The author and nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar says in her latest book Eating in the Age of Diet: “See food as a blessing. Eat with gratitude, not guilt … Go beyond carbs / protein / fat / calories. Food is culture, cuisine and the harvest cycle. Eat local, seasonal, and traditional. “
Your words carry a lot of weight and meaning, especially at a time when a multitude of diets are swirling around us, attracting those looking to lose weight quickly. Vegan, Paleo, Keto, Mediterranean, Low Fat are some of the most popular diets that exist today. However, medical experts say these are only passing trends. Losing weight is not important for good health. Metabolic health is crucial. Indeed, diet can lead to an increased risk of cancer, diabetes, etc.
“Sustainable weight loss is a scientific, gradual process that involves increasing metabolism with a tailored diet and regular physical activity. The basics of healthy weight loss are based on eating fewer calories and burning out at the same time. A scientific weight loss diet plan not only contains fewer calories, but also ensures adequate fiber, protein, good fats and micronutrient intake to avoid deficiency, ”says Subhasree Ray from Mumbai, a certified nutritionist for clinical and public health Diabetes Consultant, International Diabetes Federation.
In October last year, 27-year-old Bengali actor Mishti Mukherjee died of kidney failure reportedly caused by a keto diet. The tragic incident raises serious questions about the effectiveness of these diets. For one, the keto diet is high in fat, low in protein and low in carbohydrates. It drastically reduces carbohydrate intake and replaces it with fat. This leads to a metabolic state called ketosis, in which the liver burns body fat and provides fuel to the body as it has limited access to glucose.
“Right now, one of the common methods of many fitness enthusiasts is to lose weight and there is often a lack of expert supervision. If it is preached by untrained professionals, it can have serious consequences. The keto diet is a therapeutic diet that cannot be practiced as a normal diet. A diet is only worthwhile if it is safe, “says Ray, adding,” Another fad is the mono-diet, which is dependent on a specific food (such as aloe vera or triphala juice, fenugreek seed powder, cinnamon and Honey) tea, detox tea, green coffee etc.) or a diet for weight loss … but can lead to hormonal changes, nutrient deficiencies and muscle wasting. “
There are many more such health trends right now. Ghee shots, haldi in pills, fasting for cleansing are just a few examples. “Fasting to cleanse, haldi in pills or ghee shots have been scientifically proven to be zero based on facts,” claims Diwekar. “Eating regularly throughout the day leads to better metabolic health and sustainable weight loss in the long term,” she tweeted in the past.
Arun Prasad, Senior Consultant in Gastroenterology and Bariatric Surgery at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi, agrees: “There is no evidence to show the contribution of such goods to weight loss. When foods like Haldi pills, ghee shots, and other similar components are over-consumed, their own toxic potential can be harmful, “he warns, adding,” Before trying to blindly follow a trend, it’s important to understand first Your body type, you know exactly all the prevailing medical conditions and the family history of health conditions. There are no shortcuts to staying physically fit and healthy. A balanced diet combined with physical activity is essential. “
Experts also say that there is no scientific evidence to support fasting. “Fasting can deplete important vitamins, minerals and electrolytes and can be harmful if you have diseases like diabetes, heart disease or blood pressure. It can increase acid output, cause heartburn, and lead to dehydration and hypoglycemia, ”said Aastha Sharma, senior nutritionist at Nayati Medicity, Mathura. “Instead, one should eat small, frequent meals, eat a variety of healthy and fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, and nuts, eliminate potentially toxic habits like alcohol, caffeine, excessive salt and processed sugar, etc. to stay healthy,” she adds added.
Ray from Mumbai agrees: “Long-term fasting is harmful and can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Turmeric, amla, fenugreek seeds, triphala, aloe vera, etc. all contain various active ingredients that aid in weight loss and offer collective health benefits. However, none of these foods can help if total calories and physical activity are not considered part of the procedure. A healthy lifestyle that consists of “whole” food, regular physical activity, healthy mental health, adequate sleep, and adequate water is sustainable and evidence-based, ”she says.
Similarly, coconut oil has long been promoted as a type of organic food, but experts say there is little evidence to support this claim. Indeed, data from the American Heart Association (AHA) shows that more than 80% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated – well beyond butter (63%), beef (50%), and pork fat (39%). The AHA, which advises against using coconut oil, recommends eating no more than 6% saturated fat as part of total daily calories for those in need of lower cholesterol. The oil has “no known beneficial effects,” the AHA said in an opinion, adding that it may actually raise LDL cholesterol, a cause of cardiovascular disease.
“There’s a disconnect between people’s general beliefs and what the data actually shows,” Donald Hensrud, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, told USA Today. He recommends the use of oils high in monounsaturated fats (including olive oil and avocado oil) and those high in polyunsaturated fats (like canola oil).
While exercise can be the most important element of a weight maintenance program, restricting your diet also plays a critical role. Perhaps this is why consumers are turning to products like nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, metabolism boosters, etc., and diet snacks like energy bars, trails, etc. “A recent report from the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) reported that 31% of urban Indians and 16% of rural Indians are overweight; 53% of urban Indians are obese. Most Indians are sedentary and we don’t take exercise for granted. Hence, of course, attention is drawn to other “seemingly” simpler options such as detox diets, fat burning pills, and so on. Most of these simpler options, however, affect people and their health, ”says nutritionist Rashida Vapiwala, founder of LabelBlind, a startup for a NutriTech digital solution that simplifies complex information on food labels for consumers.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a long term weight loss regime can lead to frustration and despair. “The focus should be on awareness of good nutrition, healthy eating and lifestyle correction. Obesity has slipped into our lives due to sedentary lifestyles and inappropriate eating habits. But now there is a growing awareness of going back to our roots for better food choices, ”says Vapiwala.
When it comes to good health, superfoods are key. Packed with nutrients that provide large amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, these are also likely to reduce the risk of chronic disease. In her book, Indian Superfoods, Diwekar described 10 such local and traditional foods. These are rice, ghee, banana, coconut, cashew nut, aliv, kokum, jackfruit, sugar cane and ambadi. “Eating right is the first step in becoming more active. Ancient foods are healthy in the diet they offer and invariably pleasing to the taste buds and have a low glycemic index. This ensures that your body receives sustained energy throughout the day, in contrast to the high and immediate dip that comes with stimulants like cigarettes, coffee, etc., ”she had said in an interview with Financial Express on Sunday.
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