Mickey Mehta’s India Diet Plans for Weight Management

All matter is a combination of 5 elements –Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Ether. According to Ayurveda philosophy, these elements form the universe. The Ayurveda way of life involves harmonizing and balancing these elements that constitute or body and universe through the kind of foods we eat in order to strengthen and harmonise the mind and body. Foods must be selected on basis of seasonal foods/fruits/vegetables and according to the various tastes like sweet, pungent, bitter, salty, acid etc. Diet plans in India include complex carbohydrates such as jowar, bajra, ragi, whole wheat, pulses etc as opposed to the refined carbohydrates of the west. India’s diet plans are designed to strike a perfect balance of all food groups, nothing too much and nothing too little.

Our body is a dynamic network of intelligence functioning quietly towards excellence by dealing with constant abuse in our day to day lives. The best way to calm our internal system and heal from within is to cleanse it with wholesome and natural foods, lot of liquids, nuts and seeds. Food helps at all levels, physical, mental as well as spiritual thus enhancing the body’s healing mechanism to further help you repair, restore, heal and revitalize, the by-product of which is weight loss.

My dietary guidelines for weight loss and weight management:

  1. Every individual must do at least 45 minutes or more minutes of moderate intensity physical activity instead of exercising vigorously and giving up later.
  2. Maintain ideal body weight with a sensible diet plan. Losing excess weight can help lower risk of obesity related diseases like hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart ailments etc. Excess weight is a potent risk for coronary diseases and cancer.
  3. Remember all calories are not equal. Nutritious and healthy foods like bananas, carrots etc are often overlooked and should never be off your diet. The calories from fatty foods are more likely to cause obesity than from foods like complex carbohydrates and proteins, especially plant proteins.
  4. Make sensible choice of foods while eating out. Keep a check on portion size and salads are often just an illusion of health as they are topped with high fat dressings, cheese, cream, excess salt etc. Develop a can do approach and believe that you can have a healthy and enjoyable meal while eating out. Order for your stomach and not for your taste!
  5. Order and drink non alcoholic and non sugar drinks or beverages and fluids. A glass or two of wine is recommended.
  6. Pick a type of exercise you enjoy to stay motivated and consistent. There are many kinds of activities to choose from – yoga, power yoga, Pilates, calisthenics, gym workouts, boot camp, brisk walks, cycling, swimming etc. Intersperse these exercises for recreation and variety.
  7. Abstain from constant snacking and mega meals. – gorging on food is not the answer to alleviate boredom or to relieve stress.
  8. Eat smart. Your daily diet must have 3 to 4 portions of veggies and fruits per day. Combine colours for nutrients and antioxidants – example, yellow and orange for Vitamin A and carotene, Green for B vitamins and C, red, purple foods for Vitamin C etc. All these are high in antioxidant activities that help fight cancer and heart diseases.
  9. Mickey’s India Diet plans suggest of whole grains, millets, pulses, veggies and fruits with lots of raw foods like salads, sprouts etc. on daily basis.
  10. Refrain from using excess oil in cooking or deep fry foods often. Instead use nuts, seeds, cold pressed oils etc as these have many health benefits and can help enhance immunity.
  11. Avoid meats and organ meats often as they are high in saturated fats. Opt for lean, white meats or fish if you are a non vegetarian.
  12. Always enjoy your food. Chew well and eat in a relaxed manner. This allows you to savour the flavours and makes it easier to eat less.
  13. Hydrate adequately with a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses a day. Keep sipping on warm water as much as possible.
  14. Begin your day with warm water, green tea and fruits. Fruits are ideal for the digestive system. They are not subjected to cooking or any additives, thus making it a perfectly palatable and suitable for our system and can be a complete meal to maintain health.
  15. Minimize salt intake and avoid all processed and preserved foods. Making the right choice of foods is your responsibility.
  16. Replace high fat dressings for salads with low fat, olive oil or lemon drizzles and use almonds, flax seed, peanuts or til powders, garlic, pepper, hummus or low fat yogurt. These are more delicious and healthy than high fat dressings.
  17. Resist the urge to have salted nuts or canned nuts, chips etc as snacks. It is far better to have crunchy veggies like cucumbers, carrots or some nuts and fruits.
  18. The best cooking methods are stewing, steaming, roasting, stir frying and boiling. Excess heat also destroys the vitamins. Deep frying must be avoided.
  19. Aim to have a variety of foods in your daily diet with an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Reduce foods made from wheat flour, maida or refined flours, sugar like breads etc. Opt for millet rotis, like jowar, bajra, ragi etc. They are rich sources of nutrients and fiber and are devoid of the health damaging gluten.
  20. Reduce your intake of margarine, foods made from trans fats like chips, fried snacks, cookies etc or foods that contain butter, cheese, cream etc. For healthy good fats include almonds, peanuts, cashew, avocado etc.
  21. Avoid meal skipping at any cost. This tends to reduce the metabolism. Do not completely avoid good carbs or fat. An imbalance of nutrients can affect your skin, hair, nails, memory and general health.
  22. Opt more for organic foods as they help to sustain health and ecology. These are less toxic to the body and suitable for health. Even our farm lands, air and natural water resources are protected from the destructive effects of pesticides, chemicals, fertiliser etc that are used in food cultivation.
  23. Do not smoke. Tobacco/smoking eliminates our natural biological protection and is a major health risk and is one of the worst enemies of the skin. Smoking impairs blood circulation to the skin, hampers nutrient and oxygen delivery and depletes the body of Vitamin A, B, C, E, and minerals. Smokers are prone to severe wrinkling, dark circles and bags under the eyes.
  24. Like cigarettes, alcohol too robs the body of nutrients, has dehydrating effects and can damage blood and internal organs. Avoid excess drinking, you can enjoy a drink or two or a couple of glasses of wine sometimes or socially.
  25. Unwind and relax. Learn a relaxation technique like meditation, prayers, massage etc. They aid in control of stress. Massages help to stimulate blood circulation and promote elimination of toxins and wastes. Meditation cleanses the mind of fear, phobia, anxiety and fatigue. Meditation and prayer can be restoring and recreates your energy with the creative forces of the universe.\
  26. Get adequate sleep. Sleep is essential for good health, mental and emotional functioning. It has great therapeutic value. Lack of sleep can cause mood swings, obesity, low immunity and fatigue and productivity. Take this aspect of wellness seriously.

