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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

What are GERD and acid reflux?

This is a very common question. When the contents of the stomach move back into the esophagus, the action is called acid regurgitation or reflux. This condition is commonly called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If GERD is left untreated, it can cause serious health issues. 

 

Common symptoms associated with GERD

One of the most common symptoms of GERD is acid reflux. A feeling of uncomfortable burning in the chest which may also migrate to the throat and neck is called acid reflux. Acid reflux can cause a sour or bitter taste in the mouth. It can also cause regurgitation of stomach contents in your mouth.

Other symptoms of GERD are:

  • Nausea

  • Bad breath

  • Hoarse voice

  • Chest pain

  • Pain and difficulty in swallowing

  • Chronic cough

 

Diagnosis of GERD

A doctor conducts a physical exam and asks about the symptoms you are suffering from. Certain tests may also be suggested to you, including:

 

Diagnosis of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Test

Procedure

Ambulatory 24-hour pH probe

In this test, a small tube is inserted through your nose to the esophagus. The pH receptor at the tip of this tube measures the acid exposure of the esophagus. An individual wears this tube for 24-hours. 

Esophageal pH monitoring

In this procedure, a monitor is inserted in your esophagus to check how acid is regulated in your body for a period of a few days.

Upper endoscopy

In an upper endoscopy, a flexible tube with a tiny camera is inserted into the esophagus to examine it, and also a tissue sample is collected, if needed for biopsy. 

Esophogram

In this procedure, you will have to drink barium solution. After that x-ray imaging is done to examine your upper digestive tract. 

Esophageal manometry

In this procedure, the strength of your esophageal muscles is measured by inserting a flexible tube into your esophagus, through the nose. 

 

Treatment options for GERD

Lifestyle modification is the key to relieving the symptoms of GERD.

Your doctor may encourage you to make certain lifestyle changes, including: 
 

  • Weight management

  • Avoid heavy meals, especially in the evening

  • Elevate head during sleep

  • Don’t lie down just after eating, wait for a few hours

  • If you smoke, quit it

 

Medication

Your doctor may suggest some over-the-counter medicines to overcome the symptoms. However, every medicine has some side effects. So, don’t take any medicine without consulting with your doctor. He/she will suggest medicines best suitable for you. 
 

Antacids: This is used occasionally for mild symptoms of acid reflux and GERD. If you take antacids regularly, you may need stronger medication. 
 

H2 receptor blockers: H2 blockers like Pepcid AC, lower the number of acids produced by the stomach. However, a type of H2 blocker, ranitidine was recently recalled by FDA due to the presence of carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).
 

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs): PPIs also decrease the amount of acids produced by the stomach, but they work better than H2 receptors. They are also known to heal the lining of the esophagus damaged due to GERD.

 
Surgery 

In most cases of GERD, lifestyle modification and medication is enough to relieve the symptoms. But in some cases, surgery is needed. When you develop complications of GERD, your doctor may recommend surgery. There are multiple surgeries for the treatment of GERD, including fundoplication and bariatric surgery. 

 

Home remedies and problems associated with it GERD

Some individuals prefer home remedies for the treatment of heartburn and acid reflux. It is ok when the symptoms are occasional. But if you are diagnosed with GERD, self-diagnosis, and self-medication may cause serious health issues. Some remedies which may harm you in place of providing relief: 

 

Remedies

Effect

Milk

Milk is alkaline, so will provide relief initially, but once the milk is digested, the fat and protein present in it may worsen the symptoms of heartburn. Low-fat milk may be easily tolerated by a few people. 

Baking soda and water solution

Although baking soda is safe when consumed in small amounts, it is alkaline and can neutralize acidity. Baking soda is high in sodium, so too much consumption can cause side effects. 

Ginger

Ginger is very commonly used to treat nausea. However, it is unclear how ginger helps with occasional heartburn. Several studies suggest that too much consumption of ginger may cause heartburn. 

Chewing gum

Saliva is slightly alkaline. Stimulating the secretion of saliva by chewing gum after consumption of a meal may help relieve the symptoms of GERD. However, more study is needed to draw any conclusion. 


Difference between heartburn and GERD

There is a difference between heartburn and GERD. Most people experience heartburn occasionally. Occasional heartburn is not a matter of concern. But if you experience heartburn more than twice a week, and also associated chest pain and chronic cough, you should consult your doctor. It might be GERD. 

 

Causes of GERD

There is no single cause of GERD. When a certain mechanism in your body doesn’t function properly, the chances of getting GERD increases. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a circular band of muscles at the end of the esophagus. When you swallow, it opens. The rest of the time it is closed tightly. When this sphincter is not closed tightly or properly, acid reflux happens. This allows the passage of digestive juices and other contents of the stomach to the esophagus. 
 

Common causes which drive you towards GERD 

Hiatal hernia

In this case, a part of the stomach moves above the diaphragm. When the diaphragm is compromised, the chance of improper working of LES increases. 

Lying down soon after taking a meal

This can also create less pressure than the LES needs to function properly.

Frequent consumption of large meals

Consumption of large meals frequently results in distension of the upper part of the stomach. This distension causes improper functioning of LES.


Risk factors of GERD

There is no single reason for GERD. Several factors give rise to the improper functioning of LES, resulting in GERD. Certain lifestyle choices and health conditions may increase the chances of GERD, including: 
 

  • Obesity

  • Pregnancy

  • Smoking

  • Connective tissue disorder

  • Consumption of too much of certain medicines, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like aspirin, and ibuprofen.

  • Consumption of certain beverages, including soda, coffee, or alcohol

  • Consumption of too many fried foods

  • Consumption of large and frequent meals

  • Sleeping just after eating

  • Consumption of alcohol

  • While the connection between alcohol consumption and GERD is not clear, limiting or stopping alcohol completely has been linked with relief in GERD symptoms. 

 

Food that may trigger GERD

There are certain food items and beverages, which may aggravate the conditions of GERD. However, the food which triggers GERD is very personal and differs from person to person, there is a list of certain food items which are more triggering than others, including:
 

  • Fried foods

  • Citrus fruits and their juices

  • Soda 

  • Coffee

  • Mint

  • Tomato and its sauces

  • Onion

 

GERD associated with other conditions

Certain conditions aggravate the symptoms of GERD, including anxiety, pregnancy, asthma, and IBS. 

Disease conditions

Impact

IBS

IBS is a disease affecting your large intestine. It causes bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain. According to a study, GERD is more common in people having IBS, when compared with the general population. If you have symptoms of both IBS and GERD, consult your doctor. He/she will prescribe some medications in addition to guidance for lifestyle modifications.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy increases the chances of acid reflux. If you have GERD before getting pregnant, pregnancy may worsen the condition. This is caused due to hormonal changes and increased pressure placed on the stomach due to a growing fetus. Both increase the chance of stomach contents entering the esophagus. The major concern is that every medicine is not safe during pregnancy. Must consult your doctor before taking any medicine.

Anxiety

According to a study, anxiety and heartburn are interconnected. When one increases, the symptoms of the other also get worse. Consult your doctor for lifestyle modification and medication. 

Asthma

A study has reported that asthma and GERD often occur together. However, more study is needed to understand the relationship between GERD and asthma. GERD may worsen the conditions of asthma and the medication used for asthma may increase the risk for GERD. If you have asthma and GERD, try to manage both conditions with the help of a doctor.

 

Infants with GERD

It’s very common for babies to spit up food, but if your baby vomits very frequently, he/she might be suffering from GERD. 
 

Symptoms of GERD in infants: 
 

  • Recurring cough

  • Arching of back during or after feeding

  • Hiccups

  • Trouble in swallowing

  • Gagging or hiccups

  • Irritability during or after feeding

  • Refusal to eat

  • Weight loss

  • Difficulty in sleeping

 

Serious complications associated with GERD

Commonly, GERD doesn’t cause any serious health issues but can be fatal in some cases.

Serious complications of GERD:

Health issues

Symptoms

Barrett’s esophagus

It causes a permanent change in the walls of the esophagus.

Esophageal cancer

A small portion of individuals, suffering from Barrett’s esophagus develop esophageal cancer.

Esophagitis

It is an inflammation of your esophagus

Esophageal stricture

In this case, your esophagus narrows and tightens.

Other issues

It causes enamel erosion, gum disease, and other dental problems.

 

However, these complications are aroused due to untreated GERD. So, to avoid these complications, manage and treat the symptoms of your GERD with the help of your doctor. 

 

Nutritional guidelines for GERD

There are several treatments for GERD, but lifestyle modification, including 

While there are many medical treatments for GERD, changing your diet is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to manage symptoms. It can also help prevent acid reflux from happening in the first place. Although the symptoms of GERD are triggered by different food items in a different person, if you have GERD you must avoid these foods:

  1. Fried foods
  2. Spicy foods
  3. Soda
  4. Carbonated beverages
  5. Mint 
  6. Garlic
  7. Onions

Let’s discuss the food items that can be taken in moderation and that should be taken generously: 

 

Food category

To be taken into a limit

To be included

Beverages

Mint tea

Non-mint herbal teas

 

Citrus juices

Non-citrus juices

 

Tomato-based drinks

Non-fat milk

 

Regular coffee

Low-fat milk

 

Decaf coffee

 
 

Alcohol

 
 

Whole milk

 
 

Chocolate milk

 

Carbohydrates

Pasta in a creamy sauce

Plain pasta

 

Potato chips

Boiled potatoes

 

French fries

Waffles

 

Tortilla chips

Rice

 

Doughnuts

Pancakes

 

Croissants

Tortilla

   

Crackers

   

Low-fat muffins

 

Sexual Wellness Diet

Sexual Wellness Diet

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Sexual Wellness Diet

Typically, patients suffering from excess weight and obesity suffer from diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, sleep apnea, high – cholesterol, and so on. But a lot of people don't know that sexual problems to arises due to excess weight, especially obesity, a majority of people suffer from sexual problems due to excess weight and moreover, they even fail to realize that the root of their sexual problems is their overweight.

Henceforth, we study your body profile and your problem thoroughly and then make unique diet plans for you that not only target those excess fats but also your sexual problems.

 


 

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Fatty Liver Diet

Fatty Liver Diet

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Fatty Liver Diet

Fatty liver is a very common disease and can be potentially lethal. Millions of people get affected by it each year. Although treatment can help, this disease can’t be cured with medications. Diet and exercise are the two best ways to get a fatty liver normal. Diet comes first. Therefore, this article will tell you what is a Fatty liver and how to cure it with a diet.

 

What Is A Fatty Liver?

Fatty liver disease is an increase in the build-up of fat in the liver. Simply put, having more fat in your liver than normal is referred to as fatty liver. 

 

There are usually no apparent symptoms. But, sometimes symptoms like fatigue, weight loss, abdominal pain, etc. may occur. A normal and healthy liver helps in the removal of toxins from the body and also produces bile, which is very important for the digestion of fats. Fatty liver disease is a serious disease that prevents the liver from functioning normally by damaging it.


FAQ Fatty Liver


 

What Causes Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty liver disease has two common types- alcoholic and non-alcoholic Fatty liver disease. Although there is no clarity about the exact causes, the former is usually caused by excess alcohol consumption and the common cause of the latter is obesity. It is also commonly diagnosed in people who eat too much processed food.

 

It is believed that genetics also plays a role and some specific genes can increase the chances of developing the disease by around 30%. Another known cause includes high levels of cholesterol in the blood. Some health problems can also lead a person to non-alcoholic Fatty liver disease. These include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, hepatitis C, etc.

 

How to Get Rid of Fatty Liver Disease?

So, how do you cure, or avoid in the first place, Fatty liver disease? We at dietplusminus say that the best way to treat Fatty liver disease is through diet. You need to follow a diet that will help you to reach a healthy weight. Your diet should consist of fruits and vegetables, fish and seafood, whole grains, nuts, legumes, etc. As different people need different diets, dietplusminus recommends you should talk to a nutrition expert for a proper diet plan.

To fight insulin resistance, you should consume the right fats. Omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats are two types of good fats to avoid insulin resistance. These are present in fish, vegetable oils, walnuts, flaxseeds, olives, nuts, avocados, etc. You should also include antioxidants and supplements in your diet. Coffee, green tea, raw garlic, fruits, vegetables, vitamin E, vitamin D, etc. are some of the best antioxidants and supplements to consider.


FAQ Fatty Liver


You should also exercise daily for a healthy liver. Daily exercise can prevent you from developing Fatty liver disease in the first place. So, try to lose weight and avoid alcohol. You should also lower your cholesterol and if you are diabetic, then you must keep it in control. dietplusminus also recommends you avoid some foods. Most importantly you should completely avoid the consumption of saturated fats. So, you need to avoid poultry, full-fat cheese, yogurt, red meat, baked and fried foods, sugary candies, soda, etc. 

Ingredients:

Commonly Asked Questions on Fatty Liver

 

1. How serious is the problem of fatty liver, and how can I cure it?
 

High levels of fat in the liver is linked with increased risk of serious health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. Fatty liver in its early stage usually does not cause any harm, but if left untreated, it may lead to serious liver damage, including liver cirrhosis. 
The treatment of fatty liver primarily involves reducing the risk factors such as obesity, through lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.


2. How can one cure a fatty liver?
 

There is no medicine to cure fatty liver till now. Some lifestyle changes can help you manage your fatty liver, including:
 

  1. Weight management
  2. Eating a healthy diet, including vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  3. Restricting sugar and unhealthy fats
  4. Avoiding alcohol intake
  5. Increasing physical activity
  6. Managing blood sugar levels
  7. Monitoring and managing cholesterol levels

 

3. Can fatty liver disease be reversed naturally?
 

Losing weight is the best natural way to manage or reverse fatty liver. Although losing 10% of your body weight is a good goal, a loss of just 3-5 % of your current body weight can improve your liver health. When it comes to weight loss, it is very important that you lose weight safely and effectively. Go for a weight loss in the guidance of a healthcare professional for healthy weight loss or to better say fat loss.

 

4. How do I cure fatty liver naturally?
 

First of all if you are overweight or obese, go for weight loss under the supervision of a healthcare professional. A healthy weight loss is very effective in improving liver health. Opt for a healthy lifestyle, including:

  1. Eat nutrient dense foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  2. Replace unhealthy fats with healthy ones
  3. Restrict sugar, sugary food items, and sugary drinks
  4. Restrict alcohol intake
  5. Regular exercise 
  6. The best part of this healthy lifestyle is that it also helps manage other health issues, like high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.

 

5. What is a fatty liver, and how can it be cured naturally?
 

Liver is the largest organ present inside the body and performs several vital functions in the body. When there is fat build-up in your liver, the condition is called fatty liver disease. It decreases the working efficiency of the liver, depending upon the level of fat storage in it. 
There is no medication to treat fatty liver disease till now.  Losing weight is the best natural way to manage or reverse fatty liver. Although losing 10% of your body weight is a good goal, a loss of just 3-5 % of your current body weight can improve your liver health.

 

6. What are the 3 signs of a fatty liver?
 

Although, fatty liver disease is usually asymptomatic, some symptoms associated with it includes:   

  1. Loss of appetite, nausea, and weight loss
  2. Swollen abdomen and legs
  3. Abdominal pain or feeling of fullness in the upper right side of the abdomen
  4. Weakness, tiredness, and mental confusion


7. What is the fastest way to cure a non-alcoholic fatty liver?
 

The fat deposited in your liver is not an overnight process. So, don’t expect that it will be cured in just a few days. There is no medication to treat fatty liver. Undergiven are some steps to be followed to cure a non-alcoholic fatty liver:

  1. Stop the intake of alcohol, sugar, sugary foods and drinks, unhealthy fats, fast foods, packaged foods, and excess salt. 
  2. Include green vegetables, low carb fruits, healthy fat, nuts, seeds, and whole grains to your diet.
  3. Include lean protein in your diet.
  4. Regular exercise.
  5. Healthy weight loss

 

8. What is a fatty liver, and how can we cure it?
 

Liver is the largest organ inside the body. It performs several vital functions, including food digestion, energy storage, and removal of toxins. When there is fat build up in the liver, the condition is called fatty liver. It reduces the working efficiency of the liver.  There is no medication for the treatment of fatty liver disease till now. 
Losing weight is the best natural way to manage or reverse fatty liver. Although losing 10% of your body weight is a good goal, a loss of just 3-5 % of your current body weight can improve your liver health. If you are diagnosed with fatty liver and you are overweight or obese, consult your doctor. He/she will advise you on the best way to manage your weight.

 

9. Can fatty liver be reduced?
 

Liver has an amazing ability to repair and detox itself. Avoiding alcohol or losing weight may help reduce liver fat and inflammation. If you are in an early stage of fatty liver disease, these steps may also reverse the disease condition. 
 

10. Is fatty liver grade 1 harmful? Can it be cured?
 

Normally fatty liver grade 1 is asymptomatic and benign, but if left untreated it can lead to serious health conditions, like cirrhosis. 
Yes, fatty liver grade 1 can be reversed with proper weight management and diet management.

 

11. How do I get rid of a fatty liver?
 

There is no specific medicine for fatty liver. The only way to get rid of it is lifestyle modification as follows:

  1. Stop the intake of alcohol, sugar, sugary foods and drinks, unhealthy fats, fast foods, packaged foods, and excess salt. 
  2. Include green vegetables, low carb fruits, healthy fat, nuts, seeds, and whole grains to your diet.
  3. Include lean protein in your diet.
  4. Regular exercise.
  5. Healthy weight loss.

 

12. Why do I have a fatty liver (16 years old) when I'm not an alcoholic, do a lot of exercise, and eat well?

 

Fatty liver can develop to anyone whose carbohydrate intake especially fructose intake is high. When fatty liver occur in a alcoholic person, it is called alcoholic fatty liver disease and when it occur in a person with no alcohol consumption, it is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Another term, MAFLD, metabolic disease associated fatty liver disease, is also given which is used inplace of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease Metabolic associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) is diagnosed in patients with hepatic steatosis when they have the following three metabolic conditions, either alone or in combination:

  1. obesity/overweight
  2. diabetes and
  3. metabolic dysregulation

 

13. When does the body give a sign of a fatty liver?
 

Fatty liver is usually symptomless until the disease progresses to cirrhosis of the liver, if someone has symptoms it includes:

  1. Loss of appetite, nausea, and weight loss
  2. Swollen abdomen and legs
  3. Abdominal pain or feeling of fullness in the upper right side of the abdomen
  4. Weakness, tiredness, and mental confusion
  5. Yellowish skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice).


14. How much time does it take to reverse fatty liver grade 1?
 

The first and foremost thing to be done in case of fatty liver disease is to fix the diet. It can take anything from 2 months to 1 year, depending upon the condition of your liver, the lifestyle modification, including diet adopted by you, and how your liver responds to the modifications adopted by you.  
Losing weight is the best natural way to manage or reverse fatty liver. Although losing 10% of your body weight is a good goal, a loss of just 3-5 % of your current body weight can improve your liver health.

 

15. What is the best home-based treatment for a fatty liver?
 

Home remedies for the treatment of fatty liver disease:

  1. Reduce excess weight, in case you are overweight or obese
  2. Opt for Mediterranean diet
  3. Do regular exercise
  4. Include black coffee
  5. Avoid sugar and sugary foods and drinks
  6. Manage your cholesterol levels
  7. Avoid consumption of substances which can irritate your liver, like alcohol. Must consult your doctor before taking any OTC medication, vitamins, or supplements if you are living with NAFLD.
  8. Ask your doctor for omega-3 and vitamin E supplements. Both can reduce liver fat and reduce cholesterol levels.
  9. Some substances have a positive effect on liver health, including turmeric, milk thistle, green tea, and resveratrol. 

 

16. How can one cure a fatty liver?
 

One can cure a fatty liver by adopting a healthy lifestyle, including dietary modifications, regular exercise, and healthy weight loss.

 

17. What is fatty liver disease?
 

Fatty liver disease is a condition caused due to too much fat build up in your liver. A healthy liver contains a small amount of fat. When this fat reaches 5-10% of the actual weight of the liver, the problem starts. 

