Wednesday, May 23, 2018 | Last Update : 12:27 PM IST

Eat your way to health and fitness

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Feb 8, 2018, 12:38 am IST
Updated : Feb 8, 2018, 12:39 am IST

During my career as a nutritionist, I always come across a lot of questions and confusions regarding health and nutrition.

Experts say that eating salad once a day can have a number of health benefits  (Photo: Pixabay)
 Experts say that eating salad once a day can have a number of health benefits (Photo: Pixabay)

During my career as a nutritionist, I always come across a lot of questions and confusions regarding health and nutrition. Even qualified experts might differ with my opinions. However, despite all such disagreements, a few things are supported well by research. Here are a few health and nutrition tips based on good science.

No sugary drinks: These are the most fattening things you can give your body. Liquid sugar calories don’t get registered by the brain in the same way as solid food calories. Sugary drinks are strongly associated with obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart diseases and all sorts of health issues. Keep in mind that fruit juices are almost as bad as soda as they contain just as much sugar. The small amount of antioxidants does NOT negate the harmful effects of sugar.

Include nuts to diet: Despite being high in fat, nuts are incredibly nutritious. They are loaded with magnesium, vitamin E, fiber and various other nutrients. Nuts can help you lose weight and fight type-2 diabetes and heart disease, according to studies.

Avoid processed junk food: All the processed junk food cause lifestyle disorders. Though low in fiber, protein and micronutrients (empty calories), they have high unhealthy ingredients like added sugar and refined grains.

No fear of coffee: Coffee has been unfairly demonised when in fact it’s very healthy. Coffee is high in antioxidants and studies show that coffee lovers live longer and have a reduced risk of type-2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's and numerous other diseases. But anything healthy has a measure or count to it.

Eating fatty fish: Everyone agrees to the fact that fish is healthy. This is particularly true of fatty fish like salmon, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and various other nutrients. Studies show that people who eat the most fish have a lower risk of heart disease, dementia and depression.

Good sleep: The importance of getting enough quality sleep cannot be understated. It may be just as important as diet and exercise, if not more. Poor sleep can drive your insulin resistance, upset your appetite hormones and reduce your physical and mental performance. What’s more, it is one of the strongest individual risk factors for future weight gain and obesity.

Drink water, especially before meals: Drinking enough water has numerous benefits. It can help boost the amount of calories you burn. According to studies, it can boost metabolism by 24-30 per cent over a period of 1-1.5 hours. The best time to drink water is half an hour before a meal.

Priyadarshini R. Menon is a nutritionist and food coach who specialises 
in healthy, lean food

Tags: depression, obesity, diabetes