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Low-Carb Diets Linked To Increased Risk Of Heart Rhythm Disorder, Says New Study

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Low-carbohydrate diets are very trendy right now, but following them in the long-term may spell doom for your heart. A new study has said that a diet that derives low amount of calories from healthy carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits and starchy vegetables may put you at a higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AFib), which is said to be the most common rhythm disorder. The study will be presented at the 68th Annual Scientific Session of American College of Cardiology (ACC), according to a press release published online. The study looked at the health records of 14,000 participants over a period of two decades and analysed their records to draw up the results. The study is said to be the first and the largest to assess the relationship between consumption of carbs and AFib.

AFib is a disease where the heart is prone to arrhythmia. It is a condition where the heartbeat doesn't have a regular pace and common symptoms of the condition includes palpitations, dizziness and tiredness. People suffering from AFib are said to be five times more likely to have a stroke than those without the condition and it may even lead to heart failure! The research laid emphasis on the recent rise in popularity of low-carb diets like ketogenic diet, paleo diet and Atkins diet, all of which encourage dieters to focus on high intake of proteins, while banning foods rich in sugar and carbs such as grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables.

The study's lead author Dr. Xiaodong Zhuang said that such diets should be recommended with caution, based on the results of the study. He added by saying that the long-term relationship between carb intake and cardiovascular health remains controversial. He also said that low-carbohydrate intake is linked with high incidence of AFib regardless of the quality of protein or fats consumed by dieters. For the study, researchers divided the participants into three separate control groups - those with low carb intake followed diet where carbs comprised less than 44.8 percent of daily calories, those with moderate carb intake had between 44.8 and 52.4 percent and finally those with high carb intake had over 52.4 percent.

Those with low carb intake were a whopping 18 percent more likely to develop AFib as compared to those with moderate carb intake and 16 percent more likely to develop AFib as compared to those with high carb intake. However, the study hasn't been published in any peer-reviewed journal yet.

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Weight Loss: 5 Healthy Diet Facts That Anyone Wanting To Lose Weight Must Know

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Losing weight isn't as easy as it seems, especially if you want to maintain a healthy mind and body, while doing so. There are no short cuts in a healthy lifestyle, which is why health experts have always warned against following fad diets that are extremely calorie-restrictive in nature. These fads may harm your health in the long term and this is why healthy weight loss may be difficult to achieve, but it is worth investing your time and energy in. Bringing your body weight down to a healthy level has a number of health benefits that have been proven by researchers time and again. From better heart health to reduction in risks of lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes and even reduced risk of mortality- healthy weight loss may improve the quality of your life in a number of ways.

To achieve weight loss in a healthy manner, you need to follow a balanced diet, which is a fact repeated ad nauseam by health experts and nutrition scientists around the world. Research has time and again pointed at certain dietary habit, which can get you the results you're looking for and help you achieve weight loss, albeit slowly but effectively.

Here are some diet-related weight loss facts that are also backed by science:
1. Diet May Be More Important Than Exercise
If you want to lose weight, exercise alone cannot help you. You will have to follow a strict diet as well. Eating a healthy diet is important to make sure you're getting enough nutrients to work out properly. These include proteins, good carbs, healthy fats as well as minerals and vitamins, which are important for boosting your exercising abilities as well as help muscle recovery.

2. Fruits and Vegetables Are Crucial
A number of health agencies have defined the portions of fruits and vegetables that one should consume per day, in order to lead a healthy life. Fruits and vegetables are important for weight loss as well- they deliver a powerful punch of fibre and nutrition in very few calories. Fruits and vegetables are filling, due to the high-fibre content and keep you from snacking more often or eating unhealthy food. Swapping your favourite junk foods with veggies can also leave you feeling more energetic for workouts.

3. Cutting Back On Processed Sugar Works
When it comes to losing weight, sugar can be a hindrance. Added sugar in your diet can sneak in through dips and ketchup, packaged fruit juices, cold drinks, cakes and cookies etc. This can set your weight loss goals back and multiple studies have shown that these are associated with higher risks of obesity, diabetes etc.

4. Not All Carbs Are Bad
People often think that cutting out carbs is a weight loss solution, and although low-carb diets may give you results, following them may not always be a good idea. Some studies have shown that while low-carb diets can help in weight loss, they may also increase risks of several health complications. Including high quality or complex carbs in your diet is not just good for your weight, but is also important to maintain a healthy mind and body.

5. Drink Water
Drinking water at certain times during the day and in adequate amounts daily, can give your weight loss goals a boost. Drinking water before meals, for example, can make you eat lesser. Keeping yourself hydrated can boost metabolism, helping your body burn calories more effectively.

It's important to set realistic goals for yourself and remember that only if you give your body enough time and follow a healthy diet persistently, you will be rewarded with a healthy and fit body.

