Eating out has become a popular trend in modern times due to busy schedules, the desire for convenience, and the availability of a variety of cuisines. However, eating out can be challenging for individuals who are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Restaurants typically serve larger portion sizes, and calorie-dense foods, and offer limited healthy options. In this blog, we will discuss how to manage eating out according to one’s goals, bust some common myths, and explore whether eating out is good or bad for one’s health.

Reasons for Eating Out:

There are several reasons why people choose to eat out, including travel, work, and cultural experiences. While traveling, one might not have access to cooking facilities or may want to try local cuisine. Similarly, during work hours, people might not have enough time to pack their meals and prefer to eat out. Cultural events or celebrations also provide an opportunity to try new foods and flavors.

Manage according to their goals:

It is essential to be mindful of one’s goals while eating out. For individuals trying to maintain their fitness goals, it is crucial to choose healthier options such as grilled or baked foods, salads, and vegetables. People with specific dietary needs, such as those with metabolic syndromes, should communicate with the chef or staff about their requirements. Those with lifestyle goals, such as weight management or maintaining a balanced diet, should choose meals with a good balance of macronutrients, such as protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

Here are some cuisine-specific guidelines that you can follow: 

Italian cuisine: 

  • Skip the bread basket. Order a clear soup instead. 
  • Opt for the red sauce pasta instead of the white.
  • Sorbets/frozen yogurt are ideal dessert options. 
  • Ask if whole wheat pasta options are available. 
  • Customise your meal by adding a salad on the side (dressing served separately). 
  • Choose dishes with lean cuts of meat, if you’re a non-vegetarian. Chicken breast, fish and prawns are good options. Vegetarians can have a protein shake (if possible) before the meal at the restaurant. 

Indian Cuisine: 

  • Avoid greasy/deep-fried starters. 
  • Clear soups/ tomato soups are ideal appetizers. 
  • Steamed finger food/mains like idli and idiyappam are ideal options. 
  • Opt for grilled/tandoor/kebab/tikka-based mains and ensure it is a protein source. 
  • Customise your meal by finding out what the ingredients of the meal are. For example, ask them to reduce the oil or remove a certain ingredient. 
  • If you are a non-vegetarian, choose chicken breast/fish/egg-based dishes. Vegetarians can have a protein shake (if possible) before the meal at the restaurant. 
  • Be cautious of servings of gravies like butter chicken, paneer butter masala and malai kofta. They are very palatable but, calorie-dense. 

Asian Cuisine: 

  • Avoid greasy/deep-fried starters. 
  • Clear soups are ideal appetizers. 
  • If you have access to sushi, opt for those. 
  • Steamed finger food like momos or grilled satays (chicken/tofu) are ideal appetizers. 
  • Ask about the preparation method of the noodle/rice dishes. 
  • Ideally, opt for a serving of steamed jasmine rice/white rice along with curries like Thai curry. 
  • Avoid deep-fried sides like Manchurian gravies. 

Middle-Eastern Cuisine: 

  • Opt for servings of tabbouleh/fattoush salads or any other meat-based salads. 
  • Stick to one serving of hummus and pita bread. You can even opt for yogurt-based dips like tzatziki. 
  • Opt for meat/vegetarian shawarma-based dishes, without additional dressings like mayonnaise. 
  • Avoid french fries and swap them with a salad instead. 
  • Vegetarians can opt for baked falafels/paneer shawarma. Non-vegetarians can ideally opt for chicken-based dishes.

Mexican Cuisine: 

  • Avoid fried/greasy starters. 
  • Opt for clear soups or salads as appetizers or even as your meal. 
  • If there are options to customize your meal/build your meal, choose wisely. Add more vegetables/bean options. 
  • Ask for naked burritos or tacos. 
  • Opt for a small serving of guacamole as a topping.

Myths and Facts:

  1. Myth: Eating out is always unhealthy.

Fact: It is possible to make healthy choices while eating out. Instead of deep-fried or calorie-dense food items try choosing grilled or baked foods, salads, and vegetables.

  1. Myth: All restaurants serve unhealthy food.

Fact: Many restaurants now offer healthy options on their menus in response to the growing demand for nutritious meals. These options often feature low-calorie foods that are nutrient dense. Vegetarian and vegan options are also increasingly available in many restaurants. Customers with specific dietary requirements can request customised meals, such as gluten-free or nut-free options. These changes have made it easier for people to eat healthily while enjoying the social aspect of dining out.

Myth: Eating out is always more convenient than cooking at home.

Fact: Prior planning and preparing meals ahead of time can make cooking at home a convenient option. Also, cooking meals at home gives people complete control over the type and amount of ingredients that are being used, ensuring that they are getting a nutritious and balanced meal. While it allows people to try out various recipes and ingredients, cooking at home can also be a creative and engaging hobby. Overall cooking at home can be a convenient, healthy, and enjoyable option for those who take the time to plan and prepare their meals in advance.

Myth: Eating out is not suitable for individuals with specific dietary needs.

Fact: Restaurants are increasingly offering menus that cater to customers with dietary restrictions such as gluten-free or vegan diets. This change is driven by a growing awareness of food allergies and sensitivities and a demand for plant-based diets. Gluten-free menus often include alternatives such as gluten-free pizza crust or pasta. Vegan menus exclude all animal products and feature creative dishes that use plant-based ingredients. Overall, these special menus provide customers with more choices and accommodate a wider range of dietary needs.


Is it good or bad?

The answer to whether eating out is good or bad for one’s health depends on several factors. Firstly, the frequency and portion sizes of the meals consumed while eating out play a significant role. Secondly, the type of foods consumed and the preparation methods used are also important. Lastly, one’s overall dietary habits and lifestyle factors, such as physical activity levels, also impact the health implications of eating out.


In conclusion, eating out is a part of our modern lifestyle that cannot be avoided entirely. However, individuals can manage their eating habits by making healthier choices and practising moderation. It is essential to communicate with the host/hostess and plan and choose meals that align with one’s dietary goals. By doing so, individuals can enjoy the social and cultural experiences that come with eating out while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


  1. “Eating Out: How to Stay Healthy While Eating Out.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/nutrition-facts-and-food-labels/eating-out.
  2. “Eating out.” National Health Service, https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/eating-out/.



Oncology nutrition is important in cancer care, proper nutrition plays a critical role in managing cancer treatment-related side effects, improving treatment outcomes, and enhancing the quality of life for cancer patients. In this blog, we will delve into various aspects of oncology nutrition, including the importance of a balanced diet, strategies to manage the side effects of cancer treatment through nutrition, and the role of specific nutrients in cancer prevention and treatment. We will also discuss the importance of working with a certified Nutritionist to develop an individualised nutrition plan based on the unique needs of each patient. By the end of this blog, you will have a better understanding of how proper nutrition can help manage cancer treatment-related symptoms and improve overall health outcomes in cancer patients. So, let’s get started!


Factors affecting the nutrition aspect in cancer patients:

  1. Cancer Treatment: Oncology nutrition is influenced by cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. These treatments can cause various side effects such as loss of appetite, taste changes, nausea, and vomiting that can lead to malnutrition.
  2. Cancer Type: The type and stage of cancer can also affect oncology nutrition. Certain cancers such as head and neck cancers can affect a patient’s ability to swallow, while digestive system cancers can impact nutrient absorption.
  3. Psychological and Emotional Factors: Cancer patients may experience anxiety, depression, and stress that can affect their appetite and nutrition. This can also impact their adherence to recommended diets.
  4. Pre-existing Nutritional Status: Patients who are malnourished before a cancer diagnosis is at higher risk of developing nutrition-related complications during cancer treatment.
  5. Lifestyle Factors: Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and a diet high in ultra processed foods. These foods undergo ultra processing techniques which may increase the risk of developing cancer. And lack of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in the diet over a long period of time leads to various health conditions. 


Symptoms of cancer patients:

  1. Loss of Appetite: Patients may experience a reduced desire to eat or difficulty consuming adequate amounts of food.
  2. Changes in Taste and Smell: Cancer treatments can cause taste and smell changes, leading to aversions and disinterest in certain foods.
  3. Nausea and Vomiting: Patients may experience these symptoms due to cancer treatments, leading to decreased appetite and poor nutritional intake.
  4. Digestive Problems: Cancer treatments can cause diarrhoea, constipation, and other digestive problems, leading to poor nutrient absorption.
  5. Weight Loss: Unintended weight loss can occur due to poor appetite and malabsorption of nutrients.
  6. Fatigue: Malnutrition can cause fatigue and weakness, leading to decreased physical activity levels.
  7. Cognitive Changes: Malnutrition can affect cognitive function, including memory, attention, and concentration.



Nutrition intervention for cancer patients:

  1. Dietary Modifications: Patients may require specific dietary modifications to manage symptoms and optimise nutritional intake. This may include increasing protein and calorie intake, consuming small, frequent meals, and avoiding foods that trigger nausea and vomiting.
  2. Nutritional Supplements: Supplements such as protein powders, and vitamins and minerals may be recommended to address nutrient deficiencies and improve overall nutrition status.
  3. Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition: In cases where patients cannot consume adequate amounts of food orally, enteral and parenteral nutrition may be recommended. Enteral nutrition involves feeding through a tube, while parenteral nutrition involves intravenous feeding.
  4. Exercise: Exercise and physical activity may be recommended to improve appetite and overall health


Common misconception about Oncology Nutrition:

Myth: Sugar feeds cancer cells.

  1. Fact: There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that sugar intake directly promotes cancer growth. In fact, many studies have failed to find a significant link between sugar consumption and cancer risk. Nonetheless, maintaining a balanced and healthy diet with a focus on whole foods can help reduce the risk of cancer and improve overall health.

