Hypertension

Today’s fast moving world has made us used to several comforts as well as has pushed us towards excess tension and stress levels which may turn into a serious silent killer illness called ‘Hypertension’. Irrespective of age, people of both genders are nowadays more prone to hypertension. Consistent elevation of pressure exerted by blood on the wall of arteries is known as high blood pressure or hypertension. The levels of blood pressure categorization are as follows:

-Normal: Less than 120/80
-Pre-hypertension: 120-139/80-89
-Hypertension: 140/90
-Stage 2 hypertension: 160/100

There may be multiple causes of hypertension like increased body weight (when BMI exceeds 25), lack of physical activity (due to unavailability of time/ laziness), lack of adequate sleep (due to night shifts/excess workloads/travel), improper foods habits (like intake of high salted foods/preserved foods/junk foods) or existing co-morbidities (like fluctuating blood sugar levels/kidney related problems) etc.

However certain dietary and lifestyle modifications would help a lot in managing hypertension, some of which are as follows:

* A proper healthy diet (adequate carbohydrate and protein, low fat) in required quantities and proper time, with adequate nutrients and fiber is mandatory.
Drinking plenty of water will help in maintaining proper blood pressure levels.
Regular exercising of at least 30 minutes of aerobic a day would help a lot.
Quit smoking.
Limit alcohol intake.
Limit the addition of salt in diet and make sure that it is less than 1,500 mg per day.
Reducing stress with practices like meditation, listening to music or practicing yoga might reduce blood pressure levels.
Maintain a proper body weight. To know more about an effective weight loss program: http://www.rxocean.com/Weight-Loss-Programs.php

In many cases there may not be evident symptoms when the blood pressure levels are high. But it is always advisable to monitor the blood pressure levels periodically at least once in every six months.

 

Move Little Lose More

Sedentary lifestyle, junk food, hurry to workplace and lack of exercise are predominant issues with people nowadays. In order to maintain proper health, first step should be literally to walk a little daily which is a form of exercise without making a conscious decision to exercise.

Busy schedules and continuous appointments makes people  stick to their office seats for a very long time at a stretch. But throughout the day we all get a number of opportunities to move a little if missed we end up with health issues like obesity.

Following are some of the lifestyle modification tips which help in maintaining good health, boost metabolism and helps in maintaining energy balance in spite of busy urban life style.

1. Opt for steps in the place of lifts/escalators

2. Walk or ride a cycle to nearby places instead of taking your car or two wheeler

3. During work hours, consciously get up from the seat once in 2 hours take a short walk

4. Avoid keeping water bottle on your desk. So that every hour your thirst would make you walk to the place where water is

5.  Never have lunch or dinner along with using your computer it is unhealthy as well as unhygienic. Instead move to the designated lunch or dinner area in office

6. Do household chores like mopping the floor, washing clothes etc

 

One can also try to take a stroll for 5-10 mins outside office post lunch or dinner. Though these activities look very small but go a long way in improving ones health and controlling / maintaining body weight. Remember move little lose more.

 

 

Eat Well For Good Health

Maintaining good health is becoming challenging with sedentary lifestyles that most of us follow these days. Even if we try it becomes difficult to maintain the energy balance (input vs output)  leading to weight gain / obesity. Inculcating right exercise patterns and good eating habits can help us to achieve the desired goal.

 

People fail to realize ill effects of bad eating regimens and resort to crash dieting to achieve that desired “Size Zero”and end up with disorders like anorexia nervosa , bulimia nervosa etc. Our lifestyle also contributes to some of the health issues right from deficiency of vitamin D (due to low exposure to sunlight) to Diabetes.

 

Eating nutritionally balanced meals as per age, height, weight & gender can not only help us maintain a good health but prevent deficiencies also.

Few functions that nutrients provide to our body can be briefed as:

Energy is life (Energy= Carbohydrates +Proteins +Fat) :

– Food rich in these nutrients must comprise a good percentage of your diet for adequate energy supply

 Fuel for energy-Carbohydrates:

– Carbohydrates rich foods provide fuel to your body in the form of glucose
– Choosing complex carbohydrates over simple ones (refined cereals) would be a better option to add the fiber content to the diet e.g. whole grains, vegetables, fruits

Build your body:

– Proteins are macronutrients which help in body building, proper functioning , growth and provide energy
– Good dietary sources of proteins are pulses, legumes, fish, egg and lean meat

Fats are equally important:

– Fats help in absorption of fat soluble vitamins
– However trans-fat and cholesterol rich foods like red meat, deep fried foods must be avoided to maintain good health

Vital nutrients for health:

– Vitamins play an important role in major body functions like free-radical scavenging (antioxidants), help in cell regulations, tissue growth and differentiation as well.

– Fat soluble vitamins help in supporting healthy eye sight(vitamin A), maintains bone health (vitamin D), act as antioxidants (vitamin E) and help in proper blood clotting (Vitamin K).

– Good sources of fat soluble vitamins are carrots, beetroots, nuts etc.

– Water soluble vitamins help in energy metabolism, act as major components of enzyme activities, supports growth and development, protect cells and aid in formation of DNA.

– Food sources of water soluble vitamins are organ meats, citrus fruits etc.

Minerals for body functioning :
– Minerals play a vital role in maintenance of good health and helps in several bodily functions.

– Major minerals (like Phosphorus, sodium, chloride, calcium, potassium, magnesium and sulfur) help in fluid balance in body and help in proper absorption of amino acids whereas trace minerals (like iron, fluoride, zinc, copper,iodine, selenium, manganese, chromium and molybdenum)help in absorption of nutrients and help in proper oxygen flow in blood.
– Dietary Sources to name a few: Milk and dairy products (calcium), tofu, nuts, green leafy vegetables (magnesium), bananas, raisins, prunes (potassium), red meat, poultry, rice flakes, dates (iron), salt (sodium), etc.

 

A Balanced Diet should provide 50-60% of total calories from carbohydrates (preferably complex) 10–15% from Proteins and 20-30% from both visible & invisible fat (ICMR/ NIN -2011) In addition, a balanced diet should provide other non-nutrients such as dietary fiber (which help in maintenance of proper body weight and blood parameters), anti-oxidants (which help in free radical scavenging) and phytochemicals (which help in fighting against degenerative diseases) which bestow positive health benefits. Such a balanced food must be eaten well to live well with proper health.

 

To know more about foods and nutrition:  http://www.rxocean.com/Food-Nutrition.php

 

Food should be fun explains a Dietician

Food is always expected to be healthy hence this topic may sound like an oxymoron. But, food that is capable of giving a feeling of enjoyment and happiness can make one psychologically satiated too.

Although eating healthy remains to be the priority for all of us, there is always a tendency to search for interesting and innovative factors associated with the meal. Preparing same type of food or recipes over and over again makes it monotonous and boring over a period of time. This is where we end up munching unhealthy snacks or tasty junk food items. This phenomenon happens irrespective of age, gender or health condition of the person.

In general, food that is considered to be fun is often associated to be unhealthy or low in nutrition. But there are ways in which recipes or tasty food can be made healthy too. Here are a few tips to fill your food with fun and make it interesting too.

  • Involve your family members in cooking, especially kids
  • Let each recipe of a meal be prepared with interesting new idea inputs from family members
  • Try preparing foods like pizzas, burgers, etc. at home with healthy ingredients.
  • Try healthy cooking methods (like pressure cooking) in order to minimize the nutrient loss from foods
  • Try methods like pan frying, baking, stir frying over deep frying
  • Incorporate cooking practices like placing fried foods on tissue paper (to absorb excess oils), sprouting pulses before cooking (in order to increase the protein content and digestibility of the pulses), cleaning vegetables before chopping (to reduce nutrient loss)
  • Try new nutrient specific recipes like antioxidant rich (spinach gravy, beet and onion salad), iron rich (green collard sandwich, rice flakes), high fiber (veggie salad, whole cereal porridge) and high protein (Sprouts salad, scrambled egg white).
  • Search for new interesting recipes online
  • Make healthy foods more interesting by adding new tasty ingredients like tangy dressing on salads and dry nuts and fruits in porridges
  • Try out new ideas for presentation and serving

Innovativeness is the key to make food interesting and make eating a fun-filled task. A few modifications to regular food can make it healthy and fun-filled. Remember health and nutrition factor shouldn’t be compromised at any cost.

 

For some healthy and tasty recipes visit: http://www.rxocean.com/Healthy-Recipes.php

Stop Dieting, Start Living – Tips from a Dietician

It is a common known fact that human body needs a balanced diet to maintain proper health. Diet should ensure that body gets the adequate dosage of micro / macro nutrients as per its requirements. Any imbalance in the same leads to nutritional deficiency and may cause various health related complications which could be as common as anemia caused by iron deficiency to as severe as night blindness caused by vitamin A deficiency.

Dieting is a practice of consuming proper balanced diet in a regulated fashion which should be done under the guidance of a nutrition professional or practicing dietician. But the term dieting has always been misconceived as ‘a set of restrictions for quick weight loss’

There are various styles of diets that can be followed  to achieve ones goals. Some of the famous types of diet are as follows:

  • Belief-based diets-e.g.: Buddhist diet, Kosher diet
  • Preference based diets-e.g.: Vegetarian diet, Vegan diet
  • Weight gain/loss diets-e.g.: Low calorie diet, Low fat diet
  • Crash diets/ Fad diets-e.g.: Cabbage soup diet, Blood type diet
  • Detox diets-e.g: Juice fasting diet, Salad diet
  • Therapeutic diets-e.g.: DASH diet, Diabetic diet

Above mentioned diets are to be followed under proper guidance and supervision of a dietician.  Careful planning is a must as these diets have different purposes and continuing on one type of diet for a long duration might lead to nutrient deficiency in the body. But there are certain blunders which are being made under the name of dieting  that lead to many detrimental effects.

Along with the issues associated with Dieting one must also remember that is the individual who has to ensure that he follows what has been prescribed to him / her by the dietician. A dietician can only suggest.  Following are some of the known causes for failure of dieting.

  • Willpower – Failure to stick on to the restrictions required or too much of restrictions followed
  • Attitude – Dieting requires proper attitude, because improper adherence and deviation from a diet plan would turn it into a failure and also deter person to diet again in near future.
  • Variety in Food / Monotonous Food – Inability to get accustomed to the type of food which is to be consumed
  • Psychological stress – To cope up with the stress associated with weight loss and changes in the body requires continuous counseling from a dietician
  • Inability to schedule time for meal planning, shopping and preparation
  • Wrong attitude of the one who is dieting like ‘this to lose x number of Kilos’

STOP IMPROPER, UNHEALTHY DIETING! START HEALTHY LIVING!