AKSHITA AGGARWAL

DIETITIAN

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THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER– By Dt. Akshita Aggarwal

A warm hello to all my readers. Now I am presenting my new series “THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER”

Q1. Can diabetics have sweet corn? KINNERY SAMPAT

Ans:- Yes, but only if corns are combined with something high fibre . for example- palak corn, mix veg with corn etc. High fibre vegetables will ensure that the calories are released in a slow fashion and hence blood sugar will not shoot.

Q2 .  I have a severe gas tendency especially when I consume cauliflower. Can you suggest some remedy? ALOK

Ans: Mr. Alok , the floret of the cauliflower is gas producing. If you use the stem also known as cauliflower greens in your vegetable or as stuffing in the roti , it will not cause gas.

Q3.  How helpful are prunes for diabetic people? NISHA

Ans:- Prunes are very high on fibre and hence are low glycemic food. They are a good alternative to any sweet dish for  a diabetic.

Q4:- Hi, I am on a weight loss diet .Can I consume cherries ? RADHA

Ans;- Yes, fresh cherries are low calorie and can be consumed by anyone who is on a low calorie diet

Q5:- I am around 75kg and my height is 5 feet. I want to lose weight , someone told me about liquid diet . Is it safe to consume? ARPITA

Ans:-  Liquid diet is not at all recommended. I would like to clarify that liquid diets are therapeutic diets only meant for people who are not able eat solid food. These are temporary diets and are not at all fit for consumption for a long duration.

 Published in hello east 

 

THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER-II– By Dt. Akshita Aggarwal

A warm hello to all my readers. Now I am presenting second chapter of my new series “THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER”

Q1. Hi Dr. Akshita I am 30 years of age. I have delivered a baby 2 months back. I have gained about 8 kgs. I want to lose weight can I start a weight loss diet? RICHA

Ans:- No, Richa you should not attempt any weight loss plan till the child is on exclusive breast feed. Atleast 6 months feeding is suggested. A minimum of 3-4 months exclusive breast feed for the child is recommended. A weight loss diet is low calorie and low fat which may interfere with the child’s growth.

Q2. Hello doctor, I had a minor heart attack few months back. The doctors have suggested me to avoid fat and high cholesterol food. What additional precaution can I take? DEVENDRA

Ans: Hello Mr. Devendra, along with low fat and low cholesterol diet, you should also watch your salt & sugar intake. Excess salt will increase your blood pressure and affect your heart adversely and excess sugar will be converted into adipose tissue i.e fat and in turn harm your heart. Inclusion of anti-oxidants will also help you improve your cardiac health.

Q3. I am a 36 years old female I recently had a minor cardiac arrest, so I was put on blood thinners (warfarin). I have been suggested a potassium free diet. But my potassium is 4 and is normal. Can you tell me the relation between potassium and blood thinner .  ANONYMOUS

Ans:- When a person is put on blood thinner he/she is supposed to consume a vitamin –k free diet , as vitamin k has coagulation or clotting properties which make the blood thick. As your potassium is normal there is no requirement of a potassium free diet. Potassium should be consumed in moderate amounts but potassium free diet is not needed. Potassium does not relate with blood thinner, maybe there was a confusion as symbol for potassium is also “k”.

Q4:- Hi  Dr Akshita , I am 29 year old female, I am trying to conceive. Can you tell the foods that I should avoid? SHABANA

Ans:- Hi, fruits like pineapple and papaya should be avoided. Too much of tea /coffee should also be avoided. Green tea should also not exceed 3 cups per day. Few people consume excess green tea thinking it is harmless, but since it is also one of the hot foods it should be used in moderation especially by people with high bp and pregnant females

 Published in hello east 

THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER-III– By Dt.Akshita Aggarwal

A warm hello to all my readers. Now I am presenting third chapter of my new series “THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER”

Q1. Hi Dr Akshita, My name is poonam and I am a diabetic. My fasting blood sugar use to be generally 240-247. I have recently lost 4 kgs after which my blood sugar has come down to 200-205.But I feel a lot of weakness. Can you suggest why? 

