Author - Dr. Nitin Gupte

Obesity And Infertility

Getting Slim, Healthy, Happy And Positive To Overcome Infertility!

It is a well known fact that obesity is closely associated with or is one of the major causes of PCOD, miscarriages and primary and secondary infertility.

Obesity is known to cause menstrual irregularities, poor or complete absence of ovulation, lowered chances of conception, increased chances of miscarriages, increased risk of complications during pregnancy and child birth.

Research has proved that even five per cent drop in body weight of obese young women has helped them drop an average of eleven per cent of their abdominal fat, reduced their waist circumference measurements by four cm, increased their insulin sensitivity by an amazing seventy one per cent, improved the hormonal environment in their bodies, restored their regular menstruation and ovulation and improved their pregnancy rates.

In short, it means that many a young women are deprived of natural motherhood only because they are overweight or obese. Losing a small amount of weight, as little as five per cent, will help their periods become regular, ovulation to improve, dramatically improve their chances of conceiving naturally, having a safe pregnancy without miscarriages and a safe delivery and having a healthy child.

In spite of this, these ladies are first put through complex and expensive fertility therapies rather than asking them to lose weight. Only after all the fertility treatments are exhausted, they are advised to lose weight, which should have been done before fertility treatments were unleashed on them.

That is why, in actual practice, when such a young woman begins to start eating healthy and exercise, she conceives quickly even as she loses five to seven kg weight, even when she needs to lose twenty or thirty kg to slim down completely.

So if you are suffering from obesity, PCOD, miscarriages and primary or secondary infertility, lose weight by eating healthy, taking up exercise even as simple as walking and becoming happy and positive. The chances are very high that you will conceive naturally, stop having  miscarriages, have a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby. Without needing any fertility treatments!

Getting slim, healthy, happy and positive is a much surer, healthier and safer way of overcoming obesity related infertility than taking fertility treatments. Doing so will also protect the expectant mother from developing hypertension, toxaemia of pregnancy and diabetes during pregnancy.

In fact, every young woman planning pregnancy should get slim, healthy, happy and positive before she gets pregnant. This will ensure a safe pregnancy and a happy and healthy duo of a mother and a child!

Also read the articles ‘Health Problems Of The Young: PCOD‘ and ‘Slim Women Are Healthy Women‘ on this website.

What You Must Know About Cholesterol!

Vital Information About Cholesterol!

Cholesterol is a waxy, sticky, fat like substance produced in the liver and is also present in our food.

Most people only know that it causes heart disease, few know that it is an essential constituent of our body and has a vital role to play in our health.

Cholesterol provides structural support to every cell of our body as it is an essential constituent of the cell membrane and plays a significant role in deciding what goes in or out of the cell membrane. It also helps form the protective myelin sheath of our nerve cells. It is essential for the synthesis of steroid and sex hormones and for the formation of Vitamin D under the skin when exposed to sunlight. It is also essential for the formation of bile which is, in turn, essential for digestion of fats. HDL cholesterol helps remove the dangerous LDL and VLDL cholesterol from the blood stream and transports them to the liver where they are removed from the blood thus protecting the heart form coronary artery disease.

Our liver is capable of providing us all the cholesterol we need. We don’t need to consume it in food.

Only animal sources of foods such as flesh, eggs, shell fish, whole milk, cream, ghee, butter, cheese and margarine have cholesterol. No food of vegetable source has cholesterol.

The safe upper limit for the consumption of cholesterol prescribed by researchers is 200 mg a day.

A whole egg provides 210 mg cholesterol, goat meat provides 75 mg per 100 gm, chicken 85 mg, lamb, pork and beef between 85 to 105 mg, sea food provides between 50 to 100 mg cholesterol per 100 gm. Liver of the above animals provides the highest levels, between 350 to 650 mg per 100gm!

Excess cholesterol in the blood is bad for the heart. The HDL cholesterol is the healthy cholesterol, while the LDL and the VLDL cholesterol are bad for the health of the heart. HDL cleanses our arteries by transporting cholesterol from the arteries to liver and cleansing the arteries, thus protecting us from coronary heart disease. The latter two transport cholesterol from liver to the arteries, where it sticks the walls of the arteries, which become hardened and lose their elasticity, causing atherosclerosis and clogging of the arteries leading to coronary heart disease.

Ideal levels of cholesterol and it’s components are:

Cholesterol below 200 mg/dL

HDL cholesterol above 60 mg/dL

LDL Cholesterol below 100mg/dL. Some physicians want it below 70mg/dL

VLDL Cholesterol below 30 mg/ dL

Triglycerides below 150 mg/dL

Normal range is always provided by every laboratory in it’s report.

Saturated fats in our food are actually more responsible for raised levels of cholesterol in our body than dietary cholesterol. Animal products including whole milk, eggs and flesh and vegetable fats which are solid at room temperature (e.g. palm oil, coconut oil) are examples of saturated fats.

