Health Tips
Stay healthy by reading wellness advice from our top specialists.

When you say weight loss, the first thing that comes to mind is the need to starve oneself and skip eating. This thought is very scary for people who are used to 4 regular meals a day. Feel good, because it is not just scary, it is false too. The idea is to eat healthy and low-calorie foods and not to stop eating completely. You should also learn to trick your body - eat something filling that will control and delay your hunger pangs. Your stomach is busy but not digesting something that adds a lot of calories into your system. Sounds great, isn't it?

Try these 5 low-fat, filling foods and see how different your body reacts.

Eggs - These are not just filled with protein but provide all the essential amino acids for your system. These amino acids have the ability to suppress hunger, and it will be quite some time before you start feeling hungry again. Scrambled or hard-boiled or in any form you like, pick an egg if you have a choice and see the difference.

Oatmeal - Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day and try to make it as wholesome as possible. Oats, loaded with fiber, fill your stomach and prolong your hunger pangs. Not just lower calories, these help control your body mass index (BMI). Oats can be cooked in different ways, and adding fruits or vegetables to make it more wholesome. Oats help in controlling cravings, and oats in form of salads is also a very healthy option.

Apples - With about 75 calories in each average-sized fruit, apple is packed with nutrients and accelerates weight loss. The ursolic acid contained in apples improves fat burning and promotes leaner muscle mass. Best eaten raw, you can also add it to oats or have a smoothie.

Beans - Packed with water, fiber and protein, beans in any form will keep you full and is a great addition to your diet. Either as a soup, baked, or cooked in your preferred way, beans will help you eat less and lose more weight.

Nuts - While nuts are usually considered off radar for people who are watching their weight, it is not true. Whether almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, or pistachios, nuts contain good (unsaturated) fats and are packed with fibers. They are packed with calories but you will feel full for a long time before you are hungry again, and that helps. A glass of water along with the nuts will prolong the digestion and keep your hunger pangs away for more hours.
If you are planning to lose some weight, eating these types of foods will definitely help you.

Rice though used as a staple in many parts of the world, is still one of the most controversial and misunderstood foods. There are a number of myths associated with this food and now’s time to debunk them. But let’s look at a few facts about rice first.

Rice contains high carbohydrate content. A cup of white rice contains 35gms of carbohydrates
A cup of white rice contains 165 calories
A cup of white rice contains 3-4 gms of proteins
Rice, like all other carbohydrates, ultimately gets broken down into glucose inside the GI track. And glucose is the ultimate source of energy for the human body. There are also two different types of rice, white rice and brown rice. The difference between the two, especially for our health, is substantial.

White rice has very little fibre but brown rice has more fibre and also more vitamins and minerals. Whereas, brown rice has substantial amounts of minerals, which are not present in white rice, such as

Phosphorous
Magnesium
Selenium
Manganese
Brown rice contains 3 gms of fibre while white rice has only 0.6 gm. This is a substantial difference too.

Busting Myths

Myth - Rice Contains Gluten: The fact is that rice is gluten-free and it does not cause allergies that are associated with other grains. Gluten high foods are bad for diabetics and those trying to lose weight.

Myth - Rice is fattening: Rice is, in fact, low in fats and is also cholesterol free. Because it contains carbohydrates, rice is a good source of energy.

Myth - Rice has no protein: Protein is the second-most abundant nutrient found in rice. A cup of white rice contains 3-4 gm. of proteins, as a matter of fact. The quality of the rice protein is also very high compared to other grains.

Myth - Rice has high amounts of salt: Rice contains low amounts of sodium.

Myth - Eating rice for dinner makes one fat: High carb foods like rice should be eaten at night as they are metabolised into glucose, our energy stocks.

The glucose in the blood is more readily converted into energy at night. Rice and other grains should be avoided during the day as the glucose more readily converts into fat.

Myth - Rice is difficult to digest: Actually, the reverse is true. Enzymes secreted in the human digestive tract are especially good at digesting rice.

White rice undergoes a processing system where the germ layers, bran and husk are all stripped off. By doing this, white rice loses much of the nutrition too.

The rice of choice for all of us, therefore, should be brown rice, compared to white rice. This way we shall be getting the carbs for energy and proteins, fibre, vitamins and minerals to stay healthy.

Do you know not all foods can be consumed on an empty stomach? So, it is imperative that you should be aware of such foods and restructure your breakfast menu accordingly. Here is a list of foods to avoid on an empty stomach.

Stay away from the following foods when you eat after a considerable gap

Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits contain fruit acids. When these acids enter an empty stomach, they can lead to heartburn. Hence, if eaten after a prolonged period post meal, a person is at risk of gastritis and stomach ulcers.

Soda: Consuming cold soda drinks on an empty stomach may cause damage to the mucosal membrane while reducing blood flow to the stomach. This may lead to a slow digestive process and difficulty in the abdomen.

Spicy foods: Spicy foods are known to cause irritation and damage to the digestive tract, and are especially not recommended for people who suffer from acid reflux issues since very spicy food leads to consequences such as acid reflux in the food pipe.

Cucumber and other green vegetables: Green vegetables and cucumber are rich in amino acids. If consumed on an empty stomach it may very well lead to pain and bitterness in the upper abdomen.

Tomato: Tomato is a fruit containing high levels of tannin. Tannin causes acidity in an empty stomach and leads to consequences and appearance of gastritis if frequently consumed in such a manner.

