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Dr K K Aggarwal

WHO Five Keys to Safer Food

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Key 1: Keep clean

Wash hands before handling food and frequently during food preparation.

Wash hands after using the toilet.

Wash and sanitize all surfaces and equipment used in food preparation.

Protect kitchen areas and food from insects, pests, etc.

Key 2: Separate raw and cooked food

Raw meat, poultry and seafood should be kept separately from other foods.

Use separate equipment/utensils for handling raw foods.

Food should be stored in containers in order to avoid contact between raw and cooked foods.

Key 3: Cook thoroughly

Cook food thoroughly, particularly meat, poultry, eggs and seafood.

Foods like soups and stews should be brought to boil to ensure that they have reached 70°C. Make sure that juices of meat and poultry are clear, not pink. Use a thermometer.

Reheat cooked food thoroughly.

Key 4: Keep food at safe temperatures

Cooked food should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Refrigerate all cooked and perishable food (preferably below 5°C).

Keep cooked food piping hot (more than 60°C) before serving.

Food should not be stored for too long, even in the refrigerator.

Do not thaw frozen food at room temperature.

Key 5: Use safe water and raw materials

Use safe water or treat it to make it safe for use.

Select fresh and wholesome foods.

Choose foods that are processed for safety, such as pasteurized milk.

Wash fruits and vegetables, especially if eaten raw.

Do not use any food beyond the mentioned expiry date.

WHO 12 Tips to be healthy

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Eat a healthy diet.
  2. Be physically active, every day, your way
  3. Get vaccinated
  4. Don’t use any form of tobacco
  5. Avoid or minimize use of alcohol
  6. Manage stress for your physical or mental health
  7. Practice good hygiene
  8. Don’t speed or drink and drive
  9. Wear a seat belt when driving and helmet when cycling
  10. Practice safe sex
  11. Regularly check your health
  12. Breast feeding is best for babies

Sodium in drugs can be dangerous

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Using effervescent, dispersible or soluble drugs on a regular basis leads to greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events.

Regular use of prescribed effervescent and other sodium–containing drugs have a 16% greater risk for nonfatal stroke, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), and vascular death (P<0.01), compared with regular users of low or no–sodium versions of the same drug as per Dr Jacob George, at the University of Dundee in Scotland who write in BMJ.

Taking the maximum daily dose of drugs like effervescent aspirin or acetaminophen may exceed the recommended daily limit of sodium. Effervescent paracetamol 500 mg can contain 18.6 mmol of sodium in each tablet.

Sodium–loaded effervescent, soluble or dispersible tablets should be avoided in patients at risk of hypertension.

Current U.S. guidelines recommend that people at low risk for CVD events limit their sodium intake to no more than 2,300 mg (1 teaspoon or 100 mmol/L) per day.

Certain populations, including people over 50, African Americans, diabetics, and people with high blood pressure or chronic kidney disease, should limit their daily sodium intake to 1,500 mg.

American Heart Association recommends intake of less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day for everyone. World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations call for limiting daily sodium intake to no more than 2,000 mg per day.

Who is a Good Teacher?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A good teacher is the one who follows the principles of listening first, teaching in detail till confusion arises and then teaching with reasoning while going into the minutest details and finally summarizing the ‘take–home’ messages.

This is what Lord Krishna taught to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita. In the first chapter, he only listens, in the second, he gives detailed counseling, from 2 to 17 chapters, he gives reasoning and in 18th chapter, he revises.

Holi beyond Colors

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The story behind the festival, Holi, starts with Holika, the sister of Hirnakashyap the father of Prahalad.

Hirnakashyap had declared himself as GOD and wanted his son Prahalad to worship him and not Vishnu. When Prahalad refused to do the same, he was made to sit with Holika in an open fire. Holika had a boon that she could not be burned even if she was on live fire. When she was made to sit with Prahalad on the live fire, the opposite happened. She lost her life and got burned but Prahalad came out alive from the fire.

The above story has a deep spiritual meaning. Hirnakashyap here represents “EGO” which when takes control; one forgets about his own consciousness and thinks that he is the supreme power. The same symbolic representation is seen with Ravana in Ramayana and Kansa in Mahabharata.

Prahalad here represents a person with self realization or the son of God or one’s consciousness or one’s true self. The consciousness cannot be burned, cut, dried or made wet by anything. It is imperishable and everlasting.

All those people who have acquired self realization utilizing any of the pathway (Bhakti, Karma and Gnana ) are in a state of GOD acquaintance and nothing can destroy them.

The obstacles to the pathway of self realization are mentioned as “attachment, anger, desire, greed and ego”. When all these negative factors overpower any individual, it leads one away from self realization or away from God. Holika here represents the sum total of the negative forces in the body which can kill you if not controlled in time.

Getting attached to any of the 5 senses can end in a vicious cycle and one can get burnt in this ‘chakarvyuha’ of attachments. If you are truthful, and have attained a state of one-point contemplation on a known truth, all the negative forces will stay away. All such negative forces if repressed within the body can burn you out over a period of time and that is one of the reasons why all negative emotions should never be suppressed or repressed.

The practice of burning Holi a day before the festival symbolizes burning all your negative thoughts or emotions embedded in the mind and neutralize all the poison arising due to the negative feelings. As soon as the negativity is removed from the mind there is opening of the spiritual vision or the knowledge of the consciousness. Once this is done, only the positive thoughts remain, which is celebrated as sharing and loving each other, the next day.

Sharing love is the biggest thing one can do in removing all the above mentioned

5 obstacles to self-realization. Spreading love reduces anger as well as desires, detaches one from various attachments, reduces greed, and brings humility in a person. By burning ones ego and other negative qualities, one also burns the ill feeling amongst each other and makes everybody a friend.

During Holi, the practice therefore, is to visit and meet not only your friends but also those people to whom you are not friendly. The festival therefore, is an opportunity to spread brotherhood and happiness in the society.

WHO defines health as not mere absence of disease but a state of physical, mental, spiritual, social and environmental wellbeing. Holi, therefore, is a classical example or a custom to create “social healthiness” amongst the general society.

The habit of throwing water on each other also has a deep spiritual meaning. It basically means removing dirt from each other. Dirt here does not means bodily dirt but mental dirt which once removed leads to spiritual cleanliness.

The whole meaning is not to play Holi superficially or meet each other at a superficial level but to get rid of the negativity at the level of the mind as well. There is no point in celebrating Holi and meeting people unless you remove your negative thoughts about them from the mind.

When you lovingly smear ‘gulal’ (coloured powder) on others, they reciprocate with doubled love and affection. Similarly, always think of good things about people. Express your positive thoughts about these friends loudly – not only in front of them but also in their absence. Don’t you think your heart will throb with pleasure when they reciprocate?