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Wheat Is A Healthy Cereal!

Wheat Is As Healthy As Any Other Cereal! Wheat is the second largest cultivated cereal crop of the world. Next to... read more

Intermittent Fasting

Studying The Effects Of Intermittent Fasting On Health Intermittent fasting is as ancient as civilisation and has been practiced in... read more

Benefits Of Exercise After Meals

Effect Of Post Meal Exercise On Weight, Blood Sugar And Insulin Exercise any time is extremely beneficial to our health... read more

Glycemic Index (GI) And Glycemic Load (GL)

Learning What GI And GL Are And How They Affect Blood Sugar Most people have heard about the Glycemic... read more

How To Get Balanced Nutrition!

Learning What Makes Our Nutrition Balanced! Our body needs to get calories, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibre, various vitamins and minerals... read more

Golden Tips To Healthy Weight Loss!

Weight Loss Tips To Get Slim and Healthy! Diets never work! At least not long term. All diets are low calorie and... read more

Dietary Cholesterol, Saturated Fats, Simple Carbohydrates And Coronary Heart Disease

Effect Of Dietary Cholesterol, Saturated Fats And Simple Carbohydrates On Blood Cholesterol Until 2013 it was generally accepted that dietary... read more

Breakfast: Oats Or Breakfast Cereals!

Healthy Vs Unhealthy Breakfast! Breakfast cereals like corn flakes and wheat flakes are popular breakfast choices. You don’t need to cook... read more


Timeline

November 2022

Wheat Is A Healthy Cereal!

Wheat Is As Healthy As Any Other Cereal!

Wheat is the second largest cultivated cereal crop of the world.

Next to rice, wheat is the largest staple food of the world population.

The crop cultivation covers more land than any other cereal in the world.

Its turnover in the world market is larger than that of all other cereals put together.

The wheat grain, like all other cereals, has three parts, the bran, the germ and the endosperm.

The bran is the protective outer cover of the grain, the germ develops into a new plant when the seed germinates and the endosperm is the store house of the food of the seed, that the grain uses for energy when the new plant is being developed.

The wheat grain has 71 % carbohydrates, 13 % proteins, fibre, some B vitamins, folate, Vitamins E, some minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and some good fatty acids.

Wheat provides us with 327 calories per hundred gm.

Of these, most of the fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fatty acids and 25% of the proteins in the wheat grain are housed in the bran and the germ while the most of the carbohydrates and 75% of the proteins are housed in the endosperm.

The carbohydrates in the whole wheat grain are starch, fibre and some sugars.

Of these, the starch and the fibre are the complex carbohydrates while the sugars are the simple carbohydrates.

Thus wheat is a very important source of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, small amounts of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals of a large proportion of the population of the world.

Wheat, like all other cereals, is deficient in the essential amino acid lysine and hence, by itself it is not a good source of complete proteins.

On the other hand, pulses have lysine but they are deficient in the essential amino acids methionine, tryptophan and cysteine.

And wheat has methionine, tryptophan, and cysteine.

So wheat and pulses together supply us all the essential amino acids and together they become a good source of better quality proteins in a vegetarian diet.

That is why we have chapatis, rice, bhakri together with ‘varan’ / ‘amti’ / ‘dal’ / ‘sambar’ / ‘curry’ or ‘usal’ in both lunch and dinner in our regular meals.

Chapatis, rice, bhakri are all cereals and ‘varan’ / ‘amti’ / ‘dal’ / ‘sambar’ / ‘curry’ or ‘usal’ are all pulses.

Together they provide most of the better quality proteins in a vegetarian diet.

Wheat chapatis or roti are the main ingredient of regular meals for most Indians.

The wheat protein is majorly composed of gluten, constituting 75 to 80 per cent of the wheat protein.

A few people in the world have gluten intolerance and they can’t digest gluten properly and develop abdominal pain, gases, constipation or diarrhoea when they eat wheat.

About 0.5 to 1 per cent people in the world suffer from Celiac disease, a severe autoimmune, chronic disease and can’t eat wheat at all.

Their number is slowly rising probably because of the newer crops developed to increase the yield and disease fighting abilities of the crop and body’s inability to adapt quickly to it. It also may appear to increase because of increased awareness about the illness and also improved diagnosis of the disease.

It is definite that such people shouldn’t eat wheat but that still cannot not be the reason for most of the world population to stop eating wheat which is their staple food.

It is also not right to equate rava and maida with whole wheat, just because they are made from wheat.

Whole wheat is robbed of most of its good nutrition by grinding and separating the germ and the bran from endosperm which is further ground and refined to make rava and maida.

So when we eat rava or maida, we consume only the less nutritious endosperm of the wheat.

Glycemic index of whole wheat is 41, that is low, and that of rava is 66, that is medium and that of maida is over 70, that is high.

That is why rava and maida are bad nutrition

On the other hand, when we eat chapatis made from whole wheat flour, we consume the bran, germ and endosperm together in the whole ground wheat flour.

Currently it has become fashionable to label wheat as unhealthy food.

It is like blaming carbohydrates for weight gain.

Both are passing fads.

But all cereals have more or less similar nutrition.

Various researchers give us slightly variable figures of calories but generally we can say that nachani (325), wheat (329), rice (341 ते 346), jwari (349) and bajri (361) give us more or less similar calories per 100 gm.

Also their glycemic indices and loads are similar.

The whole grain wheat is as nutritious every other cereal.

So you can eat wheat chapatis or bhakri made from nachani, jowar or bajri.

Also read the article ‘Effects Of Rava And Maida On Health’ on this website.

October 2022

Intermittent Fasting

Studying The Effects Of Intermittent Fasting On Health

Intermittent fasting is as ancient as civilisation and has been practiced in all religions for centuries.

An ‘enthusiastic’ paper published by a British doctor over a hundred years ago and lapped up merrily by lay press and very energetically canvassed from time to time by some enthusiastic doctors, all over the world, since the sixties has made sure that it a well known and popular diet.

Some body builders in the West have used intermittent fasting for a long time.

Intermittent fasting includes various kind of diets in which the dieter fasts for different periods of time, with or, more often, without  planned calorie restrictions.

Intermittent fasting are diets in which one goes through regular periods of eating and fasting.

It includes a wide variety of patterns.

Some of the well known varieties are:

Time restricted fasting: It involves fasting for 12 hours or longer and eating two or more meals in the rest of the time window.

The 16:8 or 14:10 kind of diets are of this type. On these diets you eat ad libitum during the 8 hour or 10 hour window and fast for 16 or 14 hours respectively.

The 5:2 diet: It involves eating ad libitum for five days and then eating around 500 or 600 calories for two days, sometimes one day at a time twice a week, or on two consecutive days.

Eat stop eat diet: It involves a full 24 hour fast once or twice a week and eating ad libitum for  the rest of the week. This is an extreme version of the 5:2 diet.

Alternate day diet: It involves eating ad libitum and going on complete fast on alternate days.

***

Ad libitum means ‘at one’s pleasure’, meaning eating as much as you please, of whatever you please.

***

Available scientific information about intermittent fasting:

Intermittent fasting has generated a fair amount of scientific interest in the last few decades.

Most of the scientific research on the subject has involved animal studies and whatever human studies have been done are of shorter duration and many of them have not taken into account such factors as calorie intake, balance of nutrition and physical activity.

Most of the research on human beings has centred around athletic performance of athletes observing Ramadan. The results are varied, most showing decline in performance of athletes, in both mid and high intensity sports, and none reporting any improvement in performance.

And the results are conflicting, based on the outcome investigated and the methodology used.

Some studies have found worsening of lipids in people gorging on high fat, high sugar, high calorie food in one or two meals than those who nibbled on frequent smaller meals.

This is a very likely outcome, if people will eat two or three high fat, high calorie meals in a window of 10 or even 8 hours and fasted for 14 or 16 hours or even one or two meals in a smaller time window than 8 hours and fasted longer than 16 hours.

Early epidemiological studies have shown increased cardiovascular disease risk on reduced meal frequency and lower total and LDL cholesterol levels in people who reported four or more meals a day as compared to those who reported having one or two meals only.

According to another large cohort study, the Malmo Diet And Cancer Study, the people who ate six or more meals a day had reduced risk of obesity than those who ate three or less meals and the frequent eaters also had lower waist circumference.

On the other hand, animal studies have shown improvement in weight and metabolic markers like blood sugar and blood pressure LDL cholesterol.

According to a 2018 review, different studies show 2.5 to 9.5 per cent of weight and fat loss, but there is little evidence that it is superior to other diets or eating patterns in promoting weight loss.

Calorie restriction is known to improve insulin resistance. After a period of fasting, insulin sensitivity increases and insulin levels drop. These changes result in improved blood sugar levels both during fasting and shortly after eating.

