Blog | Tag | Fitness
  • Healthy Eid recipe: Fruit custard

    In Expert Diet Tips On 12 December 2014

    Ingredients: 3-4 almonds, chopped ½ tsp cornflour Sugar-freeMethod 2. Boil the remaining milk and add the cornflour paste and elaichi powder to it, while stirring continuously to avoid lumps. 4. Remove from the stove, let it cool and refrigerate it for 1 hour. 6. Serve chilled. Photo source: Getty images <span style="\&quot;line-height:" 1.6em;\"="">(Picture for representational purposes only)

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  • Healthy weight loss recipe: Dalia salad

    In Expert Diet Tips On 12 December 2014

    Dalia or bulgur is quite popular in India and is usually given to kids in the form of porridge. But adults shouldn’t miss out on this healthy ingredient as it is high in fibre, low in fat, diabetic-friendly and also suitable for people who want to lose weight. But instead of eating plain porridge, here, we make it into a salad which adds more nutrition to it and makes it healthier. Here’s the recipe.  Ingredients 30g dalia or bulgur 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped 1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped ½ onion, chopped 1 small tomato chopped 2 tsp lemon juice 1 tsp olive oil Salt Pepper powder Pinch of cinnamon powder Method 1. Pressure cook the dalia in 2 cups water. 2. In a bowl, add chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped coriander, chopped mint, olive oil, lemon juice, pepper powder and cinnamon powder and mix. 3. Add dalia and mix. Serve immediately. Calories: 135 kcal Image for representation purpose only.

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  • Healthy recipe: Chicken with veggies and quinoa

    In Expert Diet Tips On 12 December 2014

    Looking for a tasty meal to replace plain dal-rice? Try this chicken and quinoa dish. The quinoa substitutes for the rice and the chicken and veggies for the dal. This dish is diabetic-friendly, it is also high in protein and low in fat. It is also full of fibre and is good for someone who is looking for a healthy meal option. Nutritionist Neha Chandna shares the recipe of this dish with us.  Ingredients 100g chicken breasts, cut into stripes 100 ml chicken broth 30g quinoa 1 garlic minced ¼ onion, chopped ½ tomato, dices ¼ zucchini, chopped 1 tsp lemon juice 2-3 basil leaves 2 tsp olive oil Salt Pinch of red chilli powder Method Boil the quinoa in chicken broth till the broth is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. In a vessel add 1 tsp oil, garlic and onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and cook till chicken is slightly cooked and set it aside. Add 1 tsp oil in a pan, sauté tomato, zucchini for 8 minutes. Add the chicken, basil, lemon juice, salt, red chilli powder and cook till chicken is fully cooked for about 10 more minutes. Serve over hot quinoa. Calories: 230kcal Image for representation purpose only. 

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  • Dal or lentils – packing a healthy punch

