To Be or Not To Be: A Debate on Veganism

With each passing year, more and more people choose to go vegan. This is a decision which comes to fore after much thought and consideration.

Veganism could work in numerous ways to bring about a transformation in our lives. This comes with health benefits, reduced stress on the environment and is also a more efficient way to make the best out of our natural resources.

THE RIGHT KIND OF A VEGAN DIET

Going for a vegan diet is often one of the healthiest ways to live. The plant based diet one chooses to go for must include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts must also be a part of your diet.

Staples form a major section of vegan diets. So these tend to be higher on minerals, vitamins, photochemicals and fibers. With a high content of folic acid, magnesium and iron, vegan diets are low in saturated fats and cholesterol.

A PROTEIN RICH VEGAN DIET

A challenge that vegetarians may sometimes face is getting the right amount of proteins from the diet. But if one plans one’s meals to include a variety of plant foods, one could make sure that one has a high protein vegan diet.

A variety of plant foods in one’s diet would ensure that the body receives a variety of amino acids. This would enable the body to build the right kind of high quality proteins every single day.

INCLUDING RICH SOURCES OF PLANT PROTEIN IN ONE’S DIET

One must go for a high protein vegan diet. This must include

– Legumes, like beans, lentils and split peas

Some examples include black beans, white beans, black eyed peas, chicpeas green lentils and black lentils.

– Soy products and soyabean

– Nuts and seeds

Some of the examples are almonds, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.

– Dairy Products

Dairy products are derived from animals and are hence not vegan. But these form a part of vegetarian diet.

Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter are high protein foods.

SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT REASONS WHY ONE MUST GO VEGAN

Going vegan could be one of the finest ways for prevention and cure of conditions such as:

– Type 2 diabetes

– Cardiovascular disorders

– Hypertension

– Stroke

– Obesity

So a vegan diet could be very beneficial for people of all ages. These include children, pregnant and lactating women and the elderly. This really makes sure that there are no deficiencies in one’s diet.

As you build proximity nature, you come to realize that it is natural resources which withhold the key to eternal health and wellness. Welcome to the Goa Wellness Festival, 2018. We look forward to facilitate a delightful enlightening experience for every one of our esteemed guests.

All About Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting (IF) refers to dietary eating patterns that involve not eating or severely restricting calories for a prolonged period of time. There are many different subgroups of intermittent fasting each with individual variation in the duration of the fast; some for hours, others for day(s). This has become an extremely popular topic in the science community due to all of the potential benefits on fitness and health that are being discovered.

WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING (IF)?

Fasting, or periods of voluntary abstinence from food has been practiced throughout the world for ages. Intermittent fasting with the goal of improving health relatively new. Intermittent fasting involves restricting intake of food for a set period of time and does not include any changes to the actual foods you are eating. Currently, the most common IF protocols are a daily 16 hour fast and fasting for a whole day, one or two days per week. Intermittent fasting could be considered a natural eating pattern that humans are built to implement and it traces all the way back to our paleolithic hunter-gatherer ancestors. The current model of a planned program of intermittent fasting could potentially help improve many aspects of health from body composition to longevity and aging. Although IF goes against the norms of our culture and common daily routine, the science may be pointing to less meal frequency and more time fasting as the optimal alternative to the normal breakfast, lunch, and dinner model. Here are two common myths that pertain to intermittent fasting.

Myth 1 – You Must Eat 3 Meals Per Day: This “rule” that is common in Western society was not developed based on evidence for improved health, but was adopted as the common pattern for settlers and eventually became the norm. Not only is there a lack of scientific rationale in the 3 meal-a-day model, recent studies may be showing less meals and more fasting to be optimal for human health. One study showed that one meal a day with the same amount of daily calories is better for weight loss and body composition than 3 meals per day. This finding is a basic concept that is extrapolated into intermittent fasting and those choosing to do IF may find it best to only eat 1-2 meals per day.

Myth 2 – You Need Breakfast, It’s The Most Important Meal of The Day: Many false claims about the absolute need for a daily breakfast have been made. The most common claims being “breakfast increases your metabolism” and “breakfast decreases food intake later in the day”. These claims have been refuted and studied over a 16 week period with results showing that skipping breakfast did not decrease metabolism and it did not increase food intake at lunch and dinner. It is still possible to do intermittent fasting protocols while still eating breakfast, but some people find it easier to eat a late breakfast or skip it altogether and this common myth should not get in the way.

TYPES OF INTERMITTENT FASTING:

Intermittent fasting comes in various forms and each may have a specific set of unique benefits. Each form of intermittent fasting has variations in the fasting-to-eating ratio. The benefits and effectiveness of these different protocols may differ on an individual basis and it is important to determine which one is best for you. Factors that may influence which one to choose include health goals, daily schedule/routine, and current health status. The most common types of IF are alternate day fasting, time-restricted feeding, and modified fasting.

1. ALTERNATE DAY FASTING:

This approach involves alternating days of absolutely no calories (from food or beverage) with days of free feeding and eating whatever you want.

This plan has been shown to help with weight loss, improve blood cholesterol and triglyceride (fat) levels, and improve markers for inflammation in the blood.

The main downfall with this form of intermittent fasting is that it is the most difficult to stick with because of the reported hunger during fasting days.

2. MODIFIED FASTING – 5:2 DIET

Modified fasting is a protocol with programmed fasting days, but the fasting days do allow for some food intake. Generally 20-25% of normal calories are allowed to be consumed on fasting days; so if you normally consume 2000 calories on regular eating days, you would be allowed 400-500 calories on fasting days. The 5:2 part of this diet refers to the ratio of non-fasting to fasting days. So on this regimen you would eat normally for 5 consecutive days, then fast or restrict calories to 20-25% for 2 consecutive days.

