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Healthy Living
Healthy Living

Health Tips


Top 10 habits that can hamper your brain

 1. No Breakfast People who do not take breakfast will have a lower blood sugar level. This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration.  2. Overeating It causes hardening of the brain arteries, leading to a decrease in mental power.  3. Smoking It causes multiple brain shrinkage and may lead to ... View More


Get your Vitamin D diet

 Vitamin D is found in many dietary sources, such as fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil. The sun also contributes significantly to the daily production of vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure is thought to be enough to prevent deficiencies. The term "vitamin D" refers to several different forms of this vitamin. Two forms ... View More


Be more vegi-licious

 Vegetables are an important part of your daily diet. They are naturally good and contain vitamins and minerals that can help to keep you healthy. Research shows they can also help protect against some diseases. You will benefit from eating more vegetables as part of a well-balanced, regular diet and a healthy active lifestyle. Different ... View More

More on "Health Tips"

Health Tools

Here are some interactive tools that will inspire you to get moving and eat nutrition-wise. These tools are for you to help measure your fitness, nutrition level, weight loss goals and will give you a general idea about the state of your health.

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Wellness Programme

With today's pace, it is easy to overlook personal health until there is a medical crisis. Medanta Executive Health is committed to a proactive approach to health to avoid illness and optimize wellness. We are delighted to introduce you to the various Medanta Health Programs.

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Rekha Sharma
Chief Dietician, Medanta - The Medicity

    Healthy living is crucial for care and enhancement of your health. Lifestyle management therefore automatically becomes an essential component of your day-to-day living. It is the discipline of study in which certain aspects of lifestyle-related situations are taken care of.

    Due to poor lifestyle practices, a huge number of people around the world are suffering from various physical and mental complications such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or acute mental stress. Lifestyle management plays a crucial role in ensuring the overall wellbeing of a person.

    Unhealthy diet, lack of physical exercises, consumption of too much of alcohol, insufficient sleep or improper sleeping techniques, excessive smoking and last, but not the least, failing to cope with psychological stress can create an imbalance in one's lifestyle. Stress management is known to be a branch of lifestyle management, which comprises of techniques meant to provide effective solutions for several stress-related medical problems.

Your Lifestyle Goals

  • Aim for a healthy body weight
  • Consume an overall healthy diet
  • Aim for a normal blood glucose level
  • Aim for recommended levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – bad cholesterol; high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol - good cholesterol, and triglycerides
  • Aim for a normal blood pressure
  • Be physically active
  • Avoid smoking and the use of tobacco products
  • Manage stress

Eat a Healthy Diet

    A healthy, balanced diet that has all the dietary components like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals in adequate and appropriate amounts is essential to provide energy for every function in the body. Balanced diet is required for us to maintain our weight and remain within the prescribed cut-offs for our biochemical and anthropometric parameters while leading a healthy, active life.

    One may be eating plenty of food, but the body may not be getting the right nutrients; it needs to be healthy. Nutrient-rich foods have vitamins, minerals, fibre and other nutrients but are low in calories. To get the right nutrients, choose foods like vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products, whole grams and fat-free or low-fat dairy products and meats.

Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Eating

  • Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables. They are high in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants that protect us from many diseases and improve our immunity. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables helps in controlling weight, managing blood pressure and blood sugars. The WHO recommends at least 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
  • Use whole grains and grams. Like fruits and vegetables, they too are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre. Fibre is an effective body cleanser and therefore should be a must in your daily diet.
  • Eat fish at least twice a week. Recent research shows that eating oily fish containing Omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon, trout, and herring) may help lower your risk of coronary artery diseases. Vegetarians can take Flax Seeds, a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Minimize the intake of foods and beverages with added sugars.
  • Use healthy fats and oils like olive oil, canola oil, rice bran oil, soy oil, mustard oil, etc. When using safflower, sunflower or corn oil, alternate or mix them with soy or mustard oil for a good balance of fatty acids. Reduce the use of saturated fats like coconut oil, butter, ghee and fatty meats. Fats and oils should be used in moderation as they are the richest source of calories.
  • Choose and prepare foods with less salt. Aim to eat less than 5 grams of sodium per day, that is, less than one teaspoon of cooking salt per day.
  • Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without too much added fat.
  • Select fat-free and low-fat dairy products like low fat milk, curds, cheese and paneer.
  • Avoid foods containing partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils like Vanaspati to reduce trans-fats in your diet. Trans-fats are dangerous for your health.
  • Avoid foods high in dietary cholesterol like egg yellow, glandular meats, red meats, whole milk, whole milk products and ghee.
  • Eat less of the nutrient-poor foods or hallow calories coming from sweets, colas, chips, French fries, bhujias and cream-based desserts.
  • To achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, put more emphasis on balancing the number of calories consumed with the number of calories burned. You should also pay heed to food preparation methods that avoid adding too much fat, sugar or salt. The right number of calories/day is based on your age, physical activity level and whether you're trying to gain, lose or maintain your weight. An unhealthy diet can have your daily allotment of calories on a few high-calorie foods and beverages, but you will probably miss out on nutrients that your body needs to be healthy.
  • Pay attention to portion size and liquid calories, such as those in soft drinks, fruit drinks, sweetened fruit juices and alcoholic beverages.
Hydrate your body

    Good hydration is essential for your mind and body, so we need to drink plenty of water every day. All drinks are not equal. If you need to increase your liquid intake, watch your caffeine levels coming from coffee, tea and cold drinks. It is recommended that you drink at least 8 - 10 glasses of water in an ideal climate.
Cut off values for different biochemical and anthropometric parameters to remain healthy
  • Parameter Recommended Values
    Fasting Blood Glucose <100 mg/dl
    HbA1C <6 %
    Triglycerides <150 mg/dl
    LDL Cholesterol Optimal: <150 mg/dl
    Above optimal: 100 – 129 mg/dl
    Border line high: 130 – 159 mg/dl
    High: 160 – 189 mg/dl
    Very high: >190 mg/dl
    HDL Cholesterol Men: >40 mg/dl
    Women: >50 mg/dl
    Blood Pressure <120/80 mmHg
    Waist Circumference Men: 90 cm
    Women: 80 cm
    Body Mass Index for Asian Indians
    (BMI = Weight in kgs/Height in sq.m.)
    Normal: 18.0 – 22.9 kg/m2
    Overweight: >23.0 kg/m2
    Obese: >25.0 kg/m2
    (BMI = Weight in kgs/Height in sq.m.) Overweight: >23.0 kg/m2
    Obese: >25.0 kg/m2
How to achieve or maintain a Healthy Body Weight

    To avoid weight gain after childhood, one must control calorie intake so that energy balance is achieved, that is, energy intake matches energy expenditure. To control calorie intake, increase awareness of the calorie content of foods and beverages per portion and control portion size. The amount of fat, carbohydrate, and protein has little effect on total energy balance, as eventually it is the total calories that matter as against the calorie expenditure in terms of physical activity and exercise.
When eating out:

    Follow lifestyle guidelines for food selection and portion control. Take more salads with zero-calorie dressings like lemon or vinegar. Select roasted or grilled dishes and avoid rich gravies and desserts. Fruit is a good option.
Alcohol:

    Alcohol is high in calorie content and low in nutrition. It contributes to weight gain and if you drink large quantities more frequently, it may lead to health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure and liver damage. Drinking a lot in one session is not good for health. If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation.

