Kala Chana kebab


Kala Chana kebab

  • Author: Shampa Banerjee
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Snacks
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Kala Chana Kebabs can be incredibly tasty source of protein that you can snack in during the evening, or use as a side dish during dinner. Kala chana Kebabs are soft, fluffy, low-oil, high-protein snack that would be your perfect choice if you are looking for a delicious meal that wouldn’t add too many calories to your daily limit.



For the kebab:

  • 1 cup kala chana or black chickpea
  • 1 medium-sized onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • ½ inch ginger, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 green chilies
  • 45 tbsp. fine besan or gram flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • 12 tbsp. Kebab masala

For the kebab masala:

  • 1 tsp black peppercorn
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 small black cardamom
  • 1 green cardamom pods
  • 45 cloves



To cook the kala chana:
  • Wash and soak kala chana in water for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Drain the water and add the chana to a pressure cooker. Boil it in, and reduce the flame to low. Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Pour the boiled chana into a bowl and keep ⅔ cup of boiled chana water aside.
  • Allow them to cool down. Then pour the boiled chana and chana water into a blender jar. Grind to a smooth paste.
To make the kebab masala:
  • Heat a non-stick pan over a low flame.
  • Add black peppercorn, coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks, cloves, black cardamom, and green cardamom pods.
  • Dry roast all the whole spices for a few minutes until fragrant.
  • Turn the heat off and transfer them to a plate. After they cool down, grind them to a fine powder.
To make kala chana kebab:
  • Heat the same non-stick pan over medium flame.
  • Add besan or gram flour.
  • Cook it for a few minutes, stirring continuously, until the raw smell goes away. Turn the flame off and keep it aside to cool down.
  • In a blender jar, add chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves, onion, garlic, ginger, and green chilies. Grind to a smooth paste.
  • In a large bowl, add chana paste, roasted basan, coriander-onion paste, 2 tablespoons kebab masala, and salt. Combine everything well.
  • Heat a little oil in a non-stick pan over medium flame.
  • Apply a little oil to your palms, take a small portion of the kebab mixture, form a ball and flatten it.
  • Carefully put the kebabs in the hot pan.
  • Cook until it becomes crisp and golden on both sides.
  • Serve with coriander chutney.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 153 Kcal
  • Fat: 6.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.5g
  • Protein: 5.4g

Keywords: Kala chana kebab

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Lemon Sesame Chicken


Lemon Sesame Chicken

  • Author: Shampa Banerjee
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 30 minutes


Lemon chicken is a tasty and a healthy food, that’s loved by people all across the world. It can be used as a side dish for both lunch and dinner. As it is prepared with few ingredients, it’s very easy to cook too.


  1. Chicken (Boneless):100g
  2. Gram flour:1 tbsp./15g
  3. Whole wheat flour: 1 tbsp.
  4. Black pepper:1 tbsp.
  5. Chili Flakes:1 tbsp.
  6. Soya sauce:1tsp.
  7. Garlic chopped:1 tbsp.
  8. Sesame seeds:1/2 tbsp.
  9. Lemon:1 whole
  10. Green chili:2 no
  11. Spring onion:1 tbsp. (chopped)
  12. Oil:1 tbsp.


  1. Cut the boneless chicken into small pieces.
  2. Put the chicken pieces in a bowl and mix them with 1 tbsp wheat flour, 1 tbsp gram flour, ½ tsp black pepper powder and salt. Marinate them for 15 minutes.
  3. Pour 1 tbsp oil into a pan and shallow fry the marinated chicken pieces, and keep them aside after frying.
  4. Put ½ tbsp oil into the same pan and stir fry chopped garlic in it. Then add 1 cup of water.
  5. As the waters starts to boil, put red chili flakes, salt, black pepper powder and soya sauce and mix them well.
  6. Add chicken pieces into the mix and cook for five minutes
  7. Put honey, lemon juice, and roasted sesame seed one by one into the pan and mix well.
  8. Put chopped spring onion in it and keep the lid of the pan covered for five minutes.
  9. Serve hot


  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 210 Kcal
  • Fat: 12g
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Protein: 15g

Keywords: Lemon Sesame chicken

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Rava Appam


Rava Appam

  • Author: Shampa Banerjee
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 30 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Cuisine: South Indian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Instant Rava Appam is a healthy and tasty breakfast solution for busy mornings. It’s nutritious as well as easily digestible. Peanut chutney as accompaniment enhances the taste of the dish. It is one of the most popular foods in South India.


For Appam

  1. Rava-1/2 cup / 60g
  2. Curd: 1/2 cup/ 60g
  3. Fruit salt:1/2 tsp.
  4. Salt: As per taste

For chutney:

  1. Peanut:1 tbsp./ 15g
  2. Roasted chana:1 tbsp./15g (without skin)
  3. Garlic:2-3 pods
  4. Curry leaves:2-3 no
  5. Salt: As per taste
  6. Green chili:2 no


For Appam:

  1. First, put 1 cup rava or suji and 1 cup curd in a mixer
  2. Add ½ cup of water and salt into it.
  3. Blend them to a fine paste and pour into a mixing bowl.
  4. Add ½ cup water and mix well until a smooth, flowing, and consistent batter is formed.
  5. Now add ½ tsp. fruit salt and mix gently and keep the bowl aside.
  6. Next take a Tawa and heat it on medium flame.
  7. Pour Appam batter on it and make round-shaped ravas.
  8. Keep the flame on medium and cook until the top of the appam is cooked completely.
  9. Serve hot with peanut and curry leaves chutney

For Chutney:

  1. In a mixer grinder take roasted peanut and roasted chana.
  2. Add garlic, green chili, salt and 1-2 tablespoons of water. Make a smooth paste. Keep aside.
  3. In a frying pan add ½ tsp. oil and curry leaves. Heat well for seasoning.
  4. In a bowl add curry leaves seasoning into the paste and stir well.
  5. Serve with Appam.




  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 147
  • Fat: 4.7
  • Carbohydrates: 24.5
  • Fiber: 2.91
  • Protein: 5.6

Keywords: Rava Appam

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Mango oats smoothie


Mango oats smoothie

  • Author: Shampa Banerjee
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Smoothie
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Mango oats smoothie is a mouth-watering refreshing drink. It is not only tasty but healthy as well. It contains a good amount of protein and fiber. If you are in a hurry, you can use it as a healthy breakfast option.


  1. Mango:1/2 mango(75 g chopped)
  2. Curd: 2 tbsp.
  3. Oats:1 tbsp.
  4. Raisins:4-5


  1. Soak oats in 1 cup of water for at least 30 minutes or you can soak it overnight as well.
  2. Wash and cut the mango into small cubes.
  3. In a blender, add soaked overnight oats and curd and mango pulp. Blend the mixture in a smooth consistency to make the smoothie.
  4. Add water ½ cup and stir thoroughly, if the mixture is too thick.
  5. Add chopped raisins on top.
  6. You can put the smoothie in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, and serve it cold.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 122 kcal
  • Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 21g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 4g

Keywords: Mango smoothie

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Good Fat and Bad Fat

Health enthusiasts often treat the word as taboo. Those among us, who pay extra attention to what and how we eat to keep ourselves healthy, often avoid fats from our diets. And there is a reason for that. Most of us feel that fats in the food we eat are entirely responsible for the body fats that we want to get rid of. This idea, however, is completely erroneous. Whether or not we eat fats, our body will have fat from other food sources. For example, our bodies store simple carbohydrates like sugar and refined grains as fats. What we need to remember is that fats aren’t all bad for us. There are hundreds of different kinds of fats in our body, and they are absolutely essential for our survival.

Fats are, in fact, one of the three macronutrients that our bodies need to function. In this article, we shall talk more about the sources of fats in our foods, and the kinds that are healthy and separate them from the fats that are unhealthy.


