Tag Archives: water

High salt intake in childhood might be linked to obesity

High salt intake has been blamed as one of the root causes for obesity in adults. And now research shows that it even applies to children. Research published in the journal Pediatrics shows that the more salt children consume; the more they slurped on sugar-sweetened drinks. And those who drank more than a serving a day were 26% more likely to be overweight or obese, suggesting that salt may be part of the chain of events contributing to the childhood-obesity epidemic.

Apart from this study, one of the research studies also showed that adults or children who ate more salt, felt thirstier and consumed more fluid. This has been quoted by Carley Grimes, the study’s lead author, a dietitian and doctoral student at Deakin University in Australia. The amount of salt in your blood rises and to control it, your body gets thirsty. But the problem with adolescents is that, when they feel thirsty, they try to reach out for soda and sugar based drinks instead of water, which ultimately leads to unhealthy weight gain.

Salt-rich diets could be the key to why some children battle with obesity, according to a research at the University of London. In a study of data on 1,600 children, they found that children eating a salty diet tend to drink more, including more sugary sodas and drinks.

The researchers calculated that for every gram of salt those children consumed, they also drank 17 g of sugary drinks. The kids who did not commonly drink sugar-sweetened beverages wound up eating more than half a gram of salt less than the group of kids who drank sugary drinks. “That’s significant,” says Grimes. “It’s a bag of chips a day”

It is very important to educate adolescents about salt intake. Here are some tips which can be inculcated in your lifestyle, to help reduce salt intake.
1. Try to consume home cooked food most of the time.
2. Stick to fruits, salads and vegetables.
3. Consume calcium rich foods like milk and other dairy products.

Other than obesity, a high salt diet can trigger other health problems like high blood pressure and cardiovascular ailments. Controlling salt intake might be difficult in India, since salt consumption is high across all regions and foods. Try to refrain from adding extra salt to home food, or when eating out.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Benefits of Drinking Water On An Empty Stomach

Water plays a vital role in keeping your body healthy and fit. A human body is made up of 50-60% water and every system in the body depends on water. For example, water protects vital organs and tissues, carries nutrients and oxygen to your cells, lubricates the joints, helps dissolve nutrients and minerals to make them accessible to the body, and regulates body temperature. But did you know that drinking water first thing in the morning has many health benefits. Your body is craving for water when you get up in the morning and drinking 2-3 glasses of water as soon as you get up can rejuvenate you and your health in more ways than you can imagine. Here are some benefits of drinking water on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.

1. Cleanse your body

Having water on an empty stomach helps in cleansing of the colon, which in turn increases the efficiency of the intestine to absorb nutrients. It also helps in flushing out toxins from your body.

2. Keeps your gut healthy

Drinking water on an empty stomach helps in correcting bowel movement, which may prevent constipation, bad digestion and intestinal infections. This keeps your gut healthy.

3. Keeps your internal organs healthy

Water keeps your body hydrated which is really important for proper functioning of internal organs of your body. This keeps your lymph system healthy. The lymph system balances your body fluids.

4. Fight infections

The body has its own immune system which helps in fighting against many infections and bad cells. Drinking water on an empty stomach increases the body’s efficiency to fight against infections. According to Japanese medical society, having water on an empty stomach can help you in curing different diseases like Headache, body ache, heart ailments, arthritis, fast heart beat, epilepsy, excess fat, bronchitis, asthma, TB, meningitis, kidney and urine diseases, vomiting, gastritis, diarrhea, piles, diabetes, constipation, all eye diseases, womb, cancer, menstrual disorders and ear, nose and throat diseases.

5. Keeps your skin healthy

Water helps in eliminating toxins from the blood which keeps your skin glowing, healthy and clear.

Drinking water on an empty stomach has many health benefits but keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day is equally important. So, besides drinking 2-3 glasses of water as soon as you get up from sleep in the morning, make it a routine to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day, at regular intervals.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

How Water Can Help you Lose Weight

Did you know that water can help you lose weight? Recent research suggests that increased water consumption is tied to greater weight loss. Drinking water is good for health. Water aids in losing weight because it diminishes your hunger and also helps cut calories at meals.

Water is an essential component of our life. Every function in the human body depends on water. For example, water protects vital organs and tissues, carries nutrients and oxygen to your cells, lubricates the joint, helps dissolve nutrients and minerals, and regulates body temperature.