The benefits of fasting also appear to be linked to the Circadian rhythm, which is sometimes also called the ‘body clock’. It is natural for humans to eat during the day and mice to feed during the night.

So the benefits of intermittent fasting are seen when we eat during the day time and fast during the night and exactly the reverse is seen in case of mice.

Abnormal Circadian rhythms may be linked to obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder and sleep disorders such as insomnia.

Intermittent fasting may also cause dizziness, nausea, insomnia, syncope (sudden fainting attacks with loss of consciousness), falls, migraine, weakness, excessive hunger, dehydration and hypotension, in some people.

Diabetics are more likely to suffer from these ill effects. Certain drugs prescribed for the treatment of diabetes also increase the risk of developing these illnesses.

Besides these, many people complain of developing severe hyper acidity on these diets.

***

Inference:

There appear to be some benefits of intermittent fasting. Diets based on it could help lower some weight and improve metabolic markers like blood sugar and blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.

These benefits are available only if you don’t gorge on high fat, high sugar, high calorie food in one or two meals during the window of eating. That means you can’t really eat ad libitum.

Eating ad libitum, anything you fancy, as much as you please will not bring you the desired health benefits, even if you follow the rules of intermittent fasting strictly.

It means you still have to eat healthy, you still have to observe the rules of balanced nutrition to get the full benefits of intermittent fasting.

And also the health benefits of intermittent fasting are available only if you follow the Circadian rhythm, that is to eat during the day and fast during the night.

Intermittent fasting is not the only way to improve your blood insulin levels, insulin resistance and blood sugar, much less of losing weight and lowering your blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels and increasing your  HDL cholesterol levels.

If intermittent fasting helps people lose between 2.5 to 9.5 per cent of their excess weight, a 5 foot 70 kg lady can lose approximately between under 2 to 7 kg weight and a 5 foot 6 inch 80 kg man can lose approximately between 2 to 8 kg weight.

On the other hand, balanced food in three or more meals a day and exercising regularly can help both lose full 20 kg weight and get completely slim and have much better metabolic markers, especially the abdominal circumference.

***

Intermittent fasting versus balanced nutrition and normal meals:

Intermittent fasting can give you some weight loss and improved metabolic markers.

Most times, intermittent fasting programs are run on mass scale as a diabetes control campaign and not as an individual treatment, individual nutrition is not planned, people are left to choose to their own food, eating ad libitum could be dangerous and exercise may not be a part of the regimen.

Individually planned balanced nutrition in regular meal pattern with three or more meals and regular exercise can give you complete weight loss and much improved metabolic markers.

Those people who habitually eat only two meals a day, viz. lunch and dinner and are not used to having a breakfast, could find intermittent fasting suitable.

Those people who have fixed time slots available for lunch and an early dinner, could find intermittent fasting suitable.

If your work schedule doesn’t allow regular meal hours, intermittent fasting may not suit you.

Many people on intermittent fasting could soon complain of hyper acidity, hunger pangs, possibly headaches and fainting spells.

Such people might not find intermittent fasting suitable.

Some people find it difficult to continue with the intermittent fasting regimen a year or two after starting it successfully initially, for one reason or another and give it up.

There are no long term studies to show how many people stay on, on intermittent fasting long term.

Most people are used to eating at least three meals, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, spread over the day.

So they are more likely to be more comfortable eating in the same pattern all their lives, than switch to eating  two meals during a smaller time window.

So it is for you to take a call on which of the two regimens suits you better.

Please also read ‘Basics Of Nutrition’ and ‘Simple Steps To Slimming’ on this website.


Grid

Wheat Is A Healthy Cereal!

Wheat Is As Healthy As Any Other Cereal!

Wheat is the second largest cultivated cereal crop of the world.

Next to rice, wheat is the largest staple food of the world population.

The crop cultivation covers more land than any other cereal in the world.

Its turnover in the world market is larger than that of all other cereals put together.

The wheat grain, like all other cereals, has three parts, the bran, the germ and the endosperm.

The bran is the protective outer cover of the grain, the germ develops into a new plant when the seed germinates and the endosperm is the store house of the food of the seed, that the grain uses for energy when the new plant is being developed.

The wheat grain has 71 % carbohydrates, 13 % proteins, fibre, some B vitamins, folate, Vitamins E, some minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and some good fatty acids.

Wheat provides us with 327 calories per hundred gm.

Of these, most of the fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fatty acids and 25% of the proteins in the wheat grain are housed in the bran and the germ while the most of the carbohydrates and 75% of the proteins are housed in the endosperm.

The carbohydrates in the whole wheat grain are starch, fibre and some sugars.

Of these, the starch and the fibre are the complex carbohydrates while the sugars are the simple carbohydrates.

Thus wheat is a very important source of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, small amounts of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals of a large proportion of the population of the world.

Wheat, like all other cereals, is deficient in the essential amino acid lysine and hence, by itself it is not a good source of complete proteins.

On the other hand, pulses have lysine but they are deficient in the essential amino acids methionine, tryptophan and cysteine.

And wheat has methionine, tryptophan, and cysteine.

So wheat and pulses together supply us all the essential amino acids and together they become a good source of better quality proteins in a vegetarian diet.

That is why we have chapatis, rice, bhakri together with ‘varan’ / ‘amti’ / ‘dal’ / ‘sambar’ / ‘curry’ or ‘usal’ in both lunch and dinner in our regular meals.

Chapatis, rice, bhakri are all cereals and ‘varan’ / ‘amti’ / ‘dal’ / ‘sambar’ / ‘curry’ or ‘usal’ are all pulses.

Together they provide most of the better quality proteins in a vegetarian diet.

Wheat chapatis or roti are the main ingredient of regular meals for most Indians.

The wheat protein is majorly composed of gluten, constituting 75 to 80 per cent of the wheat protein.

A few people in the world have gluten intolerance and they can’t digest gluten properly and develop abdominal pain, gases, constipation or diarrhoea when they eat wheat.

About 0.5 to 1 per cent people in the world suffer from Celiac disease, a severe autoimmune, chronic disease and can’t eat wheat at all.

Their number is slowly rising probably because of the newer crops developed to increase the yield and disease fighting abilities of the crop and body’s inability to adapt quickly to it. It also may appear to increase because of increased awareness about the illness and also improved diagnosis of the disease.

It is definite that such people shouldn’t eat wheat but that still cannot not be the reason for most of the world population to stop eating wheat which is their staple food.

It is also not right to equate rava and maida with whole wheat, just because they are made from wheat.

Whole wheat is robbed of most of its good nutrition by grinding and separating the germ and the bran from endosperm which is further ground and refined to make rava and maida.

So when we eat rava or maida, we consume only the less nutritious endosperm of the wheat.

Glycemic index of whole wheat is 41, that is low, and that of rava is 66, that is medium and that of maida is over 70, that is high.

That is why rava and maida are bad nutrition

On the other hand, when we eat chapatis made from whole wheat flour, we consume the bran, germ and endosperm together in the whole ground wheat flour.

Currently it has become fashionable to label wheat as unhealthy food.

It is like blaming carbohydrates for weight gain.

Both are passing fads.

But all cereals have more or less similar nutrition.

Various researchers give us slightly variable figures of calories but generally we can say that nachani (325), wheat (329), rice (341 ते 346), jwari (349) and bajri (361) give us more or less similar calories per 100 gm.

Also their glycemic indices and loads are similar.

The whole grain wheat is as nutritious every other cereal.

So you can eat wheat chapatis or bhakri made from nachani, jowar or bajri.

Also read the article ‘Effects Of Rava And Maida On Health’ on this website.

Intermittent Fasting

Studying The Effects Of Intermittent Fasting On Health

Intermittent fasting is as ancient as civilisation and has been practiced in all religions for centuries.

An ‘enthusiastic’ paper published by a British doctor over a hundred years ago and lapped up merrily by lay press and very energetically canvassed from time to time by some enthusiastic doctors, all over the world, since the sixties has made sure that it a well known and popular diet.

Some body builders in the West have used intermittent fasting for a long time.

Intermittent fasting includes various kind of diets in which the dieter fasts for different periods of time, with or, more often, without  planned calorie restrictions.

Intermittent fasting are diets in which one goes through regular periods of eating and fasting.

It includes a wide variety of patterns.

Some of the well known varieties are:

Time restricted fasting: It involves fasting for 12 hours or longer and eating two or more meals in the rest of the time window.

The 16:8 or 14:10 kind of diets are of this type. On these diets you eat ad libitum during the 8 hour or 10 hour window and fast for 16 or 14 hours respectively.

