Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Some Mantras of Good Eating Life Style

1) The principle of food eating is to eat well, to eat regularly at fixed intervals and to eat in smaller and measured proportions.   We can consult a good physician or dietician or nutritionist to understand our body requirements and suggest an appropriate diet plan.
2.   Generally, our morning breakfasts in the morning could be a little heavier , the afternoon lunch a little lighter and night meals the lightest.   It is advisable to have two hours gap between dinner and bedtime, as generally activity is minimum after dinner.
3)   Before venturing on a diet plan, in practice, it is better to jot down a list of our favourite foods and beverages and share it with our family.  More often than not, it happens so that our list of favourite foods already comprises of healthy foods, and the doctors too will be approving the same for our diet plan.  So a perfect match is established between what the doctor ordered and patient desired.     So let us merrily enjoy eating such foods for which we already have a taste or liking.
4) Some tastes however may have to be cultivated with or without doctors’ recommendations.  For example, with advancing age, it is better to take less of sugar and salt in our food items.  To start with, it may be difficult to adapt, but  over period of time, once we get used to it, we will as well start enjoying them.  We see today many people joyfully taking tea or coffee without adding sugar in them even when they have no sugar related problem, just as a matter of abundant caution or preventive vigilance.
5) While eating, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and enjoy relaxedly.   It is important to reduce the foods to small particles in the mouth to prevent indigestion in the stomach.
6)  The most balanced meal for one who exercises regularly is based on four pillars of nutrition- High carbohydrate, moderate protein, high fibre and low-fat one. Carbos such as rice, rotis, and peas are sources of quick energy.   They infuse glucose into our muscles.  Proteins such as pulses, dals,soyabeans and mushrooms nourish and build up muscle tissue.  Low fat vegetables and fruits provide vitamin, minerals and fibre that make our bodies efficient.  And skimmed milk variations, such as curd, strengthen our bones and help digestion. These four pillars of nutrients are needed to stay healthy and fit.  (Source: ‘Fitness First’ Columnist- Bharat Savur)
6) As far as possible, we should cook and eat a meal that is low in glycemic load and glycemic index.  Let me also explain what low and high glycemic index foods are.    When we consume low glycemic Index foods like Chana, Rajma, they are broken down more slowly into simple sugars, keeping food glucose levels more stable.  The absorption of these foods is therefore more gradual and does not contribute to blood sugar highs and lows.  On the other hand, when we eat lot of sugars, chocolates, sweets, potatoes, white bread, white rice, sabudana, maida, rawa or processed foods, they get easily digested and absorbed.  More of insulin has to be secreted by the pancreas to bring this sugar back to normal level.  More the insulin, more fat is laid down in the body and the liver.    A list of High, Moderate and Low Glycemic index foods is given in Table B.

Table B: Foods with Low, Moderate and High  Glycemic index foods.
Source: Dr.Sujatha Udhesi’s ‘Food for thought’ column in DNA Daily.
Low Glycemic Index Foods
(Highly Recommended)
Moderate Glycemic Index Foods
(Moderately Recommended)
High Glycemic Index Foods
Whole Pulses like Chana,Rajma,
Whole Wheat Bread
White Bread
Green Leafy vegetables like
Spinach (Palak), Methi
Whole Wheat Atta Items
Maida Biscuits
Bajra, Jowar Atta
Maida Nan,Roti
Besan Atta
White Rice
Unripe Guava





Rice Crispies

Corn Flakes

Mashed Potato


Pasta made of Maida


Candy Bars

7)  Try using brown rice or boiled rice, instead of white rice.
8)   Bhakris of Jowar, bajra, nachni or Rajgeera are always a good option.
9)   Try using various types of pulses and dals.  Have at least four pulses a week.
       Do not overcook them and do not add soda.
10) Try using green leafy vegetables like Palak, Methi for dishes.  Similarly,
      cabbage, cauliflower, brinjal can also be explored.
11) Take a good helping of raw vegetables like Cucumber, Carrots, Tomatoes,
      Onions whenever and wherever possible (one can take it always in a pack to
      office or on mobile duty and consume them instead of creamy biscuits,
       namkeens or chaats.).
12)  Variety of Chutneys like that of Coriander, Garlic as side dishes  also serves
        as  healthy options.
13)   If we have craving for eating sweets, it is better to choose fruits.  Fruits have
   natural sugar in them.  All other sweets are made of refined sugar.    
   It is better to avoid them altogether or consume them in moderation.
14)  We should eat whole fruits with their skin.  Substituting fruit juices to whole
       fruits are not a good option.  Peeling of skin from fruits and vegetables will
       deprive us of vital minerals and nutrients.  Whole fruits and vegetables are
       packed with fibre and nutrients essential for optimum health, especially
       antioxidants (Vitamin A and C) and phytonutrients (plant chemicals), which
      have protective effect on the body, reducing the risk of some cancers, heart
      disease, premature ageing etc.  They also help our immune systems to fight
15) Avoid food with transfats, ghee or oil.  Animal and dairy products have trans
16) Avoid cream biscuits, namkeens served in meetings and at get togethers
      Instead one can have whole wheat biscuits, cream Cracker biscuits or ragi
      (Millet) Biscuits with no Maida in them.
17)  Curds prepared of low fat or skimmed milk should be used.
18) Cow Milk is good.  All other dairy products like ghee, butter should be
       reduced to the barest minimum.
19) Make the habit of drinking pure water at regular intervals. Many experts
      recommend  drinking water on an empty stomach every morning.  Later,
      during the day it is  recommended that one should drink at least 8 to 12
      glasses of water.  Even at workplace, one can store water in a crystal clear
      container (not in plastic bottles) close to our desktop and liberally consume
      them at regular intervals. It is always advisable to sip water gently or softly
      from a glass or mug.  This also gives a fullness to our stomach and staves off
      hunger. One should avoid dropping water forcibly into our mouths from the
       plastic bottles.   One should also avoid drinking  water while eating food and
      during the interval  of 30 minutes before having food and 60 minutes after
      having food.
20) Avoid consuming hot beverages like tea, coffee at regular intervals.
      Alternatives like lemon tea, black tea, green tea can be explored. These
      days, jaljeera sachets are available in easy-to-use packs like Ghutka sachets.
      One can easily mix them with water and drink it in office instead of regular
      bouts of cutting chais or or one-by-two coffees
21) Avoid  soft drinks, soda, carbonated or aerated drinks.  Instead drink pure
      water,  butter milk. (Chaas),  coconut water, limewater without salt and
22) Habits like smoking, consuming alcohol, chewing paans are always bad and
      if one is addicted to them, it should be got ridden off completely.  In case it is
      difficult  to withdraw, consume them in extreme  moderation.
23) On Sundays or late night sittings at home, it is always advisable to  keep a
      ready-to-eat pack of snack in our refrigerator like sprouts of whole moong,
      green and black channas.   We can consume them mixing with salt, minced
      onions, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots etc.  Sprinkle them with
      coriander powder or chaat powder to add that extra fizz. Use them with curds
      made of skimmed milk,  if it serves us right.
24) When we attend parties, generally we go on an eating binge partly not to
      antagonise the host and partly because we fall into the temptation for food
       items which are neatly and elegantly displayed, and which are freely and
       handily  available.  During such parties, it is better to start with  items like
       light soups, raw green salads, fruits  or items rich in fibre like green leafy
       vegetables,  bhindi, cucumber, carrots etc.   A few extra calorie conscious

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