Fermented milk products: Fermented milk products such as yogurt typically come with loads of health benefits being full of probiotics. But if consumed on an empty stomach it can interfere with the balance of healthy bacteria as the hydrochloric acid produced tends to be destructive.

Sweets: Items such as candy or sweetmeats contain high levels of sugar and cause a sudden and sharp surge of insulin levels in the blood. Over a long period, this has a bad effect on the pancreas.
Products containing yeast: Edible items such as biscuits, puff pastry, vinegar and beverages such as beer and wine contain yeast which can significantly irritate the stomach and cause bloating.

So, be a little conscious and avoid consuming these items on an empty stomach since a little effort goes a long way.

These days, store shelves are seen all stocked with snacks. But, when it comes to finding a healthy option, it is difficult to navigate. You need something that provides a natural burst of energy, protein, and fiber. In such a situation Go "nuts". Nuts like almonds and walnuts are the ultimate health food. Low in simple carbohydrates, rich in healthy fats, high in protein, these nuts stimulate your body to shed those extra pounds.

Although, there is no doubt on the fact that both are highly regarded for nutrition value. But then, which nut is better of the two?

Walnuts and Almonds - The Better Bet!

Energy content: Almonds contain 14 grams of fat and 164 calories whereas walnuts contain approximately 18 grams of fat but give 185 calories. Thus, we find that walnuts contain a slightly higher amount of fat than almonds, but provide more energy in the form of calories.

Protein content: Almonds and walnuts are both protein powerhouses - containing 13% and 9% of protein content respectively. Thus, both these nuts are great sources of protein.

Mineral content: Both almonds and walnuts are rich in various kinds of minerals. When it comes to Iron, which is essential for muscle health and blood formation, both nuts contain very similar amounts (approx 5%). Almonds pack 19% magnesium - essential for strong bones, compared to the 11% in walnuts.

Walnuts, however, have very high amounts of copper (50%) and manganese (54%) which prove to be useful in reducing symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) as compared to almonds.

Fibre content: Fiber, which plays a vital role in completing the process of digestion, is another component that these nuts pack healthy amounts of. Almonds contain 16% fiber whereas walnuts have 8%.

Vitamin content: While walnuts contain 12% vitamin B6, compared to the 3% in almonds, the real point of difference between these two highly healthy nuts is in their content of vitamin E - essential for healthy skin and eyes. Almonds contain almost 48% of it, whereas walnuts contain only about 2% of the same.

Thus, we get a fair idea about the high nutritional content for both these nuts. They both are essential for maintaining good health if taken in appropriate amounts.

Many people, particularly the younger generation is absolutely against the consumption of ghee. That is because, they are not informed of the health benefits of this golden tinged, flavorful and nutrient-rich butterfat. The consumption of ghee can be traced back to the tradition of Ayurveda in the ancient India, and it was regarded as a sacred, cleansing, medicinal and nutrient rich food. Here are some of the unknown benefits of ghee.

Ghee is free of lactose: Many individuals are not able to digest lactose, which is a sugar found in milk due to the quality of the dietary product, because of the digestive condition of the person concerned.

Do you know, a substantial percentage of the total population of the world is lactose intolerant? In case you belong to that group, you can consume ghee without any worries. The traditional cultures were aware of the ways in which the digestibility of any dairy product can be improved. The process of making ghee helps in the removal of lactose and leaves behind the purest form of butter oil.

Ghee is casein free: Casein is the protein component present in milk which causes milk allergies. When the gut flora gets compromised, the consumption of casein can pave the way for an opiate effect on the brain since it is not well digested. When ghee is made, the milk solids comprising of lactose as well as casein float on the top which aids in their easy removal. In the pure Indian cuisine, ghee used does not contain lactose and casein. This is because the process of culturing removes all traces of these components.

Ghee is a stable source of fat when used in cooking: The polyunsaturated oils such as safflower and sunflower oil contain different types of double bonds and which make them least stable for cooking. On the other hand, ghee is primarily a saturated fat which is highly stable for baking and sautéing.

Ghee is a form of saturated fat: There are many pieces of research which prove that consumption of saturated fats does not cause any cardiac disease. So, if you have high blood pressure and cardiac problems, you can freely consume ghee without worrying about aggravating it.

Ghee contains bio-available Vitamin A in abundance: The dairy products derived from ruminants like goats, cows, and sheep which graze on the grass offers an amazing source of fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A. This type of vitamins is mainly stored ion the fat portion which means that the concentration of vitamin in milk is lower than that of the ghee. Vitamin A plays a considerable role in hormone balance, fertility, liver health, and stamina.

Hence, to reap these benefits, you should consider consuming little amounts of ghee every day.

Dr. Aradhana Patkar
Dr. Aradhana Patkar
Specialist, Gynaecologist Infertility Specialist, 4 yrs, Pune
Dr. Rajesh  Tayade
Dr. Rajesh Tayade
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda Panchakarma, 10 yrs, Pune
Dr. Snehal Pharande
Dr. Snehal Pharande
BDS, Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentist Dentist, 12 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sanjeev Parmar
Dr. Sanjeev Parmar
MBBS, Gynaecologist Infertility Specialist, 16 yrs, Pune
Dr. Manna  Varghese
Dr. Manna Varghese
BAMS, Ayurveda, 4 yrs, Pune
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