Say Yes to Healthy Snacking!

Let’s accept it; we have all been through this! Imagine, you are battling steep deadlines in the office, but peeping from behind those files is a packet of that irresistible snack that has been staring at you for a while. You try to shrug off the feeling in a breath and concentrate on your work. But the feeling seems to hang on. Your taste buds too rebel and your mouth starts to water. You finally take a deep breath and think, “What the heck! One time won’t harm too much!” and all you find next is you are happily munching on the packet, forgetting the extra calories that are being pumped into you. Sounds familiar? Don’t be surprised, you are not alone. ‘Craving getting the better of us’ is a feeling many of us are only too familiar with.

 

Let us take it this way, craving is inevitable and so is snacking. For kids snacking is a fun activity, for teenagers it’s an excuse to hang out together, for office-goers it’s the only thing that can beat stress and for the older generation, it is a way to fight off those hunger pangs. In order to get rid off these hunger pangs, healthy snacking seems to be the best bet for guilt-free munching. Healthy snacking has tons of benefits including weight management.

 

Healthy Snacking: it is all about the choices you make

 

The myth about in-between meal snacking is that, it is harmful for health. Snacking has always been high on sensorial delight and is a mood changing experience for most of us. But sadly, it has been considered inherently unhealthy due to the high fat and calorie content of commonly consumed snacks. However, snacking in itself is a healthy habit, provided we choose the products with precision.

 

Healthy snacking is all about smart choices. It is important to choose your snack carefully. To begin with, read the ingredients properly.

 

A healthy snack, by definition, is:

  • Low in fat, especially Trans fat
  • Low in calories
  • Low – cholesterol
  • Baked rather than fried

 

A multi-grain snack made from oats, corn, ragi, rice, wheat and flax seeds is rich in fibre and provides wholesome nutrition. Oats, ragi, wheat have adequate amount of essential amino acids, vitamin B, calcium, iron and specially rich in cellulose whereas corn is an excellent source of iron, B- vitamins, magnesium, vitamin C, phosphorous and zinc.  Overall this multi grain snack brings you considerable health benefits along with great taste.

 

Of course, knowing what not to eat is as important as knowing what to eat. One should be wise enough to avoid fried, oily and generally high on calorie content snacks. Besides this, healthy snacks are at the crux of reducing the chances of diseases, losing weight and keeping you energetic all day. The most important advantage of taking healthy snacks is that you do not binge later on foods that are unhealthy and may become the leading cause of obesity and other diseases.

 

Guilt free snacking…….. Marrying health and taste

 

Contrary to the popular belief, healthy snacking does not mean compromising on your taste preferences. It is only about making the right choices. An informed choice can help you pick snacks that offer health and taste together.

 

“To encourage healthy snacking have a variety available. This helps tend to a range of taste preferences. Snacking boosts metabolism helps maintain blood sugar and allows for efficient absorption of nutrients. It is a good way to promote healthy long-term eating patterns”, says Dr. Rittika Samaddar,DieticianMaxHospitals,Delhi.

 

Snacking is an impulse, a fun experience, a yearning, a mood changer and sometimes a quick fix for your problems. It is time you make this experience a healthy one too without changing the fun element in it. If your craving leads you to munching, healthy munching can make it remorse free too!

 

All of us face the dilemma of snacking or not snacking. Ask Radhika Jain, an undergraduate student fromDelhi, “I tend to give in to my temptation of snacking every now and then, but what comes along is a huge guilt pang for the entire day. Carrying home-made healthy snacks or fruits on a regular basis is a good idea but almost impossible to continue on a regular basis. Hence, like all conscious weight watchers, I try to avoid these munching breaks”.

 

But what about the in-between meal cravings?

 

“We all tend to give in to our cravings to get instant energy and to tend to our taste buds. With healthier options for snacking which are equally lip smacking, I will not have to avoid them anymore. In fact they can be more fun as there will be no guilt element involved!” says Radhika. There are increasing numbers of people who will be able to identify with Radhika. 

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Omega-3 is the quintessential good fat for women’s health

Everybody worries about getting fat especially women. There is a misunderstanding that eating fats will make us fat. But in all honesty, it is not true. Infact, eating extremely low fat diet will make us significantly unhealthy and sometimes miserable. Omega-3s is a prudent choice for women to live a healthy and happy life.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids which are necessary for various body functions. But many women must be confused about their health benefits, especially when they’ve been avoiding fat for all these years. Extensive research has proved that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for good health.

“Omega-3 fatty acids can do wonders for women. Omega-3 fatty acids help in prevention of serious degenerative diseases like cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes to name a few. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties which are especially beneficial to menopausal women” says Ms. Ritika Samadar, Chief Dietician, Max Hospital, Saket, New Delhi.

All this may sound too good to be true – but over the years omega-3s have proved their health benefits. Every inch of our body is benefited by Omega 3 fatty acids. They are healthiest fats for women of all ages. Let’s take a deeper look at the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.

