Blog | Tag | Diet
  • My child does not drink plain milk. What do I do? (Diet query of the day)

    In Expert Diet Tips On 12 December 2014

    My kid does not like drinking plain milk. How can I make him drink it? What can I add which is good for health. I am not sure if flavoured syrups are good. Is there any other option apart from the health drinks available in the market? Answered by Nutritionist Neha Chandna. Making kids drink milk is indeed a task when they do not like the taste of it. But the good thing is milk can be consumed in various other forms like other dairy products. In order to ensure your kid gets adequate nutrition, you can give him milk in the form of kheer or seviyyan. You can also make oats porridge or add muesli to milk which will give it a different taste. (Read: Milk in the benefits of doodh) If you want to stay from health drinks, you can buy ready-made badam-pista masala or kesar and dry fruits in the powdered form which can be added to milk to change its taste. Another option is to make milkshakes which are not only tasty but healthy too. Make them using seasonal fruits or even dates which will give your kid nutrition of the fruits as well as the milk. Instead of giving him milk twice or thrice in the day, alternate between yoghurt and milk. Add cut fruits on top or honey to add a sweet flavour to the curd. Don’t force your kid to eat something they don’t like. Instead, think of innovative and healthy ways you can make the food more appealing for them to eat. 

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  • 6 supplements for athletes to enhance their performance

    In Expert Diet Tips On 12 December 2014

    People who play sports need special nutrition to perform to their optimal level. Many sports enthusiasts depend on artificial supplements to enhance performance but are ignorant of what good food can actually do to their body. The main focus needs to be a good, balanced diet as per the sport they play which can be supplemented with supplements to help them perform better. What is a supplement? A supplement is something that is added to one’s diet, typically to make up for a nutritional deficiency but does not replace food. There are a host of supplements sold in the market with all possible claims but not all are useful. Nutritionist Neha Chandna lists out some useful supplements which can be taken by athletes. Protein powders: Being the most popular supplements, there are many varieties of these in the market, the most popular one being whey protein. They come in various blends like concentrate, isolate, hydrolysed, etc. They are used by people who do weight training to help their broken muscles recover. They can also be taken by vegetarians to make up for the protein deficiency in their diets. A normal person needs 1 g/kg body weight protein/day whereas a sportsman may need 1.2-1.5 g/day depending on the sport they play. Creatine: This is naturally produced by our kidneys and liver to give energy to our muscles. Creatine supplements can increase the total body mass and lean mass, improve performance in short-burst exercises like sprints, long jumps, 200 m running, basketball, football, etc. They also help weightlifters lift more weight, help in recovery and improve muscle strength. They do help in endurance activities like marathon, aerobics, etc. The normal dose of creatine/day is 2-5 g. Creatine supplements are not recommended for anyone under 18 years of age as well as pregnant or breastfeeding women. Speak to a health professional before taking creatine supplements. Always read and follow the instructions on the package when taking it. Caffeine: It is a natural stimulant found in tea, coffee and sports drinks in very high amounts. It helps you be awake, alert and improves endurance in athletes. It decreases perceived exertion during performance and may also increase fat burning during exercise. The recommended level of caffeine is not more than 400 mg/day (roughly 3 cups). Branched chain Amino acid (BCAAs): They are made up of 3 amino acids – isoleucine, leucine and valine – which help improve muscle endurance and recovery and also boost immune system. The recommended dosage is between 3-5 g before and after training.  Glutamine: This is an amino acid which prevents muscle breakdown and reduces the chances of infection in athletes by improving immunity. Research has also found that glutamine supplements can help maintain muscle mass by preventing protein breakdown and improving glycogen synthesis thereby increasing muscle glycogen stores. It also helps maintain gut health. The recommended intake of glutamine is 3-4 g/day. Sports drinks: These contain large amounts of sugar and proportionate amounts of electrolytes which are needed by athletes who are into endurance sports like marathon runners as these athletes lose huge amount of water, sodium and potassium through sweat. You may benefit from sports drinks if you do heavy exercise or sports for more than 45 minutes at a time.

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  • Expert diet and exercise tips to manage diabetes (World Diabetes Day 2014)

    In Expert Diet Tips On 12 December 2014

    Diabetes does not mean the end of a good life. It just means that it is time to change your lifestyle for the better. Though diabetes is a rising health concern for most Indians today, but if taken good care of, one can live a normal life as before. Here are some lifestyle, diet and exercise related dos and don’ts by noted Nutritionist Neha Chandna that diabetics should follow to live well with diabetes. General guidelines It is essential that diabetics keep a constant tab on their blood sugar levels for better health and to avoid complications. Follow these tips: Get your blood sugar levels and HBA1C checked in a laboratory every 3 months if you are above 30 years of age. Check your blood sugar with a blood glucose monitor in the morning, after lunch and after dinner, every 2 days if you are a diabetic. Keep a check on blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels as a diabetic generally tends to have high BP and cholesterol. If you are on insulin, check your blood sugar before all the major meals to modulate the food intake. Check your toes and legs for any hurt or wound and don’t delay the treatment. If obese, try to lose weight and maintain it. Diet guidelines Monitoring your diet is highly vital as the food you eat directly affects your blood sugar levels and weight. In order to make sure you are eating healthy, follow these tips: Eat every 2-3 hours in small quantities rather than eating 3 large meals. Include complex carbs in every meal – whole wheat, ragi, jowar, brown rice, oats, etc. Avoid refined cereal products like bread, noodles, polished rice, etc. as they can raise blood sugar levels. Choose fibre-rich foods like vegetables, whole grains, etc. You should aim for 25-25g of fibre/day through diet to maintain blood glucose levels. Low-fat milk products like curd, paneer and egg whites, lean chicken and fish are great protein sources which can prove helpful in diabetes management. If you are a vegetarian, whole pulses and dals can provide little protein and good amounts of fibre. You can enjoy all vegetables especially green, leafy ones. Limit your intake of potatoes. Depending on your blood sugar, don’t have more than 2 fruits/day and if you are fond of mango/banana, opt for these early in the morning. Reduce butter, ghee or oil intake. Also, avoid processed foods like cakes, biscuits, ready-to-eat foods as they are loaded with fats. Salt and sugar and can aggravate complications like blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Sugary foods are a complete no-no. You can use artificial sweeteners occasionally, but avoid overdependence on them. Always carry a snack with you when travelling to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and dizziness. Exercise guidelines Only monitoring your diet won’t work, you also need to get a fair share of physical exercise to maintain normal levels but there are certain guidelines diabetics need to follow: Make sure you exercise at least 4-5 times/week to help you get your blood sugar in control. You can choose moderate exercises like aerobics, brisk walking, weight training, swimming, dancing, etc. Check your blood sugar at home before and after exercise. Avoid exercise if your blood sugar levels are too high or too low. If you are on insulin, modify your carb intake before and after exercise depending on your sugar levels. Eat a complex carb snack like sandwich, wrap, oats an hour before you do any activity. Eat immediately after exercise to avoid fall in blood sugar. Carry sugar tablets or glucose water with you in case of an emergency hypoglycemia situation. Avoid exercise in case of severe complications like kidney problems, nerve problems or wounds. These guidelines will help you lead a normal life even with your existing diabetes condition and also make your lifestyle a healthier one preventing other heath complications.

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  • The omega-3 controversy – can it cause cancer?

    In Expert Diet Tips On 12 December 2014

    Recently, a study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute linking omega-3 fatty acids to a high risk of prostate cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids are usually found in fish, flaxseeds, etc and are considered good for health especially the heart as they lower cholesterol levels. They are generally recommended by doctors and dieticians as part of a healthy and well-balanced meal. But according to the trial conducted by these researchers, those who had higher concentrations of omega-3 in their blood were 46% more likely to get prostate cancer than the others. We asked Nutritionist Neha Chandna about the possibilities of such a health risk and how much omega-3 do we really need in our diet.  Do you think omega-3 fatty acids can lead to serious ailments like cancer? I wouldn’t completely agree with the study as it has many shortcomings. It does not consider the source of omega-3 whether it is coming from pills or diet, does not take into account the subject’s health status before the study. Cancer is a result of various factors like smoking, nutrition, exercise, environmental toxicity, stress and none of these things were taken into account. So, it is very irrational to conclude that omega-3 increases the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, populations with the largest intake of omega-3 (from fish) such as the Japanese, Eskimo and the Inuit of Greenland have some of the lowest rates of prostate cancer. There are also a couple of studies which have proven that eating fish regularly reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Why do we need omega-3? Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid which is not manufactured by the body. But it is needed by one and all as it has great health benefits like: Reducing triglyceride Decreasing blood pressure Improving brain communication and memory Controlling hormone production Reducing inflammation Improving skin appearance Supporting proper vision Protecting against cancer What are the best sources of omega-3? The best source of omega-3 is fish and vegetarian sources are flaxseeds and walnuts. How much of omega-3 do we really need? A healthy individual without any heart or health issues can eat fish 2-3 times/week or take 500 mg of EPA + DHA through fish oil supplements/day i.e. 2 capsules of 1000 mg/day. Someone with a heart problem can have 2-4 capsules daily after consulting their doctor.  Can too much of omega-3 be harmful? Avoid taking excessive omega-3 through supplements (more than 4 capsules/day) as it can increase the risk of bleeding, can cause gas, bloating, diarrhoea. Diabetics should take fish oil capsules under a doctor’s supervision as they may experience a rise in blood sugar levels after taking them. Is it best to get one’s intake from natural sources instead of capsules? Natural sources are always the best. Get it from your diet such as eating fish 3 times/week or having 2-4 tablespoons of flaxseeds daily.  But if you cannot then opt for fish oil supplements. There are various genuine brands available these days in the market that sell fish oil capsules.

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  • Look perfect on your wedding with these 7 weight loss tips

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    Most women dream of having the perfect wedding where all eyes are on them and they look nothing less than a princess. In order to attain this, they fret and opt for extreme dieting or unhealthy ways to lose weight and spoil their health in the long run. But if you plan in advance and follow a healthy lifestyle, you can look stunning without having to compromise on your health. Here are seven tips by Nutritionist Neha Chandna that every bride-to-be should follow. Sleep well: Most brides forget what sleep is after they get hitched, worrying about the tiniest of things that can go wrong. But don’t forget, sleep is the only time when your body recovers from all the stress it is going through during the day. And the good news is, a good night’s sleep is an important part of your weight loss process as it stabilises your hunger hormones which help you control your appetite. Get a full body check-up: Before you begin with a meal or workout plan, it is essential to get yourself checked for any abnormalities in your body. Unbalanced blood sugar levels, hormonal levels, etc are also responsible for weight gain. Once your reports are clear, it will be easier to decide your meal and exercise plan. And in case you suffer from something, you can always get help and customise your weight loss programme. Join a gym or fitness club: If you can motivate yourself and go for a brisk walk for an hour every day, kudos to you. But if you are one of those who keep pushing back your workout making every possible excuse in the book, you better enroll yourself in a gym, dance class, etc. 1 hour of exercise is a must to help you lose flab and look fab on your wedding. In the gym, get a fitness trainer who can carve out a plan according to your goals and work on your problem areas. Drink plenty of water: Water is an excellent solvent and it dispells all the toxins from your body leaving you with a glowing skin, lustrous hair and a healthy body. It also helps balance all the reactions in your cells and keeps your metabolism up to help you lose weight. Drink at least 35 ml/kg body weight of water/day and even more if you are out in the sun to rehydrate yourself. Eat small meals every 2-3 hours: Agreed, with all the wedding preparations, eating frequent meals could be a challenge. But all you need to do is plan your day smartly and make sure you carry your meals with you wherever you go so that you avoid missing them and eat junk food. Eating often increases your metabolism and helps you burn fat faster. Stay away from unnecessary fats and sweet: Avoid butter, ghee, cakes, pastries, desserts, fried foods, etc as these can only worsen your efforts to lose weight. Sweets can also give you a lot of mood swings and sugar cravings which you surely don’t need amidst all the wedding preparations. Avoid binge drinking: Alcohol can play havoc with your weight loss plan and not to forget your skin as well. It will dehydrate you, make you lethargic, add a number of calories in a short time and will also show on your face – it will look dull and lifeless. Smoking too has a similar effect. In order to avoid all this, restrict your alcohol intake.

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  • Getting married? Here’s a sample weight loss diet plan for brides-to-be

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    Your wedding is one of the most special days of your life and you certainly want to look your best which needs timely preparation. Nutritionist Neha Chandna shares a sample meal plan to help you shed a few kilos in a healthy way. Instead of crash dieting and starving yourself, lose weight in a healthy way to avoid fainting and other health problems after the D-Day is over.  An early start is always better as you will need to put in less effort and will have more time to reach your desired goal. Here is a meal plan you can start following six months before your wedding date. Remember, though diet is 70% responsible for a healthy weight loss, you also need some sort of physical activity every day to stay fit and burn calories. You can also try these 7 weight loss tips to look perfect on your wedding: Early morning: green tea + 1 fruit Breakfast: 1 bowl of oats porridge/ poha/ upma/ idli Mid morning: 1 fruit + 4 almonds/ walnuts Lunch: salad + 2 rotis/ 1 cup brown rice + veggies + dal + curds Evening: whole wheat bread sandwich/ bhel(no sev)/ sprouts Dinner: soup + salad+ veggies/ chicken/ fish + 1 roti Bedtime: 1 cup skim milk If you haven’t had the chance to focus on yourself with all the shopping and wedding arrangements, there is still time to tone-up your figure and look your best. You can follow this meal plan three months prior to the D-Day and drop a dress size. Early morning: green tea + 2 dates Breakfast: oats upma/ oats dosa Mid morning: 1 fruit + 4 almonds/ walnuts Lunch: salad + 1 rotis/ 1 cup brown rice + veggies + dal + curd Evening: 1 fruit Dinner: soup + salad+ veggies/ chicken/ fish Bedtime: 1 cup skim milk It’s just 30 days to the wedding, fret not! You can still lose weight. This is a meal plan when only it’s only 1 month to the wedding. In addition to this, get some exercise and don’t stress – with the right outfit, you will look perfect. Early morning: green tea + 2 dates Breakfast: fruits + nuts Mid morning: 1 bowl sprouts/ salad of pulses Lunch: salad + veggies + dal + curd Evening: soup Dinner: salad/ stir fry+ veggies/ chicken/ fish Bedtime: 1 cup skim milk Even if you start with the 6-month meal plan, you can move to the 3- and 1-month plans as you inch closer to the wedding day. Be happy and you are sure to glow and look wonderful on your special day.

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  • Weight gain due to long working hours. What should I do? (Diet query of the day)

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    Q: Dear dietician, I am a 46-year-old working, unmarried lady. I have a sitting job and long working hours from 10 am to 8 pm. Lately, I have been having irregular periods. I have put on weight especially on my waistline and the hip area. Please suggest a suitable diet plan so that I can reduce my waistline. Answered by Nutritionist Neha Chandna As you age, your metabolism decreases leading to weight gain. Since you have a sitting job and being a woman, you are prone to put on weight near the stomach and hip areas as a woman is genetically designed to have a pear-shaped body. Also, you might be close to menopause due to which you have irregular periods. I advise you to join a gym and alternate between weight training and cardio to help build muscle mass and burn fat. Along with this, you need to eat a balanced diet with lots of fibre, greens, veggies, nuts, salads, curd, etc. Here is a diet plan for you: Have a healthy breakfast to keep you going for the morning. Include items like oats porridge/ oats upma/ idli/ dosa. Between breakfast and lunch, have a fruit and a handful of nuts. In lunch, eat a portion of salad, a jowar/ragi chapatti with veggies, dal and a glass of buttermilk (chhaas). Keep your dinner light. You can have soup, salad, veggies/grilled chicken or fish. Avoid eating rotis or rice at night. Along with this, drink two-three cups of green tea every day and sleep well. 

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  • Cashew nuts or kaju – Healthy or not?

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    Kidney-shaped cashew nuts have been used largely in Indian cuisine in dessert preparations like yummy kaju katli, as a garnish and even in gravies adding a rich, slightly sweetish tinge to the dish. Whole cashew nuts are also added to food items in some regions like Goa and consumed as an evening snack too. Since it has such a huge presence in Indian kitchens, we asked our expert and well-known Nutritionist Neha Chandna, based in Mumbai to tell us more about its health benefits. Read on… Health Benefits of cashew nuts : Keep your heart healthy: Cashew nuts are rich in good fats and have zero cholesterol which helps lower LDL, the bad cholesterol, and triglyceride making one’s heart healthy. Many think that cutting out fat intake is good for our body which is untrue. Our body needs nutrients from all food groups including fats; all you need to do is get it from good sources like kaju instead of unhealthy ones. Make your body stronger: They are rich in magnesium which is required for strong bones, proper muscle and nerve functioning. Our bodies need a daily intake of about 300-750 mg of magnesium as it helps regulate the amount of calcium absorbed by our bones. Keep BP under control: These nuts are low in sodium and high in potassium and thus keep blood pressure under check. When there is excess sodium, the body retains more water which causes the volume of blood to increase in turn increasing the blood pressure. Reduced risk of cancer: Cashew nuts also contain antioxidants like selenium and vitamin E which prevent free radical oxidation, reduce the risk of cancer and boost immunity. Since they are rich in zinc, they help fight infections. Important for body functions: Their high copper content plays an important role in enzyme activity, hormone production, brain function, etc. Copper is also needed for the production of red blood cells to prevent anaemia. How often should one eat them? Though these are absolutely delicious and difficult to stop eating after just a few, remember control is the key to good health. Eating between 5-10 pieces is enough for a day. You can eat them in two batches as a healthy snack to replace your junk food cravings. But keep in mind, excess consumption can lead to weight gain so eat within limits. Should they be avoided in any particular season? Earlier, there was a belief that nuts generate body heat and should be avoided in summer months. While anything is excess is bad for the body, a few nuts have more health benefits than health issues. Stick to a handful and you can enjoy them in every season. Should people will certain conditions avoid them all together? Everyone can eat cashew nuts except people who are allergic to nuts or get a migraine headache due to them. There are different varieties of cashew nuts like salted or roasted ones. Are they any good or should one stick to the plain ones? You get a wide variety of cashew nuts coated with different masalas, salted, herbed, honeyed, etc. It all depends on your taste buds, choices and health goals. If you suffer from hypertension, avoid salted ones. If you are on a weight loss goal, avoid honey-coated ones. Take your pick wisely or simply stick to the plain variety. Do they have any ill-effects? There are no ill-effects of cashew nuts as such but one must not forget that they are rich in calories and so not too many should be eaten at a time. In some cases, they can cause an allergic reaction which may show different symptoms for different people including vomiting and diarrhoea, swelling, skin rashes, difficulty in breathing, etc. If you experience any of these after eating them, it is best to discontinue and see a doctor.

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  • Fad is bad: Say no to diets which promise speedy weight loss!

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    ‘I have to lose weight in 10 days for a wedding’ or ‘I need to shape-up quickly to fit into my dress’ – how often do we think about these things and look for quick solutions? In an attempt to lose weight quickly, many people knock the doors of fad diets. They may come to your rescue at times like these but beware – they do more harm than good to your health. Renowned Nutritionist Neha Chandna explains why fad diets are bad for you including seven popular ones like cookie and liquid diet. First and foremost, there are no shortcuts to weight loss. You haven’t put on all the weight overnight, so how can you expect to lose it at a lightning speed? These days, everyone wants to lose weight in the blink of an eye and to achieve their dream body, they resort to fad diets which definitely work but for a short period of time. They help you lose weight from your muscles and bones leaving you feeling weak and ill. And once you go back to your normal routine, you gain all the weight or even more in no time. You do the math and see what’s the whole point of following some diet regime which is short-lived, deprives you of nutrients and has many hazardous effects on your body? The best way to lose weight is to eat the right food, at the right time, in the right quantity, and exercise daily for 45 minutes to one hour. The point is to lose weight gradually rather than rapidly. A lifestyle change is the answer to losing weight than falling into the trap of fad diets. So how do you know if it is a fad diet? Here are some tips. How to spot a fad diet It promises exaggerated results in few days which is too good to be true Will mostly have rigid eating rules It restricts you from eating a lot of food groups like carbohydrates, fats, etc It promotes ‘magic foods’ The diet is sold based on a few testimonials without any research or studies done on its effect It doesn’t involve much exercise along with the meal plans ill-effects of fad diets on the body Causes constipation Leads to weakness Loss of concentration Nausea Headache Depression Muscle loss Health risks like osteoporosis and many more While there are a number of fad diets that keep cropping up every now and then, especially when they are endorsed by celebrities, here a few popular ones to stay away from. Cookie Diet: Invented by Dr Siegal, this a diet in which one has to eat nine cookies a day that makes up to 500 kcal and then have a 500 kcal dinner, totalling up to 1000 kcal every day. Why is it bad: This diet gets monotonous and can cause nutrient deficiencies. Baby Food Diet: This diet is about eating 14 jars of baby foods throughout the day and a sensible dinner. The baby foods include mashed fruits and veggies. Why is it bad: It does not meet your nutrient needs and is low in protein. Eating like an adult is recommended. Cabbage Soup Diet: This is 7-day diet which focuses on having as many bowls of cabbage soup every day with some fruits and vegetables. Why is it bad: This diet is bland, boring and makes you feel weak and resulting in poor concentration. The biggest drawback is that it makes you gassy and bloated. Liquid Diet: The idea is to cleanse the body and rejuvenate it with juices, water, clear soups. Why is it bad: It is again very low on protein and can make you really weak. Not recommended to do it more than a day. Atkins Diet: Written by Dr Robert Atkins, this is the most popular fad diet which aims at reducing the main source of energy – carbohydrates to up to 20g/day and focuses more on vegetables, fats and proteins. Why is it bad: The side-effect of this diet is, it recommends more than 30% fat intake which is above the recommended allowance and can lead to extreme ketosis which can cause damage to the organs in the long run. Blood Type Diet: Created by Dr Peter D’Adamo, it focuses on eating some and avoiding some foods as per your blood type. It follows a ‘one size fits all’ concept. Why is it bad: It bans a lot of health promoting foods making eating out difficult and some people may be healthy despite eating foods forbidden for them. General Motor’s Diet: This is a 7-day diet plan which is based on the intake of specified food items which include raw vegetables, fruits, juice, and lean meat. It restricts the intake of any dairy products and promises weight loss of 10 pounds in week. Each day is restricted to 1-2 raw foods in unlimited amounts. Why is it bad: This diet can make you weak and hungry, leads to the inability to exercise, depression and body pain. To avoid any damages to your body, do not opt for any fad diets. Just eat balanced meals and engage in physical activity to see the difference both physically and mentally. The process may be longer and less dramatic unlike fad diets, but the results will be long-term and benefit your body’s health than spoiling it with extreme restrictions. So, the next time you think about opting for any such diet, remember, it’s a fad… err bad idea!

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  • Cannot consume milk and wheat. What should I eat? (Diet query of the day)

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    I have been diagnosed with mild chronic gastritis with H pylori 2+. I am under medical treatment. Apart from milk, the doctor has advised me to avoid consuming wheat products also. Please suggest an appropriate diet keeping my condition in mind. Answered by Nutritionist Neha Chandna. You need to eat small meals every 2-3 hours so that there is not too much load on the digestive system. Opt more for simple foods like fruits, boiled veggies, green leafy vegetables, and lean meats like fish, egg whites. Haveantioxidant-rich foods like carrots, cranberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, beet, etc to fight against the H pylori infection. Drink plenty of water, coconut water, green tea. You can also have a concoction of saunf, jeera andajwain to help relieve symptoms. Curd is also good as it has probiotics which help in digestion. Avoid refined foods made of maida, bakery foods, sweets, fried and processed foods. Also, avoid coffee, tea, carbonated beverages and alcohol as they can worsen the symptoms. Exercise daily for 30 minutes, even yoga is a great option.

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  • What is an ideal diet after a kidney removal operation? (Diet query of the day)

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    My mother had a kidney removal operation some time ago. Can you please suggest a suitable diet and exercise plan that she can follow post the operation? Answered by Nutritionist and Our Expert Neha Chandna There is no need to change her diet if your mother’s other kidney is functioning properly. All she needs to do is take a few necessary precautions while making food choices. These include avoiding processed and junk food to keep the salt content within limits as that can over-burden her kidney. Also, she needs to avoid eating excess amounts of proteins since they can overload the kidneys. Normal protein intake of 1g/kg of body weight is great. She needs to make sure that she drinks plenty of water and fluids to flush out toxins. As far as exercise is concerned, your mother can do all sorts of exercises as long as it doesn’t hurt or take a toll on her health. It is best to do it under the guidance of a fitness trainer who can monitor her regime and change it according to her comfort.  Also, she can consult her doctor once before she starts her workout. To be on the safer side, she can opt for brisk walks, light weight training or swimming.

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  • What should you eat pre and post workout?

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    It’s a usual myth that you achieve your dream body in the gym. But the fact is that you spend only 1 hour during your exercise but 23 hours outside which actually determines your progress towards your goals. Exercise is just 30% whereas diet is 70% of your effort. It’s rightly said that muscles are torn in the gym, are repaired on your dining table. What you eat throughout the day will have a major impact on the way your body starts shaping up, especially what you eat pre and post workout. In the most basic sense: What you eat pre workout is crucial for fuelling the workout itself and maximizing your performance throughout. What you eat post workout is crucial for optimizing the recovery process and ensuring that your body has all of the supplies it needs in order to recover, adapt and improve the way you want it to. Hence these 2 meals are the most important ones for women who follow a regular exercise routine. The type and quantity of meals differ according to the type and intensity of exercise you follow. Pre workout meal: This is known as the â€˜Energy Phase’ of your workout. The main aim of this meal is to give you energy to work out at your optimal level. As a thumb rule you need to eat something 1-2 hours before your workout to help you sustain through your workout sessions without feeling famished. The meals would differ depending on the type of workout you are doing. Cardio/ yoga/ pilates/ zumba: If You are doing any of these activities early morning, its best to do it on empty stomach to help you speed up your fat burning process as the blood glycogen levels would be low on waking up, preferring fat as the source of fuel for energy. Yoga especially on empty stomach is very effective. If you feel weak working out on empty stomach, you can opt for a fruit like banana, dates or a juice to avoid weakness. If you are working out in the noon or evening, you can eat a high fiber carb meal 1 hour before workout like brown bread sandwich/ oats upma/ idli/ fruit salad/ brown rice/ smoothies/ Frankie etc. These fiber rich foods release energy slowly which helps you carry on with your 1 hour of workout comfortably.   Weight training: Since the aim of this workout is to strengthen, build and tone muscles, it is important to eat high carb-moderate protein meal 1 hour prior workout to feed your muscles with energy, reduce protein breakdown and stress hormone levels. You can opt for foods like egg or chicken sandwich/Frankie, milkshakes, sprouts and curds, low fat paneer with brown rice/ jowar roti, soya poha etc. Try not to do weight training on empty stomach as you may feel weak and not strong enough to pick up weights as per your capacity.   Post workout meal: This is known as the â€˜anabolic Phase’ of your workout because the meal you eat post workout helps you to recover, repair and restore the energy in your body. As a thumb rule, you need to eat something within 30 minutes which is the window period post workout to prevent muscle breakdown and begin the recovery process as soon as possible. But before anything else, you must drink ample of water to help you rehydrate and prevent muscle cramps and sluggishness. Cardio/ yoga/ pilates/ zumba: Post cardio, it is important to replenish the carbs and electrolytes used up during the workout. Coconut water is excellent to replace electrolytes. Banana sliced lengthwise and spread with peanut or almond butter. Mango smoothie with mango chunks, vanilla yogurt, ice, and honey. Sliced apple with a handful of walnuts. Whole grains, fruits, and veggies are the best sources of carbs post workout. Again, whole foods are best, but smoothies and shakes are a good quick fix. One of the best protein-carb combos is milkshake. It provides an optimal balance of carbs and protein.   Weight training: Generally women do not indulge in excessively heavy weight training, but moderate training also causes muscle breakdown which needs to be repaired.  here protein and carbohydrates are needed after a workout to help repair muscles, replenish the body’s glycogen stores, and prevent muscle soreness. You need to opt for simple carbs along with easy to digest and absorb protein within 30 minutes of your workout. Simple carbs are required to help pull in protein into your muscles which is the main component for muscle recovery. Simple carbs like bananas, juices, honey, dates, potato, sweet potato, rice etc are some options. You can get your Proteins from whey protein shake which is the absorbed fastest or else eggs, chicken, fish, low fat paneer, milk, curds etc but these take time to digest and absorb. A combination of carb and protein is the best way to recover your broken muscles. Example: Chocolate protein shake with protein powder, skim or soy milk, and a banana. Half an avocado stuffed with cottage cheese and tomato. Spinach salad with a sliced chicken breast. Whole foods are the best option because they offer complete nutrition. They provide many micronutrients and essential fiber and help keep you feeling satiated. The best whole food choices contain complete, high-quality protein and provide nearly every essential vitamin and mineral.    Planning your meals is the best way to ensure you get the best out of your diet. As you can see, there are quite a few delicious ways to fuel and get the most out of your workouts and trainings. We have to treat our bodies nicely and give them what they need.

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  • Your nutrition questions answered!

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    Internet is full of information. Ever wondered if it’s a boon or a bane? It can be a problem many times because of untrue facts and random tips on important topics. This is true even in the case of fitness. That is why dumbelled.com is here to provide expert answers to all your queries.   Here, Neha Chandna, Nutritionist of celebrities like Kunal Khemu and Nakuul Mehta clears your doubts on diet and nutrition.    1. People confuse  Nutrition planning with Starving! What according to you is the difference? What’s the importance of a nutritionist?   Nutrition planning means planning your meals throughout the day as per your likes, dislikes, requirements etc. It does not mean starving, in fact it means eating small meals every 2-3 hours to increase your metabolism and avoid fat storage. There are many diets available online, but only a nutritionist can determine your requirements and help you to meet your needs accurately. 2. Please tell us the components of balanced diet and how many grams of each should be consumed each day?   A balanced diet includes cereals, pulses, fruits, veggies, milk and milk products etc unlike any fad diet available online which asks you to eat only fruits or juices or any other drastic unmanageable food which you dislike or which can harm your body in excess. Each person has a unique need of nutrients. You need to in general include 60% of carbs, 18% protein and 22% fat in your daily diet plan. Eg if you are consuming a 1200 kcal diet then, 60% of 1200/4= 180 gms of carbs, 18% of 1200/4= 54 gms of protein, 22% of 1200/9= 29 gms of fats. 3. Is BMI a fair measure and are BMI calculators accurate?   BMI calculators are accurate, but BMI is not an exact measure of your weight.   It doesn’t take into account muscle and bone mass, so one can easily mistake themselves as fat even when they have a higher muscle mass or bone mass.   4. Is it better to get vitamins and minerals from food or from supplements?   Nothing can replace food, but lets face the fact that these days neither the food is pure nor our digestion power is perfect to absorb all the nutrients. High levels of stress, pollution, fat and a hectic life affects our absorption greatly. Hence even after taking in appropriate food, we need supplements to meet our needs.   5. How do one get protein on a vegan diet? A vegan can get protein from soyamilk, dals, pulses, quinoa, oats etc. You can also supplement your diet with whey protein without lactose.

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  • Party this Christmas, the healthy way!!

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

      The festive season is just around the corner and it is party time everywhere. Good food, liquor and dance are the key ingredients of a happening party. But with all the fun and frolic, most people take their health for granted and go out and out to enjoy every bit of it including binging and boozing. Festivals are surely a great way to enjoy but they can be even more memorable if you are in your best of shape and health. So here are some easy tips: • Follow a regular meal pattern on the day of the party. People who deliberately skip meals to save the calories tend to overeat all the food they see at once and add plenty to their waistline. • Munch on a big bowl of raw salad in the evening prior to the party as it keeps you full and helps to reduce the urge to binge. Fill up on a green salad with a good source of protein and fat (think avocado, raw nuts or fish) so that you don’t arrive to the party feeling ravenous. • When at the party, take your time to get comfortable with the surrounding and scrutinize the food choices available. Just because it’s there or free, doesn’t mean you have to eat it. When choosing what to put on your plate, stick to healthy foods youtypically enjoy. Opt for non fried, steamed or roasted starters • Buffet is an invitation to eat all that is available, but resist temptations and stick to a few favorite food options rather than taking little servings of all 20 different dishes. Start with a liberal helping of low fat salads with curd, lemon or vinegar dressings. The higher the varieties you are confronted with, the more you tend to eat without realizing. So stick to a few healthy ones. • Choose foods high in protein such as chicken/ fish (steamed, roasted or grilled) or dal and rice combo for vegetarians. Avoid biryanis and creamy and rich gravies and sauces. Go easy on full fat paneer. Opt for stewed rice rather than fried rice, pasta in red sauce rather than the white cheesy sauce and tandoori roti over roomali roti • Do not overdo on alcohol as it is the easiest way to increase your fat stores. 1-2 drinks of red wine are a great source of antioxidant. Your liver is your main fat-burning organ. If you are trying to lose weight or even maintain your ideal weight, drinking alcohol is one of your worst enemies, so slow down and keep your alcohol intake on the low-end, especially if you have multiple gatherings per week. Just remember, a sparkling water with lime looks like a vodka tonic. There’s no need to bring a lot of attention to yourself if you choose not to drink alcohol. • To help digestion, have a glass of fresh lime water(less sugar) or jaljeera after a heavy dinner. • Party hard, but exercise harder. Make sure to spare one hour of the day to burn all the additional calories and keep your BMR high to avoid piling on that unwanted fat. Let 1 hour of brisk walk or resistance activity do all the magic. • Aim at leaving the party satisfied and not stuffed. So don’t only party hard, but party smart and keep health as your top priority.

