Author - Dr. Nitin Gupte

Obesity Treatment in Pune

Health Problems Of The Young: PCOD

Obesity And PCOD In Young Ladies

We have already seen that the commonest health problems faced by overweight or obese young people are hypertension and PCOD. We have discussed the first condition viz. hypertension.

Here we are discussing PCOD (polycystic ovarian disease) otherwise also known as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).

PCOD is very common amongst young ladies between the age group of 15 to 25 years. Its exact cause is not known. In this condition the ovaries develop multiple cysts leading to hormonal imbalance. In most cases the periods are delayed or altogether absent. Weight gain, excessive facial hair growth and pimples are other features of PCOD. About a third of ladies with PCOD suffer from infertility. Many girls with PCOD may also have hypothyroidism. Both conditions cause weight gain.

The diagnosis is confirmed by abdominal sonography and hormonal study.

Taking hormones to regulate periods does not improve PCOD. Many girls take hormones off and on in three month cycles, but that does not help as the cycles become irregular on stopping hormones.

The first line of treatment of PCOD is weight reduction. Beginning to exercise and losing weight usually corrects the cycles and reverses PCOD. Here both a good workout and weight loss seem to influence reversal of PCOD.

Many girls will tell you that their periods are regular when they have some form of exercise like walking, cycling, dancing or sports like tennis and they become irregular when they stop exercising for a while. These are principally cardiovascular exercises.

Here it must be understood that the term exercise mentioned above doesn’t include heavy weight training or exhaustive floor exercises which are commonly being sold to you by gyms and slimming centers. In fact heavy weight training can disturb your hormones and you may land into PCOD. Many girls experience delayed periods when on heavy weight training.

So if you are a young girl gaining weight apparently without reason and the periods are getting delayed regularly, consult a gynaecologist. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, start exercising regularly and take steps to lose weight if already overweight.

Also read Latest Post ‘Health Problems Of The Young: Hypertension‘ on this website.

Save Your Knees

Your knees are precious, save them!

Knee pain is a constant companion of overweight people.

The most frequent pain overweight people came to me with, in the first half of my practice, were low backache and pain in the neck. Knee pain had relatively insignificant presence in the list of complaints. Over the last decade knee pain has progressively become the most common complaint, relegating the other two to distant second and third positions!

Today more and more people are developing knee problems and at a much younger age. Osteoarthritis is a common ailment, especially in obese people. Ligament and cartilage injuries are also frequently seen.

To top this, more and more people are reporting accidental knee injuries. The commonest causes of such injuries are two wheeler accidents and sports injuries, especially common amongst football players.

These are the reasons why knee surgeries have become very common. Knee replacement surgeries, almost unheard of a decade ago, are commonplace today.

Many of the knee problems can be prevented by taking simple precautions.

Keeping your weight down is obviously the basic requirement of maintaining your knee health.

Additionally, you must prevent activities that cause undue wear and tear of knee joints. Activities like mindlessly excessive walking, jogging, running, hill climbing and sports like badminton may lead to such wear and tear.

These are all excellent cardiovascular activities and everyone must take up such activities to keep themselves heart healthy. What must be avoided is, overdoing them.

Take up such activities moderately and also ensure that you strengthen your knees with proper knee exercises while you take up the above activities as workout options.

You will have to learn knee exercises, which are easy enough to perform within a few minutes at home, without any special equipment. Start with these exercises when you are young and have healthy knees, don’t wait to develop knee trouble to start them. Water-walking (in chest high water) is also an excellent knee exercise, even for those with arthritis of the knees.

You can consult your own doctor or visit us to learn these exercises.

Your knees are precious, save them for the old age!

Also read the article ‘Dangers Of Unscientific Treatments‘ on this website.

Obesity Treatment in Pune

Preventing Diabetes

Preventing Diabetes

November 14th is the World Diabetes Day. It will be appropriate to discuss prevention of this dreaded disease today.

Diabetes is one disease that one must leave no stone unturned, to prevent.

No effort should be spared to prevent it’s onset if you are threatened with it.