What are omega-3 fatty acids and why are they so essential?

There are three types of Omega-3 fatty acids; docoshexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).ALAis the principal Omega-3 fatty acid which is converted into EPA and later into DHA.

ALAis the plant-based omega-3 fat which is a best option for consumption by vegetarians as other forms i.e. DHA and EPA are found in fish. There is noALApresent in fish.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential polyunsaturated fatty acids because they are not manufactured by the body but we must obtain through our diets. At the molecular level, essential fatty acids work for proper functioning of heart, musculoskeletal, GI and immune systems.

Omega-3 benefits women of all ages

ALA based omega-3 are beneficial for women of all age group. For years, omega-3 fatty acids have proved to be effective for menstrual cramps, menopausal symptoms and breast cancer.

Let’s start with young women. Research has proved that there is a correlation between painful menstruation and low levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in blood. It helps relieve monthly pain or cramping known as dysmenorrhea.

Infertility and premature birth are other issues concerning women’s health. Diets rich in Omega-3 fatty acids have proved to increase fertility rates. Research has established that Omega-3 supplementation like Oxyflax helps in reducing clotting in endometrial cells lining the uterus. This improves implantation rates of fertilized eggs.

Additionally, Omega-3 also lowers the risk of premature birth by up to 50%. They help increase the length of pregnancy and birth weight due to increased uterine blood flow. “Omega-3 intake by pregnant women also benefits fetal brain development during gestation as well as after birth. It also reduces the risk of postpartum depression” said Dr. Neerja Malik, Gynaecologist, Batra Hospital, New Delhi.

Women with history of cancer

ALAbased Omega-3 fatty acids help fight cancer by slowing tumor growth, particularly breast and colon cancer. ALAbased Omega-3 is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that stops cellular transformation and kills off cancer cells. One study showed that high-Omega-3 diet reduces the chances of developing cancer by 56%[1].

Omega-3 fatty acids and menopause

There are many health problems arising in menopause – osteoporosis, heart disease, vaginal dryness, thinning skin and hair, joint pain and dry eyes. Omega-3 supplementation helps deal with these health issues.

Hot flushes: Approximately 70% of all women experience hot flushes during menopause transition. Omega-3 fatty acids help in management of hot flushes and improve the quality of life among middle-aged women.

Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is one of the most common health problems in menopausal women.ALA based Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent and treat osteoporosis by rebuilding bones.

Mood, affect and memory: Women face many challenges post-menopause such as mood swings, depression, and personality and behavioral problems. Omega-3 fatty acids help in dealing with these health issues. It has been proved that people with high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids have more grey matter which is correlated with positive emotions and moods. Research is still on to illustrate whether Omega-3 fats  actually triggers this process, but it can be said that high Omega-3 levels in blood lead to positive outlook on life and lower rates of memory loss.

Cardiovascular Disease: Women above 40 years are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Research has established that more women die prematurely due to heart diseases than any other disease.ALA based Omega-3s fatty acids are particularly beneficial in maintaining a healthy heart and decreasing cardiovascular problems.

Post-menopause risk of cancer is even more which can also be reduced by Omega-3 intake in diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help in regulating blood pressure, cholesterol level, and triglycerides level.

Lower heart rate = longevity? ALA based Omega-3 fatty acids lower the heart rate thereby reducing the risk of sudden cardiac events significantly. High heart rate variability may lead to sudden death. Omega-3 intake improves heart health and quality of life.

ALAbased Omega-3 have shown a wide range of health benefits over the years. These are essential fatty acids as they are needed for optimal body functioning.

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ALA OMEGA 3 FOR EXPECTANT MOTHERS AND HEALTHY, INTELLIGENT BABY

Expectant mothers are always worried about their baby’s health and wellbeing. The question which always arrives in their mind is that whether their babies are getting sufficient nutrition for their growth and development or not? Every woman should take care of her diet and healthy living to maintain health status. Consulting a dietitian on a regular basis and discussing diet plans with them is very important. A pregnant woman’s diet should include all vitamins and minerals needed for the physical and mental health of both mother and child.

Taking a healthy diet, which includes carbohydrates, proteins and fats and also eating a variety of fruits and vegetables ensures good nutrition. Some of the important nutrients include:

• Carbohydrates found in whole grain, cereals, rice, barley
• Protein-rich foods like meat, eggs, cheese, milk
• Vitamin C and Iron rich food
• Folic acid, which is obtained from green leafy vegetables and is abundant in spinach. Its intake has been proved to limit the fetal neural tube defects.
• Omega-3s, playing vital role for development of brain and retina

“Nowadays it has been observed in pediatric practice that mental retardation is often seen in new born babies and approximately 10% of children have impaired learning ability, while as many as 3% manifest some degree of mental retardation. This may be due to the deficiency of certain vital nutrient store in expectant mothers” says Dr.Sanjeev Bagai, Senior Consultant Paediatric, Batra Hospital, New Delhi.

