Carbohydrates Don’t Make Us Fat!

Carbohydrates Don’t Make Us Fat!

The Myth Of Low Carbohydrate Diets!

Carbohydrates are the first source of energy of our body. Amongst the three major components of our food, viz. carbohydrates, proteins and fats, the primary role of carbohydrates is to provide energy that our body needs for all it’s basic needs. We use energy drawn from this source for all our daily activities and for all the processes that go on in our body day and night.

Fats are the reserve source energy of our body and they are drawn upon for energy only when carbohydrate energy is exhausted.

Proteins are the most important constituents of most of the tissues of the body. They are essential for the growth, development and repair of the daily wear and tear of the body. They are responsible for the defence mechanism of the body. They are also essential for the formation of various enzymes and hormones in our body.

Proteins are not meant to be an energy source. Body uses proteins for energy only in survival mode when you are on a ‘very low calorie diet’ (VLCD), or on a diet very low on carbohydrates, our principal fuel energy source. On such a low fuel energy mode, body cannot burn fats fast enough to meet it’s immediate energy needs and uses up proteins from food for energy, depriving the body of the vital role that proteins perform. Thus you need enough carbohydrates in your food to ‘spare’ proteins from being used for energy. This is the vital ‘protein sparing’ function of carbohydrates.

And as a last resort, the body also raids the proteins in the connective tissue, the muscles and vital organs of the body for energy. This is the reason why people on low calorie – low carbohydrate diets become wrinkled, shrivelled and look older with sagging, unhealthy skin and go on to suffer from multiple dietary deficiencies.

Researchers like Sara Seidelmann, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, have found that people on animal based low carbohydrate diets are associated with shorter life span and should be discouraged.

According to this study, people who got 50 – 55 % of their calories from carbohydrates, on an average, outlived those on low carb diets by four years and those on high carb diets by one year.

So we can conclude that high animal source, low carb diets are worse than high carb diets and balanced nutrition is the best choice whether you are looking to lose weight or simply live healthy!

Thus a low carbohydrate diet is bad either for healthy living or for losing or maintaining weight. You must have enough carbohydrates in your food irrespective of whether you are losing weight or maintaining healthy weight.

People losing weight on balanced, healthy nutrition, slim down with glowing, healthy skin and look fresh and young!

You definitely can lose weight and stay slim and healthy on balanced, healthy nutrition, in fact you can’t lose weight healthily without being on healthy nutrition.

Carbohydrates don’t make you fat, it’s excess calories that make you fat and excess calories come from overall overeating, not just overeating carbohydrates!

Excess proteins, over and above your daily needs and fats also contribute calories that account for your weight gain.

In fact fats provide over twice the number of calories supplied by carbohydrates and proteins, nine per gm as compared to four each per gm supplied by carbohydrates and proteins.

So why single out carbohydrates as the villain?

Low carbohydrate diets are invariably not ‘high protein diets’ as they are projected to be, by their sponsors, but they are more ‘high fat’ than high protein diets. Such diets send your blood triglyceride levels shooting up and eventually your cholesterol levels will also shoot up. This is an invitation to heart disease and strokes.

So low carbohydrate diets are more likely to give you heart disease and strokes than make you slim and safe from hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and strokes!

Read the article ‘Basics Of Nutrition’ and ‘The Good And The Bad Carbohydrates’ on this website for more information.

Effects Of Cooking On Omega 3 In Fish

Effects Of Cooking On Omega 3 In Fish!

How To Cook Fish To Retain Omega 3!

Many people know that sea fish are the richest source of the sea source omega 3 fatty acids, the EPA and the DHA, in our food and that they protect us against coronary heart disease.

Many of them eat enough sea fish to get adequate omega 3.

But do they actually get the omega 3 from the fish?

Mostly not, because they don’t prepare their food the right way! Most people fry and eat it.

Let us see the effects of various kinds of cooking on the omega 3 content of fish.

The effects of the various kind of preparations of fish have been studied in two studies in India and Greece. Although more studies are needed, the findings of the two studies make the effect of cooking on omega 3 clear enough for us.