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Vitamin E: Benefits And Top 7 Dietary Sources Of The Antioxidant Vitamin

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Vitamins are important for our body, but often get ignored in our obsession with proteins and fats. Vitamins are a part of the essential micro-nutrients that are required in smaller quantities by our body, for smooth functioning of a number of processes. Some of the most important vitamins required by the human body include vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, D, E and K. It's a long list to remember, but the good news is that if you consume a healthy and balanced diet, you may already be consuming a good majority of these vitamins on a daily basis. However, your nutritionist might be better able to shed light on exactly how much of each of these vitamins is required by your body. We're going to talk about vitamin E and its benefits as well as foods rich in vitamin E, in this article.

Benefits Of Vitamin E And Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that has a number of forms. The one that is useful to our body, however, is alpha-tocopherol, the main role of which is to act like an antioxidant and hunt down free radicals in the body. Free radical damage is linked to a number of potentially fatal diseases, including cancer, atherosclerosis, dementia, diabetes etc. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin E (as specified by guidelines of the Institute of Medicine) is 15 mg for both men and women.

Here Are Some Benefits Or Roles Of Vitamin E That You Must Know About:
1. Vitamin E-rich foods and supplements may help in reducing heart disease risk.

2. Vitamin E, in combination with zinc, vitamin C and beta-carotene may protect against advanced age-related macular degeneration, indicating that this vitamin may protect eye health.

3. Some studies have shown that consuming vitamin E is linked with improvement in cognitive function and reduced risk of diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

4. One study showed that taking vitamin E-rich foods and supplements may reduce risks of death from ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, which is a rare condition that causes progressive muscle weakness.

5. Vitamin E has been hailed for its purported ability to stop production of free radical cells and protect the cells from damage by free radicals.

Sources Of Vitamin E, The Antioxidant Vitamin
1. Wheat Germ Oil
This oil is extracted from the germ of the wheat kernel and is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin E - 255 milligrams per 100 gram. However, wheat germ oil is extremely perishable and quite expensive.

2. Almonds
The most popular nuts around - almonds are nutritious and consumed for their many health benefits. A 100 grams portion of almonds contains 25.6 milligrams of Vitamin E.

3. Avocado
One of the most popular superfoods around, avocado is replete with healthy nutrients, including vitamin E that is 14 percent of the Daily Value per 100 grams of the fruit.

4. Sunflower Seeds
The seeds of sunflower are also consumed as healthy snacks, rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats, as well as vitamin E. A 100 grams portion of sunflower seeds contains 35.7 milligrams of vitamin E.

5. Peanuts and Peanut Butter
Peanuts are technically legumes that are most often mistaken for nuts. They are rich in protein and are consumed as snacks as well as in the form of peanut butter. Peanuts contain 44 per cent daily value of Vitamin E, per 100 grams portion.

6. Soyabean Oil
Some of the best dietary sources of Vitamin E are plant-based oils, including soyabean oil, which is widely used for cooking in a number of homes worldwide. Hundred grams of refined soyabean oil contains 8.8 milligrams of Vitamin E.

7. Spinach
One of the best low-calorie vegetables that- spinach- is a favourite of health freaks around the world. Spinach is a versatile vegetable with a wealth of nutrition including good amounts of Vitamins A, C and K. Spinach is also among the richest sources of Vitamin E among popular vegetables- 44 per cent of daily value per 100 grams.

A deficiency of vitamin E is rare, as it is needed in such trace amounts by the body and also because it is found in commonly consumed foods. However, those who do not consume enough fat in their diet may develop a deficiency of this vitamin. Some of the signs of vitamin E deficiency include reduced immunity, retinal damage, damage of the peripheral nerves resulting in pain and weakness in hands and legs and ataxia or loss of movement in body. If you notice one or more of these symptoms, contact a qualified medical professional.

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Healthy Diet: How Much Protein Is Enough? Celeb Nutritionist Rashi Chowdhary Reveals ‘All About Protein’

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Protein is one of the three macro-nutrients required by our body for keeping healthy, the other two being carbohydrates and fats. Health freaks are obsessed with this essential nutrient that no one seems to be getting enough of it. Often times our 'fitness diet' becomes all about loading up on protein. But does this nutrient deserve all this attention and most of all, obsession? Protein is certainly required all throughout the body, but especially by our muscles. Protein is the nutrient that helps build and retain muscle mass, which is why fitness enthusiasts are often seen paying careful attention to this nutrient in their daily diets. Celebrity nutritionist Rashi Chowdhary addressed this dietary query that most of us have, in her post on Instagram.

How Much Protein Is Enough?
Chowdhary, who has 107k followers on Instagram, has an impressive list of clientele comprising Bollywood actors and other celebrities. Rashi Chowdhary frequently addresses diet and nutrition questions and topics on her Instagram page. In her recent post, Chowdhary spilled the tea on this brouhaha around protein consumption, shedding light on how one should decide on how much protein to consume in daily diet. In the post that talked, 'All about protein', Rashi Chowdhary talked about a feedback loop, which she said was crucial in deciding how much of this important nutrient one should be consuming. "We all have a feedback loop that kicks in when we eat. If we are in tune with that.. we'll always know when to stop eating. You'll notice how you feel like eating a lot more meat or dals some days to feel full and on other days half the amount is enough", the Instagram post said.

