Dr. Namita Panagaria

Nutritionist/ Dietician in Jodhpur, RJ, Jodhpur, India

http://dietcare.zest.md

About Me

I am Dr. Namita Panagaria, doctorate in Foods and Nutrition with over 8 years of experience in Clinical Nutrition. Our diet plays a central role in our well being and getting a proper one is not very diffcult.

You just have to register with me and all your nutritional worries are over. With me you will get your diet plans tailor made according to your needs, routine and food choices.

 

My Blogs

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    Atkins Diet.....Revisited

    By: Namita Panagaria

    Atkins Diet or the Ketogenic diet is one of the most popular weight reduction diets. Low carbohydrate, medium protein and a high fat diet are the fundamentals of this particular form of diet. The credit of popularizing the ketogenic diet for weight reduction goes to Dr. Robert Atkins in 1958. He used this diet to resolve his own overweight condition and was successful to a good extent. He then published several books regarding this diet, the first one being “Dr. Atkins\' Diet Revolution in 1972 and the latest one being The New Atkins for a New You in 2010. This book covers a lot of new information which had not been previously covered including nutrient rich foods as Atkins diet has often been criticized of being nutrient deficient. The diet regime has been the most controversial one yet the most popular!!! The scientific basis: The Atkins diet finds its roots in basic human metabolism. We all are aware that we need energy not only to survive but also is energy required by the human body for carrying out all its vital functions. This energy that the human body uses is derived from the food we eat. The food that we eat is comprised of carbohydrates, proteins and fats which are energy producing and vitamins and mineral which do not provide any energy. So we keep our focus on Carbs, fats and proteins. Out of the three, fat provides the highest energy that is 9 Kcal/ gm; whereas proteins and carbs provide 4 Kcals/ gm. All these nutrients are then broken down to glucose through different metabolic pathways which then helps to release energy. Of all the three energy providing nutrients, carbs are the first ones to be broken down to glucose to release energy. Also the storage form of carbs lasts for a day only. Fats are usually reserved for later use by the body or during long periods of starvation; proteins are used for muscle development. The atkins diet is based on restricting the use of carbohydrates so that the fat reserves of the body are mobilized and converted to glucose to provide energy, thus resulting in weight loss. However the process is not all that simple as written and involves a number of hormonal interplay before fat being used as an energy source. Another theory that Atkins Diet is based on is the fact that the glucose, after being used for energy purposes and being stored in muscles and liver as glycogen, the remaining is converted to fat and stored in the body resulting in weight gain. So if fat is being used for energy giving purpose, it will help in weight reduction and will also prevent weight gain from excess carbs. How it works: As stated earlier, the Atkins diet is based on carbohydrate restriction. But not all kinds of carbs are restricted. Only the “net carbs”(digestible carbohydrate grams that affect blood sugar less fibre grams)which provide energy upon breakdown are restricted. Carbs in the form of fibre are allowed and can be consumed liberally as fibre is not digested by the human body and excreted as such. Also the use of a high fat diet helps in retarding the digestion as high fat foods take time to be digested which helps in reducing the hunger sensation. In contrast, a high fibre and a low fat diet is easily digested resulting in increased hunger. Hunger suppression is one of the most common cause of dietary regime failures. However, studies claim that Atkins diet is easy to adhere to. What to eat: There are four phases of the dietary regime. The Atkins diet starts with the Induction phase where the body has to be induced to switch over the energy source from carbs to fats. This procedure requires ketosis (breakdown of fat for energy) to be trigerred. This is done by severe carbohydrate restriction for one week. During this period, the net carbohydrate intake is restricted to 20 gms. Foods of choice may be high protein foods like milk, eggs, meats, chicken, tofu which are generally low in carbs. Use plenty of raw whole vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, asparagus, spinach, pumpkin, cabbage, capsicum etc.  so as to increase the bulk of the diet. Vegetables are generally high in fibre. Cheese is another preferred food. Though many cheeses are not very high in carbs, careful reading of the labels is required as some cheeses may be high in carbs. 