ApnaComplex is conducting a series of webinars in partnership with The Times of India. These webinars are exclusive only for members of societies using ApnaComplex. In these webinars, health experts speak on various health and wellness topics to increase awareness and impart knowledge.

ApnaComplex conducted another interesting and informative webinar session, which was presented by Ms. Niti Desai, a Consultant Nutritionist practicing in South Mumbai for over 20 years who spoke to us on The Importance of Nutrition.

Ms. Desai is attached to Cumballa Hill Hospital and Heart Institute for 17 years, after having worked in the UK. She has a Masters degree in Nutrition from the University of Bombay and a Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics from the Leeds Beckett University, UK, following which she was a state registered dietitian and gathered useful overseas experience in hospitals in the UK.

She has a rich and varied experience in the field of nutrition, having built an enviable client list of individuals that includes the country’s top industrialists, Bollywood stars and elite sportspersons. She has successfully motivated thousands of people to reach their nutritional goals.

The famous saying goes, ‘We are what we eat’ which means that it is important to eat good food to stay fit and healthy. And rightly said so, food plays a very important role in our lives; it provides nutrients which are needed for growth, energy, and performing all the important functions in the body, such as digesting food, breathing, and so on.

There are different types of nutrients, which are divided into micronutrients and macronutrients. Micronutrients, which include vitamins and minerals are needed only in small amounts and are required for the proper function of important protein and enzymes. And macronutrients include proteins, fats and carbohydrates, which are needed in large amounts. So, getting an adequate amount of nutrients from foods is vital to keep your body healthy and lower the risk of diseases.

However, most of us are not consuming an adequate amount of nutrients, mainly protein. Protein is the building blocks of the body. It helps to build and repair cells and tissues of the body. Protein is found in many foods, like eggs, legumes, meat, fish, poultry and dairy products.

Even though protein is a necessary macronutrient that the body needs, the Indian diet is said to be very low in protein and high in carbohydrates. Less intake of protein and high intake of carbs increase the risk of being obese or overweight which is then followed by a high incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Ms. Desai said that the Indian population doesn’t take sufficient amounts of protein and 93% of the population are unaware of the ideal protein requirements. So, how much protein do we need per day? 1 g protein per day for 1 kg body weight is ideal.

Ms. Desai suggests including protein-rich foods at every meal and replacing some carbs with protein-rich foods. You can do this by increasing the protein intake and reducing carb intake by adding ½ cup of thin dal + 3-4 rotis or 1 cup thick dal + 2 rotis to your meal.

Ms. Desai suggests including protein-rich foods at every meal and replacing some carbs with protein-rich foods. You can do this by increasing the protein intake and reducing carb intake by adding ½ cup of thin dal + 3-4 rotis or 1 cup thick dal + 2 rotis to your meal.

Here are some key highlights from the webinar:

  • What are the protein-rich foods?

Pulses/dals, milk, paneer, curd/buttermilk, eggs, amaranth, millets, poultry and meat are some excellent sources of protein.

  • Which foods should be avoided to prevent weight gain?

Avoid rice, suji, white bread, biscuits, noodles/pasta as they lack in essential nutrients and raise the blood sugar levels, which is a precursor to weight gain.

  • Which fruits should you eat in moderation?

Fruits are considered healthy and should be a part of your diet. However, fruits, such as banana, grapes, chikoo, custard apple, and mango should be consumed in moderation as they are high in sugar and calories.

  • How your plate should look like at each meal?

Half of the plate should be filled with vegetables and salads, ¼ of the plate should be filled with protein-rich foods, and just a little more of ¼ should be filled with carbohydrate-rich foods.

  • How to make your lunch or dinner healthy?
  • Add a bowl of dal and reduce the quantity of chapatti or rice.
  • Eat rajgira chapatti.
  • Consume chaas or yogurt after your meal.
  • What are some of the healthy dinner options to increase the intake of protein?

Missi roti, besan or moong dal chilla, khichdi/dalia, paneer paratha, paneer bhurji, and rajma/chana tikkis are some of the healthy dinner options.

  • Why should you avoid crash diet?

Crash diet is harmful to the body as it causes immediate weight gain and weight loss, hair fall, dry skin, vitamin and mineral deficiencies,

  • Are sweeteners safe to use?

Sucralose, aspartame and stevia are safe to use in moderate quantities. However, consuming excessive quantities of sweeteners causes a negative alteration in the gut microbiome and increases the craving for sweet foods.

  • What are the tips for using cooking oil?
  • Rotate oils
  • Use different oils for different dishes
  • Use blended oils
  • What is clean eating?

What are the tips for using cooking oil?Clean eating is all about consuming whole foods in its most natural state. Eat fresh foods which are free of pesticides and chemicals and seasonal foods which are grown locally.

Clean eating is all about consuming whole foods in its most natural state. Eat fresh foods which are free of pesticides and chemicals and seasonal foods which are grown locally.

Ms. Niti Desai shared some healthy eating tips during COVID-19, these include the following:

  • Increase protein intake
  • Cut down on processed foods
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water
  • Take sufficient amounts of vitamin D
  • Sleep 6-8 hours

ApnaComplex conducts informative webinars on different topics. So, stay tuned to emails from ApnaComplex and ApnaComplex social media pages for upcoming webinars.