 

18. How dangerous is fatty liver disease?
 

In the majority of cases, fatty liver disease doesn’t cause any serious problems. But in the case of 7-30% of people fatty liver gets worse over time. It progresses through 3 stages:

  1. The first stage is called steatohepatitis in which the liver becomes inflamed, which damages its tissues. 
  2. The second stage is fibrosis, in which scar tissue forms where your liver is damaged.
  3. The third and last stage is cirrhosis of the liver in which scar tissue replaces the healthy tissue.

 

19. Who is at greater risk of developing fatty liver disease?
 

The chances of getting fatty liver disease increases in case if you are

  1. an Asian
  2. obese or increased belly fat
  3. an woman whose period has stopped
  4. a diabetic
  5. suffering from high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  6. Suffering from obstructive sleep apnea

 

20. What causes fatty liver disease?
 

The increased risk factors for fatty liver disease include:

  1. Being obese or overweight
  2. Insulin resistance or fatty liver disease
  3. Metabolic syndrome
  4. Certain medications 

 

21. How can fatty liver disease be prevented?
 

An overall healthy lifestyle can prevent you from fatty liver disease:

  1. Weight management is the most important factor in prevention of fatty liver disease. If you are obese or overweight, go for healthy weight loss.
  2. Half-an hour exercise per day, atleast 5 days a week is recommended for all healthy adults.
  3. If you are alcoholic, limit your alcohol intake.
  4. Take only prescribed medicines.

 

22. How is fatty liver disease treated?
 

There is no medication for fatty liver disease till now. The main focus of treatment is on controlling the factors that contribute to the condition. Treatment includes:

  1. Weight management
  2. Cholesterol and triglyceride management with the help of medications
  3. Avoiding alcohol
  4. Taking vitamin E supplements

 

23. Can fatty liver disease kill me?
 

Fatty liver disease usually does not cause any issues, but in some individuals it progresses to an advanced stage, known as cirrhosis of liver. Untreated liver cirrhosis leads to liver cancer or liver failure. Liver is a vital organ and you can't survive without it. 


Read our blog on fatty liver - Fatty Liver: What It Is, and How to Get Rid of It


Want to know more about fatty liver disease?

No worries join our fatty liver forum and ask questions there. we will be happy to help you.

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Constipation Relieving Diet

Constipation Relieving Diet

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What is constipation?

Constipation is when you have

  1. Fewer than three bowel movements a week
  2. Stools that are hard, dry, or lumpy
  3. Stools that are painful or difficult to pass
  4. A feeling that not all stools have passed (tenesmus)

 

so, what is a normal bowel movement?

Normal bowel movements are soft and pass easily through your body.

 

How common is constipation?

With the evolution of food processing techniques, people prefer to eat a more refined thing and fiber content remains outside their plate. Due to drastic change in food habit of individual cases of constipation is increasing among Indians. It is common among all ages and populations in the United States. About 16 out of 100 adults have symptoms of constipation. About 33 out of 100 adults ages 60 and older have symptoms of constipation.

 

Do I need to have a bowel movement every day?

No, bowel patterns can vary from person to person. Everyone doesn't need to have a bowel movement every day. Some people might go three times per day. Others might have 3 to 5 bowel movements per week. So we can say everyone has their pattern and only you know what’s normal for you.

 

People who are at high risk to become constipated

Certain conditions and habits increase the risk of constipation, including

  1. People with certain health issues, including gastrointestinal disorders
  2. Elderly (above 60 years)
  3. People eating less fiber
  4. Non-Caucasians
  5. Women, during pregnancy and after giving birth
  6. People on certain medication or dietary supplement

 

What causes constipation?

Constipation can occur with:

  1. A change in routine or traveling
  2. Bad lifestyle
  3. Calcium and iron supplements
  4. Drugs like antacids with aluminum or calcium, calcium channel blockers, antihistamines, antidepressants, anticholinergics, narcotics (such as codeine), antispasmodics, anticonvulsants, diuretics, tranquilizers, some heart medications
  5. Fiber intake – very less
  6. Fluid intake – very less
  7. Health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colorectal cancer, eating disorders, underactive thyroid, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease, hypothyroidism, and depression
  8. Certain inflammatory diseases, like diverticular disease or proctitis
  9. Intestinal obstructions like anorectal blockage or tumor and the anatomic problem of the gastrointestinal tract
  10. Spinal cord and brain injuries
  11. Ignoring the urge when you have to go to pass stool
  12. Pregnancy hormones
  13. Overuse of stool softeners (laxatives)
  14. Stress
  15. The slow movement of stool through your colon
  16. Delayed emptying of the colon from pelvic floor disorders, especially in women
  17. Colon surgery
  18. Old age
  19. Change in medicine
  20. Change in eating pattern
  21. Very low physical activity

 

Constipation diagram

When should I see a doctor?

Consult a doctor if have any of the following:

  1. Sudden change in bowel movements without any change in daily routine
  2. Constipated for several days and diet modification have not helped
  3. Intense pain in the belly or rectum
  4. Blood in the stool or bleeding from the rectum
  5. constipation associated with unexplained weight loss
  6. Constipation that alternates with diarrhea
  7. Constipation with Vomiting or  fever  or lower back pain
  8. Constipation and difficulty or inability in passing gas
  9. It symptoms don’t go away with self-care or you have a family history of rectal or colon cancer

 

Pain Abdomen 

 

What medical tests are required to find out the reason behind constipation:

However, the type of test depends exclusively upon your current health conditions, certain common tests are

Laboratory tests:

Some lab tests are recommended by doctors to look for the signs of certain diseases that may be the culprit for your current situations

Blood tests can show the signs of celiac disease, hypothyroidism, and anemia. 

Stool tests to check for the presence of blood and signs of inflammation and infections

Urine tests to find out diseases like diabetes. 

 

Endoscopy:

Depending upon your current health situation, your doctor may recommend endoscopy to check for any problem in your lower digestive tract including, the anus, rectum, and colon.

Main endoscopies for constipation include 

  1. Colonoscopy
  2. Flexible sigmoidoscopy

During these tests, a small piece of tissue may be taken as a sample for biopsy. A biopsy is a test in which your tissues are examined under a microscope to look for the signs of cancer or some other problems. 

 

Colorectal transit studies:

Your bowel function tests can be performed to see how well your stool moves through the colon. Test performed for colorectal transit studies are:

  1. Radiopaque markers
  2. Scintigraphy

In the radiopaque marker test, you have to swallow capsules with the markers, which take 3-7 days to come out with a bowel movement. X-ray is done to track the markers while they pass through your digestive system.

In scintigraphy, you have to eat a meal containing a small dose of a radioactive substance. Your doctor tracks the substance using special cameras, connected with a computer to check the movement of that substance through your intestines. 

 

Some other common bowel function tests:

Some more tests may be recommended for you to look for the signs of diseases that can cause constipation

  1. Defecography: an X-ray around the anus and rectum to check how well you can hold and release stool. 
  2. Anorectal manometry: a test to check the sensitivity of your rectum and your anal sphincters. 
  3. Balloon expulsion test: a test that involves pushing a small water balloon from your rectum to see if you have a problem pushing out stool Imaging tests
  4. In some cases, doctors prefer imaging tests to find the actual culprit. 
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Lower gastrointestinal series

 

What are the possible complications of constipation?

Possible complications from constipation include:

  1. Hemorrhoids
  2. Cracks or tears in the anus
  3. Muscles and ligaments weakness that hold the rectum in place
  4. Blockage of stool in the large intestine

 Abdominal bloating

 

How can my diet help with constipation?

Fiber and fluids work together and keep bowel movements regular. Fibre-rich foods hold water or liquid in the stools to keep them soft. Aim to drink 2.5 to 3.5 liters of fluid every day. We observe water is the best choice of fluids.

Add fiber to the diet gradually over a few weeks. A sudden increase in fiber content can cause cramps and gas. When the consumption of fiber is more, remember to drink more fluids or water.

 

Which foods have fiber?

Consumption of food high in fiber is good for overall health. Increasing fiber intake and fluid help in alleviating the symptoms of constipation and abdominal bloating.

There are two types of fiber present in the diet: 

  1. Soluble Fiber 
  2. Insoluble Fiber

 

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber is completely digested by the body and helps in reducing cholesterol, reducing insulin resistance and making available insulin to work, stabilizing blood sugar, and detoxifying the liver and overall gastrointestinal tract. Soluble fiber act as a bulking agent and slows down the movement of waste through the gastrointestinal tract. 

 

Foods that contain soluble fiber 

oats

beans

legumes

sweet potatoes

onions, and 

fruits such as apples, bananas, and pears

 

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber is not digested or absorbed by the body and is excreted as a waste product. This fiber is required to keep the bowel regular and discourages the development of complications like hemorrhoids. 

 

Foods that contain insoluble fiber 

wheat bran

nuts

seeds

skins on vegetables and fruits

 

Both soluble and insoluble fiber is important for overall nutrition good health. When you are experiencing constipation, adding insoluble fiber to the diet is beneficial to promote stool regularity. It is important to add and increase fiber slowly over a few weeks. Adding too much fiber too quickly can make constipation worse.

 

Below are some general guidelines for alleviating constipation

  1. Drink plenty of liquids - Fluid helps your body to process the ingested fiber without discomfort. A good starting goal is 2.5-3 liter or five to six 500ml glasses of fluid per day.

  2. Gradually increase your fiber intake - NIN and USDA guidelines stressed on the daily goal should be between 25-35 grams daily.

  3. Eat 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily - Restrict your meal from 4-5 servings to 3 servings of fruits and vegetables daily

  4. Choose foods that promote regularity - Fiber is mostly found in plant-based foods, such as vegetables and fruits including dried fruit, beans, legumes, whole grain cereals, and oats, oat bran, barley and quinoa, dried beans, split peas, and lentils, nuts and seeds

  5. Try plum or prune juice - Start with fewer amounts (½ cup). Eating dried prunes is also a good option to relieve constipation.

  6. Try to include exercise or physical activity in your daily routine. Physical activity and exercise based on age is natural way to improve the symptoms of constipation. For any exercise or physical activity, you must discuss it with your doctor first.

  7. Talk to your healthcare team about medication or supplements to help with constipation. Over-the-counter medications are widely available in India as well as in many parts of the world. Some are good and some may increase your problem. We recommend you should always check with your doctor first before taking any OTC medications.

 

Large intestine

 

These are also important regarding constipation

  1. Whole fruit is always a better option than juice. If you are diabetic then you may opt for low glycemic index fruits. If excessive gas or bloating is bothering you then you must include low FODMAP fruits in your diet.  Here is a complete list of low and high FODMAP food.

  2. It is important to eat the skins and edible seeds for extra fiber and try to include organic fruits so that skin is free from any pesticides. Pesticides are well known for gastrointestinal tract abnormalities.

  3. Try to have a low glycaemic fruit or and vegetable with each meal.

  4. Eat recipes that are made with 100% whole grain.

  5. Have brown rice in place of white rice or starchy potatoes.

  6. Try to avoid refined products.

  7. Eat more beans, lentils, and peas. Add them to soups.

  8. Beans are also a good source of protein, so you can add to increase the protein content of the food. Beans can be gas forming as it is high in FODMAP, so add them gradually. If bloating or discomfort is more, you can limit them in the diet.  

 

Commonly asked questions on constipation

 

Q. Cooking process can reduce the amount of fiber?

A. No, Cooking process like cutting, steaming, blending, or pureeing food does not decrease the amount of fiber.

You can also add fiber to your diet by adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, ground flax seeds, or bran (wheat, rice, or oat). For packaged food, read the Nutrition Facts label to find out the percentage of fiber. Look for foods with a percent daily value (%DV) of 15% or more for fiber. This means the food has ‘a a lot’ of fiber. 

 

Q. How much fiber in a food is called “high fiber food?”

A. Foods that have at least 4g of fiber per serving are considered high fiber.

 

Q. How much fiber is required for a patient at risk of bowel obstruction?

A. If you are at risk for a bowel obstruction, do not consume high fiber without consulting a medical practitioner. A doctor will make you understand how much fiber in a diet is right for you.

 

Q. I am on the medication which you have described to cause constipation. So changes in diet can improve my constipation or not? 

A. Diet medications are less likely to improve your constipation if a medication or a medical condition caused it.


Read more about constipation


 

Childhood Weight Loss Program

Childhood Weight Loss Program

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Childhood Obesity or Obesity in children

When the body mass index (BMI) of a child is at the same level or higher than 95% of his/her peers, he/she can be considered obese. BMI is used as a tool to determine weight status. Height and weight are used to calculate the BMI. Your BMI percentile is then determined using your gender and age.

Obesity is a serious health problem for children. Overweight and obese children are at a higher risk of developing many chronic health conditions. Obesity and the problems related to it also continue into adulthood. Childhood obesity not only affects physical health but can also affect the social and mental health of a child. They can become depressed and have a poor self-image and self-esteem. 

 

"Childhood obesity is a serious issue increasing worldwide. However, children can learn healthier ways to cope with their problems. This can be done with proper education on healthy eating habits and various outdoor activities. In this context, their parents, teachers, and other caregivers help them. Help your children stay healthier for longer by preparing nutritious foods for them and encouraging them to get plenty of exercise."


Childhood Obesity Causes

The main role in childhood obesity is played by family history, psychological factors, and lifestyle. Children with parents or other family members overweight or obese are more likely to be obese. But the root cause behind the obesity of children is a combination of eating too much and exercising too little.

Foods like fast food, candy, and soft drinks, containing high levels of fat or sugar and low in nutrients, are the common culprits for fast weight gain. According to a study, 32% of adolescent girls and 52% of adolescent boys in the US drink 24 ounces of soda or more per day.  Some children gain weight because their parents are unaware of foods that can be harmful to their children. They don’t know how to choose and prepare healthy foods. Other families may not afford fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. Convenience foods like frozen dinners, canned pasta, and salty snacks also contribute to unhealthy weight gain.

Less physical activity may be another cause of childhood obesity. Less activeness at any age tends to cause weight gain. Exercise keeps you healthy by burning your calories and maintaining your weight. Children who don’t spend their time in sports and other physical activities are less likely to burn their extra calories and as a result, become overweight or obese.

The third reason for obesity in children is psychological issues. Bored, stressed, or depressed kids eat more, to cope with negative emotions.

 

Main determinants of childhood obesity

Unhealthy nutrition

Consuming foods high in low-quality fats and sugar, and less nutrient-dense. Like fast foods, energy drinks, and candies.

Lack of physical activity

Television viewing, the internet, and computer games have taken the place of outdoor games.

Academics

The increasing burden of academic competitiveness among students has led to decreased participation in sports and any other form of physical activity.

Working status of parents

At this time, both parents are working and they don’t have time to plan and provide a balanced meal for their kids. They let their children eat fast foods and other unhealthy foods.

Technology 

Advancements in technology, especially in the field of entertainment led children more dependent upon television and computers in place of sports and physical activity, making it a sedentary lifestyle for the children.

Increased socioeconomic status

Increased purchasing power led to the movement towards school cafeterias, and nearby fast food joints for food/snacks.

Wrong parental approach

Parents in India and other developing countries have a general misconception that a fat child is a healthy child. To keep the child “healthy,” he/she is fed in excess.

 

Health risks associated with childhood obesity

Obese children are always at a higher risk of developing health problems as compared to their peers having a healthy weight. The most serious risks associated with childhood obesity are diabetes, heart disease, and asthma.

 

1. Diabetes

Overweight children and adults are more likely to develop type2 diabetes. Patients having type2 diabetes are not able to metabolize glucose properly present in their bodies. Diabetes can lead to kidney dysfunction, nerve damage, and eye disease. However, the condition may be reversible through diet and lifestyle changes.

 

2. Heart Disease

Obese children are also at a higher risk for developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure levels, giving rise to future heart disease. High salt and high-fat foods cause increased cholesterol and increased blood pressure levels. The two major complications of heart disease are heart attack and stroke.

 

3. Asthma

Asthma, a chronic disease of the lungs, is caused by inflammation of the lung's airways. Obesity is the most common comorbidity with asthma. According to a recent study, about 38% of adults with asthma in the US are also obese. In the same study, it was found that obesity may be a risk factor for more severe asthma in some, but not all, people with obesity. 

 

4. Sleep Disorders

Obese children and teens may also suffer from sleep disorders like excessive snoring and sleep apnea. Their airways can be blocked by the extra weight in the neck area.

 

5. Joint Pain

Obese children can also experience joint stiffness, pain, and a limited range of motion from carrying excess weight. In most cases, weight loss can eliminate joint problems.

 

Impact of Childhood Obesity

In this section we discuss important aspect and their impact on childhood obesity as follows:

 

1. Determinants of childhood obesity

2. Medical impact

3. Psychological impact

4. Economic impact

 

Important Aspect and Impact of Childhood Obesity

Determinants of childhood obesity

Medical impact

Psychological impact

Economic impact

  • Unhealthy nutrition

  • Increased use of technology

  • Physical activity

  •  Academic pressure

  •  Wrong parental approach

  •  Increased purchasing power

  •  Working parents

  • Insulin resistance

  • Type2 diabetes mellitus

  • Higher risk of developing heart disease

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome

  • Subclinical inflammation

  • The metabolic syndrome

  • Low self-esteem

  • An adverse effect on overall growth and development

  • Emotional fallout

  • Anxiety

  • Poor body image

  • Poor learning

  • Depression

  • Cost of managing associated complications in later life

  • Cost of management

  • Cost of associated illness/complication

 

Healthy eating for obese children

It’s essential to change the eating habit of obese children. Parental effort is very essential to influencing a child's eating patterns. Normally, kids eat what their parents buy. So, it's of utmost importance for the parents to start with themselves.

Restrict the entry of sweets and soft drinks into your home. Replace juice with fruits because drinks made of 100% juice can be high in calories. Serve water or low-fat or non-fat milk with meals. Restrict fast foods and ready-to-eat foods, and try to cook more at home. Preparing a meal and eating together is not only a healthy option in a nutritional sense, but it’s also an excellent way to spend some time with your family.

Instead of using processed items, baked goods, or salty snacks, plan your meals and snacks around fresh foods. You may try:

 

  1. low-fat dairy products, i.e. skim milk, low-fat plain yogurt, and low-fat cheese

  2. lean proteins like chicken and fish

  3. fresh fruits and vegetables, and

  4. whole grains, such as brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and whole wheat bread.


As there will be a transition to a healthier way of eating, your overweight or obese child will most probably lose some weight. If weight loss doesn’t occur, consult your pediatrician. He/ she may recommend a nutritionist or dietician for further weight loss.

 

Lifestyle modifications to tackle childhood obesity

 

1. Increase Physical Activity

Try to increase the physical activity of your children so that they can shed weight safely. Always encourage your child to do exercise in the form of activities to make workouts interesting for them. Playing football or some other outside game will be more interesting for a child than jogging around the block. Always encourage your child to try a sport in which he /she has an interest. One study shows that children get at least one hour’s worth of exercise daily to remain healthy.

 

2. Increase family activities

Plan some activities which the whole family can enjoy together. This will not only make a great bond between the family members but also help your child learn by example. Hiking, swimming, or even playing tag can help your child get active and start on the path to a healthier weight. Vary activities to avoid boredom.

 

3. Decrease time spent in front of the screen

Restrict the time spent in front of the screen. Children spending their time watching television, playing computer games, or using smartphones or other devices are more likely to be overweight.  

According to a study, there are two big reasons for this. First, screen time cuts the time that could be spent doing physical activities and sports instead. And second, more time in front of the TV means more time for snacking and munching and also more exposure to ads for the high-sugar, high-fat foods that make up most food marketing.

