregnancy.

To avoid obesity during pregnancy it is important to follow a balanced and nutritious diet, along with some exercise or activity. During this phase the body needs extra nutrition for the developing foetus. Not just for the pregnant woman, but even for the lactation period that will follow. But, it is important to note that being pregnant doesn’t indicate that the mother has to consume food for two individuals, as she is supporting a life within her. The key to a healthy pregnancy is to consume a balanced diet with light and frequent meals, and to regularly take the supplements or medicines prescribed by the doctor. One should also try to be active, for e.g. go for walks or do pregnancy specific yoga, but under supervision.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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All About Beta-Carotene

Beta-carotene isn’t just good for your eyes. The antioxidant long linked to healthy vision, is now believed to benefit heart health, boost immunity and lower risk of diabetes. The name beta-carotene comes from the Greek word beta and Latin word carota (carrot). It is a pigment found in red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables.

Beta-carotene is a pro-vitamin which can be converted to active Vitamin A. The human body is capable of converting beta-carotene obtained from plant sources to active vitamin A which is required for a good vision, strong immunity, and healthy skin and for several other body functions.

Beta-carotene can be obtained naturally from the diet and also through supplements. The advantage of dietary beta-carotene is that the body only converts as much as it needs. Excess Vitamin A can be toxic and harmful. Toxic levels can occur if you consume high doses of supplements without doctor’s consent.

Benefits of Beta-carotene

Anti-oxidant Rich: Beta-carotene is a powerful anti-oxidant and prevents the body cells from oxidative damage by free radicals. Several studies have shown that anti-oxidants obtained through diet protect against harmful compounds such as free radicals and help build a strong immune system.

Heart Health: It has been found that those who consume at least 4 daily servings of beta-carotene rich fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of developing heart related disorders. Beta-carotene along with vitamin E helps in reducing bad cholesterol levels.

Immunity Booster: Beta-carotene enhances the response of immunity response cells and also helps stimulate your immune system to fight off infections and viruses, and destroy cancerous cells before they can spread.

Skin Saver: Beta-carotene along with Vitamin C and E is found to protect skin from harmful radiations of sun preventing from sunburn.

Respiratory Health: High intakes of beta-carotene and vitamin C have been found to increase the lung capacity, relieve respiratory problems, and protect you from breathing disorders such as asthma and bronchitis.

Diabetes: Studies have shown that people with low levels of beta-carotene in their bodies are much more likely to suffer from impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes.

Foods Rich in Beta-Carotene

Carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin, sweet potato, peppers, spinach, mustard greens, papaya, orange, cantaloupe, mango, apricots are rich sources of beta-carotene.

Including these foods in your daily diet can help you get the required amount of beta carotene for proper body functioning.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Healthy Drinks That You Should Drink

Staying hydrated can be great for your body. Drink enough of the right liquids and your mood will improve, your focus will sharpen, your heart will beat stronger, and you’ll be less likely to suffer from headaches and fatigue. All that, plus if you pick the right potions, you’ll receive beneficial nutrients, antioxidants and protein as a bonus. Water is the universal fluid which is essential for the body and does wonders for us. But there are many other healthy drinks which are very refreshing.

Here is the list of best healthy drinks that you should include in your daily lifestyle -

Water: Water provides everything the body needs—pure H2O—to restore fluids lost through metabolism. Water is needed for our cells to function properly, which then enables thinking, movement, blood circulation, digestion and nerve function. Water helps suppress appetite, which reduces the risk of obesity. Additionally, water helps the body burn fat.

Green Tea: When you think of healthy drinks, water immediately comes to mind, and when it comes to tea, green tea is the champion. Green tea contains EGCG which is an antioxidant. It is extremely helpful since it can locate cancer cells and kill them without damaging healthy cells. Green tea increases the metabolism which makes the body burn more calories per day. This makes green tea a superb drink for dieters who are looking to slim down to a fit body. Green tea also prevents clogging of the blood vessels and so prevents strokes. So, add this in your daily life and stay healthy.

Lemon water: Another name in the list of healthy drinks is lemon water. Starting your day with lemon water is really good for your health. Lemon water is good for detoxification of the body and drinking it first thing helps to eliminate the bodily wastes effectively paving the way for a glowing skin. Lemon water is rich in Vitamin C that helps in strengthening the immune system and also potassium which is good for heart. Lemon water though is acidic, acts as an alkaline in the body thus helps in curing digestive problems like heart burn, constipation and nausea. This is simple and easy to make. Take a glass of lukewarm water and squeeze half lemon and you are done.

Coconut water: Coconut water is incredibly healthy and one of the best health drinks to hydrate the body. Besides helping remove toxins from the body & aiding digestion, coconut water has amazing anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti- microbial properties that helps in fighting against various infections. Another benefit of this healthy drink is that it helps in blood circulation and prevents from excessive heat burn problems and also controls acidity. Coconut water is a rich source of natural calcium, magnesium, and natural potassium- making it a healthy electrolyte balancing drink.

