Monday, August 20, 2018

Indian food that help Burn Fat

September 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Nutrition, Weight Loss

You don’t have to acquire a taste for olive oil, seaweed or soya to maintain a low-fat, healthy diet. Indian cuisine can be healthy too, if it’s cooked with oil and ingredients that take care of your heart and health. Ayurveda suggests you include all tastes – sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent – in at least one meal each day, to help balance unnatural cravings. Here are 12 foods/ingredients that can help you lose weight and gain health:

Turmeric: Curcumin, which is the active component of turmeric, is now an object of research thanks to its properties that suggest they may help to turn off certain genes that cause scarring and enlargement of the heart. Regular intake of curcumin may also help to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and high blood pressure, increase blood circulation and prevent blood clotting thereby helping to prevent heart attack.

Cardamom: The Indian spice is known as a thermogenic herb, one that increases metabolism and helps burn body fat. In Ayurveda, cardamom is considered one of the best digestive aids and is believed to soothe the digestive system and help the body process other foods more efficiently.

Chillies: Foods containing chillies are considered to be as foods that burn fat. Chillies contain capsaicin that helps in increasing the metabolism. Capsaicin is a thermo-genic food, so it causes the body to burn extra calories for 20 minutes after you eat the chillies.

Curry leaves: Incorporating curry leaves into your daily diet can also help with your weight loss plan. These leaves are known to flush out fat and toxins, thereby reducing fat deposits that are stored in the body, as well as reducing bad cholesterol levels. If you are overweight, incorporate eight to 10 curry leaves into your diet daily. Chop them finely and mix them into a drink, or sprinkle them over a meal.

Garlic: One of the most effective fat-burning foods, garlic contains the sulphur compound allicin which has anti-bacterial effects and helps reduce cholesterol and unhealthy fats.

Mustard oil: The pungent-tasting oil has low saturated fat as compared to other cooking oils. It basically consists of fatty acid, oleic acid, erucic acid and linoleic acid. It has antioxidant and cholesterol-reducing properties and is good for the heart. It is also loaded with essential vitamins.

Cabbage: Raw or cooked cabbage inhibits the conversion of sugar and other carbohydrates into fat. Hence, it is of great value in weight reduction.

Moong dal: The bean sprouts contain rich quantities of Vitamin A, B, C and E and are an excellent source of many minerals, such as calcium, iron and potassium. The dal (lentils) is recommended as a food replacement in many slimming programmes, as it has a very low fat content. It is a rich source of protein and fiber, which helps lower blood cholesterol level. The high fiber content yields complex carbohydrates, which aid digestion, are effective in stabilizing blood sugar and prevent its rapid rise after meal consumption.

Honey: It is a home remedy for obesity. Honey mobilizes the extra deposited fat in the body allowing it to be utilized as energy for normal functions. One should start with about 10 grams or a tablespoon, taken with hot water early in the morning.

Buttermilk: Leave cola, drink buttermilk. The traditional homemade buttermilk is the somewhat sour, residual fluid that is left after butter is churned. The pro-biotic food contains just 2.2 grams of fat and about 99 calories, as compared to whole milk that contains 8.9 grams fat and 157 calories. Regular intake of buttermilk provides the body with all essential nutrients and does not add many fats and calories to the body. It is thus helpful in weight loss.

Millets: Fiber-rich foods such as millets – jowar, bajra, ragi, etc – absorb cholesterol and help increase the secretion of the bile that emulsifies fats.

Cinnamon and cloves: Used extensively in Indian cooking, the spices have been found to improve the function of insulin and to lower glucose, total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides in people with type 2 diabetes.

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Healthy Eating on a Budget

April 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Nutrition

Few weeks ago, we did an article about 5 ingredients you shouldn’t leave the grocery store without. We are publishing another article related to the same topic – Eating Healthy doesn’t have to break the bank, there are ways to make healthy eating fit your budget. You’ll be surprised by how spending just a little extra time can save you money.

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And the more time you spend—in planning, shopping, and cooking—the more money you’ll save.