Ans:- Hi Poonam, the weakness felt by you is due to drop in the blood sugar. Since our body is adaptive it adapts itself to the high blood sugar when this blood sugar drops the body feels a false low sugar signal. With time the body will readapt to the new levels and weakness will cease.

Q2. How good is methi dana soaked water for weight management? RITU

Ans: Methi dana soaked water is a natural diuretic i.e it is used to induce frequent urination. Since frequent urination results in dehydration it is perceived as weight loss. It is not at all recommended as only water is lost not the fat.

Q3. Hi Dr Akshita, I have recently read about green coffee beans. Can you tell me if they are ok to consume? KARTIK

Ans:- Green coffee beans are unprocessed coffee beans. They are very good source of anti-oxidants and hence are anti-aging, stress relieving and also improve metabolism. There are studies which show weight loss induced by green coffee beans. But hypertensive should not consume these in high amounts.

Q4:- I have severe constipation since many years. I have undergone a lot of treatments for same. I have consumed every possible laxative for it. It is so severe that it has led to piles. Can you suggest what can I do to get rid of this problem. JAYANT

Ans:- Hi Jayant, Since you are saying you have tried every possible thing I am assuming you are taking a fibre rich diet. Increase your water intake. Also get yourself tested for folic acid deficiency. Lack of folic acid may also lead to unexplained constipation.

 Published in hello east 

THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER-IV– By Dt. Akshita Aggarwal

A warm hello to all my readers. Now I am presenting fourth chapter of my new series “THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER”

Q1. Hi Dr Akshita, I am 18 years old and I want to lose weight. I read it in one of your previous articles that fasting leading to weight gain. Is it true? I was thinking to keep all navratas for some weight loss. BANDANA

Ans:- Hi Yes, it is true that people gain weight after fasting specially when they are on weight loss diets. During fasting our BMR reduces to the minimum to cope up with the stress of fasting. This in turn leads to weight gain. The people who observe long fasts tend to gain upto 2 kgs as soon as they start their normal diet after fasting.

Q2. Hi , In your book I read that temporary weight gain may happen when we start exercising. Can you tell me why? Also what all other conditions can lead to temporary weight gain? ISHINA

Ans: Hi, when we start nay physical activity lactic acid is deposited in our muscles due to which we feel pain. This deposition leads to initial temporary weight gain. Other conditions can be late dinner, late sleep, infection, fever, pain, menstrual cycle, stress, constipation. All these makes the body go in stress because of which the BMR drops and natural steroids viz. stress hormones are released . These lead to temporary weight gain

Q3. Hi, I read in one of your article that bone and joint pain could be due to vitamin D3 deficiency. I got my test done and found it to be less than 3. I immediately started its supplement and I started getting relief in my pains in 10-15 days only. Thank you for that. But I use to weight around 62-63 before I started this now my weight is 64-64.5 . Does Vitamin d3 lead to weight gain? ASHA

Ans:- Hi, Asha. Looking at your vitamin D3 level I can conclude that your bones were very fragile and weak. When you start vitamin D3 the bone health start recovering i.e the bones start becoming thicker and strong. This gain in bone weight may lead to slight fluctuation in weight. But this is healthy weight gain so nothing to worry about.

Q4:- Can diabetic have singhara? Mr. Goel

Ans:- yes, it has a low glycemic index of about 28-29. So it is safe for diabetic people.

 Published in hello east 

THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER-V– By Dt. Akshita Aggarwal

A warm hello to all my readers. Now I am presenting fifth chapter of my new series “THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER”. This chapter is dedicated to a very common problem these days i.e bone health

Q1. Hi, i read in one of your articles that dehydration also affects our bone health. can you explain how? Rishab

Ans:- hi, a human bone may have 8 to 20% of water . Dehydration causes malfunctioning in mechanical properties of bone. Also, due to lack of sufficient  water ,the lubricant between joints i,e synovial fluid , reduces ,contributing to painful joint movements and problems like arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

Q2:- what is the importance of vitamin d in bone health? How does sunlight help? Niraj

Ans:- Vitamin D helps in absorption of calcium. therefore deficiency of vitamin D leads to osteoporosis due to malabsorption of calcium.