Myth: A vegetarian diet is better for cancer patients.

  1. Fact: Even though a plant-based diet can have health advantages and lower the risk of some cancers, it’s not always superior to a diet that has animal products. For cancer patients, it’s important to have a customised nutrition plan that considers their specific needs and medical issues.

Myth: Cancer patients should avoid all fats.

  1. Fact: Fats are an essential component of a balanced diet and play a crucial role in providing energy and essential nutrients to the body. Many types of fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, nuts, and seeds, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and may be beneficial for cancer patients. However, it is important to consume fats in moderation and choose healthy sources of fats such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts.

Myth: Supplements are always safe and effective.

  1. Fact: While supplements can provide important vitamins and minerals, some may interact with cancer treatments or cause adverse effects. For example, some supplements can interfere with chemotherapy drugs or radiation therapy, potentially reducing their effectiveness. Additionally, some supplements may cause harmful side effects, especially when taken in large doses. Patients should always consult with their healthcare provider before taking any supplements, even those marketed as natural or safe.

Myth: Cancer patients should avoid all processed foods.

  1. Fact: Processed foods can be nutrient-dense and provide important nutrients for cancer patients. Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are convenient, affordable and a great source of nutrients. Look for processed foods with low sodium, added sugars, and saturated fats by reading the labels.


Facts about Oncology Nutrition:

Fact: Adequate nutrition is crucial for cancer patients.

  1. Proper nutrition is vital for cancer patients to support their overall health and well-being during treatment. Patients who are well-nourished may have better treatment outcomes, improved immune function, and a better quality of life.

Fact: Protein is important for cancer patients.

  1. Protein is a crucial nutrient for cancer patients as it helps to maintain muscle mass, repair tissue, and support the immune system. Eating protein-rich foods such as lean meats, fish, and eggs can help ensure patients are getting enough protein to support their recovery.

Fact: Hydration is important for cancer patients.

  1. Cancer treatments can cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration. Staying hydrated can help manage these side effects and prevent dehydration, which can be a serious concern for cancer patients. Drinking enough fluids is essential for supporting the body’s functions and overall health.

Fact: Nutrition needs may vary depending on the type and stage of cancer and the type of treatment.

  1. Each patient’s nutritional needs may vary based on their type and stage of cancer and the type of treatment they are receiving. Developing individualised nutrition plans can help patients manage side effects and support recovery after treatment.

Fact: Nutritional counselling is an important part of cancer care.

  1. Nutritional counselling can help patients make healthy choices, manage treatment side effects, and support their overall health and well-being during and after cancer treatment.


In summary, Oncology Nutrition is crucial in managing symptoms and improving treatment outcomes for cancer patients. Individualised nutrition plans developed with registered dietitians can help address the specific nutritional needs of patients. By prioritising Oncology Nutrition, healthcare providers can improve the overall quality of life for cancer patients.



  1. “Nutrition in Cancer Care,” National Cancer Grid India, https://www.nationalcancergrid.org/nutrition-in-cancer-care.
  2. “Oncology Nutrition for Patients,” Tata Memorial Hospital, https://tmc.gov.in/tmh/index.php/en/patient-care-services/clinical-services/nutrition-in-cancer-care/oncology-nutrition-for-patients.
  3. “Nutrition and Cancer,” Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4959814/.
  4. “Nutrition Management in Cancer Care,” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, https://jandonline.org/article/S2212-2672(18)31176-4/fulltext.
  5. “Myths and Facts About Cancer,” National Cancer Institute India, https://www.nciindia.in/myths-and-facts-about-cancer.
  6. “Nutrition in Cancer Care,” National Cancer Grid India, https://www.nationalcancergrid.org/nutrition-in-cancer-care.


Endometriosis is a medical condition that affects millions of women worldwide, causing chronic pain and infertility. It occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus, such as on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or the lining of the pelvis. This tissue responds to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, leading to inflammation, scarring, and adhesions that can cause severe pain during menstruation, intercourse, and other activities.

Endometriosis is a complex and often misunderstood condition, with symptoms that can vary widely from person to person. It can take years for some women to receive a proper diagnosis, during which time the condition can progress and cause more damage. While there is no cure for endometriosis, there are treatments available to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.


Causes of Endometriosis:

Retrograde menstruation: menstrual blood flows back into the pelvic cavity and deposits endometrial cells outside the uterus.

Hormonal imbalances: excess estrogen can cause the growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus.

Immune system dysfunction: may allow endometrial cells to grow outside the uterus.

Genetic factors: endometriosis may run in families.

Environmental toxins: exposure to environmental toxins such as dioxins may increase the risk of endometriosis.

Lifestyle factors: a diet high in red meat, and trans fats, and low in fruits and vegetables; lack of exercise; and obesity may increase the risk of endometriosis


Symptoms of endometriosis:

Pelvic pain: The most common symptom of endometriosis is chronic pelvic pain, which can range from mild to severe. The pain may be dull, crampy, or sharp and may occur before, during, or after menstruation.

Painful periods: Women with endometriosis may experience dysmenorrhea (painful periods), which can be severe enough to interfere with daily activities.

Pain during intercourse: Painful intercourse, also known as dyspareunia, is a common symptom of endometriosis.

Infertility: Endometriosis is a leading cause of infertility in women, with up to 50% of women with endometriosis experiencing difficulty getting pregnant.

Heavy periods: Women with endometriosis may experience heavy or irregular menstrual periods.

Gastrointestinal symptoms: Endometriosis can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.

Fatigue: Chronic pain and other symptoms of endometriosis can lead to fatigue and exhaustion.

Other symptoms: Other less common symptoms of endometriosis include back pain, leg pain, and painful urination.

It’s important to note that the severity of symptoms does not always correlate with the severity of the condition. Some women with mild endometriosis may experience severe symptoms, while others with severe endometriosis may experience no symptoms at all.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider. They can help determine if endometriosis may be the cause of your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment options.


Stages of Endometriosis:

Stage I (Minimal): In this stage, the endometrial tissue is present in small, isolated patches. 

Stage II (Mild): In this stage, the endometrial tissue is more widespread, and small cysts may be present. 

Stage III (Moderate): In this stage, the endometrial tissue is more extensive, and larger cysts and adhesions may be present. 

Stage IV (Severe): In this stage, the endometrial tissue is widespread, and large cysts and adhesions may be present. 

It is important to note that these are general guidelines and that individual nutrition needs may vary depending on personal health conditions, allergies, and dietary restrictions. It is recommended to speak with a healthcare professional and a registered dietitian to develop a personalized nutrition plan that meets individual needs.


Types of Endometriosis:

Superficial endometriosis: This type of endometriosis affects the peritoneum, which is the lining of the abdominal cavity. In some cases, it can cause mild pain and discomfort during menstruation. 

Deep endometriosis: This type of endometriosis affects the deeper layers of tissue, such as the muscle wall of the uterus or the bowel. It can cause severe pain, heavy bleeding, and fertility problems.

Endometrioma: This type of endometriosis involves the formation of cysts on the ovaries. It can cause pain, discomfort, and fertility problems.

Adenomyosis: This type of endometriosis affects the muscle wall of the uterus, causing it to thicken and enlarge. It can cause severe pain, heavy bleeding, and fertility problems.

It’s important to note that while nutrition can help manage symptoms, it cannot cure endometriosis. Consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized dietary recommendations. Here is an Indian study on endometriosis and nutrition


Triggers to eliminate: 

Certain foods can trigger inflammation in the body and exacerbate endometriosis symptoms. These include high-fat foods, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten, etc. The above trigger foods can increase inflammation.


Foods to include

Including foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory properties can help improve symptoms associated with chronic inflammation. 

Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fatty fish are excellent sources of antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation. 

Additionally, lean proteins, nuts, and seeds provide essential amino acids and healthy fats that are important for maintaining overall health and reducing inflammation.


Supplements to consider

Supplements such as Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D have been shown to have potential benefits for individuals with endometriosis. 

Omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation and pain, while Vitamin D is important for regulating the immune system and reducing inflammation. 

However, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements to ensure they are safe and effective for your individual needs.


Lifestyle modifications for Endometriosis:

While there is no known cure for endometriosis, there are several lifestyle modifications that can help manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life. 


Here are some lifestyle modifications for endometriosis that you can try:

Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain associated with endometriosis. It can also help regulate hormones and improve overall health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming, most days of the week.

Follow a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excess caffeine, as these can exacerbate symptoms of endometriosis.

Manage stress: Stress can trigger inflammation and make symptoms of endometriosis worse. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or talking to a therapist.

Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can exacerbate symptoms of endometriosis. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night and establish a regular sleep routine.

Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can increase inflammation and worsen symptoms of endometriosis. Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption to one drink per day or less.

These lifestyle modifications can help manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for women with endometriosis. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized treatment and management strategies.


Myths about Endometriosis:

Many myths and misconceptions about endometriosis can lead to misunderstandings and delayed diagnosis. Here are some common myths about endometriosis that you should be aware of: 

Myth 1: Endometriosis is just bad cramps.

Fact: While painful periods are a common symptom of endometriosis, the condition can also cause pain during sex, bowel movements, and urination. It can also lead to infertility and other complications.

Myth 2: Endometriosis is rare.

Fact: Endometriosis affects an estimated 10% of women of reproductive age, making it a fairly common condition.

Myth 3: Endometriosis can only be diagnosed through surgery.