Frying: Shallow frying of fish in a skillet or a pan, exposes the omega 3 to high temperatures, destroying as much as 70 to 85 per cent of omega 3. Frying completely changes the fatty acid profile of the fish, so it doesn’t resemble the original profile at all!

Microwave cooking: Microwave cooking too destroys much of the omega 3 in fish.

Canning: Canning completely destroys the omega 3 in fish.

Cooking and baking: Cooking fish by boiling like in preparing fish curries or baking at 200°C for 20 minutes retains most of the omega 3, keeping its EPA and DHA content intact.

Smoking: Smoked fish does retain the omega 3 content of fish, but smoking fish is not a common practice in India. We get to eat smoked salmon in five-star hotels only, to the best of knowledge, and it is imported.

The commonest preparations of fish in India are frying and cooking in gravies. So the people who fry and eat fish, get minimum benefits of the fish omega 3 while those who cook it in gravies get the maximum benefits of the fish omega3.

So always eat fish prepared by boiling, or cooking it in gravies or baking it, not by frying.

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


Dangers Of Obesity

The Dangers Of Obesity

The Diseases Associated With Obesity!

When I started my Slimming Centre in Pune, over three decades ago, the goal was not only to help people lose weight and stay slim and healthy for lifetime, but also to help them prevent putting on weight unnecessarily, during different stages of their lives and help them prevent or overcome all the diseases those are caused by obesity.

After all, staying slim is so much easier than losing weight, even if it has to be done in an excellent slimming centre.

Obese people are never fully healthy. Obesity and the faulty lifestyle associated with it, lead to a very wide range of diseases, some of them fatal.

The obese tend to be irritable, stressed out, depressed and may have poor self-esteem. Their energy levels are low and they tire quickly. There are pains and aches everywhere. A backache and joint pains are common. Spondylosis, prolapsed discs, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, varicose veins, cholecystitis (inflammation of the gall bladder), and some hernias are prevalent in the obese.

High blood pressure, diabetes, coronary heart disease and cerebral strokes (paralysis) are frequently associated with obesity.

Amongst obese ladies PCOD, infertility, difficult pregnancies and labour, repeated abortions and complications during a caesarean section are common.

The obese are more prone to certain cancers.

They also are at a greater risk of complications during surgeries.

Abdominal obesity can lead to the dangerous triad of hypertension (high blood pressure), dyslipidemia (high levels of cholesterol and blood fats) and type-2 diabetes. These three together can lead to coronary heart disease, myocardial infarctions and also death.

So if you are obese, wake up and lose weight, or it’s going to destroy your health sooner than later!

Healthy weight loss can help prevent or reverse all the above grave diseases. And healthy weight loss is possible only if you slim down on normal, everyday food and exercises you can take up long term. That is the only way to lose weight and stay slim and healthy for a lifetime!

Hence the importance of choosing the right slimming centre!

Also read the article, Simple Steps To Slimming on this website.


Staying Slim And Healthy Through Lactation!

Staying Slim And Healthy Through Lactation!

Staying Slim And Healthy Through Motherhood!

When I started my Slimming Centre in Pune, over three decades ago, the goal was not only to help people lose weight and stay slim and healthy for the lifetime but also to help people stay slim, during different stages of their lives.

After all, staying slim is so much easier than losing weight, even if it has to be done in an excellent slimming centre.

The commonest period when most ladies gain weight unnecessarily is around motherhood. We have already discussed how an expectant mother can stay slim and healthy through pregnancy in the article ‘Staying Slim And Healthy Through Pregnancy!’

Let us see now how a nursing mother can lose the few kgs of the extra weight that she still has, post pregnancy.

We have already seen in the above article that if a young lady goes through pregnancy properly, all the extra weight she needs to lose is 4 or 5 kg. Of these, one kg each is the extra blood volume that she needs during pregnancy, which the body will automatically correct soon, on its own and one kg is that of extra breast volume which is needed to support lactation, which the body will lose automatically once breastfeeding stops.

