It’s near to your dear one: The day of diabetes

 ‘Diabetes mellitus is the burden of the 21st century’. Many colleagues, researchers and other stakeholders use this phrase today. But is this really true?

Yes, it is true that we are currently experiencing a fast growth of a number of people with diabetes mellitus. This is driven by an exceptional increase of obesity prevalence all over the world. Obesity is not only related to high income populations but increasingly common also in lower and low income countries.

Do we know India is presently home to 62 million diabetics and this no. is expected to cross 100 million mark by 2030? The worst part is 44 lakhs Indians don’t know that they have diabetes. Most of us think that Diabetes is a disease of modern and urban world but contrary to it Diabetes affects more people in rural India (34 million) than affluent urban Indians (28 million). Definitely, western lifestyle, increased obesity rates, erratic eating habits have played a major in the increased no. of Diabetics. With increased no. of Diabetics, the rate of other associated diseases is also on the rise as a diabetic individual has enhanced chances of heart attack, stroke, amputations, nerve damage, retinopathy and most importantly kidney disorders.  Very few of us know Diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure in the world.

The GOOD news is that Diabetes is a preventable disease. Awareness about the Diabetes with modification in Diet and lifestyle can play a major role in preventing and controlling the epidemic of Diabetes.  On the occasion of World Diabetes Day, Diet mantra shares some useful tips for Diabetics…………………

  • Identify the symptoms: frequent urination, rapid weight loss, loss in vision, anxiety, frequent thirst and hunger pangs, excessive sweating.
  • Calculated diet planning is required for Diabetics as per their body type and blood sugar levels. Keep a food dairy under the guidance of Dietitian.
  • Choose high fibre slow release carbohydrates like oats, millets, jowar, brown rice, leafy greens.
  • Limit white potatoes and refined grain products in your diet.
  • Be smart about the sweets. Enjoy a small serving of your favorite dessert now and then. The key is moderation.
  • Have 1 tsp of methi seed powder daily.
  • Eat small and frequent meals.
  • Exercise! A must. Changing eating habits can be effective in diabetes prevention, but most effective seems to be to “walk the diabetes away”; 10000 steps and more a day prevent diabetes sustainably, but more importantly 1000 additional steps to the normal daily amount of steps – even if much less than 10000 – are as effective as 1000 mg metformin8.



World Osteoporosis Day: Ladies, beware of fractures post-menopause



“Aging is beautiful when it is embraced with love, respect and compassion for self”. This is how a woman should welcome the postmenopausal phase of her life. As women we often discount our feelings and try to skew our thoughts and emotions so that they are acceptable to others. But there is one such phase in life where everybody around a woman; be it spouse, in-laws, children have to provide emotional and supportive care to her- this is the Menopause and Postmenopause period.

 Menopause and Postmenopause brings about multiple physical and emotional changes — changes that shouldn’t be feared rather should be dealt with professional care and guidance of healthcare experts. Often, women are led to believe that all the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause disappear once postmenopause begins. This however, is not always the case, and the symptoms some women may experience when they are Postmenopausal are very similar to those they are already familiar with.

If you are waking up flushed and sweaty several times a night; putting on weight; having insomnia, feeling stressed out most of the times; and loosing bone health, then these are all symptoms of postmenopause. During postmenopause, the body’s production of essential hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone taper off, leaving women vulnerable to a number of health conditions like osteoporosis.

Do you know……… Worldwide, an estimated 200 million women are affected by osteoporosis and around one in three women aged over 50 will suffer from a fracture due to it.  Each year millions of our grandmothers are crippled and disfigured; It is estimated that the average woman loses up to 10 per cent of her bone mass in the first five years of menopause.

According to a new report published by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), women may expect to live longer but their quality of life will be seriously jeopardized if action to protect their bone health is not taken. On the occasion of World’s Osteoporosis day, I would like to share dietary and lifestyle guidelines for a healthy and safe postmenopause period. Nutritional care, regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk for osteoporosis. Judge your diet…….