Fact: While surgery is the only way to definitively diagnose endometriosis, a healthcare provider can often make a presumptive diagnosis based on symptoms and a physical exam. Other diagnostic tests, such as ultrasound or MRI, may also be used. 

Myth 4: Pregnancy cures endometriosis.

Fact: While pregnancy can temporarily relieve symptoms of endometriosis, the condition often returns after pregnancy or childbirth.

Myth 5: Hysterectomy cures endometriosis.

Fact: While removing the uterus (hysterectomy) can provide relief from endometriosis symptoms, it is not a cure. Endometrial tissue can still grow in other areas of the body, leading to ongoing symptoms. 

It is important to understand the facts about endometriosis to make informed decisions about treatment and management. If you suspect you may have endometriosis, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and individualized treatment plan. 



To manage endometriosis, women must understand the facts and myths and develop personalized treatment plans with healthcare providers. Lifestyle modifications, such as exercise, healthy eating, stress management, and adequate sleep, can alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. Accurate diagnosis and individualized treatment plans from healthcare providers are crucial for women who suspect they may have endometriosis. With proper management and support, women with endometriosis can live healthy and fulfilling lives. 


  1. The World Endometriosis Research Foundation – https://endometriosisfoundation.org/endometriosis-basics/
  2. The Endometriosis Association – https://endometriosisassn.org/about-endometriosis/symptoms
  3. Endometriosis: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and More. (2021). Healthline. Retrieved 28 February 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/health/endometriosis
  4. Endometriosis. (2021). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 28 February 2023, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354656
  5. Endometriosis. (2021). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 28 February 2023, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354656
  6. Endometriosis: Myths and Facts. (2021). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved 28 February 2023, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12080-endometriosis-myths–facts
  7. Endometriosis: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and More. (2021). Healthline. Retrieved 28 February 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/health/endometriosis


Gout, a painful inflammation and swelling caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints is a result of the body either producing too much uric acid or being unable to eliminate it properly. This uric acid is a natural waste product produced by the body when it breaks down purines, commonly found in meat products.

In our blog, we’ll be diving deep into gout and the role of uric acid in its development, exploring various aspects including causes, symptoms, treatments, and prevention strategies. In addition, we’ll be discussing related topics such as diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and medication options pivotal in managing gout.

What is Hyperuricemia:

Hyperuricemia is an elevated uric acid level in the blood. The normal upper limit is 6.8mg/dL, and anything over 7 mg/dL is considered saturated, and symptoms can occur. This elevated level is the result of increased production, decreased excretion of uric acid, or a combination of both processes.

Elevated uric acid can also be seen in,

  • Accelerated purine degradation
  • Decreased excretion (renal insufficiency and metabolic acidosis)

What is Gout?

When there is too much uric acid in the body, uric acid crystals (monosodium urate) can build up in joints, fluids, and tissues within the body. Hyperuricemia does not always cause gout, and hyperuricemia without gout symptoms does not need to be treated.

These urate crystals accumulate in your joint, causing inflammation and intense pain of a gout attack.

Symptoms include (in the affected part):

  • Pain, usually intense
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Heat

Risk factors:

Causes of high uric acid in blood or gout are complex conditions that can have a variety of causes. Here are some of the most common factors that can contribute to the development of high uric acid levels and gout:

  • Diet: A diet high in purine-rich foods like red meat, shellfish, and organ meats can increase uric acid levels and contribute to gout. Purine-rich foods include red meat, organ meat, and some kinds of seafood, such as anchovies, sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, and tuna
  • Alcohol consumption: Drinking alcohol, particularly beer, can increase uric acid production and trigger gout attacks.
  • Genetics: Certain genetic factors can increase the risk of developing gout.
  • Medical conditions: Health conditions such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disease can increase the risk of developing gout.
  • Medications: Some medications, such as diuretics, can increase uric acid levels and trigger gout attacks.
  • Dehydration: Not drinking enough water can lead to higher concentrations of uric acid in the body and increase the risk of gout.
  • Symptoms of Gout:
  • Sudden, severe pain: Gout attacks typically cause sudden, severe pain in the affected joint, often described as a sharp, stabbing sensation.
  • Swelling and redness: The affected joint may become swollen, red, and warm to the touch.
  • Stiffness: Gout can cause stiffness in the affected joint, making it difficult to move.
  • Limited mobility: Due to the pain and stiffness, people with gout may have limited mobility and difficulty performing daily activities.
  • Chronic gout: Over time, repeated gout attacks can lead to chronic gout, which can cause joint damage, tophi (hard deposits of uric acid), and chronic pain.

Treatments for Gout:

  • Lifestyle changes: Making changes to your diet, drinking plenty of water, limiting alcohol, and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce uric acid levels and can help reduce the frequency and severity of gout attacks.
  • Medications: Several medications are available to treat gout, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, and colchicine.
  • Urate-lowering therapy: Medications like allopurinol, febuxostat, and probenecid can be used to lower uric acid levels and prevent gout attacks.
  • Joint aspiration: In some cases, removing fluid from the affected joint can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Lifestyle modifications: Avoiding alcohol, staying hydrated, and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the frequency and severity of gout attacks.

Prevention strategies for Gout:

Preventing gout attacks and managing uric acid levels can involve making some lifestyle changes. Here are some strategies that can help:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of gout. Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce uric acid levels and prevent gout attacks.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help flush out excess uric acid from the body and prevent crystal formation in the joints.
  • Limit alcohol intake: Alcohol can increase uric acid production and interfere with its elimination from the body. Limiting alcohol intake or avoiding it altogether can help prevent gout attacks.
  • Avoid high-purine/high-oxalate foods: Foods that are high in purines or oxalates can increase uric acid levels in the body. Limiting or avoiding foods like red meat, organ meats, shellfish, and certain types of fish can help prevent gout attacks.
  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight, reduce inflammation, and improve overall health.

Dietary Interventions of GOUT:

Research indicates that following a diet that is rich in vitamins, fiber, and unsaturated fatty acids, and including appropriate amounts of minerals and high-quality protein, can be effective in preventing or managing hyperuricemia. These dietary patterns promote a healthier state of systemic metabolism, which can lead to an improvement in overall health and a reduced risk of disease.

  • Dietary Fiber – Including more fiber-rich whole grains, vegetables, and fruits in the diet can have several health benefits, including regulating gastrointestinal homeostasis. Moreover, dietary fiber has been found to help regulate the inflammatory state in patients with gout and reduce the production of uric acid, both of which can contribute to better management of the condition. By promoting a balanced intake of fiber, individuals may be able to support the health of their gut, reduce inflammation, and improve their overall well-being.
  • Fat – Studies have shown that consuming a diet high in fat can lead to an excessive buildup of triglycerides, which can contribute to the development of obesity by increasing fat mass. In a clinical trial involving 14,624 adults, it was reported that 60% of hyperuricemia cases were associated with overweight/obesity. This connection may be due to disruptions in lipid metabolism, which can lead to an elevation in xanthine oxidase (XO) activity, promoting purine metabolism and potentially exacerbating hyperuricemia.
  • Protein – Making informed choices about dietary protein sources and moderating the amount of protein consumed can be a useful strategy for managing gout and related diseases. By selecting protein sources that are appropriate for their individual needs and dietary preferences, individuals may be able to improve their condition and prevent flare-ups.
  • Vitamins – Research has demonstrated that an appropriate intake of vitamin supplements or consumption of fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins can be a viable strategy for managing hyperuricemia and gout. Certain vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin C, have been found to possess beneficial properties that can help to mitigate oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are factors that contribute to the onset and progression of these conditions. By incorporating these vitamins into their diet, individuals may be able to support their body’s natural defenses against these harmful processes and potentially achieve better health outcomes.
  • Minerals – Minerals play a vital role in maintaining the body’s acid-base balance. One well-known example is potassium, which has been shown to have diuretic and natriuretic effects when consumed in appropriate amounts.

On the other hand, excessive urinary calcium loss is a known risk factor that can trigger the formation of calcium stones and contribute to uric acid excretion disorders. However, maintaining a normal intake of calcium can help to reduce the potential risk of kidney stone formation and promote uric acid elimination in the kidneys.

Overall, a balanced intake of micronutrients and macronutrients is important for supporting the body’s metabolic processes and reducing the risk of associated health complications.

Myths and Facts of Gout:

Myth: Gout is only caused by eating too much red meat.

Fact: Gout is not solely caused by the consumption of purine-rich red meat, although it can contribute to the condition. Other factors that may increase the likelihood of developing gout include genetics, age, gender, obesity, high blood pressure, and certain medications.

Myth: Drinking plenty of water can cure gout.

Fact: Drinking water is important for flushing out excess uric acid from the body, but it cannot cure gout. Proper management of uric acid levels through lifestyle changes and medication is necessary to prevent gout attacks.

Myth: Gout only affects older men.

Fact: Gout can affect both men and women of all ages, although it is more common in men over the age of 40. Women are more likely to develop gout after menopause.

Myth: Gout is not a serious condition.

Fact: Gout can cause severe pain and swelling in the joints and can lead to permanent joint damage if left untreated. It has also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and kidney disease.

Myth: Avoiding all high-purine foods can cure gout.

Fact: While limiting high-purine foods can help reduce uric acid levels, it is not a cure for gout. A combination of lifestyle changes and medication is typically needed to manage gout effectively.


