Archive for September, 2014

Cholesterol lowering weight loss diet

Cholesterol is a fatty substance in blood, which when increased tends to stick to the inner layers of arteries and affects the free flow of blood.  In extreme situations the arteries can get completely blocked because of the cholesterol deposits and the blood and oxygen supply to the heart can get affected. This is commonly experienced as chest pain and is a major cause of coronary heart disease. You will get to know your complete lipid profile by doing blood investigations and comparing the normal values.
If you have high cholesterol, reducing weight is the first step towards reducing cholesterol and also the risk of heart diseases. This is mainly because most of the factors that tend to increase your weight also tend to increase your blood cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol lowering food
There are few food substances that you need to add to your daily diet. These are known to have cholesterol lowering effects and should also be consumed in order to lose weight, while maintaining health.

  • Fish

Fatty fish particularly contain omega-3-fatty acids having lipid lowering properties and in turn reduce the risk of other heart diseases also. They should be consumed at least twice a week. Frying or addition of oil should be avoided in the preparation and fish should be baked or steamed.
Examples: Tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc.

  • Oats

Oat products are rich in fiber and are believed to slow down the production of cholesterol and hence must be consumed on a regular basis. It can be taken as a breakfast cereal with milk or can be cooked with vegetables.
Examples: Oat and barley products, oat meal, oat bran, etc.

  • Nuts

All nuts are believed to be beneficial for reducing cholesterol. However, as most of them are also high in calories, only a few are advisable for your weight loss diet. They contain unsaturated fatty acids, which are heart healthy.
Example: Almonds, walnuts, etc.

  • Fruits

Fruits contain vitamins, minerals and fiber, which can help in reducing the absorption of cholesterol in blood. It is ideal to limit the intake of high calorie fruits as they cause more weight gain.
Examples: Apples, guava, pomegranate, pear, oranges, etc.

  • Other food items

Miscellaneous food items that have proved to be effective in lowering cholesterol are garlic, flaxseeds, fenugreek, olive oil, canola oil, plant sterols, etc.

Food to avoid
It is important that your refrain yourself for taking certain food items.

  • Cut down on all fat rich products. Replace them with good fats like olive oil for cooking. Avoid fried food and additional use of oil, butter or cheese. Use low fat dairy products instead.
  • Avoid highly processed foods and simple carbohydrates like cakes, cookies, white bread etc.

Sample meal plan
Breakfast:

  • 1 bowl of oatmeal with milk added
  • 1 pear

In between:

  • 2 -3 garlic petals

Lunch:

  • 1 steamed fish
  • ½ cup brown rice
  • 1 bowl sprouts with vegetable salad
  • ½  orange

In between: 2-3 almonds
Dinner:

  • 1/2 bowl plain chicken soup
  • 1 bowl of whole grain pasta
  • 1 bowl lettuce, broccoli and peas salad with added olive oil.
  • ½ bowl mixed pomegranate and apple.

Regular exercise is important in addition to this diet. Go for walking or cycling at least 45 minutes daily. It will also help to increase the good cholesterol and reduce the bad cholesterol. A collective effect of diet, exercise and a healthy routine will help you lose weight and manage healthy cholesterol levels.

Heart healthy weight loss diet

If you intend to lose weight in order to keep your heart healthy, you are on the right track. In that case, you might be already suffering from a heart disease or you are trying to prevent one. In both cases it is a wise decision and there is a lot that you can do for yourself. Even small amount weight loss can have great effects on your health.
Eating a healthy and a balanced diet is the best way to manage weight and maintain a healthy heart. However, there are a few things that you can do to lose weight while improving your heart health.
Preventing Heart Disease
Recent studies have shown the effects of certain foods in preventing heart disease. Make sure to include these in your regular diet.
Antioxidants: Certain antioxidants can prevent heart disease.
Food sources:

  • Flavonoids – present in onions, garlic and apples.
  • Vitamin E – present in nuts, wheat germ, sprouts, etc
  • Vitamin C – present in citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables and grams.

Three servings of vegetable and two servings of fruits daily are suggested to meet the antioxidant requirement.
High fiber: A diet high in fiber is recommended in order to reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Food sources:

  • Oat & barley products – They are rich in fiber and also help to reduce cholesterol.
  • Vegetables, legumes, cluster beans and fenugreek seeds.
  • Fruits like apples, guava, pear, and pomegranate.

Unsaturated fatty acids: These fatty acids have shown to have lipid lowering properties and also seems to lower the risk of heart disease.
Food sources:

  • Fish and fish oil – Salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines etc.
  • Virgin olive oil, soy, flaxseeds, etc.
  • Nuts like walnuts, almonds, etc.

Vitamin B: Vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folic acid are of special importance as their deficiency can cause a rise in the homocysteine levels in blood. Increased levels of homocysteine are considered as an independent risk factor for heart diseases.
Food sources:

  • Milk, eggs and liver.
  • Whole grains, cereals, rice and bananas.
  • Fresh green vegetables like asparagus, spinach, green peas and beans.