The 5:2 diet: It involves eating ad libitum for five days and then eating around 500 or 600 calories for two days, sometimes one day at a time twice a week, or on two consecutive days.

Eat stop eat diet: It involves a full 24 hour fast once or twice a week and eating ad libitum for  the rest of the week. This is an extreme version of the 5:2 diet.

Alternate day diet: It involves eating ad libitum and going on complete fast on alternate days.

***

Ad libitum means ‘at one’s pleasure’, meaning eating as much as you please, of whatever you please.

***

Available scientific information about intermittent fasting:

Intermittent fasting has generated a fair amount of scientific interest in the last few decades.

Most of the scientific research on the subject has involved animal studies and whatever human studies have been done are of shorter duration and many of them have not taken into account such factors as calorie intake, balance of nutrition and physical activity.

Most of the research on human beings has centred around athletic performance of athletes observing Ramadan. The results are varied, most showing decline in performance of athletes, in both mid and high intensity sports, and none reporting any improvement in performance.

And the results are conflicting, based on the outcome investigated and the methodology used.

Some studies have found worsening of lipids in people gorging on high fat, high sugar, high calorie food in one or two meals than those who nibbled on frequent smaller meals.

This is a very likely outcome, if people will eat two or three high fat, high calorie meals in a window of 10 or even 8 hours and fasted for 14 or 16 hours or even one or two meals in a smaller time window than 8 hours and fasted longer than 16 hours.

Early epidemiological studies have shown increased cardiovascular disease risk on reduced meal frequency and lower total and LDL cholesterol levels in people who reported four or more meals a day as compared to those who reported having one or two meals only.

According to another large cohort study, the Malmo Diet And Cancer Study, the people who ate six or more meals a day had reduced risk of obesity than those who ate three or less meals and the frequent eaters also had lower waist circumference.

On the other hand, animal studies have shown improvement in weight and metabolic markers like blood sugar and blood pressure LDL cholesterol.

According to a 2018 review, different studies show 2.5 to 9.5 per cent of weight and fat loss, but there is little evidence that it is superior to other diets or eating patterns in promoting weight loss.

Calorie restriction is known to improve insulin resistance. After a period of fasting, insulin sensitivity increases and insulin levels drop. These changes result in improved blood sugar levels both during fasting and shortly after eating.

The benefits of fasting also appear to be linked to the Circadian rhythm, which is sometimes also called the ‘body clock’. It is natural for humans to eat during the day and mice to feed during the night.

So the benefits of intermittent fasting are seen when we eat during the day time and fast during the night and exactly the reverse is seen in case of mice.

Abnormal Circadian rhythms may be linked to obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder and sleep disorders such as insomnia.

Intermittent fasting may also cause dizziness, nausea, insomnia, syncope (sudden fainting attacks with loss of consciousness), falls, migraine, weakness, excessive hunger, dehydration and hypotension, in some people.

Diabetics are more likely to suffer from these ill effects. Certain drugs prescribed for the treatment of diabetes also increase the risk of developing these illnesses.

Besides these, many people complain of developing severe hyper acidity on these diets.

***

Inference:

There appear to be some benefits of intermittent fasting. Diets based on it could help lower some weight and improve metabolic markers like blood sugar and blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.

These benefits are available only if you don’t gorge on high fat, high sugar, high calorie food in one or two meals during the window of eating. That means you can’t really eat ad libitum.

Eating ad libitum, anything you fancy, as much as you please will not bring you the desired health benefits, even if you follow the rules of intermittent fasting strictly.

It means you still have to eat healthy, you still have to observe the rules of balanced nutrition to get the full benefits of intermittent fasting.

And also the health benefits of intermittent fasting are available only if you follow the Circadian rhythm, that is to eat during the day and fast during the night.

Intermittent fasting is not the only way to improve your blood insulin levels, insulin resistance and blood sugar, much less of losing weight and lowering your blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels and increasing your  HDL cholesterol levels.

If intermittent fasting helps people lose between 2.5 to 9.5 per cent of their excess weight, a 5 foot 70 kg lady can lose approximately between under 2 to 7 kg weight and a 5 foot 6 inch 80 kg man can lose approximately between 2 to 8 kg weight.

On the other hand, balanced food in three or more meals a day and exercising regularly can help both lose full 20 kg weight and get completely slim and have much better metabolic markers, especially the abdominal circumference.

***

Intermittent fasting versus balanced nutrition and normal meals:

Intermittent fasting can give you some weight loss and improved metabolic markers.

Most times, intermittent fasting programs are run on mass scale as a diabetes control campaign and not as an individual treatment, individual nutrition is not planned, people are left to choose to their own food, eating ad libitum could be dangerous and exercise may not be a part of the regimen.

Individually planned balanced nutrition in regular meal pattern with three or more meals and regular exercise can give you complete weight loss and much improved metabolic markers.

Those people who habitually eat only two meals a day, viz. lunch and dinner and are not used to having a breakfast, could find intermittent fasting suitable.

Those people who have fixed time slots available for lunch and an early dinner, could find intermittent fasting suitable.

If your work schedule doesn’t allow regular meal hours, intermittent fasting may not suit you.

Many people on intermittent fasting could soon complain of hyper acidity, hunger pangs, possibly headaches and fainting spells.

Such people might not find intermittent fasting suitable.

Some people find it difficult to continue with the intermittent fasting regimen a year or two after starting it successfully initially, for one reason or another and give it up.

There are no long term studies to show how many people stay on, on intermittent fasting long term.

Most people are used to eating at least three meals, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, spread over the day.

So they are more likely to be more comfortable eating in the same pattern all their lives, than switch to eating  two meals during a smaller time window.

So it is for you to take a call on which of the two regimens suits you better.

Please also read ‘Basics Of Nutrition’ and ‘Simple Steps To Slimming’ on this website.

Benefits Of Exercise After Meals

Effect Of Post Meal Exercise On Weight, Blood Sugar And Insulin

Exercise any time is extremely beneficial to our health and its effects on your our health are well documented in international research.

Exercise boosts the levels of endorphins, the feel-good neurotransmitters,
Reduces stress,

Lifts gloom and depression,

Improves self-esteem,

Improves cardiovascular fitness,

Improves lung function,

Lowers blood pressure, blood sugar, total cholesterol, and LDL Cholesterol and triglycerides,

Improves HDL, the good Cholesterol,

Protects us from hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and strokes,
And boosts immunity.

Exercise also improves our metabolic health.

People with better metabolic health generate more energy and and use it more efficiently, burn fat better and maintain a healthy weight easier. They also have more energy and better memories.

Effect of insulin and exercise after a meal on blood sugar:

Carbohydrates in our food raise our blood glucose levels, when they are digested and absorbed in our small intestines.

Our body releases insulin in response to the raised blood sugar levels. Insulin influences muscle, blood, liver and fat cells, amongst others, to absorb this extra sugar from the blood, so the blood sugar levels are brought down to normal.

Research has shown that exercising after a meal has similar effect on blood sugar and much better effect on overall health.

How exactly does post meal exercise lower our blood sugar?

Exercising after a meal triggers three mechanisms to occur simultaneously.
It causes the heart to pump more glucose rich blood to our muscles, triggers complex changes in certain enzymes further boosting glucose transport to muscles and the muscle membranes to become more efficient at absorbing glucose.

Exercise increases glucose uptake by muscles fifty times more than in a sedentary person.

With the result, our muscle cells get the extra glucose they need during a workout and our blood glucose levels drop, without the body needing to deploy extra insulin.

This is the reason why exercise after a meal lowers both the blood sugar levels as well as blood insulin levels.

Sustained high levels of insulin are harmful to the body as they eventually lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.

Maintaining low insulin levels is very beneficial to health.

When is the best time to exercise after a meal, to lower our blood sugar?

New research suggests that post meal exercise has special benefits if done after thirty minutes of a meal, up to maximum of six hours after the meal. As per one study, the best time is between thirty minutes to two hours.

But if you consume a liquid meal like a milkshake or a smoothie, the best time is to exercise immediately after the meal, as the blood sugar spikes immediately as liquid meals are absorbed much faster than a solid meal.

Which kind of exercise is most beneficial to lower blood sugar and insulin levels best?

Researchers have found that medium intensity exercise like walking lowers blood sugar and insulin best.

How much time should one walk after meals to lower blood sugar and insulin levels?

Thirty minutes would be ideal, but even ten minutes would be fine compared to being sedentary post meals.

Keeping moving around a little every half hour too would be more beneficial than being sedentary.

To summarise:

Exercising after a meal helps improve our metabolic health, lowers our blood sugar and blood insulin levels and helps us maintain a healthy weight and boosts our energy levels and memory.

That is the reason why exercising after a meal is very beneficial to our long term health!

