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Author Archives: Vitazia Wellness

Junk Food Done Right!

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when we say “Junk Food”? It will most likely be things like cheeseburger, Pizza, French fries, aerated beverages etc! We know for a fact that these food items are prepared using ingredients and methods that are harmful for the body; but despite being aware and mindful, we still indulge in junk food sometimes.

Indulging in junk is very normal, and it shouldn’t necessarily be taken as dangerously as people make it sound. In this article, we will tell you how to identify your junk food correctly, and how to plan the consumption.

WHAT IS JUNK FOOD?

Now that we have discussed about junk food, let’s also get to the real meaning of it!

Junk food or fast food as many call it, are rather different from one another. Fast food is not necessarily bad for you. Fast food is anything that can be prepared and consumed very quickly.  To your surprise, even a salad bar can be categorized under “Fast Food” because it can be prepared fast!

However, junk food is the food that is actually bad for you, hence the name “Junk”. Characteristics of junk food typically include fast service, easy to eat, filling, and affordable.

  • Junk food as we know it

These are the kind of foods that we have already discussed and have been popularly tagged as junk. Quite obviously these include things like burger, French fries and so on, just as we already know it.

  • Pretentious foods

As the name suggests, these are the things we believe are healthy but are not. For example, canned fruit juices, packaged granola, diet drinks, biscuits (Fibre rich, oats and ragi etc) jams and spreads, ready to cook foods etc.  Be very careful with these food items as they only appear to be healthy, but do just as much harm to your body as junk food.

HOW TO PLAN YOUR CONSUMPTION

  • Set boundaries

Make sure that you set some boundaries to your consumption! For example, promise yourself to eat junk food only once a week. If it helps, you can also set reminders on your phone or write it down at a place which you notice every day, to keep reminding yourself of the rule.

  • Cook at home

It is hard to curb the craving sometimes, and we have the perfect solution for that. Whenever you really crave for certain unhealthy foods, make the same thing at home! For example if you crave a burger, instead of buying it from the store, you can just make it at home.

Doing this, will give you the freedom to substitute and/or eliminate ingredients that are unhealthy.  Another benefit of cooking at home is that you will be sure of the quality of the ingredients that are being used.

  • Order smartly

No matter where you go, there are always healthier/less harmful alternatives. Give proper time to reading the menu and understanding the ingredients before placing the order. The trick is not to order something that has least calories, but to order something that has maximum nutrients. For example, when you go to subway, you can order a sandwich with maximum vegetable, cheese and minimum sauces. This will not necessarily cut down on calories, but it will increase the nutrients going into your body.

Reading and Understanding Food Labels Correctly

With our increasing dependence on packaged food, we need to ensure that we are aware of what we are putting in our body. Luckily, almost all standard food packets come with a label, which help you understand it better.

But how many of us actually bother to spend 6-10 minutes in reading and understanding the label?  Probably very few of us! We need to change this habit, and learn that if we are going to rely on packed food, then we must at least choose items that are least harmful to our bodies and somewhat meets the daily nutrition requirements.

In this article, we will share a few important things that you should look out for. While it is usually easy to understand the label, there are still a few words and codes that may be slightly difficult to understand if not educated about the same.

  • Serving size-

Serving size is always mentioned on the top right corner of the left corner of the label. This is basically a standard measurement based on the amount of food that a person can typically eat at one time. One must be careful while reading the serving size since it will determine the amount listed on the label.

  • Calories and calories from fat-

Check the total calories in the packet, and also check the calories that you are getting from fat specifically.  Also keep in mind the following things:

  • 40 or less calories- low
  • 100 or less calories- moderate
  • 400 or more- high
  • Fat and sodium

Look out for words like “Saturated fats” “Trans fat” “Cholesterol” & “Sodium” make sure that you avoid packets which mention them. Since they increase the risk of certain chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer and so on.

  • Vitamins and minerals-

Make sure that your packet has maximum of vitamins and in maximum amounts! This is a sure shot way to ensure that you get something good into your body. Dietary fibre is also extremely important to maintain good health, so make sure that this is fairly high.

  • % Daily Value

Daily percent value puts all the nutrients on the scale of 0% to 100%. The scale tells you if there is little or a lot of nutrient in the packed food.

  • 5% DV is low
  • 20% DV is high
  • Ingredients

All the ingredients that are used to make that product is mentioned on the label. Make sure that you read this part carefully, and refrain from buying any packet which has a list of ingredients that are unfamiliar to you.

  • Pay attention to these

If the packet mentions any of the following words, it means this:

  • Good source-at least 16-19% DV
  • Fat free/sugar free- less and ½ gm
  • High in – 20% or more

Keto Diet

In the sea of thousands of diet and fasting techniques, one of the most popular one is Ketogenic Diet or Keto diet. You probably have already heard of this word before, but let’s take a deeper look at this diet.

This particular diet follows a low-carb, high-fat technique. There are considerable numbers of people who live by this diet form and believe that it does give results. While it is true that Keto diet is definitely great for losing weight, there are also some complications that come with it. But first, let’s understand how Ketogenic diet actually works and what it does to our body.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

Keto diet involves drastically reducing the intake of carbs and replacing it with fat. This sudden reduction of carbs will put the body into a state called as “Ketosis”. When this process takes place, your body would burn start burning fat rather than sugar for energy.

WHY YOU SHOULD RECONSIDER FOLLWING KETO DIET

While it may seem tempting to be able to shed those extra pounds in no time, you need to think again. There is absolutely no short cut to losing weight! You HAVE to exercise and follow a balanced diet regularly in order to lose weight in a healthy way. Keto diet as a general weight loss plan is rather controversial and many doctors suggest people to go back to regular diet.

 

  • Keto flu

Yes! There is something called as a Keto flu! Many people sometimes complain that when the body starts to go into ketosis stage, they feel sick. Some say they feel nausea, some get vomiting and other gastrointestinal distresses.  While this usually passes with time, some people complain for it to have lasted longer than expected.

  • Reduced athletic performance

When body starts to burn fat, it has an effect on your athletic performance too. You may find yourself getting tired more often and in general notice that you are not able to do the tasks as easily as you would on normal diet.

  • Ketoacidosis

If you are type 1 or type 2 diabetic, then you must not follow a Keto diet without a doctor’s permission.  This is because for the people with diabetes, ketosis can trigger a very dangerous condition called Ketoacidosis. This typically when body stores too many Ketones (Acids produces as a by-product of burning fat) your blood becomes very acidic. This can damage the liver, kidneys and brain.

  • Weight Regain

Because ketogenic diet is so restrictive on so many foods, you would not possibly be able to follow it for lifetime. At some point you may start eating normal again. This is when the problem begins. Your body gets accustomed to not getting carbs, and hence when you start eating carbs again, your body will suddenly start using sugar to burn fat. This sudden change will make you regain all the weight you have lost. In some cases, people gain more weight than before.

  • Decreased Metabolism

While you think you are losing a lot of fat, you may also end up losing a lot of muscle along the process.  And because your muscles more calories than fat, it will affect your metabolism. When you stop keto diet and get back to the original weight, you will notice that it muscle and fat are not in the same proportion as before. This is because you would have gained more fat and lost a considerable amount of muscle.