Nuts are rich in calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. Experts suggest that if you consume handful of nuts everyday its good for heart health. Since nuts are very high in calories, just having a handful of them is enough. High mineral nuts include almonds and cashews.
Beans are rich in copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. Beans and lentils are good sources of fiber and a good vegetarian substitute of protein. High mineral beans include white beans, soybeans, chickpeas (garbanzo), and kidney beans.
Dark Leafy Green vegetables are rich in calcium, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. They contain minimal calories and are good for obese people. High mineral dark leafy green vegetables include spinach, and turnip greens.
Mushrooms are rich in copper, potassium, selenium, and zinc. Mushrooms are exceptionally low in calories, and you can have them with a homemade vegetable recipe or simply add it so some salad to get its maximum benefits.
Fish is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium. It is also rich in protein, and heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Fish rich in minerals include salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Fish oil is also high in omega 3 fatty acids that are good for your heart health.
Food facts on starchy food
Minimize the intake of white bread; as it is high in calories and carbs, but low in fiber, protein and nutrients. The simple starches in bread are digested so quickly that they spike your glucose levels just like sugar — and leave you hungry soon afterward. So these foods should be avoided to prevent weight gain and other health concerns like diabetes.
Limit white rice as they are less in fiber and protein but simply are loaded with empty calories. White rice is quickly digested and absorbed, making your blood sugar rise faster. White rice should be avoided if you are diagnosed with prediabetes or if your family has a history of diabetes. If rice is your staple diet try replacing it with brown rice as they are healthier and has more nutrition benefits.
Skinless white potatoes have a very high glycemic index — meaning they raise your blood sugar quickly. So, however you like your potatoes, try to incorporate their skin. The skin’s fiber will slow your digestion and keep you full longer. (You’ll benefit from potatoes’ potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins B and C, too). Try making mashed potatoes with the skin on.
Avoid processed cereals like maida as they are starchier. The more processed a grain is the more unhealthy and calorie leaden it is. Try to consume cereals which have a bigger grain size. Just for an instance atta is more nutritious and healthier than maida. Gram flour is healthier than besan.
Pasta and chips are high in starch which is digested quickly and are low in essential nutrients. You can try for a whole wheat pasta or bean pastas. Their fiber will leave you feeling full for longer. If you want to enjoy crackers, choose whole-grain varieties. Look for brands with minimal added sugar and ingredients.
Foods to stay healthy by Famhealth
Cereals are rich source of calcium, iron, and vitamin B. A cereal, which is coarser and grainier, is considered more healthy and nutritious. Experts say that a good cereal meal provides you with essential nutrients like carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables- Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and essential micronutrients. Do you know the more colorful the fruits, denser the nutrient. Eating five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables is considered good for health.
To stay healthy, we need some fats in our diet; however consuming a fatty diet is harmful to our body. Experts suggest that the limited intake of saturated fat rich food items like ghee, butter, coconut oil etc. minimizes the risk of heart diseases and high blood cholesterol levels.
It is said that drinking about 8- 10 liters of water every day keeps the body hydrated. However; during summers or if you have an active lifestyle it is good to drink more water. Soft and fizzy drinks that are high in added sugar cannot replace the good benefits of water.
Experts say that exercise is the cornerstone of healthy living. Performing a 30 to 45 min daily exercise and sports like swimming, aerobics, power yoga etc. has shown good effects on our body.
How well do you know your food?
Did you know – Vegetarian diets that include proteins from legumes, soy, low-fat dairy, nuts, seeds, whole grains and vegetables can easily meet your protein requirements.
Did you know – Whole grains are high in fiber content, low in fat, and rich in vitamin E, iron, selenium, zinc and B-complex vitamins. Eating and buying them is one of the healthiest choices you can make for yourself and your family.
Did you know – Fish is rich in Omega-fatty acids. Experts suggest that frequent consumption of fish helps protect against several chronic diseases like diabetes. Mackerel fish is both cheaper and healthier which is readily available in market for consumption.
Did you know – A balanced diet contains different types of foods (from all food groups) in such quantities and proportions that the need for all the nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber are adequately met.
Foods rich in proteins and their benefits
Seafood is an excellent source of protein and it’s usually low in fat. Fish such as salmon is a little higher in fat, but it is the heart-healthy as it has omega-3 fatty acids.
One-half cup of beans contains as much protein as an ounce of boiled chicken. Plus, these nutritious nuggets are loaded with fiber to keep you feeling full for hours.
Dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt excellent sources of protein, but they also contain valuable calcium, and many are fortified with vitamin D. Skim or low-fat dairy helps to keep bones and teeth strong and help prevent osteoporosis.
Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of protein. The American Heart Association says normal healthy adults can safely enjoy an egg a day. Eggs can be safely consumed through out the year.
Experts say fifty grams of soy protein daily can help lower cholesterol by about 3%. Eating soy protein is also good for your heart health.
It’s Reasons and Prevention
Obesity is a disorder which results in an excessive accumulation of the body fat. To keep a check on obesity is not only important for cosmetic reasons, but it causes serious health issues like heart diseases and high blood pressure. If you are obese it is most likely that you may encounter various health problems.
Obesity is a multifaceted health disorder that affects both adults and children. Being obese not only affects the overall persona of an individual but also increases the risk for many health concerns. An obese person is at a higher risk of developing health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, breathing problems, and some cancers.
Statistics have revealed that obesity is a major factor contributing factor for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) among Asian Indians. Various factors contribute towards making an individual obese. Some major factors which contribute towards obesity are environment, family history and genetics, metabolism or the way your body converts food and oxygen into energy, and individual’s lifestyle. Besides these factors certain medical conditions also leads to obesity. Scientists are also trying to understand that some chemicals in the environment may be playing in the growing obesity problem.
Recent guidelines have revealed that 10-15% of Indian population would fall under the obese category and would need appropriate management. Purpose of these guidelines on countrywide basis projects an alarming situation of T2DM and cardiovascular disease.
Some startling facts about obesity:
According to a recent survey conducted worldwide: India has second highest obese children in world.
Followed by China India ranks second in childhood obesity with the incidence of China with 15.3 million and India with 14.4 million.
According to National Family Health Survey in 2018 –In past one decade the number of obese people has doubled.
According to a latest publication in a medical journal-“The Lancet” –Currently there are 30 million obese Indians and by 2025, this number is expected to pass 70 million.
Did you know lack of sleep increases the chances of obesity- If you do not sleep enough you produce Ghrelin, a hormone that increases your appetite and hence adds extra pounds to your body.
India the third most obese country in the world – According to a study published in a medical Journal Lancet- India is just behind US and China in this global hazard list of top 10 countries with highest number of obese people.
Latest Survey reveals that technology addiction too is adding to obesity amongst young adults and children in India. Television, computers and video games at the cost of sports and physical activity, causing sedentary life style are prime causes of obesity among young ones.
Surprisingly but true-Globally, Obesity causes more deaths than malnutrition -Worldwide, obesity is one of the top five leading causes of death. It results in greater than 2.8 million deaths every year.
What is the need for new guidelines for obesity among Asian Indians?
New guidelines have been proposed in view of alarming situation of obesity among Indians. These guidelines have been prepared by 100 medical experts all across the country hailing from the backgrounds of internal medicine, diabetes, metabolism, endocrinology, nutrition, cardiology, exercise physiology, sports medicine, bariatric surgery and representing reputed medical institutions, hospitals, government funded research institutions. The very need for these guidelines has been enumerated below:
In view of increasing trend in frequency of obesity and related metabolic diseases, there is dire need of effective interventions in obesity
As Asian Indians manifest a higher risk of cardiovascular risk factors and T2DM at lower levels of obesity, the appropriate obesity diagnosis should be based on lower level of weight for height than in non-Asian Indian populations.
Current obesity international guidelines are not appropriate for Asian Indians. Moreover, WHO has authorized local governments and scientists to decide on the localized guidelines for the Asian Indians.
If appropriate diet, exercise, drug and surgery are employed at lower levels of obesity, nearly 15% of the adult population of India (nearly 5-7 crore people) will show improvement in obesity coupled with reduced risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
How obesity is diagnosed among Indians?
Three parameters which are used to measure obesity are body mass index BMI, waist circumference WC and waist-to-hip circumference ratio (WHR). The most accepted method to define thinness and fatness is BMI, a ratio of weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared (kg/m2).
What are the cut offs for BMI and WC in defining obesity among Asian Indians?
After a major consensus among scientists below table has been prepared to depict the obesity among Asian Indians:
Principal cut-off points
Cut-off pointsfor Asians
18.5 – 24.9
18.5 – 22.9
23.0 – 24.9
25.0 – 29.9
25.0 – 27.4
27.5 – 29.9
Obese (Class I)
30.0 – 34.9
30.0 – 32.4
32.5 – 34.9
Obese (Class II)
35.0 – 39.9
35.0 – 37.4
37.5 – 39.9
Obese (class III)
Source: Adapted from WHO 2004 and recent guidlines
What does recent guidelines say about WC and WHR cut offs in defining obesity?
