Heart healthy diet menu plan: Khushboo Sahijwani

crop5_240x240_22sep14Khushboo Sahijwani has completed her Masters in Dietetics and Food Service Management. She believes in a holistic approach to health & wellness. In her 5 successful years she has worked as a nutritionist with reputed gyms and has also worked with leading surgeons and doctors.

She not only ensures a balanced nutritious diet comprising of essential macro & micro nutrients but also corrects medical conditions through food. She specializes in providing one-on-one diet plans for lifestyle disorders such as Weight Management, Thyroid, Diabetes, Hypertension/Abnormal Lipid Profile/Cardiac problem, PCOS, Maternity (pre & post), Ageing among others.

Ms. Sahijwani answered Sify readers’ queries related to the above in an exclusive chat. Read the transcript below.

I am 42 yrs old women, how to get weight loss
We need to customise a diet for you maam. Contact me on khushboosahijwani@gmail.com Thanks

What is the best way to start one’s day ( in terms to diet) to avoid acidity?
Consume a fruit within the first half n hour of waking up. Avoid tea & coffee as soon as you wake up

So much is said about ‘fasting’. What is your opinion on fasting? I generally fast.
Not a good idea at all. As you cannot devoid your body of energy at any give point. It really takes a toll on on’s body

Besides folic acid what all should I include in my diet if I am trying to conceive?
Prior to planning just folic acid is good

I am female 31yrs trying to conceive since 2 yrs. Reports state everything normal. Can my diet be the reason? Can a change in my diet help me conceive?
Yes it can

Can irregular periods be brought to normal by diet or does it need medication?
It can be bought to normal by diet but in certain cases medication is also required

Hello Ms. Khushboo, My daughter is just 9yrs and has already reached her puberty. I am worried as a father for her natural growth. Please recommend a diet for her.
We would have to discuss this offline. Post your query on khushboosahijwani@gmail.com

I also want my 11 yr daughter to be taller. What should I include in her diet to gain a good height?
It is a matter of hereditary as well. In general give her a good protein rich diet. and Start exercising at the right age and form

What should be the correct weight of my 11yr old daughter? She is slightly plump.
I would also be needing her height to calculate the weight. Normally convert her height in centimeters and minus 100 from it. That should be her ideal weight as per Broca’s index formula

My daughter aged 11yrs is often constipated. Your advise on her diet.
Include good roughage in her diet like raw veggies, salads and fruits. Also increase her water intake and give hot liquids like dals, soups etc

Is there a diet plan to delay ageing of skin?
Yes by knowing the cause of the same I can prescribe you a diet. we can take this offline on khushboosahijwani@gmail.com

How many tsps. of cooking oil would you suggest for 250gms of grains or vegetables?
Ideal oil intake should be restricted to half a litre a person a month so depending on your cooking method you can decide yourself how much oil to add to a particular vegetable.

Should margarine be avoided completely for heart health?
yes it should

How many eggs are healthy enough if consumed daily ( For adults as well children- aged between 8-14yrs)?
the protein requirement of a person varies from age to age. One egg has 6g of proteins. So calculating the other protein sources in the diet one can prescribe the number of eggs consumed in the day.

Do eggs really raise one’s cholesterol levels?
egg yolks are rich in cholesterol. So if one has a raised cholesterol should avoid them

What is your diet suggestions to bring cholesterol down?
General tips for lowering cholesterol would be to avoid fried, oily foods, red meat, alcohol. Opt a diet rich in fibre like complex carbs, fruits, salads and vegetables Also exercise is a must

There are many herbs available now days for seasoning, which are the best to use regularly?
It would be better if you could specify incase your wanting to know about any particular herb as you rightly said there a lot of them available and not that any of them would do any harm

M’am I m a female 36yrs. I want to have a flat stomach. Please tell me some diet changes to get flat tummy.
Hi. Just by knowing your age would be difficult for me to prescribe or give you any tips for a flat tummy. I would need to know a lot of your other details as well. You can contact me on my email khushboosahijwani@gmail.com to take this offline

Can diet alone help a thyroid patient to lose weight?
NO diet and exercise would be needed to show results

What kind of diet or foods/ drinks work better for thyroid patients?
Thyroid patients generally have a lower metabolism as compared to normal individuals. So the natural ways to increase metabolism are exercise in the form of weight training as well as consume a high protein diet. This will eventually help in increasing the mtabolism and losing weight in the bargain. No particular food or drink will help cure or treat thyroid pateints

What is the right age when a female should start taking calcium supplements in the form of pills?
There is no prescribed age to start calcium in the form of pills. If one is lactose intolerant and cannot take milk and milk products right from a young age like their teens or adulthood one can take pills prescribed as per the requirement

My sister-in-law will be soon approaching menopause. She has intolerance to milk and dairy products. Pl guide on her diet.
It is normal that women when nearing menopause become lactose intolerant. No harm if she has to avoid dairy products and milk. She can try soy milk if tolerated. And consume a calcium pill 1000mg per day to take care of her calcium intake.

What type of fat is the most healthy for a normal person?
Oils rich in MUFA like Canola, Rice bRan, Groundnut, saffola gold or Sundrop Heart oil over Sun flower, ghee, butter

How many tsps. of fat do you recommend on p/day basis?
Ideal consumption of fat is half a litre per person per month. That is 1-2 tsp per person per day

Is it that caffeine affects absorption of vitamins and minerals?
Yes if coffee or caffeine is taken immediately post a meal it hampers the absorption of iron and other minerals

How many cups of coffee a day are healthy enough?
On a regular basis 2 cups should be ok. More than that substitute your intake with green tea

To maintain my body weight, I try to take low calorie food throughout the day but I feel all the more hungry. So can one meal in a day be planned a high calorie one?
Even when on a weight loss diet one cannot devoid the body of carbs as they are the basic source of energy without which the brain doesn’t function. So even try and include complex carbs over simple in every meal that you take. And ensure you dont skip any meal

Can a low carb bread be prepared at home? How?
Bread is made up of refined or whole wheat flour which is a rich source of carb. There is no way you can substitute the cereal in bread. Yes you can definately opt for the one made out of oats, rye etc to increase the fibre content

Does a high carb diet increase oxygen consumption?
A high carb and high fat diet does increase oxygen consumption. But this question is of relevance only if the person is a victim of COPD thats CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE

What foods can help my elder sister lose post pregnancy weight?
One size doesn’t fit all. Similarly some general tips might not work for all pregnant ladies to lose their post partum weight. One needs to see a qualified Nutritionist to evaluate your sister’s history and then give her a customised diet. In general there are no wonder foods which by including in the diet would give u those results.

Do I need to completely having beer if I need weight loss?
If you are following a good diet as per your requirements and doing your exercise bit, one drink once a fortnight is fine.

I have heard that there are foods/ drinks that melt or help us in cutting our body fat. Is it true? Can you name some?
No there are no such wonder foods. Weight loss is a proper scientific process one has to follow under supervision.

How long do you think it will take for me to lose 10kgs only through diet? I am a strict vegan.
The rate of weight loss depends on many parameters like the height, weight, age of the person. As well as the activity level, diet & life style. Also whether the person has done lot of diets before like created a yo-yo pattern for him/her self thus shocking the body every now and then. So all these factors will slow down the rate of weight loss. In general 1/2-1kg a week is a healthy rate of weight loss

Can you give me some imp. diet tips to lose weight.
Diet tips are plenty but just tweaking some minor tips will not give effective results compared to the diet which you can follow which is tailored to suit your needs and requirements. The common tips might sound like broken records like exercise 45-60mins a day minimum. Avoild fried, oily, sweets, refined flour and processed foods and the likes. Include a Moderate carb, high protein and low fat diet.

Madam I am a middle aged man. I want to lose atleast 10kgs weight but have no time to go to gym. Is it possible only through diet?
Yes weight loss is a combination of 70% diet and 30% workout. So if you follow a diet customised for yourself monitored under supervision you can lose weight. If no time to workout than prefer taking steps over lift where ever possible and walk a small distance to work rather than taking any other mode of transport.

What are your diet tips to control diabetes? Thank you. Keerthana
A fibre rich diet which includes whole wheat, oats, jowar, bajra over refined flour, rice etc. Also raw veggies and salads in generous quantities. Good protein intake but lean variety like egg whites, chicken, tofu, sprouts, skimmed milk & milk products. Not to forget a minimum 45 mins of workout

Are ready to eat soups bad for diabetics?
Ready to eat soups would not be advisable for anyone as they are processed and rich in sodium. Freshly made soups are only advisable for any individual

What is the right kind of cheese and what is its right intake for diabetics on per day basis?
There are varied variety of cheeses available in the market today. But cheeses are all made from milk so rich source of calcium and protein. But yes if someone is a diabetic or on a weight loss diet then daily consumption would not be advisable. Generally one serving is 40g but one choose the slim cheese variety available and consume it as a mid meal snack

How is peanut butter for health?
Peanut butter is rich in Mono-unsaturated fatty acid also called MUFA. It is a type of fat not present in hidden forms in the foods we eat so if eaten is no harm but in moderation. Not more than 1-2 tsp a day

Please suggest some immune boosting snacks that can be easily prepared at home.
Foods that boost our immunity are the ones rich in vitamins and minerals as they have anti-oxidant properties. So chopped veggie sticks like carrots, cucumbers with hung curd dip or fresh fruits with peanut butter, hung crud sandwiches etc could all be prepared easily. Corn bhel with raw veggies in them, Carrot n sprouts sandwich

Is microwave cooked food as healthy when cooked on fire?
No. Food cooked on fire is superior

I usually blanch spinach before cooking to retain the colour, hope this doesn’t lose its nutritional value. Pl advise.
No it doesn’t. Just add a pinch of sugar to retain its colour well.

What is the right way to keep fruits and vegetables in fridge, in plastic covers or cloth covers?
Air tight bags or zip-locks or if in a box then cling wrap them

I usually chop vegetables 2-3 days in advance, store them in boxes and put them in refrigerator because I am a working female. Does this harm the nutritional value of the vegetables?
Its advisable to chop your veggies and fruits before consuming or preparing them as yes the microbes are present at all ambient temperatures o destroy the nutritional value. Hence not advisable.

Do vegetables, dals and pulses lose their nutrition if refrigerated for a day and then consumed?
Not really. If there are food left overs one must not believe in wastage. Refrigerat them well and thaw them well . i.e remove it from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before re-heating them

What is the right method to cook so that the nutritional value isn’t lost?
Foods least subject to processing retain their nutritional properties. So methods like steaming, sauteeing, grilling, baking are better over pressure cooking and grinding n stuff.

Which more nutritious, green apple or red apple?
Each colour has its prime property and importance. Different couloured fruits means different anti-oxidant properties. So the more colour n your diet the more you are assured that you wont be deficient in any vitamins and minerals. So eat both of them

Pl tell me some real good diet for healthy heart.
Diet for healthy heart is the one which is rich in complex carbs like oats, jowar, bajra, fruits & veggies since they are rich in fibre and remove or lower cholesterol. Also include lean meat for proteins like egg whites, avoid the yolks, include chicken and oily fish like sardines and tuna. Avoid red meat, beef, pork. Avoid ghee, butter and include heart healthy oils rich in MUFA like canola, rice bran, olive oil. Lastly include fatty fish atleat 3 times a week, if consume non-veg

Since the fruits and veggies available in cities today is toxic due to the use of chemicals and pesticides, is there a way to improve or enrich them at home?
Wash fruits and veggies carefully before consuming them. Use warm water to do the same. ? Unlike the Dirty Dozen, bananas, watermelon, corn, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli have lesser pesticide residue. ? Learn gardening. Make your own little farm or small kitchen garden to grow veggies and fruits. ? Peel the skin off fruits and vegetables when you can. ? Pressure cooking, frying and baking will remove pesticide residues from pulses and other food grains. ? Refined oils contain fewer amounts of pesticide residues. Household heating of oils up to a particular flash point will remove pesticide residues

Why is it that we are unable to digest certain veggies like cauliflower and cabbage?
raw vegetables are rich in enzymes. And some people have a poor digestive system over the others. Hence they cause symptoms like gas, bloating etc. Once cooked the enzyme activity is de-activated and tolerance is better than the raw counter parts