Health After retirement

Most of us which ever age group and gender we may belong to hope to be physically active after retirement and be without any ailment, a great many of us follow a lifestyle that almost certainly sabotages that goal and adds the medical ailments to it.

Will we be physically able to live that life? If we are significantly heavier and less fit than we were five, ten or even 20 years ago, this downward trend will likely continue unless we make a determined effort to change it.

If we are less healthy and fit than we should be, then lets spend more energy into improving your health rather than growing our investment portfolio.

Its not a great feeling say at 50 or 60 years of age if our health is poor and millions in assets or bank. What is the fun of not able to travel, enjoy, eat , party if we are struck down with obesity, overweight, cholesterol, blood pressure.

Lets take charge of our wellness along with the next big payoff .. Balance is the key mantra between health and wealth. Both need each other and they are not happy in isolation.

Obesity worldwide

Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 600 million were obese. 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2014, and 13% were obese. Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight. 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2013.

9 out of 10 people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes are overweight. If you are overweight, losing some weight could help you better manage your diabetes.Obesity is preventable.

The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories spent.

Are we among the above or some of our near and dear ones among the above. If yes, then what are we doing about it. It is good to be busy, but it is a not a great idea to be busy now and regret later in life. The diseases that come with being overweight are irreversible. No amount of money can get us back to our old healthier self.

It is high time for us to become aware of if we are within the healthy weight zone or, overweight. Overweight and obesity are both extremely dangerous and lead to some serious health issues like

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· High blood pressure (Hypertension)
· High Cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
· Type 2 diabetes
· Coronary heart disease
· Stroke
· Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
· Sleep apnea and breathing problems
· Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
· Low quality of life
· Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
· Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning.

We all have either made half- hearted attempts to bring our body weight within the healthy zone or a minimum risk zone, with various degree of success. It is not a great idea not to care about our body, as we risk taking body into a critical ailment zone. If we don’t take care of it or even start thinking of now, we may land up some of above ailments and then taking medical treatment or a starvation – diet treatment.
None of these 2 options are great for us, as we will be forced to accept change in our lifestyles.
Food and Wellness works with clients to be able to understand the root causes of excess weight and customizes diet plans providing the best achievable solution over a reasonable time span. Its time for specialised health care for your body as each of us are unique. What works for me may not work for others.

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Healthy vs Fad Diets

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image source: health.com

Good Health comes with a healthy weight, neither too more nor too less. The Key to healthy weight is what we eat and how much we eat along with moderate to high exercise.In recent years, there has been a proliferation of fad diets which are sold as low fat diets and the best way to lose weight. Enough research evidence exists that low fat diets don’t work as these replace fat with easily digested carbs.They try to restrict select nutrients from our daily intake, which results in short term weight loss which ultimately leads to nutrient deficiency .

Hundreds of diets have been created, many promising fast and permanent weight loss. Remember the Atkins diet? The grapefruit diet? 3 day water diet? Low carb.. Blood type diet.. and various celebrity diets?
Fact is that any diet will work which gives us fewer calories than what we intake.
The best diet for losing weight is one that is good for all parts of your body, from your brain to your toes, and not just for our waistline. It should also be one which we can manage for a longer period of time without too much issues. Ideally a good diet plan is one that offers plenty of good to taste and healthy choices, excludes only few foods, and is easy on wallet and availability.
The Most common diet that fits the above bill is a Mediterranean-type diet.
Mediterranean diet and its variations which typically consists of
· Several servings of fruits and vegetables a day
· Whole-grain breads and cereals
· Healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and olive oil
· Lean protein from poultry, fish, and beans
· Limited amounts of red meat
· Moderate wine consumption with meals .

Fad diets

A fad weight loss diet is any diet which promises fast weight loss without a scientific logic. Fad diets mostly eliminate entire food groups and hence do not provide a wide range of important nutrients.