 

Recommendations for reducing childhood obesity in developing countries

Education

  • Endorsement of a healthy lifestyle, nutrition, and physical activity by prominent people and local champions

Community

  • Educating parents about nutrition

  • Healthy food festivals

Monitoring and surveillance

  • Periodic monitoring of  nutritional and obesity status of children and adults

School-based programs

  • Healthy foods in the cafeteria

  • High importance of physical activity

Perinatal and neonatal period

  • Balanced nutrition for pregnant women

  • Encourage breastfeeding

  • Avoid catch-up obesity in children

National health authority

  • Decreasing taxes and price of fruits and vegetables

  • More parks and playgrounds for physical activities

  • Restriction on advertisement of commercial foods

Legislative

  • Food labeling and quality monitoring

Home

  • Restriction on television and computer timings

  • Restriction on our foods and junk foods

  • Mandatory 60 minutes of outdoor playing

 


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Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting

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Intermittent Fasting: A powerful tool for fat loss as well as weight loss

One of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends is “Intermittent fasting” these days. This is a phenomenon involving alternating cycles of fasting and eating. According to several studies, it can cause weight loss, improve metabolic health, protect against disease and perhaps help you live longer. After going through this article, you will be able to know what intermittent fasting is and why you should care.

 

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting, an eating pattern, involves cycles of eating and fasting. The main focus of this eating pattern is not on the type of food to eat, but it focuses on the time when you should eat. There are different methods of intermittent fasting, all of which split the day or week into eating periods and fasting periods. Mostly, people fast every day, while sleeping. You just have to extend the period of fasting a little bit longer. It can be done by skipping breakfast, eating the first meal at noon, and the last meal at 8 pm. Technically, you have to fast for 16 hours every day and restrict your eating window to 8 hours. This is the most common pattern of intermittent fasting, commonly known as the 16:8 pattern.

Many people doing intermittent fasting reported that they feel better and more energetic during a fast. Intermittent fasting is fairly easy to do. Hunger is not a big issue, it’s just a matter of a few days. It usually takes some time for your body to get used to not eating for extended periods. Food is not allowed during the fasting period, but you can drink some non-caloric beverages like water, coffee, and tea. Few types of intermittent fasting allow small amounts of low-calorie foods during the fasting period, but, in most types of intermittent fasting, no food is allowed during the fasting period. Supplements during the fasting period are allowed, only if there is no calorie in them.

 

In short:

Intermittent fasting is a very popular health and fitness trend, with research to back it up. It is an eating pattern having cycles of eating and fasting.

 

Reason for Fast

It’s human history too fast, from thousands of years. In those days, it was done due to necessity, because the food was not available every time. After that, fasting was carried out due to religious regions. In several religions, some form of fasting is mandatory, including Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism. Humans and animals often fast when they are sick. So, it is very natural to do fasting. Our bodies are very well equipped to handle extended periods of fasting. When we don’t eat, the normal processes in the body change. To allow our bodies to thrive during a period of famine, hormones, genes, and important cellular repair processes are involved.

There is a significant reduction in blood sugar and insulin levels when fasted. A drastic increase in human growth hormone is also reported after fasting.  As intermittent fasting is a very simple and effective way to restrict calories and burn fat, people do it for losing weight. Intermittent fasting is also done for metabolic health benefits, it is known to improve different risk factors and health markers.

Some research also reported that intermittent fasting can help you live longer Studies in rodents show that it can extend lifespan as effectively as calorie restriction.

Some other studies reported that it can help protect against heart disease, type2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and many more.

Many people consider intermittent fasting because of its convenience. It is very effective in making your life simpler, in addition to improving your overall health at the same time. You have to plan only a few meals, which will help you make your life more simple. It also saves your time.

 

In short:

The human body is well adapted to fasting from time to time. According to modern research, intermittent fasting can be beneficial for weight loss, metabolic health, and disease prevention and may even help you live longer.

 

Types of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has become very popular in the past few years. There are several types of intermittent fasting. The most popular ones are:

1. The 5:2 Diet: You have to eat a maximum of 500-600 calories for 2 days, every week.

2. The 16/8 Method: You have to fast for 16 hours each day and the eating window will be open for you just for 8 hours.

3. Eat-Stop-Eat: Once or twice a week, do a fast for 24 hours. 

4. Alternate Day Fasting

5. The Warrior Diet

6. Spontaneous Meal Skipping

 

In short:

There are several variations for intermittent fasting. The most popular are the 16:8 method, 5:2 method, and Eat-Stop-Eat method.

 

To add on

Restricting the eating window and eating healthy foods mindfully during the eating window can have some very impressive health benefits.

Intermittent fasting is very effective in losing fat and improving metabolic health while making your life easier at the same time.

 

Intermittent Fasting: A Guide for Beginners

As already discussed, intermittent fasting (IF) is currently one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends. It is being used by people to lose weight, improve overall health, and simplify their lifestyles. The types of intermittent fasting are already discussed in the article.

 

Effect of Intermittent Fasting on Your Cells and Hormones

Several processes happen on the cellular and molecular level when you fast. For example, hormone levels are adjusted by your body to make fat stores of the body more accessible. Your cells also initiate important repair processes and change the expression of genes.

 

Some common changes that occur in the body while fasting is:

1. Cellular repair: Your cells initiate cellular repair processes, during fasting. Cells digest and remove dysfunctional proteins that build up inside the cells and the process is called autophagy.

2. Human Growth Hormone (HGH): There is a drastic (about 5 folds) increase in levels of growth hormone, skyrocketing. This is very beneficial for fat loss and muscle gain.

3. Insulin: Intermittent fasting improves insulin sensitivity and also the levels of insulin drop. The lower insulin levels in turn make stored body fat more accessible.

4. Gene expression: It is also reported in some studies that the functions of gene changes are related to longevity and protection against disease.

The main health benefits of intermittent fasting occur due to changes in hormone levels, cell function, and gene expression.

 

In short:

During fasting, the level of human growth hormone inside the body goes up and the insulin level goes down. Gene expressions within the cells are also changed to initiate the important cellular repair processes.

 

Intermittent Fasting: A Powerful Weight Loss Tool

The main reason for people to try intermittent fasting is weight loss. During intermittent fasting, you eat a lesser number of meals, leading to a significant reduction in calorie intake. In addition to lesser calorie intake, hormone levels in the body also change to enhance weight loss. Both factors work to complement each other and help in losing weight. When fasted, the release of the fat-burning hormone, norepinephrine (noradrenaline) also increases. According to some studies, due to changes in these hormones, short-term fasting increases the metabolic rate by 3.6-14%. So basically, it's a two-sided attack on extra weight, one is you eat fewer and the other is you burn more calories. In various studies, it was reported that intervention of intermittent fasting can be very powerful for weight loss. 

According to a study in 2014, intermittent fasting can cause 3-8% of weight loss over 3-24 weeks. It is quite significant weight loss as compared to most weight loss studies.

According to the same study, a significant loss of 4-7 % of waist circumference was also reported. This indicates a great loss of harmful belly fat that builds around your organs and causes various diseases.

In another study, it was reported that intermittent fasting causes less muscle loss than the more standard method of continuous calorie restriction.

It must be kept in mind that these kinds of results are reported only when there is less calorie intake overall. Lower calorie intake is the main reason behind this kind of success. If you fast and eat massive amounts of food during the eating window, you may not lose any weight at all. So, overall mindful eating is important.

 

In short:

While eating fewer calories, there will be a slight boost in metabolism. It is a very effective way of losing weight and belly fat.

 

Health Benefits

To know the effect of intermittent fasting on both animals and humans, several studies have been done. These studies have reported powerful benefits for weight control as well as for the overall health of your body and brain. Intermittent fasting also claims for longer life in some studies.

 

The main health benefits of intermittent fasting are

1. InflammationSome studies show that there are reductions in markers of inflammation, which is responsible for many chronic diseases.

2. Weight loss: Without conscious restriction on calories, intermittent fasting can help you reduce weight and belly fat. The only thing you have to pay attention to is mindful eating.

3. Brain health: Most important among brain health is that intermittent fasting protects against Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, it increases BDNF, the brain hormone, and may aid the growth of new nerve cells.

4. Anti-aging: Intermittent fasting has been shown to increase the lifespan of rats. Studies showed that fasted rats lived 36–83% longer.

5. CancerVarious studies on animals have suggested that intermittent fasting can prevent cancer.

6. Insulin resistance: Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance, lower blood sugar by 3–6%, and fasting insulin levels by 20–31%, leading to protection against type2 diabetes.

7. Heart health: According to some studies, intermittent fasting can reduce LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar, and insulin resistance, which can lead to heart disease.

Although intermittent fasting proved itself very beneficial, it should be always kept in mind that research is still in its early stages. Most of the studies are done on animals till now. More research is needed in this field.

 

In short:

Intermittent fasting can be very beneficial for your overall health including your brain. It can help reduce weight and also reduce the risk of diseases like type2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It may also help in increasing the lifespan.

 

Makes Your Lifestyle Healthy 

Eating healthy is simple and almost everyone wants to eat healthily. But the main problem is to plan and cook healthy meals. Intermittent fasting can be very helpful for you if you don’t have time to plan and cook healthy foods. In this type of diet, you don’t need to plan, cook or clean up after as many meals as before. Due to this reason, it is very popular among the life-hacking crowd, as it improves your health while simplifying your life at the same time.

 

In short:

One of the main benefits of intermittent fasting is that it makes you healthy at the same time makes your life simpler. You need to prepare fewer meals. So, I need less time to prepare, cook and clean up after myself.

 

Intermittent fasting should be avoided by:

Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. It’s not right for underweight people. If you have a history of eating disorders, you should not fast without the consultation of a health professional. 

 

In these cases, it can be very harmful.

 

Should Women Fast?

Some studies show that intermittent fasting may not be as beneficial for women as it is for men. A study reported that it improved insulin sensitivity in men, but worsened blood sugar control in women. According to a study on rats, it was found that intermittent fasting can make female rats emaciated, masculinized, and infertile, and cause them to miss cycles. However, studies on this topic for humans are not available. According to some anecdotal reports, the menstrual period of women stopped when they started intermittent fasting and went back to normal when they resumed their previous eating patterns. Due to the above reasons, it is suggested to women be careful with intermittent fasting. There should be separate guidelines for women, like easing into the practice and stopping immediately if they have any problems like amenorrhea. If you have fertility issues or are trying to conceive, consider holding off on intermittent fasting for now. This eating pattern is likely also a bad idea while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

 

In short:

Underweight people or people with eating disorders should avoid fasting. Some studies also report that intermittent fasting can be harmful to some women.

 

Safety and Side Effects

The main side effect of intermittent fasting is hunger. It can also make you feel weak and your brain may not perform as well as you are used to. These side effects may be temporary, as your body can take some time to adapt to the new meal schedule.

If you have any kind of medical issue, you should first consult with your doctor before trying intermittent fasting.

 

  1. Have a history of eating disorders.

  2. Are underweight.

  3. Take some medications.

  4. Have diabetes.

  5. If you have a history of amenorrhea.

  6. Are pregnant or breastfeeding.

  7. If trying to conceive.

  8. Have low blood pressure.

  9. Have problems with blood sugar regulation.

 

Overall, intermittent fasting has an outstanding safety profile. If you're a healthy and well-nourished person, there is nothing dangerous about intermittent fasting.

 

In short:

The main side effect of intermittent fasting is hunger, which is temporary and your body will adapt to it in some time. People with certain medical conditions should not start intermittent fasting without consulting with a doctor first.

 

How to start intermittent fasting?

Most probably, everyone has already done many intermittent fasts in their life. If you’ve ever eaten dinner, then slept late, and not eaten until lunch the next day, then you’ve probably already fasted for 16+ hours. Some people instinctively eat this way. They don’t feel hungry in the morning. Most people consider the 16:8 method the simplest and most sustainable way of intermittent fasting — you might want to try this practice first. If you don’t find any problem with this and feel good during the fast, then try moving on to more advanced fasts like 24-hour fasts 1–2 times per week (Eat-Stop-Eat) or only eating 500–600 calories 1–2 days per week (5:2 diet). Simply skipping meals from time to time when you’re not hungry or don’t have time to cook is another great and convenient approach for intermittent fasting. There is no need to follow a structured intermittent fasting plan to derive at least some of the benefits.

 

In short:

Normally, it is recommended to start with the 16:8 method. If you don’t feel a problem with this, you can move on to longer fasts. An experiment is important to find a method that works for you.

 

Should You Try It?

There is nothing special to do with intermittent fasting. It is just like a slight lifestyle change to improve your overall health. The main focus should be on mindful eating, exercise, and proper sleep. It’s completely upon your choice, if you don’t like the idea of fasting, then you can safely ignore this article and continue to do what works for you. In the end, when it comes to nutrition, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best diet for you will be one which you can carry for a long time. Intermittent fasting is great for some people, but not for all. The only way to find out which group you belong to is the hit & trial method. If you don’t feel it problematic when fasting and find it to be a sustainable way of eating, it can be a very powerful tool to lose weight and improve your health.

 

Few Popular Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is becoming a trend nowadays. It claims to cause weight loss, improve metabolic health, and even increase lifespan. There are several methods for intermittent fasting. Every method can be effective, but you have to choose the best suited for you. 

Here are 6 popular ways to do intermittent fasting.

 

The 16:8 method

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 

Midnight

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

4 am

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

8 am

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

12 pm

Eating window 

Eating window

Eating window

Eating window

Eating window

Eating window

Eating window

4 pm

Eating window

Eating window

Eating window

Eating window

Eating window

Eating window

Eating window

8 pm

Eating window

Eating window

Eating window

Eating window

Eating window

Eating window

Eating window

Midnight

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

Fast

 

It involves fasting for 14-16 hours and restricting the eating window to 8-10 hours every day. You have to fix your 2 or 3 meals within that eating window.  This method was popularized by fitness expert Martin Berkhan. Applying this type of eating pattern is very easy. It’s like not eating anything after dinner and skipping breakfast. Suppose, if you finish your last meal at 8 p.m. and don’t eat until noon the next day, you’re technically fasting for 16 hours. Fast for 14-15 hours seems to do slightly better in the case of women, so they are generally recommended to fast for 14-15 hours.

For people who get hungry in the morning and like to eat breakfast, this method may be hard to get used to at first. However, it’s easy for people who normally skip their breakfast. Zero (0) calorie beverages like water, coffee, and green tea can be taken during the fast. The main thing to be kept in mind is to eat healthy foods during the eating window. If you take excessive calories during the eating window, this method will not work. So, eat mindfully during the eating window.

 

In short:

The 16:8method means fasting for 16 hours for men and 114-15 hours for women. You have to restrict your eating window to 8-10 hours. During the eating window, you have to fix your 2-3 meals.

 

The 5:2 method

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Normal Healthy Eating

Men: 600 calories

Women: 500 calories

Normal Healthy Eating

Normal Healthy Eating

Men: 600 calories

Women: 500 calories

Normal Healthy Eating

Normal Healthy Eating

 

According to this diet, you have to eat normally for 5 days and on the remaining two days of the week, you have to restrict your calorie intake to 500-600 calories. This diet was popularized by British journalist Michael Mosley. The recommended calorie intake on fasting days is 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men. Suppose, your fasting days are Tuesday and Friday. Then on Tuesday and Friday women can take two small meals of 250 calories each and men can take two small meals of 300 calories each. On the other 5 five days of the week, take a healthy diet. 

 

In short:

In the case of 5:2 eating, eat a healthy diet on 5 days of the week, and on the remaining 2 fast days of the week, you have to take in 500-600 calories. 

 

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Nutritional Requirements during Pregnancy

In countries like ours, pregnancy is considered “Good news”. There are several taboos regarding what to eat and what not to eat…….. What to do and what not to do. People usually say…...hey, don’t eat papaya… you are pregnant. Don’t lift heavy objects; it may harm you and your baby. Some of them are nonsense but others have a scientific reason behind them. 

We all know “Swasth Sharir Me Swasth Man Ka Niwas Hota Hai” When you talk about a healthy body or healthy mind then one thing which will come first is a healthy diet especially when we think about pregnancy.

A healthy diet and healthy lifestyle are important for any human being at any time, but they become vital if you're pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Healthy eating keeps your baby good and makes you feel rich from the inside. Healthy eating gives your baby the essential nutrients in the womb.

Pregnancy good news

Overall, the target for a balanced diet, with an appropriate balance of all the 5 food groups:

  1. Vegetables and legumes
  2. Whole cereals
  3. Milk, yogurt, and cheese
  4. Meat, poultry, fish, and other protein sources
  5. Fruits

It’s time to take care of yourself as the body goes through several physical and hormonal changes. You have to fulfill the demands of your body in addition to the growing one in your womb. Mothers and elderly in the house normally recommend….eat double…...you have to eat for two. It doesn’t mean that if you eat 2 chapattis at lunch then you have to eat 4 chapattis at lunch. It’s almost impossible to follow the recommendations of the elderly. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help you feel good and will fulfill the requirements of both you and your baby. 

Boy or Girl

The food you eat is the main source of nourishment for your baby. So, it’s critical to get all the nutrients you need. Let’s discuss the food which can fulfill your and your baby’s nutritional requirements and also satisfy your cravings.

 

Increased nutritional requirements during pregnancy

There is no doubt that there is increased nutritional stress on your body, as you are feeding a whole new person. But, still, you don’t need to double your intake. From the day you know that you are pregnant, your micronutrients and macronutrients intake should ideally increase to support yourself and your baby. 

Micronutrients are the dietary components needed by the body in relatively smaller amounts, such as vitamins and minerals. Macronutrients on the other hand are needed by the body in larger amounts to provide calories, i.e., energy to do work. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are considered macronutrients. Each of these is needed in more quantities during pregnancy. 

 

General guidelines for a few important nutrients that should be increased during pregnancy

 

Nutritional Requirements During Pregnancy

Nutrient

Daily requirements for pregnant women

Protein

70-100 grams, increase per trimester

Calcium

1200 milligrams (mg)

Iron

27 milligrams (mg)

Folate

600-800 micrograms (mcg)

 


Including a variety of healthy foods in the diet may fulfill your increased nutritional needs, such as foods rich in:

  • Protein
  • Complex carbohydrates
  • Healthy fat
  • Vitamins & minerals

 

Water requirements

Drink plenty of water every day — make sure water should not be contaminated.

Criteria for safe and wholesome water are

  1. It should be both
  2. Free from pathogenic agents like viruses, bacteria, or any micro-organism
  3. Free from harmful chemical substances
  4. It should be pleasant to the taste, i.e. free from color and odor and it should be used for domestic purposes.

Most potable water in India contains fluoride, which helps your growing baby's teeth develop strong enamel. Now the question arises, what to eat and how much to eat. Given below is a brief discussion about this. 

 

pregnancy 4

 

What & how much to eat during pregnancy

Believe me, to feed yourself properly is not rocket science. It’s just a modification of a regular healthy eating plan. Continue your calorie intake normal in your first trimester, but mindful eating is important here. In the second trimester, increase 350 calories daily and in the third trimester, an increment of 450 calories per day is recommended. 

Avoid foods with zero nutritional value i.e., junk foods, chips, and soda. Replace these items with fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins like chicken, fish, beans, and lentils. It doesn’t mean that you have to avoid all of your favorite food items during pregnancy. You just have to make a proper balance between your favorite food items and nutritious foods, so that you don’t miss any important vitamins or minerals. 

 

Simple and complex carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates peak insulin whenever you eat and it may develop insulin resistance so, the basic concept of healthy carbohydrates is to choose complex carbohydrates and avoid simple sugar as much as you can. Eat wholemeal instead of processed food when you can. Mindful eating will make your baby more strong and free from any metabolic errors.

 

Protein

We all know protein is the building block of our body. Protein foods help the baby to grow. Sources of protein include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes/beans, paneer, and nuts. Eat an adequate amount of protein every day. Proper growth of the baby's tissues and organs, including the brain, needs protein. So, protein intake is very critical during pregnancy. It is also needed for breast and uterine tissue growth during pregnancy. Protein also plays a role in increasing blood supply, allowing more blood to be sent to your baby. 

Protein intake should be increased every trimester70-100 gms of protein is needed per day.

