Thursday May 24, 2018

Group of US based doctors in India to promote veganism, better way of life

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New Delhi: A lot of Hollywood actors were already doing it but when, closer to home, Bollywood icon Aamir Khan recently announced his plans of turning vegan, many became curious. While some may express doubts, a doctors’ group from the US has initiated an India tour to propagate the benefits of a vegan life.

In a country which is all too familiar with vegetarianism, promoting this seems an easy task but is actually tricky. Because, apart from not eating any meat product, going vegan means avoiding meat-based products too, like milk and eggs. So there goes your paneer and curd!

Zeeshan Ali of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a non-profit health organisation in the US, a body of 12,000 physicians-both of Indian origin and from around the world but working in the US – that was established in 1985 and promotes veganism, says that a plant-based diet has been clinically proven to reduce the risk of chronic diseases along with reducing your metabolic risks.

“A low-fat vegan diet, combined with a nutrition education programme, is clinically proven to boost weight loss, lower blood pressure, improve total cholesterol, restore insulin function, alleviate chronic pain, particularly headaches, migraines, and joint pain,” Ali told a news portal.

“It also boosts your mood and combats chronic fatigue. Plant-based dietary patterns are associated with a reduced risk for certain forms of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, he added.

But what about adequate nutrition? Meat, we know, is a good source of protein. Also when it comes to iron, all that we understand are brilliant sources – meat, eggs, poultry, fish, dairy products – which are missing from a vegan diet.

Ali however chalks out alternatives. “A plant-based vegan diet provides an abundance of micro-nutrients we often fall short on while ensuring adequate intake of the three macro nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, and fat. We recommend 80 percent of calories come from carbohydrates, 10 percent from fat and 10 percent from protein.”

“Choosing colourful, low-fat, plant-based foods often ensures this ratio, or a comparable one that will leave you feeling great. Especially good protein sources include whole-wheat pasta, ancient grains, beans, peas and lentils, and even leafy greens like spinach and broccoli,” he added.

Where milk consumption is considered essential for children’s development, Ali says that kids should also be encouraged to take up veganism and thereby a healthier lifestyle.

Talking of vegan diets in children, Dr. Munish Kumar Raizada- a Chicago based neonatologist said that it can affect nutrition if due precautions are not taken. Compared to lacto-vegetarian diets (where milk and dairy products are also consumed), vegan diets may put kids at additional risk of developing deficiency of iron, proteins, vitamin B12, zinc and calcium. Dr. Raizada recommends that the parents should consult a doctor or a dietitian before  starting children on vegan diets.

A diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes provides one with stable energy throughout the day and boosts the immune system.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Avoid Foods Full of Trans Fats if You Are Worried About High Cholesterol Levels

Fat is an important part of any balanced diet but the type of fat you eat matters the most particularly when it comes to cholesterol level so make sure you are avoiding the ones that is causing health problems.

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The World Health Organization said Friday that adults and children should limit their intake of saturated fat — found in foods such a meat — and trans fat — found in foods such as french fries.
representational image. VOA

Fat is an important part of any balanced diet but the type of fat you eat matters the most particularly when it comes to cholesterol level so make sure you are avoiding the ones that is causing health problems.

Manoj Acharya, Food Consultant at Zappfresh and Mehar Rajput, Nutritionist and Dietician at Fitpass tells us about the foods that are full of trans fats and are harmful to our health.

* Cakes, pies and cookies (especially with frosting) : Most cakes and cookies mixes list 0 gm of trans fat on the label. But there is a catch. Manufacturers can list 0 gm if the trans fat content is under 0.5gm. Those small amounts add up when you eat multiple serving of sweets that too with frosting. An average serving of frosting contains 2 gm of trans fats, plus the same amount of sugar.

Muffins, Pixabay

* Biscuits: This one surprises a lot of people. Biscuits contain 3.5gm of trans fats. It also contains over half of the daily recommendations of sodium.

* Margarine: Most margarine makers have removed trans fats from their ingredients. But you still must check. The few that still contains trans fats as high as 3gm per servings.

* French fries: You need to be cautious about where they fry your French fries in Vanaspati ghee or hydrogenated fat. Though certain food chains decided to turn healthier by becoming trans-fats free, you must care about it. But if you are cautious about health, you shouldn’t be having French fries.

Cholesterol -- a molecule normally linked with cardiovascular diseases -- may also play an important role in the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease, researchers have found.
Junk Food is highly rich in Cholesterol, pixabay

* Fried chicken: Just like French fries you need to be sure that your fried chicken has not been fried in hydrogenated oil. Same goes for fried fish.

* Frozen foods: People who are perpetually busy tend to pick up frozen meals from the supermarket. They are most likely to have trans-fat in them as they need to be kept preserved for a longer time.

* Ice creams and Indian savouries: It contains 0.5 gm of trans fat per servings. But if you read the ingredients list, the listing of partially hydrogenated oil is missing. That may be because there are naturally occurring trans fats in fat-containing dairy products which are not as dangerous as the manufactured trans fats. These products are high in calories, so one should still keep a check on their intake. Besides this, all the India savouries like Gulab Jamun, Gujhia, Laddo and Kachouri.

Ice cream bouquet in NYC
Ice cream bouquet. pixabay

* Popcorns: There is a good way and bad way to eat popcorn. The snack itself is a healthy whole grain packed with fibre. It is the extra add-on that gives it that trans-fat flag. Plain popcorn is fine but when you add butter to it(which is not real butter ), it made it loaded with trans fats with no other health benefits in it.

* Non-dairy creamers: For coffee lovers, non-dairy creamers can become an integral part of their morning. Over time, however, they can also add trans-fat to your diet. One serving contains 0 gm trans-fat, yet, for some flavours, partially hydrogenated oils are the second or third ingredients listed, which can add up if you drink multiple servings in a day. So keep a check on the portion size.

Also Read: Low Carb and High Fat Diet May Help Maintain Eyesight

* Sandwich spreads: Think twice before next time when you go out to have your sandwich with spreads if you got cholesterol concern. Trans fat occur naturally in some food like meat and While it’s not as concerning as the artificial kind added through hydrogenated oil, it doesn’t do you much good, either. Those who have heart disease, it is recommended to choose lean meat as much as possible as well as low fat or fat-free dairy products. (IANS)