It is almost an accepted consequence of modern life that we will succumb to some type of degenerative illness sooner than we would like. However ,there is also a parallel interest in finding a way to avoid what seems inevitable.As a consequence many people have quit smoking,taken up exercise ,changed their diet and in general tried to take more responsibility toward prevention of illness.
In our society ,we tend to eat all the time –and that constant over eating doesn’t just make us fat,it also keeps our bodies in permanent ‘go’ mode. This leads to elevated levels of hormones like insulin ,which causes metabolic changes in the body. Cutting back on calories reduces insulin levels and give your system a chance to rid itself of old and worn out cells.
The importance of fat loss
Weight is,yes easy to measure –we just need a weighing scale.But,what we people forget in our obsession with Losing Weight is that what we really want to lose is FAT.
Yes,not all fat,we need fat for our well being.
Fat on the thighs and buttocks appears to be less of a health risk than excess belly fat,known as visceral fat.
Visceral fat significantly increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes ,which is why you should aim to have a waist (as measured round your belly button)that is less than half your height.
While losing fat,we have to preserve as much as muscle mass possible . We can help preserve muscle by maintaining or increasing the amount of exercise we do .This could be done simply by walking more and always taking the stairs ,or more vigorous activities such as weight training.
So,what’s a healthy diet ?
A healthy diet is the one which helps maintain or improve overall health .A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition:fluid ,adequate essential amino acids from protein,essential fatty acids ,vitamins,minerals and adequate calories.
Healthy eating means consuming the right portion of foods from all the food groups in order to lead healthy life.
A crucial part of healthy eating is a balanced diet .I suggest all my clients to consume from five main food group-whole grains,fruits and vegetables,protein,diary and fat .
A whole grain ,unlike refined grains,still has the bran and the grey attached .Whole grains are rich in fiber,minerals and vitamins.When grains are refined the bran and germ are removed .
Whole grain products include breads ,pastas and cereals –they need to be made with 100%whole grain.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables have a high vitamin ,mineral and fiber content-these nutrients are vital for your body to function well.
Several studies proved that good intake of fruits and vegetables may protect from developing heart diseases,diabetes type 2and cancer.
We need protein for the building and repairing of tissue in our body.Protein rich foods also include essential minerals ,such as iron ,magnesium ,zinc as well as B vitamins.
Meat,Poultry,fish,eggs,beans,nuts,soya are good source of protein
Diary products are good source of calcium which is important for healthy bones and teeth.Diary products include milk,yogurts,cheese, and some soya diary products.Always,we should aim for low fat dairy products.
People who do not consume animal sourced foods can get their calcium intake from other products ,such as broccoli,cabbage and soya milk and yogurts with added calcium.
There are two basic types of fats –saturated and unsaturated .Cream,margarine and fried foods are high in saturated fats,while vegetable oils and oily fish are rich in unsaturated fats.
Saturated fat consumption should be kept to a minimum because excess consumption significantly increases the risk of developing heart diseases.
As always I say , trust your body.Its is beautiful,complex and is always working 24/7 .For you!!!!
PRIYADARSHINI R MENON
Nutritionist and Lifestyle Coach and Diet Consultant
Can be contacted @