Sugary snacks and drinks are abundant on supermarket and retail shelves. While it is possible to enjoy these on occasion, regular consumption is an easy way to go over your required calorie intake, and too much sugar can lead to a variety of health problems.
According to the studies, your sugar intake should not exceed 5 per cent of your total daily calories. This means that a typical adult's sugar intake should not exceed 30g per day. The most harmful type of sugar is free sugar, which is found in fizzy drinks, fruit juices, biscuits, cakes, and chocolate.
There is also a 'no sugar diet,' which eliminates all sugar, including those found in otherwise healthy foods like fruit and dairy. This is not recommended because fruits are high in fibre and micronutrients. Myprotein India, a leading sports and nutrition brand, experts explain the benefits of a low sugar diet and how to reduce sugar intake to stay healthy.
What are the Benefits of Reducing your Sugar Intake?
Eating a large number of sugary foods may mean you gain weight. Sugar has a low effect on satiety meaning you will not feel full after eating sugary snacks. This means it's much more likely you will exceed your required daily calorie amount which may lead to weight gain in the long run. Switching your food choices for those with a higher protein and fibre content may result in weight loss.
Large amounts of sugar can wreak havoc on your teeth. If you want to stay fit and healthy and avoid a toothless smile, its best to make sure you are not going overboard with your sugar intake. Specifically, free sugars are the ones that do the most damage and put your dentist in a bad mood.
How to Follow a Low Sugar Diet
There are a number of things you can do to reduce your daily sugar intake and many of them may result in improved dietary habits in general. Using the tips below will help to reduce your daily sugar intake and improve the quality of your diet.
Take Notice of Food Labels
It can often be surprising just how much sugar is in your preferred drinks and snacking options and sugar can often be in foods you wouldn't expect. Being attentive and making sure to read the food labels can be an informative process helping you make the right choices when it comes to meals, snacks, and drinks.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Your favourite fizzy drinks may well be loaded with sugar well worth looking for the 'diet' counterparts. Not just the typical soda drink though, drinks often marketed as 'healthy' or 'low fat' may also contain a fair amount of sugar.
Things like 'healthy' smoothies or fruit juices can also have a substantial amount of sugar and whilst trying to pick a healthy option you could inadvertently add unnecessary sugar to your diet.
Go Easy on Condiments
Ketchup and brown sauce contain a substantial amount of sugar. Making sure you don't go overboard with the ketchup serving size and reducing the number of meals that you add sauce to can help reduce your overall sugar intake.
Plan Your Meals Ahead
Planning your meals in advance has many benefits. As well as allowing you to monitor your calories, planning your meals can be cost-effective and kind to your wallet.
Importantly for sugar intake, planning ahead can also help to avoid the last-minute unhealthy processed choice on the shelf. Although they can be convenient when time is limited, these processed foods often have a high sugar content, which is why it's recommended to cook your own with fresh and wholegrain ingredients.
Planning ahead also allows you time to check your labels for sugar content and fit in sweet treats here and there.
Don't Shop When Hungry or Tired
Traipsing the shops after a long day at work when you're tired and hungry can make the sugary snacks hard to resist. Especially those placed next to the checkout.
Shopping after a healthy meal (containing fibre and protein) can help you fight off the temptation of fighting the food choices that can have a negative impact in the long run. Once it's bought and in your cupboards, at home, it's much harder to resist the sugary snacks whilst watching your favourite box set.
To conclude, reducing the sugar intake in your diet can lead to improved body composition and reduce the likelihood of tooth decay and long-term diseases. Following the tips above can help reduce your intake in a sustainable way, while still enjoying tasty food. (N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
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Plant-based diets are becoming more popular for health and environmental reasons, as they include animal welfare. Those who follow this diet, frequently worry about getting enough protein, especially because there are several types of meat and dairy products that are high in protein.
Lentils, almonds, and millets are all high in plant protein and can be eaten on a regular basis as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Almonds, for example, are not only high in nutrition but also add a unique texture to a variety of dishes, whether sweet or savoury. They are a great source of plant-based protein and can be eaten in a variety of ways, including almond milk, almond flour, raw, roasted, lightly salted, and so on.
Emphasizing the rise of plant-based diets, actress and influencer, Soha Ali Khan said, "It's a myth that plant-based diets don't contain enough protein. Interestingly, I have heard that 100 gm of almonds contains roughly 21 gm of protein and are also rich in over 15 nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, protein, riboflavin, and zinc. I believe in the long run, eating a balanced diet is the key to good health and I always include healthy plant-based proteins such as almonds, chickpeas and tofu in my meals to make them more nutritious and wholesome."
Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant said, "Protein is needed for the formation of tissues, muscles, hormones, and enzymes, and also to repair cells and tissues in the body. It's critical to carefully plan your diet once you've decided to follow a plant-based diet.
If you are used to getting your calcium from dairy products, you can now get it from ragi, soybean, leafy greens, and almonds. Nuts like almonds, dals and pulses like toor dal and moong can contribute to the protein requirement for your body if you are on a plant-based diet.
Almonds are also a great snack option, especially when you're hungry in between meals. Almonds are a rich source of protein, a nutrient which known to contribute to growth and maintenance of muscle mass."
Emphasizing the change in eating patterns and plant-based lifestyles, Fitness Expert and Celebrity Master Instructor, Yasmin Karachiwala said, "As a fitness instructor, I have people constantly quizzing me on one diet or another. Trends come and go; the key is to eat balanced meals and to follow a regular workout routine.
According to a study, interventional trials have consistently demonstrated that consumption of plant-based diets reduces body fat in overweight and obese individuals, even when controlling for energy intake. From that perspective, I strongly believe that plant-based diets can help with weight maintenance.
One excuse I often hear from clients is that it is difficult to cook a healthy meal. The best part of plant-based diets is that you can eat nuts like almonds which are a powerhouse of a protein, with no preparation required. A handful of almonds may have satiating properties that promote feelings of fullness. Similarly, you can also eat a bowl of quinoa with slivers of almonds as a breakfast. This will take you less than 5 min to prepare." (Agency)
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Sydney: Young men with a poor diet saw a significant improvement in their symptoms of depression when they switched to a healthy Mediterranean diet, a new study has shown.
Mediterranean diet, which consists of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, and grains, caused significant impact on young men's mental health.
According to researchers from the University of Technology Sydney, the study is the first randomised clinical trial to assess the impact of a Mediterranean diet on the symptoms of depression in young men aged 18-25.
The team conducted a 12-week randomised control trial, where the men were asked to switch to foods rich in colourful vegetables, legumes and wholegrains, oily fish, olive oil and raw, unsalted nuts from their regular as well as fast foods.
The findings, published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggested that doctors should recommend patients to a nutritionist or dietician as part of their treatment plan, the researchers said.
"The primary focus was on increasing diet quality with fresh wholefoods while reducing the intake of 'fast' foods, sugar and processed red meat," said researcher Jessica Bayes, a candidate in the UTS Faculty of Health.
"There are lots of reasons why scientifically we think food affects mood. For example, around 90 per cent of serotonin, a chemical that helps us feel happy, is made in our gut by our gut microbes.
"There is emerging evidence that these microbes can communicate to the brain via the vagus nerve, in what is called the gut-brain axis," Bayes said.
"The results showed that nearly all our participants stayed with the programme, and many were keen to continue the diet once the study ended, which shows how effective, tolerable and worthwhile they found the intervention," the researchers said.
The study "suggests that medical doctors and psychologists should consider referring depressed young men to a nutritionist or dietitian as an important component of treating clinical depression", she said. (Agency)
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Healthy adults who eat a diverse diet, with at least 8-10 grams of soluble fibre such as grains, beans, lentils, nuts and some fruits and vegetables daily, have fewer antibiotic-resistant microbes in their guts, according to a study.
Microbes that have resistance to various commonly-used antibiotics such as tetracycline and aminoglycoside are a significant source of risk for people worldwide, with the widely held expectation that the problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) - the term that refers to bacteria, viruses, and fungi that are resistant to antibiotics - is likely to worsen throughout the coming decades.
Antimicrobial resistance in people is largely based in their gut microbiome, where the microbes are known to carry genetically encoded strategies to survive contact with antibiotics.
"And the results lead directly to the idea that modifying the diet has the potential to be a new weapon in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. And we're not talking about eating some exotic diet either, but a diverse diet, adequate in fibre," said research molecular biologist Danielle Lemay at the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.
In the study, published in the journal mBio, the researchers found that regularly eating a diet with higher levels of fibre and lower levels of protein, especially from beef and pork, was significantly correlated with lower levels of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARG) among their gut microbes.
Those with the lowest levels of ARG in their gut microbiomes also had a greater abundance of strict anaerobic microbes, which are bacteria that do not thrive when oxygen is present and are a hallmark of a healthy gut with low inflammation. Bacterial species in the family Clostridiaceae were the most numerous anaerobes found.
