Blueberries are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. According to a study carried out at Harvard Medical School, older adults who eat plenty of blueberries (and strawberries) are less likely to suffer from cognitive decline.
Apples are an excellent source of antioxidants, which combat free radicals. Researchers at Florida State found that older women who started a regime of eating apples daily experienced a 23 percent drop in levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and a 4 percent increase in good cholesterol (HDL) after just 6 months.
3. Dark leafy vegetables
Studies have shown that a high intake of dark-leafy vegetables, such as spinach or cabbage, may significantly lower a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Spinach, for example, is very rich in antioxidants, especially when uncooked, steamed, or very lightly boiled.
4. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber, beta-carotene (vitamin A), potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6. The Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. The sweet potato ranked number one, when vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, protein, and complex carbohydrates were considered.
Easy tips for Living Healthy
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.
Fighting Childhood Obesity with Food
Childhood obesity is becoming common these days. Eating unhealthy and less nutritious food is a major contributing factor. India has the second largest number of obese children in the world and it is estimated that by 2025 this number is estimated to grow by 70 million. On one hand many children in our country are deprived of right amounts of foods, on the other hand some children are facing obesity as a major concern.
According to Mona – “Childhood obesity results primarily due to limited or no outdoor activity, high calorie intake and irregular eating habits of children.”
In Indian society a chubby child is regarded as healthy. Whereas a chubby child does not mean that the child is healthy.
Childhood Obesity Complications
Childhood obesity can lead to serious complications such as:
High blood pressure
Mona says- “Childhood obesity is not a result of genetics, whereas it is actually a result of parent’s behavior, if parents are eating unhealthy the child will mimic the same and ultimately becomes obese as his/her parent.”
Right Food for Obese Children
Pay attention to breakfast-A poor breakfast affects child’s concentration and results in poor performance especially in schools. Feed the child early with well balanced foods which includes proteins, complex carbohydrates.
Mona does not recommend low fat food in children as the process of making a low fat food involves extracting the fat content and replacing it with refined carbohydrates to make it palatable. Refined carbohydrates are bad for the health and causes obesity.
Moderation is the key-Whenever you take your child food. Moderation is the key make the child eat in small portions and feed his with a small snack, preferably with nuts, so that the child eats in small amounts.
Macro balanced diet- Child’s diet must contain a rich supply of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, which makes a healthy macro balanced diet.
Mona says- “Combine the foods to make it more nutritious and healthy. Example-If you are giving aloo parantha to child club it with yogurt and butter to make it more nutritious. Instead, try giving a vegetable parantha like gobhi or mooli parantha.”
Sit with your child and ask for his preferences – It helps the child to be involved. Suggest him with healthy options. Educate him about the right food.
Food During Exams
As parents we feed the child with whatever food he/she asks for especially during the exam time. Mona says -It is important to replace high carbohydrate food with foods rich in phytonutrients, omega- 3 fatty foods, extra virgin olive oil, and antioxidants.
These foods supplement optimum nutrition and improve the performance of the child. Foods high in carbohydrates kill gut micro biome.
Value of Rainbow Food
Mona suggests eating rainbow foods at an early age to all children. This includes eating different colored fresh fruits and vegetables. This supplies children with essential phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. Eating unprocessed foods, fatty fish (a rich source of omega-3), and cereals aids healthy nutrition in children
Power Food-Simple and Easy Early Breakfast Recipe
Berry smoothie- Make simple smoothie which contains flax seeds, berries, yogurt and little bit of honey. This is an ideal food for kids, as it contains good combination of macros.
Foods to Completely Avoid
Below is the list of some foods which are to be completely avoided
Foods to be Given to Children in Moderation
Food Essential for Growth and Development
Mona says- “Calcium is one mineral essential during early development years. Maximum calcium requirement is there during 9-18 years of age. 1000 mg/day is the essential requirement of the child during this phase.”
7 Smart Eating Strategies To Lose Weight And Reverse Diabetes
1. Keep a Diary:
One of the smartest ways to begin with, is to record what you are eating throughout the day. Leading dieticians all-round the globe recommends maintaining your own small diary, to keep a check and analyse the food items you are consuming. Studies in the U.K confirm, people who maintained food records lost extra amount of weight, than people who didn’t record.
2. Watch your food labels:
Picking up a fruit juice can? Or your favourite soft drink? You’re advised to read the nutritive label. Knowing the calorie content and glycaemic index can get a little cumbersome, but research suggests, awareness of the calorie content and high sugar levels help people living with diabetes in keeping away from harmful food items which may spike their blood glucose levels.
3. Start with a good breakfast:
Research is on our side, starting the day with a good breakfast powers you with high energy and helps you maintaining your blood glucose levels throughout the day. The old saying “breakfast like a king” stands correct if you choose low carb breads & cereals, fresh juices, boiled eggs, nuts, oats, yogurt, cheese, milk and not to forget your medicines.
4. Eat by the plate method
Eating by the plate method advocated by ADA recommends, filling half of your plate with non-starchy fruits and vegetables, one fourth of your plate with lean proteins like 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 on check.
5. Carb counting
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 carbohydrate in the foods you eat each day.
Carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients found in food and drinks and it is very important. Completely cutting down on carbs may lead to fatigue and restlessness. One must choose wisely and replace with diabetes friendly and healthy low carbs.
According to National Institute of Health USA, healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are vital part of a healthy eating plan because they provide both energy and nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, and most importantly fibre. Fibre can help you prevent constipation, lower your cholesterol levels, and control 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.
6. Eat more small meals
People with diabetes should eat 4-5 small meals during the day instead of three larger meals, says the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Eating small meals allows replenishment along with slower, continuous absorption of food, which prevents you from cravings and hunger pangs. Among the benefits are also decreased blood sugar levels after meals, reduced insulin requirements during the course of the day, weight loss and lower blood cholesterol.
7. Always stock up your refrigerator:
Stocking up your refrigerator with healthy food items is more or less like keeping your supplies ready. This prevents you from eating high calorie and sugary food items in times of hunger. You may choose from a wide variety of fruits, nuts, cheese, and low carb multigrain breads and protein shakes to quickly make minimeals and avoid binging.
To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.