Moreover, a longitudinal study was done where around 11,000 pregnant mothers were monitored which showed that the children whose mothers had higher plasma concentration of ALA during pregnancy had higher IQ (INTELLIGENCE QUOTIENT) level than the one who did not take OMEGA-3.

It has been found that 85% of women are deficient in these important omega 3 fatty acids. Studies show only 2% of pregnant women have diets that meet their needs for omega-3 and the other 98% takes less than 18% of the daily recommendation.

WHAT ARE ALA BASED OMEGA-3s?
OMEGA-3s are unsaturated fatty acids, which are referred to as essential fatty acids. They are considered essential because our body cannot produce or synthesize them and so they have to be obtained from some food or supplements. One of the essential omega-3 fatty acids is ALA (alpha- linolenic acid) which is the principle fatty acid and gets converted in the body to long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) & docoshexaenoic acid (DHA).

OMEGA 3 PLAYS IMPORTANT ROLE IN PREGNANT WOMAN
Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. The first 12 weeks of pregnancy are considered to make up the first trimester. Weeks 13 to 28 are termed as the second trimester and weeks 29 to 40 constitute the third trimester. During the third trimester final weight gain takes place and this is the time when development of baby’s retina and brain takes place. So it is always best to take ALA based omega-3 rich diet and supplements like Oxyflax either before or immediately after conceiving so that mother has enough stored ALA Omega 3 in her body which can be utilized by the foetus during the 3rd trimester and immediately after birth through mothers milk.

ALA (alpha- linolenic acid) based omega-3 helps in
• Development of baby’s brain
• Formation of retina and
• Also in developing the child’s nervous system

Being a mother, your health and wellbeing is also a major concern and ALA(alpha linolenic acid) based omega 3 helps to
• Reduce chances of developing preeclampsia (pregnancy induced hypertension)
• Reduce risk for postpartum depression
• minimize the chance of preterm labour

“Infants who do not get enough ALA (alpha linolenic acid) based omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk of developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation”, says Dr. Bagai. .

OTHER BENEFITS OF ALA BASED OMEGA-3

• Prevents and delays Coronary heart disease
• Prevents Hypertension
• Prevents Type-2 diabetes and delays onset of complications
• Prevents Rheumatoid arthritis
• Prevents Renal disease

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GAUDIUM IVF celebrates its second anniversary with birth of 201 IVF babies.

Gaudium IVF the pioneers of the first state-of-the-art facilities for advanced Infertility Treatments (IVF, IUI, ICSI, EMBRYO FREEZING, Egg Donation, Donor Insemination, PESA/ TESA and Surrogacy) the multi-specialty in fertility treatments celebrated its second anniversary at an International conference held in New Delhi on March 06, 2011.

A press conference was organised to mark the completion of two successful years and to announce the new initiatives undertaken in the domain of infertility treatment. Chief guest – Professor Roy Homburg, Sr.Gyanaec Surgeon from UK and Dr.Sergey Yokovenko from MOSCOW, graced the occasion along with dignitaries Dr.Manika Khanna, Director Gaudium IVF.

This conference intended by renowned gynecologist of Delhi served as an educational platform to discuss the existing problems such as PCOD and the scientific procedures which can serve as an effective cure to these problems. The usage of Letrozole formulation, which, was being given for treating infertility was discussed and deliberated at the session. Though there is statistically significant data to support letrozole for its advantage over CC (Clomiphene citrate) but it is true that letrozole is an acceptable alternative to CC as an ovulation induction agent in PCOS. Letrozole may be of benefit for patients in whom CC has failed.

In an elegant study by Tulandi et al. where in 911 newborns conceived after infertility treatment with letrozole and clomiphene citrate were accessed for congenital malformations, they found that there was no difference in the overall rates of major and minor congenital malformations among the 2 groups. However, it appeared that congenital cardiac anomaly was less frequent in the letrozole group. Till date there is no data to prove Letrozole is teratogenic (Substance that is able to disturb the growth and development of an embryo or fetus)

Known as one of the most promising and caring IVF and Gynae solutions centre, Gaudium’s patient-centric approach that revolves around the welfare of the mother and the child enjoys trust beyond boundaries. Gaudium IVF has successfully treated the many patients hailing from around the world like USA, Canada, Japan, and Afghanistan.

I would take this opportunity to thank the community for their trust and support which has encouraged us to attain new heights in providing IVF quality services. On this occasion, I want to specially thank all the media persons who accompanied us in our journey of creating awareness of our specialty facilities and spreading our key message of HOPE, HEAL,& HAPPINESS among the people’, said Mr. Roy Homburg, Sr.Gyaneic Surgeon, UK addressing the media during the conference

In the words of the founder and CEO of Gaudium IVF, Dr. Manika Khanna, “We have only one aim and that is to deliver the joy of parenthood. And we make sure that we leave no stone unturned to achieve the same. After all, everyone deserves a one of their own.”

