My doctor says to include more fibre in my diet. What is fibre and fibre rich foods?

Fibre in simple terms are roughage. It still holds an important role in our daily diet even though it does not contain any Carbohydrates, Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals and Fat. It is important for preventing many degenerative diseases, lowering blood sugar, cholesterol, keeping your colons healthy and also it helps in preventing constipation by adding bulk to the stool. Try adding some fruits and vegetables to your daily diet to get your fiber. Prefer Whole grains over refined food products. Soluble fibre found in apples, blueberries, oats, peas, beans have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and thus in preventing heart diseases.

How much water should I drink for keeping myself hydrated?

According to European Food Safety Authority, women should drink at least 8 glasses (1.6 Litres)and men 10 glasses (1.8 Litre)of water. Keeping yourself dehydrated is very important to protect your body from infections and it is important for detoxification as well. It is crucial for staying healthy and maintaining the function of every system in your body including your heart, brain and muscles. Older adults do not enough fluids and they risks themselves becoming dehydrated especially in the summer. They also keep away from drinking water in the fear of urinating more frequently which puts them for the risk of certain infections. Keeping you hydrated not only means that you have to drink plain water but you can also try drinking some lime juice, barley water, butter milk, low fat milk etc.

What are the health benefits of having berries? And how often can you have them?

There are different types of berry, namely Cranberry, Mulberry, Strawberry, Raspberry and Gooseberry. You can have berries on almost all days for improving your immunity power which helps you to fight diseases. Studies have shown that consuming soluble fibre’s slows down the movement of food through digestive tract leading to reduced hunger and feeling of fullness.
Being low in calories it also helps in reducing your weight. It is rich in antioxidants (like anthocyanins, ellagic acid and resveratrol )and other nutrients that helps to protect against many diseases including Cancer.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, the risk for developing heart diseases and other health problems are greatly reduced if berries are consumed on a regular basis. It lowers the LDL cholesterol and boosts us HDL which is essential for e healthy heart.

Can I reduce my weight by skipping the breakfast?

No, it is an entirely wrong practice to skip your breakfast, be it for reducing weight, due to lack of time or due to any other reasons. Breakfast boosts up your day with energy. Ideally, breakfast should contain all the food groups. It is a very wrong practice for the school going children to skip their breakfast as it has been proved that children having a breakfast have a better performance, better memory and better productivity during the exam times than those children who do not have their breakfast.

Can pills be a substitute for fruits and vegetables? Or is it not better to start a vitamin pill to get all the nutrients rather taking different fruits and vegetables?

A pill cannot substitute for a healthy diet. It is always advisable to include a lot of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, not only to provide nutrients but also for ensuring you get the right antioxidants and fiber. A pill supplements only that particular nutrient or in simple terms they provide a nutritional insurance for the frequent nutritional gaps in eating plan.

I have a habit of snacking even though I am aware of its ill effects. But what can I do to prevent myself from snacking?

First of all, Sit down relax and take a piece of paper and note down the exact reason for your snacking. Is it because you feel bored, lonely, depressed or angry?
You tend to eat more when you are depressed or over the loss of a loved one. Whatever be the reason, jot down the list of fruits and vegetables in a day and stick on to it if you really want to avoid this habit.
Try not to eat directly from the packets or don’t snack while watching the television since you can end up in eating more than you should.

What are some of the best drinks that I can provide my child?

Water and milk are best for children. Fresh Fruit juices are also a better option but always remember that fruits as a whole are a better choice than fruit Juices. Avoid carbonated sweet drinks – sodas, fruit flavored drinks etc. When the body takes in sugar so quickly, insulin spikes and then drops suddenly- leaving you hungry. Soft drinks are also rotting kid’s teeth.
When the kids start drinking these sugary beverages instead of milk they get too little calcium which is required for their normal growth of bones and teeth. Soft drinks contain a variety of ingredients that can be damaging to your child’s health. According to a publication list of sugar in soft drinks from The university of Cincinnati, some popular soda drinks have over 40 grams of sugar per serving. Consumption of such high levels of sugar can lead to health problems in children even it can make them hyperactive by increasing their adrenaline in the body.

My daughter gets easily bored with the breakfast that I provide. Can you suggests some ways for developing a good eating habit in her?

First of all, try to incorporate a variety in the breakfast served. Make sure that you do not provide the same menu for the second day. For example on Monday if you give her cereals with fruits of her choice you could provide her toasted bread with egg Omelettes and cheese. Keep changing the items to get rid of her boring. Like this bring in variety in the dishes served. It will satisfy her nutritional needs as well.
Iddlis made in breakfast can be turned into iddlis with sauted vegetables as an evening snack.

I’m thinking of eating right so do I need to eliminate all fats, cut down on sugar and carbs to be nutritionally fit?

Eating right means much more than just cutting down the Sugar, Fats and Carbs. To Eat Right means you take a nutritionally balanced diet. A balanced diet includes a variety of foods containing all the nutrients required for you based on the recommended dietary allowances. For planning for a nutritionally adequate menu kindly talk with your nutritionist.

Can I have fast foods on a regular basis since I am a bachelor and finds cooking daily very difficult?

In fact this is a problem faced by many of the bachelors and working ladies where they hardly find any time for cooking after their hectic day of work. They follow a usual practice of munching whatever they find on their way back home. As a result they end up in eating only highly refined or processed food items which in long term can bring about health problems for them. Buy some fresh fruits, pack it to the office and treat yourself for snacks rather buying some fried items for the evening snack.

Do I still need to exercise if I am on a diet to loose weight?

Yes off course you need to exercise to burn off those extra fat and stay healthy. Along with exercise, diet management as per your dietician’s instruction should be followed. Exercising regularly can help you reduce risks of developing certain diseases, including Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and high blood pressure. Apart from all health benefits it gives you a sense of wellbeing and makes you feel better. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex or physical ability. Consistency is the key to reap the benefits of exercise.
If you have a health problem or other concern please talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise plan.

Is it true that ‘My Pyramid’ has been replaced by My Plate?

Yes it is true that ‘My pyramid’ has been replaced by ‘My Plate’ which focuses on portion control and using the five food group including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods and dairy to create a balanced and nutritious diet. My plate offers ideas and tips to help you create a healthier eating style that meets your individual needs and improves your health.

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