 

Newborn baby

Protein sources to be included during pregnancy:

  • Chicken

  • Salmon

  • Lean beef and pork

  • Nuts

  • Peanut butter

  • Cottage cheese

  • Beans

 

Fruit and vegetables

Your plate should include plenty of fruit and vegetables because these provide vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber, which helps digestion and prevents constipation. Always wash them carefully under running tap water. If possible peel off the skin. Deep fry is not good to preserve nutrients. Cook vegetables lightly in a little water, or eat them well washed raw or you can shallow fry them to get the benefit of the nutrients they contain.

 

Dairy

Dairy foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, paneer are important as they contain several nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, and others that your baby needs. Choose reduced-fat varieties wherever possible. Some cheeses should be avoided — see Foods to avoid.

 

Healthy snacks

Snacking is not good at all for most of the persons especially when we are talking about healthy eating. In pregnancy snacking is also bad but grandparents feel bad if you are not eating the food in between as they think the baby requires more and more nutrition. So, don’t eat snacks that are high in fat or sugar, such as sweets, biscuits, junk food, outside food, or chocolate.

Instead, choose from the following nutritious snacks:

  • Grilled chicken, mashed tuna, salmon or sardines, and salad
  • Salad vegetables, such as carrot, celery, or cucumber
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Vegetable sticks
  • Fruits like apricots, figs or prunes
  • Vegetable and bean soups
  • Unsweetened breakfast cereals, or porridge, with toned milk
  • Fresh fruit

 

Calcium

Calcium is needed to regulate your body’s fluids and to build a baby’s bones. The daily requirement of a pregnant woman is 1,000 mg of calcium. Additional supplementation of calcium is needed to fulfill the requirement, ideally  500mg 2 times a day. 

Calcium sources to be included during pregnancy:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Seafood like salmon, shrimp, catfish, and canned light tuna
  • Calcium-set tofu
  • Leafy vegetables, dark green

 

baby's leg

 

Folate

This is commonly known as folic acid. It plays an important role in reducing the risk of neural tube defects.  These include major birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 600-800 mcg of folate is required per day for pregnant women. 

Folate sources to be included during pregnancy:

  • Leafy vegetables, dark green
  • Dried beans and lentils
  • Liver
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Peanut butter

 

Iron

Iron, in addition to sodium, potassium, and water is needed to increase blood flow. Proper blood flow is crucial for the supply of oxygen in enough quantity for both you and your baby. 27-35 mg of iron is needed per day by a pregnant woman. In addition to this vitamin C is also needed to increase the absorption of iron. 

Iron sources to be included during pregnancy:

  • Eggs
  • Lean beef and poultry
  • Enriched bread or cereals
  • Citrus fruits
  • Dark green, leafy vegetables.

 

Some important points to be kept in mind during pregnancy

It is more important to concentrate on the quality of the food you eat rather than the quantity. Eating too much sugar can develop insulin resistance and obesity. If you are hungry all the time even after having a meal then it is not good for you and your baby. If you have a healthy meal every day, it is easier to avoid snacking on foods that are high in sugar. If required you can add some healthy fats. These are some food you must avoid during pregnancy (avoid certain foods) because they are not healthy for both of you or they can be dangerous for the baby. You will need to be careful with your diet if you develop gestational diabetes.  Nutrients like choline, salt, and B-complex vitamins are also necessary during pregnancy to keep you thriving. 

In addition to eating a well-balanced diet, intake of at least 8-10 glasses of water per day is also very important. To fulfill the demand for certain nutrients like folate, iron, and choline, from food alone, is difficult. Talk to your doctor. He/ she will recommend prenatal vitamins best suitable for you. Don’t take any medication or supplementation without the recommendation of a medical practitioner. 

 

Cravings & Aversions during Pregnancy

During pregnancy, you start to love some food…..feel cravings for that and opposite to that, start hating some food items because you don’t like its smell and taste, called aversion. 

 

Pregnancy cravings

During pregnancy, a lot of changes are noticed. You might start loving certain foods like a donut, Chinese food, or some unusual combinations like dessert with pickles. However, the actual reason behind these cravings or aversions during pregnancy is unclear; some researchers believe that it’s because of changes in hormones.  

You can go with these cravings sometimes, but try to find healthy options for these cravings like oven-roasted sweet potato wedges in place of French fries. Limit the intake of junk food and processed foods. 

 

Pregnancy aversions

If you feel aversions to foods necessary for the growth and development of a baby, it’s problematic. If you feel so, talk to your doctor. He/ she will suggest other foods or supplements that compensate for the lack of those nutrients in your diet. 

 

Pica

Some pregnant women have cravings for items that have no nutritional value, like clay, ashes, starch, or other strange things. Pica during pregnancy indicates the deficiency of certain vitamins or minerals. It’s important to notify your doctor if you feel cravings for non-food items. Consumption of such products can be dangerous for both you and your baby. 

 

Pregnancy & Weight gain

If you are conscious of weight gain during pregnancy, don’t stress too much. Weight gain is normal during pregnancy. This extra weight is needed for the nourishment of the baby. Some of it is stored for breastfeeding after the birth of your child. Normally, a healthy woman gains 11-15 kg (25-35 pounds) of weight during pregnancy. You can gain weight more or less than this, it’s quite normal. 

Although everyone is different, the chart given below indicates some values of weight gain during pregnancy. Recommended weight gain during pregnancy with one baby:

 

Pregnancy & Weight gain

Starting weight

BMI

Expected weight gain during pregnancy

Underweight

<18.5

28-40 lbs

Average weight

18.5-24.9

25-35 lbs

Overweight

25-29.9

15-25 lbs

Obese

>30

11-20 lbs

 

Don’t worry, if your weight gain is different from this because everyone is different and every pregnancy is also different. Just focus on nutritious foods instead of weight gain. Dieting to lose weight or prevent gain during pregnancy can be harmful to both you and your baby. 

 

Exercise during pregnancy

In addition to a healthy diet and supplements, exercise during pregnancy is also very important. It helps to manage your health and removes stress. Swimming and walking are good options. Avoid extra strenuous exercises like rock climbing or playing basketball. If you don’t exercise regularly, then start slowly during pregnancy and don’t overdo it. Join a yoga class or other exercise class that focuses specifically on pregnant women for extra support. 

 

Baby sleeping

Foods to eat and avoid during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very crucial time for every woman….either rich or poor...working or housewife. Certain food items should be included during pregnancy and some food items should be avoided during this period. When you are trying to conceive or already conceived, supplement folic acid in your food or consult your gynecologist for early initiation of folic acid. It is essential for a baby’s brain growth.

 

Foods to eat and avoid during pregnancy

Foods to be included

Foods to be avoided

Protein in every meal

Uncooked processed meat

Prenatal vitamins

Raw meats and seafood

Essential fats

High mercury fish

Dairy products high in calcium

Unpasteurized dairy

Whole grains

Excessive caffeine 

Fruits and vegetables (4-5 servings)

Alcohol

 

Preparing food safely

1. Wash fruit, vegetables, and salads. In India, we usually do not find ready-to-eat salads very easily but these are very common in other countries. Washing removes all traces of soil, which may contain micro-organism toxoplasma, a parasite that can cause toxoplasmosis, which can harm your unborn baby.

2. Careful washing of all the surfaces, utensils, and hands, after preparing raw meat to avoid toxoplasmosis and other common infections such as salmonella, listeria, and campylobacter.

3. Storage also plays a very important role in preventing diseases. Always store raw foods separately from readymade or ready-to-eat foods to prevent contamination that leads to food poisoning.

4. Use a separate chopping board for chopping raw meats.

 


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Thyroid diet

Thyroid diet

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Thyroid Disease Diet Management

The thyroid is a gland in your neck area that controls some hormones in your body. These hormones are necessary for the proper metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. 


  Thyroid Gland and its Location


But, two common disorders (hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism) of this gland lead to certain health issues. On this dietplusminus page, you will learn about thyroid disease and its management with a proper diet.

 

What Is Thyroid Disease?

Thyroid disease actually doesn’t refer to a single disorder, because there are many disorders related to the thyroid gland. But, the two most common types are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is referred to as overactive thyroid. As the word 'hyper', which means 'more' or 'over' suggests, it is the condition in which the thyroid gland releases more amount of the hormone thyroxine than normal. On the other hand, hypothyroidism is a condition in which enough hormone is not produced by the gland.

Hypothyroidism is the more common one of the two and therefore sometimes it is directly referred to as thyroid disease. Both of them have different symptoms, but some also share some common symptoms such as enlargement of the gland (goiter). But, both have different causes and are treated very differently. 

 

The Symptoms of hypothyroidism include

  • Constipation

  • Fatigue

  • Unexplained weight gain

  • Dry skin

  • Cold sensitivity, etc. 

 

The symptoms of hyperthyroidism include

  • Weight loss

  • Elevated and/or irregular heart rate

  • Brittle skin

  • Irritability, etc. But, the old usually don’t experience any symptoms.

 

What Causes Thyroid Disease?

As already mentioned, there are different causes of the two different thyroid diseases.  Hypothyroidism can be caused if your thyroid is not working as normal or if it has been removed (in cases of medical conditions like cancer). But, its most common cause is another autoimmune disorder (the body’s immune system fails to recognize its own cells and attacks them) known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Other causes include surgical treatment of some conditions like hyperthyroidism, thyroid cancer, etc. Some medications can also trigger hypothyroidism.

The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is another autoimmune disease called Graves' disease. Basically, this autoimmune disorder makes the thyroid gland grow abnormally large and release more hormones than required. Hyperthyroidism can also be caused due to- inflammation of the thyroid gland (thyroiditis), postpartum thyroiditis, consuming too much thyroid hormone, toxic nodular goiter, etc. 

Women are more prone to develop thyroid disease than men. Further, old age, as well as family history, can also make one more prone. 

 

Thyroid Disease Diet Idea

In this disease, a proper diet is as important as the medication itself. So both should go hand in hand. According to Dietplusminus, foods that are okay for people with hypothyroidism include:

  • Eggs (rich in iodine and selenium)

  • Meat, all types.

  • Fish, all seafood.

  • Vegetables, all vegetables. In fact, your diet should be based on vegetables.

  • Fruits like berries, bananas, tomatoes, etc.

  • All dairy products and yogurt.

 

Also, you should avoid some foods strictly in order to keep your weight under check:

  • Avoid eating processed foods.

  • All varieties of millets.

  • Avoid taking too many supplements (iodine and selenium)

  • Avoid tofu, tempeh, soy milk, etc.

  • Broccoli, spinach, cabbage, etc.

  • Fruits like pears and strawberries.

  • All caffeinated beverages as well as alcohol.

 

The recommended foods in case of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Low iodine foods like egg whites, fresh fruits, oats, honey, potatoes, etc.

  • Cruciferous vegetables.

  • Iron-rich foods like dried beans, vegetables, nuts, lentils, whole grains, etc.

  • Healthy fats are present in flaxseeds, olive oil, etc.

  • Spices like turmeric, green chilies, black pepper, etc. 

  • Also, take vitamin D supplements.

 

Some foods to avoid in hyperthyroidism include:

  • Nitrates are present in parsley, cabbage, turnip, carrots, cucumber, pumpkin, etc. 
  • Gluten is present in wheat, barley, malt, etc.
  • Soy-foods.
  • Caffeinated beverages.

 

Reach out to us, so that we can create the perfect diet plan for you according to your lifestyle and requirements!
 

 


Hypothyroidism - low thyroid hormone - Food to eat and avoid



 

 

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Nutritional Assessment

Nutritional Assessment

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What do you mean by "nutrition"?

The word nutrition itself means "the process of nourishing or being nourished, especially the process by which we assimilate food and use it for growth and replacement of tissues". 

Nutrients are substances that are essential to life and must be supplied by food. A majority of the population is deficient in one nutrient or the other but the amazing fact is that most of them aren't even aware of it! At DietPlusMinus, we take your blood test to do your nutritional assessment and study your body profile. After a detailed study of your body profile and tests thoroughly, we prepare scientific diet charts and exercise plans just for you!

Today more than ever, obtaining nutritional knowledge can make a big difference in lives. Air, soil, and water pollution in addition to modern farming techniques have depleted soils of vital minerals. The widespread use of food additives, chemicals, sugar, and unhealthy fats in diets contributes to many of the degenerative diseases of the day such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and osteoporosis. 

The nutritional care process begins with a nutritional assessment. Nutrition assessment is the evaluation of an individual’s nutritional status and nutrient requirements. It is a systematic process of obtaining, verifying, and interpreting data to make decisions about the nature and cause of nutrition-related problems. The purpose of nutrition assessment is to:

1.    Obtain adequate information to identify nutrition-related problems. 
2.    Define accurately an individual’s nutritional status
3.    Determine the level of nutritional support that individuals need, and 
4.    Monitor changes in the nutritional status and the effect of nutritional intervention

 

At DietPlusMinus, our goal of nutrition assessment is achieved by “ABCD” analysis:

A stands for Anthropometric measures: It measures growth in children and shows changes in weight in all populations that can reflect diseases and help to monitor progress in fat loss or gain.

 

B stands for Biochemical investigations: These help to reveal nutrients and metabolites in blood and/ or urine, and /or feces that indicate an infection or a disease.

Nutritional assessment in children as well as adults

ABCD analysis for Nutritional Assessment

A

Anthropometric measures

B

Biochemical investigations

C

Clinical analysis

D

Diet history and nutrient intake

 

C stands for Clinical analysis: This analysis includes a complete physical examination and a medical history. The physical examination begins with the patient’s general appearance. Nutrition-oriented aspects of the physical examination focus on the skin, hair, head, eyes, mouth, nails, extremities, abdomen, skeletal muscle, and fat stores.


D stands for Diet history and nutrient intake: This is used to evaluate diet for nutrient or food intake. Common methods used include the 24-hour diet recall, diet history, food frequency questionnaire, weighment method, etc.


Once you’ve reached your goal weight and are looking towards transitioning towards a normal way of eating after weight loss, it is more difficult to navigate food choices. The most successful way to maintain your weight loss is by making lifestyle changes that work for you. The transition from dieting to regular eating needs some precautions as most of the time it is a difficult task.

 

Normally after achieving desired weight or getting revealed a painful symptom, people return to their pre-packaged diet and also lifestyle. It can make the situation even more drastic. So, at DietPlusMinus, we have a maintenance diet plan for you.

Ketogenic Diet (Keto-Diet)

Ketogenic Diet (Keto-Diet)

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Ketogenic Diet (Keto Diet)

The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat moderate-protein diet. Low carbohydrate generates ketones and puts you in a ketosis state. It is efficient at burning fat for energy. A ketogenic diet normalizes blood sugar and insulin levels. The keto diet is very beneficial for overweight or obese, diabetic, and for people who want to improve their metabolic health. It may be less useful for people desiring muscle or weight gain, like for elite athletes. It may not be suitable for some people’s lifestyles and preferences. Must consult your doctor about your eating plan and goals. Let him decide if a keto eating plan is right for you.

 

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Read complete about the ketogenic diet here

 

 


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Frequently asked questions on the keto diet


Here are answers to some of the most common questions about the ketogenic diet.
 

1.    Can I eat carbs in near future?


Yes, you can. Initially, it’s very important to reduce your carbs significantly. After 2 to 3 months, have controlled amounts of carbs on special occasions and return to your diet immediately.

 

2. Will there be muscle loss during the keto diet?
 

Yes, there is always a risk of muscle loss during any diet. But protein intake in appropriate amounts and high ketone levels minimizes muscle loss, especially if you lift weights.

 

3. Can muscle build if I am on a keto diet?


Yes, but not as well as on a moderate carbs diet.

 

4. What will be the proportion of protein in my diet?
 

Always take protein in a moderate amount during the keto diet, as very high protein will liberate glucose and will spike insulin levels and lower ketones. Your protein intake must not increase more than 35% of your total calorie intake.

 

5. I am constantly tired, weak, or fatigued. How to come out of this?
 

Your body may not be utilizing fats and ketones efficiently, i.e. not in full ketosis. Lower your carb intake. You may take MCT oil or ketones supplements to reveal these problems.
 

6. Why my urine smells fruity?
 

The fruity smell of urine is just due to the excretion of by-products created during ketosis. There is nothing to worry about as such.

 

7. What may I do to stop breathing smells?
 

Breath smell is a common side effect of the keto diet. You may try some naturally flavored water or sugar-free gum to get rid of this.
 

8. Is ketosis extremely dangerous?
 

No, but ketoacidosis is dangerous. Ketosis on a ketogenic diet is usually fine for healthy people. People often confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis. Consult your doctor before starting any new diet.
 

9. I am suffering from diarrhea and digestion issues. What to do in such a situation?
 

This is a common side effect of the keto diet, which usually starts post 3 to 4 weeks starting the diet. If the symptoms persist, take more high-fiber vegetables
 

10. What is the maximum dose of MCT oil per day?

 

MCT oil doesn’t have a defined tolerable upper intake level till now, but a maximum daily dose of 4–7 tablespoons (60–100 mL) has been suggested.

 

                             

 

Ingredients:

Ingredients Commonly Used In Keto Diet

1

Meat

Red Meat

Steak

Ham

Sausage

Bacon

Chicken

Turkey

2

Fatty Fish

Salmon

Trout

Tuna

Mackerel

3

Eggs

Pastured Or Omega-3 Whole Eggs

4

Butter And Cream

Grass-Fed Butter

Heavy Cream

5

Cheese

Unprocessed Cheeses Like Cheddar

Goat Cheese

Cream Cheese

Blue Cheese

Mozzarella Cheese

6

Nuts And Seeds

Almonds

Walnuts

Flaxseeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Chia Seeds

7

Healthy Oils

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Coconut Oil

Avocado Oil

8

Avocados

Whole Avocados

Freshly Made Guacamole

9

Low Carb Veggies

Green Veggies

Tomatoes

Onions

Peppers

10

Condiments

Salt

Pepper

Herbs

Spices


 

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Navratri Diet Plan

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Download your Navratri weight loss diet plan 

Selection of the right food during the 9 (nine) days of Navratri is crucial. It is the best time to detox your body. Eating a diet rich in protein and good quality fat is the wisest way to detox your body. But unluckily, most of us go either towards complete fasting or remain on a diet containing more than 80% of carbs. Both of these options are dangerous for your body. We have started a healthy diet chart for fasting in the year 2022. We are giving a 100% Free Navratri diet plan idea. You can subscribe to our silver and premium plans for 9 days of Navratri diet plans.

 

These are some important Navratri fast rules

The 9-day fast of the festival Navratri is dedicated to shakti and is going to begin on the 6th of October 2021. This is an old tradition to keep fast for 9 days, followed by both men and women of various age groups. Navratri is celebrated two times a year, Chaitra (spring), and Sharad (autumn). By opting for a sattvic diet (food without onion, garlic, species, oil, and non-vegetarian products), people strengthen their body and mind for a change in season, which brings along with it illnesses and diseases.

 

Some important points to be kept in mind during Navratri fast

  1. This is an ideal time to connect with the spiritual self. Detox and strengthen your body from the inside.

  2. Opt for a variety of fresh seasonal fruits, nuts, and low-calorie dairy products. This will help in the removal of free radicals from the body as these food products are loaded with antioxidants.

  3. Take plenty of liquid, including water, coconut water, fresh fruit juices, milkshakes, and buttermilk. This will keep you hydrated, nourish the body and moisturize the skin.

  4. Give rest to your digestive system by replacing wheat, rice, and lentils with kuttu ka aata, singhare ka aata, samai, sabudana, makhana phool, etc.

  5. Sendha namak is used in the preparation of food in place of table salt.

  6. The heat-generating species include turmeric (Haldi), coriander (dhania), hing (asafoetida), garam masala, mustard (sarson), and clove (lavang) are avoided by the devotees during this period. Cumin (jeera) and black pepper (kali mirch) are the spices included during Navratri fast. Mustard oil and refined oil are replaced by ghee and peanut oil.

  7. Meditation and prayers are significant parts of Navratri's fast. They help in the detoxification of the body, mind as well as the soul.