Fad diets provide short-term results and are difficult to sustain and lead to serious health problems on a long term basis. The best approach to weight loss is to follow a long-term, healthy and balanced eating plan and to exercise regularly.
Weight loss and fad diets:
Diets that encourage fast weight loss generally have little effect on body fat. The initial weight lost from fad diet is mostly water and lean muscle (which is generally not desirable).
When we cut down on food drastically, the body begins to break down muscle to meet energy needs. Muscle break down to release energy is faster than breakdown of fat stored in the body, which is not the desirable route to weight loss.
Breaking down muscle leads to:
• a loss of water, creating the illusion of rapid weight loss
• a reduced metabolic rate, so when the diet is stopped it is much easier for the body to gain fat than it was prior to going on the diet.
As a result, with loss of muscle, our body will become fatter over time.
Fad diets often encourage a short-term change in eating behavior, rather than encouraging changes that can be sustained in the long-term basis. It is essential that diet should meet nutritional needs, and is practical and suitable for individual lifestyles.

Why fad diets don’t work……..

Maintaining a healthy body and mind requires proper nutrition and healthy weight. In our quest to reduce the excess weight that we have accumulated over time, we indulge in fancy foods and fad diets.Fad diets reduce weight on a short term basis, which come back after we stop the fad diets and with side effects.

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Atkins diet & Low Carb diets:

The Atkins diet & similar diets which restrict carbohydrates are considered as “fad” diets. These diet plans help weight loss aggressively at first, but after some time it becomes slow and reverses completely. These diets typically focus on consumption of meat, eggs, fish, poultry and non-starchy vegetables and exclude a food group, in this case, carbs. Most low-carbohydrate diets start off with a restrictive menu and allow you to gradually increase your carbohydrate intake over time.

Eating Carbohydrates like Bread & White Rice, Pastas & Potatoes increase blood sugar level & generate Insulin from pancreas. The sudden surge of insulin leads to drop in blood sugar, causing hunger. Low carb diets claim that people who eat a lot of carbohydrates intake extra calories and hence gain weight.

Lower carb or no carb intake in favor of protein and fat prevents the insulin surge and makes one feel full longer. To recover lack of carbs in the body, the body starts breaking the carb stored in liver and muscle tissue. The body also mobilizes water, which means that the weight loss is coming from water loss. This leads to rapid weight reduction and which reverses over a period of time.

The American Heart Association has cautioned against following the Atkins diet because it is very high in saturated fat and protein, which can be hard on the heart, kidneys, and bones.

Blood Type Diet:

The concept behind the blood type diet is that your blood type
— be it A, AB, B or O — affects the types of food you should eat. People with type A blood should follow a mostly vegetarian diet,
If you have type B blood, you should eat a mix of animal and plant proteins and you should consume mostly red meat, fruits and vegetables if you have type O blood. The science behind this diet is suspect as there is very little evidence that your blood type affects how you respond to certain foods. At the end of it, the blood type diet “works” because it eliminates processed food regardless of blood type, which in any case helps in other diets too.

Acai Berry Diet:

The Acai Berry Diet essentially involves acai berry to lose weight. The acai berry is rich in antioxidants — molecules that help prevent cell damage — and may be useful for preventing some forms of cancer. Claims that acai berry can aid weight loss are unsubstantiated by scientific evidence. Acai is a nutrient-rich source of antioxidants, like many other fruits, but there is nothing magical about the fruit to cause weight loss.

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Master Cleanse/Lemonade Diet:

This diet has been around for decades with all sorts of variations. This diet involves subsisting for days on only lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper mixed in water. “You’ll shed mostly water weight.” Once you start eating solid foods again, you will gain all the weight back. Common side effects include fatigue, nausea, dizziness and dehydration. On an extremely low-calorie diet like this one, you are going to lose muscle, exactly the kind of weight you don’t want to lose.