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  • Top 5 foods for a flat belly!

    In Expert Diet Tips On 19 December 2014

    Every one dreams to be rich!! But everyone also dreams about something else, that is having a flat tummy without too much effort. The biggest misconception people are smitten by is that doing a lot of ab exercises helps you lose the tummy flab and achieve a table top flat belly. But that’s not the truth. The fact is that you can never lose you tummy fat only with exercise. Diet plays a major role in shaping up your abs. What you eat decides whether you a get a flat tummy or you develop tyres. The food you eat helps to crash or increase your metabolism to burn the fat around your waist. It truly depends on the choices you make. Here are top 5 foods for losing your belly fat. Almonds Most people think of nuts to be fattening and foods to be avoided when on a weight loss diet. But the fact is that almonds are high in fiber which makes a great mid meal snack and best part is that a few of them are enough to make you feel full. They also contain good fats which help to reduce bad fats in the blood and improve overall health. Avoid salted almonds and nibble on few raw ones along with their skin. Oats It’s only been a few years since this grain has gained a great deal of popularity but it surely has a long way to go. Oats has high amount of fiber, 40gm uncooked oats has 4 gm fiber which is good enough for one meal. It contains both soluble fiber known as beta-glucan and insoluble fiber which acts as a savior for people suffering from constipation by absorbing water, making the stools softer and speeding its elimination. It slows down digestion, making you feel fuller for a longer time so that you tend to eat less, promoting weight loss. Most importantly, they are gluten-free which can be readily replaced by wheat in a celiac or gluten sensitive patient’s diet as they are more prone to bloating due to wheat. Nothing better than waking up to a hot bowl of oats made in porridge or savory form to kick start your metabolism and reduces hunger pangs in the latter half of the day. You can also add oats to your soup, dals, dips, shakes, cutlets, etc. So go and grab a pack of this super healthy food today! Mushroom Not only loved for its characteristic UMAMI (meaty or savory), but also has a host of nutrients important for good health. They are neither a fruit nor a vegetable, but a fungi which the non-vegetarians turning into vegans are more than happily substituting their meat with. They are a great source of B vitamins which provides energy by breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They are a powerhouse of antioxidants like selenium and ergothioneine which protect body cells from damage, preventing heart attacks, boost immunity and helping you age gracefully. They are quite filling and very low in calories which are a lucrative food for obese people, making complete sense to replace red meat with them helping you shed excess weight. They contain good amount of vitamin D which work wonders to burn your belly fat. Add to your soup/ stir fry or some brown rice. Broccoli Luscious green vegetable which is extremely low on calories and an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants. This means small portion of it can help you to feel fuller for a longer time reducing your cravings for the wrong foods and helping you burn your stubborn belly fat. A broccoli stir fry or pasta is a treat for your palette. Low fat yoghurt White sacred food used from time immemorial. It is rich in protein which increases metabolism and helps you burn your fat easily. It also contains good bacteria that fight against the bad ones in your stomach that leave you feeling bloated and uneasy. This helps to reduce your belly size and make you feel light and active. Have it in the form of raita, buttermilk, smoothie or fruit yogurt.

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  • The myth of spot reduction

    In Expert Diet Tips On 19 December 2014

    All of us have one particular body part with excess fat be it stomach, hips or the back which when we look at in the mirror, we wish could disappear by some means. Spot reduction as people think is the idea if losing fat from one particular area by working on that muscle. This is an absolute myth. Spot reduction in real does not exist. For years people have fallen in the trap of advertisements of belts, vibrators etc that claim to help you lose your tummy or buttock fat which all are truly gimmicks.  We gain weight when we consume more calories than what we expend. The excess calories are stored as fat in the cells in a specific pattern which differs for every person. That’s why we often see people exercising one body part more than the other. For example people who have a huge tummy like a spare tire, try to lose it by doing 1000 crunches. But they don’t realize that by doing so they are just strengthening their abdominal muscles and the fat remains there only comfortably. Men generally have more fat on their tummy (apple shaped body) and women accumulate that fat on their hips (pear shapes body). This clearly shows that men and women are designed genetically differently. When you start losing fat gradually, the first place you put on fat is the last place you will lose fat from because of your genetic makeup. You would lose fat faster in some areas and very slowly in others. The best way to lose fat in any problematic area you have to follow a good cardiovascular exercise routine like running, jogging, cycling, aerobics, dancing etc coupled with weight training and a balanced low fat diet is the most crucial part. This will help you lose fat overall and also in the most desired area. So don’t be a part of passive fat loss ideas. Lets your body do its job at its best.

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  • Diet- its true meaning

    In Expert Diet Tips On 19 December 2014

    The word ‘dieting’ has gained much importance in the past few years. Everyone around is following some or the other diet which is famous or fad because dieting is in fashion. Very few of us realise that the word “DIET” has a much deeper meaning than just weight loss. Diet means attaining and maintaining health in order to carry out your day to day activities without getting fatigue or famished. It means feeling energetic, active, focused and happy. It means eating balanced nutritious meals in small quantities and often to pump up your BMR and helping you burn you fat, and not melt it. (There is nothing called as melting fat). It’s as simple as eating the right thing at the right time in the right quantity. Most of the people pick up one of the fad diets available on the net and start believing that it is the best diet to lose weight because some of their friends/ colleagues have told them about it. But that is absolutely incorrect because there is no authenticity to it. Also these diets are very extreme like rice diet, soup diet, cabbage diet etc which are not holistic and do not help you meet your daily nutrient requirements. For example, rice is rich in carbohydrates and some B-complex vitamins but what about your protein, good fats, calcium, iron etc. Another vast sector of society thinks that starving or skipping meals will help them get trimmer. This is again wrong because when you starve your BASAL METABOLIC RATE crashes down and your body stores whatever you eat next as fat. So you initially lose water weight but when you go back to your routine diet, you are richer with greater fat stores than before. This is called the YO-YO effect (losing weight and gaining back double of it in no time). I had a male businessman client who came to me with 109 kgs, with the most unacceptable eating habits and desperate to lose weight and get healthy. In 3 months, he was down to 93 kgs with 8 inches less on his waist. All he had to say is “Neha I am very happy, but I had to spend double my money because of you”, I asked surprisingly,” why?” He said,” I had to redo my entire wardrobe again”, and I laughed with joy. Similarly, another young female client had a Polycystic ovarian syndrome at the age of 16 and weighed 78kgs because of wrong eating habits and inactive lifestyle. In 2.5 months she lost 9 kgs and had got rid of her PCOS problem completely just with the right food and moderate exercise. So friends it is really not a rocket science to maintain health and weight together. It is just slightly tweaking your lifestyle for the better. What better than eating enough and achieving your goals?

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  • Myths and facts about DIABETES

    In Expert Diet Tips On 19 December 2014

    Most of the people consider diabetes as a minor disease and frame notions about it in their mind. But the fact is very different from all the myths that go around the place. Myth 1: diabetes is not a deadly disease Fact: Diabetes causes 6 million deaths/year and is a serious disease Myth 2: eating too much sugar causes diabetes Fact: no it does no. Eating too much sugar causes obesity, which in turn increases the risk of Diabetes Myth 3: you can get diabetes from others Fact: diabetes is more based on genetic and lifestyle factors. It is not contagious Myth 4: fruits is healthy and you can eat as much as you want Fact: yes fruit is healthy but it also contains carbohydrates which can cause spike in the sugar levels. Hence the dietician has to decide the amount and type of fruit a patient can eat. Myth 5: only overweight people get diabetes Fact: this is not always true as skinny people also develop diabetes due to stress, genetics or other lifestyle factors Myth 6: people with diabetes should not exercise Fact: this is exactly opposite. People with diabetes need to exercise regularly as it helps to lower the blood sugar levels, need for insulin and helps to maintain weight. Myth 7: nothing can prevent diabetes complications: Fact: diabetes complications can be prevented with a good exercise and diet program and regular health checkups. Myth 8: diabetics should avoid carbohydrates completely. Fact: carbohydrates are very important source of fuel to the body. Diabetics have to avoid simple carbs like sugar but can eat complex carbs like whole grains, cereals, pulses etc.

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  • How to stay healthy on a vegetarian diet

    In Expert Diet Tips On 20 December 2014

    We live in a country that largely consists of vegetarians. Eating a balanced diet when you are a vegetarian requires a little extra attention just to make up for the important nutrients that come from non-vegetarian foods like fish, egg and meat. However, with good planning and an understanding of what makes up a balanced vegetarian diet, we can get all the nutrition that our body needs minus the meat. Nutritionist Neha Chandna shares a few diet tips for vegetarians.  How to get your protein intake If you are a vegetarian and eat your share of meatless meals, here is how can make up for the necessary proteins. You can combine cereals and pulses with each other. For example, you can complement rice with dal (lentil) or idli with sambhar. This will complete the amino acid profile and get your body the required nutrition. Also include sprouts, whole pulses, yoghurt, milk, paneer and quinoa to meet your protein needs. How to increase iron intake Vegetarian foods are good sources of iron but their absorption rate in the body differs. What one can do is add lemon to iron-rich foods to increase their uptake in the body. Consuming poha (flattened rice) with a dash of lemon or beet juice with a spoon of lemon juice is a good way of incorporating iron in the body. Garden cress seeds or halim seeds are also a great source of iron which can be eaten with milk, salads or juices. How to get calcium Dairy products like butter, milk, yoghurt and cheese are the best sources of calcium in diet. Vegetarians can also get calcium from plant-based sources like broccoli and beans. Plant-based calcium sources contain vitamins C and K and the minerals potassium and magnesium which are important for bone health. Diet Dos and Don’ts for vegetarians Drink plenty of liquids like water, green tea, buttermilk, coconut water and vegetable juice to meet the mineral and vitamin requirements. Include all food groups like fruits, salads, pulses, milk, nuts, vegetables and cereals to reduce the chances of nutritional deficiencies. Have 2 servings of milk or yoghurt daily. Consume a portion of lentils (dal) and pulses every day. Make sure to have 1 serving of nuts daily. Also make it a goal to eat at least one piece of raw fruit or a handful of raw vegetables every day. Avoid fried and junk foods like kachoris and samosas. Do not drink tea or coffee in excess. Limit your intake to 2 cups a day. Healthy vegetarian diet chart by Nutritionist Neha Chandna Breakfast: Poha with Moong/Vegetable idli + Sambhar/Oats upma Mid morning: Fruit + Nuts Lunch: Salad + Roti + Veggies + Dal + Yogurt/Chaas Evening: Sprouts/Chana kurmura Dinner: Soups + Veggies + Roti  Studies confirm that a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables and grains is your best bet for living a longer, healthier and more enjoyable life. These findings are backed up by the China Health Project.