Research has revealed that abdominal obesity is associated with higher risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease when compared with generalized obesity. Cardiovascular disease is associated with increased amounts of excess abdominal adipose tissue, both intra-abdominal adipose tissue (IAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SCAT). In view of this a joint discussion and consensus among scientists concluded the WC cut off among Asian Indians as defined below:
Action level 1: Men: 78 cm, women: 72 cm. Any person with WC more than these levels should refrain from gaining weight and adopt healthy lifestyle to prevent the risk of any of the cardiovascular risk factor.
Action level 2: Men: 90 cm, women: 80 cm. Individuals with WC above this should seek medical help so that obesity-related risk factors could be diagnosed and handled.
What are the causes of obesity?
Obesity could be genetic, behavioral and can also result due to the hormonal changes in the body. Obesity occurs when you take in more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities. Your body stores these excess calories as fat. Some medical conditions also result in obesity such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, and other diseases and conditions. The main reasons for obesity are either sedentary lifestyle or eating unhealthy such as junk foods at wrong intervals.
What are the risk factors that can contribute to obesity?
Obesity usually results from a combination factors, including:
Genetics. Genetics may also play a role in how efficiently your body converts food into energy and how your body burns calories during exercises.
Family lifestyle. Family members share common eating habits. Obesity runs mostly in families as common eating habits of eating fatty foods contribute to obesity.
Inactivity. If you are inactive throughout the day, you are more prone towards obesity. Certain diseases like arthritis also result in decreased mobility and hence inactivity
Diet. A diet rich in fats and less minerals and vitamins can result in obesity
Medical problems. In some people, obesity can be traced to a medical conditions like Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome and other conditions. Medical problems, such as arthritis, also can lead to decreased activity, which may result in weight gain.
Medications. Some medicines such as antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, diabetes medications, antipsychotic medications, steroids and beta blockers also make the person obese
Social and economic issues. Research has shown that weight gain can be linked to social and economic factors.
Age. As we grow in age a decreased physical activity and lower metabolic rate can result in obesity.
Sleep deprivation. Not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep can cause changes in hormones which may lead to an increase in appetite. You may also crave foods high in calories and carbohydrates, which can contribute to weight gain.
What are the complications associated with obesity?
A number of health problems arise if you are obese. Some of the diseases which you may encounter include:
High triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
Type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure
Breathing disorders, including sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts
Gynecological issues such as infertility and irregular periods
Erectile dysfunction and sexual health issues
Quality of life-If you are obese you are most likely to suffer from other issues, which can severely affect the quality of life. Some common problems which arise due to obesity include depression, disability, sexual problems, shame and guilt, social isolation, and poor performance at workplace
How can you prevent obesity?
You can take some below-mentioned steps to prevent obesity:
Exercise regularly. Exercises such a fast walking and swimming for 150 to 300 minutes in a week can prevent obesity
Eat healthily. Eat low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Refrain from foods which are high in fat content.
Monitor your weight regularly. Keep an eye on your weight at regular intervals as it can help you to assess your weight regularly
What are the recent guidelines on physical activity?
According to joint decision among scientist below is the list of guidelines about physical activity in combating obesity and associated health concerns:
Physical inactivity should be refrained as much as possible
Pro active medical consultation is recommended for those with chronic conditions or those who are symptomatic
Inactive people must switch on to physical activity
Brisk walking (walking at an intensity wherein an individual finds speaking difficult but not impossible) should be encouraged
On an average a total of 60 minutes of physical activity like aerobic activity, work-related activity and muscle strengthening activity should be included daily
For additional and greater health benefits, adults can increase their aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
Yoga should be included; however, more research is needed to fully explore its benefits
Children should undertake at least 60 min of outdoor physical activity. Screen time (television/computers) should be less than 2 hrs a day.
What is the treatment of obesity?
The treatment of obesity includes a combination treatment from a dietitian, behavior counselor or an obesity specialist. Recent guidelines suggest identifying and treating the underlying cause of obesity, lifestyle modification, pharmacological treatment like ant-obesity drugs along with lifestyle modification, and if needed surgical treatment is advisable in treating obesity.
Scientists have concluded that anti-obesity drugs should be prescribed in combination with dietary and lifestyle changes as a part of comprehensive weight loss program. Also, drug treatment should be monitored on an ongoing basis for efficacy as well as safety. In general, anti-obesity drugs should be administered for BMI above 27 kg/m2 or a BMI above 25 kg/m2
Anti-obesity drugs which are recommended to treat obesity are sibutramine, orlistat should be used as a second line therapy. At times metformin and exenatide can be used under special clinical conditions.