 

Diet during Navratri fasting

People from northern and western India are gearing up for the 9 days of the Navratri celebration. Eating a balanced diet during Navratri will tone your body and detox you from the inside. Take plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and water, and a moderate amount of nuts, seeds, and low-calorie dairy. Although it is a great opportunity to lose weight, it can be opposed and make you gain weight too. To select a healthy diet plan for you consult Dr. Pankaj Kumar.

 

Reasons which can make you fat during this period

  • Some people opt for a diet very low in calories needed by their body and while breaking the fast go crazy for food and eat anything, resulting in sudden weight gain.

  • Some people have no time to cook, in such cases, they should go for fruits, low-calorie dairy, and sauteed veggies. But they prefer to go for packaged foods, chips, thalis, laddoos. All of these are loaded with carbs and low-quality fat. This causes weight gain and in turn, results in a lot of health issues.

  • Not drinking enough water is also a reason for making you fat during this period.

  • Opting outside food instead of home-cooked food results in more and more carb and fat intake again resulting in weight gain.

 

Navratri Vrat Diet - Foods To Detox Your Body - Healthy Navratri Diet

 

The first thing which comes to mind is what to include in the Navratri diet plan for 9 days? 

Some healthy foods to be included during 9 days of Navratri:

  1. Fruits: A large variety of fresh fruits are available during this period like Apple, pear, banana, pomegranate, sweet lime, pineapple, strawberries, and many more. Select fruits of your choice and enjoy the relish of these fruits.

  2. Vegetables: Many vegetables are allowed during Navratri fast including, potatoes, sweet potato, arbi, kachalu, yam, lemon, raw pumpkin, ripe pumpkin, spinach, tomatoes, bottle gourd, cucumber, carrots, etc. Select vegetables you like and saute them using a small amount of ghee and have it. This will help detox your body. 

  3. Buckwheat: It is commonly known as kuttu ka aata. It is gluten-free and a rich source of nutrients like phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, and vitamin B.

  4. Singhara or water chestnut: singhara is a fruit. Its flour is obtained by drying the fruit. It is a rich source of potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and fiber. In addition, it is low in sodium. So, a great option for people with hypertension and other heart problems.

  5. Samak: It belongs to the millet family. It can be used to make rice or khichdi. It can also be turned into flour to make roti, cheela, poorie, etc. In addition to many macro and micronutrients, it is an excellent source of phytochemicals.

  6. Sabudana or sago: Sabudana is a carb-dense food item (mainly starch) permitted during Navratri. It can be used in small amounts with plenty of fresh vegetables and peanuts to make delicious khichdi to be eaten with curd. You can also make sabudana kheer with small amounts of jaggery, and moderate amounts of low-fat milk and nuts.

  7. Rajgira or amaranth: It can be used to prepare khichdi, laddoos, etc. Its flour is used for preparing roti and cheela. 

  8. Nuts: Nuts including almonds, pistachios, cashews, raisins, walnuts, pine nuts, and peanuts can be consumed during Navratri fast. You can add them to recipes or can eat them otherwise. Nuts are an excellent source of essential fatty acids and also a good source of protein. 

  9. Lotus seeds or makhana Phool: Makhana is very low in carbs and calories and contains small amounts of protein also. It is a rich source of potassium and low in sodium. You can make several delicious recipes from makhana, including makhana kheer, makhana aloo, or simply makhana sabzi. It can also be eaten by sauteing it using small amounts of fat. 

  10. Low-calorie dairy products: You can fulfill your daily protein needs from toned or double-toned milk, curd, or paneer made from toned milk. These are the protein-rich sources that can be taken during Navratri fast and are available countrywide. 

So, these are the essential component for 9 (nine) days diet plan during the Navratri. You can also purchase the Navratri diet plan for better weight control by our 9 (nine) days Navratri diet plan.

 

Weight loss in Navratri

It is time to lose your fat mass and detox your body. Given below are some healthy tips for you to opt for during Navratri fast. 

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables

  2. Opt for small and frequent meals

  3. Drink plenty of water

  4. Get moving

  5. Select homemade snacks in place of outside foods

  6. Consume a small amount of visible fat

  7. Consume small amounts of nuts in between meals 

  8. Opt for low-fat dairy

 

Navratri diet recipes you can include in your diet chart for fasting

Some delicious and healthy fasting recipes for you to be taken during Navratri fast:

  1. Kuttu ke aate ka cheela: This is a low-calorie recipe containing some protein and fat. Although low in calories, it provides fullness for a long time. 

  2. Strawberry milkshake: This is low in calories and carbs and rich in protein. You can drink it during morning breakfast or in between meals.

  3. Pineapple smoothie: It has a delicious taste and is very rich in micronutrients. Try it for breakfast or mid-day snacks.

  4. Peanut chaat: It is a low-carb, moderate-protein-containing recipe. You can take it as a meal. It will provide fullness for a long time.

  5. Makhana bhel: It is a low-calorie and low-carb recipe. You can have it during meals or in-between snacks. 

  6. Makhana kheer: It is just delicious. It will provide protein also. 

  7. Navratri special paneer rolls: Consume this healthy and delicious recipe whenever you have a craving.

  8. Pomegranate raita: Try this recipe containing curd along with juicy pomegranate. It is low in calories and contains protein.

  9. Vrat wale paneer chat: It is a low-calorie and low-carb recipe high in protein. Must go for it to fulfill your protein needs.  

  10. Vrat-special energy bar: It is a delicious recipe containing essential fatty acids. Try it in between meals.

  11. Fried potatoes: It is a delicious savory allowed during Navratri fast. 

  12. Shakarkand halwa: Try this tasty halwa recipe. It is a complete meal and will give you fullness for a long time.

  13. Sabudana kheer: It is a complete meal containing carbs, protein, and fat. 

  14. Badam halwa: It is delicious and provides protein along with high amounts of essential fatty acids.

  15. Milk rabri: A delicious dessert that provides a good amount of protein also. 

  16. Mix dry fruits shake: Apart from being yummy, it is also rich in protein and essential fatty acids. 

  17. Lauki ka halwa: Healthy, delicious recipe. Good source of protein and essential fatty acids.

 

How Modi's Navratri diet plan is different from our Navratri diet plan for weight loss

Diet may vary from one state to another state, but the basic principles remain the same. Prime minister Modi's Navratri diet plan is popular in India as well as abroad. He looks very fit and active. Some sources on the internet say that he has been doing fasting for a long time and doing yoga and other lifestyle modification practices. Given Dr. Pankaj Kumar's opinion, the main difference is in his eating habits and state where he lives. Modi lives in New Delhi, but his eating habit and food pattern are almost similar to Gujrati culture. According to some sources on the internet, Modi's inclination to local food is making it different.

The second difference is his daily requirements. The daily requirement is different for different individuals, and he knows very well how much he needs and how much he has to take. 

Food habit development takes a lot of time, and it is not necessary to copy others' food habits for a better body shape or weight loss. Rectify only bad food habits and try to maintain old food habits. It will not change your food satisfaction quality, as described by Dr. Pankaj Kumar.

 

How to handle cravings during Navratri fast?

Some people adjust fasting days in good work, but some may not tolerate these and they hop from one snack to other. The solution for this craving is you must consume a healthy low salt diet namkeen which can be easily prepared at home.


Calculate your Basic Metabolic Rate

 

Ingredients:

12 foods to increase your immunity during Navratri fast

 

Navratri is the longest Hindu festival, celebrated all over the country. Although there are four (4) Navratri in a year, the two (2) most popular are Shardiya Navratri and Chaitra Navratri. People fast for nine (9) days during this period. This is the weather change time and almost everyone's immunity is compromised at this time. So, the main goal of fasting is not only to purify the soul but also to detoxify the body.

Mindful selection of immunity-boosting foods, containing balanced amounts of carbs, proteins, fats, and various micronutrients are very necessary during this period. Foods that can boost your immunity during this period of fasting are:

1. Citrus fruits

Fruits like grapefruits, oranges, lemons, and sweet limes are rich sources of vitamin C. Include them in your breakfast.

   Lemon 1

Vitamin C helps in quick recovery from cold.

 

2. Red and yellow bell peppers:

Red bell peppers are also a very rich source of vitamin C. In addition, they are also rich in beta carotene.

 

Red and yellow bell peppers This beta carotene converts into Vitamin A in your body and helps keep skin and eyes healthy. 

 

3. Ginger

Ginger is excellent anti-inflammatory food. Ginger may reduce sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. Ginger  It also reduces the symptoms of nausea, decreases chronic pain, and may also lower cholesterol levels.

 

4. Spinach

Spinach is packed with several antioxidants, including Vitamin C and beta carotene.

Spinach

Both of these have the infection-fighting ability. 

 

5. Dairy Products

Dairy products including milk, cheese, and curd are packed with several essential nutrients like Vitamin A and D, zinc, and proteins.

 

Cottage cheese 2 All of these have specific roles in the immune system. 

 

6. Ghee

Ghee is a rich source of butyrate. It greatly improves immunity and keeps the gut healthy. Ghee

To reap the maximum benefits of ghee, select 100% pure cow ghee. 

 

7. Almonds

Almonds are packed with Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin. In addition, it is also a good source of essential fatty acids.

Almonds 1

It not only helps fight off cold but also prevents it. 

 

8. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are rich in phosphorus, magnesium, Vitamin B6, and E. It is also incredibly high in selenium.

Sunflower seeds 2

All these nutrients make sunflower seeds an excellent immunity booster food item. 

 

9. Fox Nuts (makhana)

Makhana is an excellent anti-aging, detoxifying and anti-inflammatory food as it is abundant in various types of antioxidants and a natural anti-inflammatory compound called kaempferol. Makhana  It is high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium and low in sodium. So, it is a good option for hypertensive patients also. 

 

10. Green tea

In addition to flavonoids, green tea is also an excellent source of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This compound is lost from the black tea during the process of fermentation. Green tea is also a good source of L-theanine.

Green tea 2

L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T cells.

 

11. Papaya

Papaya is loaded with Vitamin C. It also contains a digestive enzyme, papain which also has an anti-inflammatory action on the body.

Papaya 1

It is also a decent source of potassium, magnesium, and folate.

 

12. Kiwi

The Vitamin C present in kiwi boosts white blood cells to fight infection.

Kiwi with juice

In addition, kiwi is also a good source of folate, potassium, and vitamin K. 

 


4 Foods that can weaken your immunity during Navratri fast


1. Added sugar

Foods that increase the blood sugar levels significantly, like foods rich in added sugar, increase the production of inflammatory proteins like tumor necrosis alpha (TNF-α), C-reactive protein (CRP), and interleukin-6 (IL-6), all of which negatively affect immune function.

Sugar

It is especially harmful to diabetic people, as they have elevated blood sugar levels for longer when compared with people with well-regulated blood sugar levels. 

 

2. Salty foods

Salty foods like chips and vrat-special packaged namkeens present in the market may also impair your immune response.

Potato Chips

High salt may trigger tissue inflammation and increase the risk of autoimmune disease. 

 

3. Omega-6 fats-rich food

Both omega-3 and omega-6 are needed by our body to function.

Omega 6 capsules

Diets high in omega-6 fats seem to promote the expression of pro-inflammatory proteins that may weaken the immune response, while diets higher in omega-3 fats reduce the production of those proteins and enhance immune function. Vrat special thalis, namkeens, and other fancy food items present in the market are normally high in omega-6 fats.

 

4. Fried foods

When foods are fried, a group of molecules, called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are formed. AEGs are formed when sugars react with proteins or fats during high-temperature cooking.

Fried food

High levels of AGEs in the body may contribute to inflammation and cellular damage. This chemical is also known to weaken the immune system in various ways. So, avoid fried foods like chips and french fries.

Immunity Boosting Diet Plan

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Boost your immunity with the right diet and exercise

 

Several dietary and lifestyle changes may strengthen your immune system. They help fight harmful pathogens and disease-causing organisms. Let’s discuss some tips which may help boost your immune system.
 

1. Eat whole foods
 

Whole foods including fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables are rich in antioxidants and certain nutrients which protect you against harmful pathogens. 
The fiber present in these whole plant foods is healthy for the beneficial gut bacteria or gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome can help boost your immune system and prevent you from being attacked by harmful pathogens through the digestive tract [1].  Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin C. This can reduce the duration of the common cold [2]. The antioxidants present in whole food prevent the oxidation of harmful free radicals, hence reducing inflammation. Chronic inflammation leads to several harmful diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers [3].

 

2. Include healthy fats
 

Acute inflammation is a normal immune response\ to stress or injury, but chronic inflammation can hurt your immune system. Inclusion of healthy fats in your diet, including olive oil and salmon, may boost the immune system against pathogens by decreasing inflammation. Omega 3 fatty acids fight inflammation [4]. 
Olive oil is highly anti-inflammatory and may help fight off harmful bacteria and viruses [5], [6]. It also reduces the risk of chronic inflammation, linked with diseases diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. 

 

3. Eat fermented foods or take a probiotic supplement
 

Fermented foods are high in beneficial bacteria. Intake of fermented foods increases the population of these bacteria in your gut [7]. Fermented foods include yogurt, natto, tempeh, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir. According to some research, a well flourished gut microbiome helps your immune cells to differentiate between healthy cells and harmful pathogens [8]. If regular intake of fermented foods is not possible for you, switch to probiotic supplements. Supplementation of probiotics strengthens the immune system and lowers the levels of virus in the nasal mucus when compared with a control group [9]. 

Fruits and vegetables

4. Stay hydrated
 

Although there is no relation between hydration and the attack of harmful bacteria and viruses, staying hydrated is important for overall health. 
Dehydration may cause indigestion, mood swings, reduced focus, physical performance, and heart and kidney function. These health issues increase the risk of illness [10]. Although tea and juice also hydrate you, water is the best option, because it is free of calorie
s, additives, and sugar [11]. Fruit juice and sweetened tea have high sugar contents [12], [13]. For young adults, it is recommended to drink water when you are thirsty and stop when you are no longer thirsty, but for older adults, it is recommended to drink water regularly,  even if they do not feel thirsty. The reason behind this is older adults begin to lose the urge to drink, as their bodies do not signal thirst adequately. 

5. Limit sugar intake
 

According to the reports of some studies, added sugar and refined carbs may contribute to increased weight and obesity [14],[15]. Obesity is linked with an increased risk of getting sick. According to a study, obese people administered with flu vaccine have twice the risk of getting the flu, when compared with normal-weight people who received the vaccine [16]. Cutting sugar intake may aid in weight loss and reduce the risk of getting type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. All of these weaken the immune system. Limiting and cutting sugar is an important part of an immune-boosting diet [17], [18], [19], [20],[21]. It is recommended to limit your sugar intake, to less than 5% of your daily calories. 

 

Colored bell peppers with quote

6. Reduce your stress levels

To boost your immune system, it is very important to relieve your stress and anxiety. Long-term stress may lead to inflammation and compromised immune cell functions [22], [23]. Psychological stress can suppress the immune response in children [24]. Meditation, exercise, yoga, and some other mindfulness practices may help you manage your stress and anxiety. 
body made up of fruits and vegetables

7. Get enough sleep
 

Inadequate or poor sleep can make you sick. According to a study, individuals taking less than 6 hours of sleep per night are at a higher risk of getting a common cold when compared with those taking a sleep of 6 hours or more per night [25]. Proper rest strengthens the immune system, and also sleeping more when you are sick, allows your immune system to better fight the illness [26]. 
A sound sleep of 7 hours per night is good for adults, teenagers should sleep 8-10 hours, and younger children and infants should sleep up to 14 hours. Exercising regularly, leaving the screen an hour before sleep, sleeping in a completely dark room, and going to bed at the same time every night enhance the quality of your sleep. 

8. Regular exercise

Prolonged and intense exercise can suppress the immune system, but moderate exercise can boost your immune system. People with compromised immune systems must do at least a single session of moderate exercise to boost the effectiveness of their vaccines [27]. Also, regular and moderate exercise may reduce inflammation, leading to regular regeneration of your immune cells [28]. Exercises like brisk walking, swimming, light hiking, jogging, and steady bicycling should be done at least 150 minutes per week [29]. 

9. Include some supplements, whenever required
 

Despite several claims supplements about their ability to prevent and cure COVID-19, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that there's no evidence to support the use of any supplement to prevent or treat COVID-19 [30]. 
 

Some studies suggest that supplements may strengthen your body’s general immune system. Let’s discuss such supplements:

 

Immunity boosting supplements and their effects

Supplement

Effect

Vitamin D

The deficiency of vitamin D suppresses the immune response, so supplementation of vitamin D may counteract this effect. If you already have adequate levels of vitamin D, supplementation is not going to give you extra immunity [31].

Vitamin C

Taking 1000-1200 mg of vitamin C per day may reduce the duration of the common cold by 8% in adults and 14% in children, but is not able to prevent it [32].

Elderberry

According to a small study, elderberries can reduce the symptoms of viral infections in the upper respiratory tract. However, more study is needed [33].

Echinacea

A study reported slightly quicker relief from the symptoms of cold in individuals taking Echinacea when compared with a placebo group. However, this difference was insignificant [34].

Zinc

Supplementation of zinc, more than 75 mg per day may reduce the duration of cold [35].

Garlic

However more research is needed, studies till now report that supplementation of garlic may reduce the incidence of the common cold by 30% [36].

 

You must purchase any supplement that has been independently tested by a third-party organization, as the labeling present on your supplement may be misleading.  
However, no food is going to prevent or cure COVID-19 infections, a strong immune system will help you prevent common colds, flu, and other infections.

Let’s discuss some food items which may boost your immunity:

 

Immunity boosting food items

Food items

Health benefits

Broccoli

  • Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables, packed with several healthy nutrients, including vitamin A, C, E, fiber, and antioxidants.

  • Eating minimum cooked broccoli is the best way to eat it.

  • Steaming is the best cooking method to retain its nutrients. 

Spinach

  • In addition to vitamin C, spinach is packed with other beneficial nutrients like beta carotene and antioxidants.

  • Spinach boosts the immune system and increases the infection-fighting ability of the immune system.

  • Like broccoli, cook it as light as possible to retain its nutrient contents. 

Red bell peppers

  • Red bell peppers are extremely good in vitamin C and also contain beta carotene.

  • In addition to boosting the immune system, it is also healthy for the skin and eye health. 

Ginger

  • Consumption of ginger is linked with reduced inflammation, throat soreness, and nausea.

  • Ginger packs some heat in the form of gingerol and is also known to decrease chronic pain and cholesterol levels.

Garlic

  • Garlic is high in sulfur-containing compound allicin.

  • This is believed to be behind the immune-boosting properties of garlic. Additionally, garlic may slow down the hardening of arteries and help lower blood pressure levels. 

Citrus fruits

  • Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C and it is thought to increase the production of white blood cells.

  • White blood cells are key to fighting infections.

  • Vitamin C helps in quicker recovery from the common cold.

  • Some common citrus fruits are oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruits, and tangerines.

Papaya

  • Papaya is loaded with vitamin C one single medium papaya contains almost double the RDI of vitamin C.

  • Additionally, it contains good amounts of potassium, magnesium, and folate.

  • The digestive enzyme papain, found in papaya, is linked with anti-inflammatory properties.  

Kiwi

  • Kiwi is loaded with folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C.

  • Vitamin C enhances the production of white blood cells and helps fight against infections.

  • Other nutrients present in kiwi help in the proper functioning of other parts of the body.

Turmeric

  • Turmeric has great anti-inflammatory properties and has been used to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis since ancient times.

  • The high concentrations of curcumin present in turmeric are responsible for the immunity-boosting and antiviral properties.

  • It can also help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage.

Green tea

  • Green tea is high in flavonoids and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

  • Both are powerful antioxidants and are known to enhance immune function. Green tea also contains good amounts of amino acid L theanine.

  • L theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T cells.

Yogurt

  • Yogurt contains live and active cultures which help boost the immune system and fight against diseases.