That leaves only 2 or 3 kg of fat which the body will burn off in the 7 or 8 months of breastfeeding as a ready source of energy in an emergency.

So this lady doesn’t really have to do much more than eat as per her needs of lactation and be physically active, to lose the remaining weight.

The extra energy required by a nursing mother would be about 400 to 500 calories, in the first 6 or 7 months of lactation and it would taper off when the demand for breast milk reduces as the baby is weaned off the maternal milk.

That means increasing small portions of cereals (chapati and rice) and pulses and legumes (dals and beans – ‘usal’), fresh vegetables and fruits and extra (3 or 4 cups) milk, in vegetarian ladies and consumption of moderate amounts of egg and fish and meat, in non-vegetarian ladies easily meets the increased calorie, protein and vitamin-mineral needs of the lactating mother.

She doesn’t need to eat too much.

Eating healthy, walking regularly and resting adequately throughout lactation, she will go through the period comfortably and slim down perfectly in the first 3 or 4 months post pregnancy, even without going to a slimming centre!

Also, read ‘Slim Women Are Healthy Women! and ‘Staying Slim And Healthy Through Pregnancy!’ on this website.

Staying Slim And Healthy Through Pregnancy!

Staying Slim And Healthy Through Pregnancy!

Staying Slim And Healthy Through Motherhood!

When I started my Slimming Centre in Pune, over three decades ago, the goal was not only to help people lose weight and stay slim and healthy for the lifetime but also to help people prevent putting on weight unnecessarily, during different stages of their lives.

After all, staying slim is so much easier than losing weight, even if it has to be done in an excellent slimming centre.

The commonest period when most ladies gain weight unnecessarily is around motherhood. If they can be educated about the basic science of how much weight they need to gain during pregnancy, how much extra and what food they need to eat and how they can exercise during this period, most ladies will stay slim and healthy through pregnancy and will not need to lose weight in a slimming centre.

A slim and healthy Indian young woman needs to gain around 9 to 10 kg during pregnancy, or even less if she is a little overweight.

This weight gain includes about 1 kg each of placenta, amniotic fluid, increased blood volume, increased breast volume, a couple of kg of reserve store of fat and between 2.7 to 4 kg being the weight of the baby.

So immediately after the delivery, the new mother has a weight loss of about 5 or 6 kg, as the baby, the placenta and the amniotic fluid exit her body.

So all the extra weight she needs to lose at the end of the pregnancy is only about 4 to 5 kg, which she can lose easily while nursing the baby and stay slim, without going to a slimming centre for any big weight loss!

For a slim and healthy, young Indian lady, the extra energy required during pregnancy are about 150 kcal in the first three months of pregnancy and about 300 kcal in the later period of pregnancy.

That means increasing only a small portions of cereals (chapati and rice) and pulses and legumes (dals and beans – ‘usal’), fresh vegetables and fruits and extra (3 or 4 cups) milk, and consumption of moderate amounts of egg and fish and meat, in non-vegetarian ladies easily meets the increased need of calories, proteins, vitamins and minerals, during pregnancy.

Along with this the young woman must also learn and take up antenatal exercises and walk regularly.

If every expectant mother follows these easy guidelines, she will stay slim and healthy through pregnancy, without having to lose any weight at all!

Also, read the articles ‘Slim Women Are Healthy Women!’ and ‘Staying Slim And Healthy Post Pregnancy!’ on this website.

Sitting Is The New Age Smoking!

Sitting Is As Bad For The Heart As Smoking!

Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic, Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative and inventor of the treadmill desk, has been studying the adverse effects of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles for years and has summed up his findings in two sentences.

“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”

Levine is credited with coining that mantra — “sitting is the new smoking” — but he’s not the only one who believes it. Researchers have found and continue to find evidence that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing several serious illnesses like various types of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Studies have repeatedly shown that the effects of long-term sitting are not reversible through exercise, eating and living healthy. Sitting, like smoking, is very clearly bad for our health and the only way to minimize the risk is to limit our sitting time each day.

You will surely know a few people who apparently lived and ate healthy and exercised regularly but still suffered from a heart attack (infarct) and wondered what may have caused these heart attacks. The reason may well have been sitting long hours at a desk job for years.