Also read the articles ‘Science Of Exercise’ and ‘Walking To be Slim And Healthy’, on this website.


Medium

Wheat Is A Healthy Cereal!

Wheat Is As Healthy As Any Other Cereal!

Wheat is the second largest cultivated cereal crop of the world.

Next to rice, wheat is the largest staple food of the world population.

The crop cultivation covers more land than any other cereal in the world.

Its turnover in the world market is larger than that of all other cereals put together.

The wheat grain, like all other cereals, has three parts, the bran, the germ and the endosperm.

The bran is the protective outer cover of the grain, the germ develops into a new plant when the seed germinates and the endosperm is the store house of the food of the seed, that the grain uses for energy when the new plant is being developed.

The wheat grain has 71 % carbohydrates, 13 % proteins, fibre, some B vitamins, folate, Vitamins E, some minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and some good fatty acids.

Wheat provides us with 327 calories per hundred gm.

Of these, most of the fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fatty acids and 25% of the proteins in the wheat grain are housed in the bran and the germ while the most of the carbohydrates and 75% of the proteins are housed in the endosperm.

The carbohydrates in the whole wheat grain are starch, fibre and some sugars.

Of these, the starch and the fibre are the complex carbohydrates while the sugars are the simple carbohydrates.

Thus wheat is a very important source of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, small amounts of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals of a large proportion of the population of the world.

Wheat, like all other cereals, is deficient in the essential amino acid lysine and hence, by itself it is not a good source of complete proteins.

On the other hand, pulses have lysine but they are deficient in the essential amino acids methionine, tryptophan and cysteine.

And wheat has methionine, tryptophan, and cysteine.

So wheat and pulses together supply us all the essential amino acids and together they become a good source of better quality proteins in a vegetarian diet.

That is why we have chapatis, rice, bhakri together with ‘varan’ / ‘amti’ / ‘dal’ / ‘sambar’ / ‘curry’ or ‘usal’ in both lunch and dinner in our regular meals.

Chapatis, rice, bhakri are all cereals and ‘varan’ / ‘amti’ / ‘dal’ / ‘sambar’ / ‘curry’ or ‘usal’ are all pulses.

Together they provide most of the better quality proteins in a vegetarian diet.

Wheat chapatis or roti are the main ingredient of regular meals for most Indians.

The wheat protein is majorly composed of gluten, constituting 75 to 80 per cent of the wheat protein.

A few people in the world have gluten intolerance and they can’t digest gluten properly and develop abdominal pain, gases, constipation or diarrhoea when they eat wheat.

About 0.5 to 1 per cent people in the world suffer from Celiac disease, a severe autoimmune, chronic disease and can’t eat wheat at all.

Their number is slowly rising probably because of the newer crops developed to increase the yield and disease fighting abilities of the crop and body’s inability to adapt quickly to it. It also may appear to increase because of increased awareness about the illness and also improved diagnosis of the disease.

It is definite that such people shouldn’t eat wheat but that still cannot not be the reason for most of the world population to stop eating wheat which is their staple food.

It is also not right to equate rava and maida with whole wheat, just because they are made from wheat.

Whole wheat is robbed of most of its good nutrition by grinding and separating the germ and the bran from endosperm which is further ground and refined to make rava and maida.

So when we eat rava or maida, we consume only the less nutritious endosperm of the wheat.

Glycemic index of whole wheat is 41, that is low, and that of rava is 66, that is medium and that of maida is over 70, that is high.

That is why rava and maida are bad nutrition

On the other hand, when we eat chapatis made from whole wheat flour, we consume the bran, germ and endosperm together in the whole ground wheat flour.

Currently it has become fashionable to label wheat as unhealthy food.

It is like blaming carbohydrates for weight gain.

Both are passing fads.

But all cereals have more or less similar nutrition.

Various researchers give us slightly variable figures of calories but generally we can say that nachani (325), wheat (329), rice (341 ते 346), jwari (349) and bajri (361) give us more or less similar calories per 100 gm.

Also their glycemic indices and loads are similar.

The whole grain wheat is as nutritious every other cereal.

So you can eat wheat chapatis or bhakri made from nachani, jowar or bajri.

Also read the article ‘Effects Of Rava And Maida On Health’ on this website.

Intermittent Fasting

Studying The Effects Of Intermittent Fasting On Health

Intermittent fasting is as ancient as civilisation and has been practiced in all religions for centuries.

An ‘enthusiastic’ paper published by a British doctor over a hundred years ago and lapped up merrily by lay press and very energetically canvassed from time to time by some enthusiastic doctors, all over the world, since the sixties has made sure that it a well known and popular diet.

Some body builders in the West have used intermittent fasting for a long time.

Intermittent fasting includes various kind of diets in which the dieter fasts for different periods of time, with or, more often, without  planned calorie restrictions.

Intermittent fasting are diets in which one goes through regular periods of eating and fasting.

It includes a wide variety of patterns.

Some of the well known varieties are:

Time restricted fasting: It involves fasting for 12 hours or longer and eating two or more meals in the rest of the time window.

The 16:8 or 14:10 kind of diets are of this type. On these diets you eat ad libitum during the 8 hour or 10 hour window and fast for 16 or 14 hours respectively.

The 5:2 diet: It involves eating ad libitum for five days and then eating around 500 or 600 calories for two days, sometimes one day at a time twice a week, or on two consecutive days.

Eat stop eat diet: It involves a full 24 hour fast once or twice a week and eating ad libitum for  the rest of the week. This is an extreme version of the 5:2 diet.

Alternate day diet: It involves eating ad libitum and going on complete fast on alternate days.

***

Ad libitum means ‘at one’s pleasure’, meaning eating as much as you please, of whatever you please.

***

Available scientific information about intermittent fasting:

Intermittent fasting has generated a fair amount of scientific interest in the last few decades.

Most of the scientific research on the subject has involved animal studies and whatever human studies have been done are of shorter duration and many of them have not taken into account such factors as calorie intake, balance of nutrition and physical activity.

Most of the research on human beings has centred around athletic performance of athletes observing Ramadan. The results are varied, most showing decline in performance of athletes, in both mid and high intensity sports, and none reporting any improvement in performance.

And the results are conflicting, based on the outcome investigated and the methodology used.

Some studies have found worsening of lipids in people gorging on high fat, high sugar, high calorie food in one or two meals than those who nibbled on frequent smaller meals.

This is a very likely outcome, if people will eat two or three high fat, high calorie meals in a window of 10 or even 8 hours and fasted for 14 or 16 hours or even one or two meals in a smaller time window than 8 hours and fasted longer than 16 hours.

Early epidemiological studies have shown increased cardiovascular disease risk on reduced meal frequency and lower total and LDL cholesterol levels in people who reported four or more meals a day as compared to those who reported having one or two meals only.

According to another large cohort study, the Malmo Diet And Cancer Study, the people who ate six or more meals a day had reduced risk of obesity than those who ate three or less meals and the frequent eaters also had lower waist circumference.

On the other hand, animal studies have shown improvement in weight and metabolic markers like blood sugar and blood pressure LDL cholesterol.

According to a 2018 review, different studies show 2.5 to 9.5 per cent of weight and fat loss, but there is little evidence that it is superior to other diets or eating patterns in promoting weight loss.

Calorie restriction is known to improve insulin resistance. After a period of fasting, insulin sensitivity increases and insulin levels drop. These changes result in improved blood sugar levels both during fasting and shortly after eating.

The benefits of fasting also appear to be linked to the Circadian rhythm, which is sometimes also called the ‘body clock’. It is natural for humans to eat during the day and mice to feed during the night.

So the benefits of intermittent fasting are seen when we eat during the day time and fast during the night and exactly the reverse is seen in case of mice.

Abnormal Circadian rhythms may be linked to obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder and sleep disorders such as insomnia.

Intermittent fasting may also cause dizziness, nausea, insomnia, syncope (sudden fainting attacks with loss of consciousness), falls, migraine, weakness, excessive hunger, dehydration and hypotension, in some people.

Diabetics are more likely to suffer from these ill effects. Certain drugs prescribed for the treatment of diabetes also increase the risk of developing these illnesses.

Besides these, many people complain of developing severe hyper acidity on these diets.

***

Inference:

There appear to be some benefits of intermittent fasting. Diets based on it could help lower some weight and improve metabolic markers like blood sugar and blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.

These benefits are available only if you don’t gorge on high fat, high sugar, high calorie food in one or two meals during the window of eating. That means you can’t really eat ad libitum.

Eating ad libitum, anything you fancy, as much as you please will not bring you the desired health benefits, even if you follow the rules of intermittent fasting strictly.