    In Expert Diet Tips On 12 December 2014

    Dal or lentil is a staple food of India and most Indian vegans and vegetarians get their protein from it. We are blessed with a variety of dals and pulses which add a distinct taste to our diets. While they form an essential part of our meals, each one of them have their distinct health benefits. Nutritionist Neha Chandna tells us the various benefits of popular dals consumed in India. Dal basics All dals have 70% carbohydrates and 30% proteins. But these proteins are not complete proteins as found in non-vegetarian foods. When combined with roti/ rice, the dals become complete protein sources which is excellent for vegetarians to meet their protein needs and maintain muscle health. 30g of raw dal gives 7g of protein. Dals also have resistant starch which acts like fibre in the body and helps control blood sugar levels, clears bowels, aids in weight loss, etc. Health benefits of Dals Toor Dal: A very popular and preferred dal in India, toor dal is light and yummy. Apart from protein and fibre, it contains folic acid which helps prevent anaemia and is also important for pregnant women as it is essential for foetal development and can help prevent neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida. It is low in calories so is good for people who are on weight loss diets. It also helps control blood sugar levels. Moong Dal: When you think of dal rice, the first thing that comes to your mind is moong dal which is commonly known as yellow dal. It is used for making the legendary dal tadka and dal fry. It is eaten on a regular basis in every indian household in combination with rice and vegetables. Moong dal is a dieter-friendly dal rich in iron and potassium. Iron helps maintain haemoglobin levels and potassium helps reduce blood pressure, a boon for hypertensive people. It is extremely light and can be easily eaten when you fall ill and even by pregnant women. Moong dal is used for making soups, stews and purees. Boiled moong dal is also used for making delicious spicy parathas.  Chana Dal: A variety of dal which is deliciously thick. Chana dal is rich in B-vitamins which help energise you. It is full of fibre which helps diabetics to control their blood sugar levels. It also has potassium and folic acid. The fibre in it helps lower cholesterol levels preventing heart problems.  Masoor Dal: Just like the other dals, masoor dal helps reduce blood sugar levels especially controlling the blood sugar spikes after a meal, controls hypertension, prevents anaemia and lowers cholesterol. It can be cooked with vegetables, spinach, pulao or added in your chicken or vegetable soup. Urad Dal: It is most commonly used by south Indians to make dosa, idlis, etc along with rice making it a complete source of protein. Urad dal is rich in iron, folate, fibre, potassium. It is also a good source of calcium which is important for vegetarians and elderly people who require high amounts of calcium for maintaining bone health. It also boosts your energy and keeps you active.  In order to gain maximum benefits of these dals, have 2 servings of dals/pulses per day. You can also add dals to your soups, rotis, tikkis, salads, etc. Alternate between the various types to get essential nutrients from all of them. Neha Chandna is a well-known dietician and nutritionist. She is also a certified Reebok Aerobics instructor and was a university topper in Dietetics from SVT. In the last three years, she has worked as a nutritionist for gyms and various fitness trainers and is also a consultant for doctors and physiotherapists. She deals helps various people with their nutrition needs – sportsmen, obese people, diabetics, etc. She also helps those suffering from diseases like thyroid, osteoporosis, PCOS, etc. She also holds workshops and seminars for corporates like HDFC, Standard Chartered Bank and other organisations including BPOs and MNCs. She also writes for magazines like New Woman, Beauty and Salon, etc.

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  • Are vitamin supplements necessary?

    In Expert Diet Tips On 12 December 2014

    Ramesh started popping vitamin pills after watching a TV commercial. He was convinced that they were good for his health and helped him be more energetic throughout the day. He did not bother checking with a doctor before starting a course. Is Ramesh right about these pills? Do they really help in any way? Nutritionist Neha Chandna has the answers for us. When should one take vitamin supplements? Why are they needed? Today, we lead a very hectic life with loads of work pressure, long commutes and unhealthy foods. To be able to perform at our optimum level, we need to take vitamin supplements. These can be taken after meals. However, do consult your doctor and/or dietitian before doing so. Can’t one get that nutrition from natural sources? Natural source is the best way to get nutrition but unfortunately, the food we eat today is not pure like before, nor is our absorption power that strong. The stress and anxiety we go through in our day-to-day life affects our digestive system as well.  So, it’s best to supplement your diet with required vitamins to make up for the loss. (Read: Why amla is so great for your health) Can taking these supplements without consulting a doctor / dietician be harmful? It’s always better to consult a dietician or doctor before taking a supplement to be sure you are on the right track and you are taking only how much is required by your body. Blindly popping these pills may affect your health negatively. Usually, what are the common vitamin supplements that one should take? You can take a multivitamin mineral supplement B-Complex for energy Calcium for women above 30 years of age Vitamin E and C for immunity These are general ones but it changes depending on your food intake and other factors like health problems, lifestyle, age, etc. so let consult with a doctor before you start eating them. Points to Remember Vitamin supplements are not a replacement for your food. You still need to eat your meals on time; they only help in giving you more nutrients which may not be covered in your diet. Eating vitamin supplements does not give you the leeway to start eating unhealthy, junk food. They cannot provide adequate nutrition as they are just supplements. You still need to exercise to lose weight and stay fit. Do not overdo these pills. Anything in excess can be bad so stick to the prescribed amount. 