But the amount of animal protein in the diet was not a top predictor of high levels of ARG. The strongest evidence was for the association of higher amounts of soluble fibre in the diet with lower levels of ARGs.
"Surprisingly, the most important predictor of low levels of ARG, even more than fibre, was the diversity of the diet. This suggests that we may want to eat from diverse sources of foods that tend to be higher in soluble fibre for maximum benefit," Lemay added.
On the other hand, those people who had the highest levels of ARG in their gut microbiomes were found to have significantly less diverse gut microbiomes compared to groups with low and medium levels of ARG.
"Our diets provide food for gut microbes. This all suggests that what we eat might be a solution to reduce antimicrobial resistance by modifying the gut microbiome," Lemay said. (agency)
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Want to keep healthy and avoid the scorching summer heat, which is a common concern at this time of year?
The summer heat is not only physically exhausting and uncomfortable, but it also puts us at risk for ailments like skin irritation, rashes, fever, dehydration, and food poisoning. While the summer heat is enjoyable, it is vital that we do not disregard our health. Extra care must be made to battle the heat and stay fit and healthy during this season.
Consume Plenty of Water: Summer heat and sweat can dehydrate your body, resulting in unfavourable health outcomes such as fever and chills. Drink at least 2 to 3 litres of water per day to keep yourself hydrated.
Take Precautions to Avoid Heatstroke: Another major issue that older adults face during the hot summer months is heatstroke. The main reason that older adults are more vulnerable to this is that their bodies do not adjust to temperature changes as quickly. High fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness are all common symptoms of heatstroke.
Light and Comfortable Attires: In the summer, it is best to dress in breathable and lightweight clothing to keep your body temperature regulated in the hot sun. Instead of heavy clothing, choose natural fabrics such as cotton and linen.
Indoor Stays Are Best: Outdoor activities should be limited to the cooler parts of the day, such as early mornings before 11 a.m. or late evenings after 5 p.m.
Eat Healthy And Light: Consume small, frequent meals. Heavy meals with high carbohydrate and fat content generate a lot of heat in the body. Concentrate on fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as oranges, watermelon, tomatoes, and so on.
Protect Your Eyes: Wear protective eyewear to protect your eyes from the harsh sunlight at work and at play. When going outside, wear sunglasses that block at least 99 per cent of UV rays.
Avoid Alcohol And Caffeine: Alcohol, fizzy drinks, and coffee can all dehydrate you quickly. If at all possible, try to limit your intake of these popular beverages, especially during hot weather. A good substitute is a plain or flavoured water.(Olivia Sarkar)
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The National Medical Commission on Thursday issued a circular on the implementation of competency-based medical education in the undergraduate medical programme, which also recommends the Maharishi Charak Shapath for students at the course's onset.
"Maharishi Charak Shapath is recommended when a candidate is introduced to medical education," the NMC said in the circular.
It further said that the new competency-based medical education for undergraduate course curriculum is being implemented with the objectives of covering all three domains of learning - Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor.
"The new course curriculum introduced in August 2019 enriched the medical students with a sound base and balanced approach to overall aspect with the introduction of foundation courses which includes Family Adoption Programme, Yoga, Meditation, Local Language adaptation and skills," reads the circular. All medical colleges in states and UTs have been directed to implement the new course.
The NMC circular mainly lists the guidelines that need to be followed because of the time redistribution for the course in the professional year of 2021-22 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The duration of the first professional course has been reduced from 14 months to 12 months. The curriculum of UG CBME will be considered from February 14, 2022 in all medical colleges across the country.
The NMC has implemented 'Family Adoption Programme' as a part of curriculum of community medicine which will begin from first professional year and will remain throughout the curriculum. The Family Adoption will include villages which are not covered under PHC.
Yoga training has also been recommended to be initiated during foundation courses. Reacting to the new curriculum, Dr Rohan Krishnan, President, FAIMA Doctors Association, told IANS that there is nothing new in the inner structure of the curriculum.
"There are some changes academically wherein forensic medicine which was earlier taught in second Professional MBBS, will now be taught at third year and exams will be taken in third year MBBS, and field visits and community medicine which was taught in third year will now start from first year itself," he said.
"There seems to be lack of innovation in the curriculum as even after pandemic there is no extra time or practical skiils allocations in virology, microbiology or handling of a pandemic," he added.
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