Our body synthesises cholesterol naturally in our body which in the presence of sunlight converts in to vitamin D. Since we do not expose to sunlight that much our vitamin D is reducing and  unused cholesterol is increasing in our body.

Q3:- How can calcium absorption be increased in the diet? Nidhi

Ans:- consumption of tea/coffe/carbonated drinks with food reduces calcium absorption therefore 1 hour gap must be maintained between meal and these beverages. vitamin c helps in increasing calcium absorption from food. Vitamin c sources include citrus fruits, lemon, amla , capsicum etc

Q4:- How healthy are bran diets? Anita

Ans:- Bran is an insoluble fibre therefore it has a mineral adsorbing property. Bran attaches important minerals like calcium, iron, zinc etc to its surface and these get eliminated from the body . Therefore for a good bone health consumption of bran is not recommended.

 Published in hello east 

THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER-VI– By Dt. Akshita Aggarwal

A warm hello to all my readers. Now I am presenting fifth chapter of my new series “THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER”. This chapter is dedicated to a very common problem these days i.e hair and nail health

Q1. hi, i am 45 years old and mother of 2 children. I gained a lot of weight after my second delivery. I have noticed pigmentation on my face and certain places on my body . Can you tell me why does this happen?can this be reversed. RADHA

Ans:- Hi, one of the most common reasons associated with pigmentation is increase in fat percentage of body. High serum insulin also leads to pigmentation of skin. Losing weight and consuming low fat diet can help reverse this problem if the cause is fat percentage or high serum insulin. You must consult a dermatologist for accurate diagnosis.

Q2:- Hi, i am 27 year old and i have a very severe dandruff problem . this is very common in winter season. Is there any other solution for it apart from shampoos and medicated oils? RAJEEV

Ans:-  hi, dandruff is a form of dryness of skin(scalp). unless it is due to some infection increasing water intake will help you in getting rid of dandruff . Due to low water intake , dryness is a very common problem in winters.

Q3:- Greetings Dr Akshita, i have very brittle nails. after a certain time they break on their own. What should i improve in my diet regarding this?AMBIKA

Ans:- Brittle nails is a very common problem in females. Low haemoglobin can be a probable cause. Get your haemoglobin tested and take iron supplement accordingly. Dehydration also causes nails to become less shiny and brittle. Make sure you are drinking adequate water.

Q4:- I have a very bad acne problem. can you suggest something to reduce them? NEHA 

Ans:- Acne can occur due to a lot of reasons. But most common is constipation or bad digestion. Make sure your stomach gets clear every day . Avoid foods that are hot in nature like til , peanuts , honey etc as some people are sensitive to that also. Drink adequate water to ensure a clear and glowing skin.

 Published in hello east 

THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER-VII– By Dt. Akshita Aggarwal

A warm hello to all my readers. Now I am presenting seventh chapter of my new series “THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER”.

Q1. hi i have heard that dal is also calorie rich can increase weight. Is it true? MEHAK

Ans:- Dals/pulses have almost similar or more amount of calories as grains . The very common myth that they are just protein makes it a common choice while dieting. The fact is, dals are as calorie rich as atta or may be more. They are richer in protein but do have a carbohydrate component too. There fore consuming dal instead of roti doesn't make much difference in weight. Dal is also comparatively tougher to digest especially at night.

Q2:- My coach has put me on a high protein diet for losing weight but ever since i have started that diet i have recurrent headaches. Can you suggest what can be the problem? should i get some test done? TARUN

Ans:- Protein gets digested very slowly. People who have poor digestion are often unable to digest protein and hence have flatulence or gas trouble along with bloating and stomach cramps. The flatulence causes headaches. Instead of suddenly taking high protein diet you should gradually increase your protein intake that will give your body time to adjust .

Q3:- Does cholia lead to weight gain? SUKHI

And:- Since it has majorly protein content it is high in calories and hence high consumption may lead to weight gain .Fresh cholia has some amount of water content and hence is comparatively low calorie than dried cholia .

04:- Does mushroom or green peas cause weight gain? PAKHI

And:- Mushrooms are rich in protein but they have a lot of water content as well as fibre which makes them a low calorie option. Intake of mushroom at night may cause slight indigestion for some people.