Unsaturated Fat: The good fat

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Unsaturated Fats are fats that are beneficial to our health. These are fats that remain liquid at room temperature. Unsaturated fats help in improving cholesterol levels in our bodies. They also stabilize heart rhythm, reduce inflammation, and have several other health benefits. Some plant sources like- seeds, nuts, and vegetable oil are rich in unsaturated fats

Unsaturated Fats can be broadly classified into two groups:

 Monounsaturated Fats:

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Monounsaturated fats are molecules that have one unsaturated carbon to carbon double bond, which makes them liquid at room temperature. Fruits like avocado; seeds like pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds; and nuts, like almonds and hazelnuts contain lots of monounsaturated fats. Olive oil, Peanut oil, and Canola oil have high concentrations of monounsaturated fats as well.

Polyunsaturated Fats:

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These are the most common type of fats that are found in the kitchen- Sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, and flaxseeds oil are all sources of polyunsaturated fats. These fats have two or more double bonds in their carbon chain. Walnuts, flaxseeds, and fish are also great sources of polyunsaturated fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are an important type of polyunsaturated fat that is essential to our health. Omega-3 fatty acids improve heart health by reducing triglyceride and LDL and raising good HDL cholesterol. It also helps in bringing down blood pressure. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are very good sources of omega-3. Omega-6 fatty acids are another type of polyunsaturated fat that’s good for our health. American Heart Association suggests that 8-10% of daily calories must come from unsaturated fats.

Saturated Fat: The in-between fat

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Saturated fats are extremely common in the foods that we eat. The word saturated refers to the hydrogen atoms surrounding the carbon atom, which, in saturated fats, holds as many hydrogen atoms as possible. They are solid at room temperature. Red meat, Whole milk, and whole milk products, including cheese, butter, cookies, and a variety of fast-food dishes contain saturated fats.

We need to remember that all foods that have fats have a combination of fats. Even healthy foods like chicken and nuts have saturated fats, but are in much lesser quantity than in different kinds of red meat. American Health Association recommends limiting saturated fats to no more than 7% of total calories consumed. Although it has been widely believed, even by professionals, that saturated fats are bad for health; several new research found the evidence supporting the claim hasn’t always been backed by comprehensive data. But replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats definitely improves our health.

Trans Fat: The bad fat

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Hydrogenation of oil makes trans-fat. The process entails heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of hydrogen gas and a catalyst. Partially hydrogenating vegetable oil makes the oil more stable and converts them into a solid that can withstand repeated heating without breaking down. This made hydrogenated oil cost-effective and has been extensively used by the fast-food industries that require repeated use of the same oil for frying. It is also used in preparing baked foods, processed snack food, and margarine. Apart from these artificially prepared sources of trans fat, they can also be found naturally in red meat and dairy in a small amount.

Trans fat is really bad for health. It reduces good cholesterol HDL and increases bad cholesterol LDL.  Trans fat increases the chances of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions as it creates inflammation in our bodies. It also enhances insulin resistance. There is no safe level of trans fat consumption. United States has officially banned usage of trans fat in foods.

Sources of Trans Fat

The Nutrition Source of Harvard School of Public Health writes: “for each additional 2 percent of calories from trans-fat consumed daily, the risk of coronary heart disease increases by 23 percent.” Commercial baked goods, such as cakes, cookies, and pies, shortening, microwave popcorn, frozen pizza, refrigerated dough, such as biscuits and rolls, Fried foods, including French fries, doughnuts, and fried chicken, Non-dairy coffee creamer, stick margarine are some of the sources of trans fat. We should avoid these foods as much as possible.

It is best to be a conscientious eater. Fats are both good and bad- inevitable for our existence, yet can be extremely detrimental to our health. As conscientious eaters, we will be able to place fat in the broad context of the foods we eat, determine what kinds of fat the food source contains, then make an informed choice on whether we should or shouldn’t eat the food.



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Sleep Problems among the Elderly: Tips to Overcome it

Aging is one of the most natural things to happen to us. No matter how healthy or fit we are, we all will age. And as we grow older, we often find it difficult to do things that we have almost always taken for granted. Not being able to sleep properly is one such problem that is widely seen among the elderly. Among all other sleep disorders, the most common is insomnia, which has several medical and psychiatric repercussions.