  • Are you taking enough calcium in your diet?……Check it out! CALCIUM is the most important mineral for bone and should be the main focus of a woman’s diet. Eating and drinking two to four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day will help ensure that you are getting enough calcium in your daily diet. Calcium is found in dairy products, fish with bones (such as sardines and canned salmon), broccoli, and legumes. An adequate intake of calcium for women aged 51 and older is 1,200 milligrams per day.
  • Its not only calcium, you need to pump you iron levels as well. Eating at least three servings of iron-rich foods a day will help ensure that you are getting enough iron in your daily diet. Iron is found in lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and enriched grain products. The recommended dietary allowance for iron in older women is 8 milligrams a day.
  • How many of you know that animal protein in the diet is directly related to the absorption of calcium in the body. If you were to load up your plate with chicken, fish, beef, or any other source of animal protein, your kidneys would quickly start to lose calcium. Animal protein tends to escort calcium from the bloodstream, through the kidneys, into the urine. In an extreme case, a high-meat-intake diet can increase calcium loss by more than 50 percent. 
    • Save your heart along with your bones: Fat should provide 25% to 35% or less of your total daily calories. Also, limit saturated fat to less than 7% of your total daily calories.

     Saturated fat raises cholesterol and increases your risk for heart disease.

    • Are you following an exercise regime? No.. You should know that exercising regularly throughout life can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Doing some type of physical activity on most days of the week for between 30 and 40 minutes is recommended. In addition to reducing bone loss, physical activity will improve muscle strength, balance and fitness, and also reduce the incidence of falls and fractures.
    • Do you remain indoors most of the time? A BIG NO. This way you are not letting your body have enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D is made in the skin following sun exposure, and is found in very small amounts in some foods. This is one of the most important vitamins for bone health.
    • Have soya or its products thrice a week. Soy contains not only calcium but also plant estrogens, and it seems to help maintain bone density.

    Let’s not take our bones for granted and ignore them until one break with bone-thinning in old age. Your bones are for life. Look after them and they will carry you far. Diet Mantra shares dietary guidelines on World Osteoporosis Day to keep your bones fit and healthy…….


Facts you must know………

  • Osteoporosis is a chronic, common and costly condition. Often called the ‘silent thief’ because bone loss occurs without symptoms unless one has fractured.
  •  Osteoporosis can strike at any age. Women and men alike begin to lose bone in their mid-30s; as they approach menopause, women lose bone at a greater rate, from 2-3 per cent per year.
  • Risk factors include age, sex, vertebral compression fracture; fragility fracture after age 40, either parent has had a hip fracture, medical conditions or medications that contribute to bone loss.
  • Associated complications: bone fractures-hip, spine, wrist most common. Decreased quality of life. Over 80% of all fractures in people 50+ are caused by osteoporosis.
  • Fractures from osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer combined.
  •  Building strong bones during childhood and adolescence can be the best defence against developing osteoporosis later.
  • Twenty-eight per cent of women and 37% of men who suffer a hip fracture will die within the following year.
  • A healthy balanced nutrient rich diet right from the childhood years can help prevent osteoporosis.

World Pregnancy and Infant loss remembrance day…

Life is tough enough without having somebody kick you from inside” – this is how Pregnancy brings in completion to the womanhood. It brings on lots of nerves and lots of “big conversations” with your partner, like “How are we going to afford everything this baby needs? “What type of parents do we want to be?” “What values are we going to instill in our child?” “What religion will the kiddo be raised with?” “Will I go back to work after baby?”a woman think when she is about to enter this beautiful phase of life.

Pregnancy marks the beginning of new life and a lot of speculations and planning is involved in honouring a new life home. A healthy and blissful pregnancy needs stress free environment, family support and good health.

The day a woman feels the first moment inside the foetus the entire flock starts consulting gynaecologist, physiologist, physiotherapists, yoga expertsImage, stress management experts and if there is some scope consults Diet experts.

We live in the most comprehensive information era of all times, still it is painful that most of the women start with the pregnancy with low nutritional reserves resulting in complications during pregnancy or in the postpartum period?  Worldwide figures say that 1 in every 3 pregnancies ends in loss. According to the World Health Organization, 4.5 million stillbirths occur each year worldwide. There are a lot of contributing factors for neonatal and infant mortality which includes unhygienic living conditions, maternal complications during pregnancy, infectious diseases and most importantly MALNUTRITION.

