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
Moderate Glycemic Index Foods
High Glycemic Index Foods
Whole Pulses like Chana,Rajma,
Whole Wheat Bread
Green Leafy vegetables like
Spinach (Palak), Methi
Whole Wheat Atta Items
Bajra, Jowar Atta
Pasta made of Maida
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
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