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Dr K K Aggarwal

Plant-based diets can pave the way for better health and well-being

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Plant-based diets can pave the way for better health and well-being

Statistics show that dominant diets and food production are not nutritionally optimal. At least 820 million people are hungry worldwide, and close to 2 billion people are overweight or obese because they eat the wrong food. Indian food that is largely plant-based can show the world how a nutritious and sustainable diet can be provided to the world’s projected population of 10 billion people by 2050 without environmental degradation.

South Asia, including India, is an exception to meat consumption, with the majority eating half of the recommended amount, while countries in the North America, by comparison, eat almost 6.5 times the recommended amount of red meat.

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.

Our ancient rituals and traditions have given us a way out of the conundrum of diet problems. They advocate the principles of ‘variety’ and ‘moderation’ i.e. eat a variety of food and eat in moderation. They also recommend including all seven colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple, white) and six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent) for a balanced diet.

The brain gets a signal that a person has eaten only after 20 minutes. Thus, it is important to chew every bite at least 15 times. It not only provides enough hormones for enzymes but also sends signals to the brain. Therefore, the time spent per meal should be 20 minutes.

Some tips for healthy eating

  • Eat less and enjoy your food by eating slowly. Fill half your plate with fruit and vegetables.
  • Avoid oversized portions which can cause weight gain. At least half of your grains should be whole grains.
  • Limit consumption of food high in trans fats and sugar. Choose healthy fats. Use fat–free or low-fat milk and/or dairy products.
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid sugary drinks.
  • Avoid foods that have high sodium levels such as snacks, processed foods.
  • Above all, balance your food choices with your activity level.

Search for Happiness in the Present Moment

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Search for Happiness in the Present Moment

Happiness should not be considered as being synonymous with pleasure. Pleasure is transient and is always associated with pain later on. Any transient addiction to any of the five senses will either lead to pleasure or pain. Pleasure leads to attachment resulting in more intense and greater desires, and if these are not fulfilled, they cause pain, which manifests as anger, irritability or even a physical disease. This type of transient pleasure is chosen by the individuals who attach themselves not only to the actions, but also to its results.

The soul, which is an energized field of information and energy, is controlled by the person’s action, memory and desire. With every action, a memory is created which either gets stored or is recirculated again as an action. If one does not control the desires, the recurrent actions may cause more problems than happiness.

True happiness, on the other hand, is internal happiness or the happiness of the soul or of the consciousness. It is often said, “You are what you eat, you are what you think and you are what you do.” Hence, your own internal happiness will vary with what you eat, think, and do.

Being in the present moment leads to true happiness. If one laments about the past or keeps fearing about the future all the time, you will never be able to live in the present. Not living in the present is bound to cause unhappiness. One should learn to live and enjoy the present, which can only be done by attaching oneself to the actions and not to its results.

Doing one’s duty with devotion and discipline also helps one to remain in the present. Performing good action is important, but it is equally important to maintain the purity of the mind at the same time. Because any intention in the thought creates the same chemical reaction as when the actual deed is done; abusing a person in thought is the same as abusing him in person. Cultivating positive actions in day–to–day life, like, giving or sharing etc., helps in acquiring internal happiness.

Thoughts ultimately get metabolized into various chemicals and hormones, changing the internal biochemistry of the person; hence, by thinking about cancer all the time, one can actually induce it over a period of time. And similarly, cancers can be cured by thinking positive over a period of time.

Internal happiness gives a deep feeling of satisfaction and is not associated with any transient chemical changes which are generally associated with bodily pleasure activities. People who are internally happy are always contented and are devoid of jealousy, anger, irritability, greed and ego.

One should learn to disassociate from both external pain as well as pleasure, and only then can one acquire true internal happiness.