D for diet

Eat right with tips from our expert

I am a 65-year-old retired bank official. I am 167 cm tall and I weigh 84 kg. I brisk walk for 45 minutes every morning and do some light exercises too. However, my weight has not come down. Please suggest a diet for weight loss. — Ramesh Kurugodu
Exercise contributes towards 20% of your weight management effort, while 70% depends on your diet. Basic rules state that you may have to reduce carbs (like grains of the rice, bread, phulkas etc), increase proteins (like lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dals, yoghurt, cheese and paneer) and add good fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, ghee, etc) for better insulin regulation which helps fat loss. Your digestion, gut environment and any kind of physical or emotional stress could hinder your weight loss efforts. So for a customised understanding of what your body may need, do seek help from a professional.

I suffer from irritable bowel syndrome because of which I have lost my appetite and I don’t enjoy meal times. What kind of dietary regimen should I follow to steer clear of the triggers? — Shilpa
IBS is characterised by either diarrhoea/constipation with lower abdominal pain and cramps. The discomfort after meals is especially high. Food triggers include white bread, maida, processed food, hydrogenated or modified fats, alcohol, carbonated beverages and high fibre foods. Foods like cheese, milk and wheat may also be triggers, but it completely depends on your system. Maintain a food diary and eliminate single foods from the diet and watch your symptoms.

I’m a diabetic and have been living with the disorder for the last 26 years. It is tough for me to watch what I am eating. Please prescribe a diet suitable for me. — SV Shivathaya
Processed foods, foods dense in sugar, jaggery, honey, refined flours and high carbohydrate diets will not work in your favour. Your carbohydrates for the day must be mixed with proteins and good fats to blunt the insulin spikes and keep blood glucose levels down. Chia seeds, wheat grass powder, cinnamon, methi seeds, fibre and magnesium-rich foods can help control and regulate diabetes.

My two-year-old is a fussy eater. She refuses to eat fruits. I am worried that my daughter isn’t getting enough nutrition. Can you please help with the alternatives? — Uma
Fruits are high in antioxidants and some minerals and vitamins. But our choices regulate to a large extent what we eat. So while it’s important to give her a well-balanced diet including all food groups, she may opt for more of some and less of the others. Children take up to 10-12 turns to accept new foods, so don’t give up. Keep offering her fruit but don’t force it. If she doesn’t take the whole fruit, try fresh fruit juices or even stewed fruit. Homemade fruit yoghurt is a good choice. Dried dates, raisins, apricots and figs are also good alternatives.

 

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