Taking their medical treatment that meets international standards a step further, the hospital announced the opening of the 2nd branch of Gaudium IVF at Janak Puri, New Delhi.

About Gaudium IVF:

Gaudium, an IVF and Gynae solutions centre set up by renowned and awarded Dr. Manika Khanna to help childless couples conceive and have their own bundle of joy. Fully equipped with all the state-of-the-art facilities our centre offers advanced Infertility Treatments like IVF, IUI, ICSI, EMBRYO FREEZING, Egg Donation, Donor Insemination, PESA/ TESA and Surrogacy. Today, with an unmatched success rate of 52% (Average international success Rate being 30-35%), having treated more than 2000 infertile (childless) couples with a record of several successful cases which were pronounced almost untreatable, but today are considered almost like a miracle.

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Clean and Clear your Complexion

Conventional wisdom has always associated pimples with teenagers but with the rising incidence of acne among older women this perception has now begun to change. Acne is striking professional women at an alarming rate and it is about time we started taking it seriously. New medical findings offer a better understanding of acne and provide better solutions for a clear skin. There are many over the counter products available, which women can use to deal with their acne woes. There are also some nice and simple home remedies.

What is Acne?

Acne is a disorder of the sebaceous glands that leads to the production of extra sebum – the thick oily substance that acts as a lubricant. This overproduction results in blocked pores and outbreaks of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads or simply blemishes. “There are two kinds of acne – vulgaris and cystic. The most common is acne vulgaris, which occurs on your face, neck, back, chest and shoulders. Cystic acne appears as painful cysts or firm, painless lumps. Although acne poses no serious threat to your health, in some cases it can cause scarring, loss of self esteem and depression” says Dr Chytra V.  Anand.

What causes it?

Bacteria, clogged pores, chocolates and oily foods have all been blamed as the culprit, but new findings have proven that it is our fluctuating hormone levels that are actually responsible. The fluctuation happens mostly during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and during the perimenopausal period. Birth-control pills also enhance sebum production.

The most important hormone in this process is a by product of Testosterone called DHT that is produced in both men and women of all ages. Says Dr. M. K. Shetty, “Acne results when your sebaceous glands become sensitive to the male sex hormones. Incidentally, these hormones are present in both men and women. The sensitivity to male sex hormones triggers more oil production and this, together with the build up of dead skin cells blocking your hair follicles, results in either blackheads or when, bacteria are present and the spots become inflamed, in red or yellow pustules”.

Acne can also be related to insulin resistance and even genetics might be responsible. Acne mainly affects teenagers during puberty but 50 % of adult women 30 years of age or older also suffer from acne.

How is it treated?

Pharmacy shelves are overflowing with acne remedies promoted by celebrities. Almost all over the counter acne treatments work by opening up pores, killing bacteria and reducing inflammation. More persistent cases will respond to either antibiotic creams or lotions or oral antibiotics or a combination of both.

Treatment may either be topical (employing creams or lotions for local application) or systemic (employing oral medication).

Topical treatment (in less severe disease) includes retinoid (tretinoin) and antibiotic creams, Benzoyl Peroxide (in creams, gels and lotions) and a range of combination products.

Systemic treatment (in more severe disease) includes oral antibiotics, isotretinoin and oral contraceptives (In cases where these can be used).

Dermatologists also employ several procedures to treat acne. There are a wide variety of treatment procedures available and many of these are very effective. Some of the common ones are:

  • Surgical extraction or ‘acne surgery’ – Involves drainage and extraction of large cysts not responding to medication. This lessens pain and also reduces the chances of scarring.
  • Chemical peeling (employing agents known as chemical peels) – Refers to the removal of the top, dead layer of the skin. This results in the exposure of the underlying younger and smoother layer.
  • Laser treatment – Targets follicle sacs, oil producing sebaceous glands as also bacteria responsible for infection.
  • Photodynamic therapy – Employs red and intense violet light to treat acne.

Of these, chemical peels and laser treatments are being increasingly used for treating acne. Chemical peels, in particular have been shown to be very effective. As far as treating acne outbreaks is concerned, chemical peeling is increasingly being recognized as one of the best methods.

Says Dr. Mukta Sachdev, “Chemical peels are very effective. Peeling not only helps treat acne but also makes your skin look youthful. As it involves the removal of the top layer of skin, it helps deal with scars visibly improved. It is very important to remember, however that procedures like chemical peeling are highly specialized and require the services of a trained dermatologist. Factors like the oil levels of your skin, skin pigmentation and the severity of the scars need to be taken into consideration before treatment is begun”

Chemical peels also offer a significant cost advantage. At a fraction of the cost of other procedures, chemical peeling is completely affordable.