While sleep disorders aren’t uncommon among young people; their recurrence among the elderly is incredibly high. According to estimates, close to 10-30% of adults live with insomnia. In a study published at the NCBI, made at St. Philomena’s Hospital, Bengaluru, chronic insomnia was found in as many as 33% of the patients. Elderly people would often show sleep changes that can be directly attributed to their age. This can range from fragmented sleep, early awakening, difficulty in falling asleep, repeated instances of waking up earlier than desired, less time spent in deeper stages of sleep, and an overall less total sleep time. Let’s look at the possible factors contributing to insomnia.

Causes of Insomnia among the elderly:

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It is very important to understand the root cause of insomnia before beginning the process of treatment. Insomnia can broadly be classified into two parts: primary insomnia, where insomnia occurs independently, and secondary insomnia, where some underlying medical or psychiatric conditions give rise to insomnia. Some important causes leading to insomnia among the elderly are:

1. Sleep Pattern:

Normal changes in the sleep pattern occur with age. This might entail getting tired quickly and sleeping early, resulting in waking up early.

2. Changes in Activity:

Our physical and social activity may decrease as we become elderly. Lack of activity may contribute to insomnia

3. Medications:

As people grow older, they may have to take lots of medicines, some of which can contribute to sleep disorders. This may include antidepressants or medications for asthma.

4. Mental Illness:

Mental Illnesses including depression and anxiety may cause insomnia among the elderly

5. Health Conditions:

Several medical conditions like the Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, heart disease might affect sleep among the elderly.

6. Lifestyle factors:

If caffeine or alcohol is consumed excessively then they might affect normal sleep as well. Smoking, especially before bedtime, may contribute to insomnia

7. Stress:

Stressful life events and even excessive stress during the normal course of life may significantly affect normal sleep processes.

Apart from insomnia, some other common sleep disorders, including, Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders, Sleep-related Breathing Disorders, Periodic Limb Movements, and Restless Legs Syndrome, REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder may also cause sleeplessness or disturbed sleep among the elderly.


Sleep is so very fundamental to our existence that insomnia or other forms of sleep disorder may have deep medical and psychological repercussions.

1. Elevated risk of long-term diseases or exacerbated risk of deterioration of the present health condition.

2. Psychological disorders, including depression and anxiety, which in turn become a cause for further sleep deprivation among the elderly, leading to a vicious cycle

3. Decreased ability to do daily activities.

4. Impaired concentration and mental agility

Tips to overcome insomnia among the elderly

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1. Stimulus Control:

If someone is in bed for more than 20 minutes without being able to sleep, he would need to get up and busy and try to sleep only when he is tired again.

2. Strict sleep routine :

Strictly following a sleep routine of going to bed and waking up is extremely essential to fight insomnia

3. Electronic gadgets:

Avoiding electronic gadgets before sleep is essential to keep insomnia at bay

4. Lifestyle:

In the case of chronic insomnia, caffeine should be restricted before evening. Consuming alcohol and smoking should also be avoided before bedtime.

5. Ambience:

Maintaining a stable and comfortable room temperature, along with very low levels of light helps in sleep.

6. Exercise:

Exercising during the day and avoiding it two-three hours before sleep may help get proper sleep

In case the problems of insomnia persist, it is best to get in touch with a physician to determine the underlying cause of the disease and start treatment accordingly. Indeed, insomnia is a terrible condition to be in and timely intervention is needed for an overall improvement in physical and psychological health.












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Effects of too much sugar on children

Introduction: Sugar and Children

Childhood and sugar are inextricably related. There are very few things a child like more than her sugary treats. Their world lights up with sugar in the form of chocolates, colourful candies, and other sweets. Sugar is so enormously loved by the children that parents often use them as rewards for good behaviour or for a job well done. The supply of sugar is also incessant. In addition to the parents, sugar in the form of chocolates and candies also come from visiting relatives and acquaintances, school friends, and from every other conceivable places. The result, needless to say, turns pretty debilitating. Excessive sugar in foods have long lasting health implications. In this article we shall discuss about the effects of too much sugar on children.

