Tag Archives: fat

Wise Breakfast Choices

We are constantly being told that breakfast is THE most important meal of the day. You cannot start your day without any fuel — eating breakfast improves your concentration, alertness and overall performance and keeps you going through the day.

However, all of the above apply only if you have a healthy breakfast that does not overload your system with excess carbohydrates or even the bad kinds of fat.

Making the right choices of food for breakfast is as important as the meal itself! If you start your day on a high-carbohydrate, high-fat meal you are going to end up feeling sluggish and lethargic in the morning itself.

What’s more, if the pattern of your breakfast is constantly that of high calorie foods, in the long run it is going to expand your waistline, show up a few more kilos on the weighing scale and negatively affect your lipid profile.

So in the following pages, we’re going to give you the lowdown on the worst, fair and best breakfast choices.

Puri Bhaji
Serving: 1 plate (4 puris)
Calories: 450
Fat: 20 gms

Medhu Vada
Serving: 2
Calories: 260
Fat: 15 gms

Batata Vada
Serving: 2
Calories: 320
Fat: 15 gms

Aloo Paratha
Serving: 2
Calories: 580
Fat: 21.5 gms

Potato Toast
Serving: 1
Calories: 368
Fat: 22.9 gms

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why the above rank as the five worst choices.

All are high on fat and very low on nutrition, ie they contain a lot of empty calories. These options are also very high on salt and low on fibre. Unfortunately, a lot of offices usually serve vadas and samosas as part of the mid-morning snack and most people end up having them as a second breakfast, so imagine the calorie overload early in the morning! Whether you are watching your weight or not, the above are options that should be in the category of ‘To be eaten once in a blue moon’!

Veg Upma
Serving: 1 mk
Calories: 180
Fat: 5.5 gms

Potato Poha
Serving: 1 mk
Calories: 185
Fat: 5.4 gms

Idli Sambar
Serving: 2
Calories: 312
Fat: 11 gms

Dhokla
Serving: 5
Calories: 110
Fat: 2.5 gms

Onion Pudla (salty)
Serving: 2
Calories: 350
Fat: 11 gms

As a nutritionist, I am asked nearly everyday — ‘Why can’t I include Upma or Poha or any of the above for breakfast?’

While all the above options are not fried and therefore not very high fat choices, they contain a lot of processed/refined carbohydrates and as a result, are low on fibre. Such foods affect and raise your blood glucose levels very quickly and also cause it to drop equally quickly, resulting in low energy and hunger pangs within an hour of eating. Whenever there are high levels of blood glucose in the bloodstream after a meal, some of this excess sugar may be burnt off if you are an active person — but most of it is converted to fat and stored in the body, causing weight gain!

Oatmeal Porridge
Serving: 30 gms
Calories: 250
Fat: 2 gms

Milk with Bran Flakes
Serving: 30 gms
Calories: 250
Fat: 2 gms

Egg-white Omelette with 2 slices of bread
Serving: 2 whites
Calories: 180
Fat: 5 gms

Daliya (salty) with veggies
Serving: 1 mk
Calories: 150
Fat: 5 gms

Brown bread sandwich with veggies
Serving: 2 slices
Calories: 250
Fat: 5 gms

Oats contain soluble fibre; this fibre is broken down slowly by the body, as a result of which energy is released into the blood stream gradually, keeping you going for the next two-three hours. The porridge can be made more nutrient-rich by adding two walnuts for omega 3 fatty acids & a few (three to four) raisins to add to the taste.

Milk with bran flakes is another ready-to-eat breakfast for people on the go, who don’t have much time to cook. You get good quality protein from milk and you get fibre from the cereal which keeps you full, along with several other nutrients which the cereal is fortified with. Add a fruit to this mix and you have a perfect start to the day!