Preventive measures

  • Keep your skin free from dirt and excess oil but don’t over clean which may again trigger the sebaceous glands to generate more oil.
  • Enrich your food with protein and go low on fats, carbohydrates and sugar.
  • Never squeeze or pick the affected parts
  • Visit your dermatologist only when blemishes don’t respond to any of the treatments within three months.

 

 

 

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Diabetes in India: A Lifestyle Management Perspective

Diabetes in India: A Lifestyle Management Perspective

One in 8 Indian adults either has or is at high-risk of Diabetes. According to the IDF Diabetes Atlas 4th edition, India has the second highest number of people with Diabetes at 5 crore (50 Million) adults. In addition to this, 4 crore (40 million) Indians have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), which means they are at high-risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Some key Diabetes facts underlining the serious impact of Diabetes in India:

  • Due to South Asian ethnicity, Indians are genetically predisposed to Diabetes. Therefore, people with type 2 Diabetes should not be blamed for their condition.
  • Diabetes affects Indians a decade earlier than Europeans.
  • The prevalence of Diabetes in urban areas is twice as high as rural areas

“There is mounting evidence showing that diabetes and its complications are threatening India’s economic progress and development. The World Health Organization predicts diabetes and cardiovascular disease will drain the Indian economy of Rs. 100,000 crores (USD 23 billion) each year in lost national income by 2015,” says Dr. Shaukat Sadikot, President – Diabetes India and Vice President – International Diabetes Federation. He adds, “Diabetes is no longer merely a condition that usually affects only the rich and elderly. Due to sedentary lifestyles, mass urbanization and changing diets, diabetes is affecting people at a younger age. Additionally, Diabetes is also considered to be at the centre of the metabolic syndrome that encompasses other disorders such as Obesity, Cardiovascular Health and Hypertension.” Dr. Sadikot points out that a few simple lifestyle practices can help in diabetes prevention. For example, if one’s waist size in more than 90 cm, the person is 5 times at risk of contracting diabetes and must get himself checked at once. Similarly, if the family has a person with diabetes, the other adults in the household are likely to be predisposed to the condition and must get checked for blood sugar levels.

The Role of Lifestyle

Studies indicate that the high incidence of Diabetes in the country is mainly because of sedentary lifestyle, limited physical activity, obesity, stress and consumption of unhealthy diets. Although there are increasing noise levels around Diabetes, yet awareness levels around making the right choices in lifestyle are relatively low. Diabetes is posing a serious lifestyle challenge and needs immediate attention. It needs building awareness for Diabetes prevention & management, and creating expert solutions/ products than can be included in the lifestyle of a person with Diabetes.

What is right eating?

Lifestyle management in Diabetes needs to cover regular physical activity, disciplined medication and a balanced diet that should also include Healthy snacking. Diet changes in Lifestyle need to begin with healthy eating, which needs to be well planned. Well balanced meals and regular intake of smaller portions at frequent intervals are essential to diet management when one has diabetes. Healthy snacking is imperative in between meals in helping keep blood sugar levels stable. The people in India with Diabetes are also devoid of choices, especially when it comes to options for their diet. The people with Diabetes:

  • Straddle between a slew of so-called ‘Sugar free’ products on one side and ‘not easy to include’ solutions like supplements etc.
  • Suffer from un-sustained energy levels in their bodies that create barriers for them from leading a normally active lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.
  • Counter depravation from their favorite foods i.e. Sweets, Confectionery, Fried snacks etc., while they see everyone else enjoying it around. This leads them to believe that they cannot lead a normal, enjoyable life any more, which is free from worries.

Interactions with people with Diabetes and experts suggested that there is no snack in Indian market that is enjoyable, convenient and is suitable for people with Diabetes to include into their diet.

Sugar free is not enough

Besides helping cut sugar intake, a Diabetic Friendly snack must also ensure that it does not create extreme swings in blood sugar levels. Diabetic Friendly snacks should be created keeping exactly the same need in mind to keep a person feeling satisfied and active for longer. There is a need for products in India that are created keeping in mind, the nutrition needs of a person with Diabetes and his taste needs.

Time to Conquer Diabetes

Diabetes is a staring challenge that is already started to threaten repercussions on the overall health profile of the country’s population and a severe negative impact on productivity and economic growth of India. It is time that a right combination of awareness/ salience building for the issues and expert solutions should be made available to enable lifestyle choices.  Companies are trying to offer persons with diabetes a perfect combination of right nutrition with the desired taste preferences and sensorial.

Ideally, Diabetic snack should have

Zero Added Sugar: High Sugar is an important risk factor for people with Diabetes.

  • Zero Cholesterol: A person with Diabetes is more likely to have cholesterol abnormalities that contribute to cardiovascular diseases.
  • Zero Trans Fats: Trans Fats tend to raise the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Extra Dietary Fibre: A combination of soluble and insoluble fibres that delay glucose absorption preventing extreme swings in blood sugar levels.
  • Complex Carbohydrates: Complex Carbohydrates are considered healthier because they are digested by the body slowly, providing a steady source of energy.

 

 

 

 

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Diabetes in India: A Lifestyle Management Perspective

Diabetes in India: A Lifestyle Management Perspective

One in 8 Indian adults either has or is at high-risk of Diabetes. According to the IDF Diabetes Atlas 4th edition, India has the second highest number of people with Diabetes at 5 crore (50 Million) adults. In addition to this, 4 crore (40 million) Indians have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), which means they are at high-risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Some key Diabetes facts underlining the serious impact of Diabetes in India:

  • Due to South Asian ethnicity, Indians are genetically predisposed to Diabetes. Therefore, people with type 2 Diabetes should not be blamed for their condition.
  • Diabetes affects Indians a decade earlier than Europeans.
  • The prevalence of Diabetes in urban areas is twice as high as rural areas

“There is mounting evidence showing that diabetes and its complications are threatening India’s economic progress and development. The World Health Organization predicts diabetes and cardiovascular disease will drain the Indian economy of Rs. 100,000 crores (USD 23 billion) each year in lost national income by 2015,” says Dr. Shaukat Sadikot, President – Diabetes India and Vice President – International Diabetes Federation. He adds, “Diabetes is no longer merely a condition that usually affects only the rich and elderly. Due to sedentary lifestyles, mass urbanization and changing diets, diabetes is affecting people at a younger age. Additionally, Diabetes is also considered to be at the centre of the metabolic syndrome that encompasses other disorders such as Obesity, Cardiovascular Health and Hypertension.” Dr. Sadikot points out that a few simple lifestyle practices can help in diabetes prevention. For example, if one’s waist size in more than 90 cm, the person is 5 times at risk of contracting diabetes and must get himself checked at once. Similarly, if the family has a person with diabetes, the other adults in the household are likely to be predisposed to the condition and must get checked for blood sugar levels.

The Role of Lifestyle

Studies indicate that the high incidence of Diabetes in the country is mainly because of sedentary lifestyle, limited physical activity, obesity, stress and consumption of unhealthy diets. Although there are increasing noise levels around Diabetes, yet awareness levels around making the right choices in lifestyle are relatively low. Diabetes is posing a serious lifestyle challenge and needs immediate attention. It needs building awareness for Diabetes prevention & management, and creating expert solutions/ products than can be included in the lifestyle of a person with Diabetes.

What is right eating?

Lifestyle management in Diabetes needs to cover regular physical activity, disciplined medication and a balanced diet that should also include Healthy snacking. Diet changes in Lifestyle need to begin with healthy eating, which needs to be well planned. Well balanced meals and regular intake of smaller portions at frequent intervals are essential to diet management when one has diabetes. Healthy snacking is imperative in between meals in helping keep blood sugar levels stable. The people in India with Diabetes are also devoid of choices, especially when it comes to options for their diet. The people with Diabetes:

  • Straddle between a slew of so-called ‘Sugar free’ products on one side and ‘not easy to include’ solutions like supplements etc.
  • Suffer from un-sustained energy levels in their bodies that create barriers for them from leading a normally active lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.
  • Counter depravation from their favorite foods i.e. Sweets, Confectionery, Fried snacks etc., while they see everyone else enjoying it around. This leads them to believe that they cannot lead a normal, enjoyable life any more, which is free from worries.

Interactions with people with Diabetes and experts suggested that there is no snack in Indian market that is enjoyable, convenient and is suitable for people with Diabetes to include into their diet.

Sugar free is not enough

Besides helping cut sugar intake, a Diabetic Friendly snack must also ensure that it does not create extreme swings in blood sugar levels. Diabetic Friendly snacks should be created keeping exactly the same need in mind to keep a person feeling satisfied and active for longer. There is a need for products in India that are created keeping in mind, the nutrition needs of a person with Diabetes and his taste needs.

Time to Conquer Diabetes

Diabetes is a staring challenge that is already started to threaten repercussions on the overall health profile of the country’s population and a severe negative impact on productivity and economic growth of India. It is time that a right combination of awareness/ salience building for the issues and expert solutions should be made available to enable lifestyle choices.  Companies are trying to offer persons with diabetes a perfect combination of right nutrition with the desired taste preferences and sensorial.

Ideally, Diabetic snack should have

Zero Added Sugar: High Sugar is an important risk factor for people with Diabetes.

  • Zero Cholesterol: A person with Diabetes is more likely to have cholesterol abnormalities that contribute to cardiovascular diseases.
  • Zero Trans Fats: Trans Fats tend to raise the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Extra Dietary Fibre: A combination of soluble and insoluble fibres that delay glucose absorption preventing extreme swings in blood sugar levels.
  • Complex Carbohydrates: Complex Carbohydrates are considered healthier because they are digested by the body slowly, providing a steady source of energy.

 

 

 

 

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Indian doctor develops novel treatment for hereditary baldness

Hereditary baldness, the most incurable form of hair loss which leaves no option but go bald like one’s parents, can now be prevented, claims an Indian doctor.

Dr Amit Vijay Karkhanis, a cosmetologist from Mumbai, has developed a novel treatment approach combining various techniques to effectively deal with the vexing problem of baldness which has roots in heredity.

Rapid hair loss and the resultant baldness due to genetic factors that run through families have been considered not preventable, till date. The medications and certain treatment approaches which may work for other form of hair loss have been proved no or very little effectiveness in hereditary origin baldness.

 

Now, Dr Karkhanis, after trying out his multi-modality treatment successfully on thousands of patients, says that hereditary baldness is not only preventable but can be cured as well. Even those people with baldness which is decades old can grow hair using the new treatment, that too at an affordable cost.

“Contrary to the accepted norm that hereditary baldness has no solutions, the fact is with almost all cases of hereditary hair loss, the baldness can be prevented, delayed and improved significantly,’’ says Dr Karkhanis.

`Dormant’ hair follicles are always present in all individuals at any age. These follicles can be revived and re-grown to compensate the lost hair.  Younger patients and those with more recent hair loss, however, stand a better chance to recover their lost hair and improve the receding hair lines, he points out.

According to Dr.Karkhanis, the reason for the failure of most of the hair treatments is that “they are carried out only at one level of correction. ‘’ That is why he went on to develop own treatment combining medication, diet counseling, hormonal control and topical application of oil.

While oil massaging improves the vascularity (blood circulation) of the level of the scalp, Dr Karkhanis makes use of a special substance delivery technique he learnt from France to stimulate the very roots of the hair to re-grow and rejuvenate.

After the treatment, the natural hair regrowth starts in 2 months and the changes start getting visible in 4 months.

The unique aspect of Dr Karkhanis’ treatment technique is that it is affordable and it requires only a monthly visit to the clinic.

Dr Karkhanis, who documents all the patients in the form of photographs in his Tvacha Laser and Cosmetic surgery Clinic at Thane in the central suburbs of Mumbai, is currently in the process of filing a patent for his invention in India.

 

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Right nutrition at the right age: Is your child getting it?

It is perfectly normal for young children to suddenly decide that they will eat only a few foods and refuse everything else – even foods they used to love. They may eat the same foods over and over again at every meal, refusing to touch any novel food items that are introduced. There are many factors, some of them developmental that explain why kids between 1 and 3 years of age turn into picky eaters. The fact that these little ones are always on the go affects their eating patterns. They don’t sit still for anything, even food. Moreover, as kids in the age group of 4 -6 years are often busy either with their studies or with their games, their nutrition suffers. Add to this the urge of the kids in this age group to act independently.

Mothers should not worry too much because fussy eating is a temporary phase and there are ways and means to get around the nutrition related problems kids face at this juncture. Tailor made supplements provide an ideal solution by providing the right nutrition.

“Right nutrition plays a vital role in the attainment of height, in the management of weight and in the development of brain. One should choose a balanced diet rich in essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. It is important to ensure that kids receive the right amounts of each nutrient. The requirements of various nutrients are different for kids of different age groups. We have to guard against both insufficiency and overdose. Overdose, like insufficiency, may also lead to various problems”, says Dr. Nomeeta Gupta, HoD Paediatrics, Batra hospital and research centre.

Nutrient overdose in children leading to toxicity is being increasingly reported. This may be put down to an improper and incomplete understanding of the nutritional requirements of different age groups. Kids of a particular age group receiving nutrients in excess of what their requirements are may have to face problems related with overdose and toxicity. The easiest way of getting around this problem is to have a tailor made supplement that provides the right nutrition for that particular age group.

A balanced and adequate diet is required to supply the nutrients and energy needed for the growing child. The nutrition requirements of kids vary depending on the age group they belong to.

“Even children with specific dietary needs, such as vegetarians, can meet nutritional needs through foods. Parents need to be sure that these children get enough vitamin B12, which can be obtained through fortified foods; iron and calcium.” says, Dr Kajal Pandya, Dietician, Sita Ram Bhartiya Hospital

“However, children are notoriously picky about food choices. Many fall short on potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E, vitamin D and fibre among other nutrients. Kids don’t eat enough fruits, vegetable and whole grains. Kids of different age groups need specific nutrients in different quantities. So, in order to fill the nutrition gaps in these cases one should always choose a health supplement which is tailor – made as per the requirements of the child…..In other words, a supplement like Junior Horlicks which ensures optimal brain development together with an optimal height and weight gain”.