So even if you exercise for an hour or more regularly and eat healthy, you could still be susceptible to develop diabetes or to die of heart disease or various cancers, if you sit for long hours for years.

So the sooner you cut down on your sitting hours, the better!

Also read the article ‘Walking To Be Slim And Healthy!’ on this website.

Obesity Treatment in Pune

The Good And The Bad Carbohydrates!

Learning To Choose The Right  Carbohydrates!

Carbohydrates are the most important staple food of the developing world, forming the most important source of energy and nutrition for its population.

Carbohydrates can be broadly classified as the complex or the healthy carbohydrates and the simple or the bad carbohydrates.

Complex or healthy carbohydrates include vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grain cereals and nuts.

Vegetables provide ample vitamins, minerals and antioxidants at minimal calories.

Fruits provide water, fructose or fruit sugar, vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Although fructose is a simple carbohydrate, the presence of water and fibre in the fruits, prevents fructose from causing a sudden spike in your blood sugar, unlike table sugar. Plus the presence of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants makes them very healthy.

Whole grain cereals include wheat, rice, jowar, bajri, nachni, corn, oats and barley.

Legumes and pulses include various beans, peas, and lentils like toor, mug, masur, matki, chavli and chana, whole or split as dals.

They provide us with adequate calories, complex carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, most essential vitamins and minerals and antioxidants.

In fact, a diet majorly composed of these healthy carbohydrate foods and milk is wholly healthy.

Thus these foods are highly nutritious and there is no cause to exclude them from your food just because of the fear of carbohydrates spread by the proponents of wrongly hyped low carb diets.

There is absolutely no cause to believe that eating complex carbohydrates causes obesity and diabetes.

It is eating more calories than you burn that causes weight gain, doesn’t matter which source they come from, carbohydrates, proteins or fats, not just carbohydrates. So little point blaming carbohydrates for obesity.

carb1  Homemade fresh Hot Chapati.

Simple carbohydrates  or refined carbohydrates include table sugar or sucrose, jaggery, sago, honey, refined cereals like wheat or corn flour and breakfast cereals. Refined wheat flours include ‘rava’ and ‘maida’.

Whole cereals are composed of the bran, the germ and the endosperm.

The bran, the hard outer protective layer of the grain, contains the fibre, minerals and antioxidants.

The germ, the nutrient rich core, contains the complex carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant compounds. When a new plant germinates from it, it draws nutrition from the grain.

The endosperm majorly consists of carbohydrates and a little protein, but no fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Refined cereals are made by grinding and removing the most nutrient rich bran and germ from the grain, retaining only the endosperm which carries the less nutritious carbohydrates and a little protein.

‘Rava’ or coarse refined wheat flour is traditionally used for making ‘shira’ and ‘upma’ and ‘rava idli’. ‘Maida’ or finely ground refined wheat flour is extensively used for making commercial bakery products like bread, pasta, biscuits, cakes, pastries, ‘khari’, toasts or rusks.

Refined corn flour is used for thickening soups and as batter for some fried snacks or meat dishes.

Sugar, jaggery, honey, sago and refined flours have high glycemic index. When they are consumed, the quickly digested and absorbed carbohydrates in them raise your blood sugar quickly, unleashing a surge in insulin to lower the raised blood sugar. Insulin lowers your blood sugar to subnormal levels.

This leads to a surge in cortisol to raise the below normal blood sugar to normal. Raised levels of both hormones tend to increase the tendency of the body to store the extra calories as fat, rather than raising the metabolic rate (calorie burning) a little to burn them off!

Simple carbohydrates are digested quickly and leave the stomach early, making you feel hungry soon, causing overeating and weight gain. Complex carbohydrates are digested slower and also leave the stomach slower, hence you fill full longer and don’t feel hungry for a longer time. So overeating and weight gain is prevented.

Diets high in refined carbohydrates and low in fibre are associated with obesity, increased abdominal fat, increased levels of blood sugar and insulin causing insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, raised triglycerides, heart disease, colon cancer and various digestive problems.

So the verdict is:

Complex carbohydrates are healthy. They must form the basic foundation of your food and you can be slim and healthy on a diet principally based on them. People with obesity and diabetes too can eat them sensibly.

So eat chapati, rice, preferably brown rice, dal, sprouted pulses, vegetables and fruits sensibly and stay slim and healthy for a lifetime!

Simple carbohydrates are bad for your weight and health and must be kept to the minimum in your food, irrespective of whether you are obese and / or diabetic or slim and healthy.

So avoid eating sugar, jaggery, honey, sago, ‘rava’, ‘maida’, refined fours like corn flour and bakery products made from them, to stay slim and healthy for a lifetime!

Healthy options:

In short, you ought to get used to keeping your consumption of ‘rava upama’, ‘rava idli’, commercial bakery products like bread, biscuits, ‘khari’, cakes, pastries down to the minimum, if you are worried about your weight, blood sugar or heart!

Upama made from oats or ‘daliya’ instead of ‘rava’ and home baked whole wheat or whole grain bread, biscuits or ‘khari’ made with butter, not vanaspati ghee or hydrogenated oil as the cooking medium are perfectly permissible.

Replacing white rice, as much as possible, with brown rice is also a very healthy option.

Please also read the articles ‘Basics Of Nutrition‘, ‘Preventing Diabetes‘ and ‘Healthy Fruits For Diabetics And Weight Losers‘ on this website.

carb4  carb3

The Good And The Bad Fats!


Learning About The Good And The Bad Fats Is Life Saving!

Fats are an essential component of our nutrition.

They can be broadly classified as monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, saturated fats and trans fats.

Monounsaturated fats: Monounsaturated fats help lower cholesterol and help protect your heart.

The main sources of monounsaturated fats are groundnut oil, rice bran oil, sesame oil, olive oil, all nuts, including groundnuts and sesame.

Polyunsaturated fats: Polyunsaturated fats help improve your cholesterol, insulin and blood sugar levels, helping you get more heart healthy.

They include the two omega fatty acids, viz. omega 3 and omega 6.

Omega 3 fatty acids: The principal sources of the invaluable omega 3 fatty acids are walnuts, flaxseed, fatty fish (ravas, mackerel or bangda, surmai, pomfret, cold water salmon, tuna, trout, sardines and herring) and algae.

Of these, walnuts and flaxseeds provide us with plant source omega 3 (ALA), and the fish and algae provide us with the more effective sea source omega 3 (EPA and DHA).

The plant source omega 3 or ALA is less potent cardiac protector than the sea source omega 3 viz. DHA and EPA. Some of the ALA in our food gets converted to DHA and EPA, but at a slow speed.

The omega 3 fatty acids prevent the inflammatory process in the arteries that leads to atherosclerosis, coronary heart  disease, and strokes and some cancers, memory loss, depression and fatigue, reduce arthritis and joint pain and inflammatory skin diseases.

Omega 6 fatty acids: Omega 6 fatty acids are abundantly available in safflower, sunflower seed and  soya oils and many other oils and foods. It is the more valuable omega 3 that is difficult to get as its sources are limited.

While omega 6 also helps lower cholesterol, it is less valuable than omega 3 in protecting you from heart disease and strokes and other inflammatory diseases.

Industry manufactured oils like soya oil, rice bran oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower seed oil (kardai), Canola oil, cotton seed oil are considered bad fats by many nutritionists. The use of heat and chemicals in extracting and refining these oils turns them unhealthy.

Today many researchers are asking us to shun all industrially produced oils.

So it makes sense to use groundnut oil, sesame oil for us in India and groundnut and virgin olive oil for Indians in the west. All three are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and all three are cold pressed.

There is little point buying expensive, imported olive oil in India. Groundnut oil or sesame oil, though the latter is not popularly used, would be the better choices as you don’t waste money and invaluable foreign exchange on imported olive oil. All three oils are principally comprised of monounsaturated fats.

Saturated fats: These fats are animal source fats viz. fats in dairy, flesh and eggs and fats from certain vegetable oils which are solid at room temperature viz. coconut oil.

