Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Nutritionist Richa Anand tells you how to correct your diet pattern


Nutritionist Richa Anand tells you how to correct your diet pattern after giving in to those sinful yet oh-so-tempting treats

 There is no food that can be classified as good or bad as long as moderation is the key, but it is indulgence that wears the devil's horns. While most of us are quick to succumb to temptation, adopting a 'strict control formula' is not exactly practical either. Dietician Richa Anand gives you tips on setting things right, once you have indulged to your heart's content.
The pizza base is made out of flour, which has little or no fibre. This causes a rise in the body's sugar level. Secondly, the butter (coating the base) and the cheese (layered on top) get coated on the inner lining of the arteries because of their high fat and cholesterol content.
Your next meal should be a plain bowl of steamed vegetables to compensate for the fibre. You can couple it with some brown rice or multi-grain bread. Combat the increase in sugar levels with a small glass of bottle
gourd or celery juice.
The gooey chocolate cake craving is one of most difficult to deal with. Be it a depressing result or a happy celebration — the brain imm e d i a t e l y starts sending signals and your hand is dialing the nearest bakery! The chocolate cake has more devils than you can count. Butter, flour, eggs, cream, sugar, chocolate…the list goes on. All of these ingredients are high on calories, low on fibre and take a long time to get digested.
The best meal to beat the constipation caused by a chocolate cake is a bowl of piping hot vegetable stew teamed with whole grain bread or jowar/bajra rotis or barley soup.
These are best avoided. Most aerated drinks have harmful chemicals that can cause severe acidity and teeth erosion. Their
diet version thankfully has the goodness of being sugar free but the chemical level does not change.
Beat the acidity by drinking gallons of water throughout the day. You could also have a tall glass of butter milk, cold milk, coconut water or apple juice. These will help relive the stomach uneasiness.
A foolproof way to invite stomach infection is to gorge on street food chaat. Most chaat items have at least one fried ingredient, either the papadi or samosa or sev. These are high on cholesterol that will choke your arteries in the long run. Secondly the chutneys are seldom made with pure water. Eating chaat can lead to stomach distension and acidity.
A plain glass of cold milk will help fight the acidity. Your next meal should be a bowl a moong dal khichdi or sprouts salad. These foods contain Vitamin B and E that help eliminate acids out of the body.

Ice-cream ranks first in our comfort food list. But apart from the temporary satisfaction, it does nothing for your system. Unless your ice-cream swears to be made from real milk (in which case it's a good source of class one protein). Else, you are just adding to your fat intake. Secondly most ice-creams have colour and p r e s e r v a t i v e s that meddle with the digestive juices, making it difficult to process.
Gulp down a glass of masala chaas with a hint of ginger or jaljeera — these will aid digestion. Your next meal should be a bowl of palak soup with a slice of rye bread which will ensure smooth bowel
Most Chinese meals are cooked with a generous sprinkling of ajinomoto whose hazards are wellknown. Apart from being chemically active, ajinomoto's reported to have a deteriorating effect on the brain. Secondly Chinese food is high on sodium and the rice or noodles are generally polished, so the fibre is lost. It can lead to water retention, constipation and even acidity.
Water and green tea is the best way to detox the body. Balance the excessive salt intake by consuming a glass of coconut water. Make sure you end your day with a bowl of mixed fruits. Fruits such as papaya, peach, musk melon and pear too help ward off severe acidity.
(Richa Anand is a consultant dietician at Dr LH Hiranandani hospital, Powai)

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kids’ health needs tender loving heart

Mumbai: Asmita Walve never realised that a delay in her daughter's heart treatment would have such serious consequences.
    An operation to fix her 18-month-old daughter's malfunctioning heart was delayed due to several external reasons and when it finally took place last month, it resulted in complications that damaged 30% of the child's brain. Today, Sakshi Walve eyes vacuously stare into the space, without a flicker of recognition even when they rest on her parents. "She doesn't even respond to her name being called out or to any other stimulus,'' says Asmita, trying to fight her tears back.
    Sakshi's story is a proof of inadequate paediatric cardiac care in the city. Though 2 lakh children are born every year with congenital heart ailments, the public sector hospitals are too busy with adult heart problems—an epidemic in the country—to handle children's cases. In the private sector, there are only a handful of options and all of them come with a hefty price tag.
    Sakshi's operation was
twice scheduled at civic-run KEM Hospital in Parel, but didn't take place. She was finally operated upon at Wockhardt Hospital in Mulund and it took her parents Rs 4.21 lakh. "We have paid Rs 2 lakh that we managed to collect from various sources. But don't know how to raise the rest of the amount,'' said Ajit Walve, who works as an office assistant with a monthly earning Rs 6,550.
    So, what ails paediatric heart care? Dr Prafulla Kerk-ar, head of the cardiology department in KEM Hospital, said, "None of the civic hospitals here has a separate department for paedi
atric cardiology. We have two senior doctors in our department who perform surgeries on children twice a week.''
    JJ Hospital, on an average, performs 50 pediatric heart surgeries per year. "We need
more funds and more surgeons with expertise who can do the job faster,'' said Dr Bansal, head of cardiology in JJ Hospital.
    Long waiting lists are the order of the day. "We deal with a large number of pa
tients whom we treat on the basis of the seriousness of their cases. If a patient needs an operation urgently, we perform it immediately. Otherwise, the number of cases is so large that patient may have to wait for five to eight months for an operation,'' Dr Kerkar added.
    Take Sakshi's case as an example. Her problem was first diagnosed when she was three months old. "The doctors told us she had tetralogy of fallot (a malformed heart that let impure blood contaminate the pure blood). We took her to KEM Hospital in November 2007 and were given a date in May 2008 for the operation,'' said her father Ajit. But Sakshi could not be operated upon at that time due to an infection, as a result of which the surgery was slated for October 2008.
    "In October, we were told to deposit Rs 60,000 or the hospital would not conduct the surgery. As we failed to get that
amount, the doctors discharged her and told us to come back after arranging the money,'' said Asmita.
    In early 2009, the family consulted a private doctor who said that any delay would cost Sakshi her life. "It was no use going back to KEM Hospital as they would have given a date some six months later. So we borrowed and sought help from the hospital's social workers to raise the money,'' said Ajit.
    Sakshi was admitted to Wockhardt Hospital on June 29 and was operated upon three days later. But during the operation, her blood pressure dropped to a dangerous level, affecting the flow of oxygen to her brain. "As a result, 30% of her brain was damaged,'' said Asmita.
    Dr Suresh Joshi, chief pediatric heart surgeon in Wockhardt Hospital, said that there were four defects in Sakshi's heart. "We had to perform an open- heart surgery, which should have ideally been done a few months ago,'' he said. However, he added that "in such cases, the patients recover on their own''. The Walves are waiting for the moment Sakshi returns to her normal self, but the bills are mounting.

Andhra govt succour Andhra Pradesh has an insurance scheme for children in BPL families. "The premium for poor families is paid by the government. Each child who needs a heart surgery is paid Rs 2 lakh by the government. They can then get the operation done in a government or a corporate hospital,'' said leading paediatric surgeon Dr K S Murthy from Innova Children's Heart Hospital in Hyderabad.

Sakshi Walve

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