What does whole grain or whole wheat actually mean?
Supermarket shelves are packed with breads claiming to as be “whole grain”. We all know that we should consume whole grains and not the refined grains. But are they all healthy?
Studies show that eating whole grains instead of refined grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases. So what does whole grain means? Whole grain means that all parts of the grain are used, including the nutritious germ and bran. They are higher in vitamins, minerals and fiber, which helps to keep you feel fuller. They are also richer than refined grains in anti-oxidants and phytochemicals. In general, the phytochemicals in whole grains, including lignans, phytoesterols, and polyphenolics, help protect against cancer. The fiber found in whole grains may ferment in the gut, lowering colonic pH (a higher colonic pH is a cancer risk). It’s been demonstrated that fiber, especially soluble fiber, can reduce serum lipids, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol—all factors in heart disease development.
In the grain-refining process, most of the bran and some of the germ is removed, resulting in loss of dietary fiber and loss of vitamins and minerals.
Whole wheat is one kind of whole grain, so all whole wheat is whole grain, but not all whole grain is whole wheat. The whole grain also encompasses other grains like brown rice, oats, barley, buckwheat, bulgur and corn. And the term “multi-grain” simply means ‘more than one grain’, but not necessarily ‘whole’ grains.
So how could you get the whole grain or whole wheat in your diet? Start by checking the ingredient list for the word ‘whole’ before the names of grains, and look for products that list a whole grain as the first ingredient, indicating that it contains more of this than any other ingredients. For e.g., to make sure that the bread you are buying is made from whole grains, look at the label: whole wheat flour or whole grain flour should be among the first ingredients listed. However, every food item labeled as 100% whole grain doesn’t mean that it contains only whole grains. Other than grains, they also contain sugar, malt syrup and invert sugar.
So, next time while shopping, check the ingredient list and nutrition label to see what you’re really buying. Limit the consumption of food products that contain refined grains added with solid fats, sugars and sodium. Increase whole-grain intake by replacing refined grains with whole grains.— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Benefits and Natural Sources Of Insoluble Fiber
Dietary fiber plays an important role in your diet. Including foods rich in dietary fiber in your daily diet keeps you full for longer and provides bulk to your food. But did you know that dietary fiber is of 2 types – soluble and insoluble. Both of them play a major role in keeping your digestive system healthy but insoluble fiber is the only one that is primarily effective at keeping contents in your digestive tract moving.
-Soluble dietary fiber: As the name suggests this type of fiber gets dissolved in water and turns into a gel-like substance which delays the emptying of your stomach. It helps in lowering the levels of cholesterol and regulates blood glucose levels. It also boosts the levels of good bacteria in your intestine. Various food sources include oatmeal, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, oat bran, strawberries, nuts, flaxseeds, beans, carrots, cucumber, etc.
-Insoluble dietary fiber: As the name suggests it does not get dissolved in water and remains in the form of undigested solids. It has a laxative effect and adds bulk to the diet, which prevents constipation. Since this does not get dissolved in the system, it passes through the gastrointestinal tract relatively intact, and speeds up the passage of food and waste through the gut.
Sources of insoluble fiber:
-Fruits: The Skin of fruits
-Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables like spinach
-Beans: Kidney beans, black beans, white beans and red beans
-Nuts and Seeds
Include these foods in your diet to maximize fiber benefits.— 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.
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
Fiber for Optimum Health
Fiber is an essential nutrient in your diet. Fiber is in the form of soluble fiber as well as insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber binds with the fatty acids in the stomach and the arteries. This helps to regulate blood sugar and reduces the over all cholesterol. The insoluble fiber removes toxins from your colon and balance intestine acidity.
Research has shown that people who consumed the highest amount of fiber were 22 percent less likely to develop heart and health related risks. Fiber helps in controlling diabetes and heart disease risks because it improves cholesterol levels, blood pressure, inflammation and blood sugar levels. Besides it, fiber also has the property to bind along with the toxins and remove it from the body quickly. Read on to find out how much fiber your need, and best sources of fiber for your body. (more…)— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Tips to improve your health, fitness and sex life
In our previous article, we talked about how an unhealthy diet can negatively affect your sex life. Here, we will tell you all about how you can improve it
- Watch the Fat: The daily fat content of your diet should not be more than 30%. That’s the stipulated guideline for fat content in your diet. If you go over, you risk increasing fat storage in your body, along with cholesterol build up. High cholesterol reduces blood flow to all parts of your including your genitals for sexual arousal.
- Eat lots of fiber: Soluble fiber help to clean cholesterol build up in your arteries. With cleaner arteries, more blood can flow to all parts of your body, including your privates. Common sources of soluble fibre are legumes, oats, rye, barley, broccoli, carrots, onions, potatoes, apples and other fruits, etc.
- Do your Cardio: Cardiovascular exercises like cycling, running keep bad cholesterol down and raises good cholesterol. They also improves blood flow and circulation in your body, again benefiting sex life. Need some help to start running?- Here are tips to start running
So, keep the alcohol under control with these low calorie alcoholic drinks, follow these tips and improve your sex life.— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo