Categories
Wellness

4 reasons to cut out the sugar from your diet.

There is something more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol in your diet and you probably don’t even know about it. Its SUGAR.

Surprise Surprise!!!!!

Sugar is probably the greatest threat to your health today and you are probably not even aware of it…..:)

And I am not talking about the sugar you add to your tea or coffee, but also the sugar that is in processed food like Ketchup, Mayonnaise, and even in healthy food like cornflakes.

Yes Cornflakes,

A research article in Times of India showed the results of some research done on popular Corn Flakes and Muesli brands. The brands included Kellogg, Bagrry’s, and Good earth. The research found these brands have more than double the sugar prescribed. According to the European Regulation on Health and Nutritional Claims (ERHNC), “sugar content higher than 12.5 gm per 100 gm is considered to be high’. All variants in the study were found to be exceptionally high’ in sugar. And not even a single product had printed the sugar content on its packet. ” For more on cornflakes please read this article we wrote earlier on the website.

I have personally started experiencing the addiction and control that sugar has on you. Since the lockdown, to counter the drop in energies while working from home, I had been regularly consuming Cornflakes and Musli, little realizing that it spiked my sugar levels leading to mood swings, headaches (migraine in my case) and a general feeling of low spirits. I was consuming a packet of cream biscuits regularly and I gained around 10 kilograms during this time. All this happened while I was still working out and aware of my consumption.

Cornflakes is another seemingly harmless presence in our diet but is actually dangerous to health

It took me until the end of June to figure out what was going. Since July 2020 I have cut out on any sugar in the diet. I drink Black coffee or green tea. I have swapped out sweets and biscuits with fruit. I know these are early days but I already see an effect on my energy, moods and overall general wellbeing.

So why is sugar so dangerous? Here are some of the reasons from my experience as a doctor and some research that has been publicly released globally.

  1. Sugar is a dumb substance. It has no nutritional value. Any sugar that you need can be made by the body from fruits and dairy products. These are naturally occurring sugars and give you fiber, vitamins, and proteins in addition to the sugar.
  2. Weight gain is an apparent downside to sugar. Sugar disruption the Leptin cycle in the body. Leptin is a hormone that regulates the hunger cycles in the body, any disruption in the Leptin cycle can cause weight gain and hunger pangs. There has been some study on this topic, please read here for more details.
  3. Insulin resistance is another reaction to high sugar diets. There is a myth in India that sugar causes diabetes. While sugar does not cause diabetes, but high levels of sugar in the bloodstream leads insulin coming out to regulate sugar, and this causes insulin to be less effective over a period of time leading to prediabetic conditions.
  4. Last but not the least sugars are also linked to higher triglycerides level in the body leading to heart attacks.

So what I can recommend you is to cut the added sugar from the diet. Also, please don’t switch to Honey or Jaggery as the effect is the same. Like the rules for smoking cessation or alcohol cut out, you need to brutally cut out the sugar, otherwise it will creep back in one spoon at a time.

Please also keep the following in mind

  1. Exercise daily, if you can’t take out 30-40 minutes for exercise you are doomed and will be experiencing high medical costs after 45
  2. Eat only homemade food.
  3. Check the added sugar quantity before buying anything from the market
  4. Load your diet with fruits and vegetables.

Wishing you all a safe reading and better health this year.

Categories
Public Health

The budget on fuel subsidies can fund our public health budget says European study

According to research from European non profit Health and Environment Alliance, if India removes its fuel subsidies it can fund almost 24 % of the healthcare needs of the citizens. The study also goes on to say that the savings can help produce 24,000 doctors at Rs 1.7 Crores a doctors (Estimate as per AIIMS report on the subject) and distribute solar lanterns at 375 million households at $22.5 per lantern.(I am sure we can make them cheaper in India itself)

Here is a graphical look at what good we can do in healthcare with the subsidy money.

(Infographic Source: HEAL)

The current fuel subsidies for India are at $16.9 Billion as per the budget numbers in 2013-2014. But these fossil fuels says the report also create pollution which costs the Indian citizens around $ 140.7 Billion in medical bills and loss in productivity. A good example is Air Pollution.

 

13 of the top 20 most polluted cities are in India. The report also suggests the improvements in Indian households using LPG as opposed to Bio Gas, but again raises concerns on the use of Kerosene. We looked up HEAL and their website states that they are based in Belgium. There are more than 70 health and environment groups associated with them. Gurgaon based Public Health Foundation of India worked with HEAL for the parts of the report focused on India.

 

It is ironic in a way as subsidies are paid for by tax payer money. And it is these subsidies that are causing health concerns to us again costing us money. You can read the full report here. Do let us know your thoughts and how you think we can come out of this cycle.

 

 

Categories
Wellness

Health benefits of Sauna

Many years ago, the Finnish discovered that pouring water over heated rocks in a small enclosed room created a very hot, dry heat – the sauna. We all have heard  about the miracle of infrared or dry sauna in our life. But have you ever think that what is the connection  between your body and dry saunas?

 

The fact you should know that just sitting in the infrared sauna can burn 400-600 calories in just 30 minute session. If you are interested in find out more such interesting facts about infrared saunas and how it helps us to stay healthy and fit, then don’t forget to check out the below infographic from UK Saunas

Categories
Public Health Wellness

How herbal products are shaping a new consumer demographic in India

In my previous post I had written about the need to look at natural/herbal cosmetics. I feel the younger generation is going to insist on cosmetics and instead of denying them the item, it would be better to find safe alternatives and let them use it. We know that children go through a phase. My daughter had a “pink and purple” phase where she refused to wear clothes that weren’t in these colors. It lasted about 2 years – where we bought her new clothes only in these colors and negotiated a deal to wear other colors on 3 days of the week – before she finally gave it up this year with her younger sister’s entry into the world.

Categories
Public Health

Coconut water : Drink your way to good health

As India continues to reel under the onset of summer, a lot of people would look to fresh juices, aerated drinks, processed fruit drinks and water. But the ultimate cure for heat lies much higher above the ground and is available in plenty in the country hanging on top of a coconut tree.