Green peas are low calorie due to high water content but dried peas are high in  calorie so should be consumed in moderation.

 Published in hello east 

THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER-VIII– By Dt. Akshita Aggarwal

A warm hello to all my readers. Now I am presenting eight chapter of my new series “THE FOOD MYTH BUSTER”.

Q1. Hi, i drink a glass of milk with my breakfast but my grand mother says we should not consume milk with salt. is this true? RHIMJHIM

Ans:- No, this is not true. Consuming food containing salt with milk does not cause any harm. Many times we use milk to knead the flour and this roti is consumed with dal/ sabzi which has salt. Many preparations like upma/poha/cheela etc. also use milk in them. so, you can continue.

Q2:-I read in one of your articles that water is very important for energy in body. Water has no calories then how is it important ? SUSHIL

Ans:- Our food needs oxygen for deriving energy from our food. This oxygen is also provided by breakdown of water molecule. Since the percentage of oxygen in the air is becoming less , people who do not drink enough water are unable to extract energy from their food . This makes them feel lethargic and weak.  

Q3:- I am 48 years old and i m experiencing moods swings due to approaching menu pause. Can any foods help with the same? PALAK

And:-  the most effective mood improving foods are flat seeds, walnuts, chocolates, eggs and coffee. these can be used for mood swings in pre menstrual syndrome( PMS) , PCOD and other hormonal imbalances under the guidance of a nutritionist.

04:- Does diet help with conception? ANONYMOUS

And:-  Conception can sometimes be delayed due to excess fat in the body. Extra fat in body reduces the gland activity and hence causes hormonal imbalance. So losing fat from the body via right eating increases the chances of conception. By far i have seen 100% success in conception induced by weight loss through diet.

Q5:- I am a lactating mother . My baby is 7 months old . Can i start weight loss diet? TARANPREET

Ans:-6 months of exclusive breast feeding is necessary for the baby. If you have started weaning for the baby then, under supervision of a nutritionist you may start mild fat loss.

 Published in hello east 

Wonder Foods - IV - BY AKSHITA AGGARWAL

Today we will discuss : 

DARK CHOCOLATE 

Consuming few cubes of dark chocolate (upto 70%) has many health benefits

  • it increases alertness and brain function due to presence of  chemicals known as   “flavanol” .These increase blood supply and dilate blood vessels leading to more supply of blood to brain and its tissues. It also has zinc which helps in memory and brain function.
  • It reduces stress levels and symptoms of pms( pre menstrual syndrome) by releasing dopamine produced by anandamide present in it. Dopamine is also known as happy chemical as it reduces stress and pain.
  • It is cardio protective as it is rich in anti oxidants which lower bad cholesterol 
  • chocolate’s anti oxidant property also helps in neutralising free radicals and hence prevent cancer or heart disease
  • flavanol present in chocolate also protects skin against UV sun rays by increasing blood supply to skin tissues and hence chocolate is good for skin too.
  • chocolate is also a source of important minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, pottasium , zinc and phosphorus etc.
  • Chocolate may also have anti ageing properties due to presence of anti oxidants.
  • Consumption in large amounts may lead to obesity and life style disorders.

 

    Caution:-Like every coin has flip side all foods have positive and negative features, Thus before including any food in your diet please consult a food specialist/ Nutritionist for ensuring best suitability of to your body. 

STRESS –THE FACT FILE –BY AKSHITA AGGARWAL

I am starting the second series of “the fact files”. the first chapter being “Stress”.

Stress has become an inevitable part of our lives and hence has a profound impact on our health, mind and body. i will in this chapter throw some light on the effects , causes and types of stress that we deal with .

Kinds of stress and their causes:-

1).mental/psychological:- this is the kind of stress that origins from conditions relating to our brain. The person may or may not be physically harmed in this. 

CAUSES:- psychological tension, work pressure, high targets or goals , fear , anxiety , over thinking , disturbed personal relations or loneliness etc

2).Physical:- this is the kind of stress which origins from conditions relating to our body. A person may or may not be mentally affected in this case.

