D for Diet

D for Diet

I am 47 years old. I weigh 64.5 kg and I am 5 feet tall. I have been suffering from pain in right iliac fossa for the last three years. Ultrasound and scans could only find fibroids in the uterus. I wish to reduce my weight and abdominal fat. What kind of diet should I follow? - Jasmine K S

Since 75% of women experience fibroids in the uterus at some point of time, you should include food that would help you shrink them in number. Consume 1 tsp of flaxseeds every day to rebalance the hormones. Sip herbal tea like cinnamon tea to reduce inflammation and pain. Cut down on all kinds of processed meats, alcohol and sugar, as they aggravate the symptoms further. Drink at least 2 litres of water every day and avoid raw salads, coffee and aerated drinks to prevent bloating. Consume foods rich in natural fibre like cereals, nuts, cooked beans, steamed salads, oats etc., which will help you shrink your fibroids and aid weight loss.

Since there is a lot of speculation about the health benefits of sugar, what are some of the healthier substitutes for it? How do I cut down on my daily sugar intake? - Madhavi Malik

Though it makes the food palatable, excessive sugar consumption can lead to obesity, diabetes and heart diseases. A healthy substitute for sugar is jaggery.

* Use jaggery in your daily tea/coffee/milk

* Consume a lot of fresh fruits

* Avoid flavoured yogurt

* Read food labels thoroughly to check for added artificial sweeteners.

I am a 35-year-old fitness freak. Several of the gym regulars are hooked on protein supplements. But I am a little wary of taking those. What are some of the natural sources of protein that I can incorporate into my diet? - Balaji K

You can incorporate protein supplements only when your daily diet does not contain adequate amounts of the nutrient. The vegetarian sources of protein are paneer, tofu, milk, pulses, and legumes, while the non-vegetarian sources are lean proteins - chicken, fish, salmon, and eggs.

I am 25 years old, 5 feet 8, and I weigh 85 kg. Although exercise is the best way to lose weight, I hardly get time to work out. Can you please suggest a diet plan, which will help me manage my weight without having to starve? - Tejuswini Muralidhar

Let me tell you that a balance of 80% diet and 20% exercise can help you achieve your ideal weight, which is 63 kg, based on your height. Starvation does not aid weight loss. It slows down your metabolism, as the body starts storing fat due to limited supplies. Try to modify your diet based on the following guidelines:

* Take small meal gaps to boost metabolism. Include fruits, soups, unsweetened beverages between major meals.

* Limit your carb intake at night, but don't avoid it completely.

* Cut out processed foods like papads, pickles, jams, jellies, chips, and chocolates, from your grocery list.

* Include a lot of fibre in the form of fruits, vegetables, oats, nuts etc., in your diet.

(The author is a nutritionist suggesting lifestyle modifications for weight management and other medical conditions.)

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