Saturated fats for decades were considered the bad fats. They were thought to raise cholesterol in our body and cause heart disease and strokes. Researchers advised us to shun these fats.

But the thinking is changing now.

The jury is divided on these fats.

While the American Heart Association and the American Diabetic Association still strongly recommend against the use of saturated fats, many researchers don’t rate them as bad fats any more.

Many studies have found no direct relationship of saturated fats with increased risk of heart disease.

Many studies have also found that people eating whole fat dairy products are leaner and have lower levels of body fats.

This is probably due to the better satiety conferred by whole fat dairy products, preventing people from overeating.

But if you run the risk of catching heart disease, it would be prudent to keep their consumption low, at least till more conclusive research tells us otherwise.

Medium chain triglycerides: The coconut fats include medium chain triglycerides which are considered good fats.

They are considered to be the anti inflammatory, anti atherosclerosis and anti aging fats and are heart healthy.

They are also a ready source of energy and are extensively used as life saving supplements for the weak and debilitated people, especially in hospital ICUs and in pre term, low birth weight babies.

Trans fats: These fats are formed when vegetable oils are heated and combined with hydrogen. They are also called ‘vanaspati ghee’.

Hydrogenation makes the vegetable oils more stable and gives the foods made with them longer shelf life. They are also much cheaper than pure ghee.

Trans fats are also formed when foods are deep fried.All fast food (wada, samosa, burgers, pizzas), packaged foods (microwave pop corn, chips, crackers, candy), all commercially baked foods (bread, biscuits, khari, rusks, cakes, pastries), all premix products like cake mix, all solid fats, all foods containing hydrogenated vegetable oils are trans fats.

The is jury on these fats is unanimous: Guilty!

They are universally accepted as bad fats, lowering the good ‘HDL’ cholesterol and increasing the bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol leading to heart disease and strokes and many other illnesses.

Even amongst saturated fats, the dairy and animal fats coming from natural pasture bred cattle are rated superior to the fats coming from farming industry animals raised on doctored feed like corn, hormones and medication. So there better and worse saturated fats too.

Overall, fats coming from natural foods are much better than packaged, proceesed foods like meats, fast foods and take away foods which are loaded with bad saturated fats and trans fats.

Fats in chips and french fries and all the fast food snacks are bad fats.

In general, all deep fried foods, even if fried in polyunsaturated oils, and foods prepared in hydrogenated vegetable oils are bad fats and researchers are telling us to shun them absolutely.

The omega 3 rich sea fish gives you the best fats as long as it is cooked in curries or baked or grilled or shallow fried.

But the same fats turn bad when the fish is deep fried, as trans fats are formed in them.

The consensus amongst researchers is that trans fats are bad fats and they should be completely stopped.

How much fish is enough to get adequate omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA?

Adults should eat about 170 gm sea fish twice a week and children between the ages 2 to 8 years between 40 to 85 gm and children over 9 years between 115 to 140 gm twice a week to get enough of the two omega 3 fatty acids.

Read the article ‘Basics Of Nutrition‘ on our website for more information about fats.

Obesity Clinic in Pune

Can I Eat Mango And Still Lose Weight?

Will Mango Make Me Fat?

Mango, like most fruits, is a super food. It is a rich source of Vitamin A and a very good source of Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

Vitamin A is essential for the health of our eyes, skin and mucous membranes.

Pyridoxine is essential for the production of GABA, a brain hormone and for controlling the blood levels of homocystiene, high levels of which lead to coronary artery disease and strokes.

Vitamin C keeps our gums and teeth healthy, helps our body fight infections and also scavenges harmful oxygen-free radicals.

It is rich in potassium (156 mg per 100 gm) and low in sodium (2 mg per 100 gm), helping regulate our heart rate and blood pressure.

Mango is also rich in flavonoids namely beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and alpha-cryptoxanthene. Together with Vitamin A, the carotenes help protect us against numerous cancers including breast, colon, oral cavity and prostrate cancers and leukaemia.