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3-Day water diet:

The 3-day water diet requires one to take in nothing but water for three days straight. By drinking plenty of water, one nourish muscles, decrease bloating, maintain a feeling of being full and help prevent the buildup of fat. The 3-day water diet also serves as a detoxifying system. As a dieter takes in nothing but water, he can expect to flush out all of the unwanted toxins that have accumulated in his system. The 3-day water diet is generally used for special occasions where individuals would like to drop a few pounds quickly. A majority of individuals who participate in a 3-day water diet are very likely to regain all weight lost. The 3-day water diet is also not for those suffering from serious illness or recovering from any type of surgery. There are dangers to starving one’s self. A lack of vitamins can lead to the breakdown of muscles, cause blood sugar complications, diabetes or dehydration. Water dieting also causes the urge for frequent urination.

When do we consult a Nutritionist & Dietitian

You’re overweight but healthy.

If you’re technically overweight, but your physician says you’re healthy, the question is: How do you feel about yourself? If you’re happy with the way you look and feel, then don’t call a dietitian. But if you’re not happy with your image in the mirror, consider calling someone who can help you lose weight in a healthy manner.

You’re underweight and want to gain weight.

Gaining weight in a healthy manner can be difficult, and You don’t want to simply load up on bad fats, sugars and empty calories. If you don’t know how to gain weight in a healthy way, consider seeing a dietitian. She can show you how to incorporate healthy fats and nutrient-dense, high-quality foods to encourage healthy weight gain that will keep you energized.

Want to lose weight in a healthy manner.

There are plethora of weight loss tools available on the internet and some fad diets like low carb etc etc to get to optimum weight. If the above have not worked for you, its time to see a dietitian to help you reach your goals with a customized plan.

You’re working out, but not seeing results.

A lot of men/ women work out every day but don’t know how to fuel their bodies properly, which means they won’t see optimal results, like weight loss or increased muscle tone. If you’re not seeing results from exercise and you’re eating healthily, call a dietitian/nutritionist to find out what you’re missing in your diet.

Recently been diagnosed with a food allergy, sensitivity or other related medical condition.

Most doctors don’t give enough nutritional information to show you how to live a full life with a newly diagnosed food allergy or sensitivity. Gluten sensitivities, celiac disease, diabetes, high cholesterol or lactose intolerance, thyroid disorder are very common. A dietitian/nutritionist can show you how to incorporate new foods and substitutes into your lifestyle so you can be healthy and eat well, even within a restricted diet.

You’re pregnant.

If you’re pregnant and feel like you don’t have a good sense about how to eat well or properly nourish yourself, consider seeing a dietitian. If you gain too much weight during pregnancy, you’re at risk for developing gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, which can be dangerous. Many women feel like pregnancy is an excuse to go to town and eat loads of junk, but trust me, If you gain 20-30 kilos instead of 10-15, it will be even more of a struggle to lose that weight after the baby is born.

You’re having fertility issues.

If you’re not in optimal health, it could affect your fertility. If you don’t feel healthy or eat well, and you’re experiencing difficulty getting pregnant, consider calling a dietitian to learn how to better nourish yourself.

Risk of heart disease from Diabetes

Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease by four to five times as compared to a non-diabetic person. Hence apart from blood sugar control diabetics also need to pay close attention to controlling their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Diabetics need to have a more stringent lifestyle control as compared to normal people. Lifestyle changes along with weight loss will lead to significant improvement in blood sugar levels.
People suffering with high blood pressure (known as hypertension) are more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke as those with normal blood pressure. Hence diabetics need to keep their blood pressure as close to the ideal as possible, and always less than 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

The general dietary recommendations for diabetes will include, complex carbohydrates(like whole grain pastas, brown rice) avoid processed carbohydrates(like refined flour, polished white rice), prefer raw fruits over fruit juices, include protein (lean meat, eggs, lentils, beans, dairy), green leafy vegetables, avoid raw sugar & sweat treats.

Increasing physical activity, and losing weight—should help to lower your blood pressure. If diet and exercise alone do not bring your blood pressure into a healthy range, medications may be necessary to lower it.

Since diabetes increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, one should pay close attention to factors that can put you at greater risk for heart trouble. These are often referred to as the ABC’s:

  1. Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) blood sugar test
  2. Blood Pressure
  3. Cholesterol

 

Ways to strengthen our immune system

Our immune system does an excellent job of defending us against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails. A germ (pathogen) invades our body successfully and makes us sick.

