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Dr K K Aggarwal

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).

But as children, 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 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.

Tips to prevent type 2 diabetes

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Do not eat white refined carbohydrates.
  • Eat less at a time.
  • Work out at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Eat plenty of green bitter vegetables
  • Eat a high fiber diet.
  • Do not eat trans fats in food.

Can Diabetes Be Warded Off?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Adhering to Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits and vegetables and low in animal products may protect from type 2 diabetes. The Mediterranean diet gives emphasis to olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, legumes and fish and de–emphasizes meat and dairy products. It is a healthy eating plan that prevents heart disease.

In the study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers tracked the diets of 13,380 Spanish university graduates with no history of diabetes. The study participants filled out a 136–item food questionnaire, which measured their entire diet (including their intake of fats), their cooking methods and their use of dietary supplements. During an average of 4.4 years of follow–up, the researchers found that people who adhered to a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, those who very closely adhered to the diet reduced their risk by 83 percent.

Moreover, the people who tended to stick closest to the diet were those with factors that put them at the highest risk for developing diabetes, such as being older, having a family history of diabetes and being an ex–smoker. These people were expected to have a higher rate of diabetes, but when they adhered to the Mediterranean diet this was not the case.

Type 2 diabetes is typically brought on by poor eating habits, too much body weight and too little exercise. One key factor that might be responsible for the protective effect of the Mediterranean diet is its emphasis on olive oil for cooking, frying, putting on bread and mixing in salad dressings.

Tips to prevent diabetes

  • Eat less
  • Omit refined carbohydrates (white sugar, white rice and white maida)
  • Use olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, legumes and fish, and reduce meat and dairy products.

White rice most dangerous

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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White rice is much more dangerous in terms of glycemic index than white bread. It has glycemic index of 102.

We often tell people not to take cola drinks but they eat white bread. The glycemic index for white bread is 100% and that for cola drink is 90%. Traditional Indian drinks like Rooh Afza, Khas Khas may also contain more than 10% sugar.

The recommended sugary drink does not contain more than 2-3% sugar, which is the amount present in oral rehydration solution. People leave a cola drink and take mashed potato, which has glycemic index more than that of a cola drink (102 versus 90).

Pizza has a glycemic index of 86. Table sugar has a glycemic index of 84, while that of jam is 95. French fries have a glycemic index of 95.

Most people add sugar in food and snacks because sugar is a preservative. Less the sugar, earlier the food will be spoiled.

To avoid refined carbohydrates in diet, if one has to choose, then the most dangerous is white rice, followed by white bread and then comes white sugar.

Some diet tips from HCFI

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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There are four major food groups that should form a part of a child’s diet plan. These include:

  1. Bread, rice, potatoes, and other starchy foods. This forms the largest portion of the diet and provides calories for energy and carbohydrates that are converted to sugars which provide energy.
  2. Milk and dairy foods: These are vital sources of fats and simple sugars like lactose as well as minerals like calcium
  3. Fruit and vegetables: These are vital sources of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and roughage for better digestive health
  4. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein: These form the building blocks of the body and help in numerous body and enzyme functions.

Some tips to keep obesity under check

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Skip carbohydrates once in a week.
  2. Combine a sweet food with bitter food (for instance choose to cook aloo methi over aloo matar).
  3. Consume bitter green items in foods such as karela, methi, palak, bhindi, etc.
  4. Do not eat trans fats.
  5. Do not consume more than 80 ml of soft drink in a day.
  6. Do not consume sweets with more than 30% sugar.
  7. Avoid maida, rice, and white sugar.
  8. Walk, walk and walk…

Tips to prevent diabetes

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Do not eat white refined carbohydrates.
  2. Eat less at a time.
  3. Work out at least 30 minutes a day.
  4. Eat plenty of green bitter vegetables
  5. Eat a high fiber diet.
  6. Do not eat trans fats in food.

FODMAPS free diet

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease may be at least in part related to impaired absorption of carbohydrates. Fermentable oligo–, di– and monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) in patients with IBS or IBD may enter the distal small bowel and colon where they are fermented, leading to symptoms and increased intestinal permeability (and possibly inflammation). Examples of FODMAPs include: • Fructans or inulins (wheat, onions, garlic, and artichokes) • Galactans (beans, lentils, legumes, cabbage, and Brussels’ sprouts) • Lactose (dairy) • Fructose (fruits, honey, high fructose corn syrup) • Sorbitol • Xylitol • Mannitol • Polyols (sweeteners containing sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, stone fruits such as avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums) Avoidance of carbohydrates has been a long–popularized non–pharmacologic approach to reducing symptoms in IBS (and possibly modifying disease in IBD).

Eating Out Tips

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• Curb portions: Always order for one if you are two people and if you are alone set aside some of what is on your plate to bring home.

• Resist refined carbohydrates.

• Load your plate with colorful choices at the salad bar with vegetables, fruits and small amounts of lean protein. Skip the creamy and ranch dressings.

• Choose dishes that are grilled, roasted, steamed, or sautéed.

• Don’t be afraid to request a salad, vegetables, or fruit instead of starchy side dishes.

• If you are a non–vegetarian, order only fish or seafood.

• If you decide to have dessert, share it with your dining companion(s).

Carbohydrates as substitute to saturated fats not the answer

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Many prospective studies have addressed components of diet and the risk of heart disease.

The type of fat consumed appears to be more important than the amount of total fat.

Trans fatty acids increase risk of heart disease while polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats decrease the risk.

There is controversy about whether it is optimal to substitute saturated fats with carbohydrate. An increase in carbohydrate tends to reduce the level of good high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in addition to total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Thus, the reduction in heart disease risk may be less than predicted by the reduction of saturated fat alone.

Observational studies have consistently shown that individuals consuming diets high in vegetables and fruits (which are rich in antioxidant vitamins) had a reduced risk of heart disease.

Results of a number of randomized trials are now available and show largely no significant clinical benefits of antioxidant vitamins on heart disease.

Supplemental vitamin C, E, and beta carotene cannot be recommended in the primary prevention of CHD.

Taking supplements without clinical benefits could, in theory, increase the risk if individuals mistakenly avoid therapeutic lifestyle changes or drug therapies with proven benefits.

Carbohydrates as substitute to saturated fats not the answer

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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More than 20 prospective studies have addressed components of and the risk of heart disease. 

The type of fat consumed appears to be more important than the amount of total fat. 

Trans fatty acids increase risk of heart disease while polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats decrease risk. 

There is a controversy about whether it is optimal to substitute saturated fats with carbohydrates. An increase in carbohydrate tends to reduce the level of good high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in addition to total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Thus, the reduction in heart disease risk may be less than predicted by the reduction of saturated fat alone. 

Observational studies have consistently shown that individuals consuming high in vegetables and fruits, which are rich in antioxidant vitamins, had a reduced risk of heart disease. 

Results of a number of randomized trials are now available and show largely no significant clinical benefits of antioxidant vitamins on heart disease. 

Supplemental vitamin C, E, and beta carotene cannot be recommended in the primary prevention of CHD. 

Taking supplements without clinical benefits could, in theory, increase the risk if individuals mistakenly avoid therapeutic lifestyle changes or drug therapies with proven benefits.

Do not ignore breakfast

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Taking a good breakfast made of carbohydrates and lean protein, can help lessen cravings and hunger during the rest of the day, which can lead to significant weight loss.

A research by Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz, a clinical professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and an endocrinologist at the Hospital de Clinicas Caracas in Venezuela has shown that sedentary, obese women lost almost five times as much weight on the “big breakfast” diet as did women following a traditional, restrictive low–carbohydrate diet. 

While treating obese people we need to treat carb cravings and hunger.

On waking up in the morning, the body is primed to look for food. The metabolism is revived up, and levels of cortisol and adrenaline are at their highest. The brain needs energy right away, and if one doesn’t eat or eats too little, the brain needs to find another fuel source. To do this, it activates an emergency system that pulls energy from muscle, destroying muscle tissue in the process. Then when you eat later, the body and brain are still in high–alert mode, so the body saves energy from the food as fat.

Also the levels of the brain chemical serotonin are highest in the morning and the craving levels are at the lowest and you may not feel like eating. As the day wears on, serotonin levels dip, and you get cravings for chocolate or cookies, and such similar foods. If you eat these foods, your serotonin levels rise, and your body begins to associate good feelings with them, creating an addictive cycle. 

The high protein, carbohydrate mix in breakfast gives the body the initial energy boost it needs in the morning. Throughout the rest of the day, the meals are made up of protein and complex carbohydrates, like vegetables. Because protein is digested slowly, you won’t feel hungry. 

If you have to eat chocolate or candy, eat them in the morning because having them when serotonin levels are high, they won’t taste as good, and the brain won’t feel the same serotonin boost. This will eventually help cut down on cravings. 

Eating breakfast with high glycemic foods may be harmful. After eating cereal or a doughnut, the blood sugar and insulin levels spike. Once that blood sugar is used up, you’ll still have excess insulin circulating, which makes you hungry and makes you crave carbohydrates.

Eating Out Tips

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Curb portions: Always order for one if you are two people and if you are alone set aside some of what is on your plate to bring home.
  • Resist refined carbohydrates.
  • Load your plate with colorful choices at the salad bar with vegetables, fruits, and small amounts of lean protein. Skip the creamy and ranch dressings.
  • Choose dishes that are grilled, roasted, steamed, or sautéed.
  • Don’t be afraid to request a salad, vegetables, or fruit instead of starchy side dishes.
  • If you are a non–vegetarian, order only fish or seafood.
  • If you decide to have dessert, share it with your dining companion(s).

Carbohydrates as substitute to saturated fats not the answer

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Carbohydrates as substitute to saturated fats not the answer

More than 20 prospective studies have addressed components of diet and the risk of heart disease.

The type of fat consumed appears to be more important than the amount of total fat.

Trans fatty acids increase risk of heart disease while polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats decrease risk.

There is a controversy about whether it is optimal to substitute saturated fats with carbohydrates. An increase in carbohydrate tends to reduce the level of good high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in addition to total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Thus, the reduction in heart disease risk may be less than predicted by the reduction of saturated fat alone.

Observational studies have consistently shown that individuals consuming diets high in vegetables and fruits, which are rich in antioxidant vitamins, had a reduced risk of heart disease.

Results of a number of randomized trials are now available and show largely no significant clinical benefits of antioxidant vitamins on heart disease.

Supplemental vitamin C, E, and beta carotene cannot be recommended in the primary prevention of CHD.

Taking supplements without clinical benefits could, in theory, increase the risk if individuals mistakenly avoid therapeutic lifestyle changes or drug therapies with proven benefits.

Carbohydrates as substitute to saturated fats not the answer

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Carbohydrates as substitute to saturated fats not the answer

More than 20 prospective studies have addressed components of diet and the risk of heart disease.

The type of fat consumed appears to be more important than the amount of total fat.

Trans fatty acids increase risk of heart disease while polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats decrease risk.

There is controversy about whether it is optimal to substitute saturated fats with carbohydrate. An increase in carbohydrate tends to reduce the level of good high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in addition to total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Thus, the reduction in heart disease risk may be less than predicted by the reduction of saturated fat alone.

Observational studies have consistently shown that individuals consuming diets high in vegetables and fruits (which are rich in antioxidant vitamins) had a reduced risk of heart disease.

Results of a number of randomized trials are now available and show largely no significant clinical benefits of antioxidant vitamins on heart disease.

Supplemental vitamin C, E, and beta carotene cannot be recommended in the primary prevention of CHD.

Taking supplements without clinical benefits could, in theory, increase the risk if individuals mistakenly avoid therapeutic lifestyle changes or drug therapies with proven benefits.