What is the surgical treatment for obesity?
Over the past few years bariatric surgery has come out as an option for obesity reduction. Bariatric surgery involves an alteration in the digestive system by reducing the gastric volume or by changing the path of food bolus which can lead to malabsorption. According to current international guidelines below are the guidelines for bariatric surgery:
Current International Guidelines: BMI above 35 kg/m2, or BMI above 40 kg/m2.
For Asian Indians: BMI above 32.5 kg/m2
Various surgical options are available under the umbrella of surgery which includes:
Restrictive Procedures like Adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) & sleeve gastrectomy
Combined Procedures like Roux-en-Y Gastric or Bypass (RYGBP)
Malabsorptive Procedures like Bilio-pancreatic diversions (BPD)
Experimental Procedures like ileal interposition
Duodeno-jejunal bypass and other implantable pulse generators.
Pros and Cons are associated with above mentioned procedures; however, it is upon the physician to decide that which surgical treatment is best suited for the particular patient.
Having a positive attitude towards weight loss and employing various changes in lifestyle such as exercising and eating a well-balanced diet can help you to lose weight. Nevertheless, obesity remains a rampant problem even in developing nation like India. Appropriate interventions are required in a timely manner to combat this problem to prevent other major health concerns.
Obesity Support Groups
These inspiring stories of those who have overcome Diabetes will keep you motivated
The Correlation Between Diabetes And Food by Famhealth
As Diabetes is a disorder due to the body’s inability to process sugar, there is a direct and intrinsic relationship between Diabetes and food. In fact, managing food intake is also one of the first steps in managing and living with Diabetes.
Once you have received a positive diagnosis for Diabetes, one of the first things the doctors advise is managing your diet and nutrition. At this point, it’s helpful to become aware of the term “Glycaemic Index” and what that means for your diet plan. Glycaemic Index is a value associated with food items that indicates the food’s effect on an individual’s blood glucose levels.
Selecting the right food items by checking out their Glycaemic Indices is very important in managing Diabetes with diet and nutrition. Choice of low glycaemic value foods can help you come out a winner and stay on top of your condition!
What to eat?
One of the first questions that comes to the mind of people and families living with Diabetes is: “What to eat?” The good news is, people living with Diabetes can, in fact, eat almost anything, as long as it is in small portions, barring selected high processed sugar items, discussed in our food corner of Famhealth,s diabetes community.
The term “diet plan” can be a stress point in itself, as it hints at the need to change established eating patterns. However, if you have been diagnosed with Diabetes, this is one stress you need not take, as the “Diabetes diet plans” are some of the healthiest plans and can easily be followed by anyone, with the possible exception of small children.
In fact, there are no specific, rigid meal plans that are to be followed. People living with Diabetes can eat almost anything –moderately.
Do you want to control fluctuation in your blood glucose levels?
Sometimes you will note your blood sugar levels are fluctuating form high to low. There is a simple reason behind this – chances are there is something that you have been eating that is not fitting in with the management of your condition.
Blood sugars are affected by many things that include the food you ate, how long ago you ate, your physical activity, stress levels, sleep patterns, and your emotional wellbeing. If you use Insulin to address these fluctuations, chances are you may get stuck in a high-low cycle that is bad for your long-term health.
It is a good idea to keep a daily record of your meals and physical activity levels as it has an impact on how stable your blood sugar levels are. People with diabetes need to eat small meals frequently, especially when they are on medications such as Insulin, to watch out for low blood glucose levels. According to the American Diabetes Association, a daily intake of 1400-1500 calories is a must, in accordance with the individual’s BMI and physical activity levels.
Do check with your doctor about how much activity and how many calories your body needs daily as you plan your diet and exercise routine. An ideal diabetes meal includes a variety of low carbohydrates, proteins, fibrous non-starchy fruits and vegetables. However, before we delve into the list of suitable food items, let us take a quick look at the myths and facts surrounding Diabetes-friendly foods.
Smart Eating Strategies
Keep a Food Diary
One of the smartest ways to manage your condition is to record what you are eating throughout the day. Leading dieticians around the world recommend keeping a detailed record of what you are eating so as to better understand how they impact your condition. Studies in United Kingdom confirm that people who maintained food records lose the extra weight, and keep it off better than people who did not record their intake.
Watch your food labels
Want to grab your favourite drink or take a bite of the potato chips? It is a good idea to read the nutritional information given on the package label. Knowing the calorie content and glycaemic index can get a little cumbersome, but research suggests that awareness of the calorie content and sugar levels helps people living with Diabetes keep track of unsuitable food items that may spike their blood glucose levels.