But many people do not drink much water until they feel thirsty. Drinking water in the morning increases the metabolic rate and actually helps promote weight loss. Water even contains trace amounts of minerals and vitamins, with 0 calories.

Water acts as an appetite suppressant. It fills you up and keeps you away from overeating. You feel less hungry with better control on your cravings. It was discovered that people who drink water before meals eat an average of 75 fewer calories during the meal. It also helps lower the body’s cholesterol levels and helps the liver metabolize extra fat.

If you usually don’t drink enough water, it will cause water retention and will add to your weight, making you seem very bloated. Dehydration or not drinking enough water can be responsible for slowing down your metabolism.

According to many researches, its being said that when you feel bloated, drink more water so that your brain gets a signal that the body has received sufficient water and now the retained water needs to be flushed out.

So always keep yourself hydrated. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day to help remove toxins from your body and boost your metabolism naturally.

— 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

Healthy Late Night Snacking

Do you feel hungrier in night as compared to the day? Did you know that overeating at night can disrupt your sleep, leading to imbalances of hunger and satiety hormones? But choosing right and healthy snack foods can protect you from several adverse effects. Here are some healthy snack options you can opt in night whenever you feel hungry -

Handful of Nuts: Whenever you feel hungry in night you can opt for handful of nuts of your choice. Nuts are full of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) which are considered to be good fat, fiber, vitamin and minerals. They will provide you right nutrition and also help you in keeping full for longer. Avoid adding salt or sugar to nuts; you can enjoy nuts with their natural flavor. In fact, 14 raw almonds contain approx 98 kcal whereas 10 raw cashew nuts contain approx 98 kcal. So, it’s not about high content of nuts it about how much you consume.

Salad: A salad made of seasonal fruits and vegetables is one of the best night time snacking foods. You can add lettuce, celery, carrots and seasonal fruits to make the salad with a lemon dressing. You can also add almonds to your salad and make it more nutritious.

Popcorn: Many people find it comfortable to eat potato chips in night but instead of that try to opt for stove-top popcorn. 1 cup of air-popped popcorn without any fat contains approximately 31 kcal calories. Once popped, sprinkle any of your favorite low-calorie toppings like a dash of chili pepper flakes or dried spices adds lots of flavor without extra calories.

Fruits: Fruits are loaded with benefits of antioxidants and fiber. Whenever you feel hungry in night just go and grab a fruit from your refrigerator. Fruits do not add up to too many calories but keep you full for longer. You can go for a cup of mixed seasonal fruits.

Jasmine Tea: Jasmine tea is believed to have a tranquilizing effect on body as it calms your nerves which in turn promote sound sleep. A 2005 study conducted by Kyoto University found that the smell of jasmine reduced study participant’s heart rates and produced “calm and vigorous mood states”. After further experimentation, the researchers attributed this effect to one of the aromatic components of jasmine: (R)-(-)-linalool.

Water: According to experts, the human brain sometimes misinterprets signals of thirst as a sign of hunger, so one ends up eating extra calories instead of drinking zero calorie water. So the next time you feel those late night hunger pangs grab a glass of water instead of something to munch on.

Late night snacking can be a result of erratic sleep pattern. Try to have a sound sleep of at least 8 hours to avoid such cravings.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Healthy Snacks to Beat Hunger Pangs

When you’re trying to eat healthy, one of the biggest challenges is finding something healthy to eat, when you get hungry at odd times, like between meals. To help you stay healthy, here are 5 foods, that are commonly available and are good for your health -

Water: Our bodies are complex systems that send us signals when they are tired, hungry or energized. Sometimes we read their signals incorrectly. For example, sometimes when our body needs water, we think it needs food, which leads to weight gain and more. So, the next time hunger pangs strike at an odd time, drink a glass of water, and wait for 10 minutes. If it really needs food, then you will still be hungry.

Black / Green Tea: Instead of that cold coffee, why not have a cup of nutrition loaded tea – which can be either green or black. Avoid adding milk or sugar in your tea, for maximum benefit.

Almonds: They are easy, high in nutrition snack. Almonds contain fiber, healthy fats and protein, so they keep you satisfied for longer. Keep them around, and anytime you’re hungry at an odd time, have a handful of almonds.