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  • The truth about low carb low fat dietsDiet

    In Expert Diet Tips On 20 December 2014

    In today’s glamour driven world, everyone’s dream is to look like their favorite celebrity. The rat race to reach your dream figure, shed weight and to look better than your peer, forces you to try to all the unwanted, undesirable sort of approaches, one and most common of them being the LOW CARB LOW FAT diet. At first it sounds interesting and a definite solution to lose those extra pounds. But in the long run, a low carb low fat diet limits your food choices drastically, leaving you forever hungry and frustrated. That’s not all, read further to know more about such a diet: The truth unfolds A low carb low fat diet is one which limits your food options and deprives you of all high carb foods like cereals, fruits, potato, honey, breads, biscuits etc and high fat foods like bakery products, whole milk, butter, cheese, oils, nuts etc. Up to 60% of your total daily calories should come from carbs and 22-25 % from fats, leaving the rest for proteins. Going too low on carbs and fats leaves you with very few exciting food options and all you have to depend on is protein rich foods like egg whites, chicken, fish, soya and low carb veggies. Since carbs are the main fuel for the cells of our body, depriving them of carbs affects their functioning in many ways. Cells also need fat for protection and metabolism. This diet surely helps you to lose weight, but it also impacts your body in many negative ways. Negative impact of a low carb low fat diet - Low on energy Carbs are broken down to glucose, which is absorbed in the blood stream and used up by the cells for energy. A low carb diet fails to provide energy and all it leaves you with is physical fatigue and tiredness. - Muscle loss The body starts using the muscles for energy when it does not get carbs from foods. This leads weakness and loss of body strength. - Mild depression Low carb diets reduce the secretion of serotonin- a neurotransmitter which makes you happy leaving you depressed, sometimes even cranky and angry. - Constipation Limiting foods like fruits, grains, vegetables and focusing on protein rich foods can leave your body deprived of the fiber it needs for a healthy digestive system. This can make passing stools an unpleasant experience. - Ketosis Long term deprivation of carbs can lead to ketosis – a condition in which the body uses stored fat as a source of energy, releasing a byproduct called ketones, which build up in the body affecting mental performance, organ functioning and leaving the body highly acidic. - Deficiencies Lack of fruits, veggies, oils and grains in your diet can make you deficient of nutrients like vitamin A (good for skin and eyes), Vitamin C (great for immunity), Vitamin E ( super anti oxidant), B-complex vitamins (to keep your energy levels high) and many micronutrients required by the body for working at its best. - Cold feet Fat is important to regulate body temperature. Going too low on carbs and fat can actually use up the protective fat layer below your skin, making you vulnerable to even slight weather changes, leaving you cold most of the times. - Poor brain health Fat is needed by the cells membranes of the brain and nerve fibers to help them pass messages quickly. Low fat diets can affect the brain functioning in several ways. - Lack of hormones Fats are required for the production of sex hormones in men and women. Low fat diet can affect your sexual life severely. - Acidity High protein food are acidic in nature, which can affect the ph levels in the stomach causing serve acidity, ulcerative colitis and other stomach issues. - Osteoporosis High protein diets can actually increase the calcium excretion from your body, making your bones weak and porous. - Kidney stones problems High protein diets can increase the calcium excretion in the urine increasing the chances of developing kidney stones. A word on good fats A low fat diet does not mean eliminating fat completely from your diet, but reducing its direct intake. The focus should be on choosing good fats wisely like omega 3 from walnuts, fish- salmon, tuna, flaxseeds and omega 6 from foods like avocado, olive oil, blend oils etc. in your diet as it helps to reduce bad cholesterol, protects the heart and improves brain functioning. The judgment Low carb low fat diets help you to lose weight for a short period of time, but once you go to back to your normal diet pattern, they add to your weight again (yo- yo effect). They are not sustainable for a long time and can have serious health effects as mentioned above if followed for longer periods. The best way to do it is to eat in moderation, select complex carbs like oats, whole grains, fruits, nuts, salads, low fat milk and milk products, fish, lean meats etc. and eat in portion control to help you burn calories, instead of adding to them.

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  • Skinny no more – A healthy weight gain diet

    In Expert Diet Tips On 20 December 2014

    While it’s true more people want to lose weight than gain it, putting on weight is not as easy as it looks; in fact it’s more difficult to put it on. Nutritionist Neha Chandna agrees, ‘Weight loss is easier at times as it requires portion control, but weight gain is a slower process – you can lose up to 1 kg/week but adding 1 kg/week may be tedious.’ You have two options â€“ either gain weight by munching on unhealthy foods like fries, chips and other junk, a sure shot way to create future health problems like hypertension, heart disease and diabetes or you can gain weight in a healthy controlled manner. According to experts, gradual weight gain is always advisable and an increase in 500 kcal per day can result in a 0.5 kg per week increase in one’s body weight. Neha recommends the following basic principles to keep in mind if you wish to gain weight in a healthy way:  Increase your appetite by eating more to gain weight. But do it step-by-step and not by stuffing yourself too much at one go. Add one extra chapatti or more rice than you normally consume, or you even start with fruits by eating an extra one every day. Carbs are needed to gain weight but include healthier options like banana, potato, mango, whole grains, rice, etc. instead of sugar-rich foods, chocolates and other junk foods. In order to increase your muscle mass, it is essential to do weight training 4-5 times a week for an hour. You can vary the intensity depending on your capacity. Consume protein-rich foods after you workout to increase muscle mass and eat good fats like nuts and seeds in your diet. Eating a handful of pumpkin or flaxseeds is a good way to give your body the fat intake it needs. Though junk foods like vada pav or burgers are loaded with calories, they only increase body fat and not muscle mass which is not the right way to go about. Here is a healthy weight gain diet plan which includes the right foods one should consume to put on kilos in a healthy manner. But along with this, you also need to engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes every day. It is also essential to have at least 6-8 glasses of water to flush out toxins from the body. One should follow this diet till the time their ideal weight is achieved.  So follow these tips and meal plan to put on weight and look your best. Say goodbye to your skinny self and welcome a healthy and fit you! Diet plan provided by HealthifyMe, the world’s first Indian nutrition tracker.

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  • Fit or fat

    In Expert Diet Tips On 20 December 2014

    With all the weight loss tamasha happening around us these days, there are end number of gyms, clubs, studios, health spas etc and infinite no on fad diets all over the place. People can go to any extent to lose weight but they do not understand weight comprises of some components like tissues, muscle, fat, bones, organs and blood. If you go on extreme diets you can lose weight which may come from your bones or muscle making you look sick and 1o times older than your age. So a balanced diet and regular exercise is the best way to lose fat, look young and to top it all feel like a bird. But most of us wonder how do we know what is happening inside our body? Right? So let me help you understand how you can analyze your weight loss. Weight loss: any weighing scale can show you your weight which as I said can come from any of the above components. Check your weight but you have to go a bit deeper into your body. So don’t believe it blindly. Inches: You can measure you arms, chest, naval, hips and thighs with a measuring tape. Now this is a better way of gauging weight loss. Because fat occupies more space and muscle is compact. When you lose inches, it may indicate that you have lost a bit of fat and gained a bit of muscle which is the ultimate goal. BMI: body mass index is the way of identifying whether you are underweight, normal, overweight or obese. You can calculate this by dividing weight (kgs)/height (m²). If you are below 18.4 you are underweight, 18-22.9 means you are normal, 23-24.9 you are overweight and above 25 you are obese. Body fat%: you can measure this by skin fold calliper method in any gym or by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) machines of many brands available in the market. This shows you’re your body fat %. Anything above 31 for women and above 24 for men means you are obese. Normally women should have a fat% of 25-31 and men 18-42. This is because men have more muscle than women. BMR: basal metabolic rate is the minimal amount of calories your body needs for survival activities like breathing, sleeping and all other which you do not have control over like digestion, excretion, circulation etc. This BIA machine measures your BMR. The high BMR means your body burns calories faster. You can increase your BMR by weight training and high protein diet. The more the muscle mass, the higher the BMR. So friends, enjoy your weight loss process in the right way and lose your fat not your health.

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  • Top 10 food habits to prevent cancer

    In Expert Diet Tips On 20 December 2014

    Research shows that a large percentage of cancer-related deaths, may be even the majority are directly linked to lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, a lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet. The food you eat has a powerful effect on your health, including your risk of cancer. You may land up eating many foods that fuel cancer, while neglecting the powerful foods and nutrients that can protect you. If you change your diet and behaviour, you can minimize your risk of disease and possibly even stop cancer in its tracks. As per the American institute of Cancer the likelihood of prevention of certain cancers with a healthy diet (along with regular exercise) are given below: Cancer Site   % Endometrium (lining of the uterus) 70 Oesophagus 69 Mouth, pharynx and larynx 63 Stomach 47 Colorectum 50 Pancreas 19 Breast, female 38 Lung 36 Kidney 24 Gallbladder 21 Liver 15 Prostate 11   Food Guidelines to prevent cancer: Focus more on plant based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, pulses etc. Start your day with fruits and nuts. Have some whole grain cereal for breakfast. Make sure to have a big portion of salad with vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, beetroot, cucumbers etc pre-lunch and pre-dinner. Carry snacks like fruits, trail mixes (sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, walnuts etc), opt for sandwiches with multigrain breads and lot of veggies in it. Fiber is the key component to prevent cancer. All plant based foods are rich in fiber which helps to keep your digestive system clean and healthy and push the cancer causing compounds out of the gut before they can harm you. You can add fiber to your diet by replacing white rice with brown rice, eating the fruits with skin, choosing popcorn over potato chips etc. Avoid processed foods. The more you eat food in its original form, the better protection it gives. For example instead of drinking orange juice, peel and eat the orange or prepare oatmeal porridge with raisins rather than having an oatmeal raisin cookie. Cut down on red meat and whole fat milk as research shows that vegetarians are about fifty percent less likely to develop cancer than those who eat meat. That is because meat and milk lack fiber, antioxidants and nutrients that have cancer protective properties and is high on saturated fat which is linked with increased risk of cancer. But you don’t need to eliminate meat completely.  A good visual reminder is to have 2/3rd of your plate filled with plant foods and 1/3rd of it with meat and dairy products. You can cut them down by cutting animal products to a palm-size, adding some salads or beans to it rather than using it as the main element. Choose fish or lean chicken as they are low on fat, avoid processed meats like sausages, salamis etc. Choose your fats smartly. Saturated and trans fats are demons for health, so limit them. Saturated fats (bad fats) are found in butter, ghee, eggs, whole fat milk and red meats and trans fats are found in processed and junk foods like burgers, pizzas etc. On the other hand unsaturated fats (good fats) like MUFA and PUFA are found in oils that are liquid at room temperature eg: olive oil, ricebran oil, etc. The other sources of unsaturated fats are avocados, nuts like walnuts, almonds etc. Also focus on omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and support brain and heart health. Good sources include fish like salmon, tuna, and flaxseeds. You can add them by eating fish once or twice a week, adding flaxseeds to your salad, avoiding fried foods, checking the label for bad fats. Opt for cancer-fighting foods. You immune system needs to be strong to fight against cancer causing agents. You need to eat a variety of colourful foods with antioxidants (vitamin A, C, E and selenium) and phytochemicals that help strengthen immunity and fight diseases. Such foods are tomatoes, broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables, grapes, cranberry, carrots, cabbage, garlic, onions, grapefruits, blueberries, chilli peppers, jalapeno, soy products like tofu etc. Green tea is also antioxidant rich, so replace your black tea with three cups of green tea per day. Drink plenty of water as it helps to eliminate toxins from the body and supply nutrients to the cancer cells which can kill and prevent them from multiplying. Avoid sugary drinks like colas, juices etc as they increase inflammation and cancer growth. Preserve nutrients when you cook. Wash the vegetables and fruits with a brush to remove all pesticide residues. Eat raw as much as possible, this helps retain the nutrients. Steam the vegetables using very little water. Prevent over-heating of oil as it can become carcinogenic. Instead of deep-frying, pan-frying, and sautéing, opt for healthier methods such as baking, boiling, steaming, or broiling. Store oils in a cool dark place to prevent it from becoming rancid. Use microwave friendly containers of good quality to prevent plastic material interaction with food. Avoid foods that look or smell mouldy, as they are likely to contain aflatoxin, a strong carcinogen. Nuts will stay fresh longer if kept in the refrigerator or freezer.