Indian food combination is best suited for the Indian population as they suit the Indian cultural ethos, climatic conditions and availability of local produces and seasonally available foods.

Listed below are a few healthy foods that must be a part of your daily diet plan

  1. Millets, whole wheat, brown rice, oats, quinoa and other unprocessed grains
  2. Fresh fruits
  3. Fresh vegetables-raw and cooked
  4. Herbs, spices
  5. Cold pressed virgin oils
  6. Beans and sprouts
  7. Low fat milk/yogurt
  8. Fresh unstrained vegetable juices, coconut water, unsweetened lemon juice
  9. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, peanuts etc and seeds like sunflower, flax, melon, pumpkin, and chia.

FOODS THAT SHOULD NOT BE A PART OF YOUR DAILY DIET PLAN.

  1. High fat dairy products-cream, cheese, butter.
  2. Deep fried snacks and processed foods containing transfats.
  3. Packaged foods like potato chips, corn chips, muffins, cakes, cookies and other oily snacks.
  4. Fruit juices, milk shakes, fizzy drinks like soft drinks, diet colas.
  5. Preserved meats like ham, sausages, luncheon meats, salami, bacon, smoked meats.
  6. Refined carbohydrates like white flour, corn flour.
  7. Desserts, sweets, candies.
  8. High fat salad dressings like mayonnaise, thousand island dressings.

Other DIETARY guidelines:

  1. Do not skip meals. Eat 4 to 5 meals in small portions.
  2. Drink adequate amounts of water-8-10 glasses.
  3. Consume healthy snacks like fruits, whole grain crackers, nuts.
  4. Include spices like garlic, chilli, ginger, lemon grass, basil, mint, turmeric, cumin, coriander powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, paprika, pepper, apple cider vinegar, and lemon to flavour foods. They are good substitutes for processed sauces, dressings, sugar, sodium and artificial preservatives.
  5. Add flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds to oats, salads etc as they are excellent sources of calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, essential fatty acids, vitamin A, E, and B group of vitamins.

Mickey Mehta’s Indian diet plan

MORNING: Green tea with ginger, crushed black pepper, cinnamon. (the crushed pepper, clove and cinnamon must be very minimum)
1 fruit

BREAKFAST: 1 bowl of fruits
OR Oats with cow’s milk OR roasted rajgira with cow’s milk (almonds/ walnuts/dry figs/dates…very few dry figs and dates.

OR 1 Nachni chilla OR 1 moong dal chilla OR 2 egg whites omelette or scrambled egg on toast for eggetarians

OR muesli with skim milk

Mid morn: Vegetable juice of lauki or bottle gourd + spinach + tomato + carrot + beetroot (less of carrots and beet)

LUNCH: Brown rice + dal + vegetables + salad

Alternate days: Jowar roti + veg + dal + salad

EVENING: Vegetable juice + 1 orange or sweet lime (whole)

OR 1 cup green tea with almonds, walnuts (3 each) +1 fig or date

OR regular tea without sugar, roasted chana or roasted or boiled sweet potato

DINNER: Choice of seasonal Indian vegetables (raw or as stir fried vegetables) + a bowl of thick soup (cauliflower, carrot, cabbage, spinach, lauki and other mixed vegetables)

OR Soup, salads with quinoa OR Brown rice khichdi with vegetables and moog + salads
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India Diet Plan for Diabetes (Vegetarian)

Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disorder caused by an insufficient production of insulin by the pancreas. Without insulin the body cannot utilize glucose which results in an increase of glucose in the blood, poor utilization of glucose by the tissues or insensitivity of the cells to respond to the insulin that is present. Such abnormal levels of glucose in the blood often lead to vascular damage which is responsible for conditions like kidney failure, neuropathy, urinary problems and diabetic retinopathy.

TYPES OF DIABETES;

Diabetes Mellitus is divided into two categories;

  1. Type 1 is characterized by a deficiency of the hormone Insulin caused by failure of the pancreas gland to manufacture insulin. Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile onset diabetes mostly occurs in children from 10-16 years or young adults. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes include abnormal thirst, nausea, vomiting, frequent urination and excessive hunger. People suffering from this type of diabetes need to take a daily dose of insulin. Type 1 diabetes is also known as Insulin Dependent Diabetes.
  2. Type 2 diabetes is a more common form of diabetes. It results from gradual loss of body’s ability to make or to properly utilize insulin. It is also called adult onset diabetes or non insulin dependent diabetes and generally occurs in people above 40 years of age. Sedentary life style, unhealthy eating habits and obesity are main causes of type 2 diabetes.
  3. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and disappears after pregnancy. However it tends to lead to the later development of type 2 diabetes

WARNING SIGNS OF DIABETES

There are certain warning signs that will alert us about the presence of diabetes:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Weakness, drowsiness or fatigue
  • Tingling numbness in the limbs
  • Irritability
  • Wounds that heal slowly
  • Sudden vision change or blurred vision

LONG- TERM COMPLICATIONS OF DIABETES

Serious long term complications include cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, chronic renal failure and diabetic retinopathy.

Acute complications include hypoglycaemia (diminished content of glucose in blood. Can cause seizures, brain damage and death), diabetic ketoneuria (ketones are fat metabolism end products), and coma.

DIET FOR DIABETICS with dietary guidelines

Treatment includes blood pressure control, lifestyle changes, cessation of smoking and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Diet in Type 1 diabetes
With use of insulin therapy for control of blood glucose, the patient must understand the action and the duration of the insulin being used as well as the effect of the timing of the intake of food on the insulin action. Insulin dosing and timing flexibility must be taught to the patient. This flexibility can be adapted by using the result of the blood glucose determination and the response to intake and timing of food.

Diet in Type 2 Diabetes
Weight loss and management of weight result in a decrease in the insulin resistance of most patients with type 2 diabetes. In the process of attaining a decrease in weight, blood glucose levels will improve.

NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF THE DIET

Carbohydrate Intake
The average amount of carbohydrate recommended for patients with diabetes is 60% of the total caloric intake.

Fat Intake
Normal intake of fat should be limited to a maximum of 20% of the total caloric intake. With type 2 diabetes, weight is usually a factor in planning the treatment. In overweight persons, fat intake should be reduced to as low as 15% of the caloric intake. A concentrated effort should be made to avoid saturated fat and substitute with unsaturated fat or monounsaturated fat.

Protein intake
Intake of protein should be 20% of the total daily caloric intake. No evidence has indicated that patients with diabetes need a lower than average intake of dietary protein to protect against the onset of renal disease.

Fiber Intake People with diabetes cannot properly process sugar. The fiber in carbohydrates helps protect against Type 2 diabetes. Wholesome foods like whole grains, millets, beans, whole fruits, vegetables, salads, vegetable juices, etc are recommended. Avoid processed foods, sugary foods and fried snacks. Replace low-fiber, high-sugar foods (such as fruit juice) or starch (such as white bread) with high-fiber whole foods.

High-fiber supplements, such as psyllium, guar gum (found in beans), pectin (from fruit), oat bran, improve glucose tolerance. Eat more fruits, vegetables, seeds, oats, and whole-grain products. It is also recommended to consume 1-3 ounces of powdered fenugreek seeds per day.

DIETARY CHANGES;

One can reverse diabetes by reversing the trend of increasing weight. Therefore, it is important to follow a normal high fiber diet plan with small frequent meals. The gap between two meals however should not exceed 3-4 hours in order to maintain blood glucose levels.

  • Make proper food choices while eating out. Avoid junk foods and empty calories e.g. Burgers, pizzas, alcohol, cola drinks etc.
  • Avoid foods with high glycemic indexes(foods that affect blood sugar & insulin levels-white breads, desserts, fried foods, dairy products etc)
  • Do not skip a meal after insulin or anti diabetic drugs. This may result in hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose levels). If hypoglycaemic symptoms occur (e.g. hunger, sweating, trembling, dizziness, palpitation, weakness, headache, restlessness) immediately eat some quantity of sugar or jaggery. Follow it with a small snack e.g. sandwich, a fruit or even low fat biscuits.
  • Do not fast or feast.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking. Diabetics who smoke are at higher risk for kidney damage, heart disease, and other diabetes-linked problems.

FOODS TO AVOID

  • Foods rich in fat, especially animal foods
  • Sugar
  • White flour, sago
  • Papad, pickle
  • Fruit juice, milk shakes, aerated drinks
  • Fried foods, sweets and desserts.

DIET GUIDELINES:

  1. Achieve and maintain desirable weight.
  2. Eat at regular times. Do not skip meals.
  3. Opt for whole grain cereal flours or millet flours instead of white or refined flour.
  4. Be cautious about your salt intake.
  5. Have an early dinner, at least 3 hours before bed time.
  6. Drink adequate amounts of water.
  7. Methi seeds, bitter gourd juice etc has shown to reduce blood insulin and glucose levels.
  8. Regular exercises which have a blend of yoga, pranayam and other exercises are recommended.
  9. Yogasanas like dhanurasan, pawanmukhthasan, bhujangasan, ardhamatsyendrasan, naukasan etc are recommended, under proper guidance, for strengthening the spine, firming and toning of the abdomen, better oxygenation, to control diabetes, for improved digestion, better endocrine function, flexibility and for obesity control. Yoga and pranayam help to clear confusion, improves self esteem and uplifts spirituality, helps heal and rejuvenate the body and mind, and maintains our system in radiant health.

Given below is a healthy, high fibre Indian VEGETARIAN diet for diabetes.

Start morning with 30ml of Aloe Vera juice or bitter gourd and amla juice followed by 2 glasses of warm water.

Breakfast: I tsp fenugreek seeds/Methi seeds soaked overnight, Oats with skim milk OR moong chilla with mint chutney OR 1-2 Nachni and rajgira (amaranth flour) dosa with mint/coriander chutney

Mid morn: 1 fruit + 1 tsp flax seeds (choose fruits like apple, orange, papaya, musk melon, grape fruit)

Lunch: 2 millet rotis (choose from Nachni, jowar or whole wheat with rajgira aata) or brown rice with 1 serving of dal/lentils, vegetables, salads

Evening: 1 cup of green tea or herbal tea + few almonds and walnuts or any diet snack OR 1 boiled sweet potato

6pm: 1 glass of fresh veg juice made from bottle gourd, tomato and celery

Dinner: 1 bowl of mixed veg soup, 1 millet roti or brown rice, Vegetables sautéed in less oil.

OR vegetable soup, quinoa salad, with 1 multigrain toast.

Avoid the following:
Desserts, sugar, white flour, biscuits and cookies, soft drinks and juices, fried potato, white rice, alcohol, fried snacks, pickles and salad dressings.

  • Avoid mango, banana, grapes
  • Avoid potatoes daily (all other vegetables are allowed)
  • Avoid white rice, breads, pasta
  • Use vegetables like celery, mint, coriander, cucumber, bottle gourd, tomatoes and cabbage for vegetable juice
  • Dinner time should be between 7 and 7.30 pm
  • Exercise daily – include cross training, walking and yoga, pranayam
  • Rest for 1-2 hours at noon time and 7-8 hours in the night.