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January 29, 2014

A few days ago, a friend of mine sent me some write-ups on apple and diabetes which he had received from a diabetic.  He wanted to know if the information was right and accepted in our fraternity.  The diabetic, in his write-ups, claimed that apple can control / cure diabetes, and eliminate pills and insulin.  The author of this claim had experimented upon himself by consuming apples daily on an empty stomach, along with regular walks and dietary changes like avoiding sweets.  He found that his blood glucose levels dropped and he was able to maintain the normal glucose levels for some time.  This person now propagates ‘apple therapy’ to whoever is willing to take his advise. 

It all sounds good and I’m sure this diabetic’s intentions are positive and he means well.  But, if diabetes was a simple problem with a simple cure, the world would have wiped out diabetes by now.  Unfortunately, it’s never so easy.  The overall lifestyle can certainly make a big difference in blood glucose control but a single fruit cannot.  Or, even if apple intake does help a few people, there are a lot more reasons involved (known and unknown).  Also, a fruit doesn’t become a universal solution to a long-standing problem.

Go ahead and chew on an apple by all means, but do not expect it to resolve issues related to your blood glucose.

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January 13, 2014

Those of you who went for the Coffee Santhe at the beautiful boulevard on MG Road, Bangalore, would have smelt, sipped and admired the coffee varieties and other goodies there.  It was a treat to see the coffee video, listen to the coffee story, experience the different flavours of coffee, and admire the various ways in which coffee can be a part of our lives.  Coffee jewelry, coffee flavoured desserts, coffee furniture, varieties of kaapi and coffee vied for attention. 

The health brochures on coffee brought out by the Coffee Board caught my attention.  A brochure on coffee & Parkinson’s says that there could be an inverse relationship between coffee drinking and the development of Parkinson’s although the mechanism of action is yet to be identified.  Another brochure quoted a study to say that men who drank 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day had lesser risk of gall bladder stones.  The brochure on coffee and diabetes said that there could be a protective mechanism of coffee against type 2 diabetes, although this area requires much more research and is currently inconclusive.

While coffee is definitely coming back into the limelight, most research studies are being done in the western countries.  The effects of coffee on health seen there might not necessarily apply to us or vice versa.  India has a large coffee-drinking population and it would be worthwhile to run studies in our country to understand the true efficacy on health.

Meanwhile, if you’re a coffee drinker enjoy it but keep the intake to 2 cups a day.

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January 9, 2014

I received an email that talks about some top diet & nutrition trends in the US for 2014.  Some of the listed trends are anti-wheat sentiment, reviving ancient grains, fading of low-fat diets, keeping health in mind while shopping, increase in misinformation about nutrition from unqualified persons, and so on.

To draw a parallel in India, I think that the following will be popular in our country –

  • Emails that circulate amongst friends and families talking about ‘miracle cures’.  Needless to say that most of the information that is circulated is false.
  • Weight loss programs – both scientific and unscientific.
  • Revival of millets which are so healthy and traditional.
  • Organic foods – fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, grains, spices, etc.
  • Coconut, ghee, butter, old-fashioned oils making a come-back.

On another note, tomorrow (10th January) is being observed as Dietetics Day in India.  This is in recognition of the science of nutrition & dietetics, and also to promote the qualified professionals.

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January 2, 2014

Wish you All, a Peaceful, Prosperous & Healthy 2014!!  Thank you for following my blog for a year.  Do share the blog with your friends and family members.

We’re starting this year by talking about sleep deprivation and body weight.  Never thought that the two would be connected, right?  More and more studies on sleep are telling us that the lack of it can cause a host of health problems including weight gain.

Lack of adequate sleep can disrupt the hunger hormones (ghrelin & leptin), increase food cravings, reduce energy expenditure and favour fat storage in the body.  This is a great formula for weight gain and associated problems. 

Lack of adequate sleep can also affect us mentally – increase irritability, reduce the ability to concentrate, affect mood, etc.

Ensure that you get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep at night.  If you cannot manage it at a stretch, take a short nap during the day to give your mind and body sufficient rest.

 

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December 26, 2013

A research study recently published in the West says that organic milk is more beneficial than non-organic version.  Although all varieties of milk contain protein, calcium, riboflavin and other nutrients, organic milk was found to have a better balance of essential fatty acids – omega 3 and omega 6.  More of omega 3 fats and less of omega 6 fats is known to be heart healthy.  Omega 6 fats (which come thru some of the high PUFA oils, fried snacks, etc) in excess can be one of the causes for many illnesses.  Organic milk with its greater proportion of omega 3 fats can become an addition in the list of omega 3 foods like fish and flaxseed.  Additionally, organic foods are always good for the earth!

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