Egg whites can be had boiled, scrambled or as an omelette. If you are watching your weight or your cholesterol, it is best to do away with the yolks and add veggies. However, if you are fit, exercise regularly and keep your meals low-fat, it’s okay to add one egg yolk twice weekly for Vitamin B 12. Eggs are a good source of high-quality protein and have a good satiety value. You can have high fibre or multigrain bread to go with it and can even add a fruit later to improve the overall nutrient value.

If you prefer an Indian-style option, daliya with added veggies is a good choice. Wheat cracks or daliya are nothing but broken wheat and contain a high amount of fibre. While it is not a source of high-quality protein, it helps keep you full for a longer time. If you want to improve its nutrient content, add a cup of milk with sugar and eat it as porridge.

Brown bread/multigrain sandwiches are also a good choice for people who have no time to cook. This high fibre sandwich can be further fortified by adding two or three teaspoons of cottage cheese or just one slice of low-fat cheese. Make sure you add a lot of vegetables — put in more of coriander chutney and less than a teaspoon of butter if you are watching your weight. Having a glass of milk with the sandwich will make it a more wholesome meal.

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

Bookmark and Share

14 Comments

Filed under Food & Diet, health, Healthy LifeStyle

The Magic of Wonder Foods

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

Watching Angelina Jolie down a tall glass of strawberry milk, Jessica Alba relish a piece of sinful dark chocolate and closer home, size zero Kareena Kapoor lick her fingers after finishing her eighth meal of the day makes you wonder, where does the food go? Are they all blessed with a high metabolic rate? Do they invest millions in body shapers? Are they bulimic? Or do they live on their treadmills? The reality bite? They eat and they eat right.

  • Blueberries: Not only are they a rich source of antioxidants but also reduce ageing and help in keeping off abdominal fat.
  • Asparagus: Being a natural diuretic, it helps to shed water weight. Asparagus also contains phytochemical glutathione, which has antioxidants and cancer preventing properties.
  • Apples: Rich in fibre, they keep you satisfied for longer, which is the key to maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Eggs: High in proteins, eggs are good for long lustrous hair. Being a good source of Vitamin B12, they help break down fat too.
  • Yoghurt: A rich source of good bacteria, it strengthens and stabilises the immune system. These probiotics can also work in our bodies to benefit our complexions, leaving the skin softer, smoother and less prone to breakouts.
  • Green tea: Aids digestion, detoxifies the body, making the skin glow. It also helps burn calories.
  • Salmon: A rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids that help burn fat and add glow to the skin. Salmon contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid that improves skin elasticity, so you’ll have fewer fine lines.
  • Cabbage: Contains cancer fighting goodness like chemical sulforaphane and phytonutrients which act to prevent damage to cell membranes from free radicals and is excellent for detoxification.
  • Dried plums: Great for digestive health, they also keep the heart healthy, reducing cholesterol levels. Plums contain potassium, magnesium and boron which regulate blood sugar levels and reduce wrinkles.
  • Beets: The natural yellow or betacyanin and the purple or betaxanthin of the beets are pigments that are potent phyto-chemicals and antioxidants fantastic for protecting from the damage that free radicals can cause to the body.
  • Pomegranate juice: Loaded with antioxidants, it is also said to destroy breast cancer cells, halt the development of lung cancer and lower the risk of blood pressure.
  • Papaya: Beneficial for skincare and repair, it can be used to eliminate old dead skin cells, dandruff and other skin disorders and even reduce signs of premature ageing.
  • Cinnamon: Reduces cholesterol levels in the body and regulates blood sugar, making it extremely beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes.
  • Sardines: Contain Omega 3 fatty acids that aid brain function and calcium and Vitamin D for strong bones.
  • Pumpkin seeds: Said to be the most nutritious part of the pumpkin, they contain high levels of magnesium which is good for general well being. They also contain L- tryptophan, a compound that acts naturally against depression.
  • Turmeric: Helps in digestion and contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It also acts as a great antioxidant.
  • Almonds: High in alpha linoleic acid, they can speed up the metabolism of fat as they contain good fat. Almonds are an excellent source of the skin loving antioxidant Vitamin E, providing 35 per cent of the required daily value.
  • Soyabeans: Contains choline which breaks down fatty deposits and blocks fat absorption.
  • Milk: Being rich in potassium, vitamins, calcium and protein, milk helps make the bones stronger. It’s external application leads to healthy skin and shiny hair.
  • Dark chocolate: Full of antioxidants, it also reduces signs of premature ageing and is being used in skin treatments worldwide.
  • Strawberries: Used topically in traditional medicine to treat burns and other skin irritations due to their astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Chili: Capsaican, the chemical that makes chili so spicy, improves the body’s ability to clear insulin from the blood stream leading to increased fat burn after the meal.
  • Cherry: The iron content in cherry is 20 times higher than that in apples or oranges. It promotes the formation of haemoglobin.
  • Bean sprouts: Rich source of proteins, vitamins, minerals and fibres. They can prevent freckles and dark spots.
  • Avocados: A good source of biotin, avocados help to prevent dry skin and brittle hair and nails. When applied topically, they hydrate parched skin.
  • Tomatoes: Besides being a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are considered a highcarotenoid fruit. These nutrients may help slow down cellular damage from free radicals.
  • Walnuts: Walnuts are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help put shine in your hair, aid in making skin smoother and younger.
  • Beans: Legumes help repair cells that have suffered free radical damage. During digestion, protein breaks down into amino acids, which help to speed the repair and regeneration of skin cells and collagen.
  • Mushrooms: Great for skin, they have anti-ageing properties and also boost hormone secretion in women.
  • Carrots: Rich source of Vitamin A, which is essential for good skin. They also improve eyesight.

P.S.:- While I was looking for info to write the above article I stumbled upon a great e-book where you would get to know everything that you ever wished to know about weight reducing diets. You shall come across a great deal of amazing facts which shall make you realize that it is not at all necessary to starve yourself to get that fabulous body. You just have to be aware of what to eat which shall make you lose a huge amount of weight beyond your wildest imagination.

Watch the video with patience, it is extremely informative. And then do not waste time to grab the e-book.

See the video

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

Bookmark and Share

Leave a comment

Filed under Food & Diet, health

The Oval Wonder

To Eat or Not To Eat

To Eat or Not To Eat

Eggs are something which I just can’t resist. In fact, I freak out over those lovely white (sometimes brown) oval objects. I am sure that there are many like me.

But we are scared to consume them! Scared that we would certainly die if we don’t stop eating them.

There are so many scary stories about eggs which we know since the time we started knowing.

But hey, all you egg lovers, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Read the following lines and get to know some startlingly fresh facts about eggs.

OLD EGG MYTHS

It was previously thought that eggs raised blood cholesterol levels — one of the main causes of heart disease. The yolk in a single large egg contains five grams of fat, so it was quite natural for the doctors to assume that eggs clogged up people’s arteries, especially since they also contain dietary cholesterol .

Another myth was that fat is cholesterol. That is simply not true. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that resembles fat, but has little to do with it. Today, scientists know that cholesterol content in food and the cholesterol in our blood aren’t as directly related as once thought. So to know more about egg, one must have a look at cholesterol.

CHOLESTEROL

One has to understand that cholesterol is not necessarily bad. Humans need it to maintain cell walls, insulate nerve fibers and produce vitamin D. There are two types of cholesterol, dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol.

Dietary cholesterol is found in certain foods, such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products. The second type (blood cholesterol, also called serum cholesterol) is produced in the liver and floats around in our bloodstream. Blood cholesterol is divided into two sub-categories: High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL). LDL cholesterol is considered bad because it sticks to artery walls.

What is bad, is the amount of LDL blood cholesterol in the body. Too much of it can cause heart problems, but scientists are now discovering that consuming food rich in dietary cholesterol does not necessarily increase blood cholesterol.

Evidence showing that eating a lot of dietary cholesterol doesn’t increase blood cholesterol was discovered during a statistical analysis conducted over 25 years ago by Dr. Wanda Howell and colleagues at the University of Arizona. The study revealed that people who consume two eggs each day with low-fat diets do not show signs of increased blood cholesterol levels.

So what does raise blood cholesterol? Saturated fat does. Of the three types of fat (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), saturated fat raises blood cholesterol and LDL levels. It so happens that eggs contain mostly polyunsaturated fat, which can actually lower blood cholesterol if one replaces food containing saturated fat with eggs.

Discarding Myths

Discarding Myths

DELICIOUS, NUTRITIOUS

Eggs are actually quite nutritious. They are not just fat (yolk) and protein (white). In fact, they contain a wide array of essential vitamins and minerals. Here is what’s in an egg…

Vitamins

A: good for the skin and growth.

D: strengthens bones by raising calcium absorption.

E: protects cells from oxidation.

B1: helps properly release energy from carbohydrates.

B2: helps release energy from protein and fat.

B6: promotes the metabolism of protein.

B12: an essential vitamin in the formation of nerve fibers and blood cells.

Minerals

Iron: essential in the creation of red blood cells.

Zinc: good for enzyme stability and essential in sexual maturation.

Calcium: most important mineral in the strengthening of bones and teeth.

Iodine: controls thyroid hormones.

Selenium: like vitamin E, it protects cells from oxidation.

BEST TYPE OF PROTEIN

If that wasn’t enough, egg whites contain the purest form of protein found in whole-foods. It is so high that nutritionists use them as the standard when comparing other whole-food proteins. Their “biological value” — a measurement used to determine how efficiently a protein is used for growth — is 93.7. Milk, fish, meat, and rice respectively have a biological value of 84.5, 76, 74.3, and 64.

The higher the value, the better the protein is absorbed. This is why many bodybuilders include eggs in their diet. When a person eats meat, for instance, all of the protein is not necessarily absorbed and used to rebuild tissue.

Protein is a complex substance, which is why bodybuilding protein supplement makers are constantly trying to refine the quality of their product and some protein shake brands boast that their protein is made from egg whites. Each large egg contains 6.3 grams of protein.

NUTRITIONAL VALUES OF EGGS

Chickens raised with lots of sunshine, fresh food, fresh air and room to move around produce eggs which are one of nature’s most nutritionally dense foods.

Grass-fed Eggs

Grass-fed Eggs

However, there are still some concerns with commercial egg production, due to scientifically formulated chicken feeds. Commercial production methods require hens to spend their entire life indoors, hopped up on antibiotics to prevent infections in crowded quarters. Chicken feed is altered to increase shelf life by removing spoilable nutrients from grains. Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are also spoilable, so the linoleic and alpha-linoleic acids are replaced with a more stable and Non-Essential Oleic Acid. The result is an egg with the same amount of cholesterol, but less EFA’s to transport and metabolize it properly in the body. Plant sterols found in vegetables, which reduce the cholesterol content of eggs by up to 35 percent also are removed from the chickens’ diet. Commercial eggs therefore contain more cholesterol than home grown barnyard eggs or organic eggs.

Eggs contain all the essential amino acids in the exact proportions required by the body for optimum growth and maintenance of lean, metabolically active tissue.

HOW TO EAT EGGS

Experts advise that despite being low in saturated fat, one should not eat more than two eggs a day on a low-fat diet. Egg yolk is mainly fat, so even though it doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels, it can cause other problems if abused.

Contaminated eggs kill up to 5000 individuals each year. One egg in 10,000 is contaminated with salmonella, so you should never eat undercooked eggs or swallow them raw.

It is advisable that grills should never be set higher than 250F. Anything above that will leave the interior raw while burning the outside. To get a proper hard boil, an egg should be boiled for at least ten minutes. If an egg has runny parts, it means it is not cooked properly.

So, now don’t be scared and let the oval wonder cast its spell upon you.

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

Bookmark and Share

24 Comments

Filed under Food & Diet, health