In conclusion, managing uric acid levels and preventing gout attacks is achievable by making some lifestyle changes. Maintaining a healthy weight, staying hydrated, limiting alcohol intake, avoiding high-purine foods, and exercising regularly are effective strategies for preventing gout attacks. It is essential to debunk the myths surrounding gout, such as the misconception that it is only a disease of the wealthy, and focus on the facts to ensure proper management of the condition. Early diagnosis and timely treatment can prevent the long-term complications of gout, such as joint damage and kidney stones. By adopting a healthy lifestyle and seeking medical attention when necessary, individuals with gout can lead a fulfilling life.


An autoimmune condition occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s healthy cells and tissues, leading to chronic inflammation and damage. This can cause a range of symptoms and complications depending on the specific condition and the part of the body that is affected. Common autoimmune conditions include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and psoriasis, all of which can affect various organs and tissues throughout the body, leading to joint pain, skin rashes, fatigue, and neurological problems.

The exact causes of autoimmune conditions are not fully understood, but genetics and environmental factors such as infections, toxins, or stress are believed to play a role. Treatment for autoimmune conditions usually involves medications that suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation, along with lifestyle changes to help manage symptoms and reduce the risk of flare-ups. If you are experiencing any symptoms of an autoimmune condition, it is important to see a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.


Causes of Autoimmune conditions:

Although the exact causes of autoimmune conditions are not fully understood, several factors are believed to play a role:

  1. Genetics: Research suggests some people may be genetically predisposed to developing autoimmune conditions. Certain genetic variations may affect how the immune system functions and how it responds to foreign substances.
  2. Environmental factors: Environmental factors such as infections, exposure to toxins, and stress may trigger the immune system to attack healthy cells and tissues. Some infections, such as viruses or bacteria, may cause the immune system to mistakenly identify healthy cells as foreign invaders, leading to autoimmune reactions.
  3. Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal changes or imbalances, particularly in women, may also contribute to developing autoimmune conditions. For example, autoimmune conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis are more common in women than men and may be triggered or exacerbated by changes in hormone levels.
  4. Diet and lifestyle: Certain dietary and lifestyle factors may also play a role in the development of autoimmune conditions. A diet high in processed foods and refined sugars may contribute to inflammation and immune dysfunction. Stress, lack of sleep, and physical inactivity can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of autoimmune reactions.

In summary, while the exact causes of autoimmune conditions are not fully understood, a combination of genetic, environmental, hormonal, and lifestyle factors may contribute to their development. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to manage any symptoms and reduce the risk of flare-ups through proper treatment and lifestyle modifications.


Symptoms of Autoimmune conditions:

Autoimmune conditions can cause a wide range of symptoms, depending on the specific condition and the part of the body that is affected. Some of the most common symptoms of autoimmune conditions include:

  1. Fatigue: Many people with autoimmune conditions experience chronic fatigue that does not improve with rest or sleep.
  2. Joint pain and stiffness: Autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can cause joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, particularly in the hands and feet.
  3. Skin rashes: Autoimmune conditions such as lupus and psoriasis can cause skin rashes, hives, and lesions.
  4. Gastrointestinal problems: Some autoimmune conditions can cause digestive symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea.
  5. Neurological problems: Autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis can cause neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and weakness in the limbs.
  6. Changes in weight or appetite: Some autoimmune conditions can cause weight gain or loss, as well as changes in appetite.
  7. Hormonal imbalances: Autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can cause hormonal imbalances that affect metabolism, mood, and energy levels.
  8. Difficulty concentrating: Some autoimmune conditions can cause brain fog or difficulty concentrating.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, working with a healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan is important.


How dietary modification helps in Autoimmune conditions:

Dietary modifications can play an important role in managing autoimmune conditions.

There has always been a link between diet and autoimmune conditions but it might not be the only way to address it but it helps in influencing the development and progression of autoimmune conditions. 

There may be foods that need to be eliminated which can trigger or exacerbate autoimmune symptoms but, this list of foods are not specific and it differs across different autoimmune conditions. On the other hand, some foods can help reduce inflammation and support the immune system such as leafy greens, turmeric, fatty fish, and ginger and these are broadly termed anti-inflammatory.

To conclude, several dietary approaches may benefit individuals with autoimmune conditions. It’s important to note that dietary modifications should be made in conjunction with the guidance of a healthcare provider. So, an individual with an autoimmune condition should discuss the importance of working with a registered dietitian or functional medicine practitioner to ensure that dietary changes are safe and effective.


Dietary modifications specific to certain Autoimmune conditions are given below:

  • Hashimotos:

Avoiding gluten, lactose, and certain other triggers are some effective ways to reduce inflammation and support immune health.  

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is also known as Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid gland. This occurs when our own immune system attacks the thyroid gland leading to inflammation and swelling. 

  • Lupus:

Avoiding trigger foods, increasing omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants intake, and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health. 

  • Type 1 diabetes:

Eating a healthy balanced diet, rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats, and continuous monitoring of blood sugar levels can help improve insulin sensitivity. 

  • Rheumatoid arthritis:

Consuming anti-inflammatory foods, such as fatty fish, nuts, and berries, while avoiding trigger foods like processed and fried foods can reduce inflammation and improve joint function. 

  • Celiac disease:

Adopting a gluten-free diet, increasing intake of nutrient-dense foods, and avoiding cross-contamination of gluten-containing products can help alleviate symptoms and improve gut health. 

In summary, for all autoimmune conditions, it is advisable to work with a healthcare provider and/ or a certified nutritionist to develop a personalized treatment plan that includes medication with dietary and lifestyle modifications.


Myths about Autoimmune conditions:

Myth 1: Autoimmune conditions only affect older people.

Fact: While some autoimmune conditions are more common in older adults, autoimmune conditions can affect people of all ages, including children and young adults.

Myth 2: Autoimmune conditions are contagious.

Fact: Autoimmune conditions are not contagious and cannot be passed from person to person. They are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors that trigger an immune response.

Myth 3: Autoimmune conditions are curable.

Fact: Currently, there is no cure for autoimmune conditions. However, with proper treatment, lifestyle modifications, or dietary management, many people with autoimmune conditions can live full and healthy lives.

Myth 4: Autoimmune conditions are all the same.

Fact: There are over 100 different types of autoimmune conditions, and each one has its own set of symptoms, causes, and treatment options.

In summary, autoimmune conditions are common, can affect people of all ages, are not contagious, currently have no cure, and are not all the same. It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect you may have an autoimmune condition and to work with a healthcare provider to develop an appropriate treatment plan.


Facts about Autoimmune conditions:

  1. Autoimmune conditions can increase the risk of miscarriage and pregnancy complications: Women with lupus or antiphospholipid syndrome, both autoimmune conditions, have an increased risk of developing preeclampsia, a potentially life-threatening pregnancy complication. Additionally, autoimmune conditions can increase the risk of infertility and may require specialized fertility treatments.
  2. Autoimmune conditions can cause damage to the eyes and lead to vision problems: Some autoimmune conditions, such as uveitis and Sjogren’s syndrome, can cause inflammation in the eyes, leading to vision loss and other complications.
  3. Autoimmune conditions can be difficult to diagnose: Because autoimmune conditions can cause a wide range of symptoms, they can be challenging to diagnose. Patients may see multiple healthcare providers before receiving a correct diagnosis, which can delay treatment and exacerbate symptoms.
  4. Stress can trigger autoimmune conditions and worsen symptoms: Stress can activate the immune system and lead to inflammation, which can exacerbate autoimmune symptoms.
  5. Autoimmune conditions can cause skin problems and lead to the development of skin rashes and lesions: Psoriasis, an autoimmune condition that affects the skin, can cause red, scaly patches on the skin that can be itchy and painful.
  6. Genetics plays a role in autoimmune conditions: Research suggests that some people may be genetically predisposed to developing autoimmune conditions. Certain genetic variations may affect how the immune system functions and how it responds to foreign substances.



In conclusion, autoimmune conditions affect millions of people, and there are over 100 types of autoimmune conditions. While some of the most common autoimmune conditions include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis, there are many other, lesser-known autoimmune conditions that can affect different parts of the body. Diagnosing autoimmune conditions can be difficult due to their wide range of symptoms, but genetic factors may play a role in their development. If you suspect you may have an autoimmune condition, it’s important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan.



  1. Autoimmune Diseases: Possible Causes and Treatment Strategies” by Aparna Duggirala and Saritha Gopalakrishnan. This article explores the possible genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that contribute to autoimmune conditions. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6766679/
  2. “Role of Environmental Factors in Autoimmune Diseases” by Rajesh Kumar Singh, Amita Aggarwal, and Mohit Kumar Rai. This paper discusses how environmental factors such as infections, toxins, and stress can trigger autoimmune reactions. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6306879/ 
  3. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Autoimmune Diseases. Retrieved from https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/autoimmune-diseases
  4. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Autoimmune Diseases. Retrieved from https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/autoimmune-diseases

Irritable bowel Syndrome (IBS), the functional gastrointestinal disorder, is characterized by a group of symptoms such as a change in bowel movements (diarrhea or constipation, or both), abdominal pain, bloating, and cramping. 

Even though the symptoms leave no visible changes to the GI tract, if untreated – the chances of IBS aggravating are higher.

IBS is a chronic condition. People suffering from IBS are at risk of developing mental health issues since IBS can negatively affect daily life. 

This blog is an attempt at understanding IBS and offers to provide a glimpse on effective every day management of this chronic disorder.

Classification of IBS

Understanding IBS is easier if we know the different categories. The board classification helps in understanding the symptoms and aids in optimizing the treatment of individuals.

IBS has four categories. Each type exhibits different symptoms. 

  1. IBS with constipation (IBS-C) is distinguished from other IBS conditions when more than a quarter of the stools are hard or lumpy and occur for over three days in a month over the preceding three months.
  2. IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D): When an individual diagnosed with IBS passes more than a quarter of the stools as loose and watery, the person has IBS-D. Individuals often experience a sudden urge to use the bathroom.
  3. Mixed IBS (IBS-M) alternates between constipation and diarrhea. More than a quarter of the bowel movement can be hard or lumpy at one instance, and more than a quarter of the stool can be loose or water at the other. An individual can experience IBS-C and IBS-D on the same day.
  4. Unsubtyped IBS (IBS-U) exhibits all other symptoms associated with IBS but displays insufficient alteration of stool consistency to be classified into the subtypes mentioned above.
IBS TypeStool Consistency
IBS C> 25% is hard or lumpy; <25% is loose or watery
IBS-D>25% is loose or watery; <25% is hard or lumpy
IBS-M>25% is hard or lumpy; >25% is loose or water
IBS-UInsufficient alteration in the stool consistency 


Common Symptoms associated with IBS

IBS symptoms vary with individuals. The severity of the symptoms and individual might range from mild to extreme depending on food habits and lifestyle. 

Each individual can have Irritable Bowel Syndrome triggering foods, eating which can trigger symptoms. Avoiding the trigger foods and changes in lifestyle can help ease the symptoms to an extent.

The common symptoms identified across individuals with IBS are:

  • Abdominal pain 
  • Change in bowel movements 
  • Cramping
  • Bloating

A few of the lesser-known symptoms experienced by individuals include:

  • Lack of energy
  • Mucus in stool
  • Sudden urge to use the bathroom
  • Flatulence
  • The feeling of a non-empty bladder
  • bowel incontinence
  • Nausea or feeling sick
  • Mood swings that include irritability, stress, and anxiety

As said earlier, IBS is the host of symptoms. A few of the above can also indicate other GI disorders. So, if you are experiencing a few of the above symptoms, it’s best to consult a certified practitioner for an accurate diagnosis.


Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of IBS, there are a few classic reasons that help explain the occurrence of IBS. Each individual may develop IBS owing to different factors. 

However, in the blog, we cover a few major causes that lead to IBS.


How the brain and gut work together is one of the causes of IBS. The brain-gut interaction is essential for proper water and nutrient absorption and waste removal from the body. Alterations in this interaction disrupt the normal process, causing disorders. 

  • Disruptive intestinal muscle contractions can make the food move slowly or rapidly, causing changes in bowel movement. The altered gut motility changes the food retention capacity of the intestines, causing improper absorption of nutrition by the body.
  • Nervous system distress acts as a trigger for IBS. Anxiety and stress can cause the brain to send an inappropriate signal to the gut inducing inappropriate bowel movements.

Other causes for IBS include:

  • Infection – A bacterial infection in the digestive tract can lead to IBS. Post-infectious IBS displays one or more symptoms of fever, vomiting, diarrhea, inflammation, and positive bacterial stool culture.
  • Changes in gut microbes like bacterial overgrowth in the intestine or changes in the type of bacteria in the gut disrupt the normal functioning of the GI tract, causing IBS.

Experts opine that abusive or incredibly stressful life and food sensitivity might also cause an individual to develop IBS.


Risk Factors involved in developing IBS

After extensive research into IBS, researchers have narrowed down the risk factors that lead to developing Irritable Bowel Syndrome. So, what are the risk factors, and who is at more risk of developing IBS?

  • Females are at higher risk of developing IBS when compared to men.
  • Age is another risk factor. People over 40 years of age are at greater risk of developing IBS. The incidence of IBS decreases with advancing age.
  • A person with a family history of IBS has an increased chance of developing IBS.
  • People with troubled pasts and people experiencing psychological issues like anxiety or depression are more likely to develop IBS.
  • Food poisoning changes the composition of the bacterial gut and increases the chances of developing IBS.
  • A few antidepressants or antibiotics can trigger IBS in an individual.

Associated comorbidities

IBS is generally associated with at least one co-morbid condition. Individuals with IBS and one or more comorbidities develop severe symptoms and experience a lower quality of life. They also experience psychological symptoms and are highly prone to develop somatization disorder.

We can broadly classify the comorbidities into three categories and present the most commonly occurring disorders in each category. 

  1. IBS and Gastrointestinal disorders frequently occur together. Functional dyspepsia (FD) and Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are two disorders commonly seen with IBS.
  2. IBS overlaps with extraintestinal somatic disorders such as Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Chronic pelvic pain (CPP), sexual dysfunction, and sleep disturbances
  3. IBS and commonly associated psychological disorders are generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, major depression, and bipolar disorder

      Image of IBS and comorbidities

The diagram shares a more exhaustive list of IBS and associated comorbidities. Each layer adds a different complexity when treating IBS. So with comorbidities, the treatment is more about managing than treating the syndrome.

Diagnosis of IBS

Based on Rome criteria, IBS diagnosis includes identifying a pattern that involves abdominal pain or discomfort for at least three days in a month over the last three months, with the first symptom appearing at least six months before. The symptoms are:

  • Changes in discomfort while passing stools
  • Changes in frequency of bowel movement
  • Changes in the form of the stool

So far, the diagnostic procedure involves identification by ruling out. There are no definitive tests to diagnose IBS. After collecting family history and vitals, doctors perform a physical examination and simple tests to rule out other disorders.

  • Blood tests to check to rule out celiac disease, anemia, infection, and other digestive infections.
  • Examine stool samples to rule out infections.
  • Can perform a colonoscopy to rule out conditions like colon cancer or Inflammatory Bowel disease (IBD).
  • Hydrogen breath tests to rule out digestive problems like lactose intolerance.
  • Other tests for food allergies 

Treatment and Management of IBS

There is no specific treatment for IBS, as the conditions and symptoms differ across individuals. One can aim to manage the symptoms by adopting a low FODMAP diet and a few lifestyle changes under the guidance of doctors or certified nutritionists. 

Understanding IBS is the key to managing it effectively. Staying hydrated, exercising, managing anxiety and stress, and following a healthy diet are a few things one can try to find relief from the IBS symptoms.

A primary step in easing the symptoms is to adopt a Low FODMAP Diet. FODMAP (Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) are short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in our small intestines and can cause digestive issues. 

Types of carbs that are associated with FODMAPs are:

  • Fermentable oligosaccharides are fructans in wheat, rye, onion, garlic, and chicory; and food like legumes and beans contain Galatians.
  • Disaccharides are lactose present in milk.
  • Monosaccharides are fructose present in fruits, honey, and high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Polyols are carbs in sugar alcohols, avocados, apples, cherries, stone fruit, cauliflower, mushrooms, sweeteners, etc.

What happens when you have FODMAP foods?

When a person consumes high FODMAP food, the food moves slowly through the small intestine, thereby absorbing all the water. It then reaches the large intestine, where they become the food for gut bacteria. Interaction with bacteria results in fermentation, which produces gas and causes discomfort triggering IBS or one of its symptoms.

Steps to follow the FODMAP diet for IBS:

The FODMAP diet is introduced structurally in people in three phases.

  1. Elimination phase: In this phase, people follow a low FODMAP diet and shun foods under a high FODMAP list over a period of 2 to 6 weeks 
  2. Re-Introductory phase: After the successful completion of the first phase, each food in high FODMAP food is reintroduced one food at a time over three days. By increasing the serving size each day, you can monitor the tolerance over the next 8 to 12 weeks. 
  3. Personalization phase: During the re-introductory phase, people will learn about the food best suited for them. The nutritionists devise a dietary plan for long-term sustenance based on the results obtained in the second phase.

One of the most frequently asked questions by people with IBS is: How to cure IBS permanently?

More often than not, IBS is a chronic condition that does not have a complete cure. 

In case of severe symptoms, doctors prescribe medications for easing the symptoms based on the type of IBS. At a certain time, an individual might also need mental health therapies to deal with their psychological problems.

IBS is not easy to live with. One should know and learn about IBS before it leads to other complications. Talk to your doctor and find a certified nutritionist who can help you deal with Irritable Bowel Syndrome effectively.



Several myths are associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Here are a few myths and facts that can help you make an informed decision.

Myth 1: IBS and IBD are the same 

Fact: Though IBS and IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) sound similar, they are two completely different conditions. IBD is a collective term for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, characterized by inflammation of the intestine. IBS is the improper functioning of the digestive tract.


Myth 2: Drastic Change in Diet can cure IBS

Fact: Food is not the only reason for IBS. IBS is a condition that occurs because of several factors. One can definitely ease their IBS symptoms by making the right food choices. 


Myth 3: Fiber-rich food help IBS

Fact: Eating fiber-rich help with constipation but may not help with other symptoms. On the contrary, the symptoms may worsen because of the intake of fiber-rich food. So before changing your diet, consult a certified nutritionist who will guide you to eat right.


Myth 4: Fasting is a sure-shot way of curing IBS

Fact: One should not fast to cure IBS unless specified by your nutritionist. An individual with IBS should not change meal plans, food habits, and exercise regimes without expert guidance. The chances of worsening the condition are higher without proper guidance.


Myth 5: There is a prescribed diet for IBS.

Fact: The dietary pattern varies according to the symptoms and condition of the IBS in a person. There are no one-size fits all diet plans when it comes to IBS.


Myth 6: We can cure IBS by using home remedies such as ajwain or cumin seeds.

Fact: Certain home remedies, present for ages, help relieve the symptoms to an extent, but they are not the cure. IBS needs a doctor’s intervention and lifestyle changes if you are looking for proper relief from IBS.


Myth 7: Lactose intolerance and IBS are the same.