Recommended Quantity of Sugar for children

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) in its new guidelines for sugar intake for adults and children have recommended reduced intake of free sugar throughout the life. According to WHO the intake of free sugar should be less than 10% of total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5% of total energy intake will have further benefits, according to them.

As per the American Heart Association (AHA) children below 2 years old should not have any free sugar at all. For children between 2-18 years old, recommended daily intake of sugar is 25 grams (6 teaspoons) or less. A study has found that more than 81% of children in the US eat more sugar than this recommended quantity. This, in turn, often leads to a higher BMI when they become older.

Harmful Effects of having too much sugar on children

There are raging controversies among scientists about addictive properties of sugar. Some believe that sugar can be more addictive than cocaine, citing the immediate pleasure caused by the release of a flood of dopamine from eating sugar make one addicted to sugar. While other scientists disagree in equating sugar with drugs; the harmful effects of eating too much sugar in diet remains incontrovertible.

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1. Obesity and having too much sugar on diet

Malnutrition among overweight kids is difficult to ascertain. When too much sugary foods are consumed, the quantity of nutritious food in diet automatically gets reduced. Sugary foods lead to obesity that can have several long-term consequences, including an onset of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, fatty liver, joint pain and more.

2. Suppression of Immune system.

Eating sugary foods is directly related to the suppression of immune system. White blood cells in our body are responsible for fighting off infections. These white blood cells are highly affected by excess sugar consumption. They cannot do their jobs as well.  Therefore, consuming a lot of sugar through foods and beverages reduces our body’s innate ability to ward off diseases.

3. Increased risk of diabetes

While direct correlation of developing type 2 diabetes with consuming sugar have not been established, it is found that people who regularly drink sugar sweetened beverages have a 25% more risk of developing diabetes. In fact, countries where sugar consumption is highest also have highest rates of type 2 diabetes, whereas those with lowest consumption have lowest rates. Diabetes is a terrible condition that may harm a child’s kidneys, eyes and blood vessels.

4. Effect of having too much sugar on the eyesight of children

An increased sugar content in diet may lead to a swelling of the eyes that in turn may cause reduced or blurry vision.

5. Digestive issues

Excessive sugar in diet reduces the effectiveness of good bacteria in the gut. As gut bacteria help in digestion, this leads to an increased possibility of indigestion, heartburn, gas etc.

6. Tooth Decay

Eating sugary foods is directly responsible for decayed tooth among children

7. Sugar and the Brain

A study conducted at the University of Southern California found that excess consumption of sugar intake interferes with normal functioning of brain that includes hindrance in remembering minor details about one’s environment. UCLA researchers have found sugar intake slows down the brain. The researchers found in their experiment with rats than too much fructose had damaged the rats’ synaptic activity

Alternatives to sugar

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Whole fruits

Fruits are both sweet and colourful and it would not be an exaggeration to call them nature’s candies. Although they too have sugar, it isn’t refined or processed sugar that is found in most desserts.  Two to three servings of fruits like apples, bananas, berries, pomegranate can meet sweet craving of a child.

Dry fruits

Dry fruits like raisins and dates are rich in minerals and fibre.  Low quantities of dry fruits can act as an alternative to sugar.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter in appropriate quantities is tasty and healthy snacks. When mixed with fruits peanut butter can help satisfy a child’s sweet tooth. It is also a very good source of healthy fat.

Organic honey

1-2 teaspoons of Organic Honey in a week is good for health. In addition to meeting a child’s sweet cravings, it is also a good source of antioxidant, along with antibacterial and antifungal properties.


Jaggery, like organic honey, if eaten in moderation (2 spoons in a week), can be a healthy alternative to processed sugar. It is also rich in antioxidants and helps in strengthening immunity

Greek yoghurt

Greek Yoghurt, without added flavours or sugar, can be used as a tasty substitute to sugar.  One can prepare healthy and delicious sundaes with Greek yogurt using nuts and fruits.

To separate a child from her daily dose of sugar is indeed a difficult job, especially if she is used to having a lot of it in her diet. However, a concerted effort must be made to reduce the free sugar intake among children, seeing how long term and debilitating health effects of too much sugar on children.