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  • Vegan diet – good or bad for health?

    In Expert Diet Tips On 20 December 2014

     A vegan diet is one which does not include dairy and meat products. Many people around the world follow this diet for various reasons ranging from ethical, health and environmental concerns. But how healthy is it? What are its ill effects? Can one turn vegan from a meat eater? Nutritionist Neha Chandna answer some FAQs about following a vegan diet. What are the health benefits of following a vegan diet? Neha: A vegan diet is generally low in fat, and full of fibre, vitamins and minerals. This helps reduce the risk of obesity, cancer,diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart attacks. Apart from this, it also helps to prolong the degeneration process of aging. What are the substitutes for dairy and meat products? Neha: Dairy products and meat essentially provide calcium and protein to our body. So when you follow a vegan diet, you need to get your calcium and protein intake from vegan sources like soya, soya milk, lentils, chickpeas (chana), red kidney beans (rajma), sprouts, tofu, peas, almonds and walnuts. Are there any ill effects of a vegan diet? Neha: Though there are no ill effects as such, opting for a vegan diet can make you fell ‘less full’. If you were regular with meat and dairy products in your diet and suddenly decided to turn vegan you might feel the need to increase the quantity of your food as meat and dairy products have fats and proteins which give you a full feeling. When you omit them try increasing the quantity of dals, veggies, and salads to avoid hunger pangs. What can go wrong if you do not follow a proper diet plan? Neha: If you do not eat the required portions, your body will react to it in the form of excess weight loss, loss of muscle mass causing weakness, lack of strength and stamina, hair fall due to lack of protein and biotin, accelerated aging due to lack of nutrients. Do vegans suffer from any serious ailments because of their dietary habits? Neha: Vegans might suffer from some ailments if nutrition planning is not done correctly: Calcium deficiency: Due to omission of milk and milk products, there may be increased risk of  bone mass loss, bone fracture and osteoporosis if calcium rich foods mentioned above are not included in the diet or if proper calcium supplementation is not given. Vitamin D deficiency: There is small amount of vitamin D in milk and meat but in vegan diet, you need to emphasise on sunlight exposure for 15 minutes daily to avoid deficiency which can lead to poor calcium absorption and bone problems. Vitamin B12 deficiency: Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal foods, hence it is important to include vitamin B12 fortified foods or supplements to avoid deficiency which can lead to weakness, confusion, tingling sensation in the feet, anemia, nerve and brain damage as well. Is it feasible to be a vegan for your entire lifetime? Neha: Yes, you can follow a vegan diet for lifetime as long as it is nutritionally well planned by a dietician to make sure you get all the nutrients in the right amount and prevent deficiencies. Here’s a sample vegan diet plan by Neha Chandna Breakfast: 2 fruits + nuts + green tea Mid-morning: veggie juice/coconut water/ 1 cup soya milk Lunch: raw salad + 2 jowar/ragi rotis/ 1 cup brown rice + veggies +dal Evening: 1 bowl sprouts salad/moong bhel/ chana chaat Dinner: soup + salad / tofu stir fry + veggies +1-2 rotis Bedtime: 1 cup soyamilk/groundnut milk

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  • What should I eat during periods to avoid weakness and pain? (Diet Query)

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 March 2015

    I am a 22-year-old girl and I feel extremely fatigued and weak during my periods. I lose my appetite and do not eat much. I also have cramps during my menstrual cycle. Can you suggest the right diet for me so that I can survive those days of the month better? Please help. Weakness during periods is not uncommon especially during the first and second days. Many women find themselves feeling fatigued very soon and this is mostly due to the hormonal change and loss of blood. It is important to go easy on these days but the right foods can certainly give you more energy and nutrition to your body. Here?%u20AC%u2122s what dietician Neha Chandna suggests. The best way to keep your energy levels up during periods is to eat foods which give you natural sugars such as bananas, dates, grapes, mangoes, etc. Apart from these foods, whole grains like oats, jowar, ragi, brown rice also help provide a great deal of energy. Sprouts and salads should also be a part of your diet. Foods to beat menstrual pain and cramps Foods which increase the alkalinity in the body are the best to keep the pain away. Include foods like fruits, lemons, dried fruits like anjeer, raisins, prunes, nuts, salads, veggies and veg juices/coconut water. Also try these yoga asanas to beat pain. Sample diet during periods Morning:              fruits dried fruits Mid morning:       brown rice poha/oats upma/idli/dosa Lunch:                 salads 1 jowar/ragi roti/ 1 cup brown rice veggies  dal Mid noon:            nuts Evening:              sprouts/chana chaat Dinner:                 soup salad veggies Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated. Water also helps relieve pain.

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  • Navratri special: How to fast the healthy way! - Nutritionist Neha Chandna

    In Expert Diet Tips On 19 March 2015

    The festivities of Navratri begin from April 8 onwards. Along with the fun and frolic of garba, it also brings along the nine-day fasting routine. In order to maintain good health, it is imperative that you follow a healthy diet and fast in a safe manner. Nutritionist Neha Chandna shells out some tips and a diet plan for healthy fasting this Navratri. Is fasting healthy? Many may wonder if going on a nine-day fast is indeed healthy for our bodies. According to Neha, it is an extremely healthy practice as long as you don’t starve yourself. Fasting helps you cleanse and detoxify your body and mind. All you need to do is fast is the correct manner by eating small meals frequently and then eating your main meal at night post sunset. Healthy Navratri diet plan Start your day with a cup of green tea and two dates For breakfast, eat fruits, nuts and raisins Have milkshake/ kheer/ coconut water around noon For lunch, opt for saudana khichdi/ rajgira roti with lauki/ arbi sabzi and a glass of chhaas with rock salt Mid afternoon, have fruit yoghurt In the evening, eat aloo chat or aloo palak salad For dinner, start with vegetable soup, a bowl of salad with kuttu ka atta/rajgira roti and sabzi followed by low-fat lauki halwa or carrot halwa Before sleeping, have a glass of skimmed milk Recently, there was a controversy that one should avoid eating fruits during fasts. In my belief, fruits are the most sacred food on earth! They are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and natural sugar which make them ideal to consume during a fast.  ill-effects of not fasting properly Many people who fast also go to play garba or dandiya in the evenings. Since this requires stamina and energy, it is vital that you fast in a proper manner in order to enjoy the festivities and not strain your body’s health. Some of the ill-effects of not fasting properly are: Weakness and fatigue Fainting due to drop in blood sugar level Unable to sleep properly Lack of stamina Tiredness  Who should avoid fasting? I suggest diabetics and pregnant woman avoid this fast as it can cause a drop in the blood sugar levels which is not conducive in both the cases. Watch My video also on You Tube : Get fit in Navratras- Healthy Tips by Dietitian Neha Chandna

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  • 7 popular fad diets you should NOT follow (and why)

    In Best Tips  On 26 May 2015

    There are no shortcuts to success. We all know that but still want quick results when it comes to weight loss. Remember, all that weight didn’t come to you overnight; hence getting it off would also take some time. With so many diets flooding the market, searching one that is apt for you isn’t difficult. These diets may help you lose weight for a short period of time, but from your muscles and bones, leaving you feeling weak and ill. And once you go back to your normal routine, you gain all the weight or even more in no time. You do the math and see for yourself – what’s the point of following some diet regime which is short-lived, deprives you of nutrients and has many hazardous effects on your body? Busted – Diet myths that can ruin your health! Renowned nutritionist Neha Chandna explains why fad diets are bad for you including seven popular ones like GM diet and liquid diet. The best way to lose weight is to eat the right food, at the right time, in the right quantity, and exercise daily for 45 minutes to an hour.Take this quiz to know if your eating habits are right. The motive should be to lose weight gradually rather than rapidly. So how do you know if it is a fad diet? Here are some tips. How to spot a fad diet It promises exaggerated results in few days which is too good to be true. Will mostly have rigid eating rules. It restricts you from eating a lot of food groups like carbohydrates, fats, etc. It promotes ‘magic foods.’ The diet is sold based on a few testimonials without any research or studies done on its effect. It doesn’t involve much exercise along with meal plans. Ill-effects of fad diets on the body Constipation Weakness Loss of concentration Nausea Headache Depression Muscle loss Health risks like osteoporosis and many more While there are a number of fad diets that keep cropping up every now and then, especially when they are endorsed by celebrities, here a few popular ones to stay away from. Here are 10 diet habits that guarantee weight loss. Atkins Diet: Written by Dr Robert Atkins, this is the most popular fad diet which aims at reducing the main source of energy – carbohydrates to up to 20g/day and focuses more on vegetables, fats and proteins. Why it is bad: This diet recommends more than 30% of fat intake which is above the recommended allowance and can lead to extreme ketosis, which can cause damage to the organs in the long run. 7 scary things a high-fat diet does to your body. General Motor’s Diet: This is a 7-day diet plan which is based on the intake of specified food items which include raw vegetables, fruits, juice and lean meat. It restricts the intake of any dairy products and promises weight loss of around 5 kg in week. Each day is restricted to 1-2 raw foods in unlimited amounts. Why it is bad: This diet can make you weak and hungry, leads to the inability to exercise, depression and body pain. Liquid Diet: The idea is to cleanse the body and rejuvenate it with juices, water and clear soups. Why it is bad: This diet is very low on protein and can make you really weak. Not recommended for more than a day. Detox yourself with this expert-recommended diet plan. Blood Type Diet: Created by Dr Peter D’Adamo, it focuses on eating some and avoiding some foods as per your blood type. It follows a ‘one size fits all’ concept. Why it is bad: It bans a lot of health promoting foods making eating out difficult and some people may be healthy despite eating foods forbidden for them. Cookie Diet: Invented by Dr Siegal, this a diet in which one has to eat nine cookies a day that makes up to 500 kcal and then have a 500 kcal dinner, totalling up to 1000 kcal every day. Why it is bad: This diet gets monotonous and can cause nutrient deficiencies. Baby Food Diet: This diet is about eating 14 jars of baby foods throughout the day and a sensible dinner. The baby foods include mashed fruits and veggies. Why it is bad: It does not meet your nutrient needs and is low in protein. Eating like an adult is recommended. Cabbage Soup Diet: This is a 7-day diet which focuses on having as many bowls of cabbage soup every day with some fruits and vegetables. Why it is bad: This diet is bland, boring and makes you feel weak, resulting in poor concentration. The biggest drawback is that it makes you gassy and bloated. To avoid any damage to your body, do not opt for any fad diets. Just eat balanced meals and engage in physical activity to see the difference both physically and mentally. The process may be longer and less dramatic unlike fad diets, but the results will be long-term and benefit your body’s health.

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  • Expert diet and exercise tips to manage diabetes (World Diabetes Day 2013)

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    November 14 is World Diabetes Day. Diabetes does not mean the end of a good life. It just means that it is time to change your lifestyle for the better. Though diabetes is a rising health concern for most Indians today, but if taken good care of, one can live a normal life as before. Here are some lifestyle, diet and exercise related dos and don’ts by noted nutritionist Neha Chandna that diabetics should follow to live well with diabetes. General guidelines It is essential that diabetics keep a constant tab on their blood sugar levels for better health and to avoid complications. Follow these tips: Get your blood sugar levels and HBA1C checked in a laboratory every 3 months if you are above 30 years of age. Check your blood sugar with a blood glucose monitor in the morning, after lunch and after dinner, every 2 days if you are a diabetic. Keep a check on blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels as a diabetic generally tends to have high BP and cholesterol. If you are on insulin, check your blood sugar before all the major meals to modulate the food intake. Check your toes and legs for any hurt or wound and don’t delay the treatment. If obese, try to lose weight and maintain it. Diet guidelines Monitoring your diet is highly vital as the food you eat directly affects your blood sugar levels and weight. In order to make sure you are eating healthy, follow these tips: Eat every 2-3 hours in small quantities rather than eating 3 large meals. Include complex carbs in every meal – whole wheat, ragi, jowar, brown rice, oats, etc. Avoid refined cereal products like bread, noodles, polished rice, etc. as they can raise blood sugar levels. Choose fibre-rich foods like vegetables, whole grains, etc. You should aim for 25-25g of fibre/day through diet to maintain blood glucose levels. Low-fat milk products like curd, paneer and egg whites, lean chicken and fish are great protein sources which can prove helpful in diabetes management. If you are a vegetarian, whole pulses and dals can provide little protein and good amounts of fibre. You can enjoy all vegetables especially green, leafy ones. Limit your intake of potatoes. Depending on your blood sugar, don’t have more than 2 fruits/day and if you are fond of mango/banana, opt for these early in the morning. Reduce butter, ghee or oil intake. Also, avoid processed foods like cakes, biscuits, ready-to-eat foods as they are loaded with fats. Salt and sugar and can aggravate complications like blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Sugary foods are a complete no-no. You can use artificial sweeteners occasionally, but avoid overdependence on them. Always carry a snack with you when travelling to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and dizziness.  Exercise guidelines Only monitoring your diet won’t work, you also need to get a fair share of physical exercise to maintain normal levels but there are certain guidelines diabetics need to follow: Make sure you exercise at least 4-5 times/week to help you get your blood sugar in control. You can choose moderate exercises like aerobics, brisk walking, weight training, swimming, dancing, etc. Check your blood sugar at home before and after exercise. Avoid exercise if your blood sugar levels are too high or too low. If you are on insulin, modify your carb intake before and after exercise depending on your sugar levels. Eat a complex carb snack like sandwich, wrap, oats an hour before you do any activity. Eat immediately after exercise to avoid fall in blood sugar. Carry sugar tablets or glucose water with you in case of an emergency hypoglycemia situation. Avoid exercise in case of severe complications like kidney problems, nerve problems or wounds. These guidelines will help you lead a normal life even with your existing diabetes condition and also make your lifestyle a healthier one preventing other heath complications. 

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  • Dietician recommended weight loss diet plan for brides-to-be

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    Nutritionist Neha Chandna shares a sample meal plan to help you shed a few kilos in a healthy way before your special day. Instead of going on a crash diet and starving yourself, lose weight in a healthy way to avoid fainting and other health problems after the D-Day is over.Just remember that you need to follow it at least six months before your wedding. Remember, though diet is 70% responsible for a healthy weight loss, you also need some sort of physical activity every day to stay fit and burn calories.  Early morning: green tea + 1 fruit Breakfast: 1 bowl of oats porridge/ poha/ upma/ idli Mid morning: 1 fruit + 4 almonds/ walnuts Lunch: salad + 2 rotis/ 1 cup brown rice + veggies + dal + curds Evening: whole wheat bread sandwich/ bhel(no sev)/ sprouts Dinner: soup + salad+ veggies/ chicken/ fish + 1 roti Bedtime: 1 cup skim milk If you haven’t had the chance to focus on yourself with all the shopping and wedding arrangements, there is still time to tone-up your figure and look your best. You can follow this meal plan three months prior to the D-Day and drop a dress size. Early morning: green tea + 2 dates Breakfast: oats upma/ oats dosa Mid morning: 1 fruit + 4 almonds/ walnuts Lunch: salad + 1 rotis/ 1 cup brown rice + veggies + dal + curd Evening: 1 fruit Dinner: soup + salad+ veggies/ chicken/ fish Bedtime: 1 cup skim milk It’s just 30 days to the wedding, fret not! You can still lose weight. This is a meal plan when only it’s only 1 month to the wedding. In addition to this, get some exercise and don’t stress – with the right outfit, you will look perfect. Early morning: green tea + 2 dates Breakfast: fruits + nuts Mid morning: 1 bowl sprouts/ salad of pulses Lunch: salad + veggies + dal + curd Evening: soup Dinner: salad/ stir fry+ veggies/ chicken/ fish Bedtime: 1 cup skim milk Even if you start with the 6-month meal plan, you can move to the 3- and 1-month plans as you inch closer to the wedding day. Be happy and you are sure to glow and look wonderful on your special day. 

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  • 5 reasons why snacking on kajus or cashew nuts is a healthy option!

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    What is your favourite past-time snack? Although most of you might like to eat cashew nuts, your might restrict yourself from doing so due to its high calories count. While cashew nuts often make their way to desserts such as the yummykaju katlis,kheer and brownies, here are more reasons you should gorge on this nut. Packed with many nutrients that boost your metabolism and tastes good, our expert Neha Chandna, a nutritionist, tells you why cashew nuts should rank as a healthy snack. # 1 Keeps your heart healthy Cashew nuts are rich in good fats and have zero cholesterol which helps lower LDL, the bad cholesterol and triglyceride making one’s heart healthy. Many think that cutting out fat intake is good for our body which is untrue. Our body needs nutrients from all food groups including fats; all you need to do is get it from good sources like kajuinstead of unhealthy ones.  #2 Makes your body stronger They are rich in magnesium which is required for strong bones, proper muscle and nerve functioning. Our bodies need a daily intake of about 300 – 750 mg of magnesium as it helps regulate the amount of calcium absorbed by our bones.  #3 Controls your blood pressure levels These nuts are low in sodium and high in potassium and thus keep blood pressure under check. When there is excess sodium, the body retains more water which causes the volume of blood to increase in turn increasing the blood pressure.  #4 Reduces your risk of cancer Cashew nuts also contain antioxidants like selenium and vitamin E which prevent free radical oxidation, reduce the risk of cancer and boost immunity. Since they are rich in zinc, they help fight infections.  #5 Plays a key role in numerous body functions As cashew nuts are packed with high copper content, they play an important role in enzyme activity, hormone production and brain function. Apart from this, they also help in the production of red blood cells and thus, prevent anaemia. Given the fact that cashew nuts are high in calories, numerous questions might be going in your head at this point of time. Our expert sheds light on some common questions you might have regarding consumption of tasty cashew nuts or kajus. How often should one eat them? Though these are absolutely delicious and difficult to stop eating after just a few, remember control is the key to good health. Eating between 5-10 pieces is enough for a day. You can eat them in two batches as a healthy snack to replace your junk food cravings. But keep in mind, excess consumption can lead to weight gain so eat within limits.  Should they be avoided in any particular season? Earlier, there was a belief that nuts generate body heat and should be avoided in summer months. While anything is excess is bad for the body, a few nuts have more health benefits than health issues. Stick to a handful and you can enjoy them in every season. Should people will certain conditions avoid them all together? Everyone can eat cashew nuts except people who are allergic to nuts or get a migraine headache due to them. There are different varieties of cashew nuts like salted or roasted ones. Are they good or should one stick to the plain ones? You get a wide variety of cashew nuts coated with different masalas, salted, herbed, honeyed, etc. It all depends on your taste buds, choices and health goals. If you suffer from hypertension, avoid salted ones. If you are on a weight loss goal, avoid honey-coated ones. Take your pick wisely or simply stick to the plain variety.  Do they have any ill-effects on health? There are no ill-effects of cashew nuts as such but one must not forget that they are rich in calories and so not too many should be eaten at a time. In some cases, they can cause an allergic reaction which may show different symptoms for different people including vomiting and diarrhoea, swelling, skin rashes, difficulty in breathing, etc. If you experience any of these after eating them, it is best to discontinue and see a doctor.

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  • Weight gain due to long working hours. What should I do? (Diet query of the day)

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    Q: Dear dietician, I am a 46-year-old working, unmarried lady. I have a sitting job and long working hours from 10 am to 8 pm. Lately, I have been having irregular periods. I have put on weight especially on my waistline and the hip area. Please suggest a suitable diet plan so that I can reduce my waistline. Answered by nutritionist Neha Chandna As you age, your metabolism decreases leading to weight gain. Since you have a sitting job and being a woman, you are prone to put on weight near the stomach and hip areas as a woman is genetically designed to have a pear-shaped body. Also, you might be close to menopause due to which you have irregular periods. I advise you to join a gym and alternate between weight training and cardio to help build muscle mass and burn fat. Along with this, you need to eat a balanced diet with lots of fibre, greens, veggies, nuts, salads, curd, etc. (Read: 10 awesome fitness workouts for the perfect you!) Here is a diet plan for you: Have a healthy breakfast to keep you going for the morning. Include items like oats porridge/ oats upma/ idli/ dosa. Between breakfast and lunch, have a fruit and a handful of nuts. In lunch, eat a portion of salad, a jowar/ragi chapatti with veggies, dal and a glass of buttermilk (chhaas). Keep your dinner light. You can have soup, salad, veggies/grilled chicken or fish. Avoid eating rotis or rice at night. Along with this, drink two-three cups of green tea every day and sleep well. 