It means you still have to eat healthy, you still have to observe the rules of balanced nutrition to get the full benefits of intermittent fasting.

And also the health benefits of intermittent fasting are available only if you follow the Circadian rhythm, that is to eat during the day and fast during the night.

Intermittent fasting is not the only way to improve your blood insulin levels, insulin resistance and blood sugar, much less of losing weight and lowering your blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels and increasing your  HDL cholesterol levels.

If intermittent fasting helps people lose between 2.5 to 9.5 per cent of their excess weight, a 5 foot 70 kg lady can lose approximately between under 2 to 7 kg weight and a 5 foot 6 inch 80 kg man can lose approximately between 2 to 8 kg weight.

On the other hand, balanced food in three or more meals a day and exercising regularly can help both lose full 20 kg weight and get completely slim and have much better metabolic markers, especially the abdominal circumference.

***

Intermittent fasting versus balanced nutrition and normal meals:

Intermittent fasting can give you some weight loss and improved metabolic markers.

Most times, intermittent fasting programs are run on mass scale as a diabetes control campaign and not as an individual treatment, individual nutrition is not planned, people are left to choose to their own food, eating ad libitum could be dangerous and exercise may not be a part of the regimen.

Individually planned balanced nutrition in regular meal pattern with three or more meals and regular exercise can give you complete weight loss and much improved metabolic markers.

Those people who habitually eat only two meals a day, viz. lunch and dinner and are not used to having a breakfast, could find intermittent fasting suitable.

Those people who have fixed time slots available for lunch and an early dinner, could find intermittent fasting suitable.

If your work schedule doesn’t allow regular meal hours, intermittent fasting may not suit you.

Many people on intermittent fasting could soon complain of hyper acidity, hunger pangs, possibly headaches and fainting spells.

Such people might not find intermittent fasting suitable.

Some people find it difficult to continue with the intermittent fasting regimen a year or two after starting it successfully initially, for one reason or another and give it up.

There are no long term studies to show how many people stay on, on intermittent fasting long term.

Most people are used to eating at least three meals, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, spread over the day.

So they are more likely to be more comfortable eating in the same pattern all their lives, than switch to eating  two meals during a smaller time window.

So it is for you to take a call on which of the two regimens suits you better.

Please also read ‘Basics Of Nutrition’ and ‘Simple Steps To Slimming’ on this website.


Large

Wheat Is A Healthy Cereal!

Wheat Is As Healthy As Any Other Cereal!

Wheat is the second largest cultivated cereal crop of the world.

Next to rice, wheat is the largest staple food of the world population.

The crop cultivation covers more land than any other cereal in the world.

Its turnover in the world market is larger than that of all other cereals put together.

The wheat grain, like all other cereals, has three parts, the bran, the germ and the endosperm.

The bran is the protective outer cover of the grain, the germ develops into a new plant when the seed germinates and the endosperm is the store house of the food of the seed, that the grain uses for energy when the new plant is being developed.

The wheat grain has 71 % carbohydrates, 13 % proteins, fibre, some B vitamins, folate, Vitamins E, some minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and some good fatty acids.

Wheat provides us with 327 calories per hundred gm.

Of these, most of the fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fatty acids and 25% of the proteins in the wheat grain are housed in the bran and the germ while the most of the carbohydrates and 75% of the proteins are housed in the endosperm.

The carbohydrates in the whole wheat grain are starch, fibre and some sugars.

Of these, the starch and the fibre are the complex carbohydrates while the sugars are the simple carbohydrates.

Thus wheat is a very important source of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, small amounts of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals of a large proportion of the population of the world.

Wheat, like all other cereals, is deficient in the essential amino acid lysine and hence, by itself it is not a good source of complete proteins.

On the other hand, pulses have lysine but they are deficient in the essential amino acids methionine, tryptophan and cysteine.

And wheat has methionine, tryptophan, and cysteine.

So wheat and pulses together supply us all the essential amino acids and together they become a good source of better quality proteins in a vegetarian diet.

That is why we have chapatis, rice, bhakri together with ‘varan’ / ‘amti’ / ‘dal’ / ‘sambar’ / ‘curry’ or ‘usal’ in both lunch and dinner in our regular meals.

Chapatis, rice, bhakri are all cereals and ‘varan’ / ‘amti’ / ‘dal’ / ‘sambar’ / ‘curry’ or ‘usal’ are all pulses.

Together they provide most of the better quality proteins in a vegetarian diet.

Wheat chapatis or roti are the main ingredient of regular meals for most Indians.

The wheat protein is majorly composed of gluten, constituting 75 to 80 per cent of the wheat protein.

A few people in the world have gluten intolerance and they can’t digest gluten properly and develop abdominal pain, gases, constipation or diarrhoea when they eat wheat.

About 0.5 to 1 per cent people in the world suffer from Celiac disease, a severe autoimmune, chronic disease and can’t eat wheat at all.

Their number is slowly rising probably because of the newer crops developed to increase the yield and disease fighting abilities of the crop and body’s inability to adapt quickly to it. It also may appear to increase because of increased awareness about the illness and also improved diagnosis of the disease.

It is definite that such people shouldn’t eat wheat but that still cannot not be the reason for most of the world population to stop eating wheat which is their staple food.

It is also not right to equate rava and maida with whole wheat, just because they are made from wheat.

Whole wheat is robbed of most of its good nutrition by grinding and separating the germ and the bran from endosperm which is further ground and refined to make rava and maida.

So when we eat rava or maida, we consume only the less nutritious endosperm of the wheat.

Glycemic index of whole wheat is 41, that is low, and that of rava is 66, that is medium and that of maida is over 70, that is high.

That is why rava and maida are bad nutrition

On the other hand, when we eat chapatis made from whole wheat flour, we consume the bran, germ and endosperm together in the whole ground wheat flour.

Currently it has become fashionable to label wheat as unhealthy food.

It is like blaming carbohydrates for weight gain.

Both are passing fads.

But all cereals have more or less similar nutrition.

Various researchers give us slightly variable figures of calories but generally we can say that nachani (325), wheat (329), rice (341 ते 346), jwari (349) and bajri (361) give us more or less similar calories per 100 gm.

Also their glycemic indices and loads are similar.

The whole grain wheat is as nutritious every other cereal.

So you can eat wheat chapatis or bhakri made from nachani, jowar or bajri.

Also read the article ‘Effects Of Rava And Maida On Health’ on this website.

Intermittent Fasting

Studying The Effects Of Intermittent Fasting On Health

Intermittent fasting is as ancient as civilisation and has been practiced in all religions for centuries.

An ‘enthusiastic’ paper published by a British doctor over a hundred years ago and lapped up merrily by lay press and very energetically canvassed from time to time by some enthusiastic doctors, all over the world, since the sixties has made sure that it a well known and popular diet.

Some body builders in the West have used intermittent fasting for a long time.

Intermittent fasting includes various kind of diets in which the dieter fasts for different periods of time, with or, more often, without  planned calorie restrictions.

Intermittent fasting are diets in which one goes through regular periods of eating and fasting.

It includes a wide variety of patterns.

Some of the well known varieties are:

Time restricted fasting: It involves fasting for 12 hours or longer and eating two or more meals in the rest of the time window.

The 16:8 or 14:10 kind of diets are of this type. On these diets you eat ad libitum during the 8 hour or 10 hour window and fast for 16 or 14 hours respectively.

The 5:2 diet: It involves eating ad libitum for five days and then eating around 500 or 600 calories for two days, sometimes one day at a time twice a week, or on two consecutive days.

Eat stop eat diet: It involves a full 24 hour fast once or twice a week and eating ad libitum for  the rest of the week. This is an extreme version of the 5:2 diet.

Alternate day diet: It involves eating ad libitum and going on complete fast on alternate days.

***

Ad libitum means ‘at one’s pleasure’, meaning eating as much as you please, of whatever you please.

***

Available scientific information about intermittent fasting:

Intermittent fasting has generated a fair amount of scientific interest in the last few decades.

Most of the scientific research on the subject has involved animal studies and whatever human studies have been done are of shorter duration and many of them have not taken into account such factors as calorie intake, balance of nutrition and physical activity.

Most of the research on human beings has centred around athletic performance of athletes observing Ramadan. The results are varied, most showing decline in performance of athletes, in both mid and high intensity sports, and none reporting any improvement in performance.

And the results are conflicting, based on the outcome investigated and the methodology used.

Some studies have found worsening of lipids in people gorging on high fat, high sugar, high calorie food in one or two meals than those who nibbled on frequent smaller meals.

This is a very likely outcome, if people will eat two or three high fat, high calorie meals in a window of 10 or even 8 hours and fasted for 14 or 16 hours or even one or two meals in a smaller time window than 8 hours and fasted longer than 16 hours.

