Low-cal, low #fat #diet better for your #mood

A low-calorie, low-fat diet does more good to a dieters’ mood than a low-carbohydrate plan with the same number of calories, says a new study.


Obese individuals who lose weight tend to have an improved psychological state, including a better mood, according to the study report.

Grant D. Brinkworth of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and colleagues conducted a randomised clinical trial involving 106 overweight and obese participants who aged 50.

Of these, 55 had been randomly assigned to follow a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet and 51 to a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet for one year.

Changes in body weight, mood and well-being, and cognitive functioning (thinking, learning and memory skills) were assessed periodically during and following the one-year intervention.

After one year, the overall average weight loss was 13.7 kg, with no difference between the two groups. Both groups initially (after the first eight weeks) experienced an improvement in mood.

However, most measurements of mood revealed a lasting improvement in only those following the low-fat diet, while those on the high-fat diet returned to their initial levels (mood turned towards more negative baseline levels).

“The obesity epidemic has led to widespread interest in alternative dietary patterns for weight management,” the authors write.

“While recent clinical studies have shown that low-carbohydrate diets can be an effective alternative dietary approach for weight loss, their long-term effects on psychological function, including mood and cognition, have been poorly studied.

“This outcome suggests that some aspects of the low-carbohydrate diet may have had detrimental effects on mood that, over the term of one year, negated any positive effects of weight loss,” the authors write, according to a CSIRO release.

These findings were published in the November issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Fight #age, go on a #diet

How does going on a diet help fight ageing? Scientists have found some anti-ageing molecules that get activated by a low calorie diet.


Charles Mobbs, professor of neuro-science and geriatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MSSM), and colleagues unravelled a molecular conundrum to determine that in certain conditions, a lower-calorie diet slows the development of some age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

How the diet is restricted — whether fats, proteins or carbohydrates are cut — does not seem to matter.

Dietary restriction induces a transcription factor (DNA binding protein that turns genes on or off) called CREB-binding protein (CBP), which controls the activity of genes that regulate cellular function.

By developing drugs that mimic the protective effects of CBP — those usually caused by dietary restriction — scientists may be able to extend lifespan and reduce vulnerability to age-related illnesses, says an MSSM release.

The team found an optimal dietary restriction, estimated to be equivalent to a 30 percent caloric reduction in mammals, increased lifespan over 50 percent even as it slows the development of an age-related pathology similar to Alzheimer’s.

These findings were published in the Nov 17 edition of Public Library of Science Biology.

6 Factors that #kill your #diet #plans

So you have been dieting all this while and also keep a check on what you eat, still you feel you aren’t losing much weight. Or does it come back after sometime? We help you find out 6 evil factors that doom your diet.


Don’t give your food power:
It’s all in your mind. Food can’t make you eat it. Some people talk as if a chocolate bar holds them down, forcing them to eat it. You have the power to say No to food.

Good versus bad food:
So you think there are good and bad foods? Incorrect. Food is food; it could be fatty, salty, sweet, and low in fat, high in fibre, high in protein. You have to find the right balance and ensure that your body is not deprived of food.

Dieting can’t go on forever:
You feel heavy today and you go on a diet plan. Once you lose the excess weight, you go off the diet. If you follow this pattern, you are most likely to regain all the weight. So eat well but eat right.

You can’t lose weight without exercise:
So you think you can lose weight without exercising. It isn’t impossible, but you would need to go on a controlled diet. But once you stop dieting, the weight will come back. It’s very important to follow some kind of a fitness routine. It can even be a brisk walk, or any kind of increased activity.

All fats are not bad
Some fats are healthy. Nuts and seeds have good oils in them, so you should not avoid those oils. Also, you should keep alternating food oils. Do not stick to one kind of oil. The trans fat in fast food and packaged foods is bad for you.

Don’t drink too many calories
If you are living in the misconception that soft drink is bad but juice and sports drink are good, think again. Juice has the same calories as soft drinks. And sports drinks are mostly full of sugar. It’s best to eat your fruit than drinking it. And drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated.

#Diet according to #blood #type

Tired of different diets? Follow the blood type diet, favourite among Hollywood celebs!


The blood group diet has long been the diet secret of many enviable Hollywood stars’ bodies — now Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Tweedy admits she is a fan too. “My mum told me about Eat Right For Your Type, which shows you what to eat and what to avoid depending on your blood type,” she said in a recent interview. “It’s made such a difference to my energy levels. Now I believe in it 100 per cent.”