Here are a few key takeaways from Rashi Chowdhary's post about dietary protein consumption:

1. Protein intake depends on body goals: Rashi Chowdhary says, "How much can you eat? Depends a lot on your goal and your current body weight/ shape /size. Not everyone needs to calculate macros from the very beginning. Just cleaning up your diet and having 30 % of your calories from Protein can initiate fat loss. But with protein I rather you use your own feedback loop!" According to Rashi Chowdhary, one must get about 30 per cent of their total calories from protein.

2. Best sources of protein: Chowdhary simply suggests that you should choose protein sources that are not processed and that don't cause any skin or gut issues for you. "This will require some trial and error from your end. Start making connections with what you eat and how you feel so you know what works best for you", she says, advising her followers to steer clear of soy chunks and cheese.

3. Best protein sources for vegans: For vegans who can't tolerate lentils and beans, Rashi advises to rely on plant-based protein powders instead. "Adding some activated nuts which are gut friendly, spirulina, sesame seeds, chia seeds, some leafy greens high in protein are a great way to up your intake", she added.

Rashi Chowdhary further said that according to her it is a myth that vegans don't get enough protein in their diet. However, she also suggested that the "efficiency of vegan protein is still questionable".

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Safed Jamun: Health Benefits And Nutrition Facts About The Lesser Known Rose Apple (Bell Fruit)

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Come summers and Indian grocery stores and the local fruit-vendor stalls are filled with seasonal goodness from a variety of fruits and berries. There's the bright red of watermelons and cherries, the bright yellow of mangoes and sun melons, the greens from pears and grapes and the purplish black from jamuns. The tangy jamuns are perhaps the most celebrated desi summer fruits of all, second only after a whole range of mangoes that flood the markets. Jamuns are available for a very short period of time during the year and they're the best when consumed during peak summers. Also known as java plums, these purple fruits are turned into chutneys and dips, added to desserts and ice-creams and also added to drinks like lassis and other summer coolers. But have you heard of white jamun or safed jamun?

The elusive fruit is not very widely available in India and hence, isn't as much in the limelight as its purple cousin. Safed jamun is better known by a plethora of English names including wax apple, love apple, java apple, Semarang rose-apple and wax jambu. It is also known as bell fruit because of its bell-like shape, and water apple. The fruit comes from the plant Syzygium samarangense, which is native to only certain areas, including Andman and Nicobar islands. The fruit has a pinkish tinge on the outside with a waxy pulp on the inside and is known as rose apple, due to the subtle flavour of rose petals in its pulp. The fruit is said to be mostly used in preparing salads. The raw white jamuns may be used in making vinegar and wine due to its tangy and dry taste.

Benefits Of Wax Apples or Safed Jamun (White Jamun)
Safed jamun or wax apple is also known as Golap Jaam in Bangladesh and it is also popular at fruit markets in Kolkata, where it is more popularly known as Gulab Jamun, owing to the sweet smell of rose in the fruit. In the Philippines, it is known as Makopa. The consumption of wax apples is not very widespread, owing to the handful of regions that the cultivation is restricted to. Additionally, it is advised for one to practice caution while consuming it, as the seed is considered poisonous.

Here are some purported benefits of the rose apples (safed jamun):
1. Rich in Vitamin C: These fruits are said to be rich in Vitamin C, which is important for boosting immunity and formation of collagen for keeping the skin looking young. A 100 gram portion of wax apple contains 22.3 micrograms of Vitamin C (as per USDA data).

2. Rich in Dietary Fibre: White jamuns or rose apples are said to be rich in dietary fibre, which may help protect against common digestive troubles like diarrhoea and flatulence. Dietary fibre is also good for regulating blood sugar and helps in weight management.

3. Rich In Vitamin A: One of the most important nutrients for eye health is Vitamin A, which is found in abundance in the rose apples.

4. Rich in Calcium: The most important nutrients for teeth and bones is calcium, which rose apples are rich in. A 100 gram of rose apple contains 29 micrograms of calcium (as per USDA data).

5. Rich in Potassium: Rose apples contain good amounts of the nutrient potassium, which is important for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.

Rose apples or safed jamun also has high water content (93 gm per 100 grams) and may hence help you stay hydrated in the scorching heat. Not enough information is available about the dietary benefits of rose apples, but the fruit is certainly said to be popular in certain isolated parts of the Indian subcontinent.

Dr. Tushar Dorage
Dr. Tushar Dorage
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Gynaecologist Obstetrics and Gynecologist, 5 yrs, Pune
Dr. Vishwas Takale
Dr. Vishwas Takale
BAMS, General Physician, 19 yrs, Pune
Dr. Rupesh Khandelwal
Dr. Rupesh Khandelwal
BDS, Dentist, 14 yrs, Pune
Dr. Vinay Shankar Gupta
Dr. Vinay Shankar Gupta
MS - Allopathy, Dermatologist Family Physician, 40 yrs, Shimla
Dr. Gopal Samdani
Dr. Gopal Samdani
MBBS, Pediatrician, 30 yrs, Pune
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