The fruit is also a moderate source of copper, which is required for the production of some enzymes and red blood cells.

In short, mango is a super food that helps keep our vision, skin and mucous membranes healthy, protects us against infections, eliminates harmful oxygen-free radicals from our body, helps regulate out heart rate and blood pressure, protects us against heart disease and strokes, and numerous cancers including breast and colon cancers and leukaemia.

Other than these health benefits, mango is the most delicious of all fruits. Indian alphonso or ‘Hapus’ from the Kokan area of coastal Maharashtra is the prized mango.

Hundred grams of the edible fruit gives you 60 calories and has only 15 gm carbohydrates, mostly sugar, little protein and very little fat.

So a medium size (about 200 gm) fruit won’t give you much more than 90 calories. A healthy balanced nutrition should have three helpings of fruits every day. Even if you are looking to lose weight or keep your blood sugar under control, a mango a day is not going to dent your cause, if you eat healthy and the other two fruits are low calorie fruits.

Even then if you should want to offset the mango calories, you could shave off three fourth of a medium size chapati or better still, a bowl of rice from your daily food!

And you can always ‘brisk walk’ for fifteen or twenty minutes more to burn off a mango and also become more heart healthy in the process!

And then the best of the mango season barely lasts for two months!

Not too much to ask for, for the pleasure of eating a mango, the king of fruits, the world’s most delicious fruit for most Indians, and more so for Maharashtrians!

Even a well controlled diabetic can eat a mango taking the same precautions, eating half a mango twice will put even less stress on their system. Diabetics without good sugar control should follow the advice of their doctor.

Also read the Latest Posts ‘Magical Health Benefits Of Fruits‘ and ‘Healthy Fruits For Diabetics And Weight Losers‘ on this website.

obesity clinic in pune

Health Problems Of The Young: Hypertension

Obesity And Hypertension Amongst Young People

In the two and half decades of my practice, I am coming across increasing number of young girls and boys getting overweight. The two illnesses that accompany weight gain in these young people are hypertension in both girls and boys and PCOD in girls and young women.We shall look at hypertension (high blood pressure) problem amongst young people in this post.

Recently a 14-year-old boy was brought to me by his parents. His blood pressure was 160/120 mm of Hg and weight was 76 kg at 5 ft 5 in height. The blood pressure was so high at his age that I advised his parents to get his colour doppler test done for renal artery stenosis (narrowing of the kidney artery). An urosurgeon losing weight with us also agreed that the test must be done. But the parents didn’t bother to do so. The boy did lose 9 or 10 kg and the blood pressure was more stable at 130/90 mm of Hg, which was still high for a youngster, at the end of three months. But then boy just stopped coming to me without any intimation. Our phone calls went unanswered. Believe me, this kind of negligence can also be fatal.

Normally young people with consistent hypertension must be investigated by a physician to be absolutely sure that there is no underlying cause of the condition. Most will not have one and their blood pressure will lower itself on losing weight and a little counseling of the youngster and the parents. Most will not require medication. But all precautions must be exercised.

Many such youngsters and young men and women come to join me and learn about their hypertension for the first time. This is often the case in older people too.

If your young son or daughter is overweight or obese, and especially if he or she has a big tummy, please ensure that their blood pressure is checked seriously. They must, of course, slim down as their future health is seriously compromised otherwise. If your family has a history of hypertension, diabetes and heart disease, these young people must be examined by a good physician. Please do not overlook these precautions.

This is to be remembered especially as many young people go to health clubs where they are put through heavy weight training and, in some places, mindless floor exercises. A young person, or a person of any age for that matter, with known or unknown hypertension, may suffer some serious complication when on such programs.

In reality, everyone planning to go to a gym must visit a doctor before joining, keeping it in mind that gyms do not have the skill to handle your health problems. They only provide facilities for you to use. Taking care of yourself at a gym or a health club is solely your responsibility. Most health clubs do take a written undertaking from you, absolving themselves of any responsibilities for any accident or mishap to your health.

So take good care of yourself!

Also read ‘Health Problems Of The Young: PCOD‘ on this website.