Category Archives: Online Dietician India

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Indians and the Risks of Consuming a High Sugar Diet

Category:Indian Dietitian Online,Nutrition Articles,Online Dietician India Tags : 

A spoonful of sugar……..makes the calories sit on your waist!! Are you noticing that you are slowly gaining weight even though you aren’t eating junk food? Sugar might be the culprit.Have you ever given a thought to how much sugar you consume in a day?

Studies have found that most Indians are genetically more prone to developing diabetes and tend to have a greater degree of insulin resistance. The culprits could well be urbanization, high-calorie and high-sugar diets along with decreased physical activity. Sugar and sweets that was once used as a treat during festivals and celebrations are now alarmingly becoming a part of our daily diet.

We Indians consume way too much sugar every day without realizing the health problems associated with it. The general mindset is “eat and drink today for we are healthy” as a result of which tomorrow you will end up with a host of health problems!
Many of us associate sugar control to diabetes and believe that if they are not diabetic then there is no need to keep a watch on the sugar intake. This is not true. Diabetics’ definitely need to be more cautious as it tends to increase their blood glucose levels but non-diabetics also need to curb excessive sugar consumption.
This brings us to the question: Is sugar such a terrible food that we need to take it in limited amounts? The answer is that anything in excess is not good.
Here’s what you need to know about sugar:

  • Nutritionally the only thing you get when you eat sugar is just calories (1 tsp/5g of sugar=19 calories). It has no other nutrients unlike a nutrient dense food like say for example nuts. Nuts will give you protein, minerals, vitamins, fibre and good fats (polyunsaturated) along with calories. These kind of foods are called nutrient-rich foods whereas candy and sugar are classified as nutrient poor foods.
  • More often than not, we tend to choose a sugary snack or drink instead of a fruit or other healthy foods and end up piling up on calories. This can lead to  dental caries and weight gain, which then increases the risk for other health problems like certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes among others.Considering that Indians are at a greater risk of developing diabetes, this higher consumption combined with the resulting weight gain could trigger it off at a much earlier age.
  • Eating a sugary snack fills you up for that moment, but since there isn’t much fibre you end up feeling hungry again. This results in another snack which just increases your calorie count without offering your body other nutrients.

How much sugar is ok?

Most people feel that they don’t eat too much because they rarely add sugar to anything. But what they don’t realize is that while they might not add sugar into foods, they do have foods that already have sugar. Everyday foods and drinks like tea,coffee, biscuits, juice, soft drinks, breakfast cereals, jams, ketchup, ice creams, cakes and other sweets all have sugar. What we don’t realize is the amount of sugar in these-a can of soft drink/aerated drink easily contains 8-10 teaspoons, while your tea or coffee can have anything to 3-4 teaspoons. Add these through the day and you could easily be having anywhere close to 20-25 teaspoons per day!! That’s a whole lot.
Should we avoid sugar completely or is there a cut-off range? How much sugar?
While there is no need to completely avoid sugar, there is no safe range either. The WHO (World Health Organisation) and the American Heart Association recommend limiting sugar intake to:
Men= 9 teaspoons or less
Women= 6 teaspoons or less
Children:
Preschoolers= 3 teaspoons
4-8 years= 4 teaspoons
9-Teenagers=5-6 teaspoons

How much sugar do you consume? Keep a note-if it is over the recommendations, then you need to reduce it.

What are you waiting for??If you are overweight, diabteic or diagnosed as a pre-diabetic- you can try to delay the onset of lifestyle diseases.

Check out our:  Diabetic Diet Packages

For a personalized diet consultation, please fill out the form on My Indian Dietitian’s Contact Us page and we will get in touch with you .


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Fish Cutlets/Fish Patties(Indian Style)

Category:Indian Dietitian Online,Online Dietician India,Recipes-Healthy Appetizer,Recipes-Snacks/Dips Tags : 

Here’s one more reason to increase your “oily” fish intake-the omega-3-fatty acids found in fish have shown to halt and slow down the age-related macular degeneration (AMD), in lay-man’s terms: AMD basically is a medical condition which is mostly seen in older adults and results in the loss of vision in the center of the visual field.
The research and findings conducted by Dr Elaine Chong at the University of Melbourne,Australia, involved 90,000 participants and showed that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids could cut the risk of developing AMD by 38%.
Experts suggest eating oily fish like salmons,mackerel,tuna,shellfish and herring about twice a week to get the benefits of omega-3!
Sources:

Now a simple and tasty way of including fish into your diet: fish cakes or “cutlets” as they are called in India. This is my mom’s method of making cutlets.
Mom would first steam mackerel,then take out the bones and mix it with mashed potatoes and coat them in rava/ semolina instead of using bread crumbs. Rava absorbs much less oil and tastes equally nice. I used canned tuna,but it tastes great with just about any fish you fancy.
Ingredients for Fish Cutlets:

  • Tuna: 1 can (5 oz)
  • Potatoes: 1 medium size (boiled)
  • Onions: 1/2 (finely chopped)
  • Cilantro: 2-3 tablespoons (finely chopped)
  • Giner+garlic paste: 1 teaspoon
  • Green chillies: 1-2 (finely chopped)
  • Rava/Semolina: to coat the cutlets
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: for shallow frying

Method:

  1. In a bowl coarsely mash the potatoes.
  2. Drain the water from the tuna and add the tuna,chopped onions,cilantro,chillies,ginger +garlic paste and salt to the mashed potatoes and mix well.
  3. Shape into cutlets and shallow fry till the cutlets turn golden brown.
  4. Serve hot with chutney or tomato sauce.

Here are other Healthy Snack Ideas:

  1. Baked Sweet Potato Fries/snack
  2. Baked Carrot Fries/snack
  3. Fruit Chaat/ Fruit Salsa 
  4. Khaman Dhokla
  5. Handvo 
  6. Crispy Kale Chips

 


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Healthy Eating During Ramadan/ Ramzan

Category:Indian Dietitian Online,Online Dietician India Tags : 
The Muslim Holy month of Ramadan (or ‘Ramzan’ in India) is the important month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims fast during daylight hours.
Those who are physically able to, are required to fast each day of the entire month, from sunrise to sunset.

Here are some tips for eating healthy during Ramzan:

  • During Suhur/Suhoor (pre-dawn meal): switch to complex carbohydrates like brown rice (parboiled rice/semi-polished rice), whole wheat breads/atta/pasta as these take time to be digested and hence will keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.
  • To avoid acidity: Eat foods rich in fiber like vegetables, fruits, whole pulses/legumes. Avoid coffee, spicy and fried foods as these tend to increase the gastric secretion that can irritate the lining of the stomach.
  • To avoid weight gain: Avoid fried foods like namkeens (chivda/mixtures/sev/ghatia), samosa, fried chicken, fried fish, sweets,pastries, chocolates, desserts, biryani (on a daily basis), ghee, butter.
  • To avoid dehydration: Between Iftar and Suhur, drink loads of water, tender coconut water, lemonade, buttermilk/chaas and also eat fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of water/moisture like watermelon, muskmelon, pineapple, cucumber, all gourds (like bottle gourd, turrai, ash gourd).
  • Choose healthy methods of cooking: Opt for grilled/baked non-veg instead of fried.
  • Instead of high calorie desserts: Opt for fresh fruits on a daily basis, these not only have less calories but will also provide you with the all-important fiber and water.
For those who are looking out to eat healthy during Ramzan, here is a sample Indian diet that is balanced and does not go overboard as far as calories are concerned:

Breaking the fast (at sunset): Dates + Water

Iftar is the Dinner – the meal which ends the day’s fast. Options you can consider for dinner meals –
Option 1: Brown rice with Cauliflower sabzi and Fish Curry along with Cucumber and Tomato salad with a glass of tender coconut water. A bowl of watermelon.
At Bedtime: Skimmed milk.
Option 2: Phulkas with Baingan Bharta and Channa Masala along with Curry Leaves Chicken (Kerala style) and Mixed veg raita. A bowl Muskmelon.
At Bedtime: Buttermilk.
Option 3: Quinoa Pulav (with mixed vegs)  along with Cucumber raita and fish cutlets. A bowl of Pineapple.
At Bedtime: Ragi malt.
Suhoor is the meal eaten pre-dawn before the day begins for fasting. Options you can consider for your early morning meal :
Option 1: Overnight Mango Oats porridge and a Boiled egg with a bowl of Papaya.
Option 2:  Masala French toast and  with yogurt. A bowl of Strawberry.
Option 3: Broccoli paratha with yogurt and Hariyali chicken (can be marinated and kept ready for baking) with Mint Raita and Tender Coconut Water. A bowl of rockmelon.

Eating healthy through Ramzan will not only be easy on your stomach but will also make sure that you don’t put on unnecessary weight during the month. Keep the feasting and all the yummy biryanis and kheer’s for Eid-after all, everyone deserves to indulge in some feasting after a month of fasting!

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Watermelon Salsa (Chatpata Watermelon Chaat)

Category:Indian Dietitian Online,Online Dietician India,Recipes-Snacks/Dips Tags : 

Fresh Watermelon Salsa

Summer time is watermelon time- a perfect fruit to include in your diet on a hot summers day. There are so many ways to eat it and one of my favorite is to make a quick and yummy salad-the watermelon salsa!

Watermelons are loaded with the carotenoid lycopene and contains mostly water which is a great way to re-hydrate the body in summer.

Watermelon Salsa and Mango Salsa

Ingredients: 
Watermelon:1/2 cubed
Onion: 1 small (finely chopped)
Tomato: 1 small (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves: 3-4tbsp (finely chopped)
Lime juice: 2 tsp
Green chilies: 1 (finely chopped)
Salt: to taste

Method: 
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Chill before serving. You can substitute the watermelon with any fruit (mango, pineapple, peach, nectarine, etc) or make a mixed fruit salsa by adding 2-3 fruits together.

You can add some chaat masala for an Indian twist.

Here are other Healthy Snack Ideas:

  1. Baked Sweet Potato Fries/snack
  2. Baked Carrot Fries/snack
  3. Crispy Kale Chips
  4. Khaman Dhokla
  5. Handvo
  6. Fish Cutlets/Patties

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