What, why and how of PCOD / PCOS ?

PCOD – Polycystic ovarian disease or syndrome PCOS is a condition in which the ovaries show many small cysts arranged in the shape of a necklace within it. this results in an abnormality of hormones with the male hormone dominating. As a result the girls with this syndrome show features such as acne, excessive facial hair growth, weight gain and irregular or scanty menses

The incident of PCOS / PCOD appears to be rising. It is seen in as many as 30% of the young women . Atleast 70 – 80% of my weight loss female clients suffer from PCOS / PCOD. Age range of these clients start from as young as 15 years – in these young girls the symptoms are mainly cosmetic as they get disturbed with problems related to acne, weight gain and facial hair.

In case of married women, PCOS / PCOD often manifests as infertility or inability to conceive. In this condition, the ovulation many not occur regularly, and as the egg doesnt come out each month, the chance of pregnancy is low.

Women in their mid 30’s are also prone to diabetes and later to cancer of the uterus. It is important to bring on the periods regularly with medicines if they don not come monthly on their own.

A lot of patients with PCOS / PCOD are obese and one of the main treatments is lifestyle change with exercise, good diet and weight loss. This is the only thing which is effective in the long term.Problem of PCOS/ PCOD can affect women of all the age groups, causes different problems at different stages of life and hence should be diagnosed and treated with care

About Oats

Changing times have left all of us in bad shapes be it physical, mental or psycological health. Given all the pressures we face in our daily lives it is very important for us to have wholesome nutritious diet which can ensure that everyday toxins are flushed out and at the same time we live a healthy and disease free life. One of the major problems that we face becauses of our lifestyle changes is obesity which also leads to Diabetes in majority of cases.

India today is at the cusp of diabetes epidemic. It is not only doctors and we dietitians who have been advocating good eating habits to keep these lifestyle diseases at bay but also a lot of food companies. At times we get confused about veracity of statements that we hear / read in media. Particularly as there dont exist  stringent laws for advertisement of these health products.Majority of food companies try to exploit loopholes to market their products. One of the products that is highly advertised is Oats.

There is no Doubt that Oats are highly beneficial. Scientific studies have shown that they help in lowering of LDL(bad) cholesterol and thus aid in reducing the risk of Coronary heart diseases but it also depends in which format oats are consumed. Oats are rich in soluble dietary fibre, B vitamins and thus aid in digestion. At the same time Oats dont contain other essential nutrients to make a wholesome nutritious meal. Thus if having Oats in breakfast they should be combined with milk & Fruits like apples, mangoes, strawberries, banana etc to make a healthy breakfast.

How many calories, protein and through what sources of food ?

Nowadays, awareness amongst people living in urban areas, particularly in metropolitan cities such as Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Noida, Ghaziabad and Chennai has been increasing in matters of diet and exercise. A number of gyms and catering joints have sprung across the cities to cater to the needs of health and calorie conscious individuals. All these joints and gym are helping people achieve their goal of healthy and smart living in some way or the other.

Apart from air and water, food is required for basic sustenance of life. It plays a major role in our health. The kind of food that we eat, in a way makes what we are. Intake of healthy food in the right proportions is very essential for to get the best results. On an average a fully grown man needs 2000 to 2500 calories per day. Women and teenagers need around 1500-2000 calories per day. This daily intake ensures that we are able to carry out of daily routine in a healthy manner. What really matters is what sort of food items make up the number of calories that our bodies need. Although body’s need of these calories can easily be fulfilled by having fried and sugary stuff in lower quantity but these foods would deprive body of other essential ingredients in the food.

For the whole wholesome nutrition it is best to include a variety of foods in your diet. Foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, vegetables, protein-filled sprouts, leafy vegetables with minerals and vitamins and fruits, milk and other dairy products which have low fat content can help us in attaining and maintaining good health.

Milk is the first food that babies take and even grownups depend on milk in some form or the other for the rest of our lives. Milk is consumed daily in various forms such as yoghurt, butter milk, butter, cheese, ghee or clarified butter, Cottage Cheese (Paneer) etc. Needless to say, milk provides the best sustenance for people of all ages.

Whole wheat and brown rice contain fiber and vitamin B. Lack of vitamin B is responsible for energy loss in the body and causes general weakness. The amount of carbohydrates or calories in whole wheat is less when compared to rice. This is one of the reasons why doctors and/ or dieticians suggest shifting from rice to wheat during weight loss.

Vegetables, leafy vegetables are a good source of vitamins and mineral compounds which help us in strengthening our immune system. Vegetables contain the least amount of calories but contain the vital ingredients such as vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are essential for our body. Meat, eggs, fish and shrimp contain 0% fiber.

Juices made from vegetables are very healthy option for children, pregnant women, middle-aged men and elderly people. Juices contain a generous amount of fiber. Fiber that is present in all plant products such as leaves, vegetables, fruits and grains has a major role to play in bowel function. For a healthy living a good bowel movement is very essential.

Lentils and meat contain protein which is very essential in the muscle building and strengthening of our body. Doctors and dieticians suggest that the protein intake will depend upon the weight of the person. A healthy person weighing 50 kg for example, has to consume at least 50 gms of protein for the required muscle building and restoration to take place. The protein intake must be at a constant rate even while a person is taking up a weight loss program. Fruits are also an important part of a healthy diet. No wonder they say, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away”. Fruits contain a good amount of natural sugars called fructose, which is easily digestible. Bitter fruits such as lemon and orange, etc contain citric acid which helps in improving the immunity against bacteria and viruses. Eating an orange daily or having a glass of lemon juice is very good for health.

Research in cities such as Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, etc has shown that people who eat outside food such as fast food, confectionery on a regular basis are more prone to viral and bacterial infections that those who take home made food. Having home made healthy food which is prepared systematically with the best ingredients is always preferable for good health.

Weight gain in pregnancy – How much should you eat ?

Life for women living in cities has changed completely. They not only have to focus on their family but also their work lives. It is very important for women to ensure that they maintain a healthy lifestyle for to be able to cope up with the health issues. Today Women living in cosmopolitan cities such as Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad are experiencing health problems such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart strokes, etc. due to changes in lifestyle. These health issues are more prevalent amongst women working in IT/ITES environment. Not only the work pressure but odd work hours add to the miseries.

Great care needs to be taken to maintain good health, because it will determine everything that we do.  Gaining weight is very easy but it is very difficult to get rid of all that fat from our body. Almost all of us have to lead a healthy life because that is what we can give to the next generation.

Although weight gain during pregnancy is common, because women need to sustain themselves and at the same time sustain the fetus. Growth of the fetus is also important. The weight that women gain during pregnancy is for a reason. It is the evolution that women need to sustain their babies after their birth for sometime. In order to do so women store fat content in their body so that they are ready for the life ahead.  Women who deprive themselves of good nutrition during pregnancy tend to have smaller, sickly babies who require more hospital time and have a higher incidence of problems including neonatal.

At this stage It is important to define as to how much is enough during pregnancy. Weight gain is normal but it doesn’t mean that body weight should double during pregancy. It is essential to add 200-300 calories a day to present diet. But what you eat is what really counts.  Women need to ensure that their diet is nutrient dense that is full of good things for self and baby as opposed to junk food that is full of fat and sugar. This means at snack time reach for fresh fruit instead of a candy bar.

Excess weight gain becomes an issue for women to lose post pregnancy. Another problem is the gestational diabetes that women contract during pregnancy. During the third trimester, gestational diabetes is reported in some pregnant women. This is because their bodies do not produce the required amount of insulin which is required in breaking down the sugar molecule. Gestational diabetes is found in not more than 18% of people but, it is still of a concern. The after-effects of gestational diabetes is that the high glucose levels will enter the baby’s body and convert into fat, making the baby obese.

In order that pregnant women do not contract gestational diabetes, some steps can be taken. These include having foods that are not processed. Processed foods are easy to digest and contain a lot of calories and result in a sudden flow of glucose into the body. This sudden flow is reduced by eating whole grain food. Whole grain takes a lot of time to digest. This means that the glucose is released very slowly into the body, giving enough time for the insulin to act efficiently.

Pregnancy is not only tiring emotionally but also physically and many women are not able to cope up with all the changes in their body. Fortunately many good dieticians focus on post pregnancy weight loss programs. These Post pregnancy weight loss programs help women reduce weight they have gained during pregnancy and to lead a healthy life. It is always advisable to consult a Dietician and doctor for post pregnancy weight loss program as they can ensure that female body’s requirements as well requirements of the baby (in case of nursing mothers) are met and still ensure healthy weight loss.

Healthy living through healthy lifestyle

Is healthy living a wish only some people deserve? Well, it is not. Everybody has a chance to lead a healthy life. But, there is a catch. Good health cannot be acquired in a matter of days instead it is continuous efforts of an individual that can make it possible to lead a healthy life.

Doctors and dieticians say that eating nutritious food is very important for the overall health of the person. Overall health not only includes physical strength imparted by the muscles, but also by the immunity to diseases from the inside. In order to improve internal health, one does not need to rely on medicines or vitamin supplements but the food that we take can act like medicine by promoting the immunity. Food that we take can be categorized into various elements like carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins etc which all form essential ingredients and are required in sufficient quantities to maintain good health.

Carbohydrates form the majority of our diet. Carbohydrates are easily converted into glucose, the basic fuel which runs the body. This glucose is converted into calories and is stored in the body for later consumption. Glucose that is consumed is used as the fuel for internal respiration which takes place in every cell of the body. This is what gives us the energy to do anything. This heat is what keeps us alive.

Protein intake plays a major role in body building of a person. Proteins are responsible for muscle building which includes creation of new muscles as well as in the repair of old muscles. The protein requirement of everyday will depend upon the weight of the person.  

Dieticians say that consumption of vitamins such as A, B, C, D, E, K etc help in the strengthening the immunity system. These vitamins are found abundantly in vegetables and leafy vegetables. Carrot is the best source of Vitamin A. Whole grains such as whole wheat or brown rice contains the essential Vitamin B. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, etc. Vitamin D is found in milk, cheese, cream, meat, etc. Vitamin D can also be obtained from Sun. An exposure of 15-20 minutes a day will stimulate the body to produce this vitamin. Vitamin E is found in vegetables like potatoes, pumpkin, spirulina, etc. Vitamin K is found in vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, etc.

Apart from healthy food that we eat other things that are required for a healthy living include exercise. Physical exercise is important in today’s world where, people are easily gaining weight because of the lifestyle that is prevalent.

Unfortunately our body cannot stock all these elements and keep using as and when required (though body does store energy in form of fat) and it is essential that we maintain our diet and lifestyle in a manner to suffice the needs of our body at all times. Even if a single variable from the equation of health is not available in appropriate quantity body will start signaling it through fatigue, sickness etc.

Unfortunately our lifestyle and bad eating habits lead us to consume foods which don’t provide adequate nutrition to our bodies.  As a result lifestyle diseases like obesity, cardiac issues, Diabetes etc are rapidly rising amongst the urban population particularly in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Indore, Chennai etc. As suggested from the article it is not difficult to embark on the journey of healthy living but it requires some efforts to continue on it. Many good Dieticians are nowadays available online and provide all the help required like diet planning or healthy living tips online. One should use the facilities available at some of the leading health portals and start living healthy.