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Dr K K Aggarwal

Diet is linked to the diabetes epidemic

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A study published in the journal Diabetes Care, has highlighted the importance of the whole diet rather than focusing on certain foods or food groups that might be beneficial.

A diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables (leafy green), nuts and low-fat dairy may help people lower their risk of type 2 diabetes by 15% over 5 years than those who ate the lowest amounts of these foods.

Also, a diet which contains high amounts of red meat, high-fat dairy and refined grains like white bread may boost the odds of diabetes development by 18%.

Type 2 diabetes is closely linked to obesity and it is well-known that maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise reduces the risk of developing the disease. Diet affects diabetes risk independent of a person’s weight.

The Main Principle of Knowing the Truth

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The main figure in the Upanishads is sage Yajnavalkya, known as one of the greatest philosophers. Most of the great teachings of later Hindu or Buddhist philosophy are derived from him. He taught the great doctrine of neti-neti, the view that truth can be found only through the negation of all thoughts about it.

Brhadaranyaka Upanishad is the oldest and the most important of all the Upanishads. Its name actually means the great forest-book.

Sage Yajnavalkya’s dialogues with his wife, Maitreyi are featured in the Muni Kanda or Yajnavalkya Kanda. The doctrine of neti-neti suggests the indescribability of the Brahman, the Absolute. Yajnavalkaya attempts to define Brahman.

Atman is described “neither this, nor this” neti-neti. The Self cannot be described in any way. Na-iti – that is Neti. Through this process of neti-neti you give up everything – the cosmos, the body, the mind and everything – to realize the Self.

Once the Atman is defined in this manner are you become familiar with it, a transformation takes place as realization dawns that the phenomenal world and all its creatures are made up of the same essence of bliss.

Brahman is infinite, amorphous, colorless, characterless and formless Universal Spirit, which is omnipresent and omnipotent, and like cosmic energy, is pervasive, unseen and indescribable.

  • Neti-neti Meditation: The principle of neti-neti has been used in meditation involving gnana yoga. Whenever a thought or feeling comes to mind that is not the goal of the meditation, or is not the soul or the inner self, the meditator simply has to say, “Not this, not this,” and dismiss the thought, image, concept, sound, or sense distraction. Any thought, any feeling, is patiently discarded — again and again if necessary, until the mind is clear and the soul/or the self is revealed.
  • Neti-neti and the mind: When you get into the habit ofneti-neti, you can also discard thoughts of worry, doubt, or fear, and become established in the light of your inner self. You can, then, look back at worries and fears with deep insight and handle them.
  • Neti-neti and the medical profession: One of the basic medical teachings is to diagnose a condition by way of excluding other similar conditions. This is called differential diagnosis and this is the mainstay of allopathy. This also makes one investigative-oriented but is the only scientific way of knowing the truth.
  • Neti-neti and multiple choice questions: In any modern exam today, the principle of neti-neti is used. A question has four nearly similar answers and the student has to answer the correct one. He can only answer by the principle of negation.
  • Neti-neti and police investigations: This principle is also used while handling a criminal case. Everyone is a suspect in the crime initially, till a process of elimination clears them.

3 simple ways for a restful sleep

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Cut down on caffeine: Caffeine drinkers may find it harder to fall asleep. Even a single cup of coffee in the morning may lead to a sleepless night. Caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter thought to promote sleep. Caffeine can also interrupt sleep by increasing the need to urinate during the night. Because caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, irritability, and extreme fatigue, it may be easier to cut back gradually rather than to go cold turkey. Those who can’t or don’t want to give up caffeine should avoid it after 2 p.m., or noon if they are especially caffeine–sensitive.
  2. Stop smoking or chewing tobacco: Nicotine is a central nervous system stimulant that can cause insomnia. If you continue to use tobacco, avoid smoking or chewing it for at least one to two hours before bedtime.
  3. Limit alcohol intake: Alcohol depresses the nervous system, so a nightcap may seem to help some people fall asleep. Alcohol suppresses REM sleep, and the soporific effects disappear after a few hours. Alcohol also worsens snoring and other sleep breathing problems.