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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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  • Healthy vegetarian recipe: Tandoori tofu

    In Expert Diet Tips On 12 December 2014

    Tofu which is made from curdled soybean milk is a nutritious ingredient. It is a great source of protein for vegetarians and a good substitute for paneer as well for vegans. Not to forget, it is low in carbs, diabetic-friendly and has zero cholesterol. Tofu is also an excellent source of iron which helps in the making of hemoglobin. Here is a recipe to use this ingredient well. Nutritionist Neha Chandna shares her tandoori tofu recipe with us.  Ingredients 100g firm tofu Pinch of cumin powder Pinch of turmeric Pinch of coriander powder Salt Pinch of red chilli flakes 1 garlic minced 1tsp lemon juice 1 tbsp spring onions and coriander leaves for garnish 1.5 tsp olive oil Method 1.      Pre-heat the grill. 2.      Combine salt, chilli flakes, turmeric, cumin and coriander powder. 3.      Heat oil in a pan and cook this masala mixture for a minute. 4.      Apply this mixture on both sides of the tofu with a brush. 5.      Grill it till the grill marks appear on the tofu. 6.      Serve with spring onion and coriander leaves. Image for representation purpose only.

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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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  • Breathe well, live well

    In Expert Diet Tips On 13 December 2014

    Life begins when we start breathing and ends with our last breathe. Yet most of us do not know the beneficial effects of breathing well for health and vitality. It is surprising how we give importance to everything be it diet, exercise but something as important as breathing goes unnoticed by many of us as the major contributor to one’s good health. Most people hold their breath or have constricted breathing unknowingly which impacts the health in a poor way. That is the reason why most of us feel tired, fatigued and lethargic due to lack of oxygen supply to the brain and tissues. Once you focus of proper breathing and consciously do it, you can experience amazing health benefits: Proper breathinghelps to release accumulated toxinsin the organs preventing them from C02 overload and illness. Thus helping to detoxify the body. Improves digestionby supplying more oxygen to the stomach cells. Makes you alert, active and refreshed as the brain and nervous system get their dose of oxygen to perform well. Makes your skin healthier, smoother and glowing by supplying oxygen and nutrients to the skin. Improves lung strength and stamina. Reduces chances of heart diseases by making the heart stronger and healthier. Reduces stress and tension by elevating your mood and keeping anger, frustration, irritation and sadness at bay. Relaxes the mind and body from physical and mental tensions helping you think better with clarity. Reduces muscle cramps after exercises by improving oxygen supply to the muscles. Reduces pains and aches in the body especially headaches. Increases metabolism and improves immunity protecting your from infections. Helps in weight control by aiding in fat burning process.   Method of breathing: The best way to breathe is to hold your breath for few seconds in your lungs to cleanse all the impurities and strengthen the lungs. The breathing should be deep, slow, rhythmic and through the nose and not the mouth.   1. First exhale all the air out of your system to make sure your lungs are empty. 2. Inhale through your nose, filling your abdomen and then the lungs slowly. Count 5. 3. Slowly exhale from your mouth till your lungs completely empty again.   Just as you schedule your business meetings, schedule your breathing sessions for 10 minutes 2 times a day. Make sure you breather in the purest air early morning or anytime of the day. Make this a family activity asking everyone to sit and do it together so that no one missed it out. Take time out for your breathing activity in your busy schedule and you will see a new healthier, energetic and happy self.

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  • How to choose your juice wisely?

    In Expert Diet Tips On 19 December 2014

    Juices have been an all time favorite for everyone, be it young or old, ill or healthy, thin or fat. Lots of people live on juices especially during the hot season. Many enjoy drinking juices along with meals. Most people drink canned/ tinned juices. Some even keep the juice for hours before consuming it. All these practices are extremely wrong as juices are meant to be consumed within 2-5 minutes after extraction. Canned juices are loads of sugar and preservatives which add on the weight issues. Drinking juice later than 5-10 minutes after squeezing it results in loss of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, B- complex, and other minerals as well. Who should have juices?  Juices are good for people who do not like fruits/vegetables, who cannot chew fruits/vegetables like toddlers, elders, critically ill patients etc. Juices help them to get the nutrients in a more simple and easy to absorb manner which otherwise is difficult for them. Who shouldn’t have juices? People who are constipated, on weight loss diet, diabetics etc should avoid juices as it is devoid of fiber and increases the sugar levels in the blood. It also increases sugar cravings because since the sugar in juice causes a spike in the blood sugar levels and a sudden drop, you are left with more and more sugar cravings. Specially people with poor digestion and constipation should try and eat fruits/vegetables raw as it helps in clearing the bowel more easily making them feel light and relaxed. Juices for good health • Avoid fruit juices as they contain natural sugar and juicing the fruits remove the fiber leaving you only with sugar water. • Try and opt for more of vegetable juices like carrot-beet-spinach-tomato/ dhoodi-cucumber/ spinach-pudina-coriander etc. Do not strain these juices. Just blend them in a blender, add a dash of lemon and drink it immediately. • The best time to drink vegetable juice is early morning to help you absorb the nutrients in it better on empty stomach. • Avoid taking juices with any other food to avoid any hindrance in the nutrient absorption. • Wheat grass juice is a great liver detoxifier and helps to fight diseases like cancer, blood pressure, cholesterol etc since it is rich in antioxidants and chlorophyll which cleanses the body. Benefits of vegetable juices • Clears your bowels • Improves hair luster • Clears complexion • Helps reduce weight • Lowers cholesterol • Reduces chances of cancer So choose your juice options wisely considering your health and other minor issues so that it gives you maximum benefits.

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  • Your house is the best gym

    In Expert Diet Tips On 19 December 2014

    Some people are fitness freaks while some run away from the word fitness. Some go to the gym daily whereas some look for excuses to avoid going to the gym. But did you know your house could be the best gym area for you. If you are wondering how, then yes it is the fact. Most of your household stuff like tables, chairs, stools, bottles etc and many other can actually help give you a good workout. This actually leaves you with very little scope to escape your daily dose of workout. The exercises are very easy which can be done in short spans like TV commercial breaks or between your cooking and cleaning sessions. So below are few exercises which can be done at home with the stuff around: Foot stools can be used to do step ups. You can 50 step ups in 1 minute and repeat it 2-3 times as per your capacity. Water bottles(1-2 litres) Can be used to do bicep and triceps curls by filling them full or half with water as per your strength. Do 20 reps and 2-3 sets of this. You can do overhead press 20 reps 2-3 sets with bottles. Carry bottle over your shoulders and do squats 20 reps and 2 sets. Carry bottles in your hand and do lunges 10 rep each leg and 2 sets. Take old pair of socks and fill them with pebbles or beans and Velcro both the ends to together and use them as ankle weights while working in the house or you can also dance, skip or spot jog with them for atleast 20 minutes. You can also do 50-100 leg raises with ankle weights on. Medium weight or Heavy books can be used to do bicep/triceps curl and crunches as well. Just lie down with knees bent and the book on your chest. Try to lift your shoulder off the ground with arms behind the head. Do 50 reps and 3 sets of this. Use a towel to stretch. Lie down on the floor with one leg raises, loop the towel around the ankle and bring the towel and led towards the chest. Hold for 10 seconds. Place couple of firm pillows on the couch and do an inclined chest press with bottles in the hand. Do atleast 20 reps and 3 sets. Sit on a low seated couch and so triceps dip 20 reps, 2 sets. Place both your hands shoulder width apart on a table or wall and do push ups 20 reps, 2 sets. For a good workout, try to choose any 6-8 workouts from above daily and then increase your sets as your strength increases. Calorie expenditure during house work: Makin bed for 30 minutes= 160cal Dusting for 30 minutes=70 cal Mopping floor for 30 minutes=120cal Cleaning windows for 30 minutes= 122cal Ironing for 30 minutes= 61cal Cooking for 30 minutes= 72cal Washing dishes for 30 minutes= 65cal Washing car for 30 minutes= 122cal Cleaning washrooms= 144cal Sorting out groceries for 30 minutes=72cal The values are for a person weighing 60 kgs. The amount of calories burned will go up if the person weighs more and will be lesser if the person weighs less.

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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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  • 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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  • Summer diet tips and sample plan

