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Dr K K Aggarwal

What type of a vegetarian are you?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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There are 4 main types of vegetarian diets:

  • Lacto–ovo–vegetarian consumes dairy products and eggs but no meat, poultry, or seafood
  • Lacto–vegetarian eats dairy products but no eggs, meat, poultry, or seafood
  • Ovo–vegetarian eats eggs but no dairy products, meat, poultry, or seafood
  • Vegan does not eat any animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products; many vegans will also avoid honey.

Vegetarian and plant-based diets are associated with a reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer as well as increased longevity. Vegetarian diets are typically lower in fat, particularly saturated fat, and higher in dietary fiber. They are also likely to include more whole grains, legumes, nuts, and soy protein, and together with the absence of red meat, this type of eating plan may provide many benefits for the prevention and treatment of obesity and chronic health problems, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Vegetarian diet and Soya Products help reduce BP

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Ingestion of a vegetarian diet may reduce systolic blood pressure by 5 mmHg. A 5 mm reduction in blood pressure may reduce the risk of heart disease by 21%. One major feature of a vegetarian diet that may affect blood pressure is the amount of dietary fiber; with an increased amount being associated with decreased systemic pressures. Multiple meta–analyses have shown benefits with dietary fiber intake on blood pressure. Vegetarians, in general, have lower blood pressure levels and a lower incidence of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. Experts postulate that a typical vegetarian’s diet contains more potassium, complex carbohydrates, polyunsaturated fat, fiber, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin A, all of which may have a favorable influence on blood pressure. More significant reductions were observed in older (greater than 40 years) and hypertensive individuals. Soya is good for high blood pressure because it is naturally high in potassium and low in sodium. Potassium and sodium are electrolytes, and a high–potassium, low–sodium diet promotes a healthy blood pressure. Soya can be good for high blood pressure when you eat it as an alternative protein source to unhealthy meats. Soya–based meat substitutes, such as veggie burgers, veggie bacon and meatless cold cuts, can be higher in fiber and lower in sodium than animal-based meat products. They can lower your risk for heart disease because they are lower in saturated fat. However, soya does not contain the long–chain omega–3 fatty acids that are found in fatty fish and shellfish; these may lower your blood pressure, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Even though soya is low in unhealthy saturated fat, some soya products are high in total fat and calories, and as a result will contribute to weight gain if you eat too much. Losing weight if you are overweight, or maintaining your current weight if you are already at a healthy weight, improves your chances of lowering your high blood pressure.

Singhara Flour In Navratre

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In Navratre fast often one shifts from wheat flour to fruit based buckwheat flour (kuttu flour) or water chestnut (Singhara flour). They are used as phalahar (fruit) diet.

Singhara are floating annual aquatic plants, growing in slow-moving water up to 5 meters deep. The plant bear ornately shaped fruits containing a single very large starchy seed. The seeds or nuts are boiled and sold as street side snack or eaten raw or converted in flour.

The flour is made from dried, ground water chestnuts. The nuts are boiled, peeled, dried then ground into flour. The flour is bright white fine powder; it is actually a starch rather than flour. The flour is primarily used as a thickener.

It is an excellent source of energy and provides 115 kcals per 100g. The glycemic Index for chestnut is 60. Low GI foods have a GI value less than 55; medium GI foods have a GI value between 55 and 69 and high GI foods have GI value greater than 70.

Chestnuts are relatively low in net carbs (total carbohydrate minus dietary fiber). It is included in many low carb diets.

A gluten free product, chestnut flour is a cooking option for people with celiac disease or other gluten intolerances or allergies.

Chestnuts do not contain the fat that regular nuts have.

It contains less carbohydrate than white flour. One should not eat deep fried chestnut flour pooris of parantha. One should not use transfats vegetables oils to cook chestnut flour made bread. One should buy only branded flour as left over flour of last year can lead to food poisoning

As per Ayurveda chestnut flour has cool and buckwheat flour has hot properties. Both chestnut flour and buckwheat flours can be combined.

One should eat phalahar once a week and atleast 80 days in a year.