Trans-fatty acids also are equally to blame for raised levels of cholesterol. In fact they are rated as worse than cholesterol for the health of the heart. Hydrogenated vegetable oils and oils in which food stuffs are fried over and over, again and again, develop trans-fatty acids. Many bakery products and ready to eat snacks are made using hydrogenated vegetable oils as it gives them longer shelf life. Most people who never use hydrogenated oils at home, eat these products without realising that they are consuming hydrogenated oils.

To keep your cholesterol levels healthy, you need to take following steps:

Lead a healthy lifestyle.

Eat healthy, focussing on skimmed milk and dairy products, whole grain cereals and pulses, ample vegetables and fresh fruits on daily basis and have fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids twice a week.

Most Indians have no problems consuming whole grain cereals, pulses and vegetables as that is what our food basically consists of. What we most often may not consume adequately are skim milk and fruits. Ideally we should have three helpings of both!

Keep consumption of saturated fats to the minimum and trans-fats out of your food. Eat only lean meat. Have a whole egg no more than four days week, if your cholesterol is fully normal.

Exercise regularly and be physically active. Even a half hour brisk walk, spread over the whole day, will be invaluable, half an hour twice a day will be wonderful even for losing weight!

Be mentally happy and peaceful.

In short to keep your cholesterol levels healthy, you do exactly what is needed to be done to be slim and heart healthy!

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

Boosting Your HDL Cholesterol

Many people have normal total cholesterol but low HDL cholesterol, the cholesterol that cleanses your arteries by removing cholesterol build up within them and prevents coronary artery disease.

The following six steps will help boost your HDL cholesterol levels.

1. Get regular exercise. Regular walks, even half an hour every day, can give you much better heart health than being couch potato!

2. Lose weight. Even four kg loss can dramatically lower your bad cholesterol (total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol) and boost your HDL cholesterol.

3. Eat healthy fats viz. omega 3 rich sea fish, cooking oils like mustard oil, Canola, walnuts and flaxseeds, monounsaturated fatty acids rich groundnut or rice bran oil but not necessarily imported olive oil. Reduce unhealthy fats viz. saturated fats coming from milk viz. cream, butter, ghee, cheese, full cream paneer and fatty meats. Stop consuming foods made from hydrogenated oils, they are loaded with trans fatty acids which can cause more damage to your coronary arteries than cholesterol.

4. Stop smoking.

5. Reduce your alcohol consumption.

6. Consult your physician.

Also read the articles ‘Basics Of Nutrition‘ and ‘The Good And The Bad Fats‘ on this website.

Slim Women Are Healthy Women!

Obesity Attracts Numerous Illnesses, Slimming Reverses Them!

Today more and more women of all ages are becoming overweight. Girls are putting on weight because of sedentary lifestyle, fast food and PCOD, while young women are doing so also due to oral contraceptives and around pregnancy and after child birth. Older women experience middle aged spread and later put on more weight during menopause. In addition, many girls and women are suffering from hypothyroidism, which contributes to weight gain by lowering the metabolic rate.

Many of these overweight girls and young women are suffering from PCOD, difficult conception, repeated miscarriages and infertility and older women are falling prey to diseases like arthritis, osteoporosis and hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease! Menstrual disorders are also more common in the obese women.

And the age of catching these illnesses is shrinking all the time.

The number of young women undergoing treatments for PCOD and infertility is rising constantly. The number of hysterectomies (surgical removal of uterus) in older women is ever increasing. So are total knee replacement surgeries.

Obese women are also more prone to multiple cancers, including breast, gastrointestinal, uterine and ovarian cancers.

Losing weight helps reverse PCOD in most girls, most start getting periods regularly.

Many obese women having excessive bleeding (menorrhagia) find that the problem is taken care of by losing weight, without any treatment. Many hysterectomies can be avoided if these obese ladies lose weight!

Most obese young women, in whom fertility treatment had failed repeatedly, conceive naturally, stop having miscarriages and complications during pregnancies, on losing weight, thus realizing their dreams of motherhood!

If obese young ladies lose weight early, they can prevent damaging their knees and thus osteoarthritis! They will also protect themselves from a backache.

Losing weight helps correct blood pressure, blood sugar and lipid levels (triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol). Many will need lower doses or even get rid of their hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol and hypothyroidism medication. Thus losing weight will prevent, reverse or control these disease and also heart disease in many obese ladies, as indeed in men!

Thus it is easy to understand why slim women are healthy women!

Read the article ‘Diseases Associated With Obesity‘, ‘Health Problems Of The Young: PCOD‘ and ‘Obesity And Infertility‘ on this website for more information.

Healthy Fruits For Diabetics And Weight Losers!

Selecting The Right Fruits For Diabetics And Weight Losers!

Many diabetics and also obese people are confused as to which fruits they can eat and which they can’t. In fact, many diabetics avoid eating fruits altogether.