Other followers swear it works when it comes to shedding fat, boosting energy and even preventing illness.

Each blood type evolved at a different point in history so we should adopt diets similar to those our ancestors had when our blood group evolved. By eating foods that your personal blood type can easily digest, you will lose weight, feel healthier and be happier.

Blood group O’s plan
O is the oldest blood group, so people with this type feel best and stay slimmest on a ‘hunter’ type diet like our ancestors. Os tend to be high achievers with lots of energy and are very organised.
Drop a dress size: Follow a high-protein diet — being vegetarian will mean you’re always hungry and snack on carbs, causing problems with blood sugar and metabolism.
Foods to eat freely: Lean meats, fish. Foods to avoid: Too much dairy or carbs.
Personal exercise plan: An hour of cardio a day and workout in the morning rather than the evening. Jogging, cycling, swimming or brisk walking are also perfect.

Blood group B’s plan
No blood type epitomises the ‘everything in moderation’ expression more than B. It evolved at a time when people travelled more, so meat, vegetables and grains were eaten in a more balanced way. You have a strong, healthy constitution and tend to be very downto-earth and practical.
Drop a dress size: Combining the O and A diet — a bit of everything. Lucky type Bs generally find it easiest to lose weight.
Foods to eat freely: Meat, fish, coffee, vegetables and wheat-free grains.
Foods to avoid: Processed foods.
Personal exercise plan: You’re drawn to moderate exercise, which uses your brain as well as your body. Team sports such as netball or dancing classes, two to three times a week are perfect.

Blood group A’s plan
This blood group evolved later than O, when people farmed more than hunted, so you need less protein and more grains. Group As tend to be highly creative, good problem-solvers and can be very sensitive.
Drop a dress size: Eat less meat and more vegetables, wholemeal carbs. Foods to eat freely: Nuts, seeds, cereals, pasta, fruit and vegetables.
Foods to avoid: Dairy if prone to allergies, too much meat.
Personal exercise plan: Group As are often less active than Os, needing just 30 minutes of gentle exercise a day. Yoga, Tai Chi, walking and an outdoor lifestyle suit As best.

Blood group AB’s plan
A combination of types A and B, you have dietary components of both and can eat just about anything. ABs have a canny knack of being creative, having a good head for business and getting on with people.
Drop a dress size: Avoid too much meat. Pack your diet with vegetarian foods and treat meat as a treat.
Foods to eat freely: Fish, vegetables, carbs and grains.
Foods to avoid: Too much meat.
Personal exercise plan: Mix it up by appealing to your calm side with yoga or Pilates once a week and a couple of sessions of something more intense such as light jogging.

Celeb following
These stars followed a blood group diet and got themselves in shape
Demi Moore, 47, the Charlie’s Angels actress found the weight stayed off when she switched to a blood type diet.

Liz Hurley, 45, and her former boyfriend Hugh Grant are said to share a fondness for the diet as a weight-loss strategy.

Courteney Cox-Arquette, 46, who shed pounds after the birth of her daughter is also said to be a fan.

12 #Indian #foods that cut #fat

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 that can help you lose weight and gain health:

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

Cardamom: This is a thermogenic herb that increases metabolism and helps burn body fat. 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 said to be as foods that burn fat. Chillies contain capsaicin that helps in increasing the metabolism. Capsaicin is a thermogenic food, so it causes the body to burn calories for 20 minutes after you eat the chillies.

Curry leaves: Incorporating curry leaves into your daily diet can help you lose weight. These leaves flush out fat and toxins, 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: An effective fat-burning food, garlic contains the sulphur compound allicin which has anti-bacterial effects and helps reduce cholesterol and unhealthy fats.

Mustard oil: This has low saturated fat compared to other cooking oils. It has fatty acid, oleic acid, erucic acid and linoleic acid. It contains antioxidants, essential vitamins and reduces cholesterol, which is good for the heart.

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 are rich in Vitamin A, B, C and E and many minerals, such as calcium, iron and potassium. It 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 fibre, which helps lower blood cholesterol level. The high fibre content yields complex carbohydrates, which aid digestion, are effective in stabilising blood sugar and prevent its rapid rise after meal consumption.

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

Buttermilk: It is the somewhat sour, residual fluid that is left after butter is churned. The probiotic 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 provides the body with all essential nutrients and does not add fats and calories to the body. It is thus helpful in weight loss.