    In Expert Diet Tips On 20 December 2014

    Mercury levels are rising and summer is at its peak, and the scorching sun gives us enough reasons to constantly hunt for soothing foods which can comfort us in the heat. You can get dehydrated easily due to excess sweat and perspiration and that’s the time when you feel like reaching out for something cold like sodas, beverages or even cold water. This is where we go wrong because anything extremely low in temperature can constrict our blood vessels affecting the heat loss process from our body. Our expert Neha Chandna, a well-known nutritionist gives a few pointers to keep in mind during summer. Increase your water intake. In high humidity, you do not sweat adequately due to which you cannot release heat efficiently from your body. That is the reason why you need to drink enough water at regular intervals even if you are not thirsty, to cool your system. Eat lot of fresh fruits, raw salads and lightly spiced foods. Fruits and veggies are easy to digest and high in water content which helps in hydration. Avoid fried and junk foods as they take time to digest and require a lot of water. Spicy foods can also increase body heat. Drink naturally cooling beverages like coconut water, lemon juice, buttermilk, sugarcane juice, etc. rather than aerated soft drinks, caffeine, and alcoholic beverages as they contain sugar and other preservatives which act as diuretics (increase the flow of urine) and can cause loss of water from the body. You can add sabja (tulsi/basil seeds) to drinks as it has a cooling effect on the body. Curd is excellent for summers as it increases friendly bacteria in the gut and improves digestion and boosts immunity. Add veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, beet, etc to add to increase the water content in your body. Avoid heavy meals at one time as it can cause acidity and affect digestion. Rather, eat small meals to feel light and keep your system active. Raw mango is a special fruit in the summer season and is extremely good to prevent sunstroke and weakness. Raw mango juice also known as aam panna can help balance electrolytes in the body. You can also have raw mango in any form like adding it inbhel, salads or making a dish out of it. Here’s a sample summer diet that you can follow: Breakfast: Eat 2-3 fresh fruits as they can help neutralise your stomach acids and make you feel light and active. They are natural sources of energy. Mid-morning: Have a glass of buttermilk/ coconut water to refresh you. Lunch: Have a bowl of salad with 1-2 rotis, veggies and thin dals(You can add or subtract the rotisas per your appetite and requirement). Evening: Have fruit yoghurt/fruit smoothie. They are filling, nourishing and very cooling. Dinner: Always have a light dinner, especially during summers. Here are a few options –  stir fried veggies/ chilled soups + grilled chicken/ steamed fish/ low fat paneer/ tofu + jaljeera/ lemon juice. The above mentioned diet is low in fat, medium in protein and high in good complex carbs which help control obesity, blood pressure, cholesterol and many other ailments. So this summer, stay healthy and cool by eating right. 

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  • Rice – good or bad?

    In Expert Diet Tips On 20 December 2014

    Rice has been a staple food item of the Indian cuisine. For many, it is more than just food; it is a tradition, part of their culture to have a heap of rice every day along with some curry come what may. But with the sudden emergence of a fitness-conscious class, this white grain has been shunned by many for its starchy overtones. But is it all bad? There have been conflicting views about it in the past making it a controversial item on the menu. We discuss some common queries about rice that bothers most people and hope to resolve your rice dilemmas. What is rice made of? To make up your mind about anything, you first need to know the basics of it as blindly following a fad won’t do you and your body any good. Rice is a cereal grain and is a staple food for nearly half of the population of the world. There are different varieties of rice like – brown, red, black, white and purple rice and all differ in their nutrition content. White rice is rich in complex carbohydrates like starch and does not provide complete nutrition. Hence one needs to complement rice with something else in order to provide adequate nutrition to the body. Why do we eat rice when we are sick? A common practice in many Indian homes is to offer a meal of rice anddal, curd rice or khichdi to anyone who falls sick. The prime reason this is done is because rice is easy to digest and light. It can be broken down easily by our bodies and provides instant energy. This way, the sick person can feel full and not worry about indigestion. But one thing to note is that though it makes you feel full, it raises the blood sugar levels in the body and once it is digested, it also makes the person hungrier quickly. How many times in a week should one eat rice? Expert nutritionist Neha Chandna opines that one can eat rice every day depending on one’s weight and weight loss goals. In case you are on a weight loss diet, you can have rice two times a week making sure you have a plate of salad along with it to make up for the lack of fibre in white rice. If you are on a weight gain diet, you can have rice daily with some boiled potato/ sweet potato salad. When is the right time to eat rice – lunch or dinner? Why? ‘I suggest my clients to keep rice as an option for lunch as your metabolism is higher during lunch than dinner helping you use up the carbohydrates from rice for energy which might not be the case during dinner as it may get stored as fats,’ says Neha. Is brown rice better than white rice?  Brown rice is higher in nutrients like vitamin B and fibre than polished white rice. It also helps you feel fuller for a longer time preventing overeating, hunger pangs and weight gain. It is a boon for rice lovers who are on a weight loss programme. Brown rice is also good for diabetics due to its high fibre content. It is essential to understand that white rice does have its own set of benefits and eating it or not depends on one’s body. Highly overweight people should avoid it or keep it the portion size to a minimum. Always remember the golden rule to eating healthy is to have a balanced meal at the right time.

