Tag Archives: whole grains

Is a Vegetarian Diet Better?

A Vegetarian diet basically comprises abstaining from the consumption of red meat, poultry, seafood and meat/flesh of any other animal. There are a lot of proponents of vegetarianism coming up across the world. In fact, many celebrities and public figures have turned vegetarian and support as voluntary ambassadors of the cause. Let’s figure out whether a vegetarian diet is healthier than a non-vegetarian diet. We gain a better understanding by analyzing certain research studies by health scientists. According to one such study and analysis; Vegetarians seem to have lower blood pressure.

The question that arises is whether adopting a vegetarian diet would be a useful strategy for lowering blood pressure. People who are on a vegetarian diet have lower BMI in comparison to people who are omnivorous, because vegetarian diets have higher fiber and lower fat content.Another reason can be that vegetarian diets are lower than omnivorous diets in saturated fatty acids and higher in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are linked with lower blood pressure. Also, vegetarians usually have lower blood viscosity. This could affect their blood pressure positively.

According to another research from Loma Linda University published in the journal Diabetes Care, vegetarians experience a 36 percent lower prevalence of metabolic syndromes than non-vegetarians. Researchers have done their studies on certain subjects by segregating them into non veg eaters and vegetarian eaters and found that a percentage of the participants, who were in basically vegetarians, had a lower risk of metabolic syndromes than non-vegetarians. “This work again shows that diet improves many of the main cardiovascular risk factors that are part of metabolic syndrome,” says Gary Fraser, MD, PhD, principal investigator of Adventist Health Study 2. “Trending toward a plant-based diet is a sensible choice.”

However, recent research has also focused on the presence of a variety of specific nutrients in plant foods that have health-promoting qualities.

Fiber: Plant foods such as whole grains, beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and nuts provide dietary fiber. High intake of dietary fiber may reduce your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, premenstrual syndrome, and colon cancer.

Antioxidants: Fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoids, all of which act as antioxidants, protecting your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals
Phytonutrients: Plant foods contain a variety of unique nutrients such as phytoestrogens, indoles, isothiocyanates, and flavonoids. Emerging research indicates that these nutrients may help in preventing cancer, heart disease, and other degenerative diseases.

Who Benefits
A vegetarian diet may be especially beneficial for overweight individuals, as well as for women with premenstrual syndrome and individuals with diabetes, high blood pressure and/or cardiovascular disease.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Easy Tips to Make Breakfast Healthier

The first meal in the morning after a long fast through the night is breakfast. Being the first meal after a long break, it is essential to make sure that the food consumed comprises of a mix of essential nutrients. A breakfast should be healthy, nutritious and should you keep you full for a substantial amount of time. Let’s discuss how you can make your breakfast healthy or healthier.

Initially it is very important to understand the importance of breakfast. Unless you truly understand that, you won’t make enough of an effort to make sure it is healthy and nutritious. Breakfast should even give you energy to be more physically active and productive through the rest of the day. It also plays a major role in controlling fat gain and muscle growth.

In order to make breakfast healthy, some guidelines need to be followed in context to nutrients and their sources .The following are the tips/ points which may help you.

1. Stick to whole grains and foods which have low glycemic index and are high in fiber. Such complex carbohydrate foods include oatmeal, muesli, bugur(daliya) etc. They help in controlling blood sugar levels and keep you full through the day since the body takes longer to absorb and digest them. This helps control unnecessary food cravings.
2. Good Protein sources like eggs and low fat paneer/cottage cheese are healthy and easy option for breakfast. High protein food will also absorb slowly into the body and keep you fuller for longer. Also, your muscles and tissues are craving for some protein after the long fast through the night.
3. Adding some low fat dairy products like milk, low fat cheese, yogurt and buttermilk are another set of nutritious options. They will also provide a good amount of calcium which will maintain bone health, accelerate weight loss and is required in various body cellular and tissue functions.
4. Seasonal fruits or vegetables are rich in antioxidants and will increase your immunity. They should be considered a must have for any breakfast. They provide the very essential fiber and a wide variety of essential minerals and vitamins required by the body.
5. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews and peanuts provide you will healthy fats which help lower cholesterol. But moderate their consumption since they are calorie rich.
6. Make sure your breakfast contains complex carbohydrates, protein, good fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Plan ahead-Along with the above tips, the most important step which needs to be followed should be planning before you go grocery shopping. Make sure you buy healthier options like a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains like cereals, low fat dairy products and nuts like almonds. Even if you are in a rush never skip your breakfast, since there are always easy and quick options like omelets, scrambled eggs, porridge, milk with nuts and multigrain toast, fruit yogurt, smoothies, etc.

