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  • Teenagers and Junk food fascination

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 March 2015

    From the ancient age till now, food habits have undergone millions of changes. Our ancestors ate raw and unprocessed foods and today we eat ready to eat foods which get cooked at the hit of button. The trend to eat junk and processed food has cropped up in the past few years. And amongst all the age groups, it is the teenage group that is following this trend religiously. Junk foods are nothing but those which only have high amount of salt, sugar, fat and refined flour.  Any food that tickles your taste buds and the thought of it waters your mouth is the one which actually has no vitamins, minerals or fiber and is extremely high in calories. A few of your junk foods include pizzas, burgers, French fries, vada pav, candies,  colas, chips, chaat  and the list never ends.   Why do teenagers depend on junk food?  A host of reasons affect a teenager’s choice and attracts them towards junk food. Let’s understand a few of them: Junk foods are far tastier and lip smacking than the healthy version of our Indian foods. Easy availability of junk foods at every nook and corner. Infact every food store stocks up variety of junk foods. Inexpensive and pocket friendly foods items available all over. This helps teenagers to save their pocket money. Media source likes advertisements on TV, paper, magazines, hoardings etc. makes it easy for the child to follow up with the new arrivals in the market. Increase in the number of restaurants and fast food joints that serve greasy and spicy dishes. School and college canteen serving junk like vada pav, noodles, samosa etc. which is easily accessible and time saving for the child as they get a short snack break of 15 minutes. Parents not inculcating healthy habits from childhood and giving in to the child’s demands for chips, biscuits, burgers etc. This makes it difficult for the child to avoid junk food in teenage years. Lack of awareness creation by parents and teachers among the children about the ill effects of poor food habits in later years. Working parents who do not have time to cook healthy foods for their children due to which they depend on outside foods. Increase in socializing, parties and get-together which expose them to unhealthy foods. Effects of junk foods on teenager’s health: If you but a brand new car and run it on cheap, low quality fuel, its performance is definitely going to be compromised. Similarly adolescence/ teenage is a period of rapid mental and physical development which calls for good nutrients, a healthy balanced lifestyle and food habits which if not fulfilled a little more than a few health issues: Obesity: it is very obvious that calorie loaded junk foods increase the chances of getting obese in early years which also increase the fat % and chances of other health problems. Heart problems: junk food is extremely high in saturated fats which can increase blood cholesterol and accumulation of fat in the arteries leading to increased chances of mid-life heart attacks.  Hypertension: Since these foods are also loaded with salt, the chances of increase in blood pressure are quite high as salts cause water retention. This can then lead to heart attack/ stroke. Type 2 diabetes: obesity can lead to insulin resistance. Thus we see young overweight people with borderline diabetes and sometimes with very high sugar levels.  Osteoporosis: Calcium is very essential for the teenagers bone development and muscular actions. Junk foods are very low in calcium, so over dependence on these foods do not fulfill the teenager’s calcium needs. This can make their boned porous in the later years and increase chances of osteoporosis. Skin problems: Teenage is the phase when lot of hormonal changes takes place. If not taken good care of, your skin can breakout into acne and pimples make you look dull and pale. Especially high fatty foods clog your pores and increase the risk of breakouts. Hair problems: hair need good nutrients like protein, biotin etc for their nourishment. Junk food lack in proteins and other essential nutrients which can lead to hair fall, early balding, scanty hair, early graying etc. Constipation: refined foods lack fiber due to which 7 out of 10 people face constipation and indigestion problems. An inactive lifestyle adds to the problem. Acidity: junk foods are acidic foods which increase the stomach acids and can cause heartburn and discomfort. Poor concentration: clearly junk foods lack nutrients which are required for the brain and other intellectual development. This leads to a poor concentration span by the child as it makes them more lethargic and sleepy. They also have poor focus and attention span. Mood swings: foods loaded with sugar bring about a high-low in the blood sugar levels which increases sugar cravings again and makes the person irritable and edgy.  Dental problems: junk foods like sweets, candies, colas etc can cause tooth decay and increase chances of cavities in their teeth.  Blood issues: junk foods are low in iron which can reduce blood hemoglobin levels which can be a cause of anemia. This can make the skin, nails, hair weak as hemoglobin is an oxygen supplier to all the body parts. Pcod in women: poor food habits and lack of exercise is the major cause of polycytic ovarian disorder in teenage girls these days. Many college going girls suffer from PCOD.  Junk foods lack the essential nutrients for their healthy reproductive system. How can we bring about a change? Parents play a very important role in shaping the child’s habits and mindset regarding all aspects or their life. The child particularly follows the parents eating habits, so the parents have to make an extra effort to follow healthy habits and influence their child towards it. How can parents change the child’s habits? Take your child to a dietician so that she can explain them about the ill effects of junk foods on their health and personal and professional growth. Do not stock junk food in your fridge and cupboards. Make sure you keep fruits, nuts, salads, dry roasted snacks all around rather than chips, aerated drinks etc. Insist the child eats health breakfast from home like cereals, fruits, nuts, sandwiches etc. so that he doesn’t binge on junk foods due to hunger pangs. Even if you are a working mother, make sure you cook or make some arrangement for healthy lunch options for your child to avoid outside eating. Tell your child to opt for salads and soups before starting their meal especially when they are eating out. Insist your children to meet their friends at a food joint that serves healthy salads, sandwiches, baked foods rather than coffee shops and fast food joints. Cook low fat healthy food options at home for example brown rice biryani, whole wheat burgers, oats dosa, whole wheat frankies, fruit yogurt, low fat pastas etc so that the child does not miss junk food. Dal, sabji, roti etc is a must but try introducing variety to avoid monotony. Bring a healthy twist to a boring routine. Talk to the school committee to change their canteen food options to healthier ones. How can teenagers change their habits? Consider food as an investment for healthy years in your adulthood. Include lot of fiber in your diet like fruits, nuts, raw salads, brown rice, multigrain etc.  1-2 junk meals in a week is permissible. But try to eat all the other meals in a healthy fashion. Carry small meals with you in your bag like apples, almonds, chana kurmura/ khakra/ peanuts etc.  Make sure you have salads prior lunch and dinner to help eliminate toxins and junk from your body. Drink healthy drinks like green tea, jaljeera, fresh lime water instead of black and white aerated drinks. You can also opt for fresh juices and coconut water. Exercise daily as it is proven that exercise increases self consciousness and reduces appetite and attraction towards junk food.  In this age you cannot exempt junk food completely from a teenager’s diet but reducing the frequency and creating awareness is imperative. A little junk here and there would not hurt.  Moderation is the key to a good and healthy life ahead.

  • Learn to say NO to junk

    In Expert Diet Tips On 17 June 2015

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! So you\'ve finally decided to stick to your healthy diet and lifestyle regime and not put a morsel of junk in your mouth? Oh but you just remembered that tomorrow is your boss\'s birthday party and Saturday is our friend\'s farewell party! How are you going to resist all that tempting, sinful food and refuse people when they offer it to you? God help you!   Don\'t you let such thoughts run through your minds especially after having mentally prepared yourself to transform your lifestyle and eating habits? Yes you do, and the only real problem is saying NO. The best way to do that is to stick to your promise of not touching unhealthy food and constantly remind yourself of that. This will take care of your cravings. But how would you convince people around you? Like this: They say: It\'s my specialty, you have to try it. You say: I definitely will, in a bit. This helps them to forget whether you have tried it or not and helps you to escape smoothly. They say: It\'s really yum, you will love it. You say: I already did! It really is delicious. A lie that doesn\'t hurt anyone is a good lie. This can save you in the best way. They say: It\'s just on holidays dear, why not indulge in it. You say: I would like to celebrate more such holidays in a healthy state of body and mind. This can come across as a big eye opener for them as well as a motivation to switch to healthier eating patterns.  They say: Come on, don\'t be so obsessed with dieting and weight loss. You say: I am not obsessed, I am just mindful of what I eat. Don\'t let their harsh words shake your motivation and willpower. Infact your will might influence them to be conscious of their own eating habits as well. Sometimes you have to deal with food pushers with a bit of straightforwardness. They say: It\'s just a small piece, please have it. You say: Sorry, I don\'t eat that. It is difficult for someone to argue with you on your food preferences and this prevents them from pushing you further. They say: One bite isn\'t going to kill you You say: I\'m sure it won\'t, but once I start I know I wouldn\'t be able to stop. This makes it clear to them that you can fight your food weakness and can refrain from your favorite junk. They say: But it\'s your favorite. You say: It used to be, I am so over it now. This gives them a hint that your preferences have changed now and no point in pushing you for it. They say: One last drink. You say: No, I want to drive back home safely. Do not drink and drive is a law and no one can argue with you if you want to be follow it to be maintain your soberness till you reach home safely. Don\'t be prey to people and their pushiness. Live in total control and wellness!

  • Burn your sins away!

    In Expert Diet Tips On 22 June 2015

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! Let\'s agree we all have days when we slip up our \'perfect diet\' and give in to that piece of cake or samosa. Call it social pressure, a friend\'s birthday party or just a usual comfort food spree, the reasons to sin are many with an equal number of excuses to avoid exercise. All this adds to the extra pounds in the most unwanted areas. Obviously, it is not possible to live like a saint in the highly social and junk food world of ours, but what we can do best for ourselves is either avoid these foods or make up for it by burning the calories consumed. But what if you could look at junk foods by the amount of exercise required to neutralize the calories for each? It\'s a fight or flight situation. If your love for junk food is real, you\'ll overcome this hurdle, if not, you might stop eating junk food altogether!   (The duration of exercise is given for a reference man of 60 kgs which can be calculated for your weight.)

  • Spice up your monsoons

    In Expert Diet Tips On 29 June 2015

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living! Monsoons are here and it\'s that time of the year when your appetite is at its naughtiest best. The summer heat and sun reduce your urge to eat food and as the rains pour, you suddenly crave for hot and spicy foods. The monsoons have a calming effect on you and help you to relax and unwind. In this weather, it is natural to get tempted by your favourite bhajias with some hot hot chai. But for the health conscious, it would be such a big war between the heart and the mind. In such a situation, you need to know how to make some awesome low fat foods and yet satisfy your cravings. Choosing the right food and herbs is the only way to add some taste and health to your meals. Below is a list of some hot foods which can add zing to your boring food: Chillies and jalapenos: These contain substances called capsaicinoids which give a burning sensation post consumption. These foods not only add taste to your food, but also help to reduce food cravings. They also reach the gut and signal the fat cells to increase their activity, thereby increasing temperature and help burn calories faster than usual. You can always add a pinch of it to your soups, salads, veggies, dals, curds, etc. Peppercorns: They come in black and white colour and have a number of health benefits apart from just adding taste and spice to your food. It stimulates the taste buds and increases hydrochloric acid secretion which helps to digest food better, reduces fat storage in the cells, thus helping in weight loss, prevents gas formation, gives relief from sinus and nasal congestion, and also has antibacterial properties which prevent from infections. Garlic: It is a strong immunity booster and prevents you to ward off common cold and flu which is the main problem during monsoons. It helps to lower heart issues by reducing bad cholesterol in the blood, controls blood sugar levels and also reduces the risk of certain cancers. It Has anti fungal and anti bacterial properties preventing vaginal infections. Garlic can be crushed and added to your food everyday. Ginger: It fires the digestive juices which help digest food better, clears the sinus pockets which may get irritating due to the weather changes, and reduces flatulence and stomach cramps. Its anti inflammatory property reduces the debilitating joint stiffness which happen due to arthritis. The most important thing that it does is it clears nose and throat congestion. Just add a few spoons of ginger juice to your juices, soups, dals, and green tea and enjoy its benefits. Garam masala: A basic kitchen ingredient used in our daily Indian cooking. A mixture of spices like clove, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, cumin, fennel and bay leaves which add spice and taste to your boring food. Apart from adding flavour, the ingredients in it also have health benefits like helping digestion, reducing gastric issues and bloating, controlling sugar levels and reducing blood pressure, and are anti- inflammatory and anti- bacterial. Add a pinch of it to your hot soups, gravies etc. Recipes Baked Onion Bhajias Ingredients: 2 small onions, sliced 2 tbsp besan 1 pinch salt 1/4 tsp cumin 1/4 tsp ground coriander Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed 1/2 tbsp tomato puree 1/4 tsp ground turmeric 1/4 tsp ground coriander A pinch of ground cumin A pinch of ground ginger A pinch of chilli powder Method Preheat the oven at 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. In a pan, heat 1 tsp oil, add onions to it and saute for 5-8 minutes till translucent. Add the masalas and mix. In a bowl, add besan, salt, coriander, cumin and mix well. Add the onion mixture and tomato puree. Add water as per the need to get the correct consistency. Drizzle some oil onto the prepared tray, place 2 tablespoons of the onion mix onto the tray for each bhajiya, flatten slightly with the back of the spoon. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes, drizzle a little oil on top of the bhajiyas and bake until golden brown. Serve hot, enjoy! Non-Fried Batata Vadas Ingredients For the batter  1 tbsp besan 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi) 1/4 tsp chilli powder A pinch of asafoetida (hing) Salt to taste For the vadas 2 boiled and mashed potatoes 1/2 tsp ginger-green chilli paste 2 tsp chopped coriander (dhania) 1/2 tsp lemon juice Salt to taste A pinch of mustard seeds (rai / sarson) 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi) 2-3 curry leaves (kadipatta) A pinch of asafoetida (hing) 1/4 tsp grated garlic (lahsun) Method In a bowl, add all the batter ingredients with enough water to make it a flowing consistency and keep it aside. Combine the potatoes, ginger, green chilli paste, coriander, lemon juice and salt together in a bowl and mix well. Keep aside. Heat a non-stick pan on medium flame and add the mustard seeds, turmeric powder, curry leaves asafoetida and garlic and dry roast for about 2 minutes. Add to the potato mixture and mix well. Divide it into 2 equal portions and shape them into flat rounds like tikkis and keep aside. Heat a non-stick pan on a medium flame. Dip the vadas in the batter and place them on the pan. Cover and cook on a low flame for 3 to 4 minutes, turn and cook on the other side as well. Remove the lid and cook on both sides till they turn golden brown. Serve with chutney.

  • Healthy recipe: Fish curry

    In Expert Diet Tips On 29 June 2015

    This fish curry is easy to prepare and truly delicious. Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps reduce cholesterol and improve glucose tolerance. Plus, this dish contains only 160 calories. So, team it with rice and savour it for your lunch. Ingredients: 100 g rawas ½ onion (sliced) Small piece ginger (chopped) 1 garlic clove (chopped) 1 green chilli Few curry leaves 1 tsp turmeric powder 1/2 tsp mustard seeds ½ tsp coriander powder 1 small piece tamarind 2 tsp tomato paste 2tsp oil Salt to taste Method Clean and cut the fish into medium size cubes. Soak tamarind in half cup water. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, onion, ginger, garlic, green chilli and curry leaves and sauté till onions turn brown. Add coriander powder, turmeric and sauté for 1 minute. Then add tomato paste, salt and tamarind water and stir it well. Add ½ cup water and when it boils, add the fish. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium flame. Uncover the pan and cook on low flame for 10 minutes till the gravy becomes thick. Serve hot with roti/rice.

  • Snack on the go!

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 July 2015

    Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living!  With the crazy, hectic life we lead, we don\'t really have time to think about snacking. Sparing some time for our main meals becomes such a challenge. But did you know that eating 3-4 small snacks between meals gives you energy and increases your metabolism, which in turn helps you reduce weight and burn fat? But wait, there is a catch! When we say snacking in between, we mean healthy snacks that are high in fibre and protein, and not junk food like samosas, vadas, chaat, pizzas, etc. It is not that difficult if you make up your mind to eat healthy snacks. Carry them with you so that you don\'t really have to give in to unhealthy temptations. Let\'s look at some of the healthy options that are easy to carry as well: Fruit and nuts Fruits are scared foods of the earth with natural vitamins and minerals that give you energy on the go. They are easy to carry and eat even when you are travelling or setting out for a break. Nuts, on the other hand, have good fats and are filling, They can be easily kept in your pocket to be munched on even during an important meeting. Apples, pear, oranges, walnuts, almonds, etc. are great convenient options. Calories: Less than 120 kcal Sprouts Again, easy to prepare and carry. All you need to do is just steam them, add cucumber, tomatoes, onions, lime, and chaat masala and there you have it! Some healthy protein, fibre and vitamin C rich snack. You can use a variety of sprouts like moong, moth, rajmah, chana, or even a mixture of all these. Calories: 150 kcal Boiled eggs High in protein and vitamin A, they are excellent, filling snacks that help your muscles and cells repair themselves. If you are weight conscious, you can opt for egg whites instead of the yellow. The only thing you need to do is peel them when you want to eat them, so that they remain fresh.  Calories: Less than 100 kcal Muesli This is a fairly new snack option available in variety in the market. You can buy sweet or savoury versions of it as per your choice. A handful of muesli with some green tea during your tea break will give you the energy rush you need to focus on your remaining day\'s work. You can also opt for muesli with nuts to add to the nutrition value. Calories: 100 kcal Nutrichoice Oats/Ragi Biscuits These are healthy, tasty, and easy to carry. 1-2 biscuits during a tiny break will give you the fibre and energy your body needs. Ragi is also an excellent source of calcium.  Calories: less than 80 kcal Make sure you stock your bag with these foods to keep your health in your hands always. Eat healthy, stay fit!

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Neha   Ranglani

Best Dietician in Mumbai, India 

Dietitian Neha Chandna (Ranglani) has 8 years of experience in the field. Food and Health is the matter of interest for most of the people today and realizing the need to create awareness and spread the right information to the society, Neha decided to extensively educate herself in the field of nutrition. As a known fact that diet and exercise go hand in hand, She went a step ahead to certify herself as a REEBOK Aerobic instructor. One of the Most Famous & Online Nutritionists Dietitians in Mumbai (Khar west). Neha Chandna, a dietitian in Mumbai, is a university topper in Dietetics from S.V.T. She has worked as a nutritionist for reputed gyms and fitness trainers and as a consultant with doctors and physiotherapists. She deals with sportsmen, individuals who are obese or victims of lifestyle issues- to name a few- diabetes, thyroid, osteoporosis, PCOS etc. and active/exercising sector of society. She educates and conducts seminar/workshops for corporates like banks (HDFC & Standard Chartered Bank), BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living. She also takes workshops on Nutrition in Pregnancy and Lactation. Neha Chandna also writes articles for magazines and newspapers like New Woman, Beauty and salon, Hello Mumbai, the afternoon etc. She has also done a couple of interviews for TV9 channel. She is an online consultant for a health social networking website Dietician Neha Chandna is one of the Best Dietician / nutritionist in Khar west , Mumbai. Neha Chandna is a Famous Nutritionist in Khar west & a famous nutritionist in Mumbai for weight loss diet chart and for other diet plan services. Popular dietcian in Mumbai. Consult her for best online Diet charts in Mumbai. 
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