Milk: Milk should be a component of one’s daily diet. We begin drinking it when we are young, but our intake decreases as we get older. Some people shy away from it because they fear that it will add too much fat to their diet. Others leave it out because they believe that they no longer need it. Milk is a great source of calcium, which is essential for healthy bones. Not only do young children need it while their bones are growing, but adults need it to keep their bones strong and to prevent osteoporosis. Other than calcium, this healthy drink is rich in protein, phosphorus, magnesium that is good for development of teeth, fight hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even obesity. There are several varieties of milk in the market, such as whole, 2%, low-fat and fat free. You can choose wisely to avoid addition of extra fat to the diet and reap all other health benefits for a strong skeletal system.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Best Healthy Heart Foods

Eating healthy is critical to managing any health problems. All lifestyle disorders can be easily managed and controlled  by monitoring your diet.

To help you manage your heart health better we have put together a list of best foods that are heart friendly.

Watch the video below to know more:

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Ideal Weight Loss

If you were given a choice to lose weight how much would you want to lose and what should be your ideal weight loss.It would make life comfortable if you know that how much weight you could lose within a month and after x months you would reach a desired weight. Suppose you lose 4 kgs a month and by the end of 6 months you would be able to lose 24 kgs. You could actually calculate the expected weight loss and set the time limits according to your own choice. Read this article on ideal weight to set target for your weight loss.

Weight Loss (Cr/freedigital)

There are some important points that you should keep in mind while planning your ideal weight loss.

Body Composition Analysis: This is the first step towards Ideal weight loss. Body composition analysis gives you a report which tells you about how much fat and muscle percentage is there in your body at different parts. BCA also tells you what your daily caloric requirement is and how many calories you require to maintain the same weight. It also tells how much visceral fat is present in the body. BCA also includes on the basis of your height and weight to be more precise and effective weight loss.

Once you have your BCA report it is time to start taking action. We understand that we have to eat a limited amount of calories per day as the body requires it whether we are at rest or work. It is advisable to not starve yourself as it makes weight loss difficult. Suppose if your daily caloric requirement is of 2000 calories then spread your meals through out the
day on the basis of this. You could break 500 calories for each meal which would be 1500 calories and the rest 500 calories you could distribute for your snacks, biscuits, mid meals etc.

Keep things in mind that don’t assume your daily calorie requirement and eat on an assumed basis. Choose healthy food options which are low in calories and not provide empty calories. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, legumes, dairy, lean meats, nuts and seeds etc. Follow the food pyramid for correct distribution of carbohydrates, protein, fats and
fiber. (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

How Pasta Can Be Healthy

There have been health myths whether pasta is healthy for the diet or not. It could be healthy with the right ingredients and cooking it to the right temperature and softness. Pasta can be made into a complete nutritious meal.

Pasta with spinach sauce (Cr/freedigital)

Here are tips on how to cook healthy pasta.

Ingredients:

Go for whole wheat pasta: When you pick your raw pasta opt for whole wheat grain pasta or multi grain pasta which will keep the calorie intake low and provide the body with fiber and absorb the excess water from the body.

Cooking Style:

Do you cook the pasta ‘Al Dente’ ?Pasta when cooked Al dente has a lower glycemic index when overcooked. Pasta when cooked al dente is soft but not too soft and holds the shape and feels just perfect to the mouth while chewing it. Basically, what that mean is that pasta should not be cooked till it is completely soft. When it is ‘al dente’ (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

How to Control In-between Meal Snacking

We ensure that most of our meals are healthy. The problem comes when we crave food in between meals. If you feel hungry so often then you certainly need to watch out as eating more  food whether healthy or junk leads to weight gain.

Untimely Meal (Cr/freedigital)

The biggest trouble with in between snacking is that one craves something that is satisfying and ready to eat. Unfortunately we dont find having salads or fruits as snacks satisfying enough. While junk food or fattening foods manage to hit the spot, instantly satisfying the hunger pang. Gradually these small food breaks stop having the same satiating effect. After sometime the portion size increases  giving way to more food cravings and constant need to eat something Most of the times this snacking is psychological, as in we condition ourselves to feeling hungry even after having proper meals. Here are some reasons and tips to keep the hunger pangs in control, making you eat less.

Untimely Meals: Not having meals on time is a big factor in making you feel hungry at odd times . The body follows no patterns and gets used to giving a call at random times which pushes us to eat more than a usual meal. Time your meals and eat food with high fiber and protein to keep you feeling fuller.

Breakfast: People who don’t have a balanced and satisfying breakfast often find themselves bingeing on odd time. The unsatisfaction of the previous meal  makes the mind want for more and eating unhealthy. Have a good nutritious breakfast with satisfying food. (more…)

— 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

Healthy Options When You Eat Outside

Celebrations and gatherings often take you out for lunches and dinners. Parties, marriages and office meeting wire you up all the time and you probably eat out most of the time. You get variety of food that confuses your mind and makes you indulge in eating all your favorite food laden with butter, cream, sweets, hydrogenated flour, oil, alcohol and of course no one to stop you for the portion control. You need to realize that it is not healthy to eat everything fattening because when you eat more than your caloric requirement the body starts to store the extra calories which eventually show up on your back, hips, thighs, hands and chin. You  would not like that, would you ?

Usually you find fattening, rich and oily food served across all restaurants and food chains. The reason why these foods dominate the menu is that they are cheaper to prepare and are delicious to taste.  But this shouldn’t let you get distracted from making healthy decisions and still enjoy eating out.

Thai-indian-curry(Cr/freedigital)

Here are few handy tips that will keep you stay on track. Drink a glass of water before you pick the plate up. Know some of the options that you can choose from when you eat out. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo