Health is one of the most burning issues in today's express lifestyle, which demands special attention. So, here through this online channel, we have tried to address some issues taking with a health expert. Today in an exclusive interview, we spoke to Dietitian Ms. Sheenam Kalra, who shared some of her valuable tips for the readers.
Hailing from Moga, Punjab, Ms. Sheenam is an Online Diet Consultant and runs a page “YOURS DIETITIAN BY SHEENAM KALRA” on Instagram & Facebook to make aware to the people about taking the right food.
Sheenam also actively undertakes seminars to guide people about health & nutrition. Completing her B.sc in Home Science under, Guru Nanak Dev University, she is currently pursuing her M.sc in Foods, Nutrition & Dietetics under Punjabi University.
Below are some interesting and informative discussions with Ms. Sheenam Kalra about food and nutrition.
Editor Say: Tell us a little about how you developed your interest in nutrition and dietetics.
Ms. Kalra: Actually, I always wanted to do something different which should be very practical in our daily life. I was really fond of doing creative work & always innovate different ideas to do the work in the way that it creates difference & attraction. So, according to my interest, I chose to do Graduation in Home Science. I must admit that Foods & Nutrition was not my first love & I was very chubby & not even fit at all. But, Foods & Nutrition was part of Home science, from there I got the dedication and inspiration that good health and good shape can create a big difference in life. It was very interesting and creative subject according to my perspective. I started reading various articles along with browsing all about nutrition and health.
Finally, the time came when foods, nutrition, and dietetics was on my mind and I was ready to pursue higher studies in this field only. My ambition was to become a renowned Dietitian and Nutritionist. Moreover, I always wanted to earn name and fame in my field that’s why I started doing online diet consultancy along with my studies. Frankly, I didn’t expect that internet would the great source to fulfill my dreams.
Editor: What according to you are some unhealthy foods consumed by an average Indian household?
Ms. Kalra: According to me, there is not any food which is unhealthy. Every Food is healthy in its own way and moreover, food is the natural pharmacy as every food has its own benefits and has the ability to cure a particular disease. So, it is all about watching the right quality & moderate Quantity while eating anything. And actually food is not unhealthy but it is your body which becomes unhealthy due to your wrong eating habits & lazy lifestyle.
Indians mostly prefer to do emotional eating instead of mindful eating. People neglect to watch the right portions & eat in excess due to this reason particular food becomes unhealthy for your health. Furthermore, the production, adulteration, cooking method & unhygienic conditions can make the food unhealthy. So, particularly refined, fried, processed & junks & ready to eat are unhealthy for the body. Moreover, Everyone has different body suitability and different health to adapt to the kind of food.
Editor: What is your take on organic foods? What benefits do they offer as opposed to non-organic foods?
Ms. Kalra: So, here comes all about the quality of food & nothing can compete with the benefits of food that is produced naturally without any use of synthetic pesticides and artificial methods, which is commonly considered as organic food. And Yes! it is trending a lot rather than the non-organic food because of its benefits to health and due to its freshness. It has environmental benefits too as it reduces soil erosion and causes no pollution. No artificial chemicals and preservatives are added to it.
Even the organically produced animal products are safe because neither any antibiotics nor any growth hormones are given to animals. Whereas you never know how the production of non-organic food takes place & it is really causing harm to the body in different ways. No doubt, Organic food is a bit expensive than non-organic food because of its quality, and in order to cut down the cost, you can plan a kitchen garden in your home which is the most economical idea.
Editor: Do you think it is better to eat three big meals a day or have multiple small meals?
Ms. Kalra: It is always said that skipping meals or eating less in 3 meals will make to lose more weight. But a big NO from my side! According to me, the more often you eat, the more likely you will be able to burn the calories. Taking multiple meals will not even let you starve for a longer time and will also control your cravings and your hunger pangs.
You will relish the variety of foods from different food groups which also will maintain your nutrient balance and keeps you energetic for whole the day. Multiple mini meals also help to reduce your weight and contribute to raising the metabolism of the body. Moreover, it will also maintain the blood sugar level for the body. So, especially for the obes, overweight, weight watchers & diabetics, the idea of mini multiple is the best.
Editor: Many people consider white rice really unhealthy? Is it true? What alternatives would you suggest?
Ms. Kalra: I cannot directly say that white rice is unhealthy because White rice is high in minerals such as calcium and iron. It is also rich in vitamins, such as niacin, vitamin D, thiamine and riboflavin. But on the darker side, white rice is the refined form & is the simple carb. It lacks fiber, Thus if you eat white rice you will feel hungry in lesser time as compared to any other food which is high in fiber. It is not a good option for weight loss & diabetes. Moreover, If you really want it white rice, you should check the quantity and you can eat the boiled rice. The best time is to eat in the morning or afternoon.
Some of the best alternatives of white rice are Brown rice, Quinoa, Poha, Bulgur Wheat, Vermicelli which are complex form and rich in fiber and these also helps to lose your weight.
Editor: Talking about children, what healthy and tasty snacks would you recommend for them?
Ms. Kalra: Actually, Its bit tricky for the mothers to provide the right nutrition to children because kids always neglect to eat healthily. Even they discard all such while eating. But the right nutrition is the key to their growth & development. All they need is the bunch of Vitamins & Minerals. So, the mother should be a smart chef for their kids, so that they can blend the punch of health and taste to the food that could be relished by their children.
Various beans, pulses, cereals, vegetables can be supplemented in the form of bhelpuri, chaat, healthy wraps & sandwiches served with healthy chutneys or dips.
Milk and milk products along with fruits can be supplemented in the form of Various fruit puddings, flavored yogurt, fruit curd, fruit juices, fruit ice cream, fruit smoothies & shakes. You can give various premixes with the blend of roasted cereals, nuts, seeds which can be mixed in the milk or various juices.
Editor Say: What’s the most common mistake people make due to which they fail to stick to a healthy diet?
Ms. Kalra: The biggest mistake most people make who are trying to adopt a healthy diet is thinking that nutrition is a deal-making exercise. People eat emotionally. For example, you may think if you skip breakfast, you can eat pizza or if you eat veggies today, you can have cake tomorrow & sometimes after doing healthy eating for 4-5 days there comes a weekend with binge eating. These deals should not be made because if you eat the wrong foods, your body will pay the consequences. Moreover, you should have a positive attitude with patience which will give you the best result.
Editor: Nutrition is turning out to be a well-paying profession these days. What is your advice for youngsters who want to take it up as a profession?
Ms. Kalra: Nutrition is turning out to be well-paying profession these days because people are really getting conscious about their health. The field of nutrition is growing very vast. I wanna advise youngsters if you really wanna indulge in this field, you need a lot of knowledge both practical as well as theoretical.
It is not about the cramming, it is all about understanding the things with interest and you can rock in this field if you are business minded & creative enough. You can run your private clinic, organize seminars, develop various products related to foods, and can impart nutrition education to people. So in brief, you can create a huge difference in your life and in the lives of people with this field. So, stay focused on your goals.
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