Early epidemiological studies have shown increased cardiovascular disease risk on reduced meal frequency and lower total and LDL cholesterol levels in people who reported four or more meals a day as compared to those who reported having one or two meals only.

According to another large cohort study, the Malmo Diet And Cancer Study, the people who ate six or more meals a day had reduced risk of obesity than those who ate three or less meals and the frequent eaters also had lower waist circumference.

On the other hand, animal studies have shown improvement in weight and metabolic markers like blood sugar and blood pressure LDL cholesterol.

According to a 2018 review, different studies show 2.5 to 9.5 per cent of weight and fat loss, but there is little evidence that it is superior to other diets or eating patterns in promoting weight loss.

Calorie restriction is known to improve insulin resistance. After a period of fasting, insulin sensitivity increases and insulin levels drop. These changes result in improved blood sugar levels both during fasting and shortly after eating.

The benefits of fasting also appear to be linked to the Circadian rhythm, which is sometimes also called the ‘body clock’. It is natural for humans to eat during the day and mice to feed during the night.

So the benefits of intermittent fasting are seen when we eat during the day time and fast during the night and exactly the reverse is seen in case of mice.

Abnormal Circadian rhythms may be linked to obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder and sleep disorders such as insomnia.

Intermittent fasting may also cause dizziness, nausea, insomnia, syncope (sudden fainting attacks with loss of consciousness), falls, migraine, weakness, excessive hunger, dehydration and hypotension, in some people.

Diabetics are more likely to suffer from these ill effects. Certain drugs prescribed for the treatment of diabetes also increase the risk of developing these illnesses.

Besides these, many people complain of developing severe hyper acidity on these diets.

***

Inference:

There appear to be some benefits of intermittent fasting. Diets based on it could help lower some weight and improve metabolic markers like blood sugar and blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.

These benefits are available only if you don’t gorge on high fat, high sugar, high calorie food in one or two meals during the window of eating. That means you can’t really eat ad libitum.

Eating ad libitum, anything you fancy, as much as you please will not bring you the desired health benefits, even if you follow the rules of intermittent fasting strictly.

It means you still have to eat healthy, you still have to observe the rules of balanced nutrition to get the full benefits of intermittent fasting.

And also the health benefits of intermittent fasting are available only if you follow the Circadian rhythm, that is to eat during the day and fast during the night.

Intermittent fasting is not the only way to improve your blood insulin levels, insulin resistance and blood sugar, much less of losing weight and lowering your blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels and increasing your  HDL cholesterol levels.

If intermittent fasting helps people lose between 2.5 to 9.5 per cent of their excess weight, a 5 foot 70 kg lady can lose approximately between under 2 to 7 kg weight and a 5 foot 6 inch 80 kg man can lose approximately between 2 to 8 kg weight.

On the other hand, balanced food in three or more meals a day and exercising regularly can help both lose full 20 kg weight and get completely slim and have much better metabolic markers, especially the abdominal circumference.

***

Intermittent fasting versus balanced nutrition and normal meals:

Intermittent fasting can give you some weight loss and improved metabolic markers.

Most times, intermittent fasting programs are run on mass scale as a diabetes control campaign and not as an individual treatment, individual nutrition is not planned, people are left to choose to their own food, eating ad libitum could be dangerous and exercise may not be a part of the regimen.

Individually planned balanced nutrition in regular meal pattern with three or more meals and regular exercise can give you complete weight loss and much improved metabolic markers.

Those people who habitually eat only two meals a day, viz. lunch and dinner and are not used to having a breakfast, could find intermittent fasting suitable.

Those people who have fixed time slots available for lunch and an early dinner, could find intermittent fasting suitable.

If your work schedule doesn’t allow regular meal hours, intermittent fasting may not suit you.

Many people on intermittent fasting could soon complain of hyper acidity, hunger pangs, possibly headaches and fainting spells.

Such people might not find intermittent fasting suitable.

Some people find it difficult to continue with the intermittent fasting regimen a year or two after starting it successfully initially, for one reason or another and give it up.

There are no long term studies to show how many people stay on, on intermittent fasting long term.

Most people are used to eating at least three meals, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, spread over the day.

So they are more likely to be more comfortable eating in the same pattern all their lives, than switch to eating  two meals during a smaller time window.

So it is for you to take a call on which of the two regimens suits you better.

Please also read ‘Basics Of Nutrition’ and ‘Simple Steps To Slimming’ on this website.


Large Alt

Wheat Is A Healthy Cereal!

Wheat Is As Healthy As Any Other Cereal!

Wheat is the second largest cultivated cereal crop of the world.

Next to rice, wheat is the largest staple food of the world population.

The crop cultivation covers more land than any other cereal in the world.

Its turnover in the world market is larger than that of all other cereals put together.

The wheat grain, like all other cereals, has three parts, the bran, the germ and the endosperm.

The bran is the protective outer cover of the grain, the germ develops into a new plant when the seed germinates and the endosperm is the store house of the food of the seed, that the grain uses for energy when the new plant is being developed.

The wheat grain has 71 % carbohydrates, 13 % proteins, fibre, some B vitamins, folate, Vitamins E, some minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and some good fatty acids.

Wheat provides us with 327 calories per hundred gm.

Of these, most of the fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fatty acids and 25% of the proteins in the wheat grain are housed in the bran and the germ while the most of the carbohydrates and 75% of the proteins are housed in the endosperm.

The carbohydrates in the whole wheat grain are starch, fibre and some sugars.

Of these, the starch and the fibre are the complex carbohydrates while the sugars are the simple carbohydrates.

Thus wheat is a very important source of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, small amounts of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals of a large proportion of the population of the world.

Wheat, like all other cereals, is deficient in the essential amino acid lysine and hence, by itself it is not a good source of complete proteins.

On the other hand, pulses have lysine but they are deficient in the essential amino acids methionine, tryptophan and cysteine.

And wheat has methionine, tryptophan, and cysteine.

So wheat and pulses together supply us all the essential amino acids and together they become a good source of better quality proteins in a vegetarian diet.

That is why we have chapatis, rice, bhakri together with ‘varan’ / ‘amti’ / ‘dal’ / ‘sambar’ / ‘curry’ or ‘usal’ in both lunch and dinner in our regular meals.

Chapatis, rice, bhakri are all cereals and ‘varan’ / ‘amti’ / ‘dal’ / ‘sambar’ / ‘curry’ or ‘usal’ are all pulses.

Together they provide most of the better quality proteins in a vegetarian diet.

Wheat chapatis or roti are the main ingredient of regular meals for most Indians.

The wheat protein is majorly composed of gluten, constituting 75 to 80 per cent of the wheat protein.

A few people in the world have gluten intolerance and they can’t digest gluten properly and develop abdominal pain, gases, constipation or diarrhoea when they eat wheat.

About 0.5 to 1 per cent people in the world suffer from Celiac disease, a severe autoimmune, chronic disease and can’t eat wheat at all.

Their number is slowly rising probably because of the newer crops developed to increase the yield and disease fighting abilities of the crop and body’s inability to adapt quickly to it. It also may appear to increase because of increased awareness about the illness and also improved diagnosis of the disease.

It is definite that such people shouldn’t eat wheat but that still cannot not be the reason for most of the world population to stop eating wheat which is their staple food.

It is also not right to equate rava and maida with whole wheat, just because they are made from wheat.

Whole wheat is robbed of most of its good nutrition by grinding and separating the germ and the bran from endosperm which is further ground and refined to make rava and maida.

So when we eat rava or maida, we consume only the less nutritious endosperm of the wheat.

Glycemic index of whole wheat is 41, that is low, and that of rava is 66, that is medium and that of maida is over 70, that is high.

That is why rava and maida are bad nutrition

On the other hand, when we eat chapatis made from whole wheat flour, we consume the bran, germ and endosperm together in the whole ground wheat flour.

Currently it has become fashionable to label wheat as unhealthy food.

It is like blaming carbohydrates for weight gain.

Both are passing fads.

But all cereals have more or less similar nutrition.

Various researchers give us slightly variable figures of calories but generally we can say that nachani (325), wheat (329), rice (341 ते 346), jwari (349) and bajri (361) give us more or less similar calories per 100 gm.

Also their glycemic indices and loads are similar.

The whole grain wheat is as nutritious every other cereal.

So you can eat wheat chapatis or bhakri made from nachani, jowar or bajri.

Also read the article ‘Effects Of Rava And Maida On Health’ on this website.

Read more...

Intermittent Fasting

Studying The Effects Of Intermittent Fasting On Health

Intermittent fasting is as ancient as civilisation and has been practiced in all religions for centuries.

