Nutrition is NOT veggies and fruits. Fitness is NOT six packs and size zero.
Try this! On a Google image search.
Search for the word ‘Nutrition’. What do you see? Continue reading
Nutrition is NOT veggies and fruits. Fitness is NOT six packs and size zero.
Try this! On a Google image search.
Search for the word ‘Nutrition’. What do you see? Continue reading
“I will have a packet of cashews!“ I placed my order. My friend who had ordered a can of diet coke for herself was shocked.
“That thing is full of fat and cholesterol! Aren’t you supposed to know that?”
However, I don’t blame her. Over the years, we have been made to believe that nuts are highly loaded with fats and cholesterol.
Yes, all the nuts are naturally fat rich. But are nuts high in cholesterol? And is cholesterol really bad for us? Despite, the negative press cholesterol that this fatty substance often gets, it isn’t entirely bad for us.
Basics of cholesterol.
What is it?
Cholesterol is a substance made in the liver and it is vital to human life. Only animal bodies can produce cholesterol. Thus, you can find it ONLY in humans and animal products like meat, eggs, and dairy.
Yes, that’s right! There is NO cholesterol in cashews, peanuts, cooking oils etc. So, the next time a cooking oil flashes the below punchline.
XYZ oil – Live healthier, live longer with our 0% cholesterol free oil
Know better to not let your eyeballs drop in the shopping mart aisle anymore.
The liver, other organs, and other cells in your body produce about 75% of the cholesterol in your blood. And, the other 25 % of cholesterol in your body is affected by the foods you eat.
Since we eat more foods including cholesterol, our liver compensates by reducing its own production of cholesterol and removing excess cholesterol.
We have got natural processes to take care of cholesterol balance in the blood. And we totally disturb this balance and interrupt cholesterol functioning when we chose any “low fat” or “fat-free” products.
What does cholesterol do in our bodies?
Our body uses cholesterol to make a few essential hormones, including:
So why exactly is cholesterol bad for us? One might think.
The levels of cholesterol in the blood are not the problem but the type of cholesterol is. Cholesterol travels in the blood in packages called lipoproteins, which consist of lipids (fats) and protein. Cholesterol packaged in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is often called “bad” cholesterol because too much LDL in the blood can lead to cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries. LDL carries most of the cholesterol in the blood.
The high-density lipoprotein (HDL), often called “good” cholesterol, is another type of cholesterol package. HDL helps transport cholesterol from other parts of the body to the liver, which helps remove it from the body, preventing it from piling up in the arteries.
The third type of lipoprotein is very low density (VLDL). This package transports triglycerides in the blood; high levels of VLDL and triglycerides can consequently lead to the risk of heart disease.
Some people with normal cholesterol levels get heart attacks while others with high levels do not— the difference is in the levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol, their ratio and chronic inflammation in their bodies.
Inflammation and oxidation are interrelated processes. Inflammation is the body’s healthy response to injury, irritation or infection. It neutralizes harmful micro-organisms, helps repair wounds and cleans up debris. However chronic inflammation is an unhealthy condition which generates a constant supply of harmful free radicals (also called as oxidation) that panics our anti-oxidant defences.
Such diet habits and lifestyle adaptations are the major components which are consequently making the cholesterol bad for your body!
Making Cholesterol good by yourself for yourself!
Don’t drink the fruit – eat it!
Drop “juices” (canned) from your grocery list today. Because the processing takes out all the antioxidant from any fruit. And there’s a risk of toxicity due to the high dose of sugar and loads of preservatives, left in the can.
Rather have fresh and whole fruit. Minimize its contact with air and metal to maintain the antioxidant profile.
Manage your type of cholesterol!
Make sure you take dietary measures to control the bad type of cholesterol build up and increase the good type to help your body. Exercise often, eat a heart-healthy diet by including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and oilseeds, etc., maintain a healthy body weight in order to keep your good cholesterol working in your body. Limit the intake of red meat, avoid smoking, choose leaner cuts while picking your meats, avoid organ meat and eliminate trans-fat to keep your LDL in check.
Sleep is the most powerful tool of our body to keep cholesterol from oxidizing. Sleep is the time when the body uses the antioxidant defence at its maximum to detoxify our body. Good sleep is a great stress manager too. So, don’t underestimate this in-built detoxification process and get your sleep cycle back on track. A good diet and enough exercise are going to be of great help to achieve your sleep goals.
Nuts: small packet of big energy!
Fun fact about cholesterol: plants cannot produce it. So naturally, any plant sources including nuts will not have any cholesterol contents. High time we shift fearlessly to our traditional snacking option- Nuts.
Peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios are in fact good sources of essential fats like MUFA and PUFA. They keep our body from exposing to chronic inflammation.
Get your heart racing!
We all know that lack of exercise is one of the major factors contributing to illnesses. Now it’s the time to put this piece of knowledge to use. Walk, jog, run, swim, cycle, yoga, pilates anything you like – Just do it! Any exercise which gets your heart racing is going to keep your heart healthy!
So, don’t be a prey to “cholesterol free/ fat-free” media campaigns.
Welcome cholesterol in your meal plans and host it smartly!
Akansha 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.
Surely, you’ve read our recent post on how to eat fried foods without guilt. In this post, we’ll teach you how to befriend another of your favourite dishes that have been labelled as a villain by most nutritionists – sweets, our good ol’ desi mithai.
Rasgullas, who doesn’t love them? These fluffy, white instantly-melt-in-your-mouth balls of sweetness! No wonder I can never stop at one rasgulla! And even if I dig into two rasgullas for the next 15 days, I will still not gain a kilo! My genetics or metabolism is not responsible for it. But, my eating habits are. My trick is – I relish sweets with a smile and smartness.
After reading this blog, I am confident that you’ll master this trick too! So, let’s get started!
Craving for halwa in the sweater weather? Go ahead and dig into it!
Seasonal mithais are a good idea. Similar to how aamras soothes your body in the sweltering summers, ghee and nut-based mithais in the winters keep your skin soft and supple. According to our ancient scriptures, there are cooling foods and warming foods. During winters, you need to eat foods that warm your body internally and keep the metabolic rate high. Fats keep you warm and also give you more energy. That’s why, this winter, reap the benefits of healthy fats through peanuts, nuts, sesame seeds and ghee. Dig into peanut chikki, gajak, carrot halwa and an assortment of laddoos – including besan ka laddo, gound ka laddoo, til laddoo and pinni – without any guilt!
And you know what? Seasonal ingredients change the way mithais are prepared. Last week, I prepared gajar ka halwa at home. I took a small portion of it to my father for tasting. After he finished the bowl, he told me that it tasted great but was a little less sweet. That’s when I told him that I haven’t even added any sugar yet. The sweetness came from the all-natural seasonal carrots. Later, I ended up making the gajar halwa with almost 1/3rd the sugar of a traditional recipe. You see, that’s the power of using seasonal fruits and veggies in Indian mithais.
Here’s an interesting fact: Your maa ke “aate ka ladoo” with milk and a handful of nuts is one of the most traditional and nutritious Indian breakfast. This meal can give any breakfast cereal a run for their money.
Let’s say, you’re not into seasonal sweets and prefer grabbing a gulab jamun, rasmalai or a kalakand.
Our advice: savour it as a post-workout meal. Since our bodies require instant energy after a gruelling exercise session, the sugar in the mithai will be used for energy instead of getting converted into fat.
Whoa! That’s an amazing reward for working out, isn’t it?
Alternatively, you can relish a small gulab jamun as a mid-morning snack along with five-six nuts to keep the sugar levels in check.
Some tips to keep in mind while preparing or eating mithais:
Now, we are sure, a smart eater like you would look beyond the calories and get back the nuts, whole grains and ghee in the mithai. After all, these super-healthy ingredients brim with the goodness of protein, fat, and fibre. All these nutrients keep your stomach full for longer as well as slow down the digestion of sugar. As a result, you keep overeating at bay as well as lower the risk of sugar getting converted into fat. Now, that’s similar to eating two mithais for the calories of one!
Sweets can be a delicious affair if you learn how to eat them the right way. And with our tips, you can give in to your sweet tooth and still lose weight.’
It’s time you became best friends with the much ‘maligned’ mithai!
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.
During childhood, I remember eagerly waiting for an episode of the much-loved family show, Khichdi. This sitcom brings back some wonderful memories when the entire family would enjoy the antics of the oddball Parekh family.
Well, my love for ‘khichdi’ dates back to childhood (pun intended ) And in fact, everyone in India shares a unique bond with khichdi because it is one of the first solid foods served to an infant. A mix of rice, lentils, and veggies cooked with tempered spices, khichdi traces its origin to the Indian subcontinent, to as early as 1350. In colloquial lingo, khichdi is much like its preparation – a mishmash of ingredients.
Every region in India has a unique variant of this dish. Bengal’s khichuri; Haryanvi kichri with bajra and moong dal served with lassi; bisi bele bhat in Karnataka; Hyderabad’s popular breakfast khichdi kheema khatta are some of the popular khichdi varieties.
As a nutritionist, khichdi is one of my most favorite dishes. Be it sabudana khichdi, moong dal khichdi or bajra khichdi with dollops of ghee – yes, you read it right, ghee! – I am a big khichdi fan. It’s a wholesome meal that appeals to my taste buds and health. While you may agree with me on the health quotient, I can see you frown with my statement – khichdi tastes good.
For most, khichdi is the kind of food you eat when you are unwell. It is quite a bland dish. Yes, moong khichdi is an easy-to-digest meal with an upset tummy or fever but hey, that’s not what khichdi is all about.
Don’t believe me?
Then, go and eat the baked masala khichdi served at Swati Snacks, Tardeo (Mumbai) or Law Garden, Ahmedabad. I am confident your definition of khichdi will change forever. It’s one of those scrumptious dishes that can force me to travel a 2-hour distance from my house in the suburbs to town or make me wait for an hour for my turn!
The mere mention of this has got me hungry… Damn!
And if you are not a Mumbaikar or an Amdavadi, you can try this amazing dish at home.
Anyway, let’s move on to some of the popular variants of this hassle-free and nutritious dish:
With khichdi being traditionally a mix of rice and lentils, we often forget that the delicious sabudana khichdi is also a form of khichdi. Sabudana khichdi and fasting are synonymous. You should dig into this yummy dish whenever you are fasting. The goodness of peanuts balances the glycaemic index of sago and potatoes as well as makes it a wholesome meal.
But yeah, don’t go overboard with them. Check out how you can make this amazing meal.
Vari rice/ bhagar / samak with a bowl of cucumber raita is another super healthy khichdi you can eat when you fast
Moong khichdi may not fit in your definition of tasty food, but in Surat, this is a much-loved meal. You’ll love their khichdi served with piping hot kadhi and add-ons like undhia and ringan na ravaiya.
Don’t you feel like savoring a hot piping meal of khichdi with kachumber, curd, and pickle when you come back from a long vacation? Yes, that’s because khichdi is the ultimate comfort or soul food, however humble it may be.
Nutritionally speaking, khichdi and veggies make a balanced meal that reboots your digestive system after eating packaged and restaurant foods. And if you want to add some color to your khichdi, try a palak khichdi. It’s one of the healthiest one-dish meals you’ll eat.
So, let’s cook some khichdi at home, what say?
Bajra ka khichdi is a popular dish in Rajasthan eaten during winter. Bajra along with ghee keeps your body warm and your skin soft and supple during the sweater weather. You can whip up a lip-smacking bajra khichdi at home.
And if you’re in the mood for some royal food, try the Shahajani khichdi
Now, khichdi created quite a stir recently being declared India’s ‘national dish’. While the Food Ministry refuted the rumors, Twitterati was quick to throw in their views, especially regarding dal, which is a key ingredient of khichdi. They pointed out that labeling a dish made with this expensive ingredient as a ‘national dish’ is sheer absurdity.
That said, we don’t want any more khichdi cooking.
We, at bon happetee, only want you to realize the goodness of khichdi and include it in your diet.
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.
We know Diwali is around the corner when diwali sweets & snacks start flooding in & we start dedicating our weekends to cleaning up our houses until spick and span! And, not your regular sweeping, dusting and mopping kind of cleaning, but it’s the time of the year where every corner gets special attention, unwanted materials are disposed and walls get a fresh coat of paint.
In fact, some ancient texts mention the importance of this cleaning ritual. Since Diwali is celebrated somewhere between mid-October to mid-November, right after the monsoons end, the cleaning makes sure all the germs and infestation that monsoons brought with them get eradicated with the whitewashing and other pre- Diwali cleaning activities.
Giving your home, a good tough cleaning, decluttering, and decorations signify the purity of mind and soul. Basically, we detoxify our houses to have a fresh start!
However, after having cleaned up our concrete houses, it’s time to detox our biological house too – our BODY! Continue reading
Women are super multitaskers. Apart from taking charge at work, women play a key role in the nutrition and overall health of the family. They are the healthy policymakers at home and pass on the food culture from one generation to other. With constant multitasking and taking charge on numerous fronts, women often forget to take care of themselves.
I have heard from numerous women that ‘they go running around like a headless chicken after work to make meals’ or ‘they have no clue how the day passes by and meal timings are always a struggle’. This leads to a stressed life and mental exhaustion that build up day after day. Well, it is a choice that we as women make but what if an app helps you out, with ALL things FOOD!? Try bon happetee and unveil the science of healthy indulgence. bon happetee is your chef and nutritionist, working as your companion towards a healthier life! Continue reading
As the woman of the house, you carry a lot of responsibility.Planning, cooking and serving healthy meals stand at the top of the mountain of those responsibilities.And if you have three generations living together or a joint family set-up, meal planning gets tougher. It’s nearly impossible to meet both, the nutritional requirements and please the fussy eaters, isn’t it?
Understanding the uphill task at hand, we, at bon happetee, have a magic wand – easy-peasy tips and tricks. They will take care of your family’s nutrition and make your life simpler.
We can already see the broad smile on your face ?Now, let’s start unravelling our secrets: Continue reading
The fun-filled festival of Navratri is here! And for those who struggle to lose some rigid flab, this is an excellent opportunity. With endless nights of swaying to soul stirring music dancing the ‘garba’, Navaratri is also the time when many of us fast (Navratri vrat) for 9 days. While some of us eat only once, there are those who survive the entire period fasting on fruits and liquids.
In spite of fasting on such strict terms, many of us hardly manage to shed a few pounds which we tend to quickly gain back within a week. While fasting is all about worshipping our deity, we can also use it for the benefit of our bodies. In ancient practices and in many countries, fasting is done as a way of detoxifying the body. You can pick a day every week or fortnight and survive only on liquids or fruits the entire day to detoxify your body. Continue reading
We are a nation of dieters and pursue diet advice given by experts, friends and family, even strangers. We follow the rise and fall of every diet trend and know everything about food and health. But more often than not, we have a fixated approach towards food. Looking at food we are constantly asking ourselves – Is this healthy or not?
Don’t you agree? We all have that inner voice that screams ‘Do not look at it!’ every time we drool over bacon and eggs or an aloo paratha with butter. Why? ‘Well, that is because they are very high in fats’! You reply. Continue reading
I often wondered how all my life, I had never seen my grandmother spend a single day in bed or experience a bout of cold, cough or fever. So, one day I asked her “What is the secret to your good health?” She replied, “I sleep by 9 pm, wake up by 5, eat fruits daily, eat only home-cooked food and go for a walk every day for 40 minutes.” Evidently, her disciplined lifestyle is the secret to her strong immunity.
As like any other system of our body, a strong immune system calls for a healthy lifestyle which comprises of adequate nourishment, sleeps and exercise to function to its optimum capacity.
Now, we are aware that habits inculcated during childhood stay with us throughout life. Hence, it is important to ingrain healthy habits at a tender age.
While I have briefly touched upon the factors that are essential for staying away from ailments, let’s look at what factors should you look at for ensuring you stay as healthy as my grandma: Continue reading