Nutrition Q&A: Diet chart to feel energetic

Nutrition and Dietetics expert, Parvathy Radhakrishnan answers readers’ questions on nutrition. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Wednesday.


My father is 58 years old. He has been high Diabetic for past 20 years. He has some problems developed recently. When he takes insulin or any other tablet to control diabetes, sugar level comes down but he gets symptom of hypo(even at sugar level of 250).

He gets head ache, drowsiness, shivering etc. What should he eat to improve body resistance to these hard medicines/insulin?

Siddharth Prasad

Siddharth, you need to tell me his weight, height, details of medications and eating schedule for me to understand why he is having these. Firstly rule out other illnesses like kidney or liver diseases by consulting a physician. Also, has he made any changes in his usual eating or physical activity or changed medications?

Make sure he gets protein and fibre in all his meals. This will help better glycemic control. He needs to eat 3 main meals and snack especially at bedtime, depending on his type of insulin.

Uncontrolled diabetics who regularly have very high blood sugar readings show symptoms of hypo even with a small reduction in blood sugar. This will get corrected with gradual control of diabetes.

Dear Doctor

I am 47 year old male and reside in Hyderabad. I am 5’7″ tall and a total vegetarian. I do not smoke, drink. I weigh about 85 kgs and do not suffer from BP, diabetes or take any other medication for any complaint. My siblings and family ask me to reduce tummy flab but i am unable to take out time for a regular walking or exercise regimen.

I draw your attention to the fact that I feel very tired ,exhausted after few hours of work in the day. I am in the sales line and keep moving outdoors and forced to eat outside. I also feel sleepy and have trouble focusing on the work on hand due to this. I sleep for about 6 hours in the night (12am-6am). I wake up in the morning and initiate my day with positive thoughts so that drudgery does not catch up. Yet this exhaustion sets in by after noon and sometimes a nagging headache also occurs.

Please suggest me some nutritional corrections or any other valuable advice you can extend to me. So far i have managed without any lifestyle diseases but would like to steer clear of any risks

Looking forward to your revert pl

Ramakrishnan Sundaram

Possible reasons for your exhaustion are

you are not getting enough fruits and vegetables
not drinking enough water
eating oily, fried foods
insufficient sleep – each person has their quota of sleep. Maybe you need an hour more. so try to go to bed by 11pm instead of 12..

You should eat a good breakfast, with sufficient protein . Items that are low in fat like idlis, ragi, wheat dalia or oats are preferred than oily dosas.or puris.

Carry 2 guava, oranges or apples with you so that you can eat them between meals or when you are hungry. If your lunch is outside, then choose rotis or rice with curries that are not too oily.

What ever meals you eat at home should be lots of green salads, vegetables, fruits, low fat curds and small amount of rice/roti and dals.Give emphasis on fruits and vegetables. You are sure to feel more energetic.

What is Quinoa and Spirulina and in which Indian foods are they found ?

Quinoa is a nutritious cereal containing high quality proteins that make it a good alternative to animal proteins, it is easily digested, contains good kind of fats like mono and poly unsaturated fats, high in fibre, gluten free, contains minerals much more than other cereals, and vitamins B, C, E and A. It can be cooked just as rice dishes are cooked.

Spirulina is a blue green algae, rich in antioxidants, proteins, vitamins, minerals. They are available as supplements.

There are people who say that the weight loss can be done with the no carb diet.How much it is true ? and for the Maharashtrian diet what is the best food cycle to follow for reducing the weight ? Even Non vegetarian will also do in the food. Say like chapati , chicken Mutton or fish or salads curd etc..

Sunil Deshpande

Weight loss with no carbohydrates is unhealthy. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are needed for the function of the body and shunning any one of this is not recommended. But avoiding simple carbs like sweets, sugar, candies, is fine.

In any diet or cuisine, the best way to reduce weight is to eat high fibre foods, use less oil in cooking, avoid fried foods, fried snacks, sweets and beverages with sugar. Instead, eat whole fruits, vegetables, dals, low fat dairy and lean meat. Eat lesser portions than you normally eat and exercise.

When ever you get time go for a short walk or do some half hour exercise daily. Your weight needs to be reduced.

Send in your questions on nutrition to now! And don’t forget to include `Nutrition FAQ` in the subject line. Please provide complete details of your age, sex, height, weight, location and medication if any, if a diet is required for specific ailments.