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Low blood Sugar Versus High Blood Sugar

Glucose, is the primary source of energy of our body, and it comes from the food we eat. An elevated sugar level for a sustained period of time is called diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic and metabolic disease that over time may cause serious damage to different organs in our body. WHO estimates that there are about 422 million people worldwide who suffer from diabetes, with 1.6 million deaths each year directly attributable to it, making diabetes one of the most pressing health concern of our world today. Today we shall discuss the effects of low blood sugar versus high blood sugar.

Low Blood Sugar Versus High Blood Sugar

Maintaining blood glucose level within the prescribed range is always a challenge for patients suffering from diabetes. Even if one is careful, there might be instances of high blood sugar, or hyperglycaemia, and low blood sugar, or hypoglycaemia. We must keep in mind that even though consumption of carbohydrates regulates the amount of glucose levels in our blood, it isn’t the only factor determining it. Emotional stress and effects of certain medications may cause hyperglycaemia. Similarly, a sudden increase in physical activity may cause hypoglycaemia. Both situations can turn dire, and can even prove fatal at times. So, it is extremely important to maintain normal sugar levels.

The American Diabetes Association has recommended maintaining the following sugar levels:


  1. a) 80 and 130 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL) before meals
  2. b) Less than 180 mg/dL within two hours after meals


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Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for allowing glucose in the blood to enter the cells. High sugar levels occur when insulin production in our body becomes insufficient. It also happens that our body becomes resistant to insulin, and cannot properly utilise the insulin available in our body. Since blood cannot transfer the sugar to muscles, organs and tissues due to a lack of insulin, the amount of sugar in the blood builds up, rising above the specified sugar range, causing hyperglycaemia.

Several factors may cause hyperglycaemia to occur including, excessive eating, forgetting taking pills/insulin, lowering physical activities, stress, illness etc. In fact, medications that aren’t directly related to diabetes like steroids, beta blockers, birth control pills may also contribute in elevating sugar levels.

Hyperglycaemia can be extremely dangerous and in severe cases may lead to coma. If someone gets two readings of more than 300 mg/dL in a row then she should inform her doctor. In case of nausea, dizziness, and confusion, she should go for emergency medical treatment.

Signs of High Blood Sugar

The following signs often point to a hyperglycaemic condition:

  • Need for frequent urination
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Extreme hunger and/or thirst
  • Blurring of the vision
  • Dry or itchy skin


1. Regular medication– Maintaining correct dosage of pills/insulin at proper time intervals is crucial.

2. Carbohydrate– Taking care of the daily carbohydrate count of the diets of diabetes patients is a must and is highly recommended by the American Diabetes Association. Higher intake might cause hyperglycaemia and lower intake may result in hypoglycaemia and hence measuring Carbohydrate count is essential in the management of blood sugar. Eating complex carbohydrates like whole wheat flour, oats, millets and monitoring calorie intake, as well as keeping an exercise log can be useful.

3. Proteins and healthy fats– Eating healthy fats and protein rich foods help keep sugar in control

4.  Regular exercise– Doing exercise regularly as per doctor’s advice is important in lowering sugar. Regular exercise also helps in enhancing insulin health.



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Hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar levels, is the inverse of hyperglycaemia. It occurs when glucose level in the blood decreases and necessary glucose supply to organs, tissues and muscles is hindered. Low sugar levels might occur when someone doesn’t eat enough foods, especially foods that are rich in carbohydrates, while taking  sugar lowering medications. The fall in sugar levels can be both  sudden or gradual.

The consequences of sugar fall might be severe. When the level of sugar falls, the body releases epinephrine, also called adrenaline, that causes an increased heartbeat, along with sweating, anxiety and shaking. Extreme cases may lead to seizures, coma and even death.



The following signs may signal a fall in sugar levels:

  • Dizziness
  • Weakness and tiredness
  • Shaking
  • Irritability
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Extreme hunger


Following the ’15-15 Rule’– If the blood sugar levels drop below 70 mg/dL, it is advised to consume 15g of carb and wait for 15 minutes. After that the sugar levels need to be checked again. If the number still remains below 70 mg/dL, the process needs to be repeated again.