A healthy mother would have a healthy baby and healthy bay would have healthy future. If nutrition is not taken care of properly at each stage of pre and post pregnancy, a baby’s organs won’t grow and develop properly, leaving them predisposed to long-term illness. Supplying your own body with a tasty blend of nutritious foods can not only improve your fertility, keep you feeling healthy during pregnancy, and pave the way for an easier labor, but it can also help to establish essential building blocks of growth and overall health for your child.

Nutritious, well-balanced eating plan is definitely one of the greatest gifts you give to your soon-to-be-born baby and paves way to a healthy life as an adult”.

On 15th October 2013, World Pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day, I would share some easy to follow dietary guidelines for healthy and safe pregnancy………..

  • If you have started gaining weight with start of your pregnancy…Congratulations! it’s a proof that your body is nurturing the growing baby. The pregnancy is divided into three trimesters with respect to growth and development of foetus; hence the nutritional requirements also differ in the three trimesters. First trimester is the phase of hormonal and physiological changes, so qualitative improvement has to be done in the diet in terms of adding more of fruits and fibre along with good quality proteins in the diet.
  • Are your friends and relatives saying that now you have to eat for two, then Caution! Do not eat for two. It’s true that nutrient requirement increases during pregnancy but energy requirement increase to additional 300Kcal per day during the second and third trimester only depending on the pre-conceived weight of the would be mother.
  • If you are overweight or have started the pregnancy with an excess weight, then your calorie requirement would differ as the additional fat reserves could be utilised in the body for the growth of the body. Excessive weight and fat gain during the pregnancy could also result in difficult labour.
  • On the other hand, mothers who consciously avoid putting on weight place their babies at risk for complications like premature birth resulting in lung or respiratory problems.
  • Have you heard woman craving for eating chalk during pregnancy. Some relate it to deficiency of Calcium in the body. Absolutely not! The cravings should not be the sole indicator of nutritional requirements.
  • Your decision and guidance by Nutrition expert to incorporate delicious vegetables, whole grains and legumes, lean protein, and other wise food choices into your eating plan before and during pregnancy is vital for a healthy growth of foetus.

All of the above a little sprinkle of giggle sautéed in love and garnished with care is all that what baby is asking for to turn into a healthy infant be a part of our beautiful world.

Aditi Srivastava

Director- Diet Mantra

Turmeric: The most important spice in your cabinet………….


Turmeric is an orangey-yellow spice that comes from a root in the ginger family. It is the Spice that Ignites Your Body’s Astonishing Immune System. Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory and immune supporting properties, 5 to 8 times stronger than vitamin E and stronger than vitamin C.

Composition: The most important chemical components of turmeric are a group of compounds called curcuminoids, which include curcumin (diferuloylmethane), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin.

Health benefits of Turmeric

  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Inflammation is the root cause of many chronic diseases that cause our health to deteriorate.  Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, helps to reduce inflammation in the body, can help in protecting against cancer, reduce swelling, heal wounds, increase mental clarity, enhance intestinal health and regulate metabolism.
  • Rich in anti-oxidants:  The high anti-oxidant composition helps in protecting the cells against free radical damage, thus helping in slowing down the ageing process.
  • Thermogenic properties: Turmeric naturally boosts your metabolism to help you burn calories.  Research in the European Journal of Nutrition suggests that, “curcumin may be useful for the treatment and prevention of obesity-related chronic diseases.”
  • Anti-septic and anti-bacterial properties: Turmeric could help in protecting you from food bourn bacterial illnesses.
  •  It may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Increased accumulation of a protein known as amyloid in the brain leads to a disease known as Alzheimer. Curcumin  can prevent this disease by making sure that amyloid does not accumulate.
  • Turmeric helps to alleviate depression symptoms by increasing serotonin and dopamine levels.
  • It’s used to help treat many health and medical conditions including neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gastric ulcer and osteoarthritis.

How To Use Turmeric

     One can use turmeric in different ways. It can be added in

  • Soups
  • Salad dressings
  • Sprinkle on meats, eggs,
  • Lentils and dals


Turmeric is very safe but it should not be taken in large amounts as it might lead to stomach upset, cramps and even diarrhea. Ideally turmeric should be consumed around 500 mg (.5 grams) to 1 gram (1000 mg) per day. Studies have shown that it’s safe to consume upto 3.6 grams (3600 mg) per day of curcumin extract.

Take care of your thyroid………..


The thyroid gland is one of the most important glands of the body located below the Adam’s apple. It produces thyroid hormone to regulate the metabolic functions of the body. If this hormone is not produced in sufficient amounts, it results in a condition known as hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism has many symptoms that can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, constipation, impaired fertility, and depression. Women are much more likely than men to develop hypothyroidism.

The treatment involves medication along with diet and lifestyle modification. Diet management has an important role of controlling the symptoms of thyroid disorder. It has been shown in studies that even little weight loss of 10% of the total body weight has been found to be beneficial in controlling symptoms.

Following the guidelines for effective weight management…….

  • Eat small and frequent meals at the intervals of 2-3 hours to boost body’s metabolism.
  • The mini meals should consist of fruits, salads, fruits, soups and low-calorie snacks.
  • Eat healthy and nutritious meals. Try to include foods rich in vitamin A like yellow vegetables, eggs, carrots, and dark green vegetables in the daily diet.
  • Iodine is needed to produce the thyroid hormone in your body. Seafood like sushi, seaweed, and saltwater fish are rich in Iodine. Vegetarians can include bananas and parsley in their diet.
  • Zinc and copper are important in helping the body make thyroid hormone. Rich sources include: oats, organ meats (range free), eggs, yeast, legumes, nuts, and raisins.
  • Avoid saturated fats, refined foods, sugars, and white flour products.
  • Regular intake of water 10-12 glasses per day.
  • Indulge in regular aerobic exercise such as walking, cycling or swimming for 1 hour daily. Metabolic rates can increase up to 25-percent after an aerobic workout. This form of exercise will also help burn calories and decrease levels of body fat.

                Diet planning has an important role in weight management, so a well guided plan as per the body weight and thyroid levels is important in management of thyroid.

Healthy eating during Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar during which Muslims fast by abstaining from all food and drink from dawn to sunset. During this month, those who are on fasting eat two meals: pre-dawn meal (Suhoor) and a meal at dusk (Iftar). As there is long gap of around 10-12 hours between the Suhoor and Iftar careful planning of meals is required to remain healthy, fit and enjoy the nutrient rich food during these days.

Diet Mantra share some diet tips for healthy eating during Ramadan days.

  • Treat yourself with complex carbohydrates, high fibre foods: Including foods such as barley, wheat, bran, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour and basmati rice in the diet help release energy slowly during the long hours of fasting and thus keeping one satiated through the fasting time.
  • Focus on lean protein by including eggs, cheese, peanut butter, beans and meat. Inclusion of protein in the pre-dawn will help in delaying hunger pangs.
  • Consume sufficient vegetables and fruits at meals: Including fruits and vegetables in the meals would add healthy nutrients and vitamins to the meals. Include fruits in the form of juices.
  • Avoid refined, processed, and junk foods that contain refined carbohydrates (sugar and white flour) like cakes, biscuits, chips, chocolates and sweets, rich oily desserts.
  • Keep yourself hydrated: During fasting, the body gets dehydrated over the course of the day, so it is important to keep the body hydrated during the non-fasting hours. Drink sufficient water between Iftar and sleep time, eat water rich fruits like watermelon, plums, sweetlime. One can also have fruit and vegetable juices, soups, coconut water, fruit smoothies, coolers in addition to water.
  • Avoid too much intake of caffeinated beverages as they dehydrate the body.
  • Avoid too spicy and high fat foods like puris, paranthas, samosa as they can cause abdominal distension and gastric irritation.
  • Use baking, steaming, grilling, boiling as methods of cooking rather than deep frying. These methods are healthier and helps retain the taste and original flavour of the food, especially chicken and fish.


One can start Sahur with light and wholesome meal like oats/porridge or whole wheat toast with 1-2 servings of milk and some unsalted nuts. 1-2 servings of fruits after 15-20 mins will add good amount of nutrients. Iftar can start with few dates, followed by plenty of water, which helps rehydration and reduces the chances of overindulgence. Main course can be non-veg 1-2 portions, with whole wheat bread or brown rice with vegetables. Fruits can be included in the fruit based desserts.


Most importantly, it is recommended to engage in some kind of light exercise, such as walking, yoga, stretching etc. to maintain the body’s metabolism and good health.

Diet mantra