An ‘enthusiastic’ paper published by a British doctor over a hundred years ago and lapped up merrily by lay press and very energetically canvassed from time to time by some enthusiastic doctors, all over the world, since the sixties has made sure that it a well known and popular diet.

Some body builders in the West have used intermittent fasting for a long time.

Intermittent fasting includes various kind of diets in which the dieter fasts for different periods of time, with or, more often, without  planned calorie restrictions.

Intermittent fasting are diets in which one goes through regular periods of eating and fasting.

It includes a wide variety of patterns.

Some of the well known varieties are:

Time restricted fasting: It involves fasting for 12 hours or longer and eating two or more meals in the rest of the time window.

The 16:8 or 14:10 kind of diets are of this type. On these diets you eat ad libitum during the 8 hour or 10 hour window and fast for 16 or 14 hours respectively.

The 5:2 diet: It involves eating ad libitum for five days and then eating around 500 or 600 calories for two days, sometimes one day at a time twice a week, or on two consecutive days.

Eat stop eat diet: It involves a full 24 hour fast once or twice a week and eating ad libitum for  the rest of the week. This is an extreme version of the 5:2 diet.

Alternate day diet: It involves eating ad libitum and going on complete fast on alternate days.

***

Ad libitum means ‘at one’s pleasure’, meaning eating as much as you please, of whatever you please.

***

Available scientific information about intermittent fasting:

Intermittent fasting has generated a fair amount of scientific interest in the last few decades.

Most of the scientific research on the subject has involved animal studies and whatever human studies have been done are of shorter duration and many of them have not taken into account such factors as calorie intake, balance of nutrition and physical activity.

Most of the research on human beings has centred around athletic performance of athletes observing Ramadan. The results are varied, most showing decline in performance of athletes, in both mid and high intensity sports, and none reporting any improvement in performance.

And the results are conflicting, based on the outcome investigated and the methodology used.

Some studies have found worsening of lipids in people gorging on high fat, high sugar, high calorie food in one or two meals than those who nibbled on frequent smaller meals.

This is a very likely outcome, if people will eat two or three high fat, high calorie meals in a window of 10 or even 8 hours and fasted for 14 or 16 hours or even one or two meals in a smaller time window than 8 hours and fasted longer than 16 hours.

Early epidemiological studies have shown increased cardiovascular disease risk on reduced meal frequency and lower total and LDL cholesterol levels in people who reported four or more meals a day as compared to those who reported having one or two meals only.

According to another large cohort study, the Malmo Diet And Cancer Study, the people who ate six or more meals a day had reduced risk of obesity than those who ate three or less meals and the frequent eaters also had lower waist circumference.

On the other hand, animal studies have shown improvement in weight and metabolic markers like blood sugar and blood pressure LDL cholesterol.

According to a 2018 review, different studies show 2.5 to 9.5 per cent of weight and fat loss, but there is little evidence that it is superior to other diets or eating patterns in promoting weight loss.

Calorie restriction is known to improve insulin resistance. After a period of fasting, insulin sensitivity increases and insulin levels drop. These changes result in improved blood sugar levels both during fasting and shortly after eating.

The benefits of fasting also appear to be linked to the Circadian rhythm, which is sometimes also called the ‘body clock’. It is natural for humans to eat during the day and mice to feed during the night.

So the benefits of intermittent fasting are seen when we eat during the day time and fast during the night and exactly the reverse is seen in case of mice.

Abnormal Circadian rhythms may be linked to obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder and sleep disorders such as insomnia.

Intermittent fasting may also cause dizziness, nausea, insomnia, syncope (sudden fainting attacks with loss of consciousness), falls, migraine, weakness, excessive hunger, dehydration and hypotension, in some people.

Diabetics are more likely to suffer from these ill effects. Certain drugs prescribed for the treatment of diabetes also increase the risk of developing these illnesses.

Besides these, many people complain of developing severe hyper acidity on these diets.

***

Inference:

There appear to be some benefits of intermittent fasting. Diets based on it could help lower some weight and improve metabolic markers like blood sugar and blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.

These benefits are available only if you don’t gorge on high fat, high sugar, high calorie food in one or two meals during the window of eating. That means you can’t really eat ad libitum.

Eating ad libitum, anything you fancy, as much as you please will not bring you the desired health benefits, even if you follow the rules of intermittent fasting strictly.

It means you still have to eat healthy, you still have to observe the rules of balanced nutrition to get the full benefits of intermittent fasting.

And also the health benefits of intermittent fasting are available only if you follow the Circadian rhythm, that is to eat during the day and fast during the night.

Intermittent fasting is not the only way to improve your blood insulin levels, insulin resistance and blood sugar, much less of losing weight and lowering your blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels and increasing your  HDL cholesterol levels.

If intermittent fasting helps people lose between 2.5 to 9.5 per cent of their excess weight, a 5 foot 70 kg lady can lose approximately between under 2 to 7 kg weight and a 5 foot 6 inch 80 kg man can lose approximately between 2 to 8 kg weight.

On the other hand, balanced food in three or more meals a day and exercising regularly can help both lose full 20 kg weight and get completely slim and have much better metabolic markers, especially the abdominal circumference.

***

Intermittent fasting versus balanced nutrition and normal meals:

Intermittent fasting can give you some weight loss and improved metabolic markers.

Most times, intermittent fasting programs are run on mass scale as a diabetes control campaign and not as an individual treatment, individual nutrition is not planned, people are left to choose to their own food, eating ad libitum could be dangerous and exercise may not be a part of the regimen.

Individually planned balanced nutrition in regular meal pattern with three or more meals and regular exercise can give you complete weight loss and much improved metabolic markers.

Those people who habitually eat only two meals a day, viz. lunch and dinner and are not used to having a breakfast, could find intermittent fasting suitable.

Those people who have fixed time slots available for lunch and an early dinner, could find intermittent fasting suitable.

If your work schedule doesn’t allow regular meal hours, intermittent fasting may not suit you.

Many people on intermittent fasting could soon complain of hyper acidity, hunger pangs, possibly headaches and fainting spells.

Such people might not find intermittent fasting suitable.

Some people find it difficult to continue with the intermittent fasting regimen a year or two after starting it successfully initially, for one reason or another and give it up.

There are no long term studies to show how many people stay on, on intermittent fasting long term.

Most people are used to eating at least three meals, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, spread over the day.

So they are more likely to be more comfortable eating in the same pattern all their lives, than switch to eating  two meals during a smaller time window.

So it is for you to take a call on which of the two regimens suits you better.

Please also read ‘Basics Of Nutrition’ and ‘Simple Steps To Slimming’ on this website.

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Wheat Is A Healthy Cereal!

Wheat Is As Healthy As Any Other Cereal!

Wheat is the second largest cultivated cereal crop of the world.

Next to rice, wheat is the largest staple food of the world population.

The crop cultivation covers more land than any other cereal in the world.

Its turnover in the world market is larger than that of all other cereals put together.

The wheat grain, like all other cereals, has three parts, the bran, the germ and the endosperm.

The bran is the protective outer cover of the grain, the germ develops into a new plant when the seed germinates and the endosperm is the store house of the food of the seed, that the grain uses for energy when the new plant is being developed.

The wheat grain has 71 % carbohydrates, 13 % proteins, fibre, some B vitamins, folate, Vitamins E, some minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and some good fatty acids.

Wheat provides us with 327 calories per hundred gm.

Of these, most of the fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fatty acids and 25% of the proteins in the wheat grain are housed in the bran and the germ while the most of the carbohydrates and 75% of the proteins are housed in the endosperm.

The carbohydrates in the whole wheat grain are starch, fibre and some sugars.

Of these, the starch and the fibre are the complex carbohydrates while the sugars are the simple carbohydrates.

Thus wheat is a very important source of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, small amounts of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals of a large proportion of the population of the world.

Wheat, like all other cereals, is deficient in the essential amino acid lysine and hence, by itself it is not a good source of complete proteins.

On the other hand, pulses have lysine but they are deficient in the essential amino acids methionine, tryptophan and cysteine.

And wheat has methionine, tryptophan, and cysteine.

So wheat and pulses together supply us all the essential amino acids and together they become a good source of better quality proteins in a vegetarian diet.

That is why we have chapatis, rice, bhakri together with ‘varan’ / ‘amti’ / ‘dal’ / ‘sambar’ / ‘curry’ or ‘usal’ in both lunch and dinner in our regular meals.

Chapatis, rice, bhakri are all cereals and ‘varan’ / ‘amti’ / ‘dal’ / ‘sambar’ / ‘curry’ or ‘usal’ are all pulses.

Together they provide most of the better quality proteins in a vegetarian diet.

Wheat chapatis or roti are the main ingredient of regular meals for most Indians.