Can we intervene in this process and make our immune system stronger? What if we improve our diet? Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations? Make other lifestyle changes so that we can get a near-perfect immune response?

Our first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-healthy practices is the single most step we can take towards keeping the immune system strong and healthy.

Every part of our body including the immune system, functions better when protected from negative impacts of the surroundings and strengthened by healthy-living strategies such as these:

  • Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
    • Cook meat thoroughly.
    • Exercise regularly
    • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Blood Pressure Control.
    • Stop Smoking
    • Stop Drinking alcohol or drink only in moderation
    • Get adequate sleep
    • Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently
    • Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category

Boosting our immunity is difficult but not impossible. It is time, we take up on ourselves to bolster our immunity by following the steps mentioned above. This will help us fight the common ailments that we currently suffer or will impact us in the future. Our body needs a right balance of nutritious food, physical exercise and self care.

Time to understand the complications of belly fat, stubborn tummies and pot bellies.

Are you struggling with Round or stubborn tummies. It’s time to take measures to reduce it or else risk metabolic complications, increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery. Belly fat lies deep inside the abdomen and is very stubborn in nature having been deposited for a long period of time.

Just do the simple measurement of your waistline and find out where you are. The higher the number, the greater the danger your tummy poses to your health.
• For women, a waist measurement of 35 inches or more is cause for concern.
• For men, a waist measurement of 40 inches or more could spell trouble.

The researchers say that normal-weight adults with central obesity are at two times the risk of dying earlier than individuals who are either obese or overweight. Based on the study results, the researchers have stressed the importance of adopting an active lifestyle and eating the right diet to prevent fat from accumulating around the belly.

Abdominal fats or stubborn tummies can be controlled through a mix of moderate exercise and proper dietary control. Daily physical activity of 30 to 60 minutes is a must along with correct diet. As a thumb rule, reduce fruit juice and carbonated drinks, take in complex carbs, green vegetables and reduce sugar in take.

Food n Wellness, provides wellness solutions for managing the problem with correct diet prescription and exercise routines tailor made for you. It’s time to be conscious and start taking measures to control our body or else the doctor takes charge of our bodies.

What is the definition of a healthy diet?

Pretty Simple – Mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, plus enough vitamins and minerals for optimal health. Science says that some of the food choices within these categories are better than others.

Are there foods you never should eat? Nothing really. If you crave an ice cream sundae occasionally, have a small one. But don’t make it a daily event. Set off the samosas at parties with healthier snacks at home. Healthy eating making right food choice most of the time.

Nutrition scientists have compiled the following list of foods you should keep to a minimum. Research suggests that eating these foods regularly can create the onset of life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even some cancers.

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White carbohydrates. Bread, pasta, rice, cookies, cake — are best had in the whole-grain versions.
Added sugar. Irrespective of Whether it’s white granulated sugar, brown sugar, high- fructose corn syrup, corn sugar, or honey, sugar contains almost no nutrients and is pure carbohydrate. When we are eating a lot of sugar you are filling up on empty calories, causing our blood sugar to rise and fall like a roller coaster.

Research has proven that soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages are the primary source of added sugar in all our diets and a major contributor to weight gain.

Dairy fat. Ice cream, whole milk, and cheese are full of saturated fat and some naturally occurring trans-fat and therefore can increase the risk of the health problems, notably heart disease. The healthiest milk and milk products are low-fat versions, such as skim milk, milk with 1% fat and reduced-fat cheeses.

Baked sweets. Cookies, snack cakes, doughnuts, pastries, and many other treats are so tempting and we can’t but hog on them, but these commercially prepared versions are packed with processed carbohydrates, added sugar, unhealthy fats, and salt.

Dietary guidelines and the American Heart Association recommend reducing sodium to 1,500 mg per day and not exceeding 2,300 mg per day. But most of us get 1½ teaspoons (or 8,500 mg) of salt daily. That translates to about 3,400 mg of daily sodium. Our body needs a certain amount of sodium, but too much can increase blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and stroke.

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