Thursday, 17 April 2014

10 False Myths on Food & Nutrition

Food is a topic that has attracted considerable interest throughout history. This interest, coupled with certain ignorance, has encouraged the development of numerous mistakes and myths about food, which have unjustifiably caused a change in behavior and food habits of many people.

Thus, there have been numerous foods to which have been attributed characteristics and properties due to false myths. "The fruits at the end of the fattening food", "taking a walnut morning decrease cholesterol levels" are some of the beliefs that are held as a result of numerous sources that lack the slightest scientific backing.

Since food is a biological as well as cultural fact, the beliefs and opinions have spread in our society, either transmitted by word of mouth through generations, or by the type of advertising to which we are subject.

But now, thanks to the scientific basis of that we have, it is possible to remove those beliefs, sometimes entrenched, drawing on the views and advice from real professionals in nutrition and health.

1. There are good and bad foods
FALSE: There is no perfect and complete food, nor is there an offending food. The sets and varieties are what determine the existence of a healthy and balanced diet. The right thing is to establish the specific proportions in the consumption of foods that allow achieving a healthy weight, but ensuring the maintenance of a good nutritional status.

2. Whole grains have fewer calories
FALSE: They often contain very similar amounts to non-comprehensive products. What really sets them apart is that whole grains have a higher amount of fiber. For example, both white bread such as whole provide the same calories. The advantage is that fiber improves intestinal transit and has a satiating power on appetite.

3. You need to take vitamin supplements
FALSE: It is normally sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals that are provided through a varied and balanced diet. There is no scientific evidence that high intake of vitamins in healthy people improve fatigue, appetite, and so on.

4. Fresh foods are more nutritious than frozen
FALSE: The cold from the fridge or freezer keeps food qualities unchanged, so a fish or frozen meat will not provide less nutrients than if you ate fresh.

5. Skipping a meal for slimming
FALSE: It is a bad habit. Experts recommend five meals a day, so we control our hunger-satiety system, since the spread intake per day in divided doses not get to the next meal with excessive hunger that would make us overeat. If you skip meals, your body thinks that it has entered starvation mode and slows down your metabolism and stores fat. When you want to lose weight, you want a faster metabolism, so skipping meals is a bad idea.

6. Coffee raises blood pressure
FALSE: This type of drink contains caffeine, and therefore exciting, but relatively little effect on the elevation of blood pressure compared to other nutrients, like salt, which if used in excess in the diet may be a factor in blood pressure levels.

7. Cholesterol, good and bad foods
MYTH: Any food is not good or bad depending on the amount of cholesterol it contain, there are more aspects to consider. Cholesterol is needed but the important thing is to avoid excess. Hence there are nutrients such as egg, which showed that besides containing cholesterol and proteins, it possesses lecithin, vitamins and minerals. This is a clear example of considering egg as a bad food when it is shown to have an important nutritional value. It is important to worry about excessive intake of cholesterol, but we cannot determine the health and mortality of this component, being more positive increase physical activity, limit consumption of snuff and alcohol, and so on.

8. Mixing carbohydrates and fat proteins
FALSE: It is the foundation of many diets decoupled calls, but has no scientific basis. It is very difficult to separate the foods according to the nutrients they provide, as each food is a mixture of nutrients.

9. My metabolism is very low and therefore I gain weight
FALSE: The calories you will need depend on age, weight and height, which is called basal metabolism. It is the muscle that is responsible for burning calories, so it is encouraged to exercise.

10. My excess water retention is causing weight gain
FALSE: Scientifically, both overweight and obesity are characterized by excess body fat, not liquids. Therefore it is advised not to use diuretics indiscriminately without the control of a specialist, as it can be harmful to health.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Why natural weight loss is better than weight loss pills?

We come across numerous methods of losing weight every day, whether through magazines and newspapers or those hilarious dubbed advertisements on television. Some of them are quite persuasive as they claim weight loss within weeks or even days. But are they at all as effective as they’re claimed to be and is the weight loss sustainable after the course is over?

The truth is that some of them are actually effective for losing weight might get you the figure you’ve always dreamt of. But the sustainability of that weight loss is questionable, not to mention the ill effects of losing weight in an unnatural manner.

It is absolutely impossible to lose weight through pills and diet medication without having side effects and in some cases, extremely harmful in nature. These include severe stomach pains and improper bowel movement which may eventually lead to critical health risks and diseases. Moreover, in most cases, it’s hard to determine and control the effects of such pills on your body and you may end up shaping your body in an undesirable manner.

Instead of looking at the harmful effects of diet pills for losing weight, let’s talk about the benefits of natural weight loss.

The most important benefit of a natural weight loss process is that you feel much healthier and active which motivates you to sustain your weight loss regime and efforts. The benefits of eating healthy and having a physically active lifestyle go beyond just weight loss and achieving a desirable physique. Inculcating healthy habits enable you to function better both physically as well mentally. When your body is getting the right amount of nutrients and a balanced meal, it is better prepared to fight infections with a stronger immunity.

Physical activities such as running, swimming and outdoor sports enable you to breathe in more amount of oxygen thus keeping your brain healthier and more active. The right amount of physical exercise can help you defy the process of aging to a certain extent and prepare you for a healthier longer life.

Most people nowadays start feeling old and stressed out by mid-twenties while they should naturally be at the peak of their health and activeness. This is easily attributable to our sedentary lifestyles and lack of physical activeness and proper nutrition. It is thus even more important to follow natural ways of losing weight rather than popping pills and going on unnatural starving diets.

In case you’re unsure of what diet should you follow and what kind of exercises your body requires for effective weight loss, you must consult a fitness expert and nutritionist. You shouldn’t shy away from taking help in matter for which you are not equipped or do not have time for. Let your fitness trainer help you achieve weight loss through natural procedures for a long lasting and sustainable weight loss along with a healthy and active life.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Does scaling damage teeth?

Dental health and hygiene is an ignored subject in India which leads to numerous dental problems and expensive treatments. As children we were told to brush our teeth in the morning and before going to bed. That’s about all the education we had about dental health. Most people don’t even know what flossing is, let alone how to floss.

By the time we’re adults, our careless eating habits and various indulgences such as alcohol and smoking takes a toll on our teeth. And that’s when we go see a dentist for the first time in our lives, a tooth ache. The doctor informs you that your teeth are covered with tartar and calculus and you require a scaling procedure.

Now scaling is a very testy subject in India and is surrounded by various myths that scaling causes damage to the teeth and makes them loose at the root. However, let’s understand the cause and effect of this entire process.

Improper care and dental hygiene leads to build up of bacterial plaque on the teeth which hardens with time if not removed and forms calculus and tartar. This cement like calculus hardens between your teeth and gums resulting in the receding of gums, thus loosening the teeth from the roots. Thereafter, the teeth are held in place only due to the calculus deposit around them, waiting to drop out the minute you exert enough force such as chewing something hard.

Another result of this process is that the teeth root and nerves now become exposed to the extreme temperatures and properties of whatever you consume. Eating something too hot or too cold will induce sensitivity in the teeth nerves resulting in tooth ache and discomfort.

The key point here is the deposition of bacterial plaque which hardens to form calculus which eats away the gums, loosens the teeth and exposes the tooth nerves. Thus, the most effective manner to avoid the excruciating pain is to remove the plaque or calculus at the very onset. This is brought about by the process of scaling, which removes the plaque and calculus this preventing further damage to the teeth and gums. If left unattended, calculus can lead to bleeding gums or gingivitis and tooth loss.

Depending upon the current state of your dental health, your eating habits and daily dental hygiene, you dentist can recommend whether you require scaling or not and how often should you get it done to prevent the calculus formation.

The myth that scaling can damage the enamel and loosen teeth is based on the fact that in some cases when the calculus is removed, the damage to the teeth is beyond repair and the teeth promptly fall out without the support of the hardened calculus. Scaling in a timely manner can in fact prevent this condition.

So for optimal dental care, it’s advisable that you pay attention to what your dentist says rather than gobbling up half baked stories about teeth damage from scaling. Stay informed and stay healthy.

Image Sourcefanshare

Friday, 8 November 2013

Must I exercise if I’m not overweight?

Most of us have a packed schedule for the entire day, starting from dragging ourselves out of bed, rushing to the office through traffic, slogging away at work till evening, attending to family matters at home and finally attempting to go to sleep at night with all the stress buildup from work and relationships.
We keep thinking how we can get into a schedule that works but are never able to get it right. The answer lies in exercise. Even though your body is fit in appearance, it needs physical activity to stay healthy and to keep your mind working in an efficient manner.

It’s tough at first to incorporate even 30 minutes of exercise in your hectic schedule, but once you squeeze it in, you’ll instantly feel the difference in terms of your productivity as well as energy levels. You’ll get things done more quickly and efficiently both at work as well as at home.

So how does exercise affect your body and mind?
We already know that regular exercise even for short durations can strengthen your body physically. You’ll feel more active and alive boosting you with more optimism and confidence in everything you do. When you indulge in activities such as running or swimming, the breathing rate rises allowing the lungs to take in more oxygen. More oxygen supply to the brain improves its functioning and enables you to think more clearly and concentrate better on the task at hand. Thus, exercising regularly can improve your productivity quite significantly, giving you the ability to take on more tasks and get more work done easily.

Exercising also cleanses away the toxins in the body through sweating and relaxes the tension buildup in the muscles. It is also a natural way to relieve stress and in some cases an effect way to manage anger problems. Relieving muscle tension allows the body to relax and enables you to fall asleep more easily and enjoying an uninterrupted sleep.

Thus, exercising is in fact a must for not only the obese or the overweight, but for everyone to stay healthy and to lead an active lifestyle.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Do genes affect obesity and weight loss?

Don’t we accuse our genes and hold our genetic tendencies as an excuse for our obesity?

Many of us have often said, “It runs in the family; all my aunts and uncles have been over weight.” We all know the truth that our obesity is the cause of negligent food habits and unhealthy lifestyle. However, scientists have discovered that genes do play a significant role in making a person obese.

Scientifically speaking, genes affect the way our body processes energy from the food we consume. For example the obesity gene may be the same gene which thousands of years back might have helped people survive famines and similar food scarcity situations. The human body evolved to sustain on low energy food by storing energy in form of fat. Moreover, it would have been a period when humans engaged in numerous physical activity given the lack of technology and discoveries. In the present day, when there’s abundant food and no need for any physical activity, the same gene may be contributing to obesity by storing excess fat in the body.

However, genes alone cannot be held responsible for obesity, which is now even considered an epidemic in some parts of the world. There are many factors which bring about or contribute to obesity. Factors such as sleep deprivation, sedentary lifestyle, poor regulation of diet and improper distribution of nutrients and essential minerals in the diet directly affect the obesity condition.

Overall, these factors are a part of our environment and how we adapt to it determines whether a person may develop obesity or not. Such factors may percolate down from a single individual to not only his/her entire family but even the whole community. Over the generation, these bad habits become a strong part of the community culture and get stronger with years, only to result in mass obesity occurrences and other related health problems and diseases.

Thus, instead of giving our genes as an excuse for obesity, we must start thinking about how to get rid of this disease and reclaim our health and happiness. In other words, it is in fact our duty not only to ourselves but to our community at large to imbibe the good habits and develop healthier practices for the future generations to come.