Tag Archives: Yogurt

Never skip your breakfast

In spite of health experts going blue in the face trying to get people to understand the importance of having breakfast, there are thousands who skip the first (and most crucial) meal of the day citing a motley of reasons.

Having a hearty breakfast helps control excess hunger throughout the day. We technically fast overnight while sleeping, forgoing breakfast adds to this fasting period and may disrupt blood sugar balance and insulin output.

Skipping breakfast also triggers bad eating habits during the day, as cravings ensue and quick-fix fast foods are often eaten. Having breakfast boosts metabolism and increases your energy levels throughout the day. When you miss it, your energy is reduced and physical activity levels decline.

An ideal, healthy breakfast A healthy breakfast provides 25 per cent of the total energy and nutrients required by the body. “Ideally, your first meal of the day should comprise a perfect combination of carbohydrates, protein and fibre. Make sure you include fruits, whole grains, berries and and good fats. Opt for light and soft idlis with sambhar, plain dosas with green chutney, milk with cornflakes or wheatflakes, vegetable poha or upma with a milkshake and sprouts. Also, include high fibre fruits like apples, papayas, muskmelons, oranges or watermelons.

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What to avoid in the morning l Processed, deep fried or oily food, preserved meat, left over or junk food, cakes, pastries, and only juices are a no-no. l Avoid refined foods like white rice and white bread. Instead opt for whole wheat bread and cereals. Stay away from deep fried pakodas, puris, samosas, doughnuts, cookies, potato chips, candy bars and sodas. l Food items like vada pav, bhajias, wafers, pizzas and French fries are loaded with fat, salt and calories and have very little fibre — keep them at an arm’s length.

Disadvantages of skipping breakfast Experts say that skipping breakfast may put you on the fast track to weight gain, heart disease, osteoporosis, irritability or mood swings, menstrual irregularity, low energy levels, low memory and hormonal stress. A study shows that people who skipped breakfast developed higher bad LDL cholesterol levels, and were less sensitive to insulin than people who ate breakfast every day. And for those who skip breakfast in a bid to lose weight, you ought to read this. “People who miss breakfast tend to feel fatigued early on in the day and have low concentration levels, affecting their efficiency. Skipping breakfast also decreases metabolic rate making weight loss difficult. Research proves that people who skip breakfast tend to be heavier than people who eat a healthy breakfast. So, if you’re looking forward to losing weight, have a nutritious breakfast to get a healthy start to the day.

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Importance of a healthy breakfast in children and teens The amount of food that a child needs varies according to height, built, gender, and activity levels. “Most kids will usually eat the amount of food that’s right for them, however, it is up to the parents to ensure that their children have the right foods available to choose from. Eating a meal should be both a healthy and an enjoyable occasion — a fact that many parents overlook when planning a meal for growing children. Good eating habits start from home so be a good role model.

Make sure that no one in the house skips breakfast. A glass of milk along with a boiled egg, idli, dosa, a grilled vegetable sandwich, porridge, fresh fruit or a paneer sandwich is good for tweens and teens.

10 Good for You Foods that Cost Less than a Buck

A widely held belief exists that eating healthy is expensive. However, a study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that, healthful eating can actually be relatively inexpensive depending on food choices. We’ve put together ten good-for-you foods that cost under a buck.

1. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables pack a powerful nutrition punch. They contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide benefits for the entire body.

According to the USDA, the average cost of fruits and vegetables is approximately 40 to 50 cents per cup. The least expensive fresh vegetables are potatoes, lettuce, eggplant, greens, summer squash, tomatillos, and carrots. The most economical fruits are watermelon, bananas, apples, pears, pineapple, and peaches. Shopping for produce that is in season will further reduce costs and provide the most nutrition and best flavor.

2. Frozen and Canned Fruits and Vegetables

While given a reputation of having a lesser nutrient value, canned fruits and vegetables can be just as healthy and economical (if not more so) as their fresh counterparts.

3. Oats

Oats are superstars in the nutrition realm. These whole grains are low in calories, high in fiber and protein, and are a rich source of many vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant chemicals. Oats offer protection against disease and reduce health issues that may already exist like high cholesterol or blood sugar. Oats are readily available, easy to incorporate into your diet, and inexpensive, costing only about 15 cents per serving.

4. Beans

Beans are a low-fat and versatile protein that help lower cholesterol, reduce heart disease and cancer risk, stabilize blood sugar, relieve constipation, assist with weight management and lower blood pressure. Delicious and economical, dried beans cost just around seven cents per serving while canned beans cost about 16 cents.

5. Tea

Tea, made from the bag, costs about 12 cents per serving and is worth every penny. This no-calorie beverage helps lower blood pressure, prevent cancer, and reduce the risk for stroke. Tea is also an antiviral, anti-cavity, and anti-allergy powerhouse.

6. Nuts

Nuts reduce the risks for coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many other causes of mortality. All nuts contain some sort of health-promoting property. Eat a variety of them to enjoy all of the nutrition they have to offer. Here are just a few things you’ll find inside them: plant-derived omega-3s fatty acids, fiber, protein, vitamin D, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, niacin, folate, zinc, and antioxidants. Depending on the nut you choose, you can spend anywhere from a few pennies to 30 cents per serving.

7. Yogurt

Yogurt contains live active cultures, protein, calcium, and B vitamins. This super food has anticancer properties, lowers cholesterol, and wards off unfriendly bacteria while promoting and preserving intestinal health.

Yogurt varies in flavors, types, and prices but on average, yogurt costs around 80 cents per serving. For a more economical yogurt, make it at home.

8. Brown Rice

Brown rice, which contains a number of nutrients and antioxidants, is a whole grain that has been shown to reduce diabetes risks, assist with weight control, help lower and control blood sugar, and possibly inhibit breast and colon cancers. Brown rice costs about 20 cents per serving.

9. Canned Tuna in Water

Canned tuna is perhaps one of the cheapest animal proteins. At just around 75 cents per serving, this low calorie fish delivers omega-3 fatty acids that may decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure, improve arthritis symptoms, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

10. Tomato Sauces and Salsas

Fresh tomatoes are nutritious, but the processed tomato products are where the real nutritional power is. That’s because processing breaks down the plant cell walls to allow the body to absorb the antioxidant, Lycopene. Lycopene has been linked to reducing cancer, cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration. Tomato products vary in price but can be as economical as five cents per serving.