CAUSES:- injury, swelling , pain , lack of sleep, constipation, indigestion, exertion, fever,  starvation,infection etc. 

3).chemical:- this stress arises from chemical reactions/activity in the body. the person may or may not be physically or mentally affected.

CAUSES:-  too many medication, supplements , spicy foods ,  excess food additives , excess preservatives , drugs, excess artificial sweeteners , pesticides, Steroids/hormones, excess tea/coffee etc

Effect of stress on our body:-

When our body is in stress it releases  hormones called cortisol and adrenalin . In early days these were released in a “fight or flight “ situation and hence helped us to be prepared. now these are released during false or pseudo conditions like failing in exams ,  relationship breakups or constipation and hence affect the body adversely.

Few examples:-

  • hypothalamus:- it releases endo-morphines which are natural pain killers and were supposed to help during flight or fight but since no such situation may actually be present excess of these lead to depression, low mood  and anxiety
  • adrenal gland:- they release cortisol and adrenalin which lower your BMR , increase heart rate, breathing rate . false alert causes indigestion , high bp, weight gain, low immunity.
  • thyroid:- release thyroxine for higher energy levels & alertness. False alert causes anxiety, insomnia, weight gain, nervous exhaustion.
  • digestive system:- shuts down to save energy so that muscles get more energy for fight or flight, false alert causes indigestion , IBS, diarrhoea, cramps, bloating etc.
  • heart and liver:- heart pumps more blood to give energy and liver releases cholesterol to fuel body when blood sugar is used up but in false alert it leads to high bp, anxiety, artery blockage, heart ailments.

 

STRESS- II –THE FACT FILE –BY AKSHITA AGGARWAL

Stress has become an inevitable part of our lives and hence has a profound impact on our health, mind and body. In last chapter we discussed the effects , causes and types of stress that we deal with. In this chapter we shall see the foods which help in reducing or inducing stress. 

STRESS AND FOOD:-

since food has a major role to play in our body. thus there is an undeniable relation between stress and food. Right kinds of food can help decreasing stress levels and even preventing stress.

stress preventing foods:-

  • dark chocolate - it has a chemical called “ anandamide” which reduces stress and pain . it also helps in inducing a “ feel- good “ feeling. Amount however needs to be watched.
  • foods rich in antioxidants like green leafy veggies, yellow and orange fruits and veggies. these are rich in folate which aids in releasing happy chemicals like dopamine and serotonin known to help in curbing stress. Anti oxidants helps in reducing free radicals  which are a result of stress and can cause damage to body
  • green tea/ coffee:- rich sources of anti oxidants and hence help in reducing stress in body by neutralising free radicals. They also have caffeine which if taken in right amount can lead to release of neuro transmitters which reduce mental stress.
  • flax seeds/ sunflower seeds:- rich source of magnesium which helps in releasing happy chemicals like serotonin. also rich in anti oxidants.
  • nuts like almonds/ walnuts:- rich source of anti oxidant vitamin E and omega 3
  • berries- blueberry, black berry etc :- rich source of anthocyanines which help in releasing happy chemical like dopamine.
  • coffee:-have caffeine which if taken in right amount can lead to release of neuro transmitters which reduce mental stress.
  • water:- detoxifies body and regulates temperature and hence help in reducing physical stress of body
  • fibre :- reduces excess cholesterol, blood sugar, helps in preventing constipation, detoxifies body, helps prevent cancer .

Stress causing foods:-

*refined foods- sugar, maida :- These foods retard digestion and hence leads to discomfort , cramps, high blood pressure or sugar contributing to physical stress.

*fried foods / fat rich foods:- tough on digestion and hence lead to bloating and uneasiness. also increases weight which in turn lead to health problems as well as low self confidence and body image

*spicy foods:- these interfere with the ph of the body and induce chemical stress. it may also cause indigestion and acidity.

*processed foods:- these may be rich in refined foods, msg , artificial sweeteners or food additives which are mood suppressant and may lead to depression and weight gain.

*preservatives:- may increase blood pressure and bloating due to water retention if consumed in excess.

*excess tea and coffee:- excess of tea and coffee can cause mental exhaustion, insomnia, edginess, mood swings and high bp.