Do Vegan Diets help you lose weight?
People think that choosing a vegan lifestyle will help you lose weight, but depending solely on vegan foods and avoiding animal foods like eggs, fish or chicken might lead to some micro nutrients deficiencies. For eg., Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Heme (iron), protein, etc. Also, to lose weight in a healthy way or just to be healthier, only a well balanced diet works.
The following points should be kept in mind before shifting to a vegan diet:
1. Avoid Vegan Junk Foods
Vegan junks like French fries, biscuits, ice-cream crackers, etc are high in fats, calories and sugar. They are all considered empty calorie foods.
2. Avoid processed foods
Processed foods high in phosphorus and sodium increase acidity in blood which indirectly triggers the release of stress hormones. These stress hormones increase insulin secretion in the body. Increased level of sugar in the blood gets converted to fat and this gets stored in the adipose tissues throughout the body.
3. Avoid refined plant foods
Firstly, always choose to consume 100% whole wheat foods or preparations, as they are higher in fiber and contain complex carbohydrates. For eg., if you want to consume rice, then opt for steamed brown rice; and in case of pasta choose whole wheat pasta.
4. Moderate the intake of nuts
Though nuts are considered high in protein and are a source of good fats, they are high in calories too. A handful of nuts works as an ideal mid-meal snack or pre workout snack. Even peanut butter or almond butter with fruits of whole wheat bread makes a great snack. But, always make sure you maintain good portion control when eating nuts, to control calorie intake.
Ordering a vegan meal in restaurants doesn’t always mean that it will be healthy. Restaurant foods are overloaded with salt, sugar and oil. If you’re trying to lose weight, be diligent about ordering healthy, oil-free fare such as steamed vegetables and rice or a salad with fresh lemon juice (instead of dressing).
6. Check your portion size
Controlling your meal portion size is key to weight control. Always be a smart selector while filling up your plate. Eat in small plates, chew slowly and stop eating once you feel full. Fill your plate with healthy options and select from the five essential food group. For e.g., make sure half the plate is filled with fresh fruits and veggies. If you feel like eating some rice, stick to half a cup instead of one cup.
Healthy Foods that are actually Junk Food
With a busy lifestyle, everyone wants quick, tasty, reasonably priced and easily available foods. Though you may think that they might be healthy options but they are completely opposite. Here are some foods mentioned which many of us might consider healthy but actually are unhealthy foods.
Maggi/ noodles hardly take any time to cook and taste good but all you are adding to your body is refined flour. The wax present in them forms a layer in our intestine which takes at least three days to flush out from our system.
You can swap this with a vegetable upma or poha. It will provide you with good carbs and the veggies will add fiber making it a complete meal.
2.Cornflakes with milk
Many of us think this is a safe breakfast option as it contains milk but the truth is that the flakes you eat only add more sugar to your diet and not much nutrition. It will only add more weight to your body.
Instead of this, you can switch to daliya or muesli with skimmed milk and a handful of nuts sprinkled on the top. This will give you fiber with essential fatty acids and other essential nutrients.
3.Fruit Juice/ Packaged Juice
You may think that gulping down a glass of a preserved fruit juice is a great way to start your day, but they are mostly packed with sugar.
Switch to a better idea have orange itself rather than juice. Whole fruit offers you all the vitamins and minerals, along with tummy-filling fiber that can help tame hunger pangs until lunch. Or you can also replace orange juice with 1 glass of low-fat milk or skimmed milk.
Pasta/white bread is an empty calorie food as it is made from refined and processed flour. This means that it is deficient in nutrients.
Instead of white pasta/white bread you can opt for whole wheat pasta, whole wheat rolls (stuffed with veggies or paneer), and multi-grain bread.
Diet sodas are actually empty calorie as they contain only artificial sweeteners and no essential nutrients in it, which increases the risk of certain types of cancer.
Instead of energizing yourself with diet colas, you can switch yourself to lemon water or coconut water.
Just because a product is labeled ‘fat-free’ or ‘low-fat’ doesn’t mean it’s healthier or even lower in calories. Fat-free products lack fat, but they make up by adding sugars or other unhealthy ingredients. Some of the most popular low fat foods are baked potato chips, diet namkeen, frozen yoghurt, nutralite butter, etc.
In fact, when people are given foods marked as low fat, they chow down 25 to 44 percent more calories than when foods are labeled as regular fat.
From the nutritional standpoint the above mentioned foods are not considered as healthy due to nutrient deficient. Practical piece of advice eat healthy, manage portion control, stick to natural foods and exercise. This the only way you can lose weight and keep it off.— 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.
Here are tips on how to cook healthy pasta.
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.
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