Choose the right diet

Choose the right diet

Healthy eating

Attempting to set the record straight, Geetu Amarnani, a clinical nutritionist with 20 years of experience, recently addressed a group of women at a City hotel on the importance of eating right.

“Nutrition is essential for everyone, whether they be pregnant women, nursing mothers or adolescents,” says Geetu. The best diet translates to eating the right food in the right proportion. But this isn’t always an easy task. Geetu explains that everyone has certain ingrained food habits, which they follow unthinkingly.

“It’s important to keep in mind that variety and moderation are key to a well-balanced diet. Eating anything in excess is unhealthy,” she says.

The body requires three basic kinds of food — body-building, which are rich in protein; energy giving, which are sources of carbohydrates and fat; and protective foods, which contain vitamins and minerals. “Anti-oxidants are also very important for the body as they prevent the attack of free radicals which oxidise our cells,” she explains.

Eating the right balance of nutrients is essential to keep healthy, but Geetu claims that 90 percent of all physical problems are rooted in psychological issues.

“Improper handling of stress is detrimental to health in a huge way. People tend to not eat properly when under pressure, and this leads to deficiencies and diseases. It surprises many to learn that common problems like migraine can be treated by simply correcting one’s diet,” she says.

As a clinical nutritionist, Geetu has faced several queries about the right food habits, and she feels certain basic tips are key to answering them.

“Skipping meals is the worst thing that a person trying to lose weight can do, because it simply causes over-indulgence later. It’s also important to understand when mental cravings are being interpreted as physical ones,” she explains. The ideal breakfast, as prescribed by Geetu, includes wholegrain cereals, milk and fruit.

She also busted a few common myths about dieting, mostly concerning the body’s requirement of carbohydrates and fats. “These provide our bodies with energy, and can’t be skipped out on. Fats are especially important when it comes to controlling cravings and absorbing vitamins,” she says.

Geetu also stressed the high nutritional value of prunes. “Prunes are rich in iron, vitamins, minerals and fibre. Eating three prunes in the evening can make a huge difference to a person’s diet,” she says. These dried fruits are perfect for pregnant women, menopausal women and diabetics as they are rich in calcium and have a low glycemic index. They also help battle cellulite.

Geetu explains that prunes are also a brilliant option for women who are watching their weight. “Each prune is just 20 calories. They are also rich in anti-oxidants, and are good for the skin,” she says.

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