Here is some vital information about fruits that all diabetics and also overweight people should have.

All fruits are healthy. They all provide you with varying amounts of carbohydrates and energy. They also provide you with ample vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
All fruits are rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants along with carbohydrates and some amino acids. They are also rich in dietary fibre.

The primary sugar in fruits is fructose. It is different from table or refined sugar. The glycemic index of refined sugar is 65 which is very close to the high range of glycemic indices while the glycemic index of fruits is 25, which is very low. The ample fibre in fruits slows down the absorption of fructose from the fruits. So the blood sugar climbs slowly, unlike in case of refined sugar.

So diabetics and weight losers can safely eat fruits.

They provide us with beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, folate, vitamin E, minerals like iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese and potassium.

They also provide us with a group of vital nutrients called antioxidants. These include phenolic flavonoids, lycopene, carotenoids and glucosinolates.

Broadly we can classify fruits into three calorie categories.

The lowest calorie and antioxidant rich fruits are various exotic berries like strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, lychees and peaches. Watermelon, papaya are also low in calories. You can have them amply. These fruits provide us with approximately thirty to forty calories per hundred gram.

Mid range in calories and carbohydrates are apples, pears, guavas, oranges, sweet lime, tangerine. You can have one or two servings a day. These fruits provide us with fifty to seventy calories per hundred gram.

Banana, chickoo, custard apple, mango, grapes and pomegranate range from between seventy to hundred calories per hundred gm. They maximally give you twenty three per cent carbohydrates, same as potato, compared to rice (eighty per cent) and wheat (seventy per cent) and provide around three hundred and fifty calories per hundred gram.

Calorie conscious people can have two fruits from the first two calorie categories and one from the higher calorie group.

Diabetics and people with hyperinsulinemia can eat the lower two calorie group fruits more and the highest calorie category fruits in smaller quantities and less frequently.

Even the last category of fruits needn’t be banished altogether by diabetics, they needn’t miss out on the health benefits of these wonderful fruits.

Read the Latest Post ‘Magical Health Benefits Of Fruits‘ for nutritional information about fruits.

Dietary Fibre Is Essential To Our Health!

Dietary Fibre Protects Us From Diabetes, Heart Disease, Strokes And Colon Cancer!

Dietary Fibre, commonly known as roughage, is an essential component of our food. It includes all the parts of plant foods that we cannot digest or absorb. It passes through our digestive tract and is eliminated from our body more or less unchanged. The word fibre is really a bit of a misnomer in the sense that not all the plant parts that are included in this food group are fibrous.

Most of us know fibre as the element of our food that prevents constipation. But there are other vital health benefits of fibre for us.

Chemically, dietary fibre consists of non-starch polysaccharides such as arabinoxilans, cellulose, and many other plant components such as resistant starch, resistant dextrins, inulin, lignin, waxes, chitins, pectins, beta-glucans, and oligosaccharides.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, pulses and legumes, nuts and seeds are the major sources of fibre in our food. Thus our normal Indian food, with major emphasis on vegetarian food, is naturally rich in dietary fibre.

It is the high fat, high protein egg and meat based Western food that is deficient in fibre.

Dietary fibre is broadly classified as soluble and insoluble fibre.

Soluble fibre dissolves in water, forming a gel like substance that absorbs cholesterol and sugars and clears them out of our bowels, reducing their absorption in our blood stream, thus helping lower blood cholesterol, especially LDL, the bad cholesterol and sugar. Thus it helps lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease and strokes.

Soluble fibre sources are oats, pulses and legumes, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium (isabgol).

Insoluble fibre obviously does not dissolve in water. It absorbs water, adds bulk, softens stools and speeds up it’s transit through the bowels and relieves constipation. It regulates bowel movement, promotes growth of useful bacteria in the bowels, regulates the pH in the bowels, helps eliminate toxins from the bowels and helps prevent colitis, haemorrhoids and colon cancer.

Insoluble fibre sources are all types of fruits and vegetables, especially leafy vegetables, potatoes, beans, nuts, whole grain cereals and bran.

In fact most plant foods have both kind of fibre in varying amounts, a little more insoluble than soluble fibre.

Most fibre rich foods are also rich in vitamins and minerals and low in fats and calories. Thus a fibre rich diet also helps us get and stay slim and healthy.

Women up to the age of 50 need about 25 gm, those above 50, 21 gm and men need between 31 to 38 gm of fibre daily.

If you eat balanced nutrition, including a combination of whole grain cereals, pulses and legumes and fresh vegetables and fruits, you don’t have to worry about getting adequate fibre. To derive the full benefits of fibre, it is essential to drink ample water.

Too much fibre can cause gas formation and colic in abdomen. It can also cause constipation if you don’t drink enough water. So don’t overdo fibre and make sure you drink ample water.

Read the article ‘Basics Of Nutrition‘ on this site.