Your A-to-Z protein guide

“Give me a high protein and low carb diet.”

It is the most common request I get from a weight loss client. With popular diets such as Atkins and Dukan to the recent Ketogenic one, proteins have always been painted as a favorite and magical nutrient for weight loss. Unlike carbs and fats, proteins have always got good publicity by nutritionists.

After all, proteins boost metabolism, shrink appetite, reduce the hunger hormone and increase satiety hormones.

But before you jump on this high-protein bandwagon to reach your desired weight, it’s a good idea to know the role of proteins, the food sources, and your recommended protein intake.

What are proteins and why do you need them?

Proteins are macronutrients, like carbs and fats, which your body needs in substantial amounts to carry its multiple functions. As enzymes, proteins aid in digestion and create DNA; and as antibodies, proteins allow you to combat infection; as haemoglobin, proteins play a key role in transporting oxygen across the body. Simply put, proteins do more than just help build strong muscles.

Continue reading

Your Holi delicacies have numerous health benefits

bon happetee best diet chart app

For most people, Holi is the festival of colours, water guns, and mischief which marks the beginning of spring. For foodies, Holi is the time to gorge on mouth-watering delicacies.

Like every Indian festival, Holi is noshing down dahi wada, gujiya, malpua, and gulping down glass after glass of the famous cooling thandai!

But, what if we told you that apart from taste, there are numerous health benefits of these greasy and sugary titbits that you eat on Holi– only if you master the right portion size?

And the good news: you can savour these treats not just on Holi, but the year around.

Keep reading to know more. Continue reading

Be a smart carb-eater : Your guide to a low-carb life

“I want carbs off my plate”

That’s always the first input I get from a client when they sign up for weight loss.

Bon happetee weight loss app India

And I don’t blame them: websites and nutritionists have made ‘low-carb’ a buzz word for weight loss. Carbs are painted as the villain for those extra pounds. And lost in the haze of such misleading advice, people eliminate this vital nutrient and invite a mountain of troubles including – insomnia, constipation, mood swings and hair loss.

To avoid falling into this vicious trap, you must understand that carbs are your friends; they provide energy for every task you do. All you need to do is learn how to make the right carb choice and eat in the right amount.

Now bakery products and desserts, loaded with refined flour and sugar, are the carbs you should avoid. These foods have a high-glycaemic index i.e. they result in an instant spike in blood sugar levels, which causes the pancreas to produce more insulin. The excess insulin converts all the surplus sugar into fat.

That said opting for the healthier choices – rice, roti, multi-grain bread – can result in weight gain if you overeat. But if you drastically reduce your carb quota, you’ll feel hungry soon and end up gobbling much more than you would have in the first place. Also, it would be near to impossible for you to say no to chips or cookies on an empty stomach.

The bottom line is – you should not exceed nor fall behind your carb intake.

So, let’s tread a middle path – the smarter ways to relish carbs and still lose weight:

Continue reading

It’s a spicy affair – Indian spices and their uses

With friends belonging to different parts of India, my taste buds have been treated with all sorts of delicacies – dal pakwaan, handwa, thalipeeth, makkai roti with sarson ka saag, thepla, bisi bele bhaath, idiappam, gate ki sabji, dal bati, to name a few. And on the occasions, I have visited their homes; I have seen their kitchen shelves stacked with the same spices that my mother uses.

Bon happetee indian food calorie counter app

Spices are a regular feature in every Indian kitchen. These spices not only add dollops of taste and a pop of colour but also bring in a host of health benefits.

Besides food enhancers, spices have been long recognized for their medicinal properties. No wonder my grandma always insists on a cup of ginger tea when I am down with a cold. Or a teaspoon of methi daana when I am constipated.

Without further ado, let’s explore the staple ingredients which lend Indian food their magic: Continue reading

Decoding detox

bon happetee best diet chart app

“You go ahead with your red velvet milkshake. I’ll sip this detox juice that I ordered online. It’s made of these amazing berries with magical weight-loss properties. Cost me a bomb, but I have lost three kilos.”

I recall this conversation between two teenage girls on the adjacent table when I was dining out last Sunday. Detox diets have become a trend these days, thanks to aggressive marketing on the internet. And at every gathering, you’ll always come across a friend or relative who promotes detox and can’t stop gushing about its health benefits.

But what exactly is a detox?

bon happetee best diet chart app

Detox, shortened for detoxification, is a process where you aim to flush out toxins from your body. Toxins are the chemicals, pollutants, artificial ingredients, food additives, hormones, and pesticides that creep into your food. Over time, these toxins invite health problems – hormonal imbalance, impaired immunity and nutritional deficiencies to name a few.

Your liver, intestines, kidneys, blood and skin work round-the-clock to remove these harmful substances. However, given the pollution and adulterated food we eat, it’s impossible for the organs to keep a tab on all toxins.

Thus, a detox diet helps you to give up on toxin-rich foods in order to ensure your health. From once-a-week to a three day or a week-long program, you can choose from a detox plan that suits you.

How does a detox work and what are its benefits?

Cleansing the body in the current atmosphere of contamination is the key benefit of detox diets.

Generally, detox plans revolve around juices, water, veggies, and fruits. A good intake of fiber and liquids speeds up the detoxification process through urination and bowel movement. Eating natural foods boosts your well-being.

bon happetee best diet chart app

Another key benefit of such diets is weight loss. Most detox diets restrict the intake of grains, dairy, eggs, poultry, fish and meat which drastically cuts your calorie intake. Also, you have to give up on your bottle of booze and soda. Giving up on your favorite foods may be tricky, but the benefits are enormous.

The liver flushes out toxins, promotes digestion and regulates blood sugar, insulin, estrogen, and testosterone and cholesterol production in the body. However, eating processed foods, eating out too often and excess alcohol results in toxic build-up and inflammation in the liver. As a result, fat gets deposited around your belly. It’s next to impossible to lose this fat, even after restricting your calorie intake, unless you cleanse your liver.

Also, detox diets boost digestion and make your body efficient at soaking up nutrients and eliminating waste. So, the next time you hit a weight loss plateau, opt for a detox diet.

But don’t go overboard with the detox plan. You’ll definitely lose weight, but a detox is not the best method for permanent weight loss. Any diet that involves fasting or restricting entire food groups cannot be followed in the long run. A two-day detox plan is enough to blast the plateau effect.

bon happetee best diet chart app

That said detox can be followed at home with easily available ingredients and a simple diet plan. No need to shop at the supermarket or online for those fancy ‘detox’ juices and teas that burn a hole in your pocket – like the girl at the restaurant.

All you need to do is stock up vegetables and fruits. You can juice them up or whip up a vibrant-looking salad. Be creative and colourful – that’s the trick to a successful detox!

And if you can’t come up with something fun and interesting, don’t worry. The bon happetee app is happy to help you. The app has a section where you can choose from a variety of options and plan your own cleansing program.

bon happetee best diet chart app

So, are you ready to bask in the goodness of veggies and fruits?

content writer - bon happetee diet plan app

Vishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.

4 packaged products you can cook at home easily

I come from a family where we make our own pickles; mango, red chilli, green chilli, chick pea, carrot, lime, lesava, kair, etc. We have never got a store-bought jar of pickle till date. Till a couple of decades ago, we even made papad, khakhra, ketchup, jams, potato and banana wafers, etc. at home. There was no McDonald’s then, and the only types we had seen or eaten were the homemade fries.

I remember there was a particular ketchup brand called ‘Volfarm’ which claimed it didn’t use pumpkin as was the case with other ketchup brands. And people believed it. In those days, Indians were a trusting lot. If a TV commercial showed a man wearing a white doctor’s coat lauding a particular toothpaste, oil or biscuit, we never thought that the brands would be lying to us. We fell for them, left, right and center. Continue reading

Aachar & chutney – Magic foods for good health

bon happetee best diet plan app

My grandmother’s thali is incomplete without home-made chutney and aachar. And that is the secret of her well-being. Even at 75, she walks for 5 kilometers a day, has no wrinkles. And also, she has never spent a day lying in the bed.

She firmly believes that our ancient Indian food and practices are the ideal way to solve the health problems we – the processed and packaged food generation – face. And looking at her health, I couldn’t agree more!

Indian food is rich in variety owing to its cultural diversity. Whether its spices or side dishes, every constituent of traditional Indian cooking brings along a bevy of health benefits. And today we are going to explore the magic and goodness that lies within them. Continue reading

Walk your steps to better health

bon happetee best diet plan app

If you ask your parents about the happiest memories they have had of their children growing up, the first answer to pop up would be ‘the time my child took his first step’. Every parent knows that the first step in a child’s life is a landmark event. Our parents witnessed the smile and the thrill radiated through our face and that was a joyous moment carved in their memories. As children, we stumble and topple a few times over till we can manage to walk confidently, without any support. And when we turn from crawlers to walkers, it brings together a sense of independence, productivity and exploration.