This protocol is great for weight loss, body composition, and may also benefit the regulation of blood sugar, lipids, and inflammation. Studies have shown the 5:2 protocol to be effective for weight loss, improve/lower inflammation markers in the blood (3), and show signs trending improvements in insulin resistance. In animal studies, this modified fasting 5:2 diet resulted in decreased fat, decreased hunger hormones (leptin), and increased levels of a protein responsible for improvements in fat burning and blood sugar regulation (adiponectin).

The modified 5:2 fasting protocol is easy to follow and has a small number of negative side effects which included hunger, low energy, and some irritability when beginning the program. Contrary to this however, studies have also noted improvements such as reduced tension, less anger, less fatigue, improvements in self confidence, and a more positive mood.

3. TIME-RESTRICTED FEEDING:

If you know anyone that has said they are doing intermittent fasting, odds are it is in the form of time-restricted feeding. This is a type of intermittent fasting that is used daily and it involves only consuming calories during a small portion of the day and fasting for the remainder. Daily fasting intervals in time-restricted feeding may range from 12-20 hours, with the most common method being 16/8 (fasting for 16 hours, consuming calories for 8). For this protocol the time of day is not important as long as you are fasting for a consecutive period of time and only eating in your allowed time period. For example, on a 16/8 time-restricted feeding program one person may eat their first meal at 7AM and last meal at 3PM (fast from 3PM-7AM), while another person may eat their first meal at 1PM and last meal at 9PM (fast from 9PM-1PM). This protocol is meant to be performed every day over long periods of time and is very flexible as long as you are staying within the fasting/eating window(s).

Time-Restricted feeding is one of the most easy to follow methods of intermittent fasting. Using this along with your daily work and sleep schedule may help achieve optimal metabolic function. Time-restricted feeding is a great program to follow for weight loss and body composition improvements as well as some other overall health benefits. The few human trials that were conducted noted significant reductions in weight, reductions in fasting blood glucose, and improvements in cholesterol with no changes in perceived tension, depression, anger, fatigue, or confusion. Some other preliminary results from animal studies showed time restricted feeding to protect against obesity, high insulin levels, fatty liver disease, and inflammation.

The easy application and promising results of time-restricted feeding could possibly make it an excellent option for weight loss and chronic disease prevention/management. When implementing this protocol it may be good to begin with a lower fasting-to-eating ratio like 12/12 hours and eventually work your way up to 16/8 hours.

COMMON QUESTION ABOUT INTERMITTENT FASTING:

Is there any food or beverage I am allowed to consume while intermittent fasting? Unless you are doing the modified fasting 5:2 diet (mentioned above), you should not be eating or drinking anything that contains calories. Water, black coffee, and any foods/beverages that do not contain calories are OK to consume during a fasting period. In fact, adequate water intake is essential during IF and some say that drinking black coffee while fasting helps decrease hunger.

IF YOU JUST WANT THE BENEFITS:

Research on intermittent fasting is in it’s infancy but it still has huge potential for weight loss and the treatment of some chronic disease.

To recap, here are the possible benefits of intermittent fasting:

Shown in Human Studies:

1. Weight loss

2. Improve blood lipid markers like cholesterol

3. Reduce inflammation

4. Reduced stress and improved self confidence

5. Improved mood

Shown in Animal Studies:

1. Decreased Body Fat

2. Decreased levels of the hunger hormone leptin

3. Improve insulin levels

4. Protect against obesity, fatty liver disease, and inflammation

5. Longevity

Popular Food Fads You Should Not Believe

Over the years, we have come to believe some things to be true about certain foods, while some things to be false. Food fads are rampant. They can interfere with healthy living and take us down a road that leads to bad health in the long run.

Here are some of the common food fads that are circulating around right now. Remember, these are all false, so make sure you understand how these can affect you.

1. Fruit juices are as good as fresh fruits

Many people prefer to drink fruit juices as compared to eating fresh fruit. Cold juice is a lot more refreshing than eating fruits. However, juicing removes the healthy fiber content of fruits, though it still retains the vitamins and minerals that are present in the fruit. Fiber is an important part of our diet, and helps to keep our cholesterol low and bowels healthy. When possible, opt for fresh fruit rather than fruit juice.

2. Coconut oil is good for you

This has been a controversial topic for quite sometime now, but things are now getting clearer. It was previously believed that coconut oil is good for you, but there does not appear to be any scientific evidence to support that. In fact, coconut oil is loaded with harmful saturated fats that are responsible for the clogging up of the heart arteries. The American Heart Association issued a statement recently debunking the health benefits of coconut oil, stating that is does more harm than good. When possible, use olive oil or rice bran oil.

3. A gluten free diet is better for health

This is a popular food fad. There is absolutely no truth in the statement that gluten free food is good for you and healthier than regular food. In fact, gluten free food is only good for those who have gluten intolerance or a condition called coeliac disease. Opt for whole wheat items instead as a healthy food choice. In fact, make sure you choose a diet that is high in soluble fiber, as this has a number of properties of protecting your heart.

4. Eggs are bad for you

While the yolks in eggs can increase cholesterol levels to an extent, they do not seem to do so in worrying levels at all. Instead, they are packed with vitamins and good fats along with the highest quality protein. Try and limit yourself to no more than 3 yolks a week.

5. Anti-oxidant supplements are better

Using anti-oxidant supplements are in no way superior to eating fruits and vegetables that contain them. In fact, it is better to opt for natural sources due to the added benefits they have. Keep your choice of vegetables colorful and expand your choice and variety in your cooking.

Closing Remarks

Food fads are many. Seek advice from the right sources before you start believing them.