15g of carbs can be found in:

  • 1 small piece of fresh fruit
  • Three to four hard candies
  • Glucose tablets
  • Glucose gel

ADA has prescribed taking scheduled snack/meal once the sugar levels reach above 70 mg/dL so that it doesn’t drop again. If one has two readings of  sugar dropping below 70mg/dL within a week, she should look for immediate medical attention.

Hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia can turn out to be extremely dangerous for diabetics and hence we should regularly monitor our  sugar levels.

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Foods for Heart: Diet to keep your heart healthy

Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death all across the world. WHO has estimated that a total of 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2019, that’s a whopping 32% of all deaths that have happened globally in that year. Incidentally, most Cardiovascular Diseases are preventable through lifestyle changes. Behavioral risk factors, such as using tobacco, having unhealthy diets, obesity, physical inactivity all significantly contribute to enhancing the chances of developing CVDs. Today we shall discuss in details how a healthy and a balanced diet can help prevent and manage Cardiovascular Diseases. The article will talk about Foods for Heart: Diet to keep your heart healthy

Principles and Recommendations for curating a heart healthy diet:

Energy or calorie:

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The risk of Cardiovascular Diseases is directly related to our body weight. Being overweight or obese enhances the chances of developing CVDs. Therefore, a balanced diet with a carefully managed total calorie intake is important in keeping the heart healthy. Energy from Complex Carbohydrates and healthy fats are beneficial. These are Foods for Heart: Diet to keep your heart healthy

Controlling the portion size of our food can be helpful in reducing calorie intake. Following tips might be followed in order to reduce the portion size of our meals:

a. Using smaller plates or bowls
b. Eating low-calorie foods that are rich in nutrients, like fruits and vegetables
c. Avoiding high-calorie/high-sodium foods, like processed, refined or fast foods.


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Taking protein that are low in fat is important for maintaining heart health. Lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and eggs are good sources of protein for maintaining heart health.

Choosing lower fat protein foods is important. For example, skimmed milk should be opted instead of whole milk, or skinless chicken breasts should be preferred over fried chicken patty. Fish is also considered a very good alternative source of protein to high-fat meat. These are great Foods for Heart: Diet to keep your heart healthy

Some of the fish that we eat are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that helps in lowering triglycerides. Salmon, mackerel, herring are some of the cold water fish where you can find a lot of omega-3 fatty acids.

Legumes, like beans, lentils and peas can also be used as low-protein substitutes. These foods are rich in proteins and does not contain cholesterol. Also, balancing animal protein and plant protein is important. Plant proteins are low fat alternatives, but since they also do not contain omega-3 fatty acids, the deficit must be compensated including animal proteins 2-3 times in a week. For vegetarians, who cannot have animal protein, should take grounded and roasted flaxseed one tablespoon every day for omega-3 fatty acids.


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By reducing the intake of saturated and trans fats we can reduce blood cholesterol levels in our body. This in turn helps in lowering the chances of getting Coronary Artery Diseases. In the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the American Heart Association has recommended completely avoiding trans-fat and reducing Saturated fat to 10% of the total daily calories.

The three most effective ways of cutting down saturated and trans fats are:

a. Having lean meat instead of red meat

b. Using less butter, margarine and instead using guacamole or tahini dip.

c. Avoiding fast food

We would need to check the nutritional labels carefully in order to avoid hidden fats and sugar. Trans fat is sometimes listed in the nutritional label as partially hydrogenated oil, which we must make an effort to avoid.

While choosing fat, using monosaturated fats like olive oil or canola oil, or polyunsaturated fats that are found in certain types of fish, avocado, nuts and seeds, should be used, instead of saturated fats. Both monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats help in lowering cholesterol, however, should only be used in moderation as they too are high in calories.


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Having excessive salt during meals can cause high blood pressure which is one of the risk factors for developing CVDs. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults should have no more than 2300 milligrams of sodium in a day (about a teaspoon of salt), ideally less than 1500 mg/day.

Although reducing adding too much salt while cooking or during meal is a very good habit, we must also remember much of the salt we eat comes from processed or canned foods. Hence, eating fresh foods, and preparing our own soups and stews and reducing the salt content ourselves is the best way to go.