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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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  • Is your cooking oil making you unhealthy?

    In Expert Diet Tips On 20 December 2014

    The first and the most inevitable ingredient of any dish is the oil that you cook it in. It is used in almost all your daily meals, even in salads. But do you pay fine attention to find out which one will make you unhealthy and which one is best for you? If not, it is time to start right away. Here’s a guide to pick the right cooking oil. Oil basics Oils contain three types of fatty acids — saturated (SFA), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). Saturated fats remain solid at room temperature and can therefore tolerate high temperatures. Poly- and mono- saturated fats on the other hand, are liquid at room temperature and oxidise easily. Every oil has a smoke point i.e. the temperature at which it starts to burn, producing harmful chemicals. Depending on the type of cooking one has to do, they should select an oil with a low or high smoke point. Another important thing is the omega-6 and omega-3 ratio in your oil as some omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation while omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation. According to researchers, the ideal ratio should be between 2:1 to 4:1. As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) an ideal oil is one which has SFA:MUFA:PUFA ratio of 27-33%:33-40%:27-33%. How to choose your oil? Says dietician and nutritionist Neha Chandna,‘While choosing a cooking oil, make sure you check the label behind to ensure that the oil has low saturated fats (less than 2g for every 10g), zero trans fats and higher amount of MUFA and PUFA — but PUFA should be lesser than MUFA. This is because MUFA and PUFA increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol whereas saturated and trans fats increase bad cholesterol thereby increasing chances of heart attacks.’ Monosaturated fats increase the HDL and decrease LDL and thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Oils that contain high amount of polysaturated fats are unstable and should be avoided. If you plan to stir fry, sear, deep fry or do high-heat baking, then choose a cooking oil which can withstand it, an oil with a high smoke point. An oil with a low smoke point can be used for steaming, stewing and as a salad dressing.  What’s good for cooking Indian cuisine? According to Neha, since Indian food is generally cooked at high tempreture hence the oil should have a high smoke point so that it does not breakdown easily and give bad odour. ‘Oils with higher smoke point are sunflower, safflower, soybean, rice bran, peanut, sesame, mustard and canola oil. Olive oil has a medium smoke point hence cannot be used to very high temperature cooking. It is best for sautéing and salads,’ adds Neha. She suggests using a blend of oils to get all the essential fatty acids. Rice bran + olive oil or rice bran + sunflower/safflower oil are a few combinations. You can choose any brand which has ready blends or use two oils separately or rotate the oils every two months. Myths about cooking oil Neha busts is that one should choose a vegetable oil low on cholesterol. The fact is vegetable oils are made from plants which do not contain cholesterol. Hence marketing vegetable oil as low cholesterol is a mere gimmick. Know your cooking oils Vegetable oil â€“ It is the most commonly used cooking oil and is good for frying. It is a mix of different types of oils like sunflower, soybean, etc. Sunflower oil – This oil is low in saturated fat and has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 39.4:1. It is also a good source of vitamin E. Rice bran oil â€“ It has a high smoke point. It contains a component called gamma oryzanol which has cholesterol lowering properties by decreasing cholesterol absorption and increasing cholesterol elimination.  Olive oil â€“ It has different varieties like extra virgin, virgin, refined, etc. Extra virgin is very healthy as its 70% fats are MUFA but it has a low smoke point and a strong flavour. Two very important compounds that promote heart health – Omega 3 and oryzanol – are present in Saffola Active Oil. Made with rice bran and soyabean oil, it also contains vitamin E. Both these oils are good for cooking and lower cardiovascular risk factors along with other several health benefits.