Once it sets in, you are left fighting it for a lifetime and believe me, it is a no holds barred fight, and often an ugly one. And there can only be one winner if you don’t take utmost care!

It is also a very expensive fight!

So fight to prevent it all costs!

India is home to the largest population of diabetics. In that sense, we are the world capital of this disease.

The reasons for this are numerous. Being genetically more prone to diabetes and heart disease complicates matters.

Lack of awareness about the predisposing factors of the disease, rising affluence, physical inactivity, fat and sugar rich high calorie food, intense competition, stress, unending ambitions and desires, lack of satisfaction and mental peace and rising obesity are even more important factors.

If you confirm to the above traits, if you have a family history of diabetes, if your waist is over 80 cm (for ladies) or 90 cm (for men), if you are over 35 years of age, you are prone to catch diabetes.

The risk is greater if both of the parents are diabetics if your waist is over 90 cm (women) or 100 cm (men) and you are over 50 years of age.

You must screen yourself by a general check up and check up your blood sugar two hours after consuming 75 gm glucose once every year if you are over 35, if you have the above risk factors, or if you are over 50.

You can protect yourself from diabetes by taking following measures:

Eat healthy, simple, nutritious, low calorie food rich in vegetables and fruits.

Eat fatty and sweet food minimally.

Walk briskly for at least half an hour every day.

Lose weight.

Make room for adequate rest and recreation in your daily routine.

Lead a happy, peaceful and contented life.

Screen yourself for diabetes every year.

Diabetics may not have any symptoms in the early stages. But left unchecked, it can damage various organs including the eyes, the kidneys, and the heart. It is a life-threatening disease. So take care!

Also read the Latest Post ‘Preventing Hypertension‘ on this website.

Obesity Treatment in Pune

Preventing Hypertension

How To Prevent High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. It accounts for two-thirds of all strokes and half of all heart disease.

One out of every five people in India has high blood pressure or hypertension. The situation is worse in Maharashtra, the ratio increasing to one in three.

Hypertension is often asymptotic. Many people never know that they have hypertension, simply because they have never had any reason to go to a doctor and check their blood pressure. It is often detected accidentally or after some tragedy strikes. That’s why it is called a silent killer!

The incidence of hypertension is so high today that it is vital that young people keep a regular watch on their blood pressure, at least once in every six months, even if they are not overweight, have no personal or family history of hypertension, and more often if they have all three plus stress.

Three decades ago, a survey amongst school children in Pune found a high incidence of obesity and hypertension, the incidence is much higher today! If your child is overweight or obese do get his blood pressure checked regularly and make sure that he loses weight.

Childhood obesity predisposes children to early hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes and heart disease.

Untreated hypertension can cause blindness, renal (kidney) failure, heart attacks, strokes, and death. Even those people who are on proper medication may not necessarily escape these complications.

This said, it is vitally important that people consult their doctor, take the prescribed medication regularly and never stop medication on their own, without the knowledge of the doctor. Many people commit this mistake and pay the ultimate price for it.

Even amongst the people who are on regular medication, few have well-controlled blood pressures, 140/100 m.m. of Hg or more are not uncommon, when the levels should be 120/80 m.m. of Hg or less! Such people run the same health risks as mentioned above.

So our best option is to prevent hypertension and most people can definitely do it.

High blood pressure most often occurs without having any specific underlying disease leading to it. This hypertension is called primary or essential hypertension. About ninety to ninety-five percent of all hypertension cases fall into this category. Only five to ten percent people have an underlying disease leading to hypertension. This kind of hypertension is called secondary hypertension.

Various theories have been put forth about the causes of essential hypertension. Broadly speaking high blood volume, increased cardiac output, increased resistance of the arterial walls due to their thickening and reduced elasticity, narrowing of the lumen of arteries, increased vascular tone and a few other causes are thought to lead to primary hypertension.

But the fact remains that, with proper precautions, most people can prevent the onset of primary hypertension, many may overcome the problem completely.

Following are the essential steps you must take to prevent this hypertension.

Adapt a healthy lifestyle.

Keep your nutrition healthy, complete and moderate in calories.

Eat minimum fatty and sweet food and red meat.

Eat salt minimally. Avoid high salt foods like ‘papad’, ‘chatani’, ‘pickles’, dried and salted fish. Salt causes the blood volume to increase and this, in turn, causes blood pressure to climb. The sodium content of mineral salt may be higher than table salts. So, contrary to popular belief, mineral salts like ‘saindhav’ may be worse for hypertension than the table salts. Avoid mineral salts and ‘chat masalas’.

In general, foods rich in potassium, beans, dark leafy vegetables, all fruits, notably bananas, potatoes, fish, mushrooms, will help lower blood pressure. So include them in your food regularly.

Foods high in sodium, table salt, mineral salts, chaat masala, pickles, dried fish, fast foods, chips, French fries, salted nuts, canned foods (meats, fish and beans), sauces, salad dressings, will increase blood pressure. Keep them out of your food.

In general, animal source foods are high while vegetable source foods are low in sodium. So eating less of flesh and more of vegetables and fruits will help lower blood pressure.

Workout sufficiently; a brisk walk of at least thirty to sixty minutes will be good enough for most people, thirty if you are slim, sixty if you are overweight.

Make sure that you move around, get a little stroll whenever possible and generally remaining more active during work hours if you have a sedentary job.

Lose weight. A slim tummy will dramatically help bring down blood pressure, blood sugar and blood fats and cholesterol. Abdominal obesity leads to hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

Sleep and rest adequately. Seven hours of sound sleep will prove invaluable.

Be happy, positive, contented and peaceful.

A mind full of negative thoughts, sorrow, irritability, anger, endless desires, and a king size ego causes immense damage to our health. This kind of mindset leads people to hypertension, diabetes and heart disease sooner or later.

Any honest and intelligent person can identify if he or she has such a mindset. A bloated ego or plain stupidity can prevent us from identifying that we have such a mindset.

You must calm down your mind, free it from the clutches of negative and violent thoughts if you really want to become happy and healthy and free from the impending threat of hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

And it can be done for sure, only you should want to be happy and healthy.

Take up a technique as simple as ‘yoganidra’ if not meditation if you wish to be calm, happy and healthy. Consistent yoganidra will immensely help in making you peaceful, happy and positive.

So ensure that you take these steps urgently and see how dramatically your blood pressure and blood chemistry improve. These steps will give you much improved mental and physical health and prevent hypertension, diabetes and heart disease and also slim you down!

Also read ‘Health Problems Of The Young: Hypertension’, ‘Hypertension Prevention And Control Program’ and ‘Preventing Diabetes‘ on this website.

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Health Benefits Of Brown Rice

Why You Must Replace White Rice With Brown Rice

Brown rice and white rice have a similar number of calories and carbohydrates. The main differences between the two forms of rice lie in processing and nutritional content.

When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced. To produce white rice, the next layers underneath the husk (the bran layer and the germ) are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm.

Brown rice is superior to white rice when it comes to fibre content, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals, and it does not generate as large an increase in blood sugar levels after a meal as white rice, that is the glycemic index of brown rice is lower than that of white rice.

Milling and polishing brown rice removes most vitamins and minerals. In addition, milling strips away most of its fibre, which helps deter diabetes by slowing the rush of sugar (glucose) into the bloodstream.

Eating white rice daily may help trigger the onset of diabetes in those who are at a higher risk of developing diabetes due to family history or poor lifestyle, poor nutrition, lack of exercise and stress.

Replacing white rice with brown rice in four or five meals a week will substantially lower this risk.

Several vitamins and dietary minerals are lost in this removal and the subsequent polishing process. A part of these missing nutrients, such as vitamin B1, vitamin B3, and iron are sometimes added back into the white rice making it “enriched”, as food suppliers in the US are required to do by the US Food and Drug Administration. We have no information what happens in India.

One mineral that is lost substantially in white rice is magnesium.

When the bran layer is removed to make white rice, the oil in the bran is also removed. Rice bran oil may help lower LDL cholesterol. Rice bran oil contains ‘Oryzanol’ which is considered to be helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels.

