Ask Experts
Why does organic food sometimes cost more??
Answer Prices for organic foods reflect many of the same costs as conventional items in terms of growing, harvesting, transportation and storage. Organically produced foods must meet stricter regulations governing all of these steps, so the process is often more labor- and management-intensive, and farming tends to be on a smaller scale. There is also mounting evidence that if all the indirect costs of conventional food production —cleanup of polluted water, replacement of eroded soils, costs of health care for farmers and their workers —were factored into the price of food, organic foods would cost the same or, more likely, be cheaper.
Is organic food better for you??

  • Better health: Since organic food is not prepared using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, it does not contain any traces of these strong chemicals and might not affect the human body.

  • Better taste: People strongly believe that organic food tastes better than non organic food. The prominent reason for this belief is that it is produced using organic means of production. Further organic food is often sold locally resulting in availability of fresh produce in the market.

  • Environment safety: As harmful chemicals are not used in organic farming, there is minimal soil, air and water pollution; thus ensuring a safe world for future generations to live in.

What is organic??

Organic refers to the way agricultural products—food and fiber—are grown and processed. Organic food production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers. Organic foods are minimally processed without artificial ingredients, preservatives, or irradiation to maintain the integrity of the food.

Why choose wholegrain foods??

Wholegrain foods contain more fiber and other nutrients than white or refined starchy foods.

We also digest wholegrain foods more slowly so they can help make us feel full for longer.

Wholegrain foods include:

  • Wholemeal and wholegrain bread, pitta and chapatti

  • Wholewheat pasta and brown rice

  • Wholegrain breakfast cereals

How can I control my problem snacking??

First, try to figure out why you snack. You may snack because you are bored, tired, or in response to an emotion, such as loneliness; or you may snack because your diet is inadequate. Eat well-balanced meals and allow for nutritious snacks that include lean protein and high fiber fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. Avoid "eating amnesia" when you snack in front of the television or directly from a bag and end up eating much more than you should. Plan your snacks in advance and take along nutritious foods and drinks so you are prepared when the snack attack occurs.

My doctor says I need to eat more fiber. What are some good sources?

You are not alone; the average adult only eats 12-17 grams and should be eating 25-38 grams per day. There are two basic types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber, found in whole grains, bran, nuts, fruits, and vegetables, adds bulk to your diet and aids in normal elimination. Soluble fiber, found in oats, beans, peas, apples, blueberries, dates, and pears, has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

To increase your intake of dietary fiber, start by reading labels and choosing foods that have a few grams of fiber per serving. Kick-start your day with a bowl of whole-grain cereal or bran cereal with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving and top it with fresh fruit. At lunch, choose whole-wheat bread and add veggies to your sandwich or select a salad and top with veggies, beans, and nuts. Enjoy whole grains at dinner along with more fruit and vegetables. Be sure to drink plenty of liquids while increasing your fiber intake to minimize any gastrointestinal discomfort.

Are some fats better than others??

Yes. Monounsaturated fats are the healthiest for your body.  Nuts - like almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, and peanuts - and avocados contain this type of fat.  Choose olive or canola oil for cooking.

Polyunsaturated fat is the next healthiest fat.  This is found in corn oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, and mayonnaise.  Use small amounts of foods that contain saturated fats like butter, lard and meat fat, bacon, and shortening.  There are lower-fat versions of foods that contain saturated fats, like sour cream and cream cheese.  A healthy diet includes less than 30% of calories from fat, with less than 10% of these from saturated fat.

Saturated fat and trans fat are just bad. They raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. A diet containing a significant amount of trans fat increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and possibly even more. Long story short, avoid it.

What is the difference between complex and simple carbohydrates??

Carbohydrates can be divided into two types:
1. Simple Carbohydrates

These include ingredients like sucrose, glucose or fructose, or foods like sweets, candies, cakes, sweet drinks, jams.
Simple carbohydrates are rapidly absorbed and digested.
Result:  They cause a sudden surge of sugar in your bloodstream which can cause problems.
So they should be avoided altogether, or eaten in very small quantities.

2. Complex Carbohydrates (inc. fiber)
Also called starches, these include whole wheat or wholegrain bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, beans, oats, most vegetables and fruits.
Complex carbohydrates are slowly absorbed and digested.
Result:  They help to keep our sugar levels relatively stable.

What is a calorie??

A calorie is the unit of measurement for how much energy there is in a food or drink. We consume calories in the form of carbohydrates, protein and fat (and alcohol) which all contain a certain number of calories per gram (see right column). The calories are used by the body to do literally everything it needs to do (pump blood, walk, etc.). This is why very low calorie diets are dangerous and should be avoided.

How many calories a day should I consume??

The number of calories you should consume per day is based on way too many factors for there to just be a general guideline for everyone. Your height/weight, your gender, your metabolism, your activity level and your goals (weight loss, weight gain, weight maintenance) all play a role. For this reason, your daily calorie intake has to be tailored specifically to you and your body.

What is protein? How much protein do I need everyday??

Amino acids make up protein. Protein is the building block of our whole body - muscles, tissues, hair, nails, etc - all made up of protein. If you do not have enough protein in your body you can NOT build muscle mass. To ensure that the body is in a positive muscle building state, in other words, that it is burning fat--not muscle, you should ingest at least 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Unfortunately our daily food intake does not have enough protein hence the need to supplement it with a whey protein.

What is Whey Protein and why is it good??

Whey Protein is derived from milk protein. However, unlike milk proteins - whey protein does not contain fat or lactose sugar. Whey protein is the best form of protein to take when using a supplement.
Whey protein helps:

  • To build muscle mass
  • To speed recovery time

  • Reduce injuries related to working out

  • Maintain a healthy and fit body

  • Feel better during your workouts

What is gluten? Which foods are safe for people with celiac disease (allergy to gluten)??

Gluten is the elastic protein in the grains: wheat, rye, barley, durum, einkorn, graham, semolina, bulgur wheat, spelt, farro, kamut, and triticale. Commercial oats also contain gluten due to cross contamination in processing.

Recipes that use flour (bleached white flour, whole wheat, cracked wheat, barley, semolina, spelt, farro, kamut, triticale) or vital wheat gluten are not gluten-free.

Semolina, spelt and whole wheat pasta, including cous cous, are not gluten-free.

Grains, flours, starches and thickeners that are safe for celiac and wheat allergies include:

- Corn
- Buckwheat, buckwheat cereal, kasha and buckwheat flour
- Rice- white, brown, risotto, basmati
- Quinoa
- Millet and millet flour
- Sorghum flour
- Amaranth and amaranth flour
- Certified gluten-free oats and oatmeal
- Teff flour
- Chick pea, garbanzo, soy (soya) and bean flour

Do nuts contribute to weight gain??

In small amounts, nuts can be part of a healthy weight-loss program. Nuts are high in calories and fat. However, most nuts contain healthy fats that do not clog arteries. Nuts are also good sources of protein, dietary fiber, and minerals including magnesium and copper.
Tip: Enjoy small portions of nuts. One-half ounce of mixed nuts has about 84 calories.

Im trying to lose weight. How do I control my food cravings ??
  1. Eat at regular intervals during the day
  2. Do not reduce your calorie intake below a safe level (800 to 1000 calories)
  3. Choose Low-GI Carbs For Optimum Blood Sugar Control(high fiber foods and whole grains)
  4. Too Much Added Sugar or Salt Can Make Cravings Worse
  5. Reduce caffeine intake (tea, coffee, soft drinks)
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