Fruits: Fruits have healthy carbohydrates, fiber and vitamins. So pick any fruit. Whatever is in season or is easily available. A banana, mango, apple, guava. You name the fruit, and it’s much healthier than any junk food.

Roasted Channa: High in protein, fiber and low in fat, roasted Channa is a great anytime snack.

Start eating these snacks and get healthy.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Low Calorie Lunch Options

Eating meals timely is important to maintain the metabolism. Untimely meals, delayed meals or even skipping meals slows down the metabolism. What happens when the metabolism gets disturbed? Simple, you start putting weight. Everyone tries to start healthy by keeping breakfast options minimal and healthy. But by the time we reach lunch all the work or a busy day takes a toll over our lunch choices. We dont realize eating unhealthy food will only make things worse both in terms of being bad to the body but also adding stress to our lives. Eating processed and junk food leads to high cholesterol, disturbed sugar levels resulting in high blood pressure, hyper-tension and Type 2 Diabetes.

Vegetable Roll (Cr/freedigital)

We suggest why develop bad habits when its as easy to develop good habits. This doesnt mean you have to punish yourself and live only on raw food and water. It means that if you start planning  in advance you can be more conscious while packing lunch at home or eating out.   Here are some healthy lunch options that you could carry it from your home or buy.

Vegetable besan cheela with low fat curd: This chick pea-flour pancake are packed with protein. It can be prepared in no time and at the same time its tasty as well as nutritious. Chick pea is said to be a good source of fiber and many other nutrients and low in fat. One best thing about this Besan Chilla is that it can be pretty much toyed around with to suit different tastes. You can change the veggies you add to it:  mushrooms, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, or spinach. One vegetable chilla gives aroun 120-140 calories.

Paneer/Chicken wheat flour Kathi Roll: Kathi Rolls are hot crispy rotis served with a choice of fillings. Use any combination of vegetables like  paneer, mushroom, soya, corn or green peas to make these vegetarian rolls. For non veg fillings you could use chicken. These rolls are ideal for packed lunches as these are quite easy to prepare, pick and eat.The calories varies according to type of filling, But on an average 1 vegetable kathi roll provides around 195 calories. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

What is Making You Fat

We know enough about the repercussions of being fat, unfit or eating unhealthy foods which can cause metabolic disorder and cause weight gain. Though we read about healthy food options to include in our diet and presume to have fixed all the factors for weight loss but yet weight loss seems to not happen.

Burger (Cr/freedigital)

Did you fix quitting junk food that adds only calories, fats and not nutrition ? Have you started eating foods that are healthier than what you were eating earlier? You are reading the best of advices and following them too but the outcome is not satisfying. Where is it that you are going wrong and what is it that you do to make weight loss happen and not get fat. Fix the loopholes where you are going wrong and correct it to lose weight.

Its not just about eating the right amount of calories , it is about ensuring they meet the daily nutritional requirement intake for a healthy metabolic rate. Read below for factors that probably are holding you back from losing weight.

Fluids: It is lots of water that you have to drink through out the day and not energy drink, iced teas, lemon drinks, sodas and sweetened beverages. Do you know how many packets of sugar are these pre-packaged drinks are adding to your diet  even if they are being marketed as healthy. These drinks might even sabotaging your fitness routine by increasing your daily intake of required calories. Instead stick to water to rev up metabolim and keep the body hydrated.Water is zero calories and preloading with it before a meal can help you lose weight fast.

Portion Control: You feel unsatisfied when you eat small meals. Large meals make more calorie intake which is over your daily nutritional requirement and gets saved as fat. Eat in small plates, chew slowly and stop eating once you feel full.

No Fiber: Fiber helps in better digestion of food and absorbs lots of water from the body. If you have water retention then add fiber to your diet. Fiber also keeps you feel fuller for a longer time without adding any extra calories.

No Exercise: Exercise boosts weight loss. You are eating to your requirement which will help you lose weight but exerise will accelerate the calorie burn in the body and give quicker results. As more muscles are improtant higher metabolism and weight loss, regular exercise will develop muscles in the body.

Missing Meals: Some people miss meals to fasten their weight loss presuming to save calories for the day. Missing meals makes the body go in the mode of starvation where the body burns the reserves slowly. Eat you meals at time as you would miss on the nutrition for that meal. Eating the next meal after the missed meal makes you consume more calories as you are hungry, which would get saved as extra calories as skipping meals slows the body’s natural metabolic rate.