Tips for mothers to follow:

  • Keep your child on a healthy, varied diet with ready access to water between meals.
  • Avoid junk food, fast food, convenience foods.
  • Provide 5 small meals each day rather than allowing your child to snack or graze all day long. Also include health supplements, which are tailor made for different age groups, in the diet especially for age groups 1-3 yrs and 4-6 yrs.
  • Include more of milk, yogurt, cheese, legumes, fruits, veggies, whole grains in the diet. Don’t force-feed your child.
  • Don’t allow your child to eat while playing, listening to stories, or watching TV.  This will lead to “unconscious” eating beyond the point of being full.
  • Don’t use food as “treats” or as a reward for good behavior.

 

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Snacking in diabetes: It’s all about healthy choices

Snacking in diabetes: It’s all about healthy choices

Contrary to general perception, snacking between meals is a good idea for diabetics.Not just does it help keep your blood sugar levels intact between meals, it also helps sustain high energy levels throughout the day.

However, not all snacks are good for diabetics. For example, snacks laden with sugar, fat, or salt forebode disaster for diabetics. One can consider a zero Trans fat, high fibre snack made of Oats and ragi. This reduces cholesterol levels and stabilizes blood sugar levels, thereby helping tackle diabetes in a more effective   manner. Such snacks generally contain less sugar and zero trans-fat, promising both health and taste.

Transforming lifestyles, worrying statistics

Prevalence of obesity, diabetes and hypertension is rapidly increasing in India. There are 50.8 million diabetics in the country out of World’s 285 million according to the figures released by International Diabetes Federation (IDF) on 18th October, 2009. These diseases are affecting young people posing a substantial economic burden.

The most important reason for increasing prevalence of obesity, diabetes and hypertension is rapidly changing dietary habits of people. This is due to many reasons; easy availability of convenience foods, frequent snacking on energy-dense fast foods, high consumption of packaged foods in place of traditional home made foods  etc. This transition has resulted in excess consumption of calories, saturated fats, Trans Fatty Acids (TFAs), simple sugars and salt as also in a low intake of fibre.

Snacking – Myths and facts

Snacking has often been thought of as unhealthy in this part of the world. This is probably because snacks have usually been associated with fried foodstuffs, high-fat baked foods, packaged and processed foods or fried foods low in fibre, high on calories and rich in trans fats. Some of the snacks are, of course, rich in trans fats, which have the ill effect of increasing bad cholesterol and lowering good cholesterol. However that is not always the case. It is important to do away with misconceptions about snacking particularly because snacks can play a vital role in improving diet quality, in helping sustain energy levels throughout the day and in managing diabetes.

It is also necessary to distinguish snacking from munching i.e. eating without hunger, for example, eating while watching TV or eating when bored or stressed.

Apart from the amount, the type of snacks being consumed has a major bearing on the health benefits snacking can bring in. For example, eating healthy high fibre, low sugar, zero trans fat snacks in small quantities can be very good for diabetics.

Healthy snacks can help you:-

  • Maintain a productive energy level,
  • Stick to your diet
  • Maintain an even metabolic rate throughout the day

Healthy snacking in diabetics

Snacking is more important for diabetic patients especially those on insulin treatment. Giving your body a steady quantity of high-quality fuel helps in a number of ways.  High fibre, zero trans fat snacks like those made form complex carbohydrates like oats and ragi, fruits and vegetables help to maintain your blood sugar on a much more even level throughout the day.

Overall, healthy snacks rich in fibre and nutrients:-

  • Keep your system in fine fettle
  • Improve blood sugar control by providing a consistent source of carbohydrates.
  • Decrease the risk of a steep fall in your blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia). Snacking helps counter rapid gastric emptying and recurrent episodes of low blood glucose levels, known as reactive hypoglycemia.
  • Curb the feeling of hunger or starvation right before a meal, preventing overeating.
  • May help you eat smaller portions and reduce the overall calorie intake.

While preventing between-meal hunger, snacking can also help satisfy a craving for a certain texture (e.g. crunchy or smooth) or taste (e.g. sweet or salty). The optimal snack, like some of those below, can also serve to meet the nutrient needs

Quick Tips

For healthy and filling snacks, include high fibre foods:-

  • Fresh fruit,
  • Raw vegetables – carrots, red and green pepper, celery, cucumber–add low-fat cottage cheese, or sauté vegetables in low-fat dressing.
  • A whole wheat vegetable sandwich and a cup of herbal tea
  • · Whole-grain crackers or biscuits like those made from oats, ragi or cracked wheat
  • Roasted snacks
  • Sprouted pulses
  • A handful of roasted nuts—almonds, pistachios, walnuts may add important vitamins and minerals to your diet

“To encourage healthy snacking for a diabetic patient, have a variety always available. Eat every two to three hours. It boosts the metabolism, helps maintain blood sugar and allows for efficient absorption of nutrients. It is a good way to promote healthy long-term eating patterns. Timing and portion size need to be regulated so that snacks don’t become a substitute for meals.” says Dr.Ritika Samadhar, Dietician Max Hospital, Delhi

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