— 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

Study says Lose Weight to Earn More

Could being fat make you lose your job or make you earn lesser than your co-worker? A recently published study shows a noticeable correlation between overweight and a decreased employment rate. This shows that a lean person could thin your chances for a job or a good salary.


It has been noticed that people have suffered monetary loss in getting appraisals, packages  and job offer. This stands true in companies where there is  direct interface between the company and client. Especially service industry like aviation, hospitality, beauty, marketing, PR employ attractive and fit employees as good presentation is critical to their business. This ideology is gaining relevance and is slowly been accepted and followed by many companies world over.

In fact a study by Judge and Cable tells that especially women who were underweight fetched a higher salary than their fat counterparts.

Besides the physical attributes employees that are fitter have better mental health, stronger immunity, are less stressed, are mostly happy which reflects in their performance. Employers want to invest in stable resources that help grow their business.You can also get an edge for yourself and demand a higher salary package by getting fit and looking good.

Tips To lose weight (more…)

— 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

Healthy Parathas Recipe

‘Healthy Parathas’ (paranthas) sounds unbelievable, but there are options to make a paratha healthier. Use less ghee/oil and make it from whole wheat (atta), as opposed to refined wheat (maida). Whole wheat has more fiber, protein and vitamins, than refined wheat. Refined wheat (maida) also makes your blood sugar spike, due to its high glycemic index, and it make you fat.

You can do this at home, but when you go out, its tough. We love our parathas, but not the lard that comes with them. So, we mostly stick with eating rotis when eating out. The restaurants just don’t seem to understand that food can have flavour without dousing it in a vat of lard.

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But there is one place that serves healthy paranthas. Actually, a chain of restaurants in New Delhi, that serves over a 100 types of parathas- Not Just Paranthas.  They have healthier versions of most paranthas called ‘diet parathas’. These are made from whole grains, roasted instead of fried and served without ghee if you specify.

Eating the ‘diet parantha’ is much better choice- its got fewer calories, less fat since they skip the ghee, more fiber and protein since its made from whole grains, and does not promote fat storage, since its not made from refined wheat (maida). Its a no-brainer :)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Eat Healthy and Still Eat at McDonalds

Sounds unbelievable, but if you are at a McDonalds and still want to eat healthy, we have a fantastic news for you- You can do it!

The Mexican Chicken Wrap at McDonalds is a tasty and healthy option at McDonalds India. Since its got chicken, it has protein which will help build muscle and burn calories. Its not fried with much breading (the crisp stuff coating the chicken), so its not ridden with bad carbs, and will less breading, it also absorbs less fat. The most amazing part is still not over, which is the bread that it is wrapped in is not made from refined flour! We confirmed this from employees of McDonalds. The wrap bread is made from whole grains! Whole grains are high on fiber, and have a low glycemic index, so they keep you full for longer, so you won’t snack on unhealthy food.

Photo: Burger (debbiedoescakes@flickr)

The wrap is stuffed with crisp vegetables , which seem relatively raw, so they should have some fiber. The down side is that these vegetables are in a sweet, cheesy sauce- So, there is probably some sugar and fat in the sauce.

With the mix of fast dissolving and slow dissolving carbs and protein, this could make a great post workout snack to build muscle.

Overall, its a great tasting wrap. If you’re vegetarian, they also have a Paneer Wrap. Paneer is high in protein and since its a dairy product, it can help reduce belly fat.
So, the next time you’re at a McDonalds, don’t feel guilty about cheating on your diet, and order a Mexican Chicken Wrap or a Paneer Wrap for an appetizing and healthy meal.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo