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Dr K K Aggarwal

Harvard 7 tips for smarter snacking

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Go for the grain. Whole–grain snacks — such as whole–grain low–salt pretzels or tortilla chips and high–fiber, whole–grain cereals — can give you some energy with staying power.
  2. Bring back breakfast. Many breakfast foods can be repurposed as a nutritious snack later in the day. How about a slice of whole–grain toast topped with low–sugar jam? Low–sugar granola also makes a quick snack.
  3. Try a “hi–low– combination. Combine a small amount of something with healthy fat, like peanut butter, with a larger amount of something very light, like apple slices or celery sticks.
  4. Go nuts. Unsalted nuts and seeds make great snacks. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, filberts, and other nuts and seeds contain many beneficial nutrients and are more likely to leave you feeling full (unlike chips or pretzels). Nuts have lots of calories, though, so keep portion sizes small.
  5. The combo snack. Try to eat more than one macronutrient (protein, fat, carbohydrate) at each snacking session. For example, have a few nuts (protein and fat) and some grapes (carbohydrates). Try some whole–grain crackers (carbohydrates) with some low–fat cheese (protein and fat). These balanced snacks tend to keep you feeling satisfied.
  6. Snack mindfully. Don’t eat your snack while doing something else like surfing the Web, watching TV, or working at your desk. Instead, stop what you’re doing for a few minutes and eat your snack like you would a small meal.
  7. You can take it with you. Carry a small bag of healthful snacks in your pocket or purse so you won’t turn in desperation to the cookies at the coffee counter or the candy bars in the office vending machine.

Is microwave safe for cooking and nutrition?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Some people believe that microwave cooking removes nutrients and makes food less healthy.

Microwave ovens cook food using waves of energy that are similar to radio waves but shorter. These waves are remarkably selective, primarily affecting water and other molecules that are electrically asymmetrical — one end positively charged and the other negatively charged. Microwaves cause these molecules to vibrate and quickly build up thermal (heat) energy.

Some nutrients break down when they are exposed to heat, whether it is from a microwave or a regular oven. Vitamin C is perhaps the clearest example. But because microwave cooking times are shorter, cooking with a microwave does a better job of preserving vitamin C and other nutrients that break down when heated.

Cooking vegetables in water robs them of some of their nutritional value because the nutrients leach out into the cooking water. For example, boiled broccoli loses glucosinolate, the sulfur-containing compound that may give the vegetable its cancer-fighting properties (as well as the taste that many find distinctive and some find disgusting). Is steaming vegetables better? In some respects, yes. For example, steamed broccoli holds on to more glucosinolate than boiled or fried broccoli.

The cooking method that best retains nutrients is one that cooks quickly, heats food for the shortest amount of time, and uses as little liquid as possible. Microwaving meets those criteria. Using the microwave with a small amount of water essentially steams food from the inside out. That keeps more vitamins and minerals than almost any other cooking method. (Harvard News Letter)

Is microwave safe for cooking and nutrition?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Is microwave safe for cooking and nutrition?

Some people believe that microwave cooking removes nutrients and makes food less healthy.

Microwave ovens cook food using waves of energy that are similar to radio waves but shorter. These waves are remarkably selective, primarily affecting water and other molecules that are electrically asymmetrical — one end positively charged and the other negatively charged. Microwaves cause these molecules to vibrate and quickly build up thermal (heat) energy.

Some nutrients break down when they are exposed to heat, whether it is from a microwave or a regular oven. Vitamin C is perhaps the clearest example. But because microwave cooking times are shorter, cooking with a microwave does a better job of preserving vitamin C and other nutrients that break down when heated.

Cooking vegetables in water robs them of some of their nutritional value because the nutrients leach out into the cooking water. For example, boiled broccoli loses glucosinolate, the sulfur-containing compound that may give the vegetable its cancer-fighting properties (as well as the taste that many find distinctive and some find disgusting). Is steaming vegetables better? In some respects, yes. For example, steamed broccoli holds on to more glucosinolate than boiled or fried broccoli.

The cooking method that best retains nutrients is one that cooks quickly, heats food for the shortest amount of time, and uses as little liquid as possible. Microwaving meets those criteria. Using the microwave with a small amount of water essentially steams food from the inside out. That keeps more vitamins and minerals than almost any other cooking method. (Harvard News Letter)

Avoid food poisoning by thorough washing and proper cooking

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Thorough washing and proper cooking of fruits and vegetables can eliminate most bacteria that cause food poisoning.
Food-borne illnesses or food poisoning usually occurs due to eating food that is contaminated with bacteria or their toxins.
Virus and parasites can also be cause food poisoning. People have known for long that raw meat, poultry and eggs can also harbor diseases causing microbes. But in recent years most outbreaks of food borne illnesses have been due to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Food poisoning can cause abdominal pain, nausea, headache, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. Symptoms may appear several hours to several days after eating tainted food. For example, Salmonella bacteria will cause illness 12 hours to 3 days after ingestion lasting about 4-7 days.
The most common way to treat food poisoning is to drink plenty of fluids. The sickness usually subsides within a few days.

Avoid food poisoning by thorough washing and proper cooking

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on Avoid food poisoning by thorough washing and proper cooking

Thorough washing and proper cooking of fruits and vegetables can eliminate most bacteria that cause food poisoning. Food-borne illnesses or food poisoning usually occurs by eating food that is contaminated with bacteria or their toxins. Virus and parasites can also cause food poisoning. People have long known that raw meat, poultry and eggs can also harbor disease–causing microbes. But in recent years, most outbreaks of food–borne illnesses have been due to fresh fruits and vegetables. Food poisoning can cause abdominal pain, nausea, headache, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. Symptoms may appear several hours to several days after eating tainted food. For example, Salmonella bacteria will cause illness 12 hours to 3 days after ingestion and last for about 4–7 days. The most common way to treat food poisoning is to drink plenty of fluids. The sickness usually subsides within a few days.