Save money by learning and planning:

  • Plan and shop for a week’s worth of meals at a time. You’re less likely to go out to eat or buy expensive convenience foods during the week when the ingredients for dinner are already in your kitchen.
  • Keep a list of what leftovers are in your refrigerator and freezer. That way they won’t go to waste because you forgot they were there. And you can use the list when you’re planning next week’s meals.
  • Watch grocery store ads for sales so that you can stock up on items you know you will use. You can sometimes save money by buying more of something. For example, some stores may give you a discount if you buy 12 cans of chicken broth instead of just 2 or 3.
  • Learn how much food costs. That way you can tell when an advertised sale is really a good deal.
  • Use coupons. People who invest time in saving and organizing coupons often save a lot of money.
  • Learn how to grow your own vegetables. If you don’t have the space, see if there is a community garden in your neighborhood. Or try growing a few vegetables or herbs on your porch or in a sunny indoor room.
  • See how many convenience foods you can cross off your list by planning something healthier and cheaper instead. For example:
    • Instead of potato chips, buy unpopped popcorn you can make at home.
    • Instead of ready-made desserts, make your own cookies, cakes, or muffins.
    • Instead of packaged snacks, buy crackers and peanut butter to make your own little sandwich snacks. Or snack on fresh or dried fruits.
    • Instead of sweetened cold cereals, buy oatmeal or other hot cereal.

Save money at the grocery store:

  • Always shop with a list. Try not to buy anything that’s not on your list, but be open to unexpected sale items that you know you will use.
  • Shopping with family members can cost you money if they talk you into buying things that aren’t on your list. Shop by yourself if you have to.
  • Buy fresh fruits and vegetables when they’re in season. They are likely to be fresher and cost less.
  • Buy frozen vegetables. They are picked at the peak of ripeness and have just as many—or more—vitamins and minerals as fresh. And they cost less.
  • Buy store brands instead of name brands.
  • Shop in the bulk foods aisle, where things like beans, rice, pasta, and other dried foods may be cheaper.

Save money elsewhere:

  • Whole-grain bread is healthier than regular bread, but it usually costs more. If you have a bakery outlet in your community, you can buy day-old whole-grain bread there at a discount.
  • Buy fresh produce at a farmer’s market or a produce stand. Prices are usually—but not always—lower there than at the grocery store.
  • Many fruit orchards let customers pick the fruit themselves to save money.

Save money in your kitchen:

  • Build up your cooking skills. Buy one good, general cookbook. Used bookstores are a good source.
  • Invest in a slow cooker or Crock-Pot. With a slow cooker you can buy less expensive cuts of meat, because the long, slow cooking time makes them tender and very tasty. Plus, the dish cooks all day while you’re at work or busy with something else.
  • Learn how to cut up a chicken. You can save money by buying whole chickens and cutting them apart yourself. And make soup with the bones.
  • Make vegetables your main dish, and serve your meat as a smaller side dish. You’ll save money by eating less meat. You can also serve beans instead of meat.
  • Make your own lunch, and take it with you to work.
  • Use recipes you can double or triple, so you can freeze leftovers for later.
  • When a recipe calls for milk, use dried fat-free milk. It’s cheaper and doesn’t need to be kept cold. You just add the milk powder to water to make only as much as you need.
Source: Article was sent to via “write-for-us” by Coleen Western
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Understanding Food Labels and Nutrition Facts

April 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Nutrition

food_labels_readingI don’t know about you but for me, grocery shopping and reading labels are  a real headache but it might be delight for some. Regardless of how you feel about them, determining whether a particular food product fits into your healthy diet plan has become easier.

In addition to listing the amounts of macro-nutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrate including fiber), a food label may also indicate vitamin and mineral content of the product. This provides good information to help a consumer determine if a particular food product meet his or her nutritional needs.

What is on A Nutrition Facts Label?

Food labels are designed to help consumers make healthy food choices. In 1990, the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act went into effect. The USDA and the FDA developed these guidelines so that consumers would have access to useful nutritional information to help make smart choices.

But how do you make sense of a food label?

According to the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, all packaged food products must contain the following information:

  • Common name of the product
  • Name and address of the product’s manufacturer
  • Net contents in terms of weight, measure or count, and
  • Ingredient list and Nutrition Facts

Components of a Nutrition Facts panel

nutrition-facts-labelNutrition Facts

Common nutrients, such as total fat, cholesterol, and sodium, are required fields. Other nutrients, such as potassium and Vitamin K, are optional and not required to be listed. Each package must identify the quantities of specified nutrients and food constituents for one serving. It is important to note the following:

  • 1 g of fat = 9 kcal
  • 1 g of protein = 4 kcal
  • 1 g of carbohydrate = 4 kcal
  • 1 g of alcohol = 7 kcal

Serving Size

Serving sizes are standardized to make for easier comparison among similar food items. They are expressed in both common household and metric measures. It is always important to pay attention to a serving size. For instance, a serving of chocolate chip cookies is typically 2 pieces. Hence, if you eat 4 pieces, you will need to double the amount of nutrition content listed on the label.

