Control Your Whites

February 25, 2012

So what are these ‘WHITES’ that you must control? The things which lend to the yummiest of your recipes. Let’s list some: Sugar, Salt, Rice, White flour (Maida) and Potatoes- just to name a few!

To begin with SUGAR. While eating excess sugar may not directly cause diabetes, it surely increases your risk. Sugars contribute to empty carbohydrate calories in your body since they have virtually no nutritional value, thus affecting your weight. They also trigger the release of insulin in your body thus increasing the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Sugar consumption may also contribute to the weakening of your immune system and increase your risk of tooth decay in the form of dental cavities, since they stick to the teeth and thus feed bacteria.

Next comes SALT. Excess consumption of salt is known to retain the water in your body, thus causing edema (swelling due to excessive accumulation of watery fluid in ankles, lungs etc). It is also the number one medical consequence of hypertension or as the lay man knows, 'high blood pressure'; thus triggering the chances of life threatening emergencies like strokes and heart attacks. A habit of eating salty food can also heighten your risk of developing an Electrolyte and Hormone Imbalance, Osteoporosis, Kidney Disorder and Digestive Disease such as gastric ulcers & cancers. Experts advise that it is best NOT to eat more than 6 grams of salt daily. One must also watch out for the foods that are obviously heavy in salt such as, Processed foods, pickles, chips, papads, and frozen meats such as sausages, salami & bacon, to name a few.

Ok, so the next white is almost everyone’s favorite veggie: Yes, that’s right, POTATOES! Potatoes are good as long as you prepare them in a healthy manner. Boiled and baked potatoes are good, being a healthful low calorie and high fiber food; however, French fries, potato chips or those loaded with fattening extra’s such as sour cream & cheese are unfortunately not. Potatoes are also very high in starch and low in protein. Thus their consumption should be a limited in your diet. Moreover, potatoes have earned a bad reputation because of the treatment or seasoning which eventually makes even baked potatoes a potential contributor to a heart attack. A healthy option would be to use sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes.

It is also important to Control your intake of WHITE RICE and all those savouries made from WHITE FLOUR (MAIDA) such as pasta, cakes, pastries, noodles, white bread etc. since all these foods are refined and processed. So why a NO to these processed foods? The reason is that the nutrients and fiber have been stripped from the outer layer of these refined white foods. They may also have high amouts of Trans Fatty acids. Trans-fats are the worst for the heart since they boost the levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and decrease “good” HDL cholesterol, thus doubling the risk for a heart disease. So the next time you go to the super-market for your grocery, pick up the whole grain brown rice, pasta's and breads instead of their white versions.

One must also limit the intake of MILK and other DAIRY PRODUCTS such as cheese, cream etc. Dairy products are extremely high in fat and may contribute to the formation of clogged arteries and cause other heart-related problems. However, some experts do allow for the inclusion of skimmed milk and its products as a part of a healthy diet.

The truth is that all these whites can be part of a healthy diet, but MODERATION IS THE KEY.

While sugars are the basic source of energy in your body, salt is important for conduction of nerve impulses and commands that the brain gives. Potatoes at the same time are a very good source of Vitamin B6, C and Potassium and milk products important for maintaining the calcium levels in your body. Natural, unprocessed white foods, such as cauliflower, onions, turnips, white beans etc. don't fall into the same category unless of course you decide to deep-fry them or load them with butter, sour cream, or cheese. So, just as Shakespeare's famous quote, “The difference between medicine and poison is in the dose”, it is important to limit your portion of your Whites to Stay Fit and Be Healthy!

DISCLAIMER **Mylabyogi aims to provide you with information that may be useful to attain optimal health. No information is meant as a prescription or medical advice. Please check with your doctor before you implement any changes in your diet, exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.

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