3-4 ounces of cheese/ day is acceptable. Then use liberal fats and oils. Olive oil/ peanut/ canola oil is the preferable choice; however small amounts of sunflower/ safflower/ soyabean oil may be used. Choose for regular fat mayonnaise and salad dressings. Peanut butter may be a better choice than the regular butter.  Cream may also be used. Water is considered the best beverage for people following Atkins Diet. Its helpful in removing the extra ketones from the body which are produced as a result of fat metabolism. Also its a zero calorie drink. Decaffeinated coffee, herbal green teas may be used, however, with no sugar in it. Aerated drinks, cola and juice need to be strictly avoided. However, you can use sucralose (splenda) as an artificial sweetner, which will provide you with the sweetness but not the sugar. Alcoholic drinks are not allowed during this phase. Most of you will see the maximum weight loss during this period.   The second phase is the ongoing weight loss phase. The Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL) phase of Atkins consists of small, incremental increase in carbohydrate intake, but remaining at levels where weight loss occurs. The target daily carbohydrate intake increases each week by 5 net grams, a very low amount of carbohydrate. The main aim of this phase is to continue the on-going weight loss and has to be continued till the weight is with in 4.5 kg of the target weight. During the first week of the OWL phase, the vegetables acceptable in the induction phase like asparagus, cauliflower or avocadoes. The next rung to be climbed is the inclusion of cheese, nuts and seeds. This may include peanuts, sesame seeds, almonds, walnuts, cashews etc. The rungs of the carb ladder suggested by The Atkins Diet is given below. However, you can choose from the rungs of the ladder and avoid some like alcohol, which is not necessary. increase acceptable vegetables Cheese Nuts and seeds Berries Alcohol Legumes Other fruits Starchy vegetables Whole grains The third phase is thepre-maintenance phase. Daily net carbohydrates intake is increased again this time by 10 grams each week from the latter groupings, and the key goal in this phase is to find the \"Critical Carbohydrate Level for Maintenance\". This is the maximum number of carbohydrates a dieter can eat each day without gaining weight. This may well be above the level of carbohydrates that induce ketosis on a testing stick. As a result, it is not necessary to maintain a positive ketosis test long term. Dieters may be able to add some of the forbidden carbs back into their diet once a week. In this phase, according to the Atkin diet, one\'s body is beginning to lose the protection of ketosis as one prepares for the last phase which is Lifetime Maintenance. Dieters are encouraged to continue to drink at least eight glasses of water per day and to increase their daily carbohydrate count by 10 grams each week as long as they continue to lose weight. The Atkins plan recommends that once dieters reach their goal weight and are able to maintain that level for a month or so, then they can increase their daily carb consumption by another 10 grams to see that is possible without gaining. If one gains weight at the level, the plan recommends that one drops back levels of carbohydrates in 10 grams increments. It may take several weeks to find one\'s individual tipping point. The fourth and the last phase in the maintenance phase. This phase is intended to carry and continue the eating patterns that had been practices well during the previous phases. The favourite carbs can be consumed in small quantities but you will always have to check the quantity of carbs so as to maintain your weight. Also you have the option of starting it all over again if you feel that you have started to gain weight again!!!! Controversies: The Atkins diet has always been surrounded by controversies. The medical circle for nearly three decades and presently argues the disadvantages of a high fat diet. But the promoters of The Atkins diet believe that this kind of a high fat and a low carb diet is better metabolically and provides protection against the metabolic syndrome. They also rule out the possible risk of heart diseases that may occur due to such a high fat consumption. Also some people believe that such kind of diet is not easy adhere on to and people may loose command soon but the diet also seems to be very popular at the same time. Nevertheless, whatever are the controversies and misconceptions regarding the Atkins diet, it is very popular and effective for short term weight loss. Long term results would depend on how seriously people are able to follow it and adhere to it.  

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    Myths about weight loss

    By: Namita Panagaria

    All of us today are interested in looking slim and thin. But being slim doesn’t mean that you are fit at the same time. Having a fit and healthy body calls for a proper healthy diet plan and not just dieting and ceasing food intake. There are several diet plans that are available these days but what is important is to realize that what would be suitable to you and practically possible for you to follow. Every other person you meet can give you a page’s lecture about diet, types of diet, time of eating, what to eat and when.....and it can go on for forever. But there are certain myths related to weight loss and diet. It is important for you to know them before you start any diet plan or take up those advices. ONE: DO NOT EAT AFTER 8 PM Time of eating is not important – quantity and quality of the food is important. However, eating early in the evening aids in digestion of the food and keeps the gut relaxed during sleeping. Its important that you finish your meal at least 2-3 hours before you go to bed. Moreover, late night eating is often associated with bingeing on foods that are far from good calories and may lead to un-necessary weight gain. TWO: CARBS ARE BAD Not all carbs are bad. There are some Good Carbs though. The bad ones (simple and refined sugars) are rapidly digested and absorbed resulting in blood sugar increases, lipid profile derangements and weight gain. Good carbs however, are rich in fiber and help to remove extra cholesterol and sugar from the system. Since they take a longer time to get digested and absorbed, they increase the metabolic rate and help in calorie burning thus preventing weight gain.    THREE: GRAM MEASUREMENT OF FOOD IS EQUAL All grams of food stuffs are not equal. Also the calorie provided by different grams of foods is different. 1 gm of carbs provides 4 kcal; 1 gm of proteins provides 4 kcals and 1 gm of fat provided 9 kcals. Also there would be a difference in the calories provided by 20 gm of wheat flour and 20 gm of cooked rice.  Limiting the number of grams of fat and carbs you consume each day makes it easier to stay in your caloric budget (and your skinny jeans).  FOUR: WEIGHT LOSS PRODUCTS CLAIMS ARE EFFECTIVE A food product claiming to be “low fat or low calorie” may not necessarily be healthy. Not all diet pills claiming to reduce fats and all therapies claiming fat loss may be safe. The drug/ food/ therapy needs to be approved and certified by FDA. FIVE: SWEATING IS INDICATIVE OF WEIGHT LOSS If you are not sweating probably you are not working hard......is a total myth. There is absolutely no relation between perspiration and weight loss. During perspiration, one is losing water with electrolytes and NOT FAT. The sweating capacity of every individual is different and swaet is an indicator of the cooling mechanism of the body. SIX: HUNGER ALARMS TO EAT  Rather you should be eating according to your time and meal pattern. If you are eating according to your hunger pangs, you will end up eating more as the feeling of satiety occurs late. You should try and not skip meals so as to avoid over-eating. Moreover, when you are over-eating, rarely there is a chance that you would eat healthy foods. So do not wait for your hunger alarms. SEVEN: WEIGHT LOSS IS A BEHAVIOR Weight loss is a behaviour rather than numbers. Numbers are not that important as they may not be true representative of weight. There are several factors that affect the weight and all of them are not under our direct control. So weighing every single day may not be very helpful. Weight loss goal requires modification in your complete routine, leave alone diet. Dietary modifications may not be completely effective if there is no proper routine for exercise, inadequate sleep and long sitting hours. Impractical goals are not only difficult to achieve but demoralizing at the same time.                                                     

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    Osteoporosis

    By: Namita Panagaria

    Osteoporosis or “the porous bone” is a devastating disease that robs the victim of their bone mass. It is a progressive disease and irreversibly weakens the bones. Any movement, bump or any small injury can result in fractures. Fractures of the wrist, ankles and hip bones are very common. Osteoporosis has been primarily considered a disease common among older women (>45 years) but men are by no means immune. It sets in women after menopause and in men after andropause when the bone protecting hormones (Estrogen in females and Testosterone in males) become deficient and the loss of bone mass initiates. Risk Factors: • Aging • Being female;  • Low body weight; • Low sex hormones/ menopause; • Smoking/ alcohol consumption; • Lack of exercise; • Poor exposure to sunlight; • Family history – family member with history of osteoporosis/ fragile fractures; • Poor dietary history – deficiency of calcium, vit. D; • Ethinicity – Hispanic women at highest risk Symptoms of Osteoporosis: • No signs until a bone breaks; • Persistent, unexplained back pain; • Spinal deformities; • Recurrent fractures; • Fractures from minimal trauma; • Experiencing chronic medical trauma; • Loss in height due to compressed and weakened vertebrae; Diagnosis: A full medical history, including signs, symptoms and family history should be taken. If osteoporosis is suspected a specialised x-ray to measure the bone density is usually recommended. Bone density testing is usually undertaken using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). This is a specialised x-ray scanning technique that emits only very low levels of radiation (approximately 1% of the radiation required for a chest x-ray).  This precise and painless test takes only 5-10 minutes and requires the person to lie on a special table while the DEXA machine passes over them. The density of bone is measured at different locations (usually the lower spine and hip) and a formula is used to calculate the overall bone density. Individual bone density is graded by comparing it to the average bone density for a person of similar age, size and gender. In some cases, bone density can also be measured using computerised tomography (CT scanning) or ultrasound scanning, though these methods tend to be less precise. Treatment: Treatment for osteoporosis will depend upon the results of bone density scans, age, gender, medical history and the severity of the condition. Treatment most commonly involves lifestyle changes and medications and aims to maximise bone density and reduce the risk of bone fracture. LIFESTYLE CHANGES Exercise: If possible, regular weight bearing exercise (eg: walking, tennis, golf) should be maintained as it can help to reduce bone loss and stimulate new bone formation. To be of benefit, doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week. Prior to beginning any new exercise it is important to consult a doctor to ensure that the proposed exercise is safe to undertake. Diet: As the body cannot make its own calcium, a diet high in calcium is necessary and helps to slow the rate of bone loss. Vitamin D is also essential as it enables calcium to be effectively absorbed by the body. Eating a balanced diet that includes calcium and vitamin D-rich foods is important in supplying the bones with the calcium required. Foods high in calcium include dairy products, dark green vegetables, beans, legumes, fish (especially sardines or salmon which are eaten with the bones), soybean products, cereals and nuts. It is recommended that at least 1000mg of calcium is taken in each day. Foods high in vitamin D include sardines, tuna, eggs and liver. Smoking, alcohol and caffeine: Smokers will be advised to stop smoking. Minimizing alcohol and caffeine intake (eg: tea, coffee, cola drinks) may also be recommended as caffeine interferes with the absorption of calcium. Exposure to sunlight: Regular but moderate exposure to sunlight helps to produce vitamin D in the body. Note, excess sun exposure poses other health risks. If adequate sun exposure is not present, oral supplements for Vit. D should be given. Reducing the risk of fractures: It is important to take extra care with movement and daily activities in order to minimise the risk of fractures. This can include using mobility aids if unsteady on the feet, removing objects or hazards that can lead to falls (eg: loose floor rugs), installing hand rails in areas such as entranceways and bathrooms, and using non-slip mats in the bath or shower. Padding to protect vulnerable parts of the body eg: the hips, can also help in the prevention of fractures.  MEDICATIONS Calcium: If dietary intake of calcium is insufficient, calcium supplements may be prescribed in order to increase the amount of calcium available in the body. A dosage of 1000mg per day in usually recommended. Vitamin D: As vitamin D is important for the effective absorption of calcium into the bones, vitamin D supplements such as calciferol are usually given in conjunction with calcium supplements. An activated form of vitamin D called calcitriol (Rocaltrol) has also been shown to be beneficial. Bisphosphonates: These non-hormonal medications can increase bone density by reducing the rate of bone loss. They have been shown to reduce the fracture rate in people with osteoporosis. These medications are usually given in an alternating cycle with calcium supplements.  HRT: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) medications that include oestrogen are sometimes recommended for women with osteoporosis. HRT has been shown to reduce bone loss and may increase bone density. While HRT has obvious benefits in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis, recent research has indicated that there are risks with long term HRT use. It is therefore important that the patient and their practitioner discuss the benefits and risks of taking the medication. Prevention Prevention is better than treatment and evidence suggests that maximising bone density in early and middle life helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in later life. Steps that can be taken to help prevent osteoporosis include:  Not smoking Limiting alcohol intake Undertaking regular weight bearing exercise Maintaining a healthy body weight Adequate intake of calcium and Vit.D through out life span Considering HRT for women during menopause A healthy lifestyle, balanced diet and proper exercise are the key to the prevention of osteoporosis instead of waiting for fracture to happen and then start the treatment. Though older women are affected more as compared to men, precautions should be taken by both the sexes so as to lead a healthy and happy life.

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    Spinach Treat

    By: Namita Panagaria

    Spinach is a vegetable which is packed with nutrients yet we all dislike it especially children. I am sure making kids eat spinach is a difficult task with all mothers - even my son doesn\'t go well with this healthy vegetable. Spinach is a wonderful green-leafy vegetable often recognized as one of the functional foods for its wholesome nutritional, antioxidants and anti-cancer composition. Its tender, crispy, dark-green leaves provide it the tangy flavor in many recipes worldwide. Power packed with many water and fat soluble vitamins (like Vit. K, Vit. C, Vit. B complex), their precursors (like beta-carotene) and various minerals, it is in top list for dieters as well. 100gm of spinach provides merely 23 kcals and is an excellent source of fiber with very less fat content. Below are listed the benefits of these dark green wonder leaves - # Great source of phytonutrients and anti-oxidants fundamental for health promotion; # One of the richest source of iron, approximately 25% of daily intake; # Excellent source of Vit. C and Vit. K; # Extremely helpful in cholesterol management as it is very low in fat and very high in fiber; The goodness of Spinach is also linked with the famous cartoon character Popeye. Popeye is said to find energy from spinach whenever confronted with a problem/ challenging situation. Being a nutritionist, I understand the science behind this green leafy vegetable but putting it practically into use for my 7 year old gave me a headache too. Experimenting with cooking, especially, healthy and low calorie kind has been a hobby. So this time I thought of experimenting with these dark coloured leaves. The recipe I chose was Palak Patta Chaat, which is very famous in Northern India, especially Delhi. Originally this recipe finds its way in being deep fried and too high in calories but I chose to make it low calorie, trying to save the goodness of the leaf as well. So heres what it turned out like and I am sharing the recipe for the same. What do you need:(for two people) Big Spinach leaves (4-5 in nos.) Boiled and mashed potatoes (3) 1 cup finely chopped onions 1 cup finely chopped coriander Gram flour (besan) - 1/2 cup Green chillies (according to taste) Red Chilli Powder (According to taste) Chaat Masala (According to taste) Garam Masala (According to taste) Salt (according to taste) Oil How to make: 1. Wash and dry the spinach leaves thoroughly. 2. Soak the gram flour (besan in water just enough to make a thick paste as in batter and add red chilli powder, garam masala, salt and lemon juice, all according to taste. 3. To the boiled and mashed potatoes, add finely chopped onions and coriander leaves. To this add green chillies, red chilli powder, chaat masala, garam masala and salt. 4. Heat a non-stick pan and put few drops of oil and spread. 5. On each washed spinach leaf, spread the boiled potatoes covering the whole leaf and on the top spread the gram flour better. Put this side on the pan and let it fry. On the other side of the of the leaf, spread the gram flour batter. 6. When one side is done, flip over to the other side and let it fry. Add some oil if required. 7. Palak Patta Chaat is ready. Serve hot with coriander and imli chutney.

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    World Diabetes Day: Control Diabetes Through A Healthy Diet

    By: Namita Panagaria

    14th November is celebrated as World Diabetes Day, and on this occasion I would like to share with you some tips tocontrol Diabetes through a Healthy diet. Diabetes management involves healthy eating, regular physical activity and weight management. Healthy eating means lots of high-fibre carbohydrate foods (wholegrain breads and cereals), vegetables, legumes (beans and lentils), fruit, unsaturated (healthy) fats, lean protein and low-fat dairy but less saturated (unhealthy) fat. The glycaemic index (GI) can be helpful in blood glucose management.   FOLLOW THIS SIMPLE HEALTHY EATING PLAN IF YOU HAVE DIABETES: Eat regular meals throughout the day.  You may need to reduce the serving size of your meals and snacks, as eating too much can lead to weight gain.  Include high-fibre carbohydrates at each meal. Examples of high-fibre carbohydrate foods are wholegrain bread, cereals (such as oats, WeetaBix, All Bran and natural muesli), wholemeal pasta, brown rice, quinoa, fruit and starchy vegetables (such as potato).  Do not restrict your carbohydrate intake. Aim for at least 130 g per day.  Choose reduced fat and low-fat dairy products.  Choose lean meats and alternatives, such as skinless chicken and turkey, fish, eggs, legumes (beans, lentils), tofu and nuts.  Limit the unhealthy (saturated) fats that are found in foods such as full-fat dairy products (including cream, milk, ice-cream, yoghurt, butter and cheese), meat fat (trim the fat from meat and limit your intake of processed meats), fried foods, cakes, pastries and foods containing palm oil and coconut oil.  Include some of the healthy (unsaturated) fats like olive, canola or sunflower oil, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated margarines, oily fish, avocado, seeds and nuts.  Oily fish are great for heart health. Aim to include oily fish such as salmon (tinned or fresh), sardines, mackerel, herring or tuna at least two to three times per week.  Save baked items like cakes and biscuits, slices and desserts for special occasions. Eat them in small serves, even if they are low in fat.  Avoid lollies and sweet drinks (soft drink, cordial, sports drinks, flavoured waters and energy drinks). Don\'t add salt when you cook or at the table and reduce the use of high-salt foods.  Limit alcohol to two standard drinks per day, with some alcohol-free days each week. These are general guidelines, and depending on your overall health condition you might require a specialized meal plan to help you to achieve a better health.  Feel free to reach out to me for consultation.

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    Make “D” while the Sun shines

    By: Namita Panagaria

    The common saying – “Make hay while the sun shines” is now applicable for Vitamin D also. Vit.D is an essential nutrient which performs a wide variety of vital functions in our body. Historically (I think from the time it was discovered that human skin can make Vit.D from sun rays), it has been believed that Indians have been able to synthesize adequate amounts of Vit.D but recent researches have proved this to be a disbelief. Ideally, thirty minutes of exposure of the skin over the arms and face to sunlight, without the application of sunscreen, preferably between 10 am to 2 pm (as maximum ultraviolet B rays are transmitted during this time) daily is adequate to avoid Vit. D deficiency. India, located between 8.4 and 37.61 N latitude, is a vast tropical and warm country. Most of the Indian regions receive ample amount of sunlight throughout the year. Also being a agricultural and a rural country, most of the people spend time outdoors in the sun, so the time exposed to the sunlight is quite high.  Earlier, Vit.D deficiency was considered to be disease of west, since the amount of exposure to sunlight among the western countries is very less. Surprisingly, recent researches have shown that there has been an increase in the incidence of Vit.D deficiency among Indians as well. There may be various reasons for us developing this deficiency inspite of the widespread availability of sunlight in our country.: Ø  Darker skin pigmentation and the changes which have accompanied India’s modernization, including increased hours spent working indoors and pollution, limit sun exposure for many. Ø  Changing food fads and food habits contribute to low dietary calcium and Vit. D intake; Ø  High fibre diet containing phosphorus and phytates which can deplete Vit. D stores and increase calcium requirement; Ø  Genetic factors like having increased 25(OH)D-24-hydroxylase which degrades 25(OH)D to inactive metabolites; Ø  It has been shown that increment in serum 25(OH)D in response to treatment depends on the heritability of Vit. D binding protein; Ø  Increased pollution may also hamper the synthesis of Vit. D in the skin; Ø  Repeated, unspaced and unplanned pregnancies in already deficient patients may aggravate Vit. D deficiency in both the mother and the foetus.      However, in our scenario, our dietary habits are also to be blamed. Predominantly vegetarian, we do not have much choice as far as Vit.D is concerned; the vitamin is primarily present in non-vegetarian foods. Also till date, no focus has been shifted by the policy makers regarding the fortification of common foods with Vit.D.   Earlier Vit.D deficiency was only thought to be present in children of lower socio-economic status but now the picture seems to be changing. The nutrient deficiency is now being commonly found in otherwise healthy children and adults. Deficiency of Vit.D at such a small age may hamper appropriate growth and development since childhood resulting in a clinical condition termed as rickets whereas in adults it may lead to an early onset of osteo-porosis. However, the vitamin now has been shown to play a variety of roles ranging from an anti-oxidant to that being a anti-cancer nutrient. Given our lifestyle, I believe almost all of us would be Vit.D deficient. There are no specific symptoms of Vit.D deficiency. It may start of as vague unexplainable joint pains in some while in others it could be skin rashes. None of us are adequately exposed to sun, nor does our diet contains foods that may help to improve the deficiency. The only way we can fight this deficiency is by oral supplementation in the form of sachets or capsules. Its been a high time now to open our eyes to a problem which was probably long standing but we recognized it quite late. According to a estimate by WHO, approximately one billion people in world have Vit.D deficiency. Until fairly recently, Vit. D deficiency in children has been observed in essentially every country in the world. It affects a large proportion of population, irrespective of age and sex. The reason for delay in recognition is perhaps Vit. D is the most under-rated nutrient in the world of nutrition probably because it’s “free”. But the truth is, unawareness as most people don’t know the real story of Vit. D and health.  

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    Walnuts for a Healthy You!!!

    By: Namita Panagaria

    Of all the foods that exist in nature, Nuts are the ones which can be labelled as a complete food. With a excellent blend of carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, they possess some remarkable health properties. Walnuts grab the top place in the whole list because of its extra-ordinary nutrient content. Omega-3 fatty acids, vital for brain development, is found in highest quantities in walnuts. In fact, consuming 25 g of walnuts daily fulfils approximately 90% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) of omega-3 fatty acids. An astonishing fact regarding this wonder nut is that their shape resembles the shape of a human brain!!!! No wonder, they are just ideal for human brain development....try and notice the next time you have these nuts. Walnuts, because of their fatty acid composition are heart friendly. It contains about 72% monounsaturated fatty acids which are known to reduce “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and increase the “healthy” cholesterol (HDL). The favourable lipid content of the nuts and its more than favourable effect on blood cholesterol levels is cardio-protective and also protects against strokes. With 2.6 gm fiber/ 100 gm nuts and a Glycemic Index of 15, its an ideal snack for diabetics. Also its high MUFA content helps in controlling blood sugar levels. The fiber levels and the fatty acid composition also make it ideal for weight reduction. A handful in the morning helps in boosting the metabolism and a handful as a snack during any time of the day helps to furnish the required amount of energy for one to be on the go. Additionally, they are a rich source of vitamins (especially vit. E and B-complex), minerals (copper, manganese, zinc etc.) and is packed with anti-oxiddants – a recipe one requires for a glowing, healthy skin and flowing hair. With all these benefits wrapped in one wholesome NUT, its advisable to grab a handful everyday!!!!!  

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