Dt. Asritha Vissapragda

Dietician / Nutritionist in Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India

http://dietplanners.zest.md

About Me

I am Asritha.V. I am a Consulting Nutritionist. I did my masters in Applied Nutrition from U.S.A. I am a certified food and spirit practitioner. Worked for few months in Identity fitness studio.Guest speaker for Mahendra Retails Mom and Me stores in Hyderabad,  Delhi Public School Nacharam. Conducted 3 worksops for nutritional awareness, detox, nutragenomics respectively. I am an Independent nutrition consultant. I have my own clinic \"Truly Nutrition\" at street no#8 Hubsiguda, Hyderabad. I worked with  200  people to solve health problems by designing diet charts with chakra foods. I believe in nourishing whole self, so I also include mind,body,food way of treatment. Personal training on visualization techniques for whole body detox, stress, obesity are also available at my clinic.

My Blogs

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    Smart shopping tips for Healthy family

    By: Asritha Vissapragda

    Meal time is fun family time.All family members come together during meal time. Planning your meals a head of time will give you an  opportunity  to feed your family members healthy,delicious and nutritional meals. What you put end of your fork will decide your health. This month I would like to discuss with you some smart ideas to create a healthy kitchen pantry.   Keep your pantry free from processed food like potato chips,ready to eat meals,deep fried snacks etc. Avoid Aisles in your grocery mart. Focus your shopping on circumference of the mart. Shop produce section as much as possible. While purchasing a  groceries make sure you check the ingredients list. Prefer food products that have  fewer ingredients. Select products with five or less ingredients.The major ingredient in the product will be listed first in the ingredient list. For example if enriched flour is listed first in ingredient list, it indicates that enriched flour is added in highest quantity. Avoid products that contain enriched wheat flour, high fructose corn syrup(HFCS),Colors, preservatives, any thing in Greek and Latin. Be cautious about hidden sugars and salts. Dextrose, maltose, are other forms of sugars added in food products. Avoid products that contain these forms of sugars. Salts are present as monosodiumglutamate. Take time to check this list. While purchasing canned food prefer sodium free and sugar free products. While shopping produce section follow dirty dozens and clean 15 list. Prefer organic produce for foods that come under dirty dozen and you can go for normal produce for clean 15 foods. Here is list for you. Dirty Dozens:                                  Apples Celery Sweet bell peppers Peaches Strawberries Nectarines (imported) Grapes Spinach Lettuce Cucumber Blueberries Potatoes Clean 15 : Onion Sweet corn Pineapple Avocado Cabbage Sweet peas Asparagus Mangoes Egg plant Kiwi Cantaloupe (domestic) Sweet potato Grape fruit Water melon Mushrooms 9. Prefer to purchase seasonal produce. It is healthy,economical and pollutant free. 10.It is better to purchase salsa than ketchup.You can avoid preservatives and improve your veggie servings. Aim to have 3 servings(100 gms/serving) of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit a day. References: 1. http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/

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    KNOW YOUR NUMBERS

    By: Asritha Vissapragda

    A part from emergency numbers like 911,there are few numbers that you should know to track your health. When a diabetes patient or heart patient visits a physician, physician recommends a blood test.As a patient it is your right to know what is wrong with your reports and how does a normal report look like. Elderly people(50years and up) are highly recommended for complete health check once in a year. Through this blog I would like to share my knowledge on few numbers that are essential to track your health.Normal reports look as following. Complete blood count: This test is done to learn about your blood components.Difference in this blood components indicates your illness.For example if your hemoglobin % is less than normal, it indicates you are anemic. If your WBC count is high, it indicates you have an infection in your body. White Blood cell Count(WBC): They are measured in thousands(K) per cubic milliliter(uL) - 3.3-8.7 K/uL. Red Blood cell Count (RBC): They are measured in Millions(M) per cubic milliliter(uL)- 3.93-5.69 M/uL Hemoglobin(HGB): This is measured in Gram(g) per deciliter(dL)-12.6-16.1 g/dL Hematocrit (HCT): This is measured as percentage of red blood cells to your total blood volume-38-47.7% Platelets: These are measured in thousands per cubic milliliter-147-347 K/uL Neutrophil Count: Neutrophil count indicates number of infection fighting cells in your blood.They range should be between 2500-6000.If you have1000 or fewer Neutrophils, it indicates your are at risk of infection. Cholesterol test: This test is done to know if there is any excess cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol is important component of cell. If it is excess in blood, there is serious threat of clogging your arteries with blood cholesterol. So, it is very much important to maintain yourcholesterol levels with in normal range.   Total serum cholesterol : Less than  200mg/dL-Desired, 200-239 mg/dL- Border line high, 240mg/dL High blood cholesterol. High Density Lipoprotein (HDL)(Happy cholesterol)-More than  60mg/dL- very good, Less than 50mg/dL for women and less than 40mg/dL in men- Risk of heart disease. Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) (Lousy cholesterol) less than 100 mg/dL- Optimal,100-129 mg/dL Near or Above Optimal, 130-159 mg/dL Borderline High, 160-189 mg/dL- High, More than190mg/dL- Very High. Triglyceride level: Less than150mg/dL-Normal, 150-199 mg/dL-Borderline high,200-499mg/dL- High, More than500mg/dL-Very High. Ideal Blood Glucose levels for Type 2 Diabetes patients: This test is essential for type 2diabetic patients to maintain their normal blood sugar levels. But for a elder people(50 years and above) frequent check up of blood glucose levels is important. Because early detection of pre-diabetes condition helps to avoid the onset of type 2 diabetes.   HbA1C-7% Pre prandial plasma glucose(Before meals)- 70-130 mg/dL Post prandial Plasma glucose (After meals)-<180mg/dL. Fasting blood glucose levels for Prediabetes-110-120mg/dL. Fasting insulin -5-10 IU/dL.  C-reactive protein-<1mg/L. Chronic inflammatory disorders like arthritis are identified by amount highly sensitive C-reactive protein. Thyroid Stimulating hormone(TSH): This hormone levels helps us to know if you have any thyroid problems. Normal range is around 1-2 mIU/L. Free T3(Thyroxine)-3-4.2 pg/dL Free T4(Triidothyronine)-1-1.5 ng/dL. Below normal levels of T4 and high levels of TSH indicates low functioning of thyroid. Similarly Low levels of TSH and high levels of T3 indicates over active thyroid. Total Serum Protein: This test is done to know if your liver and kidney are functioning properly. Any abnormal results indicate you are prone to some illness.They range from Malnutrition low serum albumin to multiple myeloma (blood cancer)with high globulin levels.Normal range is as follows. Total protein : 6.4-8.3g/dL or 64-83 g/L Albumin : 3.5-5.0 g/dL or 35-50g/L Alfa-1 globulin :0.1-0.3g/dL or 1-3g/L Alfa-2 globulin: 0.6-1.0g/dL or 6-10g/L Beta globulin: 0.7-1.1g/dL or 7-11g/L These are some of the major test performed regularly to track your overall health. Know your numbers and make small lifestyle changes to keep your numbers in normal range. References: 1. Patient Education, understanding your complete blood count(2008), Clinical center, National Institute of Health(NIH). http://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/patient_education/pepubs/cbc97.pdf 2.What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean, (Dec 2,2011).American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/AboutCholesterol/What-Your-Cholesterol-Levels-Mean_UCM_305562_Article.jsp 3. http://www.ehow.com/facts_5095888_t.html 4. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/total-serum-protein?page=2 

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    IMPORTANCE OF SELF CARE FOR WOMEN

    By: Asritha Vissapragda

      Obesity in women begins between ages 30-40 years. This is the period where women have lot of stress in their daily life. They keep busy in raising kids, career accomplishments and family responsibilities. They have very little time to take care of themselves. By the time they reach menopause age they are facing the chronic health issues like arthritis, diabetes, heart problems and many more. The main culprit behind all these chronic conditions is Obesity. Women realize they are obese once they reach menopause stage and when they have come across one of the above chronic health issues.  As mentioned earlier they start putting on weight from ages30-40 years. One reason behind this is stress and lack of self-care. Studies show that stress will lead to release certain hormones that will promote adiposity. “A study on Chronic stress and obesity: A new view of “comfort food”” showed that glucocorticoids released during chronic stress leads to consumption of comfort food there by increases adiposity. This study also showed that glucocorticoids will also aid in increase of abdominal fat depots.This is the reason behind munching on chocolate and ice creams when you are in stress.  Irregular meal timings, skipping meals are the common practices seen in women. The main reason behind this is they do not have time or they are busy in concentrating on their kids or partner. Many women skip breakfast which is the most important meal of the day. As part of rituals women skip a meal or skip meals completely for a day or two in a week. They do not participate in recommended physical activity. This is because they get tired with all the stress and chores they perform all through the day. But physical activity will help them to relieve all those tensions and relaxes the body and promotes good night sleep. A study on “Response of oxidative stress biomarkers to a 16-week aerobic physical activity program, and to acute physical activity, in healthy young men and women” showed that regular physical activity will help in increases endogenous antioxidant activity and reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.  Antioxidants act as free radical scavengers.  Chronic stress leads to free radical production. There by physical activity helps to combat stress by increasing endogenous antioxidant activity.   Take time for yourself. Here are few tips for self-care. 1. Make a room for 30 min in your daily schedule. This is your time. 2. Relax yourself. These days we are blessed with various massage centers and SPA\'s. They help us a lot to relax. Choose good spa and trained and certified massagers. 3. Listen to your favorite music. Music is quick reach to relax. Go for slow and calm music. 4. Go for gym twice a week. 5. Practice meditation and yoga. 6. Gardening. This not only relaxes you but also good physical activity option. Try growing scented plants and flowers. 7. Just sit and relax with a cup of herbal tea. 8. A hot shower bath with aromatic oils. 9. When you feel stressed munch on healthy snacks like fruits, yogurt, and nuts. Keep them in your reach. 10. Take care of your meals. Do not skip breakfast. Women are most active person in the house. So women should keep fueling their body to avoid fatigue. Practice self-motivation. \"If I do not care for myself now I will not be in a position to take care of my loved one\'s in future\". References: 1.Mary F. Dallman*, Norman Pecoraro, Susan F. Akana,Susanne E. la Fleur, Francisca Gomez Hani Houshyar, M. E. Bell,Seema Bhatnagar, Kevin D. Laugero, and Sotara Manalo,Chronic stress and obesity: A new view of “comfort food”, Abstract,PNAS September 30, 2003vol. 100 no. 20 11696-11701.http://www.pnas.org/content/100/20/11696.short 2.R. Elosua, L. Molina, M. Fito, A. Arquer, J.L. Sanchez-Quesada, M.I. Covas, J. Ordoñez-Llanos, J. Marrugat,Response of oxidative stress biomarkers to a 16-week aerobic physical activity program, and to acute  physical activity, in healthy young men and women,Abstract,Atherosclerosis Volume 167, Issue 2, April 2003, Pages 327–334.

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    Nutrition facts label: The Important tool for choosing healthy food.

    By: Asritha Vissapragda

    Introduction:    Grocery shopping is a routine and important to do activity of the week.  When it comes to grocery shopping every housewife aims to shop productively to feed her family a nutritious meal. There comes a big question what to buy?  Is this a healthy option or not? In present busy world people are approaching for quick fix. Ready to eat foods, pre packed meals are quite common. Beware of all those attractive packing. The only way we can assess a food item is Nutritional facts label that is printed on every food item behind the pack. This Nutritional fact label will give us a clear picture of what we actually consume. So when you purchase a food item make sure you check for Nutritional fact Label before letting it in to your cart.   Why Nutritional Facts label is important:   The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommends low energy dense food to reduce the risk of overweight and obesity. Energy density of a food depends on number of calories present in food per serving. A recent study in Chicago also concluded that high energy dense food causes weight gain.  Nutritional Fact label is the only tool on food items that indicates energy density of the food.  Along with energy density this label also indicates some important nutritional facts like number of calories from fat, total fat, total carbohydrates, Dietary fiber, Sugar, Sodium, Protein, Vit- A, Vit- C, iron, calcium. Reading nutrition labels have following advantages:            Helps to choose low energy dense foods.          Helps to identify high fat foods.          Helps in identifying high sodium foods.          Helps in identifying high sugary foods.          Helps to make smart choices on healthy fats by knowing the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids.          Helps to make smart choice of proteins and fiber. So, it is important to read nutrition label before purchasing a food item. No mom wants to feed a sugary, fatty, and low fiber food to her family. So educate yourself to be smart in choosing healthy foods.   How to read Nutritional fact label: This is not a complicated task. It just needs some attention and patience to look and compare your food choices. [Nutrition Facts Label Images for Download Label 3]   Serving Size:   In Nutrition Facts label first check for serving size. Make sure you serve exact serving size mentioned on the label. If you have 2 servings at a time then just double your nutrients count and also calorie count.   Amount of calories:   Amount of calories gives you knowledge on amount of calories you consume per serving. Always aim for fewer calories from fat. When you are purchasing nuts or butter, then aim to get more unsaturated fats than saturated fats.   Limit these nutrients:   Limit consumption of total fats, Saturated fats, Trans- fat, Cholesterol, Sodium. Aim for items that contain less amount of above nutrients. When comparing products choose one that is having low amounts of fats, cholesterol and sodium. Never buy products that have trans-fat.  This is major culprit for heart strokes, obesity, type 2 diabetes and hypertension.   Get enough of Fiber, Vitamin A, C, Calcium, and Iron:   A fiber rich food helps to maintains blood glucose levels and it also helps you to feel full for long time.   Vitamin A is responsible for good vision and also helps as immune booster. Good amounts of Vitamin A are advisable. Dietary recommendations of Vit A for adults are 600 mcg/day retinol and 4800mcg/day Beta carotene. So aim to get good amounts of Vitamin A.   Vitamin C is also one of the good immune boosters. As it is a water soluble vitamin regular intake of vitamin C containing food is important. A dietary recommendation for Vit C is 40mg/d.   Calcium is important compound of teeth and bones. It  is also important in cellular level, as some energy driven cellular process are carried out with help of calcium channels. It is very important for kids and women for strong bones. A dietary recommendation for Calcium is 1000mg/d for men and 1500mg/d for pregnant, lactating and for women above 50.   Iron is major component of blood so aim for foods that are good sources of iron. Dietary recommendations for iron are 17mg/d for men and 21mg/d for women.   Percentage Daily Value (%DV):   This numbers give you the contribution of nutrient in the serving to your total daily diet. This value also helps to know if food is high or low in particular nutrient. 5% or less is low and 20% or more is high. But this percentage is for 2000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie requirement you may need more or less. But yet it is a helpful gauge.   Foot Note with % Daily Values:   This foot note will help you know the advisable levels of nutrients intake depending on your calorie intake.   Take home message:           Always read nutrition labels before you purchase a food item.          Use nutrition label to compare similar foods and choose healthy option.        Aim for low fat, low sodium and low sugary foods.         Tran-fat should always be “0”.         Choose foods with good amounts of fiber, vitamins, calcium, and iron.         Always choose healthy fats like polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 fats and ALA.   Always know what you eat, this helps in preventing long list of chronic diseases.

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    NAVARATRI- A FESTIVE OF VICTORY

    By: Asritha Vissapragda

    Navaratri:   Festive of  Victory ​ As a nutritionist I often see clients have lot of information about what to eat and what not to eat. The main question comes how to follow and set rules to include all the healthy food into diet. Here comes the role of a nutritionist to suggest them best diet plan. The job is not done yet!!! But we need to motivate client to start the healthy regimen which is a very difficult task. Making themselves move away from the bad habits like smoking, alcohol abuse, caffeine addiction etc; is very challenging as everything  has withdrawal symptoms.   Any festival in INDIA is celebrated as victory against bad.  Navaratri is also one such occasion where people worship goddess Durga as a symbol of victory against bad(Mahishasura).  In the same way take this occasion as a motivation to change. Here are few steps to keep motivating you for a change   1.    List out all your habits which you think changing them will create a healthy life.   2.    Choose one or two of your bad habits, these should be simple,small change as it is 9 day program. Make           an oath to change.   3.    Discuss this with your family and exchange your views. So that you don’t feel alone.   4.    Write a journal of your daily progress towards change.   5.    Use social networking sites to support you.   6.    Display Inspiring quotes in visibility, so that they remind you always.   7.   For example if you plan to stop drinking coffee several times a day. Make a oath to reduce number of intakes in a day and finally on ninth day you should be able to stop it for good. Then celebrate your tenth day as a victory against your bad habit. “First step towards change is awareness. The Second step is acceptance.” – Nathaniel Branden. ALL THE BEST !!!

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    WEIGHT LOSS TIPS FOR NEW YEAR

    By: Asritha Vissapragda

    Wish you all a Very happy and Healthy New Year. This is festive time and everybody is in joyous mood to celebrate New Year. You are preoccupied with lot of positive thoughts and positive energy. This is the best time to sit down and make your planning for New Year.  I am sure healthy living or weight loss will be one of your New Year goals.  I am writing this blog to help you how to plan a healthy lifestyle for weight loss or for overall health.  Start with small and realistic goals. Do not plan to overdo any activity suddenly because it ends up in discontinuity. When your goals are small you follow them strictly and continue for long time. Continuing with your resolutions matters a lot when planning your year.  Divide year into four quarters and implement one or two healthy habits in each quarter. This will help with continuity of your resolutions for weight loss. Look back for good plan ahead:  Make a chart of your daily dietary routine at least 7 days routine  and observe the areas where you can improve to your knowledge for example  if you are not regular with your breakfast make efforts to have it regularly, if your hydration is low, improve it. Make a list of things you need to change, prioritize them accordingly and include in your quarterly plans. You can have help of nutrition expert (www.dietplanners.zest.md) Small changes bring big results: Here are few healthy tips for weight loss. 1. Regular breakfast is must 2. 6-7 healthy meals are compulsory for improving metabolic rate. 3. Snack on omega 3 rich nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds etc 4. Limit intake of caffeinated drinks. 5. Say no to sugar and refined products 6. Include whole foods as much as possible. 7. Two fruits a day is mandatory 8. 30 minutes of physical activity is must. 9. Have a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement along with vitamin D for a fatigue free day. 10. Last but not least drink plain water minimum 8 glasses per day for flushing out  toxins. For more tips and help please register here www.dietplanners.zest.md.  

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    TIPS FOR WOMEN WITH PCOD

    By: Asritha Vissapragda

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I believe every day is women’s day . 90% of Indian families start their day with a cup of nice hot brewed coffee and end the day with relishing dinner prepared by a women.  A woman plays a key role in the society. But when it comes to their own life they are very tired and stressed looking for a soothing and relaxing time. Neilson survey shows that in INDIA “87% of women are stressed and 82% of women complaint that they have no time to relax”.  This stress full life is creating havoc on women’s health. Women play the role of a Mom, Daughter, Daughter in-law, wife, Professional and a responsible citizen. Balancing all these roles and leading a happy and healthy life is not as easy as we think. This needs some homework. Health Surveys shows that there is an increase in infertility cases among working women. The major cause for infertility is Polycystic Ovarian Disorder. That is small water filled cysts are arranged like a chain in ovaries. This prevents ovulation and leads to irregular menstrual cycles. There are several reasons for cysts formation. Stresses, Exposure to environmental pollution, Irregular lifestyle are major causes. Now let us see in detail how to correct these factors and maintain harmony of hormones. Stresses: Stresses vary from person to person depending on their emotional balance. First rate your stress levels on 0-10 scale 0 being no stress and 10 being highly stressed. Write this on a paper and aim to bring this number down. Here are few tips that help to bring down stress levels. Take 5min in a day as a self assessment time. Then find out what is stressing you more. Write a list of them and find ways to tackle them. Note:  Your thought process should be in such a way that you think positively to come out of stress. Never find excuses to stress yourself. Practice deep breathing technique during work hours. For example give a pause and take 10 deep breaths for every one hour of continues work. Smell lavender oil. Add few drops of lavender oil to your napkin or facial tissue and smell it. Lavender oil works well to relieve stress.  Aim to eat healthy food. If you are working late hours snack in between. This snack should be rich in protein like nuts or boiled chick pea with salad vegetables. Talk to very near person with whom you can share your emotions and feel relaxed. Communication is the key to solve issues in relationships. Environmental pollution: Everybody is aware of rise in environmental pollution. India has 4 cities ranked among 10 most polluted cities in the World. There are few kinds of pollution which are out of our hands. But few pollutions  can be controlled or decreased.  A review article in Medspace reported that parabens present in cosmetics especially underarm cosmetics play a crucial role in breast cancer as parabens bind to human estrogen receptors and cause high serum estrogen. This leads to breast cancer. So avoid cosmetics that have parabens. Better go for herbal products. Similarly Bisphenols present in plastics also cause hormonal imbalance. So avoid eating and storing hot foods in plastic containers as they release bisphenols when we place a hot food in plastic containers.  Maintain low exposure to air pollution. Wear a mask to your nose to avoid direct inhalation of smoke. Drink clean and filtered water. Especially water contaminated with heavy metals like lead and mercury. So select water filters that can filter these metals. Always go green. Select organic food whenever possible. Detox your body monthly once. Consult a specialist for detox. Never do it on your own. “Environmental Working Group “check their site for safe cosmetic and cleaning products in market. Irregular lifestyle: Last but not least “Lifestyle”. The only proven therapy for PCOD is maintaining a good life style. Please maintain your biological rhythms. Disturbance in your rhythm will create havoc on your metabolism. Maintain regular meal timings. This will keep your hunger and satiety hormones in balance. Regular meal timings will help you to maintain healthy weight. “Food is medicine”.  Enjoy your food in limitation. Too much of anything will harm you. Aim to introduce salads to your meal plate. Meal plate should have one variety of green leafy vegetables. This does not include ice berg lettuce. Salads  helps to boost your Fibre intake, Vitamin C levels, Folic acid levels, Vitamin E. These are all required to maintain hormonal balance.  Aim to include 4-5 servings of low glycemic Index fruits. Like oranges, guava, pomegranate, papaya, kiwi, grapes, water melon. These will boost your anti oxidant levels. Apart from diet  lifestyle also includes physical activity. There is strong evidence that 30 min of physical activity 5 days in a week will help you to maintain healthy weight. Physical activity keeps your cortisol hormone in balance and helps to lower stress. It is a fight or flight hormone. If you are overly stressed this hormone levels rise and leads to major hormonal imbalances like PCOD, Hypo Thyroid, Insomnia, Migraines. Healthy food, Physical activity, Proper hydration and Sleep are key points to be checked to maintain healthy lifestyle. For further assistance register @ www.dietplanners.zest.md        

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    HOW TO PREVENT OBESITY

    By: Asritha Vissapragda

     Today(27/10/) is world obesity day. As a nutritionist I feel responsible to share my knowledge on how to prevent obesity and create awareness to people about obesity and its effect on health. The word obesity is not new to the world now. It has become an epidemic in developed countries. In developing countries it is spreading like a fire. What is obesity? Let us first know what obesity is.  Obesity is a metabolic disorder. A person who’s BMI (Body Mass Index) is more than 23 are considered as overweight and if it is more than 27 they are obese. BMI limit varies for Asians when compared to Caucasians as tendency of abdominal fat deposition is more for Asians. It is advised to check your weight regularly and calculate BMI. Take advice from a professional if you are required to lose weight. Effects of obesity: What are the effects if you are overweight or obese? When your weight increases, your body nutritional demand also increase. If you are unable to full fill the demands you are at risk of developing nutritional deficiencies. There are studies which indicate most of the obese individuals are malnourished. Knee joints are weight bearing joints in our body and excess weight will burden the joints and lead to degeneration followed by arthritis issues. High deposition of fat around belly ( i;e if your waist to hip ratio is more than 0.8 ) leads to development of  type 2 diabetes and cardio vascular disorders. Obesity also leads to hypothyroid. Obesity is also one of the key reasons for poly cystic ovarian syndrome and irregular menstruation. All hormones are fat soluble hormones. If the total body fat is high, then hormones get deposited in your fat tissue and leads to deficiency or the other way, fat tissues release pseudo hormones leading to excess of hormones in blood. Obesity is not only dangerous for adults it is also a serious issue for kids. There are studies that show obese kids are more prone to autism, ADHD, type 2 diabetes, and hypothyroid. These are few complications with obesity. Let us focus on how to prevent obesity. Prevention of obesity: 1. Daily 30 min of physical activity is required to maintain weight. 2. 5 or more serving of fruits and vegetables is must to prevent obesity. 3. BMI should be checked regularly. 4. Avoid eating store bought foods .Encourage eating in home. 5. No refined sugar or artificial sugars in diet. 6. Avoid eating refined flours  like all purpose flour, enriched wheat flour, rice flour etc; 7. Check for the nutritional facts label whenever you are buying a food item. Do not buy foods that have artificial colours and flavouring agents. 8. Try to eat 7-8 mini meals in a day 9. Replace all refined grains with whole grains 10.  Take time to shop for organic produce if possible. 11.  Do not watch television or use gadgets while eating. Mindful eating  helps  you to know your hunger and satiety cues. 12. Include protein in your daily diet. Eating protein increases your muscle and a good muscle percentage of your weight improves your metabolism. 13.  Practice mindful eating use all your senses (sight, smell, taste, sound, and touch) when you are feeding your body.  14. Try to keep your stress levels under control with meditation, or any other practices.  15. Last but not least aim to eat rainbow colors of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. The colors of fruits and vegetables have phyto nutrients which have anti oxidant properties to detoxify your body.  Unable to process the toxins out of the body is also one of the major reasons behind obesity.      

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    How to control foods cravings

    By: Asritha Vissapragda

           I often come across a common question from my clients asking me how I control food cravings. We are all surrounded by food. Every occasion is celebrated with food. Name it a company meeting or a family get together. The foods that are served in such occasions are refined, fatty, and sugary food. We rarely find healthy food in such parties. People who are trying to eat healthy, and are required to attend such occasions are in serious fight between their mind and stomach. Stomach growls for food and mind tempts to eat junk food. Finally unconscious busy mind wins the game and ends the up in eating junk. A huge amount of junk!!! People should not blame mind alone in this game, but the food also have a part in tempting the brain to eat the junk. There is lot of research going on, to find the effect of refined and sugary foods on food cravings and some studies proved that eating sugary and refined foods will hide satiety cues (they act on leptin and gherlin hormones in your stomach) and allows you eat more of sugary and refined food. That is the reason if you try a piece of French fries you tempt to have one more. There is famous add about potato chips quoting “No one can eat just one”. This is absolutely true with junk food. Food is having capacity to regulate and modify genes. Regular intake of junk food will modify genes and increase craving to junk food. Similarly regular intake of whole foods will help you set your biological rhythm. Here are few tips to keep away from this mind game. 1. When you are planning to attend a party, plan your remaining meals ahead and try to make them as healthy as possible like eating a sprouts salad, nuts, seeds, whole grain foods. 2. Avoid appetizers and desserts if possible, or share them with a friend. 3. Try to eat salads in first place than going for appetizers. 4. Avoid foods that are filled with artificial colours. Food colours increase your body’s toxic burden. 5. Try to be mindful and conscious when you are eating out. Eating is a ritual, follow it sincerely. “If you like a flower you pluck it, but if you love a flower you water it”- Buddha. Do not just “like” your body, “love” your body,  and nurture it with good wholesome food. In turn it loves you with vibrant health. Keep daunting this in your mind when you tempt to eat junk.            

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    BE A SMART HEALTH INVESTOR

    By: Asritha Vissapragda

    You might be wondering how one can save money by eating healthy!!! A good lifestyle promotes health. If you are healthy you can cut down your medical expenses.  I want my audiences to envision the growing health care burden, what we can do to decrease the burden. I am presenting this article with few statistics to get a good picture of what it means to eat nutritious whole food. This is a small attempt to make people think about the big picture behind poor lifestyle and unhealthy diet.  There is an enormous increase in health care cost. Statistics from NSSO (National Sample Survey Office) shows  that, there is 6.6 % to 6.9%increase in health care expenditure in rural INDIA and 5.2% to 5.5% increase in health expenditure in urban INDIA from 2004-2005 to 2011-2012. This means both rural and urban populations are equally spending money for attaining good health. People are requiring more hospitals apart from allotted government hospitals due to increase in waiting time and lack of facilities. Why are people getting frequently sick and visiting hospitals? This is because lack of proper hygiene and lack of health awareness among public.  Below study by NSSO, explains us the increase in average hospitalization costs in both urban and rural INDIA (By NSSO first half of 2014).   Health expenditure is increasing; it is being unaffordable for public to get proper medical care. There is definitely a need to improve the infrastructure of government hospitals and make it affordable to general public. But it is equally important to increase health awareness programs to public and educate them to maintain good health conditions. Studies indicate that , in a low income family with a person with diabetes spends 25% of family income on diabetes Medicare. NSSO survey showed that Number of deaths due to chronic diseases is more when compared to communicable diseases.  There is a need to serious call for action to educate the public about chronic diseases and how to prevent them.  Chronic diseases like Coronary Artery Disease(CAD), Ischemic stroke, Some specific cancers, diabetes, hypothyroid, obesity,  are all preventable.1.The following table indictes that lhealthy lifestyle changes and healthy diet help to prevent chornic diseases. Dietary and lifestyle factors CVD Type 2 diabetes Cancer Dental disease Fracture Cataract Birth defects Obesity Metabolic syndrome Depression Sexual dysfunction Avoid smoking ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓   ↑     ↓ Pursue physical activity ↓ ↓ ↓   ↓     ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ Avoid overweight ↓ ↓ ↓   ↑ ↓     ↓   ↓ Diet Consume healthy types of fatsa ↓ ↓             ↓     Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables ↓   ↓   ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓       Replace refined grains with whole grains ↓ ↓           ↓ ↓     Limit sugar intakeb ↓ ↓   ↓       ↓ ↓     Limit excessive calories               ↓ ↓     Limit sodium intake ↓                     So promote eating whole grains and legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables, encourage physical activity to stay fit, avoid eating high sugary, fatty, and junk food.  A small change towards healthy eating and lifestyle will bring a big change in your medical bills.  Spend wise when it comes to health.   References: 1.Walter C. Willett, Jeffrey P. Koplan, Rachel Nugent, Courtenay Dusenbury, Pekka Puska, and Thomas A. Gaziano; Prevention of Chronic Disease by Means of Diet and Lifestyle Change;Chapter 44,  Disease control Priorities in Developing countries;  

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    A HEALTHY RESOLUTION FOR NEW YEAR

    By: Asritha Vissapragda

    Wish you a very Happy and Healthy New Year 2016. This is the best time of the year to set your priorities. I thought of sharing my strategy while setting priorities. On this regard would like to share my personal story. Last year I am a bit late to set my goals. My thoughts are just wandering how to set my goals. So I started thinking about what can i do to the people around me, how can I be perfect towards others and about my business and everything about others . Then suddenly a thought arouse what is that more required to keep all these things in balance...It is \"ME\". \"I Am\"...\" I should be strong and healthy enough both physically and spiritually to sustain my balance and share some energy to my beloved ones and my business.\" This one beautiful thought gave me many positive ideas. So I started with best possible small steps to improve my lifestyle and I am sure to maintain consistency. A healthy change should always be measured by how consitent you are with the change, then you see positive results. I saw the change and I wish all my audience should also experience this!!! So start journaling on what \"you\" as a person require and see the beautiful \"I\" or \"ME\" . Take some selftime to analyse your health.  Once again \" WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR 2016\"  

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    Summer Special Tips for weight loss

    By: Asritha Vissapragda

    Vacation, Ice creams, Family gatherings, Fun time, Cool drinks, Squashes, Mangoes and the list goes on... These are the things that come to my mind when I think of summer. Summer is the best time to indulge in some healthy eating and loose those extra pounds you banked in winter. Sounds Interesting!!! Here are few weight loss tips for this summer: Sweat more:  During summer we do sweat more as a natural phenomenon to cool body temperature. Now use this to increase your metabolism when you invest some calories on more cardio work out your body temperature spikes and your metabolism rises as you burn more calories to cool your body. Eat watery fruits and vegetables: Adding   fresh fruit and raw watery vegetables like cucumbers, bottle guards, raw mangoes to your daily diet is best possible way to lose weight. These vegetables provide good amount of soluble fibre and vitamin C (Elixir to weight loss). These vegetables also have refreshing feel after consuming. They fill your stomach fast but you feel like feathery after consuming them. Take out some family time: Summer is vacation time in INDIA. Kids have holidays and take some time off from your regular routine work and indulge in adventure trips or relaxing vacation where you get some time to enjoy with family or friends. Stress busting should be the agenda of your trip. Stress plays a major role in obesity. So summer is the best time to bring down your stress levels. Have fun being creative in Kitchen with kids: Summer is the time where we rush of some ice creams, and soft drinks. Instead try healthy alternatives like fruit popsicles and fruit and vegetable squashes.  Be creative and design a recipe and experiment this along with kids. This way you can educate your kids on healthy eating and self cooking. This will have a major impact on their future eating habits.  Research shows that overweight kids are going to be obese adults and end up in chronic ailments. So take some good parenting time this summer. Stay cool stay hydrated: keep yourself cool with comfortable cotton outfits. Hydrate well with water (not refrigerated but pot water), coconut water, or vegetable juices, 50 % of your meals should be filled with raw vegetables. Snack on fruits, do not expose to heat waves in the afternoon. Stay fit and lose weight this summer!!! Happy Vacation J

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    Do not get Tired after you Retire

    By: Asritha Vissapragda

    There is a misconception that retirement indicates old age.  Retirement is only given to your work but not for your body. This is best stage of life where you get some time to focus on your body. Being fit and healthy after retirement will help you to enjoy life to the fullest.  I would like to present an insight and few tips on how to stay fit after 60’s. Never think you are old or aged but instead try to listen to your body.  Love yourself.  Self love will help to love others in a better way. Focus on your lifestyle. Healthy eating, Physical activity, positive thinking etc; are the basic lifestyle modifications. Choose one area and try to focus on that. Keep your steps small but consistent. Physical functioning of the body begins to slow down at this age. Metabolic rate comes down. Focus on eating small meals number of times in a day. Plan at least six meals in a day that is three main course meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and three snacks. Whole grains and unrefined carbohydrates are the best sources of energy. 80% of our calories from INDIAN diet come from carbohydrates. These are the major sources of energy for the body. Carbohydrates convert into glucose and utilised by the body to do work. So be very careful while selecting carbohydrates. Grains, pulses, legumes, millets are the major sources of carbohydrates. With the advent of westernization we started processing the basic grains for easy use and for easy energy. This created a huge problem to health and we ended up with type two diabetes. All your sources of carbohydrates should be whole. They should have fibre in them. Prefer eating unpolished rice, pulses as whole than split. Make sure at least you have one meal made with millets. They are slow burning carbohydrates and are good for diabetic people. Eating good quality protein is must. Proteins are the building blocks of human beings. They are present all over the body from cellular level to structural level. Eating protein rich food helps to increase metabolism, improves immunity, support bony structures, delays aging.   Nuts, seeds, sprouts, beans, lean meat, fish, egg, milk and curd are the best sources of protein.  Few people suffer with food allergies or indigestion. Avoid the allergic food as much as possible. To overcome indigestion issue rotating the food is best option. Do not eat same kinds of nuts, seeds, sprouts, and beans daily. Instead try to include different proteins in a day. 0.8gm of protein per kg body weight is recommended daily. Be cautious while using Fats.  There is a myth that fats make us fat, but no, sugar makes us fat. Serum cholesterol is not directly connected to the dietary fat. We need fat to insulate our body; every organ is cushioned with fat. Fat soluble vitamins like A, D,E, K are absorbed into the body only with help of fat. Fat is also required for the better bioavailability of phyto nutrients and carotenoids . These nutrients play a major role in preventing cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.  Focus on eating healthy fats from sesame seeds (unrefined cold pressed sesame seed oil for cooking), olive oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil, ghee, flax seed oil. We also get good fat from nuts, egg and fish. Limit eating fats present in deep fried, processed, refined and ready to eat food. As the fats present in them gets hydrogenated and this kind of fat is not suitable for your body. Body cannot process this fat and hence results in serum triglycerides. Be liberal with vegetables and play with fruits. They are the nature’s gift to humans. They are packed with vitamins, phyto nutrients, carotenoids, flavours.  These are all essential for bodily functions. Vitamin B,C, E are very rich is yellow, orange and green coloured fruits. They help us to stay hydrated, free of toxins and they all are excellent antioxidants. The more colourful your plate looks the more colourful your retired life is going to be. Aim to eat at least a cup of raw vegetables salad and two fruits in a day. Limit the consumption of high sugary fruits like mango, pineapple, chikoo, custard apple. Apart from healthy eating, being physically fit is also most important. The more we move our body the more active it becomes. Physical activity helps to release endorphins. These endorphins release out your stress from the body. Make sure to have at least 45 minutes of physical activity per day. Select the activity which you enjoy most and suits your body. Stay hydrated always during physical activity. You can also split your activity to two times a day 20-22 minutes per session or three times a day with even less time per session. Short span exercises best suits for people with arthritis, spondylitis or any structural issues. Finally I want to emphasise on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We are now loaded with information, but to put this in action we need strong motivation. Self love is the key to motivation. This body has put a lot of effort to succeed although your career, now this is the time to take care of it. Simple love and accept your body for healthy aging. Take home Message: Always be young at heart. Eat whole grains, pulses and legumes. Include them in daily diet. Avoid refined, processed ready to eat foods and deep fried foods. Good quality protein is must for disease free aging. Be smart while selecting fat. Omega 3 rich fats (nuts, seeds, fish) are good for heart health. Never over heat fats above their boiling point. Remember 5+2 = 5 serving of vegetables + 2 serving of fruits is must for daily dose of vitamins and minerals. Be physically active. Self love is not selfishness it is self respect. By: V.Asritha Nutritionist MS Applied Nutrition (U.S.A) Certified Food and Spirit Practitioner TRULY NUTRITION www.dietplanners.zest.md 9989931664.                

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