    Alcohol is not a recommendation. However, for habitual drinkers, it is recommended that if alcoholic beverages are consumed, they should be limited to not more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women, and ideally should be consumed with meals. In general, a 12-ounce bottle of beer, a 4-ounce glass of wine, and a 30 ml of whisky, vodka or gin, all contain the same amount of alcohol.
Sleep:

    Most adults need six to eight hours of sleep every night. When we sleep, we rest our body and renew energy. Sleep also improves the immune system, minimizing our risk of illness. Getting a good night's sleep therefore influences our psychological wellbeing and helps in conducting daily schedule in an energetic manner.
Smoking:

    Smoking causes cell damage, which can lead to illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. It also drains the body off many essential vitamins and minerals, affecting the ability to absorb these vital nutrients. The only way to avoid this damage is to stop smoking. e, and a 30 ml of whisky, vodka or gin, all contain the same amount of alcohol.
Stress:

    When we are faced with danger, anxiety or fear, we all have an instinctive stress response, and this releases hormones into our bloodstream. These hormones cause instant mental and physical change in us, giving added strength and endurance, so we can fight the situation. Instead of using our stress hormones in emergencies, some of us live at such a pace that we activate them all the time - like when we are going to miss a train or when someone overtakes on the road. Most tense people don't give themselves sufficient time and space to rest after each stress-filled moment. With no relaxation, the stress hormones keep on working and thus we come across a number of people who lose their tempers at the slightest provocation. Proper stress management is required in the form of meditation, yoga, a long outdoor walk, exercise and hobbies such as reading, gardening, painting, etc.
Exercise:

    Most people think of exercise solely in terms of weight loss, but it also builds muscles and bones, gives us good mood and is a great way of beating stress. The WHO recommends at least 30 minutes of walk on most days, plus one or two aerobic sessions a week. If you want to make changes to your routine, bear in mind that it takes three weeks to adopt a new habit, so you should draw up a plan that carries you beyond this point. Thirty minutes of walking 3-5 times per week is a good starting point, which can be subsequently increased in duration, frequency and intensity. If you are very overweight, some exercises (especially those that require weight bearing) can be physically difficult.

    Once your fitness levels improve, you could change to other exercises in the long term. You should try to choose activities that you enjoy, as you will be more likely to continue them in the long-term basis. Participating in team sports or exercising with a friend or family member can help you to remain motivated. It may be useful to see a physiotherapist to help you develop an appropriate exercise program. Try to focus on overall lifestyle measures as they tend to produce greater long-term adherence. Exercise has benefits beyond modest reductions in weight. Increasing your physical activity can improve your cardio-respiratory fitness, metabolic health, quality of life and general wellbeing.

    Walking is the best exercise. Do it every day, and you'll raise your metabolic rate, as well as maintain your weight. This means you will burn extra calories even while you are sitting in front of your computer or sleeping in bed! Look at the ways you save calories, and then spend them instead. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park away from the door and walk. Pay attention to what you do and think of how you can burn more calories and stay fit.

    Remember what the Bhagvad Gita says… "As the food, so the mind; As the mind, so the man."

    Food makes way for your thoughts, personality and body. Eat right and keep fit and healthy.

Healthy Eating Tips for Children

    Enjoy food and let feeding be a happy occasion. Sharing a meal with family and friends at home or at school is a great way to enjoy food.

    Breakfast is a very important meal. Our bodies always need energy and after a night's sleep, energy levels are low. It is therefore essential to fuel the little bodies before they start their day.

    Eat different foods of different colours every day, as they not only give variety, but also complete different nutrient requirements since there is no single food that contains them all.

    Eat wholesome grains as they are rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins – whole wheat bread, whole wheat flour, rice with pulses and grams, and noodles with vegetables are few examples.

    Eat fruits and vegetables with each meal as tasty snacks! Try to eat five servings a day. For example, a glass of fruit juice or whole fruit at breakfast, an apple and banana or any other fruit as in-between snacks and two vegetables at meal times.

    Too much saturated fat is not good for your child's health. Eating too much of fatty foods like butter, ghee, fried snacks, chips, pastries is not good. These should be used in moderation.

    Eat snacks regularly and choose healthy ones to make up the nutrition as small tummies need frequent feeding.

    Hydrating the little bodies is a must – give them healthy drinks such as milk, fresh juice, butter milk, coconut water, fresh lime, etc.

    Physical activity is essential. They should play field games for regular physical activity - cycling, running, swimming, tennis, badminton, hockey, etc. are all advisable.

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