So what changed as we grew up? Continue reading

A republic of unbalanced diet – Causes & Solutions

Bon happetee indian food logging app

Diet of our nation is poor, here’s how we can be better this republic day

Just like any developing nation, our diets have been continuously evolving and has seen a paradigm shift in the past few decades. On one hand, we are consuming more calories than ever with an increase in the daily consumption of fats and sugar and on the other, malnutrition is still a severe problem In India.

Take a look at these statistics and studies (and some of them may come as a shock to you):

  • India has the second highest number of obese children in the world after China. 14.4 million children in the country have excess weight.
  • India leads and is home to 102 million underweight men and 101 million underweight women, that is 40% of the global underweight population.
  • According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), one-fifth of Indian women, or 20.7 %, in the age group of 15-49 are overweight.
  • Over half of women of reproductive age — 51 % suffer from anaemia, which is a serious condition that can have long-term health impacts for both mother and child.
  • About 21 percent of children under 5 is defined as ’wasted’ or ‘severely wasted’ — meaning they do not weigh enough for their height.

From a country using natural ingredients, fresh produce, traditional superfoods and a sit-down meal culture, what changed in the way we eat causing us to reach this tipping point? A recent article shed some light on the eating patterns of Indians and how most of them eat unbalanced diets.

A well-balanced diet comprises of nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients from various food groups. With the ever-evolving Indian diets and factors like income, food prices, convenience, personal beliefs, availability and traditions, Indians are eating fewer nutrients from all these food groups.

Bon happetee indian food logging app

Balanced diet

The recently released National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) 2015-16 by the health ministry revealed that 47% (less than half) of all women consume dark green, leafy vegetables daily and another 38% eat them only once a week. The NFHS-4 showed that only half (45%) of women eat pulses or beans daily and an equal percentage consume them weekly. Milk or curd is consumed daily by 45% of women and weekly by 23%. 7% never have either milk or curd and 25% consume these dairy products only occasionally. The pattern of food consumption by men is similar to that of women, but men are slightly more likely than women to consume milk, curd, fruits, chicken, meat, fish or eggs regularly.

Low intake of these nutrients predisposes an individual to poor heart health, diabetes, obesity, lifestyle disorders and metabolic disorders.

How can we change this?

Don’t ignore the risks of unhealthy diets: Eating too much or too little, not focusing on balanced meals and nutrients are related to developing deficiencies that turn into disorders and diseases in the long run. Focus on traditional meal pairings, a good ratio of protein and carbs in a diet, healthy fats and the recommended allowance of vitamins and minerals meal-to-meal, day-to-day.

Equality between the nutritional requirements of men and women: Providing men with optimum nutrition is as important as nourishing the nation’s women. Women tend to consume lesser milk and milk products, meat, poultry and eggs etc. The low socio-economic status, gender inequality, their reproductive role etc. predispose them to poor diet and deficiencies.
Provide healthy and affordable food for all: Along with battling obesity and undernutrition at the same time, we need an adequate food system capable of delivering healthy food at affordable prices to everyone.

bon happetee indian food logging app

cooking with your kids can make them eat right

Teach children about nutrition and making the right food choices: Educate children about where the food they eat comes from, the difference between natural produce and junk food, how different foods get digested differently in the body and how we should nourish our bodies to gain maximum potential.

Focus on adolescent girls and women: Focusing on nutritional requirements in early stages of life is crucial to tackling the health of the nation. Healthy girls in the society give birth to healthy babies and in turn reduces cases of stunting, malnutrition and infant mortality.

Good health is a key criterion for human well-being and economic growth of the nation. The choice towards a healthier nation starts with every individual ensuring to nourish himself, his family, his community and everyone around him.

bon happetee indian food calorie counter app

 

Akansha, founder & consultant at Beyond the Weighing Scale, is adept to speak about nutrition, health, lifestyle management & physical activity. She’s a popular food columnist, a passionate foodie, a health enthusiast, an avid traveller and a happy yogi

6 Indian recipes to keep you warm this winter

I come from a traditional Marwadi family and I grew up under my grandma’s watchful eyes! Be it stomach ache, cough, tiredness, heavy head or acidity… I remember my grandma going to the kitchen for a cure and not to the drawer that stored our supply of pills. As I look back, I now realize the importance of these essential ingredients in our daily diets and how even nutrition science backs up their efficiency.

Members of the older generations in an Indian household heavily relied on the power of traditional herbs, spices or kitchen ingredients as a traditional system of medicine. These remedies are not just quick fixes, but are natural and have stood the test of time and science.

bon happetee indian food calorie counter app

We never really take out the time to reflect upon the seasonal shifts and the produce that nature avails at that particular time.

Did you know…

  • Sesame seeds are an immunity booster, regulates body heat and provides conditioning to your skin and hair during winters
  • Jaggery is loaded with anti-oxidants and thus fights with various infections in our body.
  • Ajwain fights gaseousness, aids in digestion and fights the common cold.
  • The superfood ghee is a natural moisturizer, improves digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and also gives you the much-needed warmth to fight the winters.
  • Millets like bajra, rajgeera and jowar provide us with essential vitamins, minerals and fibre to kick-start our metabolism.

And a lot more!

Wholesome Indian recipes use these traditional herbs, spices, local vegetation etc. to strengthen our body’s immune response and mechanism. There are ingredients that help you prep for a seasonal shift, ingredients that instantly cure indigestion, a runny nose, aching feet and even an unwanted pimple! These recipes include ingredients or combinations in which they are made to take care of anything and everything!

If you are enthusiastic to fight ailments the healthy way or prevent them all together, this can be your guide to a happy and healthy winter. Find some of our traditional, wholesome recipes below to warm you up this winter.

  • Bajra khichidi with home-made makkhan

bon happetee indian food calorie counter app

Image credit- econet

The name ‘khichidi’ makes us go all warm and fuzzy inside. This creamy Rajasthani bajra khichidi with home-made makkhan is a winter-favourite in many households. Bajra, known to be one of the healthiest millets in the world, is a great combination of insoluble fibre, essential amino acids, minerals, and is a high energy-low glycemic index food. When paired with rich butter, this recipe provides you nutrients and increases your metabolism and body temperature.

  • Handwa

bon happetee indian food calorie counter app

Image credit- Food Forever

Handwa is a Gujarati dish that is very versatile for the use of its ingredients.  Because it uses a batter of mixed dals, rice, some veggies and a generous tadka of mustard seeds, sesame seeds, hing (asafoetida) and curry leaves. This is steamed and served so makes for a perfectly warm and fluffy dinner. Thus, with the use of all these ingredients, we bag up on protein and carbs in a great ratio with the goodness of veggies and the tadka takes care of our digestion, vitamins and minerals.

  • Sarso ka saag

bon happetee indian food calorie counter app

Sarso ka saag is a famous north-Indian delicacy made from a combination of green leafy veggies. Traditionally it uses spinach, mustard and bathua leaves that leave a slight bitterness in your mouth. However, this combination is a great source of anti-oxidants that build up your immunity, is anti-inflammatory and keeps you protected from lung disorders. When paired with a makke ki roti, this turns into a delicious meal.

  • Undhiyu

bon happetee indian food calorie counter app

Image credit- Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana

If there is one dish that does justice to the winter produce around you, it has to be the lip-smacking Undhiyu. Traditionally slow cooked (or steamed in an earthen pot) with groundnut oil, undhiyu uses a variety of vegetables with spices that are cooked to perfection. Therefore, this gives the body all the essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and makes up for a nutritious bite. Also, it makes use of green garlic that is found in abundance during this season. These tiny garlic bulbs with dark green stalks have an amazing flavour. They are a natural antibiotic, so can fight digestive infections, boost immunity and are great for the heart. So, sprinkle generously on your chaats, tikkas and starters.

  • Gur ka paratha

bon happetee indian food calorie counter app

Image credit- foodaholic

It has been a winter tradition in my house to finish our meal with a piece of gur roti. This natural sweetener, prepared fresh in the winters, is rich in vitamins & minerals. Therefore it boosts immunity, regulates body temperature, wards off cold and cough and prevents anaemia. And moreover, it is a delight to finish your meal with this!

  • Kaadha

bon happetee indian food calorie counter app

Image credit- mavcure

Every family has their own recipe for a ‘kaadha’. However, it is essentially a concoction of turmeric powder, ajwain, black peppercorns with a dash of honey. This concoction fights cold and cough It has anti-inflammatory properties which relieve sore throat and boosts immunity. Sip on this kaadha the next time you want to get rid of your cold instead of popping pills.

Try these wholesome and healthy recipes this winter to ensure a healthy body and happy taste buds!

 

bon happetee indian food calorie counter appAkansha is the Founder and Consultant at Beyond the Weighing Scale. With a wide range of expertise and skills, she is adept to speak about nutrition, health, lifestyle management and physical activity. She is a popular food columnist, a passionate foodie, a health enthusiast, an avid traveller and a happy yogi.