Calories (kcal)

Calories provide a measure of how much energy you obtain after eating a portion of food. It is always important to find out the total calories. Many consumers are surprised to find that a fat-free product is not necessarily low in calories. Similarly, a sugar-free product is not always low in Calories or low in fat.

Nutrients listed

Total fat, saturated fats, cholesterol, total carbohydrate (including fiber and added sugars), protein, vitamins A and C, calcium and iron are required on the label. Other nutrients are optional and may be listed at the discretion of the manufacturer.

In addition to total calories and total fat, a few other nutrients relevant to heart health are important to pay attention to when reading a label. These include saturated fats, cholesterol and fiber. All labels started  including trans fatty acids from January 2006.

Percent Daily Values

Percent Daily Values provide an estimate of the percentage of a nutrient from one serving in a typical 2000 kcal diet.

Daily Reference Values Footnote

This footnote reminds consumers of the daily intake of different foods depending on their own nutritional needs.

Reading Food Labels – the Bottom Line

Food Labels and Nutrition Facts enable you to compare products based on key ingredients. When comparing products, focus on those nutrients that are important to you.

  • If you are concerned about your weight, you should compare products based on BOTH calories and fat.
  • If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, you should focus on the amount of total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium. Choose products containing less than 20% Daily Values for fat, cholesterol and sodium.
  • If you have diabetes, you should pay attention to the amount of carbohydrate, sugar added as well as fiber.

Source: How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label – FDA/Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition

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Omega The Almighty

March 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Nutrition

Can you reduce your blood pressure and your risk of heart attack simply by getting two teaspoon of vegetable oil and six to 10 walnuts halves into your diet daily? Yes, you can!

Omega-3 in various Oils, Image Source:

Omega-3 in various Oils. Click on the Image for larger view. Image Source:

Findings of two recent international studies show that as long as the vegetable oils you use are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids-known to lower triglycerides, slow hardening of the arteries, reduce heart attacks, and more- your risk of having a heart attacks can be reduced by about 59%. The omega-6 fatty acids found in walnuts also help keep blood pressure low, and that decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Next time you are looking to cook up something special, or just enjoy a salad, choose your oil from among those rich in Omega-3 and/or Omega-6. These includes soybean, canola, flaxseed, safflower, sunflower and corn oils. You can also get a solid servings of fatty acids by munching on a few walnuts as a snack, or enjoying a meal with tofu, tuna, salmon or sardines as a main course.

Go Fish

Omega-3 fats are good for your heart, but they can also be a boon, but they can also be a boon to your waistline. In a multicenter study involving 232 overweight volunteers on a reduced-calorie diet, researchers found that when the dieters ate a meal rich in fatty fish, they felt fuller longer than those who’d eaten leaner fish, such as cod. The reason? High levels of Omega-3s may prompt the body to produce more leptin-the harmone that signals fullness-which may lead you to eat less food throughout the day, scientists hypothesize.

People with heart diseases may want to take supplements to ensure they get the proper amount of the heart-healthy fatty acids. Some heart patients, including those with severe angina, seriously compromised heart functions, or potentially lethal ventricular rhythms should speak with their doctors before taking fish-oil supplements

Source: American Heart Associations, Department of Health and Human Services, Heathmonitor
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I Hate Cabbage!

March 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Nutrition

Urggghhh the smell of boiled cabbage, the taste, the texture of raw cabbage…. Absolutely hate all forms and manifestations of cabbage. Might have something to do with the ‘cabbage soup’ my mum used to make and have us drink/eat because it’s ‘good for you’ (don’t ask, she had a lot of strange recipes). Anyway, whatever the reason you couldn’t pay me enough AIG retention bonus to touch the stuff. And I don’t much care for cauliflower or brussels sprouts (yet another type of cabbage!) either. However, I’m totally committed to eating healthy now so what’s an honest ‘gross-vegetable-hating’ gal to do? Turns out, the answer is really easy – find vegetables I love and load up on them! I’m talking broccoli, peas, carrots, string beans, okra, collard greens, spinach in any form (steamed, stewed, raw, nuked, dipped, moussed, quiched, basically I’m yet to find a ‘non-yummy’ spinach recipe). So that’s my plan, eat good food that I love not just because it’s ‘good for you’ and stay well away from ‘good for you’ food that I abhor. Figure I stand a better chance of keeping the diet changes permanent that way. What do you think?

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