Among other key sources of nutrition lost are small amounts of fatty acids and fiber.

Read the article ‘Basics Of Nutrition‘ on this website for more information

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Can I Eat A Whole Egg?

The Dilemma Faced By Many people!

An egg contains six grams of the best quality proteins with all the essential amino acids.

An egg also contains 6 grams of fat, of which 1.5 grams are saturated fats. It also contains about 210 mg of cholesterol.

The protein content is almost evenly divided between the white and the yellow (yolk) of the egg, just a bit over 3 grams in the white and just under 3 grams in the yolk. The major part of the good nutrition as well as the entire fat and cholesterol are housed in the yolk.

Thus if you eat only the egg white, you get just over 3 grams of excellent proteins with only 12 calories and don’t have to worry about fats or cholesterol. Unfortunately, you miss out on most of the other excellent nutrition housed in the whole egg. Plus the egg white is rather high in sodium. This could give you elevated blood pressure if you consume too many egg whites.

Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D. Thus they help build healthy bones, teeth and help prevent osteoporosis.

Eggs are also beneficial to the health of the eyes. The carotenoid content of the eggs, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin may prevent cataract and macular degeneration, an eye disease that leads to loss of central vision.

Eggs are a good source of choline. Choline is an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system.

New research shows that, contrary to previous belief, moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on cholesterol. Research suggests that it is saturated fat that raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol.

According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, there is no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease.

One study suggests that regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke,and heart attacks. Another study suggests that women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%.

Eggs also promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals.

Thus it is clear that eggs are highly nutritious. But an egg still provides two third of the safe upper limit of the daily recommendation of cholesterol for a healthy person, viz. 300 mg, while a person with high cholesterol or bad lipid profile shouldn’t cross 200 mg.

Dr. Thomas Behrenbeck, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, advises that a healthy person should not to cross 4 whole eggs a week.

A person with high cholesterol or bad lipid profile should follow his doctor’s advice.

Even a healthy person should avoid eating other high cholesterol and high saturated fat food and fatty deserts the same day.

Newer research thus tends to exonerate the egg from the demon of heart disease, but prudence must still be exercised while eating whole eggs.

It would be a good idea to keep an eye on your lipid profile every six months if you eat whole eggs regularly.

For more information about fats and cholesterol, read the article ‘Basics Of Nutrition‘ on this site.

Obesity Clinic in Pune

Lots Of Nuts And Cheese Won’t Make You Slim And Healthy!

Snacking On Nuts And Cheese Is Not The Way To Slimming And Health!

Many people ask me if snacking on ground nuts and other nuts like almonds and walnuts and cheese helps in slimming.

Hardly. In fact, all nuts are very high in fats. They provide between 40 (ground nuts) and over 50 per cent (all dry fruit nuts) fat by weight, meaning every 100 gm of these nuts provide you with 40, 50 or more gm of fat. That is the same as eating 8 to 10 teaspoons of pure fat, like oil or ghee!

A major part of the fat in nuts is the monounsaturated kind, though walnuts also provide the valuable omega-3 fatty acids, which protect us from coronary artery disease. So it makes sense to have a couple of walnuts daily, especially if fish is not a part of your food.

Luckily there is no cholesterol in nuts.

Eating nuts because a few nuts like almonds have some fibre, makes no sense for Indians. Whole grain cereals, pulses, vegetables, especially leafy vegetables and fruits are much better sources of fibre and have much fewer calories. Our normal Indian food has all four in most meals, so we don’t need high fat nuts for fibre. Plus all four are far cheaper than dry fruit nuts!

For most Indians, the normal diet consists of cereal-pulses-vegetables routine in the majority of meals and meat only a few meals, probably no more than a couple of days a week. So getting enough fibre is not a great problem for us.

Predominantly ‘meat only’ Western diets include little whole grain cereals and vegetables and probably lack adequate monounsaturated fatty acids as well as fibre. Hence some Western experts may advise a handful of nuts as snacks. But for Indians, the advice is totally misplaced.

Nor do we need nuts to give us proteins. Milk and a combination of cereals and pulses and legumes  provide us with ample proteins. Also the proteins in nuts are not of high quality, not containing all essential amino acids.

So we don’t need to buy a lot of fats to get some incomplete proteins and a little fibre.

A diet high in overall fat, and particularly saturated fats, builds more cholesterol in our blood.

Cheese will be 30 per cent fat, major part of it saturated, and ample cholesterol. Both are bad for your blood cholesterol levels and your heart.

We don’t need cheese to give us proteins and calcium; milk and leafy vegetables can provide them amply.

So snacking on nuts and cheese is bad for your weight as well as the heart. Make no mistake about it.

Eating either, in small quantity, occasionally isn’t exactly akin to committing suicide, but snacking on them every day definitely is!

Read more about the Basics Of Nutrition on our website.

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Preventing Osteoporosis

Keeping Our Bones Healthy For A Life Time

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones lose calcium, mineral mass and density, become fragile and fracture easily. Even sneezing or coughing can cause fractures.

It is a highly crippling disease whose threat is not perceived seriously enough by people.

Fractured hip bone or femur (the thigh bone) in old age can be life threatening.

Osteoporosis is a lifestyle disease common amongst older men and women, more so amongst post-menopausal women.

The wrists, the hip bone, and the vertebrae are the common sites of fractures caused due to osteoporosis. Many old people fracture their hip bones and femur and have to undergo extensive orthopedic surgeries, and many of them become bedridden and never recover.

Lack of adequate calcium and vitamin D in the diet, minimum exposure to sunlight, lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle are the major factors leading to osteoporosis.

All commercial slimming programs inevitably force you to take up very low calorie diets (VLCD). Such diets invariably lead to calcium loss from bones, amongst multiple other nutritional deficiencies. If you are prone to take up starvation based low calorie diets off and on in a desperate attempt to lose weight, you are a prime candidate for osteoporosis. So stop such yo-yo dieting if you want to have healthy bones for a lifetime.

A high protein diet, excessive consumption of coffee and alcohol, smoking, stress, and depression also enhance calcium loss and slow down fresh rebuilding of bones, thus helping the development of osteoporosis. Caffeine in coffee and raised levels of the hormone cortisol in stress enhances calcium loss from bones.

People who have taken steroids for long periods for diseases like asthma or other allergies, also develop osteoporosis as steroids cause the body to lose calcium through the urine.

Osteoporosis is undoubtedly a very grave disease that can be prevented simply by leading a healthy lifestyle from childhood. Which means that parents must have adequate knowledge about the dangerous disease which can be prevented or arrested but not completely reversed once it sets in.

So you must learn all about this illness and teach your children to eat healthy, play physical sports involving activities like running and climbing, get into the habit of exercising regularly and being happy and peaceful.

You must include ample skim milk, lots of green leafy vegetables, nachani (a cereal, also called ragi) and soya in your diet to ensure getting adequate calcium.

You can consult your doctor and discuss with him or her about whether you need calcium and vitamin D supplements. If you don’t get sufficient calcium in your food, you may be benefited by taking them.

Our body synthesizes vitamin D from sunlight. We also get it from food.

Our body builds a precursor of vitamin D under the skin with the help of cholesterol when exposed to the sunlight. Eventually the liver and the kidneys also play a role in the synthesis of vitamin D.

So ensure that you get adequate early morning sunlight to allow your body to build vitamin D without suffering from the damaging effects of strong sunlight. Five-minute exposure of your arms, legs and face to the morning sun, three to five days a week is adequate for most people to synthesize sufficient vitamin D.

The food sources of vitamin D are limited. Fatty fish oils, fatty fish, liver, eggs, and milk are the major sources of vitamin D. So you could consume milk every day, a couple of whole eggs a week (unless your doctor recommends not eating them to limit dietary sources of cholesterol) and fish to improve your supply of dietary vitamin D.

A whole egg four days a week would serve you nicely if your cholesterol is excellent, providing wide health benefits other than vitamin D. But you must avoid other sources of cholesterol, viz. non-vegetarian source foods, ghee, butter, and cheese on these days

You may not get enough vitamin D if you do not have much exposure to sunlight. Barring milk, the food sources of the vitamin are not common foods. In such a case, it may be necessary for you to take vitamin D supplements. Ask your doctor about this issue.

Take up regular weight-bearing exercises. They help stop further bone loss and may help to build bone as you age. By improving your posture, balance, and flexibility, they also reduce your risk of falls that can break fragile bones. Exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Take up antigravity exercises like walking, running, jogging, aerobics, hill climbing, stair climbing, tennis, football, basketball or volleyball and moderate weight training. Swimming doesn’t help in building healthy bones as your bones and muscles must work against gravity to do so.

A word of caution will not be out of place here. While taking up these exercises, don’t get carried away and damage your knees! Taking up knee strengthening exercises simultaneously is equally vital. We want strong bones as well as healthy knees.

So consult your doctor before taking up these exercises.

Read the articles ‘Can I Eat A Whole Egg?‘ and ‘Save Your Knees‘ on this site for more information.

Weight Loss Program in Pune

How Much Salt Do I Need?

Vital Information About Our Salt Requirement

Sodium is a mineral that is essential to our health. Our body needs it to regulate our body water balance, blood pressure and blood volume and also for proper functioning of our muscles and nerves.

The largest source of sodium in our food is table salt. Almost all components of our food, including milk and water, naturally contain sodium.

All the fried snacks (‘farsan’ or ‘namkin’) are high in sodium.

All fast foods like ‘wadas’, burgers, pizzas are high in sodium.

Indian foods like pickles, chatnis and papad are all high sodium foods.

Dried fish including prawns available in India are very high in salt content.

All sauces like Worcestershire sauce, soya sauce and garlic sauce are high in sodium content.

Processed meats like salami, bacon, sausage and ham, and canned soups and vegetables are high in sodium.

Many people imagine that rock salt or ‘saindhav’ is healthy. It isn’t. It contains as much sodium as table salt. So don’t replace table salt with saindhav imagining it to be the healthier option. And since it tastes less salty, most people end up using it more than table salt and in fact get more sodium than when they use table salt.

‘Chat masala’ is also a source of sodium. It is extremely unwise to use it liberally. In fact, best is to avoid it altogether.

The glamorous super chefs on television have popularized sprinkling of ample table salt and also chat masala on their cookery shows with such panache, such flamboyance that you are tempted to imitate them!

So you can see that sodium is easy to get amply and difficult to restrict.

The surest way to go overboard with our capacity to acquire a bad habit like overeating or over-drinking is to recklessly persist with it. Same holds true to eating too much salt. The more we eat it, the more do our taste buds demand it for the same level of the pleasure of eating salty food.

Gradually you can over-consume food, alcohol or salt in quantities you couldn’t possibly have consumed previously. Your capacity of consuming food, alcohol or salt keeps going up.

Incidentally, the same applies in equal measure to eating sweets!

Too much sodium can lead to water retention and high blood pressure. Your doctor may ask you to cut down on your sodium (salt) intake if your blood pressure is high or you have oedema (swelling) on your body.

Water retention in people with congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, or kidney disease can lead to grave consequences. Such people are usually put on strict sodium-restricted diets by their doctors.

A healthy adult should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day while individuals with high blood pressure should consume no more than 1,500 mg a day. Those with congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, and kidney disease may need much lower amounts.

One teaspoon of table salt contains 2,300 mg of sodium. Plus every food item that you consume and also the water that you drink contain sodium.

So you can easily see that your food should not contain any more than three fourth of a teaspoon of table salt, perhaps even a little less than that may be better! Most people easily eat much more!

A renowned Pune, India, doctor goes so far as to say that we don’t need to add table salt to our food at all, all our food is naturally endowed with all the salt we need for absolute health! And I couldn’t agree with him more!

But following his advice will take a radical change in our thinking, which can only happen with great difficulty. Also it will present some practical difficulties, like say when you eat out, in a restaurant.

But it is not very difficult to get used to low salt food. Fortunately, our taste buds are not difficult to manipulate. If you start eating low salt food consciously and persist with it for a few weeks, you can train them to get used to low salt food, just as easily as you trained them to enjoy overeating it. And then you would find it tough to get back to eating high salt food again.

Incidentally, the same principle applies to food and sweets. Eat food and sweets sensibly and moderately for a few weeks and you can train your taste buds, brain and tummy to get adjusted to the new levels quickly.

So it is vital that we constantly remain aware that we must consume food, salt, sweets and alcohol with care! Moderation is the key! It will create optimum health, lack of it will destroy it!

It is vital that we cook low salt food at home and ensure that our children learn to eat low salt food from childhood. Once low salt food becomes a culture for them, they won’t have any problem eating salt in moderation later in life.

So the best plan is to set aside just under three fourth of a teaspoon of salt per adult in your family and cook all your family meals from this salt. This, of course, is applicable to otherwise healthy families.

This also requires that your food does not include the above mentioned high sodium foods on daily basis.

If your family members eat all meals at home and eat on par with each other, everyone will get the measured amount of salt.

Also read the article ‘Preventing Hypertension‘ on this website.

Goat Meat Is Healthy!

Not All Red Meat Is Bad For The Heart!

It is now common knowledge that sea fish is excellent for the health of the heart as it is the richest source of the omega-3 fatty acids which protect us from the coronary artery disease.

It is also a common belief that all red meat viz. mutton, beef, and pork are bad for the heart while the white meat, which for all practical purposes is chicken for us, is fine for the heart.

Contrary to this belief, not all red meat is bad.

The most commonly consumed red meat in our country is what is called mutton, which in fact is not one kind of meat. Both goat and lamb meat are called ‘mutton’, and not many people know exactly which meat they buy as mutton.

Nutritionally goat meat is much better than lamb meat.

Goat meat is actually lower in calories, total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than not just lamb, pork and beef meats, but also chicken meat. This makes goat meat the healthier red meat, even better than chicken.

A 100 gm serving of cooked goat meat contains about 142 calories compared to chicken 185, beef 207, pork 209 and lamb 205 calories per 100 gm.

Goat meat has 3 gm of total fat, 0.93 gm of saturated fat, 75 mg of cholesterol and 27 gm of protein per 100 gm serving.

Chicken meat has 4 gm of total fat, 1 gm of saturated fat, 85 mg of cholesterol and 31 gm of proteins per 100 gm.

All other meats fair even more poorly in comparison to goat meat.

Additionally, goat meat has higher levels of iron than the other meats. It has 3.8 mg iron per 100 gm serving while beef has 3.4 mg, pork has 3.1 mg, lamb has 1.6 mg and chicken has 1.7 mg of iron per 100 gm.

Goat meat also has higher levels of potassium and lower levels of sodium than the other four types of meat. Thus it is a healthier option for people with hypertension, heart and kidney disease.

Thus goat meat is superior to all the four other types of meat including chicken meat.

So other than fish, goat meat is the best meat to consume. As always, eating moderately is the key.

One can consume 250 gm goat meat in a day, and still satisfy the upper safe limit of cholesterol consumption allowable to a person with high cholesterol levels viz. 200 mg.

Thus, if you are a mix food person, you should consider fish, goat, and chicken as the non-vegetarian options in your food, in that order. You can keep off the lamb, pork, and beef.

Other than providing you a very good source of proteins and iron, goat meat also provides you a vital nutrient in vitamin B12, which is completely absent in vegetarian food. This is significant since many Indians suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency. Iron from flesh sources is also absorbed better than that from the vegetable sources. Thus goat meat also helps prevent anaemia.

Hence eating goat meat in moderation is a good option if you are a mixed food person.

And it is perfectly fine if you are a pure lacto-vegetarian as long as you take balanced nutrition, eat ample vegetables, especially leafy vegetables, and fruits and drink ample skimmed milk. Milk provides the necessary high quality proteins as well as all the vitamin B 12 you need.

Read the articles The Basics Of Nutrition and Can I Eat A Whole Egg on this website for more information.