Sample meal plan
Breakfast:

  • 1 bowl of oats with milk
  • 1 apple

In between:

  • 2-3 almonds

Lunch:

  • 1 baked fish
  • 1 slice multigrain bread
  • 1 bowl sprouts with vegetable salad
  • ½ bowl mixed fruit salad

In between:

  • 1 glass plain yoghurt

Dinner:

  • 1/2 bowl spinach soup
  • 1 slice of lean chicken slice
  • 1 bowl lettuce and peas salad with added olive oil
  • ½ pear

In between: 1- 2 walnuts OR 2-3 almonds OR 1 glass plain buttermilk

Weight loss tips

  • Choose complex carbohydrates instead of simple ones. Avoid simple sugars and processed foods. Choose lean cuts of meat, chicken and fish.
  • Take 3 or 4 small meals instead of big ones.
  • Evening meals should be taken early and 2 hours before retiring to bed.
  • Physical activity and relaxed attitudes helps to combat stress better.
  • It is ideal to walk for at least half an hour daily initially and gradually increase your activity levels.

Weight loss diet for hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a condition with underactive thyroid and as the basal metabolic rate (BMR) decreases, it is generally linked with weight gain. It commonly affects many people, although generally found more in women. The main causes of hypothyroidism have been suggested as a deficiency of the element iodine in your diet.
In most of the cases, along with all the typical symptoms of hypothyroidism, there is associated of weight gain. Losing weight becomes very difficult in this situation and can be aided by appropriate treatment of the underactive thyroid. The main aim in hypothyroidism is, to maintain optimum levels of thyroid hormones, to manage the symptoms and to lose weight. The dietary approach aims at helping to reduce weight, providing the essential nutrients and managing the mood disturbances.

Food you need
You could be lacking in some vital nutrients and it is necessary that you include these in your diet. Use of iodized salt is generally recommended in daily preparations. 3-4 servings of vegetable and 2-3 servings of fruits daily are suggested to meet the nutritional and antioxidant requirement.

  • Proteins: Proteins are essential amino acids and their regular intake can help you fight your mood disturbances also. You need to consume a protein rich diet so as to maintain good health while lose weight.

Food sources: Milk, fish, meat, eggs, soy, legumes and beans.

  • Antioxidants: They can help you in fighting depression.

Food sources:
Vitamin E – present in nuts, wheat germ, sprouts etc.
Vitamin C – citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables and grams.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: These are heart healthy fats. They are also known to improve your mood and reduce complaints like lethargy and depression.

Food sources:
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod liver oil, walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds and soy.

Food to avoid:
There are certain foods that are generally consumed to get temporary relief from mood upsets, but are usually harmful and you should completely stay away from:
Sugars: Example, candies, chocolates, cakes, cookies, soft drinks etc. They are well-known for providing instant energy and a pleasurable feeling, but it does not last longer. Also they contain large amounts of simple carbohydrates which are not advisable for your weight loss.
Rich fats: Avoid fat rich and highly processed products. Choose low fat alternatives like low fat milk and milk products, lean meats cuts etc.
Alcohol: Although it may seem like you are in high spirits after taking alcohol, it cannot cure your mental disturbances.
Sample meal plan
Breakfast:

  • 1 bowl of corn flakes with milk
  • 1 apple

In between:

  • 1 tsp flaxseed with 1 glass of water

Lunch:

  • 1 slice of lean chicken breast
  • 1 slice brown bread
  • 1 mixed vegetable salad.
  • ½ cup plain yoghurt

In between:

  • 1 small multigrain snack bar

Dinner:

  • 1 slice of tuna
  • ½ bowl whole grain pasta
  • 1 bowl cucumber, lettuce, onion and tomato salad.
  • ½  bowl of mixed fruit salad

Healthy Lifestyle
It is advisable that you make healthy lifestyle a part of your daily routine and enjoy good health. Exercise plays an important role in aiding your weight loss plan and has great effects on your thyroid metabolism. Ideally at least 40 to 45 minutes of daily exercise or walking is recommended. Any specific recommendations from your physician, regarding your health, medications and diet should be taken into consideration.

Weight loss diet for stress and depression

Stress has become an inevitable part of today’s life. Sometimes it might take a different route and you may feel depressed. Stress and depression alter your moods, which affects your capacity to function normally. This is at times also related to being overweight. Reducing weight is advised for depression not only for your health but also to elevate your mood and feel good.
Food you need
Depression is mostly linked with more body weight and low levels of nutrition. You could be lacking in some vital nutrients and it is necessary that you include these in your diet.

  • Proteins: Proteins are essential amino acids and their deficiency can be a cause of depression. You need to consume a protein rich diet so as to maintain the optimum levels and also lose weight in a healthy way.

Food sources:
Protein rich foods are milk, fish, meat, eggs, soy, legumes and beans.

  • Antioxidants: Certain antioxidants can help you in fighting depression.

Food sources:
Vitamin E – present in nuts, wheat germ, sprouts etc.
Vitamin C – citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables and grams.

  • Vitamins: Most of the vitamins are associated with normal functioning of the brain and body. A diet deficient in these can cause mood and sleep disturbances.

Food sources:
Fresh fruits like apples, citrus fruits, pears, papaya etc.
Vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli etc.
Others like whole grain products, milk, eggs and fish.

  • Minerals: Minerals like iron, sodium, zinc, magnesium, selenium are vital nutrients required in small quantities daily, but their deficiency can have great effects on your system.

Food sources:
Fruits like figs, lemons, grapefruit, raisins, vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, carrots etc. Whole grains, eggs and fish.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: These are good fats associated with heart and brain health. They are also known to improve your mood and reduce complaints of depression.

Food sources:
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod liver oil, walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds and soy.
Food to avoid:
There are certain foods that are generally consumed to get temporary relief from mood upsets, but are usually harmful and you should completely stay away from:
Simple Sugars: Example, candies, chocolates, cakes, cookies, soft drinks etc. They are well-known for providing instant energy and a pleasurable feeling, but it does not for last long. Also they contain large amounts of simple carbohydrates which are not advisable for your weight loss.
Alcohol: Although it may seem like you are in high spirits after taking alcohol, it cannot cure your mental disturbances.

Sample meal plan
In morning:

  • 1 glass of low fat milk

Breakfast:

  • 1 bowl of wheat flakes with milk
  • 1 apple

In between:

  • 1 glass soymilk

Lunch:

  • 1 slice of lean chicken breast
  • 1 slice brown bread
  • 1 bowl carrot, cucumber, broccoli salad.

In between:

  • 1-2 almonds
  • 2-4 raisins

Dinner:

  • 1 slice of tuna
  • 1 bowl of green grams sprouts with onion and tomato salad.
  • 1 bowl of mixed fruit salad

Healthy Lifestyle
Diet is an important part that determines your health; physical as well as mental. So if you are feeling low, you first need to wait and watch your diet. And particularly when you are overweight, you have a good reason to do so. So add some exercise to your daily diet like cycling or jogging and you can happily lose while beating the blues.

Weight loss diet for arthritis

Be it any form, degenerative type osteoarthritis or inflammatory type rheumatoid arthritis, the common factor is the pain. What if your pain could reduce? Yes, studies have shown that shedding even a few pounds can greatly reduce your arthritis pain or prevent your risk from suffering from arthritis. People suffering from arthritis are generally overweight. Additionally, the pain and immobility makes you more physically inactive and then the vicious circle continues. You therefore need to follow a diet plan that focuses on weight loss and also improves your bone health.
Healthy food
Some nutrients and foods are popular for having a greater effect on bone health and can possibly help to improve your condition.

  • Proteins: Proteins are essential amino acids and their intake can help in regeneration of your damaged tissues. You need a protein rich diet so as to maintain the optimum level of nutrients to help the joints and also lose weight in a healthy way.

Food sources: Milk and milk products, fish, meat, eggs, soy, legumes and beans etc.

  • Calcium and vitamin D: They are essential for maintaining healthy bones.

Food sources: Milk and milk products, fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables, oranges, almonds, walnuts.

  • Vitamin C: This is required for growth and maintenance of body tissues like bones and joints. They play an important role in repair of the inflamed or damaged tissue.

Food sources: Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, leafy vegetables, green grams.

  • Vitamin E: This is necessary for cellular functions and it improves circulation of blood, thereby relieving painful joints.

Food sources: Wheat or cereal germ, whole grains, leafy vegetables, sprouted seeds and eggs.

  • Fish: They contain polyunsaturated fatty acids that help to improve bone health and also reduce inflammations. They are also good carriers of calcium and vitamin D that are important for bones.

Examples: Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and cod liver oil.

Food to avoid:
As a part of weight loss diet plan and aiming at reducing the risk of arthritis, there are some foods that you need to stay away from:

  • Highly processed foods or simple carbohydrates like cakes, cookies, ice creams, jams etc as they are high in calories – Choose complex carbohydrates and whole grain products instead.
  • Foods rich in saturated fat – Opt for low fat products or skimmed milk, lean cuts of meat, fish etc.
  • Look out for any particular food in your diet that could be aggravating your arthritis symptoms and avoid them.

Sample meal plan
Breakfast:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 plain toast
  • 1 glass of low fat milk

In between:

  • 1 apple

Lunch:

  • 1 slice of lean chicken breast
  • 1 bowl sprouts and vegetable salad with added olive oil
  • 1 glass soymilk

In between:

  • 1- 2 walnuts

Dinner:

  • 1 steamed fish
  • ½ cup brown rice
  • 1 bowl salad of carrot and cucumber rings.
  • ½ bowl mixed fruit salad

Physical activity:
Regular exercise is important in addition to any weight loss plan. It will also improve blood circulation to your joints and keep them healthy. However, this depends on your health condition. Exercise should be slowly and carefully included in your lifestyle, so as to avoid any harm to your health. To begin with simple walking for 15 minutes should be aimed at. Gradually you can increase the time and add some strengthening exercises also.