  • Yogurt also provides decent amounts of vitamin D, which is also known to boost the immune system. 

Almonds

  • Almonds are a great source of vitamin E and healthy fat.

  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and serves as a key to a healthy immune system. 

Sunflower seeds

  • Sunflower seeds are packed with vitamin B6, vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium.

  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and serves as a key to a healthy immune system.

  • According to some animal studies, selenium has the potential to combat viral infections like swine flu (H1N1). 

Poultry

  • Poultry, including chicken and turkey, are high in vitamin B6.

  • Vitamin B6 is vital for several chemical reactions in the body and is also needed for the formation of healthy red blood cells.

  • Chicken soup may lower inflammation and help improve the symptoms associated with cold.

Shellfish

  • Shellfish, including oysters, crabs, lobsters, and mussels are high in zinc.

  • Zinc is needed for the proper functioning of the immune system.

  • However, too much zinc can inhibit immune functions.


Balance is the key to proper nutrition. Eating just one of these foods won’t Colored vegetablesbe enough to help fight against flu and infections, even if you eat it regularly.

      

Serving size and recommended dietary intake should always be kept in mind. Too little or too much of any nutrient can harm you.
Eating right is a great start, and there are other things you can do to protect yourself and your family from the flu, cold, and other illnesses.

 

 

 

 

 


Bibliography

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28165863

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23440782

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27881064

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23010452

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27580701

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22474371

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25576593

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3337124/

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28343401

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

[12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25398745

[13] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29772560

[14] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28507007

[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29181456

[16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28584297

[17] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28401111

[18] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26586275

[19] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28584297

[20] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25814686

[21] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30533447

[22] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24798553

[23] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22474371

[24] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24501202

[25] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26118561

[26] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30920354

[27] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26477922

[28] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26477922

[29] https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/be-active/physical-activity-guidelines-for-americans/index.html

[30] https://nccih.nih.gov/health/in-the-news-in-the-news-coronavirus-and-alternative-treatments

[31] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29080635

[32] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23440782

[33] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30670267

[34] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21173411

[35] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28515951

[36] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25386977

 


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Health Solution By Dr. Pankaj Kumar

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Dr. Pankaj Kumar after clearing MBBS from Calcutta University and DNB Family Medicine from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, associated with PractoDocsApp, Mfine, and many other online consultation platforms to help patients online for their day to day health-related problems. Now you can consult with Dr. Pankaj Kumar (online) for your general problem on the Diet Plus Minus platform also.

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Weight Loss Program

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DietPlusMinus Weight Loss Diet Plan 


Weight loss is definitely a difficult task to accomplish, but sometimes people make it more complicated by counting every calorie. Of course, there’s no magic tip that can do the job instantly, but you definitely don’t need to strip your diet of entire food groups for losing weight.


The fact is that no matter whether you intend to lose 5kg or 15kg, the quantity of weight you lose is determined by the same principles. So, instead of adopting a radical approach, you should try to introduce a series of healthy habits into your daily routine. According to dietplusminus, to lose weight fast you should first understand what might lead to weight gain.

 

 

What Leads To Weight Gain?

So, what exactly might cause you to gain that excess weight? Well, there’s only one reason (except for medical conditions) that causes people to gain excessive weight and hinders the weight loss process as well. It’s the bad habits, eating what you shouldn’t, not eating what you should, having an excess of something unnecessarily, etc.


Say, for example, eating too much-processed foods, or sugar can lead to excessive weight gain. Maybe, you are confusing  'fat-free' with 'calorie-free'. Or you just eat without thinking when you had this eating fits out of nowhere.


Simply put, there are two main things that will determine your weight- the number of calories you take in and the number of calories you burn, on a daily basis. Apart from all this, your genetics can also play a role in both weight gain and weight loss.

 

Why Should You Lose Weight?

It is indeed a valid question as to why should you actually consider losing weight even though you’re perfectly comfortable being chubby. Well, there’s actually just one reason, but it’s pretty serious. If you are overweight or obese, this means you are at a higher risk of some potentially serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, back pain, and even some types of cancer!


So, basically, you are a ticking time bomb! Nah, just kidding, you are as fine as anyone else but definitely, there are these potential risks to consider. You should know that these risks are directly proportional to the amount of excess weight that you have. More excess pounds mean the deadlier potential risks you face. Therefore, for the best of your health, you should set out on the journey of weight loss to lose those extra pounds.

 

 

 


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Some Pro Tips To Lose Weight

 

  1. The number one thing, as suggested by dietplusminus, that you need to do is to stick to a proper diet plan to lose weight.

  2. To lose weight fast, you should try to burn more calories than you eat in a day. You should consider weight loss exercises for this purpose, so you can join a gym to go the extra mile.

  3. Introduce fat-burning foods into your daily diet.

  4. Also, your diet should be high in protein, but low in carbohydrates. Simply put, say no to sugar or at least eat as much less sugar as possible.

  5. You should drink lots of water and other liquids. You should also introduce coffee and green tea to your drinks.

Ingredients:

Commonly asked questions on weight loss:

 

1. What is the best weight loss diet?
 

Everyone’s body responds differently to different types of diets. So, it is necessary to customize a diet plan best suitable for you. Sometimes a well-balanced and low-calorie diet works in losing weight whereas in some cases a low carb diet is needed. 


2. What is the simplest diet plan to reduce fat?
 

The diet plan to reduce fat depends upon the place of deposition of fat, whether it is subcutaneous or visceral. Depending upon the type of fat deposited in your body and your current health conditions, a diet plan is prepared for you. 


3. What would be an ideal and easy diet plan?
 

An ideal and easy diet plan is a well-balanced diet, containing food items from all the food groups, cereals, pulses, dairy/ poultry, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables in adequate proportions. However, it works for a healthy individual. If you have some health issues, you must contact your health care professional, to understand the proportion of these food items suitable for you. 


4. What should be on my daily diet chart?
 

If you are a healthy individual, meaning you don’t have any serious health issues, you should select food items from all the food groups (cereals, pulses, dairy/ poultry, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables). 50-55% of calories of your diet should come from carbs, 25% from proteins, and the remaining from fat. Give more emphasis on high biological value protein items (egg, poultry, paneer, etc.). Replace simple carbs from your diet with complex carbs, including salads, oats, green vegetables, etc. Avoid trans fat. Include omega-3-rich fat sources in your diet, including fatty fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado oil, etc. 


5. What is the best diet for healthy living?

 

The best diet for healthy living is a well-balanced diet, including food items from all the food groups (cereals, pulses, dairy/ poultry, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables). The most important virtue of a healthy diet is the elimination of bad food habits, including consumption of simple carbs, trans fats, and excess intake of starchy vegetables. These not only increase overall weight but also increase the cravings for sugary and salty food, which in turn increases calorie intake and weight gain. 
                  

6. What is a diet plan for weight loss for an Indian?

 

In most cases, a well-balanced diet (50-55% from carbs, 25% from protein, and the remaining from fat) having slightly lower calories than the requirement of your body, calculated based on your BMR and TDEE, is sufficient to reduce your weight. But in the case of fat which is old, the percentage of carbs is reduced. This is done after going through some of your blood reports. It is suggested not to start any kind of diet on your own, because it can be dangerous for your overall health. 


7. What is the best Indian diet for weight loss?
 

First of all, it is important to understand that fat loss is necessary, not weight loss. In this case, when you put your body on a very low-calorie diet, i.e, starvation, weight loss occurs, but this weight loss is partially from fat and rest from muscles. So, your body is in a worse situation, when compared with your previous situation. Opt for a healthy, well-balanced diet and eliminate trans fat, starchy vegetables, packaged and processed foods, and simple carbs from your diet. Go for a diet slightly lower in calories than the requirement of your body, calculated based on your BMR and TDEE. Include green leafy vegetables, salads, complex carbs, legumes, healthy fats, low-fat dairy, and poultry in your diet.  It will help in losing weight. If it doesn’t work, contact a healthcare professional. He/ she will guide you regarding this. 


8. With what diet can I lose a lot of weight fast? 
 

First of all, fast weight loss is not good. Always remember, slow and steady wins the race. Going for a crash diet to lose weight always gives you certain health issues in addition to weight loss. So, weight loss by opting for a healthy lifestyle is always good. It develops a habit of healthy eating and simple workouts in your daily routine. It keeps you healthy and sustains you forever. 


9. Suggest some diet ideas to reduce weight in Indian girls.
 

The diet of an Indian girl must be rich in protein and iron because protein and iron deficiency is very common among Indian girls especially if she is vegetarian. Non-vegetarian Indian girls should include egg, chicken, fish, and lean meat at least five days a week. It will provide adequate protein and iron. The diet of a vegetarian Indian girl should include paneer, soya chunks, legumes, and other low-fat dairy products. Vegetarian girls must include citrus fruits in their diet, as the vitamin C present in citrus fruits enhances the absorption of iron from a vegetarian diet. Additionally, the diet of Indian girls should be well balanced, including green leafy vegetables, salads, complex carbs, legumes, healthy fats, low-fat dairy, and poultry. Drink plenty of water.


10. Suggest some diet ideas for fat loss.
 

Ideas for fat loss:
1. Don’t do binge eating
2. Emphasize
complex carbs, as it reduces cravings. Avoid simple carbs, starchy vegetables, and processed and packaged foods.
3. Opt for lean protein, including low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, legumes, and lean meat. Avoid full-fat dairy and red meat.
4. Include healthy fat in your diet, including nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado oil, etc. Avoid trans fats and fats very high in omega-6 fatty acids. 
5. Include salads, low GI fruits, sprouts, and plenty of water in your diet. 


11. What is the right diet for losing weight?
 

The best diet for losing fat is a well-balanced diet, with controlled calories. Don’t overeat. Drink plenty of water. Emphasize complex carbs (oats, salads, brown bread, multigrain flour, etc.), lean protein (poultry, low-fat dairy, etc.), and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado oil, etc.). Avoid simple carbs (sugar, jaggery, etc.), high fat protein (full-fat dairy, red meat, etc.), unhealthy fats (trans fat and fat high in omega-6 fatty acids), and processed and packaged foods. 


12. What Indian diet should I follow to lose 25 kg weight?
 

You have not accumulated 25 kgs extra weight in one day. So, don’t expect to lose this in a week or month. A healthy diet in addition to proper physical activity is essential to losing this much weight. Limit your calorie intake. Emphasize complex carbs (oats, salads, brown bread, multigrain flour, etc.), lean protein (poultry, low-fat dairy, etc.), and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado oil, etc.). Avoid simple carbs (sugar, jaggery, etc.), high fat protein (full-fat dairy, red meat, etc.), unhealthy fats (trans fat and fat high in omega-6 fatty acids), and processed and packaged foods. If it doesn’t work, meaning you don’t lose any weight by opting for this for a month, contact a healthcare professional. He/ she will guide you regarding this. 


13. How to create a vegetarian weight loss diet plan?
 

Don’t overeat. It is a bad habit, just like poking your nose or not cleaning your hands before eating. Vegetarians should include low-fat dairy products, especially paneer in their daily diet. Soya chunks, rajma, chickpeas, tofu, paneer, etc are good replacements for meat, poultry, and fish. Include complex carbs in your diet (oats, salads, brown bread, multigrain flour, etc.). Opt for healthy fat options, including nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado oil, etc. Avoid simple carbs (sugar, jaggery, etc.), high fat protein, like full-fat dairy, unhealthy fats (trans fat and fat high in omega-6 fatty acids), and processed and packaged foods. 


14. What is the best South Indian diet plan to reduce weight?
 

For reducing weight by eating a South Indian diet, first of all, replace rice with millets in making idlis. Plain ragi dosas and low-calorie appams are also good options. Steamed millet idlis with a bowl full of sambhar is a good option. Don’t eat idli, appams, or dosas with chutney alone, must include a medium bowl full of sambhar with it. Include salads, sprouts, nuts, seeds, low-fat paneer, poultry, and fish in your daily diet. 


15. What is a South Indian diet plan to lose 10 kg weight in 1 month?
 

First of all neither you can gain 10 kg in 1 month nor you can lose it, in normal situations. Don’t overeat. Drink plenty of water. Opt for steamed millet idlis, ragi dosas, and low-calorie appams. Don’t eat idli, appams, or dosas with chutney alone, must include a medium bowl full of sambhar with it. Include salads, sprouts, nuts, seeds, low-fat paneer, poultry, and fish in your daily diet. Additionally, start low resistance exercises at least 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. 


16. Recommend some South Indian foods for weight loss.
 

Some South Indian foods for weight loss include steamed millet idlis, ragi dosas, and low-calorie appams. They are undoubtedly healthy, but still high in carbs. So, you can't depend upon these foods if you desire weight loss. Include salads, sprouts, nuts, seeds, low-fat paneer, poultry, and fish in your daily diet. Drink plenty of water. Avoid binge eating. A well-balanced diet (50-55% from carbs, 25% from protein, and the remaining from fat) having slightly lower calories than the requirement of your body, calculated based on your BMR and TDEE, is sufficient to reduce your weight. 


17. What is a South Indian 1000-calorie diet plan for weight loss?
 

First of all, intake of a 1000-calorie diet is not safe. If you continue this for 3 months or more, it will drag you into starvation mode. A well-balanced diet (50-55% from carbs, 25% from protein, and the remaining from fat) having slightly lower calories than the requirement of your body, calculated based on your BMR and TDEE, is sufficient to reduce your weight.
However, if you want a 1000-calorie diet plan go through the given link. ………………link.

 

18. How to reduce weight naturally?
 

To reduce weight naturally, the most important aspect is calorie control. A well-balanced diet (50-55% from carbs, 25% from protein, and the remaining from fat) having slightly lower calories than the requirement of your body, calculated based on your BMR and TDEE, is sufficient to reduce your weight. Include complex carbs in your diet (oats, salads, brown bread, multigrain flour, etc.). Eat lean protein (low fat paneer, poultry, fish, and legumes). Opt for healthy fat options, including nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado oil, etc. Avoid simple carbs (sugar, jaggery, etc.), high fat protein, like full-fat dairy, red meat, unhealthy fats (trans fat and fat high in omega-6 fatty acids), and processed and packaged foods. 


19. How do I start losing weight?
 

For beginners, elimination of bad food habits and inclusion of low resistance exercise for 30 minutes per day, at least 5 days a week is good. Here bad food habits mean overeating, eating too late at night, eating simple carbs, and processed and packaged foods. Include complex carbs in your diet (oats, salads, brown bread, multigrain flour, etc.). Eat lean protein (low fat paneer, poultry, fish, and legumes). Opt for healthy fat options, including nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado oil, etc. 


20. What do I have to do to lose weight?
 

To lose weight, leave simple carbs (sugar, honey, jaggery, etc), processed foods, and packaged foods today. Increase your physical activity (at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week). Limit your calorie intake, i.e., don’t overeat.  Include complex carbs in your diet (oats, salads, brown bread, multigrain flour, etc.). Eat lean protein (low fat paneer, poultry, fish, and legumes). Opt for healthy fat options, including nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado oil, etc. Avoid simple carbs (sugar, jaggery, etc.), high fat protein, like full-fat dairy, red meat, unhealthy fats (trans fat and fat high in omega-6 fatty acids), and processed and packaged foods. 


21. Is working out mandatory for losing weight?
 

Workout, especially medium resistance exercise is very important during losing weight. It helps in muscle gain, needed in the formation of a toned body. It also helps in faster fat loss and increases your metabolism. 


22. How do I lose weight without doing exercise?
 

However, some diets can help you lose weight without doing exercise, it is necessary for the formation of healthy muscles and also to boost your metabolism. It helps in faster fat loss, and muscle gain, and increases your metabolism. A well-balanced diet (50-55% from carbs, 25% from protein, and the remaining from fat) having slightly lower calories than the requirement of your body, calculated based on your BMR and TDEE, is sufficient to reduce your weight.


23. What are the best ways to lose weight?
 

The best way to lose weight is a well-balanced diet in addition to a medium resistance exercise for 30 minutes per day, at least 5 days a week. The formula of a well-balanced diet is 55: 25: 20, i.e, 55 % of your calories should come from carbohydrates, 25% from protein, and the rest from fat. But make one thing very clear in your mind you have to opt for complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats to lose weight. 


24. How can I lose weight without side effects?
 

Make one thing very clear in your mind slow and steady wins the race. The use of supplements and pills to lose weight can give you results in just a few weeks, but in addition, there are severe side effects associated with these products. A healthy well-balanced diet in addition to adequate physical activity gives you the best result. A healthy diet and exercise gradually become the most important part of your daily routine. A well-balanced diet (50-55% from carbs, 25% from protein, and the remaining from fat) having slightly lower calories than the requirement of your body, calculated based on your BMR and TDEE, is sufficient to reduce your weight. Opt for complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats to lose weight. 


25. Can I exercise every day whenever I want to lose weight?
 

No, it’s not necessary to do exercise every day of the week. A low resistance exercise for 30 minutes per day, at least 5 days a week, or a high-intensity workout 3-5 days a week can help you in burning fat more effectively, increase metabolism, and helps in muscle build-up. Don't exercise for 2 hours after having a meal. 


26. How can I lose weight quickly?
 

There is no such rule as losing weight quickly. Some companies boast that their pills and supplements can help you lose weight quickly, but there is not much evidence to prove this. A balanced diet with limited calories and medium to high resistance exercise half an hour per day, at least 5 days a week can help you lose fat, increase muscles, and also increase your metabolism. 


27. When individuals lose weight quickly, where is most of the weight lost from?
 

First of all, quick weight loss is not healthy weight loss. You can lose weight quickly either by peels and supplements or by taking very low calories. Both of these can cause severe side effects. In the case of quick and unhealthy weight loss, the loss is from water, muscle tissue, and bones. In the case of healthy weight loss i.e., the loss is from water, fat, and glycogen. 


28. How can I lose weight at home, if I can't stop eating too much?
 

Too much eating is a result of too much craving. Eating unhealthy and simple carbs, and processed and packaged foods results in cravings. So, if you replace these food items with complex carbs, nuts, seeds, and adequate amounts of lean protein, you will feel full for a long time. This in turn will result in lesser calorie intake and reduced weight.


29. What are tips for quick weight loss?
 

There is no such hard and fast rule for quick weight loss. Some companies boast that their pills and supplements will help reduce weight quickly, but there is no strong evidence to prove this. The best way to lose weight is eating a healthy balanced diet with limited calories, in addition to medium to high-intensity exercise for 30 minutes per day, at least 5 days a week. 


30. Is intermittent fasting effective in weight loss?
 

Intermittent fasting involves regular short-term fasts. Intermittent fasting causes lesser calorie intake due to fasting periods in between. It results in weight loss over time. Additionally, intermittent fasting modifies the risk factor for health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, by lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels. 

 


 

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Infertility Diet (Due to Obesity)

Infertility  Diet (Due to Obesity)

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Diet Plan For Obesity Induced Infertility

According to WHO, if the BMI of your body is greater than 25 kg/m2, it is considered overweight and if the BMI equals or is greater than 30 kg/m2, then it is considered obesity. It has been found that overweight women have a very high hence of menstrual dysfunction and anovulation. Overweight and obese women are always at a very high risk of reproductive malfunction. Even the risk of subfecundity and infertility, conception rates, miscarriage rates, and pregnancy complications are increased in these women.

In case you are overweight and are planning to build a family then you must get rid of excess fats to avoid any complications and be on the safer side.


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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Diet

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Diet

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IBS and Functional Dyspepsia

It is assessed that 40% of all gastroenterology center visits are for functional gastrointestinal disorders, and an ongoing study of generalists and gastroenterologists found that about 33% of their patient populace had side effects of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

Numerous patients with IBS have dyspepsia; similarly, numerous patients with dyspepsia additionally have overlapping symptoms that mimic IBS. These two sets of patients are comparative in that side effects are regularly chronic, may come and go, are irritated by psychosocial stressors, and are frequently troubled by suppers. What's more, the two issues are viewed as hard to analyze by numerous doctors, and without notice signs or "warnings," broad testing is probably not going to be useful. These likenesses raise the issue of whether IBS and dyspepsia are simply different manifestations of a similar issue or whether they speak to unmistakable clinical substances.

 

     IBS PNG 2

 

Managing patients with IBS and Functional Dyspepsia can be a challenging and frustrating process for clinicians. Currently, these two common Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders are thought of as completely distinct entities. Because many patients have overlapping symptoms of IBS and dyspepsia, maintaining two separate diagnoses leads to separate, but often parallel, processes of evaluation and treatment. Tragically, these outcomes in repetitive lab tests, duplication of demonstrative investigations, visit office visits, and the utilization of numerous meds.

 

What plays a role in the development of these disorders?

These factors may play a critical role in the development and expression of these chronic disorders

  • Prior infection

  • Inflammation

  • Stress

  • History of abuse to the gastrointestinal system - Injury to the enteric nervous system may be the common

 

Some patients will manifest the abnormal pathophysiology that develops as a result of enteric nervous system injury with primarily upper GI tract symptoms (epigastric fullness and discomfort, bloating, nausea), whereas others will manifest primarily lower GI symptoms (abdominal pain and disordered defecation). Treatment options for IBS and FD should be directed at modulating both peripheral and central pain mechanisms, to improve symptoms, improve quality of life, and minimize the economic burden on society.

 

      IBS PNG 1

 

Rome II Criteria for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Functional Dyspepsia

Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

At least 12 weeks in the past 12 months (which need not be consecutive) of abdominal pain or discomfort, with 2 of the 3 following symptoms:

 

  • Relieved with defecation 
  • And/or change in the frequency of stool 
  • And/or change in the form of stool 

Symptoms that cumulatively support the diagnosis of IBS include:
Abnormal frequency of stools ( > 3/day or < 3/week)

  • Abnormal form 
  • Abnormal passage 
  • Presence of mucus 

Functional Dyspepsia

At least 12 weeks out of the last 12 months (which need not be consecutive), of abdominal pain or discomfort centered in the upper abdomen, for which an organic process cannot be identified.


Exclusion criteria include:

  • Patients with abdominal pain or discomfort relieved with defecation (ie, those patients with IBS) 
  • Patients with predominant heartburn symptoms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Functional Dyspepsia

Functional dyspepsia is a common health issue in the digestive system of humans. Around 1.5 billion people around the world face this issue. Although functional dyspepsia is not very lethal, it can surely affect the quality of your life as it can last for a long.  It can be managed by taking medication, but diet and lifestyle changes are as important. 

 

What Is Functional Dyspepsia?

Functional dyspepsia (indigestion) is the name given to some symptoms of indigestion that show up without any obvious cause. 

So basically, your digestive system seems all okay, but there are symptoms of stomach pain, discomfort, bloating, etc. just like that of ulcers. It is also known as non-ulcer stomach pain or non-ulcer dyspepsia. It usually does not lead to any serious consequences, but it should not be neglected. Because, sometimes it can be caused by a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, which can cause ulcers in the stomach in the long run. 

This is the most common type of dyspepsia. The symptoms can vary, but its prominent symptoms include nausea, bloating and bleaching, stomach upset or pain, vomiting, etc. Other less common symptoms include burping, sour mouth, weight loss, psychological distress, etc. If these symptoms come and go away within a month, then you most probably don’t have functional dyspepsia. 

Further, these symptoms can be suppressed by over-the-counter medication. But, dietplusminus recommends making necessary changes in diet and lifestyle as soon as possible to avoid unpleasant complications.

 

What Causes Functional Dyspepsia?

Functional dyspepsia does not have one single cause. It is not known what causes it. It is called 'functional' because it does not have a diagnosable cause. Several reasons may lead to this functional disorder. 

Some of the causes include allergens, infection due to bacteria, excess acid secretion in the stomach, unhealthy diet, lifestyle, obesity, etc. Some factors are known to increase the risk of functional dyspepsia. 

Females are known to develop this disorder more than males. Similarly, elders and chain smokers are at a higher risk of developing it. Moreover, studies have also shown that a history of childhood physical or sexual abuse may also be a risk factor. Further, there is an unknown link between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and indigestion. Because around one-third of the people affected by this disorder develop IBS.

 

Functional Dyspepsia Diet Idea

First of all, you need to make some lifestyle changes. Always eat slowly, as eating too fast affects the process of digestion. Also, eating foods that are high in fat can aggravate the symptoms. High alcohol consumption, as well as cigarette smoking, can also worsen the condition. 

Studies have shown that some foods can effectively alleviate the symptoms. These include:

  • Apples

  • Dates

  • Honey

  • Rice

  • Yogurt

  • Walnuts

 

While some can aggravate the symptoms:

  • Watermelon

  • Citrus juice

  • Carbonated drinks

  • Caffeine (coffee)

  • Oily and fatty foods

 

Read about Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 

But, as the symptoms vary from person to person, so dietplusminus suggests that it is better to seek help from a medical practitioner to set up a proper diet plan. 

 

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Weight Gain Program

Weight Gain Program

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Weight Gain Diet Plan

Being underweight comes under the category of malnutrition. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 462 million people in the world are underweight. Poor dieting habits, skipping meals, etcetera can lead to being underweight.

Underweight people are quite prone to diseases, especially deficiencies. During the correction of nutritional deficiencies with evidence-based scientific diet plans, you can eliminate all such deficiencies and get proper nutrition every day. If you are underweight due to nutritional mismatch then within 3 months you will be able to see the result and you will also gain significantly. For other causes of the underweight conditions, evaluation is required on an OPD basis in the hospital.

 

What are the main causes behind being underweight?

There are several causes behind being underweight, including:

1. High metabolism

Individuals with high metabolism do not gain weight, even after eating high-calorie foods.

2. Individuals with very high physical activity

People have very high physical activities, for example, athletes and runners burn a significant amount of calories. This causes a low body weight.

3. Chronic disease

Some diseases can cause continuous nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Examples of such diseases are diabetes, thyroid problems, cancer, digestive problems, and respiratory problems. These all make weight gain difficult.

4. Mental problems

Mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) can affect the eating ability of an individual. Additionally, eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can also affect eating. All of these conditions can affect the body image and appetite of an individual.

 

Girl holding dumbell

What leads to unexplained weight loss?

The reasons for unexplained weight loss may be medical or non-medical. There may be a group of conditions, that have adverse effects on your health leading to unwanted weight loss. Common conditions which lead to unwanted weight loss include cancer, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, peptic ulcer, Crohn’s disease, dental problems, Addison’s disease, amyloidosis, hypercalcemia, diabetes, heart problem, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, depression, COPD, and HIV. Certain medications and lifestyles, including alcohol and cocaine, also lead to weight loss.

 

Why should you attain and maintain a healthy weight?

It is very important to diagnose the underlying cause of unwanted weight loss. Diagnosis and proper treatment are necessary as they can be fatal. Your BMI calculator:

Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator

Weight status

BMI

Underweight

Lower than 18.5

Healthy weight

Between 18.5 to 24.9

Overweight 

Between 25 to 29.9

Obese

30 or above

 

BMI lower than 18.5 is suggestive of being underweight.

 

Risks of being underweight are:

1. Weakened immunity

The immunity of underweight individuals is suppressed and they are more vulnerable to getting colds, flu, and other infections.

2. Deficiencies

If you are underweight, likely, you are not taking a healthy diet. This can lead to nutritional deficiency, for example, a lower calcium level can lead to fragile bones and a lower iron level causes anemia which leads to fatigue. Symptoms like thinning skin, dry skin, hair loss, and poor dental health are also associated with nutritional deficiencies. 

3. Irregular periods

Underweight women find it difficult to conceive. Their period may be irregular or can stop.

4. Premature birth

According to a study, a pregnant woman who is underweight is more likely to give birth to a premature child.

5. Slow or impaired growth

Proper nutrition is needed for the growth and development of bones in young individuals. Being underweight and not getting enough nutrition can result in underdevelopment.

Apple with tape

 

When to consult your doctor?

When you are trying to gain weight and are not able to do so, you should consult your doctor. When you are experiencing problems like irregular periods or find it difficult to conceive, you should ask your doctor for help. If an individual is mentally unfit or has an eating disorder, medical attention is necessary. Some common symptoms of an eating disorder include secretive behavior, sudden and unexplained weight loss, fatigue, refusing to eat in front of others, and refusing to attend family and social events. In case of such problems, family members should encourage the individual and seek medical help.

 

Some pro tips to gain healthy weight

1. Include at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables in your diet.

2. Must include dairy or dairy alternatives in your diet. Also add beans, eggs, fish, meat, and other protein sources to your diet.

3. Select healthy whole grains as a base of your diet. You can also add starchy carbs, including potato, rice, pasta, and bread to your diet.

4. Include nuts, seeds, and healthy fat in your diet.

5. Eat several small meals.

6. Add high protein and high fiber snacks to your diet.

7. Drink plenty of fluid. 3-4 liter liquid a day is necessary.


 

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Diabetes Diet

Diabetes Diet

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Diabetes has already become the third most common disease on the planet with around 500 million people affected by it. Though the mortality rate is low, dietplusminus urges you to take it extremely seriously.

World Diabetes Day

People who ignore it at first, later either succumb to it or it turns out to be their worst nightmare. Diabetes (any type) requires necessary care from the diet and lifestyle point of view. Otherwise, it can lead to other serious complications such as stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, joint problems, neurological and heart disease, etc. Here you will get to know about everything related to diabetes and its concerning diet. 

 

 

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that alters your body’s natural way and ability to process blood glucose (blood sugar). Food that you eat is ultimately converted into a simpler form (glucose). Glucose is then used by your cells to release energy. Insulin is a hormone secreted by your pancreas that promotes the absorption of glucose and thereby helps to regulate your blood sugar level. Depending on what’s happening to insulin in your body, different types of diabetes can occur. 

 

Types of Diabetes

Features

Type 1 diabetes

  • This is caused due to disruption of pancreas cells, where insulin is made.
  • This disruption is caused by an immune system attack.
  • However, the exact reason behind this attack is unclear.
  • In this situation, you have to completely depend upon artificial insulin doses per day.
  • Approx. 10% of individuals with diabetes suffer from this type. 

 

Type 2 diabetes

  • Commonest among all types of diabetes.
  • This is caused when your body becomes resistant to the insulin formed in your body and your blood sugar level increases. 

 

Gestational diabetes

  • This is caused during pregnancy, due to the secretion of insulin-blocking hormones by the placenta. 

 
Type I diabetes (juvenile diabetes) occurs if your body completely fails to produce enough insulin or does not produce enough of it. So, type I diabetic patients need to take artificial insulin, daily. 
On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes occurs when your cells don’t respond to insulin as effectively as normal and therefore it affects the processing of glucose. So, type 2 is 
caused by insulin resistance of your cells. So, here,  it doesn’t matter if your body is producing enough insulin or not. This is the most common type of diabetes and studies have shown that it is highly linked to obesity. 
There's another type of diabetes known as gestational diabetes. As the name suggests, this type occurs in women during their trimesters. Basically, during pregnancy, the bo
dy of a woman can become less sensitive to insulin and therefore develop somewhat insulin resistance. But, this does not occur in all women and mostly it gets resolved naturally after parturition. Also, in some people, borderline diabetes known as pre-diabetes is diagnosed. 


The normal fasting blood sugar level ranges between 70 and 110 mg/dL. A level of 126mg/dL and above is considered to be diabetic and a blood sugar level ranging from 111 to 125 mg/dL is pre-diabetic. Such people face the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

 

Result

Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG)

Normal

less than 100 mg/dl

Prediabetes

100 mg/dl to 125 mg/dl

Diabetes

126 mg/dl or higher

 

Result

A1C

Normal

less than 5.7%

Prediabetes

5.7% to 6.4%

Diabetes

6.5% or higher

 

Result

 Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

Normal

 less than 140 mg/dl

Prediabetes

 140 mg/dl to 199 mg/dl

Diabetes

 200 mg/dl or higher


Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58% by:

  • Losing 7% of your current body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds).
  • Exercising moderately (such as brisk walking) 30 minutes a day, five days a week.


Symptoms of diabetes

The rise in blood sugar levels causes almost similar symptoms in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes patients are usually asymptomatic.

 

Type 1 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes

Gestational diabetes

Increase in thirst

Increase in thirst 

Typically gestational diabetes has no symptoms.

Extreme hunger

Increase in hunger

In rare cases, women feel increased thirst and urination.

Frequent urination

Increased urination

 

Unwanted loss of weight

Slow healing of sores

 

Tiredness

Tiredness

 

Blurry vision

Blurry vision

 

 

 

What Causes Diabetes?

The reason associated with each type of diabetes is different.
Type 1 diabetes is caused due to disruption of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. The immune system attacks and destroys these cells. Genes may be playing a role in causing type 1 diabetes but the significant cause is hormonal imbalance, im
mune system unknowingly attacks the insulin-producing beta cells and thus accounts for the high level of sugar in the blood. Some viruses can also induce immune system attacks. Diabetes Banner with Insulin

There are two main reasons behind type 2 diabetes, first genetics, and second lifestyle. Unlike type-1, type 2 diabetes has different causes. Genes still play a role, but lifestyle plays a major role. Being overweight, having high blood pressure issues, high triglycerides, and high alcohol intake, all directly or indirectly cause diabetes. Overweight or obese individuals, who have fat on their belly are at higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes because fat mass on the belly makes your cells more resistant to the effects of insulin on your blood sugar. 

Gestational diabetes is caused due to hormonal changes and secretion of some insulin-blocking hormones from the placenta during pregnancy.

 

Type 1 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes

Gestational diabetes

Occurs in children or teenagers

Overweight

Overweight 

If your parent or sibling has this problem

More than 45 years of age

More than 25 years of age

Certain genes may induce this disease

Physically not active

Have given birth to a child of more than 9 pounds

 

Have Prediabetes

Have PCOS

 

Suffered from gestational diabetes 

Suffered from gestational diabetes during a past pregnancy 

 

Have high blood pressure, high triglycerides, or high cholesterol

If your parent or sibling has this problem

 

If your parent or sibling has this problem

 


Complications associated with diabetes:

High blood sugar is like a slow poison, which deteriorates your body very slowly and damages the organs and tissues throughout the body. The longer the time you live with uncontrolled blood sugar, the higher the damage caused.

The common damages caused by long term uncontrolled diabetes are: 

 

  • Neuropathy 
  • Nephropathy
  • Vision loss and retinopathy
  • Heart problems
  • Hearing issues
  • Sores in the foot that don’t heal are commonly called diabetic foot
  • More prone to bacterial and fungal infections
  • Skin problems
  • Depression
  • Dementia 

 

Complications associated with gestational diabetes are different from type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and include:

  • Stillbirth
  • Premature birth
  • Birth weight higher than normal weight
  • Jaundice
  • Low blood sugar level
  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes in later life
  • Cesarean delivery may be required
  • Risk of future pregnancies

 

Treatment of diabetes

Lifestyle modifications, including consumption of healthy food, workout, and certain medications are used to treat diabetes, depending upon the type of diabetes and condition of the patient.  

Type 1 diabetes: Insulin is the main treatment for type 1 diabetes, to keep blood sugar levels in control, as the body is unable to produce this hormone. 
Type 2 diabetes: This type of diabetes can be treated using a healthy diet and proper workout. If your blood sugar level is not controlled by these lifestyle changes, your doctor will prescribe medications for you. If the medications do not work, insulin is given to some patients.
Gestational diabetes: If diet and exercise are not enough to bring the blood sugar levels under control, insulin is given. Insulin is considered safe for the growing child.

 

Diet Plan To Treat Diabetes

Following a proper diet plan is very important in the case of diabetes. Dietplusminus strictly recommends you follow a low-glycemic index diet.

Healthy Vegetable

For those of you who don’t know what glycemic index means, it is a number assigned to foods indicating their ability to raise blood sugar after consumption. So, you are advised to avoid food with a glycemic index of 70 or above. You must make low-glycemic choices to maintain a normal blood sugar level.

 

Consider the following tips for low glycemic index food

  • Eat unprocessed foods and not processed ones. Because whole, unprocessed foods have a lower glycemic index than processed foods. 
  • Eat more high in fiber foods. Fiber takes time to digest and therefore your blood sugar level does not rise quickly.
  • Eat fruits like apples, vegetables like sweet potato, lentils, kidney beans, etc. These have a low glycemic index.
  • Apart from these, strawberries, yogurt, chia seeds, and nuts are also very helpful.
  • But, most importantly you need to avoid consuming table sugar, in any form. So, avoid all the soft drinks, etc. You can substitute table sugar with honey, but make sure to use it in moderation.

You should look at the total nutritional value in foods, not just glycemic index, to control diabetes. Even some foods that have a high glycemic index (potatoes) contain vitamin C, potassium, fiber, etc. which can be helpful. Also, the norms of a good diet may vary as per your liking, so you should visit a qualified medical practitioner for the best suitable diet.
 

 

What tests are required for joining this program?

Lists of important tests

  1. Blood Sugar-Fasting and Post Prandial 

  2. Fasting Insulin

  3. HbA1C

  4. Urine Routine and Urine microalbumin

  5. Hemogram 

  6. Lipid profile 

  7. Liver Function Tests 

  8. Kidney Function Tests including Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) 

  9. Thyroid Function Tests  

  10. Iron Study

  11. High Sensitive C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP)

  12. Vitamin B12

  13. Vitamin D3

Snoring (Due to Obesity) Diet

Snoring (Due to Obesity) Diet

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Snoring: Everything you need to know

Snoring is a very common phenomenon. It is more common in men when compared with women. The condition worsens with age. Certain lifestyle modifications can help in most cases, but in a few cases, like sleep disorders, medical intervention is needed. 

 

Reasons behind snoring

Several factors are responsible for snoring.

snoringThe physiological cause behind snoring is the vibration produced in your airways. When you breathe, the relaxed tissue in your upper respiratory tract vibrates, which produces the typical snoring sound. Snoring may result from:

  1. Blocked nasal passage
  2. Too much tissue in the throat
  3. The poor muscle tone of the throat and tongue
  4. Too long uvula
  5. Soft palate
  6. Cold and allergies, which causes nasal congestion and swelling of the throat
  7. A symptom of sleep apnea

 

Diagnosis of snoring

In mild snoring cases, only physical examination is needed. But in case of severe snoring, certain diagnostic tests are needed, including X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans. These all are done to check your airway abnormalities. In a few cases, a sleep study may also be needed. In a sleep study, you have to spend the night at the clinic or at a sleep center to monitor the 

  1. Respiration rate
  2. Heart rate
  3. Oxygen levels in the body, and 
  4. Movement of legs.

 

Treatment of snoring

The most important factor which decides the mode of treatment is the reason behind your snoring. Common treatments for snoring include:

  1. Use mouthpieces to keep your airway open and position your soft palate and tongue. 
  2. Trim the excess tissue in your airways, with the help of surgery.
  3. Palatal implants to stiffen your palates and reduce snoring.
  4. Removal of uvula and shortening of the soft palate with the help of laser surgery. 
  5. Use of masks or CPAP machines to direct pressurized air into the airway to eliminate sleep apnea and snoring.  

 

Complications associated with snoring

 

Frequent snoring may increase the risk of:

  1. Sleepiness whole day
  2. Reduced concentration
  3. High blood pressure
  4. Increased risk of stroke and heart disease
  5. Drowsiness, resulting in road accidents
  6. Relationship conflicts. 

 

Preventive measures for snoring

Certain lifestyle changes may improve the snoring conditions in mild cases. The potentially effective measures are:

  1. Weight management
  2. Sleep on your side
  3. Go to bed at the same time every night
  4. Apply nasal strips before going to bed
  5. Get proper treatment for nasal congestion
  6. Don’t eat just before your bedtime
  7. Avoid alcohol before bedtime
  8. Use an extra pillow to elevate your head up to 4 inches

 

Some tips to stop snoring

The best way to treat your snoring is to find the reason behind it. Depending upon your needs use the under-given methods to relieve your symptoms.

 

Weight management

If you are overweight or obese, switch to a healthy diet and regular exercise for weight management. It may help relieve the issue.

OTC medication

If your problem is due to a cold or allergy, try an OTC medication, such as intranasal decongestants.

Avoid alcohol

Avoid alcohol before bedtime because it relaxes the throat muscles, which can contribute to snoring.

Sleep on your side

When sleeping on your back, your tongue can fall back into your throat which can make your airway smaller, resulting in snoring. So, try sleeping on your side.

Try using a mouthpiece

The use of a removable mouthpiece keeps your jaw, tongue, and soft palate in place to prevent snoring.

Use CPAP machine

A CPAP machine pumps air into the airway overnight. It decreases the symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea.

Surgery

In severe cases of snoring, surgery is needed. Insertion of filament in your soft palate, trimming extra tissue from your throat, or shrinking the tissue in your soft palate can help you relieve the issue.

Get enough sleep

A sound sleep of 6-8 hours is necessary for adults. Sleep deprivation may lead to snoring.

Raise the head side of your bed

It helps reduce snoring by keeping your airways open.

Avoid sedatives

If you are on sedatives, talk to your doctor for other options. Sedatives, like alcohol, relax the throat muscles, leading to snoring.

Try quit smoking

Smoking worsens the condition, so try quitting it. 

 

Risk factors associated with snoring

Certain factors increase the risk of snoring:

 

Sleeping position

Sleeping on your back increases the risk of snoring.

Age

Snoring increases with increasing age.

Alcohol

Consumption of alcohol relaxes the throat muscles, leading to snoring. So, avoid alcohol before bedtime.

Gender

Snoring is more common in men when compared with women.

Genetics

If any of your family members has sleep apnea, you are at increased risk of developing it. 

Cold and allergies

Cold and allergies cause inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, leading to snoring.

Overweight or obese

In overweight individuals, more and more tissue is developed in the throat, leading to snoring.

Small airway

A narrow upper respiratory tract may be the reason for your snoring.

 

When to contact your doctor

In case of snoring, only your roommate or bed partner can tell the symptoms and frequency. Some common symptoms of snoring include:

  1. Nasal congestion
  2. Breathing from the mouth, and 
  3. Waking in the morning with a dry throat

 

Symptoms of frequent or severe snoring:

Snoring_symptoms

  1. Sore throat
  2. Drowsiness or feeling the sleepy whole day
  3. Frequent napping
  4. Frequent waking up during sleep
  5. Lower concentration
  6. Choking during sleep
  7. Chest pain or high blood pressure.

 

If you have symptoms of frequent snoring, talk to your doctor. He/she will tell whether you are suffering from sleep apnea or any other serious condition after conducting some tests and even a sleep study.  

Snoring is a very common phenomenon, ranging from mild to severe in terms of severity. If you snore once in a while, you don’t need any intervention, but in case of chronic snoring, you need to consult your doctor. 

 

Frequently asked questions on snoring

Is there any permanent way to stop snoring? Is it 100% safe? If not then what else can I do?

First of all, you should know the reason behind your snoring, then only you will be able to permanently eradicate the issue. In mild cases of snoring, certain lifestyle modifications may help relieve the condition. Weight management, avoiding alcohol or food just before going to bed, and OTC medications for colds and allergies may help relieve the symptoms.

 

Are there any tips and tricks to help me stop snoring?

Tips to stop snoring in mild cases include:

  1. Weight management
  2. Sleep on your side
  3. Go to bed at the same time every night
  4. Apply nasal strips before going to bed
  5. Get proper treatment for nasal congestion
  6. Don’t eat just before your bedtime
  7. Avoid alcohol before bedtime
  8. Use an extra pillow to elevate your head up to 4 inches

 

What are some natural ways to fight to snore?

Natural ways work in mild cases of snoring, including weight management, sleeping on your side, sound sleep of 6-8 hours, avoiding alcohol and food before bedtime, elevating head up to 4 inches, getting proper treatment of nasal congestion, application of nasal strips before going to bed. If you have frequent and severe snoring, consult your doctor. He/she will tell whether you are suffering from sleep apnea or any other serious condition after conducting some tests and even a sleep study, and will then suggest if there is a need for surgery.

 

What is light snoring?

Light or infrequent snoring is normal and does not require any treatment. It only disturbs your roommate or bed partner. It is also called primary snoring and occurs more than three nights per week. 

 

Why do skinny people snore?

Although snoring is more common in overweight individuals, it can also occur in skinny people. It can be due to a cold or allergy which causes inflammation in the upper respiratory tract or due to anatomical abnormality like a narrow airway. 

 

Can snoring be cured with surgery? How?

In case of anatomical abnormalities or deposition of excess tissues in the throat due to obesity, surgery is needed to cure snoring. Some common surgeries include:

  1. Trim the excess tissue in your airways,
  2. Palatal implants to stiffen your palates,
  3. Removal of uvula and shortening of the soft palate with the help of laser surgery.

 

Is snoring physically harmful and if so how?

Loud and frequent snoring increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems. Manage your weight and avoid alcohol before bedtime. If the symptoms persist, consult your healthcare provider. 

 

What is the prevention of snoring?

Preventive measures for snoring include:

  1. Weight management
  2. Sleep on your side
  3. Go to bed at the same time every night
  4. Apply nasal strips before going to bed
  5. Get proper treatment for nasal congestion
  6. Don’t eat just before your bedtime
  7. Avoid alcohol before bedtime
  8. Use an extra pillow to elevate your head up to 4 inches

 

How common is snoring?

Approx 45% of adults snore occasionally and 25% snore regularly. Snoring is more common in overweight individuals, middle-aged and older men, and postmenopausal women. The conditions worsen with increasing age.

 

What are the causes behind snoring?

Common causes of snoring include:

  1. Blocked nasal passage
  2. Too much tissue in the throat
  3. The poor muscle tone of the throat and tongue
  4. Too long uvula
  5. Soft palate
  6. Cold and allergies, which causes nasal congestion and swelling of the throat
  7. A symptom of sleep apnea

 

Obesity-induced snoring correcting diet Plan

Staying fit and healthy is the best sort of lifestyle, one can have and we are always there to help you! At DietPlusMinus, we thoroughly study your body profile and conduct tests like blood tests to prepare scientific diet plans and exercises for you.

 


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PCOD/PCOS Diet

PCOD/PCOS Diet

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Let's understand PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in females, in which their hormone level is affected. PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) or PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) are names given to the same ailment. PCOD affects nearly 1 million women per year in India only, mostly striking at an early age. As the name already suggests, in the disease, the development of multiple cysts (blisters inside the body) in the ovary takes place. Due to this ovary enlarges and excessive production of androgen and estrogen (female hormones) happens to lead to multiple disorders in the body. Symptoms of the ailment are already listed above.

PCOS causes more than normal amounts of male hormone secretion in women. This causes a hormonal imbalance in their body, leading to skipping menstrual periods and difficulty in getting pregnant. PCOS can cause some long-term health issues like diabetes and heart disease and can also cause hair growth on the face and body, and baldness. Hormonal imbalance can be fixed and the symptoms can be improved up to certain levels by the use of birth control pills and diabetes drugs.

More about PCOS

PCOS is a problem with hormones that affects women during their childbearing years (ages 15 to 44). Between 2.2 and 26.7 percent of women in this age group have PCOS. The condition PCOS causes hormone-related issues in women during their childbearing age (15 to 44 years). According to a study, between 2.2 to 26.7 % of women in this age group have PCOS.

One in every 10 women suffers from PCOD/PCOS on average. Some experiences obesity, weight gain, and acne while some experiences abnormal menstruation, irregular or heavy menstruation, depression, and loss of scalp hair are also some significant symptoms of PCOS. All these side-effects-cum-symptoms are threatening and alarming too. In a world where stress and anxiety are common, there is a high risk for women to suffer from PCOS/PCOD. But every problem has a solution and this deadly-looking worst situation also has some specific solutions.

Many women have PCOS but they don’t know it. According to another study, up to 70 % of women are unaware that they have PCOS.

Ovaries, the female reproductive organs- which produce estrogen and progesterone are affected by PCOS. These hormones are responsible for the regulation of the menstrual cycle. In addition to secreting estrogen and progesterone, ovaries also produce a scanty amount of male hormones called androgens.

There is a release of an egg each month called ovulation. The ovaries release eggs to be fertilized by a man’s sperm. Ovulation is controlled by follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). FSH is involved in stimulating the ovary to produce a follicle — a sac that contains an egg, after that LH stimulates the ovary to release a mature egg. PCOS can cause a group of symptoms affecting the ovaries and also ovulation. The three most common symptoms are:

  1. Irregular or skipped periods
  2. Cysts in the ovaries
  3. High levels of male hormone

Many small, fluid-filled sacs grow inside the ovary of women having PCOS. This is what is called polycystic, which means “many cysts”. These sacs are follicles, each containing 1 immature egg. The main issue is that these eggs never mature enough to trigger ovulation. Lack of ovulation causes alteration in levels of hormones that are involved in the whole procedure of ovulation, like estrogen, progesterone, FSH, and LH. Androgen levels increase higher than usual, while the level of estrogen and progesterone falls. High levels of androgens disturb the menstrual cycle, so women with PCOS get fewer periods than usual. PCOS isn’t a new condition. Italian physician Antonio Vallisneri first described its symptoms in 1721.

 

In short:

Up to 27% of women during their childbearing age are affected by PCOS. The main issues associated are irregular periods, cysts in the ovaries, and high levels of male hormones.

 

Causes of PCOS

The exact causes of PCOS are still unknown but excess production of male hormones (androgen) inside the body may lead to it. High levels of the male hormone inside the body prevent ovaries from producing eggs normally, leading to many problems.  PCOS runs in families so, it is related to genes, meaning that if your ancestor had it there are high chances of you catching it. Insulin resistance and inflammation of tissues also lead to excessive production of a male hormone which then leads to PCOD.

The exact reason for PCOS is still a mystery for doctors. They believe that the high levels of male hormones in women are responsible for the improper function of ovaries in producing hormones and making eggs normally. In addition genes, inflammation, and insulin resistance have also been linked to excess androgen production.

Genes

It is reported in some studies that PCOS runs in families. It is also reported that a single gene is not responsible for this, many genes are involved in causing this condition.

Insulin resistance

According to some studies, up to 70 % of women with PCOS have impaired insulin function, i.e. insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, to help the body use sugar from foods for energy. When the insulin is not used by cells properly, the body’s demand and the supply from the pancreas both increase. Extra insulin triggers the ovaries to produce more male hormones. The major cause behind insulin resistance is obesity. Obesity and insulin resistance, together with lead to type2 diabetes.

Inflammation

Women suffering from PCOS normally have increased levels of inflammation in their bodies. Being obese or overweight can also contribute to inflammation. Excess inflammation is linked with higher levels of androgen in some studies.

In short:

The exact reason behind PCOS is not known now. Doctors believe some factors behind this like genes, insulin resistance, and higher levels of inflammation in the body.

 

Common symptoms of PCOS

The symptoms are visible in some women from their first period while others came to know about it after they’ve gained a lot of weight or they’ve had trouble getting pregnant.

 

PCOS symptoms

Description

Irregular periods

Some women with PCOS get fewer than eight periods a year. A lack of ovulation is the reason behind this. 

Headaches

Hormonal changes are often associated with headaches in some women.

Weight gain

According to some studies, Up to 80% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese.

Heavy bleeding

The uterine lining builds up for a longer period, so the periods can be heavier than normal.

Darkening of the skin

Dark patches on the skin may form in some areas like those on the neck, in the groin, and under the breasts.

Male-pattern baldness

Some women report severe hair fall.

Hair growth.

More than 70% of women with this condition suffer from hair growth on their face and body — including on their back, belly, and chest.

Acne

Male hormones may make the skin oily more than usual and can cause breakouts on areas like the face, chest, and upper back.

 

In short:

PCOS can disturb the normal menstrual cycle, resulting in very fewer periods. Some other symptoms associated with PCOS are acne, hair growth, weight gain, and dark skin patches.

 

Effects of PCOS On your body

There are various areas in your body, which can get affected by PCOS.

Infertility

Proper ovulation is of utmost importance for getting pregnant. Women not ovulating regularly don’t release as many eggs to be fertilized. One of the leading causes of infertility is PCOS.

Metabolic syndrome

According to a few studies, approx. 80% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese. PCOS with obesity increases the risk of insulin resistance, high blood pressure, low HDL, and high LDL. These metabolic syndromes increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Sleep apnea

This condition causes repeated pauses in breathing during the night, which interrupts sleep. Repeated pause in breathing during the night is observed in females with PCOS. This causes interrupted sleep. Although sleep apnea is common among overweight females, the risk increases 5 to 10 times in obese women with PCOS, as compared to those without PCOS.

Endometrial cancer

The uterine lining sheds during ovulation. Women not ovulating every month, build up the lining thicker. A thickened uterine lining increases the risk of endometrial cancer.

Depression

Various symptoms associated with PCOS like unwanted hair growth, acne, and excessive hair fall can affect your emotions negatively. Many women with PCOS end up experiencing depression and anxiety.

In short:

A woman's health can be affected in many ways due to hormonal imbalance. PCOS increases the risk for infertility, metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea, endometrial cancer, and depression.

 

How PCOS is diagnosed

When at least two of the under given symptoms are found in a woman, doctors diagnose it as PCOS:

. Cyst in ovaries

. Irregular periods.

. high levels of androgen

 

Your doctor may ask you whether you’ve had other symptoms like hair loss, weight gain, body hair growth, or acne. By pelvic examination, your doctor can search for any problems with your ovaries or other parts of the reproductive tract. Gloved fingers are inserted into your vagina to check for any growths in your ovaries or uterus.

Blood tests are performed to check the levels of male hormones. You may also be suggested by your doctor for some other tests like cholesterol, insulin, and triglyceride levels to evaluate your risk for related conditions like heart disease and diabetes. An ultrasound can be suggested to look for abnormal follicles and other problems with your ovaries and uterus.

 

In short:

The main symptoms of PCOS are high androgen levels, irregular periods, and cysts in the ovaries. If you have more than two of them, the doctor will diagnose it as PCOS. Following that, a pelvic exam, blood tests, and ultrasound can confirm the diagnosis.

 

Pregnancy and PCOS

The normal menstrual cycle is interrupted in the condition PCOS, and it becomes difficult to conceive. According to some studies, about 70-80% of women with PCOS have fertility-related issues. If they become pregnant, this can increase their pregnancy complications.

Women with PCOS have a greater (approx. double than normal women) chance of giving birth to a premature baby. The chance of miscarriage, high blood pressure, and gestational diabetes also increases. However, fertility treatments related to improving ovulation can be helpful for women with PCOS to become pregnant. Weight loss and normal blood sugar levels also increase the odds of getting pregnant.

 

In short:

There is an increased chance of infertility in women with PCOS. It can also increase pregnancy complications and miscarriage. Weight loss, fertility-related treatments, and normal blood sugar levels can improve your odds of having a healthy pregnancy.

 

Common medical treatments

Birth control pills and other medicines can help in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and the treatment of PCOS symptoms like hair growth and acne.

Birth control

Daily intake of estrogen and progestin can help restore a normal hormone balance, regulate ovulation in relieving symptoms like excess hair growth, and protect against endometrial cancer.

Metformin

Metformin is a drug used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It also treats PCOS by improving insulin levels. In addition to making dietary changes and exercises, metformin improves weight loss, lowers blood sugar, and restores a normal menstrual cycle better than changes to diet and exercise alone.

Clomiphene

Clomiphene is a fertility drug, which can help women with PCOS in getting pregnant. But, it can increase the chance of twins and other multiple births.

Hair removal medicines

Few treatments help stop the growth of unwanted hair. Eflornithine (Vaniqa) cream is a prescription drug that slows hair growth. For the removal of unwanted hair from the face and body, laser hair removal or electrolysis can be beneficial.

Surgery

To improve fertility, surgery can also be an option if other treatments don’t work. Ovarian drilling is a procedure that makes tiny holes in the ovary with a laser or thin heated needle to restore normal ovulation.

 

In short:

Birth control pills and metformin tablets can help restore a normal menstrual cycle. To improve fertility Clomiphene and surgery may be beneficial. Hair removal medicines and laser hair removal may help you get rid of unwanted hair growth.

 

When to see a doctor for PCOD

Consult with your doctor if:

  1. You have symptoms of diabetes, such as excessive thirst or hunger, blurred vision, or unexplained weight loss.
  2. You’ve missed your periods and you’re not pregnant.
  3. You have symptoms like hair growth on your face and body.
  4. You’ve been trying to conceive for more than 12 months but haven’t been successful.

If you are diagnosed with PCOS, be in regular contact with your primary doctor. You’ll need regular tests for diabetes, high blood pressure, and other possible complications.

 

In short:

Consult your doctor, if you have symptoms like skipped periods, and hair growth on your face and body. Also contact your doctor, if trying to conceive for more than 12 months and not getting success.

 

The bottom line

PCOS can disturb the menstrual cycle of a woman and make it difficult to get pregnant. High levels of male hormones result in unwanted symptoms like hair growth on the face and body.

 

Weight loss tips for women with PCOS:

It is very difficult for women with PCOS to lose weight because of related conditions like hormonal imbalances, insulin resistance, and inflammation. Even a small weight loss of approximately 5% can improve insulin resistance, hormone levels, menstrual cycles, fertility, and overall quality of life in women with PCOS.

Let’s discuss some weight loss tips which can be helpful for you:

 

Weight Loss Tips

Description

Cut carb Intake

Eating a diet low in GI, and low in carbs may reduce insulin levels in women with PCOS. It will also help in weight loss.

Consider Supplements

Myo-inositol and carnitine supplements may be helpful for women with PCOS in losing weight and controlling certain symptoms.

Take Plenty of Fiber

A diet high in fiber may help reduce insulin resistance, body weight, and excess body fat.

Manage Your Stress

Reducing stress through yoga, meditation, and spending time on the stuff of interest may help lower cortisol levels. High cortisol levels from chronic stress are linked to insulin resistance and visceral fat.

Increase Protein Intake

Higher protein intake enhances weight loss, especially for women with PCOS. Add healthy, high-protein items like eggs, nuts, and seafood to your diet.

Get Enough Sleep

Poor sleep is linked to obesity. Studies in healthy adults report that increasing your total time asleep can reduce body fat and promote weight loss.

Add Healthy Fats

Inclusion of healthy fats in the diet may be beneficial for women with PCOS. In studies, higher fat intake is linked to reduced hunger and a greater loss of body fat.

Regular Exercise

To reduce body weight, women with PCOS must do both cardio and weight-training exercises. It may help them drop body fat and improve insulin sensitivity.

Eat Fermented Foods

Women with PCOS may be devoid of beneficial gut bacteria. Eating foods rich in probiotics or taking a probiotic supplement may support your gut bacteria, thus aiding weight loss.

Don’t Under eat

Your metabolism can slow down, if you eat for a long time, and will result in weight gain. Instead of forcing yourself to eat less food, try to adopt a diet of whole, unprocessed foods to help with weight loss.

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating helps promote awareness and promotes weight loss. It may be especially helpful for women with PCOS, who are much more likely to experience eating disorders.

Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is commonly seen in women with PCOS and has been linked to obesity. Eating a diet high in whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables may help prevent inflammation.

Limit Refined, Processed Foods, and Added Sugars

Processed foods such as refined carbs and added sugars increase blood sugar levels, which can lead to weight gain.

 

The Bottom Line

Weight loss is very difficult for women with PCOS. A healthy diet low in inflammatory foods like refined carbs and highly processed foods but rich in whole foods, protein, healthy fats, and fiber may enhance weight loss. Certain supplements may also help in this regard. Lifestyle modifications like regular exercise, stress management, and proper sleep are very important for weight loss. If you have PCOS and struggle to lose weight, try the above tips.

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