The wheat protein is majorly composed of gluten, constituting 75 to 80 per cent of the wheat protein.

A few people in the world have gluten intolerance and they can’t digest gluten properly and develop abdominal pain, gases, constipation or diarrhoea when they eat wheat.

About 0.5 to 1 per cent people in the world suffer from Celiac disease, a severe autoimmune, chronic disease and can’t eat wheat at all.

Their number is slowly rising probably because of the newer crops developed to increase the yield and disease fighting abilities of the crop and body’s inability to adapt quickly to it. It also may appear to increase because of increased awareness about the illness and also improved diagnosis of the disease.

It is definite that such people shouldn’t eat wheat but that still cannot not be the reason for most of the world population to stop eating wheat which is their staple food.

It is also not right to equate rava and maida with whole wheat, just because they are made from wheat.

Whole wheat is robbed of most of its good nutrition by grinding and separating the germ and the bran from endosperm which is further ground and refined to make rava and maida.

So when we eat rava or maida, we consume only the less nutritious endosperm of the wheat.

Glycemic index of whole wheat is 41, that is low, and that of rava is 66, that is medium and that of maida is over 70, that is high.

That is why rava and maida are bad nutrition

On the other hand, when we eat chapatis made from whole wheat flour, we consume the bran, germ and endosperm together in the whole ground wheat flour.

Currently it has become fashionable to label wheat as unhealthy food.

It is like blaming carbohydrates for weight gain.

Both are passing fads.

But all cereals have more or less similar nutrition.

Various researchers give us slightly variable figures of calories but generally we can say that nachani (325), wheat (329), rice (341 ते 346), jwari (349) and bajri (361) give us more or less similar calories per 100 gm.

Also their glycemic indices and loads are similar.

The whole grain wheat is as nutritious every other cereal.

So you can eat wheat chapatis or bhakri made from nachani, jowar or bajri.

Also read the article ‘Effects Of Rava And Maida On Health’ on this website.

Intermittent Fasting

Studying The Effects Of Intermittent Fasting On Health

Intermittent fasting is as ancient as civilisation and has been practiced in all religions for centuries.

An ‘enthusiastic’ paper published by a British doctor over a hundred years ago and lapped up merrily by lay press and very energetically canvassed from time to time by some enthusiastic doctors, all over the world, since the sixties has made sure that it a well known and popular diet.

Some body builders in the West have used intermittent fasting for a long time.

Intermittent fasting includes various kind of diets in which the dieter fasts for different periods of time, with or, more often, without  planned calorie restrictions.

Intermittent fasting are diets in which one goes through regular periods of eating and fasting.

It includes a wide variety of patterns.

Some of the well known varieties are:

Time restricted fasting: It involves fasting for 12 hours or longer and eating two or more meals in the rest of the time window.

The 16:8 or 14:10 kind of diets are of this type. On these diets you eat ad libitum during the 8 hour or 10 hour window and fast for 16 or 14 hours respectively.

The 5:2 diet: It involves eating ad libitum for five days and then eating around 500 or 600 calories for two days, sometimes one day at a time twice a week, or on two consecutive days.

Eat stop eat diet: It involves a full 24 hour fast once or twice a week and eating ad libitum for  the rest of the week. This is an extreme version of the 5:2 diet.

Alternate day diet: It involves eating ad libitum and going on complete fast on alternate days.

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Ad libitum means ‘at one’s pleasure’, meaning eating as much as you please, of whatever you please.

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Available scientific information about intermittent fasting:

Intermittent fasting has generated a fair amount of scientific interest in the last few decades.

Most of the scientific research on the subject has involved animal studies and whatever human studies have been done are of shorter duration and many of them have not taken into account such factors as calorie intake, balance of nutrition and physical activity.

Most of the research on human beings has centred around athletic performance of athletes observing Ramadan. The results are varied, most showing decline in performance of athletes, in both mid and high intensity sports, and none reporting any improvement in performance.

And the results are conflicting, based on the outcome investigated and the methodology used.

Some studies have found worsening of lipids in people gorging on high fat, high sugar, high calorie food in one or two meals than those who nibbled on frequent smaller meals.

This is a very likely outcome, if people will eat two or three high fat, high calorie meals in a window of 10 or even 8 hours and fasted for 14 or 16 hours or even one or two meals in a smaller time window than 8 hours and fasted longer than 16 hours.

Early epidemiological studies have shown increased cardiovascular disease risk on reduced meal frequency and lower total and LDL cholesterol levels in people who reported four or more meals a day as compared to those who reported having one or two meals only.

According to another large cohort study, the Malmo Diet And Cancer Study, the people who ate six or more meals a day had reduced risk of obesity than those who ate three or less meals and the frequent eaters also had lower waist circumference.

On the other hand, animal studies have shown improvement in weight and metabolic markers like blood sugar and blood pressure LDL cholesterol.

According to a 2018 review, different studies show 2.5 to 9.5 per cent of weight and fat loss, but there is little evidence that it is superior to other diets or eating patterns in promoting weight loss.

Calorie restriction is known to improve insulin resistance. After a period of fasting, insulin sensitivity increases and insulin levels drop. These changes result in improved blood sugar levels both during fasting and shortly after eating.

The benefits of fasting also appear to be linked to the Circadian rhythm, which is sometimes also called the ‘body clock’. It is natural for humans to eat during the day and mice to feed during the night.

So the benefits of intermittent fasting are seen when we eat during the day time and fast during the night and exactly the reverse is seen in case of mice.

Abnormal Circadian rhythms may be linked to obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder and sleep disorders such as insomnia.

Intermittent fasting may also cause dizziness, nausea, insomnia, syncope (sudden fainting attacks with loss of consciousness), falls, migraine, weakness, excessive hunger, dehydration and hypotension, in some people.

Diabetics are more likely to suffer from these ill effects. Certain drugs prescribed for the treatment of diabetes also increase the risk of developing these illnesses.

Besides these, many people complain of developing severe hyper acidity on these diets.

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Inference:

There appear to be some benefits of intermittent fasting. Diets based on it could help lower some weight and improve metabolic markers like blood sugar and blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.

These benefits are available only if you don’t gorge on high fat, high sugar, high calorie food in one or two meals during the window of eating. That means you can’t really eat ad libitum.

Eating ad libitum, anything you fancy, as much as you please will not bring you the desired health benefits, even if you follow the rules of intermittent fasting strictly.

It means you still have to eat healthy, you still have to observe the rules of balanced nutrition to get the full benefits of intermittent fasting.

And also the health benefits of intermittent fasting are available only if you follow the Circadian rhythm, that is to eat during the day and fast during the night.

Intermittent fasting is not the only way to improve your blood insulin levels, insulin resistance and blood sugar, much less of losing weight and lowering your blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels and increasing your  HDL cholesterol levels.

If intermittent fasting helps people lose between 2.5 to 9.5 per cent of their excess weight, a 5 foot 70 kg lady can lose approximately between under 2 to 7 kg weight and a 5 foot 6 inch 80 kg man can lose approximately between 2 to 8 kg weight.

On the other hand, balanced food in three or more meals a day and exercising regularly can help both lose full 20 kg weight and get completely slim and have much better metabolic markers, especially the abdominal circumference.

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Intermittent fasting versus balanced nutrition and normal meals:

Intermittent fasting can give you some weight loss and improved metabolic markers.

Most times, intermittent fasting programs are run on mass scale as a diabetes control campaign and not as an individual treatment, individual nutrition is not planned, people are left to choose to their own food, eating ad libitum could be dangerous and exercise may not be a part of the regimen.

Individually planned balanced nutrition in regular meal pattern with three or more meals and regular exercise can give you complete weight loss and much improved metabolic markers.

Those people who habitually eat only two meals a day, viz. lunch and dinner and are not used to having a breakfast, could find intermittent fasting suitable.

Those people who have fixed time slots available for lunch and an early dinner, could find intermittent fasting suitable.

If your work schedule doesn’t allow regular meal hours, intermittent fasting may not suit you.

Many people on intermittent fasting could soon complain of hyper acidity, hunger pangs, possibly headaches and fainting spells.

Such people might not find intermittent fasting suitable.

Some people find it difficult to continue with the intermittent fasting regimen a year or two after starting it successfully initially, for one reason or another and give it up.

There are no long term studies to show how many people stay on, on intermittent fasting long term.

Most people are used to eating at least three meals, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, spread over the day.

So they are more likely to be more comfortable eating in the same pattern all their lives, than switch to eating  two meals during a smaller time window.

So it is for you to take a call on which of the two regimens suits you better.

Please also read ‘Basics Of Nutrition’ and ‘Simple Steps To Slimming’ on this website.