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Dr K K Aggarwal

Guidelines about Eating

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Eat only when you are hungry.

  • Do not eat for pleasure, social obligations or emotional satisfaction.

  • Eat at a slow pace

  • Eat less; dinner less than lunch.

  • Take small mouthfuls each time, chew each morsel well, swallow it and only then take the next morsel.

  • Do not eat while watching television, driving a car or watching sports events. The mind is absorbed in these activities and one does not know what and how much one has eaten.

  • Do not talk while eating and never enter into heated arguments. The stomach has ears and can listen to your conversation. It will accordingly send signals to the mind and heart.

  • Plan and decide in advance what and how much food you will be eating.

  • Use low fat or skimmed mild dairy products. For cooking, use oils which are liquid at room temperature.

  • Do not take red meat and if you are a non–vegetarian, you may take poultry meat or fish.

Vedic Fasting

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Fasting and starvation are two different terms commonly confused with each other. Starvation means not eating or drinking altogether, while fasting means control and restrain of five sensory and five motor senses. During fasting one may continue eating or drinking but under discipline. Vedic fasting or spiritual fasting is mentioned in Karam Kanda in Yajurveda. Every fast in our mythology has a scientific basis and rituals are added so that the common man can follow it.

  • (Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Eating high fiber diet

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• There are two types of fibers. One is soluble and the other is insoluble. • Soluble fiber includes those that are made up of carbohydrates and absorb water. Examples are oats, barley and legumes.

• Insoluble fiber comes from plant cells and does not dissolve in water. Examples are wheat, ragi and other grains.

• Traditionally, fiber is insoluble fiber.

• Dietary fiber is a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber.

• The recommended intake of dietary fiber is 20–35 gm in a day.

• Eating a high–fiber diet both can prevent constipation, reduce cholesterol, and help in reversing obesity and heart diseases in children and adults.

• A high–fiber diet should be a balanced diet with food from all food groups.

• The common sources of fiber are whole grain produce and cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables.

• Raw vegetables such as carrot, garlic or cherry tomatoes are rich in fiber.

• Salads with dark green lettuce provide high fiber content.

• Eating whole wheat bread or with added fiber is a rich source of fiber.

• Prefer brown rice over white rice.

• You can eat whole wheat carbohydrates, bran muffins, bran cereals or oat meals.

• Avoid eating refined white flour, cereals and other starches.

• If juices are to be taken, one should take 4–6 ozs.

• Fruits are better than juices

• Try to develop a taste for bran by starting with 2–4 tablespoons every day.

• Mix a high fiber cereal with a regular cereal.

• Isabgol is a fiber supplement.

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).

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.
  • In non–vegetarian food, order only fish or seafood.
  • If you decide to have dessert, share it with your dining companion(s).

Eating foods in their natural form is always better

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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An elephant is obese, eats sugarcane (ganna) and yet does not develop diabetes. I am sure if he is given 10% sugar drinks everyday or made to eat 30% sugar containing sweats, he would end up with diabetes.

The natural form of sugarcane is eating ganna, the second form is ganne ka juice, third is gur (jaggery), fourth is shakkar and fifth is white sugar.

The more you eat foods in their natural form, more the health benefits you will get from that food.
Food is Brahmin and contains the same consciousness as you have. The food which is more refined will loses its consciousness and is not beneficial to the health.

Similarly, wheat flour with bran is better than flour without bran, which is better than suji, which is better than maida.  Maida is the final product and if taken every day, it can cause heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

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.
  • In non–veg, order only fish or seafood.
  • If you decide to have dessert, share it with your dining companion(s).

(Source Harvard Newsletter)

Eating junk food: it’s in the brain

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When it comes to eating junk food, one may blame the brain. Addiction is a disease and the same has been proved by a study.

Two areas of the brain have to work together to give the self-control to reject unhealthy foods. California Institute of Technology researchers used MRI to scan the brains of volunteers as they looked at photos of dozens of types of foods and decided which ones they’d like to eat. They found significant differences in the brain activity between people who had self-control in terms of making food choices and those with no self-control. An area of the brain called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is involved in all value-based decisions. When ventromedial prefrontal cortex activity decreases, a person will probably reject an item, whereas increased activity means they’ll probably choose it. The study published in the journal Science found that in people with no self-control, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex seemed to take into consideration only the taste of a food.

In people with good self-control, another area of the brain called dorsolateral prefrontal cortex becomes active and modulates the basic value signals so that the self-controllers also incorporate health considerations into their decisions. The study showed that ventromedial prefrontal cortex is active during every decision and that the DLPFC is more active when a person is using self-control.

There is a ritual and tradition of offering food to God before eating

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This is a Vedic reminder to oneself that one should eat only those foods that are offered to God.  Each time you offer food to God, this reminder makes you change your decision and choices.  For example, alcohol, tobacco, onion, garlic, radish, etc. are not offered to God.  If they are part of your food, there are chances that you will not consume these food items, if you observe this ritual.

Cheating is permitted out of 21 meals in a week.  Over a period of time people have stopped following this ritual and now eat some foods, which cannot be offered to God in all their 21 meals. This is the reason why the incidence of lifestyle diseases is increasing in the community.

Malnutrition and wrong dietary habits have been identified as major risk factors for ill health, including heart attacks. Most people below the poverty line suffer from malnutrition due to lack of calories, proteins and vitamins in their food. In the affluent society, overeating or eating wrong food results in over nutrition, a form of malnutrition leading to heart blockages.

In this context Heart Care Foundation of India has formulated guidelines about eating, said Padma Shri & Dr. BC Roy National Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India & National Vice President-Elect IMA.

These include:

  • Eat only when you are hungry.
  • Do not eat for pleasure, social obligations or emotional satisfaction.
  • Eat at a slow pace
  • Eat less; dinner less than lunch.
  • Take small mouthfuls each time, chew each morsel well, swallow it and only then take the next morsel.
  • Do not eat while watching television, driving a car or watching sports events. The mind is absorbed in these activities and one does not know what and how much one has eaten.
  • Do not talk while eating and never enter into heated arguments. The stomach has ears and can listen to your conversation. It will accordingly send signals to the mind and heart.
  • Plan and decide in advance what and how much food you will be eating.
  • Use low fat or skimmed mild dairy products. For cooking, use oils which are liquid at room temperature.

  • Do not take red meat and if you are a non-vegetarian, you may take poultry meat or fish.