Allopathic Medical Vrat

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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There was a time when everybody in India, especially women, observed fast on a regular basis. In my childhood, I saw my mother not only observe fast herself but also insisting upon my sisters to observe fast once in a week, an extra fast once in a month and observe the two Navratras in a year of 9 days each. Together, this comes out to be around 80 fasts in a year.

When I go back to my childhood, I remember the fast used to be one day of avoiding cereals altogether. We were allowed to eat Roti made of Kuttu flour, singharha flour, samak rice and dal made of chaulai (all fruits).

In our childhood, we could never understand the meaning of fast. Today India is becoming a hub of diabetes, heart diseases and insulin resistance and all of them are linked with not observing fasts or eating high carb diets every day.

The culprit is eating carbohydrates, especially, refined carbohydrates. When we recall our mythology, only one king Raja Dashrath died of heart attack. This only signifies that our mythological lifestyle was preventing heart diseases in India. The western culture which is now spreading rapidly in India involves eating carbohydrates, especially, refined carbohydrates (white sugar, white rice white maida) every day.

I recently did a survey and found that women who do weekly vrats had a lower incidence of metabolic syndrome.

Today’s girls and women do not want to listen to the word ‘vrata’ or ‘spiritual vrata’.

Therefore, they must be made to understand the same in the language of a ‘medical vrata’. The simpler version of ‘vrata’ can be – not eating carbohydrates at all once in a week and replacing them with fruits and vegetables.

I normally suggest that once in a week, one should eat only fruits and vegetables and at the most can have milk, curd. If still someone has desires, they can have besan ka chila.

Diabetics Should Undergo Cardiac Evaluation

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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All diabetics should have their cardiac examination done as cardiovascular disease accounts for 65% of deaths in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Intensive and aggressive management of diabetes can reduce the risk of getting future heart attacks. As per the new guidelines, all patients with diabetes should have a blood pressure below 120/80 mmHg and fasting blood sugar lower than 90 mg%. The ABC of diabetes management is to keep abdominal circumference lower than 32 inches in women and lower than 35 inches in men, blood pressure lower than 120/80 mmHg and LDL cholesterol less than 100 mg%.

On 9th Navratri enjoy the spiritual powers

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Siddhidatri is worshipped on the ninth day of Navratri. She gives all eight siddhis – Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Iishitva and Vashitva. She rides on a lion or on a lotus. She has four hands and looks pleased.

Spiritual mantra on the 9th Navratri: By the 9th day of spiritual detoxification, one gets all spiritual powers.

A mix of exercise protocol is better

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A combination of weight training and aerobic exercise is the best prescription for overweight patients at risk for diabetes and heart disease. Only aerobic exercise is also as good as it reduces weight and takes inches off the waistlines. Just weight lifting alone has very little benefit.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, people in the weight–training group gained about 1.5 pounds and those in the aerobic group lost an average of 3 pounds and half an inch from their waists.

Those who did both weight and aerobic training dropped about 4 pounds and 1 inch from the waistline. This group also saw a decrease in diastolic lower blood pressure and in a metabolic syndrome score.

Both the aerobic–only group and the combined-exercise group also lowered their levels of bad triglycerides.

On 8th Navratri Enjoy a Purified Mind

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Maha Gauri is worshipped on the Eight Day of Navratri. SHE looks as white as moon and jasmine. White means purity of mind. She has three Eyes and four hands. SHE is dressed in a white sari.

SHE holds a drum and a trident and is often depicted riding a bull (control over the desires). Her above left hand is in fearless pose and she holds ‘Trishul’ in her lower left hand. Her above right hand holds a tambourine and the lower right hand is in a blessing Mudra.

Spiritual mantra on the 8th Navratri

By the 8th day of spiritual detoxification, one gets purity of mind.

Can blood pressure be higher in one arm?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A small difference in blood pressure readings between arms is normal. However, a difference of more than 20 mm Hg for systolic pressure (top number) or more than 10 mm Hg for diastolic pressure (bottom number) can be a sign of an underlying narrowing of the main arteries to that arm.

A difference of 10 to 15 mm Hg for upper systolic pressure that shows up repeatedly is a risk marker for vascular disease and future heart attacks.

Always have the doctor check both your arms for blood pressure and whichever is higher, use that arm for future blood pressure readings.

On 7th Navratri enjoy a mind devoid of inner darkness

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Kalaratri is worshipped on the Seventh Day of Navratri. She is dark and black like night. Her hairs are unlocked. SHE has three eyes and four hands.

She holds a sharp Sword in her right hand and blesses her devotees with her lower hand. HER vahana is a donkey, destroyer of darkness and ignorance (or shava). She spills out fire from her nostrils. She has put on necklaces shining like lightening. In Yoga Shastra, she represents the Sasahara Chakra.

Spiritual mantra on the 7th Navratri

By the time chanting of Bija mantras LAM, VAM, RAM, YAM, HAM and AUM is over, the inner darkness goes over.

Nine Modifiable physical Triggers for Low Back Pain

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Heavy load
  2. Awkward positioning
  3. Handling of objects far from the body
  4. Handling people or animals
  5. Unstable loading
  6. A slip, trip or fall
  7. Heavy loads
  8. Engagement in moderate or vigorous physical activity
  9. Sexual activity

Possible psychosocial Triggers

  1. Alcohol consumption
  2. Fatigue
  3. Being distracted during an activity or task.

On 6th Navratri chant AUM

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Mata Katyayani is worshipped on the sixth day of Navratri. SHE has three eyes and four hands and rides on a Lion.

The top right hand is positioned in a gesture of providing courage and the other hand is positioned in a gesture of rendering a boon. The top left hand holds a sword and the other is holding a lotus.

In Yoga Shastra, she represents the Ajna Chakra and AUM bija mantra. AUM chanting helps to attain success in religion, wealth, passion and salvation and removing fear and sorrows.

Spiritual mantra on the 6th Navratri

AUM chanting is one of the most powerful chakra and should be done concentrating on the Ajna chakra.

Gaining weight losing strength versus losing weight gaining strength

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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When we gain weight, we must acquire more strength and when we lose weight, we must lose the strength. This is a fundamental principle.

If we gain weight and feel weak, it is a disease and when we lose weight and gain strength, we are recovering from the disease. One should not gain more than 5kg of weight after the age of 20 years. Any weight gain after that will only be due to accumulation of fat, which leads to insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance does not allow food to convert into energy. In the state of insulin resistance, whatever you eat is converted into fat. As it is not converted into energy, you feel weak. When you reduce insulin resistance by drugs or walking, the metabolism becomes normal and whatever you eat gets converted into energy and you start gaining strength.

On 5th Navratri learn detached attachment and to control one’s ego

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Skanda Mata is worshipped on the fifth Day of Navratri. SHE is holding her son ‘Skandaa or Kartikeya’ on her lap.

SHE has three eyes and four hands. Two hands hold lotuses while the other two hands respectively display defending and granting gestures.

She is the ocean of knowledge. She rides on a lion.

In Yoga Shastra she represents the Vishuddha chakra and HAM bija mantra. She also dignifies motherhood, fertility and mother child relationship.

Skandaa means the one with six heads corresponding to the five senses and the mind. Or the one who has a control over the six demonic vices: kama (sex), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (passion), mada (ego) and matsarya (jealousy).

Kartikeya carries on one hand a spear and his other hand is always blessing devotees. His vehicle is a peacock, a pious bird that grips with its feet a serpent, which symbolizes the ego and desires of people. The peacock represents the destroyer of harmful habits and the conqueror of sensual desires.

Spiritual mantra on the 5th Navratri

One should learn detached attachment as the main principle of spirituality.

Waist circumference a better indicator of mortality

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A high body mass index (BMI) appears to be protective in certain populations.

Abdominal obesity –– measured using waist circumference ––was a better predictor of 5–year mortality among French survivors of an acute myocardial infarction (MI) than was BMI, according to a study presented by Tabassome Simon, MD, of HA′pital Saint Antoine in Paris.

Looking at BMI, there was an increased risk of dying for those with the lowest body mass (less than 22 kg/m2) and those with the highest (35 kg/m2 and higher), but not for those in the middle of those two groups, which included individuals who were overweight and mildly obese.

Within each category of BMI, however, increased waist circumference was associated with an elevated risk of dying within the follow–up period. After adjusting for BMI in a multivariate analysis, waist circumference in the upper quartile was associated with a 44% greater risk of dying through 5 years.