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  • What is the right way to lose weight? (Diet query of the day)

    In Expert Diet Tips On 20 February 2015

    I am 26 years old and my height is 5 ft 3 in, but my weight is 69 kg. I wake up daily at 5.40 am, get ready and go to college and have my breakfast there at 8.30 am. I am always busy with work and I don’t follow any proper timing for food. I go for lunch only after my work is over. I have tea or coffee in the morning at 10 am and in the afternoon at 2.30 pm. I eat fruits at least 3 days in a week. I sleep after I finish all my work, usually by 11.30 pm or 12 am. I travel for 1.5 hours from home to college and college to home. I look fat and my co-workers tease for that. I feel too tired after reaching home. I need to reduce my weight. My foot also hurts if I walk too much. Please suggest the right way to reduce weight. Answered by our expert Neha Chandna, a well-known dietician and nutritionist.  You have a very busy schedule. But you cannot ignore your health due to that. You need to carry small meals with you daily. Eating smallmeals a day can actually make you slimmer. Let me plan a sample diet for you: 5.40 am: green tea + 2 dates 6.30 am: carry 1 fruit + nuts 8.30 am: poha/ upma/ idli/ dosa 11 am: 1 fruit 1.30 pm: salad+ 2 rotis + veggies + dal 4.30 pm: chana kurmura/ 3 egg whites/ roasted chivda 6.30 pm: sprouts/ moong bhel 9.00 pm: soup + salad + 1 roti + veggies/stir fry 11.30 pm: 1 cup skimmed milk The basic idea is to eat small meals every 2-3 hours to increase your metabolism and prevent tiredness. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking water at regular intervals. Here are 6 diet tips to lose belly fat. You can also follow this Indian diet plan to lose weight.

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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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  • 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 – Mixed vegetable juice

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    This mixed veg juice is a health drink packed with Vitamin A andvitamin C which can give you glowing skin and healthy eyes. The power drink will keep you full with its rich fibre content and only add 50 calories which makes it excellent for those looking to lose weight. Ingredients: 1 carrot 2 small tomatoes 100g bottle gourd 1 medium beetroot ½ lemon juice Few mint leaves Salt and chaat masala to taste Method: Juice the carrot, tomato, bottlegourd, beetroot and mint in the juicer. Add lemon juice, salt and chaat masala. Serve chilled.

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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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  • Perfect summer drink — chilled jaljeera recipe

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    With the onset of summer, it is advisable to keep yourself hydrated to save yourself from the health risks of dehydration. While water quenches thirst, this refreshing low-cal drink can be perfect for summers. Jaljeera is also helpful in digestion. Here are 9 tips to prevent dehydration during summer. Ingredients: 1 tbsp cumin seeds (roasted and powdered) ½ tbsp mint leaves paste ½ tbsp coriander leaves paste 1 tsp dry amchur powder ½ tsp black salt ½ tsp sugar Juice of ½ lemon 1 glass cold water Salt to taste Method: Mix all the above ingredients. Add cold water and stir. Add coriander and mint leaves for garnishing. Serve chilled with ice.

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  • Healthy recipe — vegetable soup with oats

    In Expert Diet Tips On 26 May 2015

    Not all soups are healthy says dietician Neha Chandna. According to her, the healthiest soups are clear soups with lots of veggies. Here’s a vegetable soup recipe that is an excellent source of fibre. It can keep you satiated so you avoid overeating during meals. Ingredients: 1/2 carrot (chopped) 1/2 onion (chopped) 2 tbsp peas Few florets of cauliflower 4-5 french beans (chopped) 3-4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped) 1 tbsp oats powder 1 tsp oil 1 cup water Salt and black pepper powder to taste Method: Heat oil in a pan, add garlic and onion and sauté till onions are translucent. Add vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes. Add a cup of water, salt and pepper, and let it boil. Simmer till veggies are tender. To this mix, add oats powder. Serve hot with coriander garnish.

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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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  • Summer special: Cucumber salad

    In Expert Diet Tips On 09 June 2015

    This is very a cooling salad with the goodness of protein rich curd. Cucumber contains 95% water which help eliminate the accumulated toxins and wastes from your body. Having cucumbers is also a great way to boost your vitamin intake. Ingredients 1 cucumber (peeled and chopped) 1 green chili (finely chopped) 1 tomato (chopped) 1 tbsp coriander/mint leaves (chopped) 1/2 cup low-fat hung curd ½ tsp cumin powder Salt to taste Method Mix the cucumber, chopped tomatoes and green chili in a salad bowl. Beat the yogurt and stir salt and cumin powder. Add this mixture the to the salad bowl and mix well. Garnish with coriander/mint leaves.

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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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