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  • Healthy recipe: Palak saag

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    A staple of Punjab, this palak saag is extremely healthy. It is rich in calcium, vitamin A, iron that help up your hemoglobin levels naturally. It is also low in fat. Team it with makki di roti to get a real taste of its flavour. Ingredients: 1 bunch of spinach, chopped 1 radish with tender leaves, chopped ½ large onion, chopped 1 medium size tomatoes, chopped 1/2 green chilli, chopped ¼ inch ginger, chopped 2-3 garlic, chopped ½ tsp red chili powder 2 tsp butter ½  tbsp maize flour Salt For tempering ¼ onions, sliced ½ ghee Method: Add all the greens, onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chillies with salt and water in a pressure cooker. Add around ½ cup water to the veggies. Cook the whole lot in the pressure cooker for 3-4 minutes. Once cooled, blend into a smooth paste. Add the saag in another pan and simmer for 7-10 minutes till it thickens a little bit. Saute the onion in ghee till they are brown and then add the saag to it. Serve it with makki di roti.

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  • Healthy recipe: Coriander chicken masala

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    Make your post workout meals more yummy by trying this coriander chicken masala. It is high in protein and low in fat – a perfect combo for weight watchers and those who want to get ripped. Ingredients: 100g chicken ½ tsp ginger-garlic paste ¼ cup curd 1 green chilli 3 tbsp fresh coriander leaves 2-3 cashews 2 tsp oil Salt Turmeric powder Method: Grind coriander leaves, cashews and green chilli into a fine paste. To this paste add curd, ginger-garlic paste, salt, turmeric powder. Marinate the chicken with this for 2 hours. Add oil in a kadai, add the chicken and allow it to cook, keep stirring it often. Serve with roti.

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  • Healthy recipe: Kashmiri fish

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    If you love seafood, you will definitely enjoy this scrumptious dish. Made with pomfret, it is aromatic, delicious and high on the nutrition meter too. This dish is rich in protein and also has omega 3 which will keep you in good health. Team it up with soft rotis or brown rice. Ingredients: 250g pomfret 1 cup curd, whisked 1 tsp ginger, grated ½ tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp coriander powder 2 green chillies, deseeded and slit 1 clove 1 tsp garam masala 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped 2 tsp oil ½ cup water Salt Pinch of hing and haldi Method: Apply salt and turmeric to washed fish and keep aside for 5 minutes. In a bowl, whisk curd with little salt. Heat 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan, and stir-fry the fish slices till they are light brown in colour. Place on absorbent paper. Heat the remaining oil in pan, add cumin seeds, as they crackle, put in the hing, cloves, and grated ginger, fry briefly. Reduce the heat and stir in the yoghurt. Cook while stirring on low heat till the yoghurt gets a nice reddish-brown color. Add the coriander powder and mix well. Add the fish slices, salt and water. Stir gently and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes or till the fish is almost cooked and the gravy has thickened.  Add the garam masala (hot spice mix), green chillies and fresh coriander. Mix very gently and cook tightly covered on very low heat for about 10 minutes or till the fish is cooked but firm.

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  • Healthy Recipe: Apple pie

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    Can’t say no to desserts? This can be a problem if you are on a weight loss diet but you can still manage to satisfy your sweet craving by opting for a healthy version. If you love apple pie, try this high-fibre recipe which tastes just as good as the normal one. But eat only a small portion as it still has calories. Ingredients: For crust 2 digestive biscuits, crushed 2 tsp melted butter For filling ½ biscuit, crumbs 1 tsp melted butter 1 apple stewed 1 brown bread crumbs Pinch of cinnamon powder 5-8 raisins soaked in water Sugar substitute For topping 2 tsp oats 1/2 tsp melted butter Method: For the crust Combine the biscuits and butter in a bowl and mix well to form a crumbly mixture. Spread this mixture on a (3″) diameter cake tin and press well to form even layer. Refrigerate till set. For the apple filling Combine the biscuits and butter in a bowl and mix well. Add the stewed apples, bread crumbs, sugar substitute, cinnamon powder and raisins and mix well. Keep aside. For the topping Combine the oats with the butter and mix well. Keep aside. Spread the prepared apple filling onto the crust evenly. Add the topping on it and place in a pre-heated oven at 150º C (300º F) for 20 minutes. Remove, cut into 2 equal pieces and serve warm.

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  • Healthy recipe: Fruit custard

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    Have a sweet tooth? You can definitely satisfy it albeit in a healthy way. Try this low-calorie, high-fibre dessert. This fruit custard is easy-to-make and rich in protein too. The use of skimmed milk makes it right for weight watchers too. Ingredients: 250 ml skimmed milk 1 tbsp vanilla flavoured custard powder Sugar substiture as required ½ cup mix fruits (apple, banana, grapes) Method: Mix vanilla custard powder with 2 tbsp milk to make a custard paste. Add this paste to the milk and keep stirring continuously till it becomes thick. Cool it and refrigerate it. In a bowl add the fruits and pour the custard over it. Serve chilled.

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  • Healthy Recipe: Chilli soya chunks

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    Vegetarians often do not have too many protein sources, but soya is one rich source. This dish is also low in fat. The addition of chillies and spices add a unique flavor to it which makes it healthy and tasty. Ingredients 50g soya chunks ½ cup spring onion, sliced 2 green chillies, thickly sliced 2 tsp oil 1 garlic, paste 1 tsp soya sauce 1 tbsp vinegar Salt Method: Soak the soya for 1 hour in warm water and drain. Mix the soya, garlic and little salt. Heat oil in a pan, add onions and sauté till light brown. Add green chillies and stir for few minutes. Then add soya sauce, vinegar, nuggets and salt. Stir-fry over high heat for a minute and serve garnished with some greens.

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  • Healthy recipe: Iron-rich milkshake

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    In a mood to get an instant dose of energy? Try this iron-rich shake. This drink is especially good for women as it helps increase their hemoglobin levels. It is also filled with the goodness of nuts, dates and garden cress seeds (halim) seeds. Ingredients: 200 ml skimmed milk 4 almonds 4 cashews 2 dates 1 tsp garden cress seeds soaked for 1 hour Method: In a blender, blend milk, dates, almonds and cashews. Add the soaked halim seeds. Serve chilled

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  • Home-made cranberry juice recipe

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    Quench your thirst this summer season with a cooling, natural drink made with cranberries. This juice is very high in antioxidants, which are great for your hair, skin, nails and overall health. It is low in fat too. So store a bottle of it in your fridge and have a sip whenever you feel thirsty. Ingredients: 100g cranberry 1 cup water Stevia Method: Put the cranberries and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and cover loosely. Simmer for 10 minutes until the cranberries have burst. Strain through a strainer. Do not press on the fruit to extract more juices, it will make the juice cloudy. Pour the strained juice back into the sauce pan and add stevia. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Cool at room temperature before cooling in the fridge.

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  • Healthy Recipe: Fibre-rich stuffed capsicum

    In Expert Diet Tips On 09 June 2015

    This dish a complete healthy and tasty delight. It is a fibre rich recipe that will keep you full with only 120 cal. The sprouts added to it also make it rich in protein. Ingredients 1 capsicum 20g sprouted moong (steamed) ¼ onion (chopped) ¼ tomato (chopped) 2 tsp oil 1 green chilli A pinch of salt and turmeric Method In a pan, add 1 tsp oil, onion, green chilli and toss till onions are golden brown. Add tomatoes, salt and turmeric and sauté for 2 minutes. Then add the sprouts and cook till done. Wash the capsicum, cut the top and deseed it. Fill the mixture in the capsicum, put the top back and fix it with a toothpick Take 1 tsp oil in a pan and sauté the capsicum for 2 minutes Serve hot with dal or any other dish.

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  • Healthy snack: Bruschetta

    In Expert Diet Tips On 09 June 2015

    This bruschetta with tomato and basil can make for a healthy snack that can keep you full and has only 125 cal. It is easy to prepare and has an aromatic garlic flavor. The tomatoes make it rich in antioxidant lycopene that can help fight the free radicals in the body. Ingredients 2 small  tomatoes ( chopped and deseeded) 2 garlic cloves (chopped) 1 tsp garlic paste 2 slices whole wheat bread 1 tbsp basil leaves (chopped) 2 tsp olive oil Method Mix 1 tsp oil with garlic paste. Cut the bread into half and apply the garlic paste on each portion. Roast the bread in the oven for 5-8 minutes till it becomes light brown. Mix the remaining 1 tsp oil with tomatoes, chopped garlic and basil leaves and divide it into 4 equal portions. Top it with each portion of bread and serve immediately.

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  • Healthy recipe: Pepper prawns

    In Expert Diet Tips On 09 June 2015

    If you are a prawn lover, here is a delight for you. In this recipe, prawns are sauteed with onions and black pepper that give them a very distinct flavour. It is a low calorie, yet filling and delicious recipe that contains only 150 calories. Do try it out. Ingredients 100 g prawns 1/2  onion (chopped) 1 green chili (sliced) 1 tbsp black pepper (coarsely grounded) ½ tsp red chili powder 2 tsp oil Salt to taste Method Heat oil in a non-stick pan and sauté onions till light brown. Add the prawns and fry for 3 minutes on low flame. Add all other ingredients and cook on a low flame for 5-7 minutes. Serve hot.

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  • Healthy recipe: Mushroom omelette

    In Expert Diet Tips On 09 June 2015

    This is an extremely simple, healthy and delicious omelette prepared with button mushrooms. Mushroom is low in fat and carbohydrates and can be beneficial if you trying to lose weight. This omelette has only 130 calories. Try it out now. Ingredients 2 egg whites 1 egg yolk ¼ onion (chopped) 2-3 button mushrooms (chopped) 1 tsp oil Salt, white pepper powder and mustard powder to taste Method: In a pan add ½ tsp oil and sauté the mushrooms for 2 minutes. Keep it aside. Beat the egg whites and one yolk in a vessel and add salt, white pepper powder, mustard powder and onions. In a non-stick pan add ½ tsp oil and spread this egg mixture and top it with mushrooms. Cook on both the sides and serve hot.

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  • 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.

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  • Healthy recipe: Chicken hot pot

    In Expert Diet Tips On 29 June 2015

    This dish is tasty, easy to prepare and can make for a great snack item. The low-fat paneer creates a creamy coating while the pepper powder gives a distinctive flavour.  It is full of fibre and protein and contains only 140 calories. Ingredients 30g boneless chicken(boiled) 15 g whole wheat macaroni ½ capsicum (chopped) 10 g low-fat paneer Red chilli powder Pepper powder Salt to taste Method Boil water and add salt and oil. Then add the macaroni and cook till soft. Blanch the tomatoes and blend it. In a non-stick pan, add the tomato paste, capsicum, salt, red chilli and pepper powder and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add macaroni and chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Garnish with grated paneer and serve hot with garlic bread.

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  • Grilled paneer sandwich veg

    In Expert Diet Tips On 29 June 2015

    Calories - 175kcal Ingredients 2 slices of multigrain bread 20 gms low fat paneer 1/2 onion , chopped 1/4th cup chopped cabbage, capsicum 1/4th cup chopped tomatoes 1 tsp roasted jeera powder 1/2 tsp black pepper A pinch of haldi for color Salt to taste Method Mix all the above ingredients. Place the mixture between two slices of bread. Grill it in a toaster/griller. Serve hot with coriander chutney/ tomato ketchup.

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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 www.ihealthu.com. 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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