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Protein supplements: do we really need them?

Every country has its own food culture which includes natural and local food items. Even in India, particularly in Kerala we have a good food culture which includes combinations of nutrients in the right proportion. It is a globally accepted fact that man-made food may not provide the same goodness as natural ones. Now FAO and other global organizations are creating more awareness on local low-cost food to support farmers as well as human wellbeing.

Does supplements provide you sufficient nutrition?

During my practice as a nutritionist and dietitian, whenever a new client joins they ask a variety of questions. Many of them say that hours of exercise with so many supplements makes no changes in their body. I noted that during lockdown more people observed how to get results with simple exercises and diet. Recently a few celebrities consulted me for diet plans. They were curious to know about the benefits of normal Kerala diets. They have been using too many protein supplements which are more than their body can utilize. They also suffer health issues related to higher uric acid levels.

I have also seen people from rural areas who are struggling with financial issues also spend so much amount for imported products and weight loss and protein supplements. A good education on this subject may help the community and others too.  Being a dietician, I am obliged to share the right information about food. Even in the 2019 FSSAI meeting, the participants discussed the public health issues associated with supplements intake and the efforts taken by the India Government to spread awareness on the local low cost food.

In the recent years as part of business and material development, India has been importing so many goods such as supplements. Many of them are even banned in other countries. But the fact is that our normal daily diet provides sufficient protein required for our body. An increased level of protein supplements cannot be tolerated by our system. Research shows that that our body weight depends 80% on our diet and 20% on our fitness efforts.

Are protein and other supplements substitute for food?

Supplements are not substitutes for food. They can’t provide the nutrients and health benefits of whole foods. A normal diet that includes fruits and vegetables provides a variety of micronutrients which your body needs in a more balanced way. It also provides dietary fibers essential to keep diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases at the bay.  Supplements offer limited nourishment to the body as you get only specific vitamins and minerals. However, in some cases supplements are needed especially when you are required to supplement your natural food intake. But it should never replace your healthy diet.

Nov 08, 2020

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How Healthy Sustainable Diets Sustain Yourself And The Planet

On 16th of October every year, the world comes together to celebrate World Food Day. The theme each year is different, but 2020’s theme is unique and timely: “Grow, Nourish, Sustain”. In a world facing the ill effects of climate change, hunger and progressive diseases, this year’s theme stands out as a stark reminder of actions we can take to meet our common objectives and missions, with active plans. The steps we take today will bear a great deal on how our future turns out to be.

The Truth About The Food We Eat

When we talk about food, we can’t be without talking about health. These two words, in fact, are like two sides of a coin – they go hand in hand. But, let’s be clear here – there is a huge difference between food and healthy food. Much of the food we get in markets these days are ridden with pesticides and chemicals. On the other hand, garden-to-table produce gives you just the good stuff you need to stay healthy. No harmful pesticides, no growth boosters – just good old nature taking her course. Besides, organic farming or growing your own food is a simple way to meet 2020’s theme, to grow, nourish and thereby sustain.

Eating To Sustain Our Planet

How so? Well, an eco-friendly diet, or planet-friendly eating, helps you get way more nutrients than otherwise. You get to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse emissions, save water and reduce water pollution. When you allow nature to take its course, you’re bound to be more healthy and live in a healthier world. So what should you be eating or not eating as part of your planet-friendly diet? First, what not to eat – cut back on dairy, meat and seafood. Eat more of whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables.

Support locally grown fruits and vegetables by shopping local. Local food leaves lesser environmental footprint as it reduces food miles and associated carbon emissions during transportation. It will also improve the local bio diversity. Select more fruits and vegetables that can be eaten raw. This would help to save the energy used for cooking. Eat seasonal food items and preserve them for future use.

Should You Opt For A Diet Plan?

A healthy meal plan can change the way you feel and live and give you a better quality of life. Of course, what you eat has to be tailored to your body’s specific needs. You might have seen a lot of diet plans out on the internet, with claims from weight loss to building muscle. Diet plans are not a “one size fits all” option. If you’d like to live a healthier, more sustainable life, do connect with a professional to get a personal diet plan that can invigorate you.

To summarize, our food choices go beyond just something that is put on the plate. The foods we choose and the sources from which they come have a big impact on our environment and on our health. Organic foods and planet-friendly eating have long-lasting benefits, and fully tie in with this year’s World Food Day theme, to “Grow, Nourish, Sustain”.

Nov 08, 2020

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