Millets: Fibre-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.

#Packaged #foods must list #nutritional facts!

Consumers will soon be able to figure out if a pack of biscuits, chips or juice is high in nutrients and low in fats. Labels of packaged foods must now compulsorily list nutritional facts per 100 gm or 100 ml or per serving.


This has been spelt out by the new Prevention of Food Adulteration (Fifth Amendment) Rules, 2008. The ministry of health and family welfare, which issued the notification on September 19, 2008, has given the industry six months to put the norms in place. So far, listing of nutritional profile on food product labels has been voluntary, although large manufacturers have been increasingly adopting the international practice.
Yet disturbingly, some popular products that have a presence in the developed world—where display of nutritional details on the package is a must—fail to do so in the Indian market. This should change by March 19, 2009.

The new rules stipulate that all ingredients in a packed product must be listed in a descending order in terms of both weight and volume. Significantly, the list must also include the nutritional profile of a product such as its energy value in kcal; the amount of protein, carbohydrates, including sugar, and fat in grams; and other vitamins and minerals in metric units.

The rules also lay down that a fruit juice, squash, beverage that does not contain a specified amount of fruit juice or pulp cannot be described as a fruit product. So, an item that is not a true fruit product can no longer pass off as one.

Consumer organisations welcome the much-awaited rules, with R Desikan of Chennai’s Concert saying they must be implemented without further delay. H Tripathi of Ahmedabad’s Consumer Education and Research Centre adds that nutritional labelling is important because it not just helps consumers calculate the nutrients present in a product, but also gives them an idea about what products to avoid.

Hypertension (blood pressure) sufferers, for instance, would now be able to avoid foods high in sodium. “Manufacturers are well aware about their products and the recipes and can easily mention the nutritive values,” insists Tripathi. Importantly, consumers would now be able to discern the presence, if any, of cholesterol and dangerous fatty acids such as transfat and saturated fats, which carry a heart risk. Transfat, as many are aware, is found in popular snack items made using hydrogenated oil. The unhealthy fat forms when liquid oils are converted into solid fats using hydrogen.

And a major source of transfat in our country is vanaspati. In an earlier discussion, Dr B Sesikeran, director at the Hyderabad-based National Institute of Nutrition, had said transfat damages the inner lining of blood vessels, thus causing inflammation. Once this happens, it increases the risk of clot formation.

The new rules mandate that foods using hydrogenated fats or bakery shortenings must specifically declare so on the label, and also mention that they contain transfat.

An official in the ministry of health says industry’s response to the notification has been largely positive. As Piruz Khambatta, CMD of Rasna International and chairman of the CII National Committee on Food Processing, says, “If I am diabetic, I must know how much sugar is there in a product… Industry must work (towards nutritional labelling) whole-heartedly. More than mandatory, it is consumer-friendly.”

Nutritional information, however, may not be necessary in raw agricultural commodities such as wheat, rice and spices; non-nutritive products such as soluble tea, coffee and packaged drinking water; fruits and vegetables; and single-ingredient products. As also, foods served for immediate consumption at hotels, hospitals and by vendors and halwais.

Have #shortcut #food at your own #risk

Living out of heat-and-eat instant food packets which promise taste and save on time? Before picking them up again, here’s what you should know. (Those with weak kidneys, read carefully).


Remember the TVC where the husband calls home, informing his better half of his colleagues coming over and she supernaturally cooks up sumptuous gajar halwa within minutes? Well, what they didn’t show is that the gang may have fallen prey to a host of kidney disorders, if they continue to drop by without notice.

Ready-to-fry food packets, instant snacks and heat-and-eat products might be a boon for the stressed city slicker, but unrestricted consumption of these might land you in trouble in the long term, especially if you don’t have the most resilient of kidneys, nutritionists feel. Here’s why…

Hidden evils
The convenience of a pre-packed food packet is too much of a price to pay for the threat emanating from them, especially for kidney patients. Most processed foods are laden with sweeteners, salts, phosphorus, artificial flavours and are stripped of natural nutrients. Most of them carry very high level of phosphorous and sodium which forms a core ground for aggravated kidney problems.

– Phosphorus, an essential mineral found in second-largest concentration in the human body is said to be aggravating kidney problems by a large extent. Explains Dr Sharad Seth, head of Nephrology, Nanavati hospital, Mumbai, “For chronic kidney disorder patients, phosphorous is toxic and get accumulated in the body, causing severe harm,” he says.

– Due to the phosphorous retention in the kidney patients, the parathyroid gland, that controls the amount of calcium in blood and bones, increases in size. “In an attempt to raise calcium in the blood, the body extracts calcium from the bones, and eventually the bones are harmed,” says Seth.

– “This not only leads to cardio vascular morbidity among the patients, but the sodium in the packaged foods can cause water retention and thereby put a lot of pressure on the kidneys,” he adds. The combination of too much sodium and too much water can be life threatening for a kidney patient.

Read between the lines
Practically speaking, it is not possible to completely do away with packaged foods in this age, but that doesn’t mean you don’t pay attention to the nutritional fact file of whatever you consume.

– Ingredients in a food label are listed according their quantity in the food. The main ingredient is always the first and lesser ones at the bottom. » If you have kidney disease, you need to restrict sodium, potassium and phosphorus from your diet. “In most cases, sodium is mentioned but phosphorous is not always listed as it forms a part of what is called additives,” says dietician, Dr Jyoti Lalwani.

– In the West, it is mandatory to list all the ingredients but in India, the labels are not clear,” she says. Pay attention to the serving size mentioned (all food packets list ingredients on per serve basis) and look for words with Phos and sodium on the ingredient list. » Cured meats, pickles, Chinese foods have high level of sodium whereas phosphorous is mostly present in dairy products, colas, meats and packaged nuts.

How much is too much?
Phosphorus is present in most of the foods that we normally consumesuch as cereals, meat milk, nuts and vegetables.
– An average requirement for an adult is 700 mg and if the intake exceeds the limit, it can prove highly toxic for an individual. Sodium is very essential and average consumption should be 1,600 mg per day (4 gm salt is equal to 1.6 g sodium).

– “A pre-packed soup packet may contain monosodium glutamate and preservatives like sodium citrate or sodium benzoate,” says Dr Lalwani.

– Patients are thus recommended to read nutrition labels carefully and minimise the intake as far as possible. Having fresh fruits and vegetables can balance the damage to some extent,” she adds.

7 #foods that make you #stink

Blamed on everything from genes, to cheap perfume, even occupation, or the type of food you ate, body odour can be crowned as the single biggest turning off factor in social interactions.


Some experts might blame it on the excessive use of deodorants and some might blame it on the biological composition of your body, but many unanimously agree that some specific types of food items can lead to body odour. Zoom in on our list of top 7 foods that cause body odour and consume them in moderation if you are a regular victim of this disorder.

Spicy food
A spice overload can lead to excessive sulfur in your food intake, which will be eliminated through skin’s pores and breath. Ensure that you eat well-balanced meals that aren’t too heavy on garlic, onions or piping hot curries.

Red meat
Red meat requires maximum digestion effort for your body to process. Over-eating will lead to issues liker perspiration and unwanted sweat. While vegetarians might not have such issues with their limited food intake, fenugreek and other strong flavoured plants cause similar results.

Chocolate, soda, tea, coffee, alcohol – consuming any of these in excess causes body odour as when you drink them atleast 10% of it will be left unprocessed causing perspiration. Excessive alcohol, in particular, may cause body odour.

Junk foods
Excessive consumption of junk foods with next to no exercise routine, will lead to accumulation of fatty cells inside your body which is the chief reason behind sweating and BO. They lead to unwanted breath and body odour as the food takes longer than their healthier counterparts to get digested. Foods high in hydrogenated oil, sugar, flour, salt and so on are not good when consumed in excess.

Low carbs
A diet which does not contain carbs can lead to a greater release of sweat in the body and also excess of protein foods. This process leads to a release of chemical called ketones in your bloodstream which lead to unwanted smell.

Dairy products
Again, dairy products are rich in protein and high consumption of these food items will take longer for your stomach to digest them. Excess consumption of dairy products can lead to release of hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan in the body which can easily trigger off a foul smell.

We all know it. When the smoke of cigarettes mingles with other sweat glands in the body it’ll lead to a release of a distinctive smell which leads to a specific ‘smoker’ smell that lingers on everything from clothing to hair.

What to #eat when you are #constipated

Constipation or bloating is not only painful, but also cause several health and skin problems.


This is why it is essential to add high fibre foods in your diet that cleanse the entire system. “It is advisable to consume 26 g of fibre every day to run your entire system smoothly,” says Madhav S, a health expert. TOI lists foods that help ease out constipation or bloating.

Whole grains
Whole grain food items like oatmeal, bran, cereal, etc. are rich sources of fibre that keep
your body up and active. Starting your day with whole grain is a healthy and easy option to meet your body’s fibre demand.

An apple a day keeps doctor away is absolutely right. Apple is fibre-enriched fruit that avoids constipation and also makes your skin healthy and beautiful.

Add carrots to your salad and eat them raw for good digestive system; you can have cooked carrots as well, but they lose its dietary fibre value when cooked too much.

This food not only gives you good amount of fibre, but also maintains a healthy digestion system. Increase the intake of baked beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, and kidney beans.

Pear is one of the fruits that contain maximum fibre. Consume it with skin on to complete you daily quota of dietary fibre. This cleanses the system effectively and makes your stomach feel light.

The #dangers of #diet #soda

It’s not always easy to make healthy choices, especially with fancy marketing and sexy food and drink products everywhere you turn.


But one so-called “healthy” choice you may make is drinking diet soda instead of the regular calorie alternative.

After all, if the label on the bottle says “diet”, it has to be better for you than the real stuff. Right? Wrong! Loads of research shows that drinking diet soda won’t help you fight fat. And even worse than that, the chemicals in diet soda can lead to all sorts of serious health problems, from diabetes, to high blood pressure, to kidney problems, and more. It turns out that the dangers of diet soda are many…

Diet soda is packed with artificial sweeteners that can confuse your body’s natural ability to manage calories. But worse than that, drinking diet soda has been linked to serious health problems. Health dangers of diet soda include:

Heart disease
A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that diet soda drinkers were at greater risk for vascular health defects, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Type 2 Diabetes
The American Diabetes Association found that people who drank diet soda are at increased risk of diabetes by 67%.

Kidney problems
A study published in Harvard Medical School’s Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that women who drank 2 or more cans of soda per day were more likely to suffer decline in kidney function.

Several studies have shown an association with people who drink diet soda and metabolic syndrome. To say it in another way, diet soda drinkers are more likely to be obese, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a larger waistline. Don’t you think it’s funny it’s called “diet” soda, now?

Bad teeth
Although regular soda may be worse for your teeth, diet soda can still do damage. The high acidity of diet sodas causes erosion, resulting in weak, ugly and unhealthy teeth.

Pre-term delivery
In a study of nearly 60,000 Danish pregnant women, researchers found that those women who drank diet soda were at increased risk of pre-term delivery. It didn’t matter if the women were overweight or regular weight. And guess what else they found? There was no correlation for preterm delivery and women who drank regular, sugar-sweetened sodas….so there’s something in the “diet” that is causing this problem.

How to stop drinking diet soda
Breaking any habit or stopping any unhealthy behaviour requires willpower, confidence, and most important, a good plan. Here’s a few ways to stop drinking diet soda.

Clear your environment
This means getting rid of any diet soda in your home, workplace, car, and anywhere you have easy access to the chemical-packed drink.

Switch to healthy alternatives
Coffee and tea are much healthier options compared to diet soda. In addition to being chemical-free, these drinks can improve your blood pressure, reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes, prevent cancer, lower cholesterol, and fight infection. Just skip the whole milk, sugar and other “toppings”, otherwise these healthy alternatives can quickly turn into a liquid dessert and fat bomb. Don’t like coffee or tea? Switch to water and see how much better you feel within a couple weeks.

Change your thoughts
Replace negative thoughts like “I really want a diet-soda” or “I’m not able to stop drinking diet soda” to more positive statements like “I care about my health and fuel my body with natural foods and beverages” or “I have the power to change any behaviour I want”. It may sound crazy, but behavioural change starts in your head and your thoughts can help you make or break any habit. Don’t believe us? Try it for a week and tell us if it works. We bet you’ll be surprised.

The takeaway
The dangers of diet soda are real – it’s low in calories but high in problems. With few natural ingredients or nutrients, these drinks can cause the same problems they were designed to prevent, along with being associated with a slew of serious health conditions. So if you want to live long and live well, cut out diet soda by changing your thoughts, changing your habits, and then improving your health. Want to take it a step further? Inspire your friends and family to cut out diet soda by sharing this article with them, and supporting each other as you make this healthy change together.