Start with a good breakfast
Starting the day with a good breakfast powers you up with energy and helps you maintain your blood glucose levels throughout the day. There is enough research out there to support this statement. The old saying “breakfast like a king” stands correct if you choose low carb breads & cereals, fresh juices, boiled eggs, nuts, oats, yogurt, cheese, and milk.
Eat by the plate method
This is an interesting method advocated by ADA, which subscribes filling half of your plate with non-starchy fruits and vegetables, one fourth of your plate with lean proteins such as grilled fish or chicken and the balance with low carbs. This is a popular model which not only aids in weight loss, but also keeps the blood glucose levels under check.
Carbohydrate counting, also called carb counting, is not a diet plan, it is a meal planning strategy for people with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. Carbohydrate counting involves keeping track of the amount of carbohydrates in the foods that you eat every day. Carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients found in food and drinks. Completely cutting down on carbs may lead to fatigue and restlessness. One must choose wisely and replace unhealthy carbs with Diabetes-friendly and healthy low-carb foods. According to National Institute of Health, USA, healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains as well as fruits and vegetables are a vital part of a healthy eating plan as they provide both energy and nutrients such as vitamins & minerals and most importantly fibre. Fibre can help in preventing constipation, lowering cholesterol levels, and controlling your weight. Unhealthy carbohydrates are often food and drinks with added sugars. Although unhealthy carbohydrates can also provide energy, they have little to no nutrients and they often spike your blood glucose levels leading to poor diabetes management.
Eat more small meals
People with diabetes should eat four to five small meals during the day, instead of three large meals according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Eating small meals allows the body to replenish itself, while at the same time slower, continuous absorption of food prevents cravings and hunger pangs. Among the benefits associated with this are decreased blood sugar levels after meals, reduced insulin requirements during the course of the day, weight loss and lower blood cholesterol levels.
Always stock up your refrigerator
Stocking up your refrigerator with healthy food items is all about keeping your supplies ready. This prevents you from eating high calorie and sugary food items when you feel hungry or have any cravings. You can choose from a wide variety of fruits, nuts, cheese, and low carb multigrain breads and protein shakes to quickly make mini-meals and avoid binging.
To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.
4 cups mixed green leaves (cabbage/lettuce/spinach)
½ large cucumber
1 cup chopped tomato
½ thinly sliced red onion
½ cup crumbled cheese
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic minced garlic
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 light tomato-flavour oval multigrain wraps
2/3 cup hummus
In a large bowl combine all the greens, cucumber, tomato, and red onion and cheese. In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, olive oil, garlic and black pepper. Pour dressing mixture over greens mixture. Toss to combine
Spread each wrap about 2 & ½ tablespoon of Hummus. Top each with 1/4th of dressed greens mixture roll up and serve immediately.
Make 4 servings (Amount per serving)
Total Sugars (g)
Total fat (g)
Remember to manage your portion sizes. Recommended portion size should not exceed 2 servings/helpings. Consuming diabetes friendly recipes in inappropriate portion sizes may lead to spiking of your blood glucose levels.
5 Dried long red chillies, deseeded, soaked and drained
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp Lemongrass, chopped
5cm/2” piece fresh root ginger’ chopped
1 tsp Turmeric
4 Shallots, chopped
6 Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
For the curry: 1 Organic, free-range chicken, about 1.6 kg/3½ lbs
2 Garlic cloves, peeled
2 cm/1” piece Fresh ginger root, peeled
2 tbsp Coconut oil
12 Shallots, peeled
2 tbsp Cashew nuts
2 tbsp Fish sauce
Water or chicken stock to cover
First, dry the coriander seeds, star anise, cumin seeds, whole cloves and cardamom pods in a small dry pan until fragrant. When cooled, remove the cardamom seeds and discard the pods. Grind the spices in pestle and mortar. Combine these with the other curry paste ingredients and mix to a paste either in a mortar or in a food processor.
Wash the chicken, joint into 8 pieces and remove the skin. Mash the garlic cloves and ginger to make a paste. In a large pan, heat the coconut oil and fry the garlic and ginger paste until golden. Add the curry paste and chicken and simmer for several minutes, turning frequently. Add the whole shallots and cashew nuts. Season with fish sauce. Cover with stock or water and simmer for at least 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
Note: The combination of chicken and nuts gives this dish a very high magnesium content (125g per serving). Magnesium is key mineral for diabetics: and it has been shown that people with low magnesium are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes.