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Dr K K Aggarwal

5 tips to reduce salt in your diet

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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1. Make reading food labels a habit. Sodium content is always listed on food labels. Sodium content can vary from brand to brand, so compare and choose the lowest sodium product. Certain foods do not taste particularly salty but are actually high in sodium, such as cottage cheese, so it is critical to check labels.

2. Stick to fresh meats, fruits and vegetables rather than their packaged counterparts, which tend to be higher in sodium.

3. Avoid spices and seasonings that contain added sodium, for example, garlic salt. Choose garlic powder instead.

4. Many restaurants list the sodium content of their products on their websites, so do your homework before dining out. Also, you can request that your food be prepared without any added salt.

5. Try to spread your sodium intake out throughout the day; it’s easier on your kidneys than eating lots of salt all at once.

How to cut back on added sugar

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Many of the “healthy” foods you eat such as energy bars, fruit juices, and flavored yogurt contain sugar. The first step is to read labels carefully and opt for products that are low in sugar.

The American Heart Association recommends keeping calories from added sugars under 100 calories a day (24 grams, or 6 teaspoons) for women and under 150 calories (36 grams, or 9 teaspoons) for men.

Giving up juices and soft drinks can be tough, but here are few ways to get started:

• Make your own. Start with plain sparkling water or tap water. Add a flavoring that strikes your fancy. Here are a few options: an ounce or two of 100% fruit juice; a slice of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit; a sprig of fresh mint; a few raspberries.

• No frills coffee and tea. A small dash of sugar or artificial sweetener and milk is okay, but go easy on the extras like flavored syrups and whipped cream.

• Transition to “diet” beverages. Sugar–free sodas and other soft drinks can help you transition away from sugar–sweetened beverages. (HealthBeat)

5 tips to reduce salt in your diet

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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1. Make reading food labels a habit. Sodium content is always listed on food labels. Sodium content can vary from brand to brand, so compare and choose the lowest sodium product. Certain foods don’t taste particularly salty but are actually high in sodium, such as cottage cheese, so it’s critical to check labels.

2. Stick to fresh meats, fruits and vegetables rather than their packaged counterparts, which tend to be higher in sodium.

3. Avoid spices and seasonings that contain added sodium, for example, garlic salt. Choose garlic powder instead.

4. Many restaurants list the sodium content of their products on their websites, so do your homework before dining out. Also, you can request that your food be prepared without any added salt. 5. Try to spread your sodium intake out throughout the day; it’s easier on your kidneys than eating lots of salt all at once.

5 tips to reduce salt in your diet

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on 5 tips to reduce salt in your diet

1. Make reading food labels a habit. Sodium content is always listed on food labels. Sodium content can vary from brand to brand, so compare and choose the lowest sodium product. Certain foods don’t taste particularly salty but are actually high in sodium, such as cottage cheese, so it’s critical to check labels.

2. Stick to fresh meats, fruits and vegetables rather than their packaged counterparts, which tend to be higher in sodium.

3. Avoid spices and seasonings that contain added sodium, for example, garlic salt. Choose garlic powder instead.

4. Many restaurants list the sodium content of their products on their websites, so do your homework before dining out. Also, you can request that your food be prepared without any added salt.

5. Try to spread your sodium intake out throughout the day; it’s easier on your kidneys than eating lots of salt all at once.

Restricting salt in diet can lower heart disease risk

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Restricting salt in the diet can lower the risk of developing heart disease by 25% and the risk of dying from heart disease by 20%.
  • Dietary intake of sodium among Indians is excessively high. Among hypertensive individuals, lowering sodium is quite well established to lower blood pressure, but now it has been shown that reducing salt also has an effect on cardiovascular disease.
  • According to a Harvard Medical School study published in British Medical Journal, when people with pre hypertension (blood pressure more than 120/80 and lower than 140/90), reduced their salt intake by about 25 to 35%, they were 25% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease 10 to 15 years after the trial ended. There was also a 20 percent lower death rate from cardiovascular disease among those who cut their salt consumption.
  • Salt restriction is best achieved by avoiding salted, salt cured and salt smoked foods such as lunch meat, hot dogs, ham, olives, pickles and regular salted canned foods, and other prepared foods, which often use more salt than homemade equivalents. Foods we would never think of as salty, such as breakfast cereals, cookies, and even some soft drinks often contain copious additions of sodium.
  • WHO recommends limiting the salt intake to less than 5 grams per day.

Restricting salt in diet can lower heart disease risk

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Restricting salt in the diet can lower the risk of developing heart disease by 25 percent and the
risk of dying from heart disease by 20 percent.

• Dietary intake of sodium among Indians is excessively high. Lowering the intake of sodium has been well recognized to lower the blood pressure in hypertensive individuals. A study published in British Medical Journal has shown that reducing salt also has an effect on cardiovascular disease.

• When people with pre hypertension (blood pressure more than 120/80 and lower than 140/90), reduced their salt intake by about 25 to 35%, they were 25% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease 10 to 15 years after the trial ended. There was also a 20 percent lower death rate from cardiovascular disease among those who cut their salt consumption.

• Salt restriction is best achieved by avoiding salted, salt cured and salt smoked foods such as lunch meat, hot dogs, ham, olives, pickles and regular salted canned foods, and other prepared foods, which often use more salt than homemade equivalents. Foods we would never think of as salty, such as breakfast cereals, cookies, and even some soft drinks, often contain copious additions of

sodium.

• WHO recommends limiting the salt intake daily to less than 5 grams.

Add fiber to the diet only slowly

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Fiber is a plant substance that is required for a healthy diet. Lots of fiber is needed each day to help reduce the risk of heart disease, improve digestion, prevent constipation and maintain a healthy body weight.

Fiber can be found in fruits, whole grains and vegetables. Most adults should eat at least 20 to 35 grams of fiber every day; though the doctors say most people only eat about half as much. It’s best to slowly increase the fiber in your diet instead of piling it on all at once. A sudden increase in fiber intake can cause abdominal discomfort.

Fiber intake should be at least 14 grams per 1000 calories daily; higher fiber intake may improve glycemic control. Saturated fat should be less than 7 percent of calories and there should be minimal trans fat. Total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg daily.

There is an average fall of 1.2/1.3 mmHg blood pressure with average 10 gram intake of fiber.

Certain soluble fibers (psyllium, pectin, wheat dextrin and oat products) reduce bad LDL cholesterol. Every gram increase in soluble fiber reduces LDL cholesterol by an average of 2.2 mg/dL. The message is incorporation of greater amounts of fiber, in which carbohydrate is derived from unprocessed whole foods.

High fat diet prostate cancer prone

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Diets high in saturated fat increases the risk of prostate cancer, according to a report from University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston published in the International Journal of Cancer.

  • Men who consume high saturated animal fat diet are two times more likely to experience disease progression after prostate cancer surgery than men with lower saturated fat intake.
  • There is also shorter “disease–free” survival time among obese men who eat high saturated fat diet compared with non-obese men consuming diets low in saturated fat.
  • Men with a high saturated fat intake had the shortest survival time free of prostate cancer (19 months)
  • Non–obese men with low fat intake survived the longest time free of the disease (46 months).
  • Non–obese men with high intake and obese men with low intake had “disease–free” survival of 29 and 42 months, respectively.

Take home messages

  • High saturated fat diet has been linked to cancer of the prostate
  • Reducing saturated fat in the diet after prostate cancer surgery can help reduce the cancer progression.
  • Cancer prostate has the same risk factors as that of heart blockages and both are linked to high saturated fat intake.
  • With the increase of heart patients, a corresponding increase in prostate cancer patients is also seen in the society

Diet is linked to the diabetes epidemic

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A study published in the journal Diabetes Care, highlights 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.

Singhara flour – a favorite Navratre diet

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In Navratre fast one needs to omit wheat flour from the diet and substitute it with buckwheat flour (kuttu flour) or water chestnut (Singhara flour). Singhara is not a cereal but a fruit and hence a good substitute for a Navratre fast where cereals are not to be eaten.

1. Singhara flour is prepared from Singhara or Water Chestnut.

2. Singharas are floating annual aquatic plants, growing in slow-moving water up to 5 meters deep. The plant bears ornately shaped fruits containing a single very large starchy seed.

3. The seeds or nuts are boiled and sold as street side snack or eaten raw.

 4. 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.

 5. The flour is primarily used as a thickener.

 6. The flour is used as a food in Navratre and consumed as a phalahar (fruit) diet.

 7. It is an excellent source of energy and provides 115 kcals per 100g.

 8.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.

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

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

 11.Chestnuts do not contain the fat that regular nuts have.

 12.It contains less carbohydrate than white flour.

 13. People with tree nut allergies should take care to avoid chestnut flour. It may cause an allergic reaction.

 14. Flour made from chestnuts is typically more difficult to locate in many areas as well as more expensive than white flour.

 15.One should not eat deep fried chestnut flour pooris or paranthas.

 16. One should not use transfats vegetables oils to cook chestnut flour made bread.

 17. One should buy only branded flour as left over flour of last year can lead to food poisoning.

 18. As per Ayurveda chestnut flour has cool and buckwheat flour has hot properties.

 19. Both chestnut flour and buckwheat flours can be combined.

 20.  One should eat phalahar once a week and at least 80 days in a year.

Restricting salt in diet can lower heart disease risk

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Restricting salt in the diet can lower the risk of developing heart disease by 25 percent and the risk of dying from heart disease by 20 percent..

Dietary intake of sodium among Indians is excessively high. Quoting a Harvard Medical School study published in British Medical Journal, Dr Aggarwal said that among hypertensive individuals, lowering sodium is quite well established to lower blood pressure, but now it has been shown that reducing salt also has an effect on cardiovascular disease.

When people with pre hypertension (blood pressure more than 120/80 and lower than 140/90), reduced their salt intake by about 25 to 35%, they were 25% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease 10 to 15 years after the trial ended. There was also a 20 percent lower death rate from cardiovascular disease among those who cut their salt consumption.

Salt restriction is best achieved by avoiding salted, salt cured and salt smoked foods such as lunch meat, hot dogs, ham, olives, pickles and regular salted canned foods, and other prepared foods, which often use more salt than homemade equivalents. Foods we would never think of as salty, such as breakfast cereals, cookies, and even some soft drinks, often contain copious additions of sodium.

WHO recommends limiting the salt intake to less than 5 grams per day.

Symposium on Diet, Health & Religion

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A symposium on Diet, Health & Religion, second in a series was held at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on 5th September, 2012. The Chief Guest was Shri J Veeraraghavan, Chairman, Bhavan’s KM Munshi Institute of Educational Leadership and Management.

 Welcoming the gathering, Shri Ashok Pradhan, Director, BVB said that the purpose of this symposium was to examine the relation between what we eat, how it affects our health and how all religions look at this aspect. Nature is also related to our health. Nature tells us what to eat. For example, summer vegetables have a high content of water. Speaking on fasting, he observed that not eating on certain days cleanses our body.

 Shri J Veeraraghavan delivered the keynote address.

  • All religions regard food as holy and sacred. Our Vedas mention that all living things come from food.
  • In Christianity, there is a prayer “… Lord give us today our daily bread…”.
  • All religions place a great emphasis on moderation in diet. One should not overeat. Fasting is common to all religions. Besides physical health, fasting also helps in gaining control over oneself and for spiritual advancement.
  • Functional requirement of food for each person differs. It is for each person to decide on what is required for him.
  • Each religion has some specific restrictions about food. Some of these restrictions may be historical or geographical, while some may have spiritual aspects.
  • Bhagwad Gita says that the universal spirit – God or Brahman – is bound to nature. There are 3 types of bonding: Satva, Rajas and Tamas. Food is also classified into three: Satvik, Rajasik and Tamasik.  No one is pure Satva or Rajas or Tamas. There is a mix with one being predominant.
  • Extreme foods – very hot or very cold – are liked by rajasic people, who are very active and energetic.
  • Satvik foods are sweet and simple foods.
  • Tamas people are very sleepy and lazy. They don’t take fresh foods, which increases laziness.
  • The relation between one’s values and food is not unidirectional. There is a bidirectional relationship.

Diet in Jainism

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As per Samani Charitra Prajna the core principle of Jainism is Nonviolence and it is recommended in the scriptures to live nonviolent life. Food is the main source of energy to survive in the world. Bhagwan Mahavir talked about two types of diet – Hitkari (Beneficial) and Mitkari (Moderate). Jains are lacto vegetarian and even many are vegans. Many avoid root vegetables in their diet. Among the seven prohibited addictions, alcohol is one.

Fasting is considered a way of penance for purification of consciousness, Atma that is bound with karmas. There are many ways of fasting like abandon of all kinds of food for a day or more, unodari – that means eat less than hunger, ras parityag – give up food like butter, milk, oil for few days etc.  All these are methods to make our self-healthy as even today recommended by doctors.

 Control over diet or fasting means give rest to digestive system so that it can function smoothly. If digestive system is healthy, it will keep other parts of the body healthy. In Jainism, there is a mention of abstinence from night eating. Acharya Hemchandra, in his Yoga Shastra, says that the digestive system becomes inactive after sunset. So this time is not suitable to eat. Eating at night makes a person unhealthy. All Jain monks and Nuns do not eat after Sun gets down. Evan many lay followers do follow.