Cheat Meals: It is alright to have a cheat meal once or twice a week but if you are cheating more unhealthy meals for healthy meals then you are slimming your chances of losing fat. It disrupts the weight loss process as the body takes time to adjust to a pattern before showing results.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

How to Build Immunity

Are you tired of falling sick every time there is a slight change in the weather or being extremely vulnerable to other people with viruses or bacteria. Body produces antibodies that help identify and neutralize foreign bodies like bacteria and virus in the body thus providing immunity. Immune system is the body’s defence against organisms and foreign substance which have potential to cause diseases and health problems. The immune system is made up of cells, tissues and organs that fight together to protect the body.

Garlic (Cr/freedigital)

There are three types of immunity in the body known as innate, adaptive and passive. Innate is the natural immunity that we all are born with for general protection. Adaptive immunity is the active immunity which develops throughout our lives and in some cases where the infection is too dangerous to fight we can be immunized through vaccination. Lastly, passive immunity is which is borrowed from other sources like mothers milk that provides immunity to child when he is born until he develops his immunity.

Lymphocytes, which are the white cells, are the key laborers of the immune system. The primary lymphocytes are B-cells, T-cells, natural killer cells, macrophages and dendritic cells.

You could strengthen your immune system naturally through balanced diet and exercise. Good nutrition with vitamins and minerals and other important nutrients will keep the immune healthy and ready to ward off invaders. A life style that indulges in the consumption junk foods, fear, worry, and anything that promotes stress will weaken and destroy the immune system. Here are some food options for building immunity.

Garlic: It is a powerful immune booster and stimulator which increases the production of infection fighting white blood cells, boosts natural killer cells and destroys antibodies.  Allicin and sulphides present in garlic boost immune system. Garlic is an anti-oxidant which fights free radicals in the body and helps clear out toxins from the body.

Carrots: Carrots, his food of choice, contain loads of beta carotene, which is a powerful phytonutrient that boosts the immune system’s production of infection-fighting natural killer cells and T cells. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases  and kills free radicals which cause aging and strengthens the immune system.

Yogurt :Ingesting live bacteria might not seem like the best way to stay healthy, but, on the contrary, your body needs certain bacteria to function properly. Lactobacillus acidophilus is an example of good bacteria that your body needs, because it produces lactic acid in your gut, which helps you digest food and break down complex compounds into usable bits.

Mushroom: Mushrooms increase white blood cells in the body to fight diseases and infections. They help build the immune system. Mushrooms contain beta glucans which are one of the best immune enhancing substance. They provide rich nutrition to the body and keep foreign substances away.

Citrus Fruits (Cr/freedigital)

Citrus fruits: Vitamin C is an antioxidant which eradicates free radicals from the body and keeps the body in fighting mode from all foreign substances. Vitamin c increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies in the body fighting the immune system. Vitamin C has rich anti-inflammatory properties helping fight cold and bruises, wound healing cuts, swelling etc. It keeps a good body immunity fighting against the bacteria and fungi causing allergies.

Drinks lots of water to flush out toxins from the body and include vegetables, fruits which contain fiber beneficial in removing toxins from the body. Exercise to keep the body healthy and increase blood flow in the body and fight infections better.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Eat to lose weight

Weight loss and diets arn’t really about not eating and starving yourself to burn  fat. You could eat the same quantity and lose weight. Not eating is unhealthy for our body as it effects the immune system and the body’s power to fight infections and slows down the metabolic rate. Would you rather eat healthy and lose weight or not eat and get unfit.

Fresh Fruits(Cr/freedigital)

There are certain foods that are low calorie and some foods provide no calories at all. Our bodies require a certain number of calories per day and eating beyond it would store the calories. Usually when we are eating we give less importance to the calorie intake but rather eat till we feel full. So here are food options that will fill you up and keep the calorie intake balanced and low.

Fresh foods: If you want to eat choose natural food options like fruits, vegetables, cereals and pulses etc. The cheese burgers, pizzas, patties, fried foods, heavy snacks, empty calorie food provide less nutrition and are fattening. 1gm of fat provides a lot more calories than whats carbohydrates or protein provide. So changing your habits and eating healthy food will help you consume less calories,keep you full and fat especially which gets difficult to burn.

Fruits and vegetables Salads (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo