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Dr K K Aggarwal

Plate Your Food Now

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on Plate Your Food Now

A ‘Food Plate’ symbol has replaced the traditionally recommended ‘Food Pyramid’ of the USDA. These guidelines break down a healthy diet into 4 main quadrants on a plate: red for fruits, green for vegetables, orange for grains and purple for protein. A small blue circle attached to the plate signifies dairy products.

Fruits and vegetables occupy half of the plate space, with the vegetable portion being a little bigger than the fruit section. Eating more fruits and vegetables means consumption of fewer calories on the whole, which helps to maintain a healthy body weight. Fruits and vegetables are also a rich source of fiber along with vitamins and minerals.

The other half is divided between grains and proteins. Grains, with emphasis on whole grains make up one quarter of the plate. Protein is a smaller quarter of the plate. The recommendation is to aim to eat different kinds of protein in every meal.

In a major shift from the food pyramid, the Plate does not mention the number of servings for any food group or portion size. Nor does it mention fats and oils.

Remember the following tips for a healthy meal:

  • 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.
  • Reduce intake of foods high in solid fats and/or added sugar.
  • 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.

Sugary drinks versus sugary sweets (mithai)

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Sugary drinks versus sugary sweets (mithai)

When we talk about health, everybody talks against soft drinks. They say that one should not substitute water with soft drinks. One should take not more than one soft drink a day.

From medical point of view, soft drinks mean any drink, which contains more than 10% sugar. Oral rehydration solution that is medically recommended for dehydration and marketed as a replacement solution is not a sugary drink as it contains not more than 2–3% sugar. A 200 ml bottle of soft drink, on an average, contains 20 gm of sugar, which amounts to 10%.

Most mithais or the so-called Indian sweets contain more than 10% sugar; an average person consumes 100 gm of sweets per meal.

The traditional halwas such as moong ki daal ka halwa or gajar ka halwa or suji halwa contain 30% sugar. Suji Halwa is made of one cup of ghee, one cup of suji and two cups of sweet syrup and four cups of water. Kalakand is the least sweetened Indian sweet as it contains only 300 gm of sugar in 10kg of milk. Indian traditional Burfi is 3 kg sugar in 10 kg of khoya. Kaaju burfi is 50% sugar, gulab jamun is 40% sugar, rasgulla syrup contains 50% sugar (made of only cow milk and sugar).

The sugar syrup, or chashni as it is called, is 50% sugar. Most soft drinks have 10% sugar.

Most Indian sweets are prepared either in sugar syrup or vanaspati ghee (hydrogenated oils). A sweet cannot be made in artificial sweeteners as artificial sweetener cannot be converted into a sugar syrup or chashni. The sweets prepared in vanaspati ghee are gulab jamun, laddoo, patisa, balushahi, sohan halwa. Sohn halwa contains the maximum hydrogenated oil. Balushahi also contains 60% ghee.

The sweets that are prepared without any ghee are those prepared with sugar syrup; they are rasgulla, ras malai, chum chum etc.

Most salty snacks are made in soyabean oil which is the cheapest oil. Other oils, which can be used are sunflower oil, cottonseed oil. Samosa, kachori are made of maida but they are not cooked in transfat or hydrogenated oils but in soyabean oil.

The hydrogenated oils or vanaspati ghee is only present in items like laddoo, balushahi, besan ka laddoo, patisa etc.