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Monday, 15 August 2016

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What we should eat? Author Dr P K Gupta

The last one in the series of our requirement for food is the adequate calories.

Calories: What They Are and Why You Need Them

What calories are?

Calories are simply a measure of the energy in the foods that you eat. Your body doesn’t use energy to raise the temperature of water, but you need energy (measured as calories) to fuel all of your daily functions – your basic metabolic processes, as well as all the activity you engage in throughout the day. But in order for your body to tap into this energy, it first has to be released from the foods you eat.


Why we need calories?

Providing energy to the body is often compared to the way you provide energy to your car. When you put fuel in your car’s tank, there is energy (which, by the way, could also be measured in calories!) “locked up” in the gasoline. But just having gas in the gas tank isn’t enough to make the car move. In order for that to happen, the fuel has to be ignited in the engine, which releases the energy from the gasoline – energy that can be used to propel the car.

Similarly, the food (fuel) that you eat has energy – in the form of calories. These calories are absolutely necessary to life.   Your resting metabolic rate (the number of calories your body uses every day for the most basic processes just to keep you alive) accounts for about 75 percent of the calories your body uses every day. The remaining you burn during the day are used to fuel your muscles as you move around throughout your day and engage in exercise, and a very small amount that is used to digest and process your food.
What is the best source to meet requirements of calories?
The food (fuel) that you eat has energy. The “big three” macronutrients – protein, fat and carbohydrate – provide the majority of the calories we eat.
What is the estimated requirement of calories for our body?
Estimated amounts of calories needed to maintain energy balance for various gender and age groups at three different levels of physical activity are summarise in the table (vary depending upon age). Based on dietary intake data or evidence of public health problems, intake levels of the following nutrients may be of concern for:
Sedentary means a lifestyle that includes only the light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life.
Moderately active means a lifestyle that includes physical activity equivalent to walking about 1.5 to 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life
Active means a lifestyle that includes physical activity equivalent to walking more than 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life.

Moderately Active
Child 2-18 yrs
Female  19+ yrs
Male 19+ yrs

How to calculate calories in a serving of food?
The food we eat has calories. A gram of protein has 4 calories’ worth of energy; a gram of carbohydrate also has 4 calories locked away. Fat is a more concentrated source of energy – each gram of fat contains 9 calories of energy. There’s one other calorie source that’s alcohol. A gram of pure alcohol has 7 calories, nearly as calorie dense as pure fat.
Which food you should avoid?
Let me say in brief
If you were to look at the nutrition facts panel on a serving of potato chips, it might say that the chips have 7 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbohydrate, and 2 grams of protein, and 140 calories.
Since fat has 9 calories per gram, the 7 grams of fat contribute 63 calories to the total; since carbohydrate has 4 calories per gram, the 17 grams of carbohydrate add another 68 calories; and the 2 grams of protein contribute just 8 calories. When you add up all the calories (63, 68 and 8) it totals 139 calories (nutrition facts panels are allowed to round their numbers).
Most foods contain calories from more than one source – with the exception of foods like oils (all fat calories) or sugars (all carbohydrate calories).
Whether calories are bad for you?
Calories aren't bad for you. Your body needs calories for energy. But eating too many calories — and not burning enough of them off through activity — can lead to weight gain. Most foods and drinks contain calories.

Key Recommendations for Specific Population Groups

  • Adults: calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamins A (as carotenoids), C, and E,
  • Children and adolescents: calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E,
  • Specific population groups (see below): vitamin B12, iron, folic acid, and vitamins E and D.
  • People over age 50. Consume vitamin B12 in its crystalline form (i.e., fortified foods or supplements).
  • Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant. Eat foods high in heme-iron and/or consume iron-rich plant foods or iron-fortified foods with an enhancer of iron absorption, such as vitamin C-rich foods.
  • Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant and those in the first trimester of pregnancy. Consume adequate synthetic folic acid daily (from fortified foods or supplements) in addition to food forms of folate from a varied diet.
  • Older adults, people with dark skin, and people exposed to insufficient ultraviolet band radiation (i.e., sunlight). Consume extra vitamin D from vitamin D-fortified foods and/or supplements.

What we should eat?

  • More dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat milk and milk products.

  • What we should avoid?

  • Less refined grains, total fats (especially cholesterol, and saturated and trans fats), added sugars, and calories.
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Saturday, 30 July 2016

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Why should we avoid bottled water?


Why is bottled water a concern?

How much safe is bottled water?

Why should we avoid bottled water?

 Image result for plastic bottle images

      A.  Pollution

a)      The entire life cycle of bottled water uses fossil fuels (fossil fuels are sources of energy that have developed within the earth over millions of years, they are considered non-renewable). The pros and cons of using bottled water, contributes to global warming, and causes pollution.

b)      Huge energy sources are required to produce enough plastic water bottles to meet the annual demand, the World over, for bottled water. This means: “Pouring Resources Down the Drain”

c)      After use, the plastic bottles become garbage or litter and contribute to pollution (, “Bottled Water: Pouring Resources Down the Drain”)
B.  Cost
a)      Another most important factor is the cost. According to one estimate in United States the bottled water is about 3,000 percent more expensive per gallon than tap water.

b)      Tap water: $0.02 per gallon

c)      Bottled water: $0.64 per gallon

     C. Bottled water may be hurting your health

Food and beverage containers, some disposable plates, and toiletry bottles are all plastic and all are made from chemicals. A new study suggests plastic bottles release small amounts of chemicals over long periods of time. The longer water is stored in plastic bottles, the higher the concentration of a potentially harmful chemical. All plastics may leach chemicals if they're scratched or heated. Research also strongly suggests that at certain exposure levels, some of the chemicals in these products, such as bisphenol A (BPA), may cause cancer in people.
Research found that the concentration of certain chemicals, such as antimony, increases the longer the water sits in the plastic bottle. It increases over time because the plastic is leaching chemicals into the water. Antimony is a white metallic element that in small doses can cause nausea, dizziness and depression. In large doses, it can be fatal. Antimony is similar chemically to lead. It is also a potentially toxic trace element; in larger doses it can cause nausea, vomiting and death

Whether bottled water purer than tap water?

It is a just a MYTH that “Bottled Water Purer than Tap Water”

In developing countries, their federal governments require far more rigorous and frequent safety testing and monitoring of municipal drinking water. Bottled water generally is no cleaner, or safer, or healthier than tap water. In fact, Harvard Graduate School of Educationl of United States advise students, staff, and faculty to refill their water bottles and reusable mugs for free at the filtered water stations and fountains across campus.

Six Reasons. Why we should use public water system?  

1.      Because several harmful chemicals can leach in your bottled water.

2.      Public water tastes better: the results generally favor tap water.
3.      Convenient and cheap to buy: most municipal water costs less than 1 cent per gallon
4.      Less chemicals and safer: public water systems are required to test for chemical water contaminants four times as often as bottled water companies. In addition, loopholes in the FDA’s testing policy do not require the same standards for water that is bottled and sold in the same state, meaning that a significant number of bottles have undergone almost no regulation or testing. Even under the more lax standards of the FDA, bottled water companies do not always comply with standardized contaminant levels.
5.      Recycling programs reduce waste: Bottled water produces up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year. According to Food and Water Watch, that plastic requires up to 47 million gallons of oil per year to produce. Plastic waste is now at such a volume that vast eddies of current-bound plastic trash now spin endlessly in the world’s major oceans. This represents a great risk to marine life, killing birds and fish which mistake our garbage for food. Thanks to its slow decay rate, the vast majority of all plastics ever produced still exist – somewhere.
6.      Bottled water:  An estimated 25 percent or more of bottled water is really just tap water in a bottle 

Bottled water! Think before you drink.

Seven tips for drinking water

a)      Carry your own metal reusable bottle and use it daily.

b)      Encourage your friends and family members to do the same, to stop using plastic bottles and support the environment.

c)      While travelling and staying at various establishments, ask for safe water (either filtered or boiled) in bulk, refillable containers.  Lodges, hotels, camps and restaurants will respond if enough people keep asking

d)     If you see ways that hotels and camps could reduce water usage and waste, let them know on feed back forms; people listen to customer requests

e)      Reduce your need for plastic: take your own baskets to the shops, say ‘no’ to straws in your drinks, buy washing powders in boxes not bottles, take your own containers when collecting take-away foods, use matches and not disposable lighters, and avoid purchasing prepared or frozen foods as they have excessive packaging

f)       Recycle what you can at all times.  Always ask how, where and for what purpose are the products being recycled;  some processes are not as eco friendly as they make out to be
g)      At home, install a water filter, if the tap water is not to your taste

Think of easy ways to save water in your home and office, such as using an aerator on taps, washing dishes in a bowl and not under a running tap, fixing leaks quickly, dual-flush systems on toilets, watering the garden at night, using grey water for the garden, planting drought-resistant plants and grass in your garden, plant indigenous trees suited to your soil and climate, only using washing machine and dishwasher with a full load. Don’t wash your car more than strictly necessary, wipe dust off instead. While you are waiting for the hot water to come through on your shower, collect the cold in a bucket and use it to water pot plants, water for pets or general washing etc.
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Monday, 25 July 2016

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How much safe is bottled water?

Stay healthy with natural fuids

Say “No” to mineral water!

Say “No” to sugary packaged beverages!

Is tap water as safe as bottled water?

Tap water and bottled water are generally comparable in terms of safety. So the choice of tap or bottled is mostly a matter of personal preference.

How harmful is it to drink from a plastic water bottle?

A recent study into a substance linked to low birth weight in newborns shows, again, that drinking from plastic bottles – and reusing them – can be dangerous. These latest studies will continue to add pressure on governing bodies to act, especially as consumers become aware of these hazards. Is this an issue in which the public will lead the way? Only time will tell.

Why you should drink water or fuids? Is it so important?

Water makes up more than half of your body weight, and a person can't survive for more than a few days without it. Every tissue, organ or cell of your body needs water to work properly. Thus it maintains the health and integrity of every cell in the body. Water has important role to play. For example
·         keep the bloodstream liquid enough to flow through blood vessels
·         help eliminate the by products of the body’s metabolism, excess electrolytes (for example, sodium and potassium), and urea, which is a waste product formed through the processing of dietary protein
·         regulate body temperature through sweating
·         moisten mucous membranes such as those of the lungs and mouth
·         lubricate and cushion joints
·         reduce the risk of cystitis by keeping the bladder clear of bacteria
·         aid digestion and prevent constipation
·         moisturise the skin to maintain its texture and appearance
·         carry nutrients and oxygen to cells
·         serves as a shock absorber inside the eyes, spinal cord and in the amniotic sac surrounding the fetus in pregnancy.

How does your body lose water?

You lose water every time. For example:
a)      through urine and pee
b)      through sweat
c)      through breathing
d)     you lose water during your day to day activities either through sweat or if you have a fever.
e)      Through vomiting
f)       Through diarrhea.

What are your sources of water?

a)      drinking water
b)      any fluid you drink  such as milk, tea, fresh juice, etc
c)      food, fruits and leafy vegetables contain quite a bit of water


Do you know how much water you get from your solid foods alone?

Most foods, even those that look hard and dry, contain water. The body can get approximately 20 % of its total water requirements from solid foods alone. 

Do you know how much water you can get during your digestion process?
The digestion process also produces water as a by-product and can provide around 10 % of the body’s water requirements. The rest must come from liquids. 

How do you know if you are dehydrated?

Symptoms of dehydration include the following:
a)      Little or no urine, or urine that is darker in color than  usual
b)      Dry mouth, dry skin
c)      Sleepiness or fatigue
d)     Extreme thirst
e)      Headache
f)       Confusion
g)      Dizziness or lightheaded feeling
h)      No tears when crying

Do you know how much water you need each day?

Approximate adequate daily intakes of fluids (including plain water, milk and other drinks) in litres per day include:
·         Young children 1-8 years 1.0 – 1.2 litres (about 4 – 5 cups)
·         children 9-18 years 1.4 – 1.9 litres (about  5 -8 cups)
·         adults  – 2.1- 2.6 litres  (about 8 - 10 cups)
 These adequate intakes include all fluids, but it is preferable that the majority of intake is from plain water (except for infants where fluid intake is met by breast milk or infant formula).

Sedentary people, people in cold environments, or people who eat a lot of high-water content foods (such as fruits and vegetables) may need less water.
Most healthy people can stay well hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than 8 glasses (8 ounce glass) may be enough. Other people may need more than 8 glasses each day.

Besides water, what else you can consume to stay hydrated?

Water is the best option for staying hydrated. Other drinks and foods can help you stay hydrated, but some may add extra calories from sugar to your diet.
Drinks like fruit and vegetable juices, milk, and herbal teas can contribute to the amount of water you get each day. Even caffeinated drinks (for example, coffee, tea, and soda) can contribute to your daily water intake. A moderate amount of caffeine (200 to 300 milligrams) is not harmful for most people. This is about the amount in 2 to 4 8-ounce cups of coffee. However, it’s best to limit caffeinated drinks because caffeine may cause some people to urinate more frequently, or feel anxious or jittery.
Water can also be found in fruits and vegetables (for example, watermelon, tomatoes, and lettuce) and in soup broths.

Who needs higher fluid intake?

People need to increase their fluid intake when they are:
·         on a high-protein diet
·         on a high-fibre diet, as fluids help prevent constipation
·         pregnant or breastfeeding (the fluid need is 750-1,000 ml a day above basic needs)
·         vomiting or have diarrhoea
·         physically active
·         exposure to warm or hot conditions.

Who is at higher risk of dehydration?

People are at higher risk of dehydration if they exercise at a high intensity, have certain medical conditions, are sick, or are not able to get enough fluids during the day. Older adults are also at higher risk. As you get older, your brain may not be able to sense dehydration and send the signals for thirst.
You may need to increase the amount of water you are drinking if you:
  • Have certain medical conditions, such as kidney stonesor bladder infection
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Will be outside during hot weather
  • Will be exercising
  • Have a fever
  • Have been vomiting or have diarrhea
  • Are trying to lose weight

Are sports and energy drinks useful?

sports need exercising at a high intensity for longer than an hour, a sports drink may be helpful because it contains carbohydrates and electrolytes that can increase your energy and help your body absorb water. Selection of sports drink is important. They are often high in calories from added sugar and may contain high levels of sodium. Also, check the serving size. One bottle may contain several servings. Some sports drinks contain caffeine. If you use a sports drink that contains caffeine, be careful not to get too much caffeine in your diet.
Sports drinks are not the same as energy drinks. Energy drinks usually contain large amounts of caffeine and other stimulants. Most of these drinks are also high in added sugar. Therefore be careful in selecting such drinks.
Ten tips for staying hydrated
Here are seven tips to help make sure you and your child stay hydrated:
1.      Carry a reusable water bottle and fill it from the tap instead.
2.      Try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink
3.      Avoid purchasing plastic bottled water.
4.      Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
5.      Drink fluids at regular intervals during the day and after a workout. Water is a healthy choice for hydration.
6.      Milk is around 85% water and a good source of protein and calcium. Check the label for calories, as these will vary according to the type of milk you choose.
7.      Thirst is not a very good indicator of your level of hydration. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re probably already getting dehydrated, A more reliable indication of hydration in healthy people is the color of your urine. In general, the lighter the colour, the better hydrated you are.
8.      When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight-loss plan. Some research suggests that drinking water can help you feel full.
9.      Drink water when you wake up; at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and when you go to bed. Or drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour.
10.  Don’t overdo it! Although unusual, it is possible to become unwell by drinking too much water or other fluids.

It will keep you hydrated, and it’s free!

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