#Top 7 #healthy #cooking #oils

2016-05-07 (20)With a wide range of cooking oils on market shelves, it’s easy to get confused about which oils are healthy for daily use. Even more confusing is the way each oil can and should be used.

Always remember that oil by itself does not contain ‘cholesterol’, but it helps to promote its formation in the body. In order to get the maximum benefit from the oils, one could use a mix of oils – use different oils for different methods and purposes in cooking. We asked Delhi-based nutritionist Mrs Himanshu Kapoor about her top picks of healthy cooking oils, and these are the top 7 healthy cooking oils she recommends.

Sunflower/Safflower oil: The most commonly used oil in Indian kitchens, this oil is rich in PUFA, particularly linoleic acid, which lowers the levels of good as well as bad cholesterol. So it will be a good idea to use this oil in combination with other oils as Palmolein oil. We can alternate the cooking with different oils.

Ghee: Also called clarified butter. This, being animal fat, contains saturated fat and cholesterol. According to Ayurveda, ghee contains some medicinal properties, so to get the benefits of its qualities use sparingly in your food as excess would lead to heart disease.

Coconut oil: Mostly used in southern parts of India, unfortunately Coconut oil is sometimes considered unhealthy. While this oil contains saturated fats, they are different from those present in animal fats and like other vegetable oils, coconut oil does not contain cholesterol hence it can be consumed for cooking in combination with other oils in the kitchen. But always remember moderation is the key word.

Groundnut oil: Groundnut or peanut oil contains heart friendly MUFA that lowers levels of bad cholesterol in our body without lowering the levels of good cholesterol. It is available in filtered and refined form. The filtering process is nutritionally superior, but may contain toxic compounds, so preferred should be filtered and refined groundnut oil of reputed brands. This oil is suitable for all types of cooking – frying, grilling and tempering or seasoning.

Mustard oil: Loved and also hated by some for its pungent and sharp flavor, mustard oil is available as filtered oil, and refined mustard oil is sold as vegetable oil. This oil has higher proportion of Mono-unsaturated and Poly-unsaturated fatty acids. Thus should be used in small quantities for certain vegetables only. As it may have undesirable effects on health if used in large quantity.

Rice bran oil: This oil is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids and cholesterol lowering properties due to the presence of a component called oryzanol. It also contains natural vitamin E – an antioxidant and is also good for the skin. This does well in high heat cooking as it does not decompose at high temperature to form toxic compounds, hence suitable for deep frying. Experiments in the kitchen have shown that snacks fried in this oil absorb 12-25% less oil than those prepared in Groundnut oil.

Olive oil: This mono-unsaturated oil helps lower bad cholesterol levels and triglycerides without lowering good cholesterol levels. Different stages of pressing and processing yields different varieties of olive oil. Extra virgin is excellent for salad dressings. Do not use for cooking anything on high heat. Virgin Olive oil is the yield of the second press. In the pure stage, the Olive oil goes through a certain amount of processing – filtration and refining. Pomace- Processed and refined to be used for Indian cooking.

Tips to attract ‘good’ #energy for your #home

2016-05-07 (19)In Feng Shui, the exterior surroundings are the most important aspects affecting the chi flowing into your home. Hence, looking at the exterior, environment and the interior of a home will help in ascertaining the flaws and the positive trends the building inherits.

Creating balance and harmony through proper arrangement of the interior layout and inviting exterior will ensure that the Feng Shui of the space is beneficial to the occupants in turn giving rise to prosperity and happiness.

It’s a fact that home is where we spend most of our time with the family and all those who are dear and close in our lives. Hence, focusing on the quality of energy, keeping the flow clean and smooth is essential.

In the science of Feng Shui, it is said that chi is influenced by everything concrete in our lives. Our possessions and where they are located can all affect chi energy. Even the layout of our homes and offices affects Chi energy. By adding and taking away objects, changing the positioning of furniture, plants, wall art and more, we can increase our good luck.

Feng Shui has two parts, the visible and the invisible. The visible factors are walls, doors, streets. The invisible factor is chi. This life force energy and predecessor influences are energies of people who previously lived in your house, ghosts, energies in the land. Every person, place and thing is alive with the universal energy called ‘Chi’. Everything is connected by this vital energy that is always changing. When we integrate the Feng Shui principles into our live, we see and interact with the world in a new powerful way.

Understanding the science of Feng Shui and adapting it in the design of homes calls for precision combined with tasteful aesthetics. When we look at a building the first impression we derive determines the kind of energy existing within it and you get a feel about the lifestyle of the occupants too. Comfort and convenience are key factors when planning a home or even a room placement, storage, furniture arrangements and layout.

If you live in a house with bad history, or you’ve had many negative experiences in the house, you need to cleanse the space with saline water, incense sticks and lights. l If you have two or more doors in direct alignment, especially if it is the front door and back door, suspend wind chime or crystal or a moving object to slow down the chi flow.

An attractive, well-kept door will attract good chi, whereas a run-down door will cause bad chi to enter your home.

Clear pathways and keep hallways, driveways, open and clear free for energy to flow.

De clutter attics, lofts, garage and basement and keep them clean.

Pay particular attention to clogged drains and leaky pipes. As conduits for energy, they should be kept clear at all times.

SBS Surendran, Master Feng Shui consultant and traditional Vaastu practitioner

#Workout at #home!

2016-05-07 (18)Sarrah Khilawala speaks to experts about working out at home!

A growing trend nowadays is that of home gyms. Actors, models and even socialites with their crazy work schedules and erratic working hours are discovering that the best way to keep themselves fit is to workout at home and at their own convenience rather than wondering how to juggle work hours with exercise.

Home gyms are starting to become increasingly popular since they don’t occupy as much space and equipment as you’d think. According to celebrity fitness expert Eliyas Qureshi, “Home gyms are for people who have the space to accommodate the required equipment, money to shell out on the equipment and the dedication towards a workout regime.” They can be a little demanding on the pocket but the pros of having one are many.

India’s leading holistic health guru and trainer for the PFMI pageant, Mickey Mehta says, “Exclusivity, convenience and extreme privacy are indeed the pros of having a home gym.” And since privacy is all that celebs vouch for these days, home gyms ensure that they workout in peace within the confines of their home.

Celebs also don’t want to miss out on spending quality time with their better halves and what better way than working out together at their own home gym. However, one needs to give a lot of attention while designing a home gym. “Since it is a reflection of one’s character and personality, it can be as lavish or basic as you want depending on the space and requirement. For example, Anil Ambani is a fitness enthusiast and his gym has equipment that suits the different muscles of his body. Rajshri Birla on the other hand focuses purely on basic fitness and has the necessary equipment to match her requirements,” says Mickey.

A home gym should also be as cost effective as possible says Ketan Ashar, CEO and Technical Director, Qi Lifecare. “The capital investment initially is higher as a lot of money gets blocked in equipment but the long term prospects of a home gym are higher. You can start your gym with as little as Rs 10,000 and exceed depending on an your requirement,” he says.

Master trainer Vinata Shetty says that the cost efficiency home gyms provide is extremely high and convenient as well if a lot of family members use it. “It provides optimum utility for space and money then,” she says.

Equipment in a home gym is very important — you need to carefully pick up machines that will match your space. Treadmills, a multipurpose bench, squat track, swiss balls, yoga mats, a multigym and bicycle are some of the must-haves in home gyms.

Spending time planning the set up is an absolute must, say all experts. Other things to keep in mind include space, ventilation, comfortable flooring, music systems, mirrors, washrooms and a personal trainer (if required) if you plan on having a home gym.

6 steps to #kick-start a #healthy #weight gain #routine

2016-05-07 (17)A person is considered underweight if his or her body weight is more than 20% less than the ideal body weight.

For those of you who fit this bracket, we understand how frustrating it can be when the world looks at you with envy while all you’d rather want are a few curves or definition. But before you decide to eat all the burgers in sight take heed. Gradual weight gain is healthier than sudden drastic weight gain, as sudden weight gain can harm the body, says Shachi Sohal, Senior Dietitian, Dietetics Deptt at Dr. B.L. Kapur Hospital, New Delhi. Here are her top 6 steps to kick-start a healthy weight gain routine.

People may be underweight due to various reasons: Inadequate feeding habits, prolonged meal time gaps, poor selection of foods, increased physical activity without increasing the food intake can lead to energy deficit, are a few of the major reasons for being underweight. Other reasons can be malabsorption due to prolonged illness, diseases such as tuberculosis, cancer, hormonal imbalances (hyperthyroidism) and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia.

Healthy weight gain: Gradual weight gain is always advisable. An increase in 500 kcal per day can result in increasing the body weight by 0.5 kgs per week. Objective should be to restore a desirable weight/ ideal body weight according to one’s age, gender and height. To rebuild body tissues, to maintain a good nutritional status and to maintain ideal body weight are a few reasons why healthy weight gain is important. Easily digestible proteins with higher biological value as milk, eggs, meat, chicken, fish etc. should be taken for tissue building. An intake of 1.5 to 2 gms of proteins can be taken for adequate tissue building. A high carbohydrate diet helps in adequate weight gain and has protein sparing action.

Dietary supplements for gaining weight: Supplements should be taken only in consultation with a doctor/ dietician, only if required in case of nutrient deficiencies. Supplements can cause more harm than benefit as many of these supplement powders contain excess of proteins, which are used by people who are gymming for body building and can overload the work of the kidneys. There can be an increase in BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) levels and creatinine levels. Excess of multivitamins can cause hypervitaminosis leading to various problems as diarrhoea, vomiting etc.

Food groups you should consume: Fibre intake should be only sufficient to regulate bowel movements and avoid constipation. Prefer whole grain cereals, sprouts, green leafy vegetables, which provide adequate amounts of fibre as well as nutrients. Fats are a good source of energy, hence can be consumed liberally but excess of saturated fats as ghee, vanaspati etc. should be avoided as in due course of time it may lead to elevated levels of bad cholesterol. Good sources of vitamins and minerals should be consumed to ensure good nutritional status and build up for the deficiencies which may be present. Fruits and vegetables should be taken in adequate which provide essential vitamins and minerals. At least 2 – 3 servings of fruits should be taken.

Food habits that help you gain weight: Chew the food properly to improve digestion. Avoid beverages as coffee and excess of tea immediately after meals, as it hinders the absorption of minerals as iron. Keeping a track of your weight as it is essential to increase approximately 5 to 6 kgs weight per month which is healthy weight gain. Cook smartly using wide variety of food choices which are beneficial for health as make palak pooris instead of plain pooris. Use a variety of fruits and vegetables to make salads, amla pudina chutney, which is a good appetiser. Consuming right type of fats is important because consuming excess of saturated fats increases the levels of bad cholesterol which can cause health hazards as cardiovascular diseases.

Exercise: Exercise plays an important role in gaining weight. Light exercise as walking, jogging, yoga, dancing, meditation etc help in reducing stress, building stamina, improves blood circulation, improves digestion, increases and induces sleep. Thus, promoting better health. Exercise helps in building muscles. Light exercise can be done in gym and light weight can be lifted to build muscle mass.