Fibre  or Whole Grain:

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Whole grains are extremely good as a resource for fibre in our diet. If we have whole grains instead of refined grains products, our blood pressure would be much well-regulated and our heart’s health would be much better. Whole grains are truly Foods for Heart: Diet to keep your heart healthy


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Sugar is extremely dangerous and can cause harm to our heart like unhealthy fats. Free sugar in our diet increases our cholesterol levels and so we must take special care to remove free sugar from our diet. Instead, natural sweets like raisins or dates can be used.

Best heart friendly foods to eat:

A heart-healthy diet consists of:

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Lean meats
  • Nuts, Beans, and Legumes
  • Fish
  • Whole grains
  • Plant-based oils, such as olive oil
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Eggs

All of the above options are low in empty calories and saturated fats. Best go to strategy would be to make the plate half-full and to ensure that lots of vegetables are included during every meal.

Foods to avoid

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The following is a partial list of foods to limit or avoid, as they are often detrimental to heart health:

  • Fast food
  • Fried food
  • Boxed food
  • Canned food (veggies and beans are the exceptions, as long as there’s no added salt)
  • Candy
  • Chips
  • Processed frozen meals
  • Cookies and Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Ice-cream
  • Condiments such as mayonnaise, ketchup, and packaged dressing
  • Red meat
  • Alcohol
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oils (these contain trans fats)
  • Deli meat
  • Pizza, burgers, and hot dogs

Healthy Habits and Lifestyle Changes

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Apart from having a healthy diet, some habits and lifestyle changes are key to a healthy heart. Following are some of the recommendations for a healthy heart:


Getting regular exercise is very important for a healthy heart. According to the recommendations of The American Heart Association, 75 minutes of vigorous activity or 150 minutes of moderate activity is needed per week. Regular walking, swimming or jogging would help meet the requirements

Weight Loss

Losing weight helps in reducing pressure on heart. For someone who is overweight or obese, and needs to lose weight, he/she should get in touch with a nutritionist to reach weight loss goal.


Managing stress is important in keeping a healthy heart. Mindfulness techniques, yoga and meditation help in reducing stress.


Smoking is extremely detrimental to heart health, and steps should be taken to start on a quitting plan.


It’s best to avoid alcoholic beverages, especially if someone has a heart attack, as alcohol is a blood thinner. If taken, it’s best to consume in moderation.

The importance of taking care of our heart cannot be overstated, and since a large part of the Cardiovascular Diseases is directly related to the choices we make in life, especially about the foods we take; a healthy diet is the surest way to a heathy heart.

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Sweet potato burfi


Sweet potato burfi

  • Author: Shampa Banerjee
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Sweets
  • Diet: Diabetic


Sweet Potato Barfi is a low calorie tasty and healthy sweet. Since sugar isn’t used in the preparation of sweet potato barfi it is very good for people with diabetes and those who are overweight. Sweet Potato Barfi is prepared using sweet potato, milk powder and nuts, and hence it is a very good option as a low calorie sweet.


  1. Sweet potatoes (1 medium) :100g
  2. Ghee or clarified butter: 1 tbsp.
  3. Green cardamom powder (freshly ground is better): 1/4 th tsp.
  4. Chopped almond: 2 nos.
  5. Skimmed milk powder:25g


  1. Boil sweet potatoes along with their skin in a pressure cooker and cool them
  2. When cooled, peel and mash the boiled sweet potatoes. 
  3. Add cardamom powder and mix well.
  4. Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed or non-stick pan.
  5. Fry the mashed sweet potatoes, stirring frequently, until ghee begins to separate. The halva tastes better when fried well.
  6. Add milk powder (unsweetened). Cook, stirring continuously, for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Turn off heat and add 2/3rd of the chopped almonds.
  8. Spread it out on a greased plate and allow it to cool. Then cut them into squares or in diamond shape. 
  9. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with remaining nuts. Serve them warm or cold.


  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 251Kcal
  • Fat: 7g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 12g

Keywords: Sweet potato burfi

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