Fact: Lactose intolerance is the body’s inability to process lactose – a readily fermentable carbohydrate. While food rich in lactose can act as a trigger for IBS, IBS is a completely different condition.


Myth 8: A bad diet is the main cause of IBS

Fact: Though the symptoms surrounding IBS make it seem like food is the root cause of IBS, other factors can cause or trigger the syndrome as well. Stress, anxiety or panic attacks, hormonal imbalance, or everything together, can cause IBS. So, blaming food will not help you cure IBS.


Myth 9: Cutting down on dairy and gluten products can get rid of IBS symptoms

Fact: IBS is a chronic condition that can only be managed. For a few people sensitive to dairy products and gluten, cutting down on these trigger foods might help ease the symptoms, but this is not the case with everyone with IBS.

PCOS is a very common endocrine condition, especially for women of reproductive age. 

PCOS simply means polycystic ovarian syndrome, which can be further interpreted as,

Poly – many or multiple 

Cys – cysts

Tic – pertaining to 

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a syndrome with many or multiple cysts in the ovaries. 

The prevalence of PCOS is between 5 to 15 % but it differs in each study. This disorder can be both morphological which means cyst formation in ovaries or biochemical which means hyperandrogenism. 

In other words, PCOS is a multifactorial disease which means there are many factors that lead to this condition. Some women can experience mild side effects whereas others can have severe PCOS symptoms. So symptoms also differ between individuals. 

In the menstrual cycle, there are two phases –

Follicular phase – menstruation to ovulation (days 1 to 14)

Luteal phase – ovulation to menstruation (days 14 to 28)

If this cycle is abnormal, then it is a sign of PCOS. 

Ovulation is a process that happens when the mature egg is released from the ovary for fertilization. If the egg isn’t fertilized, the body sends out the egg through menstruation. 

In some cases, hormonal imbalance happens which means the woman doesn’t make enough hormones needed for the ovulation process. So when ovulation does not happen, the ovary develops many small cysts (fluid-filled sacs). This cyst is responsible for the production of hormones called androgens and thus it leads to PCOS. 


How is PCOS diagnosed?


Recent diagnostic criteria according to Androgen excess society (AES) 2006 are,

  • Hyperandrogenism 
  • Oligo-ovulation / anovulation 
  • Polycystic ovaries 
  • Exclusion of other related diseases

If a person is suspected to have PCOS, a blood test, and pelvic ultrasound is the next step that should be taken for confirmation. 

Blood is taken to assess hormones, lipid levels, and glucose. 

Pelvic ultrasound is taken to scan the ovaries. 

After the diagnosis of PCOS, the person is prone to have diabetes and also has an increased risk of developing sleep apnea, hypertension, depression, and cardiac problems. 


What are the clinical features of PCOS?


  1. Reproductive Features – 



Ovulatory and menstrual dysfunction 


Complications in pregnancy


Pregnancy-induced diabetes (Gestational diabetes)

Pregnancy-induced hypertensive disorders 

Neonatal complications 

Increased endometrial hyperplasia   


  1. Metabolic features 

Insulin resistance 

Metabolic disorder 


Type- 2 diabetes 

Increased cardiovascular risk factors 


  1. Psychological features 



Poor self-esteem 


Risk factors of PCOS


  1. Genetic 

Monozygotic twins 

One of the main risk factors for PCOS is genetics, especially in monozygotic twins. Monozygotic twins are identical twins. If one twin gets PCOS, the other twin also gets PCOS due to the genetic component. 

A first-degree relative is an individual’s parents or siblings or child who has PCOS have a high risk of having PCOS themselves. 


  1. Obesity 

In obese individuals, PCOS is very common especially in pre-pubertal obesity (if the person is obese before the onset of obesity).


  1. Early onset of menarche 

A person who attains puberty before 12 years comes falls under this category. 


  1. Large or small for gestational age 

If a person is born with less weight or more weight along with size, they are likely to have PCOS. 






There are many studies where pregnant women with PCOS develop complications during delivery. There is an increased risk of women having gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia, and cesarean section if she has PCOS. 

Miscarriage is also very common in women with PCOS. 

There is no evidence-based study for postpartum depression among women with PCOS. 




Obesity is the main cause of the development of PCOS. obesity increases insulin resistance which in turn results in hyperinsulinemia and this high insulin increases adipogenesis and decreases lipolysis. Obesity is responsible for hormonal imbalance which increases androgen levels. 

The primary therapy for PCOS during their reproductive age group is lifestyle modification. 




Metabolic syndrome is a group of abnormalities in our body that include insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. 

Several studies show that the main cause of this metabolic syndrome is hyperandrogenism. 

In a study, first-degree relatives showed a higher prevalence of hypertension and hyperlipidemia in women with PCOS. 




Depression and anxiety are very common in women with PCOS.

There are also risk factors in women with PCOS such as eating disorders that lead to obesity, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and poor body image. 




Hyperandrogenism is the production of androgens which is a male sex hormone. In PCOS, excess production of androgens happens and this leads to symptoms like facial hair and acne. 

These high levels lead to altered gonadotropin levels. If these levels are high then the person can face issues with ovulation. These high levels will affect the ovulation process by stopping it from occurring.




The primary treatment for the management of PCOS is the dietary modification and physical activity. So lifestyle modification is a major therapy recommended. 

Dietary management 

Women with PCOS should definitely plan their PCOD diet chart. They should

  • Calculate macros based on body compositions. 
  • Have a balanced diet with all the macros (Carbohydrates, protein, and fats along with vegetables). 
  • Exercise. It is very important for proper cardiovascular function and increases energy expenditure. 

Having a balanced diet and doing physical activity consistently has an approach that deals with the fundamental problem of PCOS which will help to improve the patient from the long-term consequences including, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.




The secondary treatment for PCOS is suggesting supplements. There are no specific supplements given for PCOS but for hormonal disturbances, supplements are suggested. 

The ORS (oral contraceptive pills) are generally recommended to improve hyperandrogenism and insulin resistance. 

Generally, medical therapy for PCOS is given to reduce the symptoms. 

In the reproductive age group, OCP is given for conception, and metformin is given for insulin resistance.  

Here are some common myths you come across when dealing with PCOS-


Myth- 1 – Doing seed cycling prevents PCOS 


Seed cycling is a naturopathy treatment that is given to women with PCOS. 

Seed cycling claims to optimize the hormones during the menstrual cycle and also relieves symptoms that are caused by hormonal imbalances. 

But there is no scientific evidence for seed cycling and PCOS. 

In seed cycling, the seeds that are asked to consume are flax seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds. 


So we can consume these seeds as a good fat source but we cannot reverse PCOS. 


Myth- 2  – All women with PCOS are obese. 


Only around 50% of women with PCOS are obese. Thin women with PCOS do have other features of PCOS like excess facial hair, irregular menstrual cycles, and anovulation. On ultrasound, there will be a polycystic pattern. 


Myth- 3 – PCOS is not linked to diabetes. 


PCOS patients have insulin resistance and are at increased risk of developing Diabetes mellitus. However, the actual cause and the effect are still not known.


Myth- 4 – Women with PCOS should have a gluten-free diet 


Gluten is a protein found in wheat, Raje, and barley. A gluten-free diet is not recommended for women with PCOS unless she has celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. These are immune-related disorders in which the body responds abnormally to gluten, causing digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, nausea, etc. 


Myth- 5 reducing your weight can get rid of PCOS


By following a proper diet, and physical activity, you cannot completely overcome PCOS, you need to bring down the blood glucose level to the normal range, regulate your hormonal levels to improve your ovulation, and regulate the menstrual cycle to completely get rid of PCOS. 


Myth- 6 PCOS affects only women who are above 30 years 


PCOS does not show any age bias. The syndrome can easily affect adolescent age groups by showing irregular periods. Pubertal obesity is one of the causes of the occurrence of PCOS in adolescent age groups. 


Myth- 7 PCOS is only about irregular periods. 


Abnormal lipid levels, hyperglycemia, and metabolic syndrome are very common in women with PCOS. Even there are higher chances for endometrial cancer and breast cancer occurrence. So PCOS is not only irregular periods, there are so many risk factors that occur in PCOS. 


Myth- 8 – PCOS and PCOD are different


PCOS is also called PCOD. PCOS and PCOD are the same, they are concerned with ovaries. 

PCOS is a polycystic syndrome and PCOD is a disease condition. 

PCOS and PCOD are common metabolic disorders that are linked to hyperglycemia, hormonal imbalance, etc.

They both have similar symptoms and risk factors. Aetiology of both is the same. 

The only difference between PCOS and PCOD is the abbreviation. 

There is no scientific evidence for the differentiation of PCOD and PCOS. 

Our body requires sufficient nutrition for survival, as it also helps in body function and staying healthy in general. Food is the primary source of our daily nutrient requirements followed by supplements that help to boost the nutritional level of our body.

As seen in the previous article, food, nutrition and, nutrients are three different entities that are interrelated but not the same.

Food is the primary source of energy while nutrients are part of the food that nourishes us.

Then what does nutrition imply?

Nutrition represents the entire process by which we get our required energy and nutrients from food.


Once we understand this basic difference between food and nutrition, the next step is to know about our macros and micros.

Macros and micros are short forms of macronutrients and micronutrients. The nutrients in food are divided into macros and micros based on the amount required by the body.


In this article, we will talk in detail about macros, micros their functions, types and deficiency.




As the name implies macronutrients are required by our body in large quantities. These nutritive components are needed by our body to maintain energy and structure.


Our body cannot synthesize macronutrients and hence they must be obtained through diet. It is also crucial to note that a healthy diet never excludes or limits the intake of any macronutrient.


There are three main macronutrients and they are equally important for our body to function properly.

They are as follows:







Carbohydrates or carbs are the body’s primary energy source. It is also involved in providing energy to the central nervous system i.e our brains. Carbohydrates are broken down by our body into glucose or sugar molecules, which act as an energy source. Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen are the three elements that make carbohydrates.


Around 60% of our calorie requirement per day should be fulfilled by carbohydrates. They are present in both healthy and unhealthy food. Therefore, it is important to make sure that our carbohydrate requirement is fulfilled by healthy food sources.


Carbohydrates are further classified as-





Starches are complex in nature and have intact fibres. On the other hand, Fibres are also complex carbohydrates and are mostly present in plant-based foods. These help in digestion

Of the three types, sugars are simple carbohydrates that can easily be broken down and absorbed by the body.


Some of the best sources of carbs include Rice, Wheat, Millets, Fruits, etc…


The most commonly asked question is about sugar cravings.

We often feel the urge to snack on sugary foods. But do we crave sugar or sweet-tasting food?

Here’s a simple test to find out.

Keep a bowl of sugar and try eating it fully.

Not able to finish the bowl?


Then you are not craving sugars but looking for hyper-palatable foods to comfort yourself.




Protein intake is very important as it is required by all the cells in our body to function properly.

It plays a vital role in tissue structure, hormones, metabolism, and transport systems.

It is also involved with enzymes that regulate metabolism and balance the acid/base environment of the body.


Proteins are made of amino acids and are found throughout the body. They make up many enzymes, haemoglobin, and antibodies. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein which are classified as essential and non-essential.


The protein requirement for each individual will vary depending on their age, medical condition, health goal, etc… On average 25% of the calorie requirement must be fulfilled by the protein intake.


Some sources of protein are eggs, meat, poultry, legumes (sprouted), paneer, tofu, soy, fish, and seafood.


Now as we understand the importance of proteins, it is also crucial to address the common perception that eating too much protein might cause kidney problem


Eating the required amount of protein won’t cause any harm when consumed within the required limits.

You need to be cautious about protein intake only when kidney function is already affected.



Fats from food provide the body with energy and help in other functions like insulating organs and making up the cell membrane.

It is also involved in the absorption and transportation of fat-soluble vitamins. Other functions of the fat include brain and nerve function, and hormone balance.


About 15% of daily calories should be from fat intake. It should also be noted that the fat type and source are important to prevent adverse health effects.


Fat, in general, is classified into :

Saturated fat

Unsaturated fat – MUFA, PUFA, Omega 3, and Omega 6

Trans fat


Saturated fats are solid at room temperature due to their chemical structure. They tend to be high in cholesterol, hence consuming foods rich in saturated fats tends to cause more diseases.

On the other hand, unsaturated fat such as Monosaturated fat and Polysaturated fat is known as healthy fats. They help to control cholesterol at healthy levels.

It is always better to balance out saturated fats with other types of fats such as MUFA and PUFA.

Trans fat comes from industrial fat processing where saturated or unsaturated fats are processed by adding hydrogen ions to them.

Trans fats are also solid at room temperature.

The process of adding hydrogen ions is known as hydrogenation and they extend the shelf life of the product.


Good sources of fat include nuts and seeds, fatty fish, oil, butter, and ghee.


One of the most common thoughts that comes to our mind when we talk about fat is that it may increase our weight.

In reality, though fat contains more calories when compared to protein and carbohydrates it doesn’t mean that you will gain weight. Weight gain occurs only when there’s a calorie surplus. Fats in fact slow down digestion and help to make us feel satiety.

Excess calories from carbohydrates and protein can also be stored in our body as fat, increasing our overall weight.


Thus, the key to a healthy meal plan is having a balanced diet.




Micronutrients are required by our body in small quantities and but still, they cater to various important body functions.

Therefore, their deficiency can cause serious effects.


The term micronutrient encompasses both vitamins and minerals. It can also be classified as essential and non-essential micronutrients based on the ability of the body to produce them. It is estimated that around 30 vitamins and minerals cannot be synthesized by our body. And hence, they have to be made available through food intake or supplements.




In general, vitamins can be categorized as essential nutrients as most of them can’t be synthesized by our body and even if they are produced, the quantity is not sufficient.


Heat, acid or air can degrade vitamins as they are organic compounds produced by plants and animals.


It offers a wide range of health benefits such as boosting the immune system, aiding brain and nervous system functioning etc.

Based on solubility, vitamins are further classified as Fat-soluble and Water-soluble vitamins.


Fat-soluble vitamin


They are predominantly found in high-fat foods and are also better absorbed into the bloodstream when consumed with fat.

Fat-soluble vitamins include-

– Vitamin A

– Vitamin D

– Vitamin E

– Vitamin k


Water soluble Vitamins


Water soluble vitamins are cannot be easily stored by the body as they dissolve in water upon entering the body.

Since they are not stored in our bodies, we have to get them regularly through diet.

Water-soluble vitamins include-

– Vitamin B1 – Thiamine

– Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin

– Vitamin B3 – Niacin

– Vitamin B5 – pantothenic acid

– Vitamin B6 – pyridoxine

– Vitamin B7 – Biotin

– Vitamin B9 – Folate

– Vitamin B12 – cobalamin

– Vitamin C


The major food source of vitamins is fruits and vegetables.




Minerals are inorganic compounds from the earth that are required for optimal body functions.

It helps in strengthening bones, preventing tooth decay, carrying oxygen, and supporting the immune system.

Minerals are classified based on the quantity required by the body as major minerals and trace minerals.


Major minerals:

– Magnesium

– calcium

– phosphorus

– sulfur

– sodium

– potassium

– chloride


Trace minerals:

– Iron

– Selenium

– Zinc

– Manganese

– Chromium

– Copper

– Iodine

– Fluoride

– Molybdenum


Sources: Fruits, vegetables, nuts, milk and dairy products, Fortified foods, egg yolk.


We can see from an overview of macronutrients and micronutrients that micronutrient deficiency is more common.

Let us see in detail the common micronutrient deficiency –


Vitamin D

Vitamin B12






It is one of the important fat-soluble vitamins that is needed for maintaining serum calcium levels and for bone density.


Vitamin D must be obtained from the sun, but it is evident from research that we don’t get enough from the sun.


We can get vitamin D from food sources such as egg yolk, mushrooms, dairy products, and fortified dairy products. But they are not sufficient so it’s always better to consume a supplement.



Deficiency of vitamin D mostly leads to low bone density and can also lead to osteoporosis in adults


What causes Vitamin D deficiency?

When we don’t get enough vitamin D from food or the sun, our body cannot convert vitamin D into its active form.


Who is at risk?

People with malabsorption syndrome ( Crohn’s disease )

People with chronic kidney disease (where kidney won’t be able to convert vitamin D)

People with hyperparathyroidism ( where the body’s calcium levels are controlled by too much thyroid hormone)

How to prevent it?

You can combat vitamin D deficiency by taking supplements


What is the best time to get vitamin D from the sun?

The best time to get vitamin D from the sun is morning 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

It is said that ultraviolet rays are intense during this time and our body can more efficiently make vitamin D

UV rays from the sun are classified based on their wavelengths as UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVB rays are responsible for producing the active form of Vitamin D in our bodies.

Additionally, it only takes a small amount of UV rays for our bodies to produce vitamin D. Therefore, we don’t have to expose ourselves to the sun for a long period. Excessive UV exposure will only damage our skin.






Vitamin B12 also known as cobalamin is a water-soluble vitamin that can be stored in our liver and can be used in the later stage of life when we absorb less vitamin B12.

Source: fish, shellfish, dairy products, nutritional yeast


To form and maintain a healthy nervous system


Leads to neurological problems – poor memory, dementia, psychosis

Megaloblastic anaemia / pernicious anaemia (reduction in healthy RBC)


Loss of appetite and weight loss

Who is at risk?

Since B12 is mostly obtained from animal sources, vegetarians and vegans are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.

Older persons (who cannot absorb enough B12 from food)

Malabsorption syndrome


Tingling sensation in feet

Muscle weakness and numbness

Weakness and fatigue

Irregular heart rate

How to prevent it?

You can either choose to have vitamin B12 shots (injection) or can have supplements.



Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in our body and is associated with our bone health.

It is also linked with parathyroid hormone, vitamin D, and calcitonin.


Formation of bones and teeth

Linked with bone cell formation and destruction

Muscle contraction

Transmitting nerve impulses


Green leafy vegetables

Nuts and seeds


Calcium-fortified foods


Muscle aches

Numbness and tingling sensation in hands and feet

Low bone density (bones get fractured easily)

Confusions, memory loss

Who is at risk?

Malnutrition and malabsorption

Certain genetic factors

Women at the menopausal stage

Those who have less vitamin D levels

How to prevent it?

Add more calcium-rich foods to the diet

Take calcium supplements.



Iron forms an essential part of proteins and enzymes. Thus, it takes part in many vital functions of the body such as aiding muscles to store and use oxygen.


Dietary iron can be classified into heme and non-heme iron where heme iron comes from animal sources and non-heme iron comes from plant sources


Heme Iron:


Organ meats

Red meat

Non-heme Iron:



Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds

Dark green leafy vegetables

Beans and legumes



Formation of red blood cells

Oxygen transport

Produces anaerobic energy

Makes up proteins and enzymes



Iron deficiency is the most common worldwide

Iron deficiency anaemia is a condition in which our blood lacks healthy red blood cells.



Brittle nails

Less immunity

Extreme fatigue


Pale skin

Unusual cravings for the non-nutritive substance

Poor appetite


Who is at risk?

Women (due to blood loss during menstruation)

Vegans and vegetarians

People who have vitamin A deficiency can intensify iron deficiency


How to prevent it?

Include more iron-rich foods

To maximize iron absorption by including vitamin C-rich foods

Iron supplement



Iodine is an important mineral for normal thyroid function. In case of deficiency, it leads to enlargement of the thyroid gland and our body cannot make enough thyroid hormone.



Formation of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4)


Iodised salt


Saltwater fish and seafood



Swelling in neck

Unexpected Weight gain

Fatigue and weakness

Hair loss

Dry flaky skin

Impaired growth and development


How to prevent it?

Since the RDA for iodine is very less including iodized salt on a regular basis might help.




In this section, we have listed a few micronutrients that work best when taken together.


Iron and vitamin C

Vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron from non-heme sources (plant sources) by our body.


Vitamin D and calcium

Vitamin D and calcium are important for bone strength and work together to protect our bones wherein vitamin d is important for calcium absorption in our body.

So even if we take enough calcium from foods it might not be used properly if we have vitamin D deficiency.


Vitamin K and calcium

Too much vitamin K can lead to deposits of calcium in our arteries.

New research findings show that vitamin K is a regulator of calcium and is important for calcium deposition in bones


Vitamin B12 and folate

Folic acid and B12 work closely in making RBC which in turn helps with the proper functioning of the body.



The following combination of micronutrients is not supposed to be taken together for the following reasons-


Zinc and copper

Too much zinc can lead to copper deficiency by reducing the absorption of copper in our intestines.


Zinc, calcium, and iron

Excessive Zinc and calcium will inhibit iron absorption. In turn, excessive iron and calcium can also reduce zinc absorption.


Now, let’s bust some myths revolving around macro and micronutrients.


Myth: Eliminate carbohydrates from your diet to lose weight.


Fact: Eliminating carbs might initially show you results since you will be losing your water weight and not your body fat. In the long run, this type of diet is not sustainable as carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body.


Myth: Are you vegan or vegetarian? Then you are not getting enough proteins.


Fact: It’s true that plant-based sources have incomplete proteins. But when you take a balanced diet, your body will get the nine essential amino acids, even if it’s a plant-based diet. Therefore, it’s not true that if you are vegan or vegetarian you don’t get enough proteins.


Myth: Your body doesn’t need fat


Fact: Many are skeptical about fat intake as it might lead to weight gain. But one must know the difference between good and bad fat. Good fats are required by the body to perform various vital functions, for example, our brain requires good fat sources for energy.

Myth: Vitamin overdose is not possible.


Fact: It’s possible to overdose on vitamins, especially when you are taking supplements as well as fortified foods or if you are taking supplements for a very long time. Hence, it’s essential to take supplements under the guidance of a nutritionist/physician and track your vitamin intake.




If you are someone looking for a nutritionist’s guidance and find yourself encountering terms you don’t understand, you have come to the right place.


The nutritionist might tell you many things in Greek and Latin and you might be confused. It is true that some of our clients feel the same way when we suggest they take supplements to combat deficiencies. When we explain to them that they aren’t allergic but intolerant, they seem to get a tad confused. It is also possible that some people have a misconception about processed foods. 


By understanding the most commonly used terminologies and their differences, you will be better able to understand what you eat and what your nutritionist recommends.




Most of us confuse the terms nutrient and nutrition. The term nutrition encompasses the term nutrient. 


Nutrients – are substances that are required for the nourishment of organisms while 

Nutrition –  is the entire process by which organisms obtain energy and nutrients from food.


We might also think food and nutrients are the same.


Food is the source of energy that helps our body to function properly and stay alive.


Nutrients are a part of food, which are used and metabolized by our body cells to provide energy.


Example: Fruit is your food and the vitamins and minerals in it are the nutrients.


Recipe – Smoothie is the food, the carbs, vitamins, minerals, protein, and fat we get from the ingredients are the nutrients.



It is possible to experience adverse reactions after eating certain foods. 


These reactions can be categorized as immunologic (allergic) and non-immunologic (intolerance).


Many people mistake food intolerance for allergy as one of its symptoms is allergy-like reactions.



  • Allergies occur when the body’s immune system responds or overreacts to a particular type of protein. 
  • This protein is usually from foods, pollens, house dust, animal hair, or moulds and they are called allergens. 
  • During allergy, our body produces antibodies to defend substances that are usually harmless.




Food intolerances arise if the body is unable to digest a certain food. This impairment may be due to a lack of digestive enzymes or a sensitivity to certain chemicals.


Food intolerance refers to the body’s inability to digest certain chemicals in food due to lack of enzymes or sensitivity to the chemical.


  • These are chemical reactions that occur that are not immune responses.
  • This often happens when we can’t properly digest particular food or its components. 
  • Food intolerances are uniquely individualized. 


Food allergy is more severe and fatal than food intolerances.


Example for allergy: Peanut allergy or shellfish allergy – A person who is allergic to peanut or shellfish, and eats one of these could even die without medical assistance. 

Symptoms: can start with rashes, hives, and itching and can develop into fatal symptoms like dilation of blood vessels, drop in blood pressure, etc. 


Example of food intolerance: It mostly occurs from enzyme deficiency. 

Many people can be lactose intolerant – they won’t have the enzyme lactase which is necessary to digest lactose, the main sugar in milk.

Symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, etc. 



The newest trend buzzing around among people is “saying NO to processed food”.

But one must understand that food does not make it from the farm to the fork unprocessed.

Even the fruits that we eat require some processing before they reach our plates. 

Choosing minimally processed foods is probably a better option than ultra-processed foods.


Processing:  Processing is anything that alters the fundamental nature of agricultural produce, such as freezing, dicing, drying, etc.

  • The nutrients in these foods will still be intact. 

Example: The milk we drink daily requires processing such as pasteurization to extend its shelf life. 


Ultra processing: A technique that converts agricultural produce into an entirely different form is known as ultra processing. 


Highly processed foods, also known as ultra-processed foods, are relatively cheap, convenient, and tasty but contain a lot of refined carbohydrates, saturated fat, and salt. 

  • They could also be referred to as hyper-palatable foods. 

Example: Potato chips, bread, soft drinks, etc.




DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS: A dietary supplement is a vitamin, mineral, herb, or nutrient that a person takes to treat or combat nutritional deficiencies, improve their overall well-being, or improve their overall wellness.

Dietary supplement labels may make certain health-related claims, but they are not intended to treat or cure any specific disease. Dietary supplements are generally safe to consume and cause no adverse reactions. 


MEDICINE: This is a preparation or substance used to treat a particular disease and ease symptoms. Several chemicals are mixed together in laboratories to produce medicines.


For example, fish oil that we consume to lower the cholesterol level is a supplement and the fever medication that we get only with a doctor’s prescription is medicine.




COD LIVER OIL – as the name suggests, it’s derived from codfish livers.

The oils in these fish tend to build up in the liver, and they also contain high levels of vitamins A and D.


FISH OIL – Fish oil comes from the flesh of fatty fishes such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon. 

This results in higher concentrations of EPA and DHA.

Fish oil doesn’t contain Vitamin A or D.


However, cod liver oil often contains a lower concentration of omega 3’s when compared to omega 3 fish oil.




SATURATED FATS: Saturated fat is solid at room temperature due to its chemical structure. 

Foods high in saturated fats tend to be high in cholesterol, hence consuming foods rich in saturated fats tends to cause more diseases. 

It has also been found that foods containing saturated fats are highly processed and contain more sugar and sodium which might have an effect on our body. 

Therefore, saturated fats should always be balanced with other types of fats such as MUFA and PUFA.


Example: butter, cream, cheese, coconut, etc.


TRANS FAT: Trans fat comes from industrial fat processing where saturated or unsaturated fats are processed by adding hydrogen ions to them. 

Trans fats are also solid at room temperature. 

The process of adding hydrogen ions is known as hydrogenation and they extend the shelf life of the product.


Example: margarine, shortenings, etc.


When we talk about nutrition, we often hear the following statements. We even hear some of these statements every day. But how true are they?


In this article, we will debunk 6 such statements:




Our common perception is that flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.


But in reality, they are a rich source of fiber, but not the best source of omega-3.

The omega-3 fatty acid found in flax seeds is ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid), which our bodies cannot convert to EPA/DHA.


Therefore, the most ideal choice is to consume EPA/DHA-containing foods such as fatty fish, salmon, tuna, etc.




Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, maida, and rye which is responsible for the elasticity of these flours. 




Individuals with celiac disease or individuals with gluten sensitivity or those who can’t tolerate even small amounts of the protein gluten should go gluten-free. 


If you are not gluten sensitive or have celiac disease, eliminating gluten from your diet can cause nutritional deficiencies. 




Eggs are an economical and easily available source of high-quality protein which is a key source of many essential nutrients. 


Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is produced majorly in our body, forms an important part of our cells and is very important for the proper functioning of our body. 

While cholesterol is important for body functions, high amounts can lead to heart problems. 

But however not all cholesterol is bad, the cholesterol that comes from the foods you eat has a minimal impact because the body naturally regulates the amount of cholesterol that circulates in the blood.




For many years now, we all have been thinking that egg yolk is full of saturated fat. But, the truth is that the major fat portion in eggs comes from MUFA and PUFA. 

Saturated fats when consumed along with MUFA and PUFA don’t show to have much effect on cholesterol.  

Also, if you are still not convinced and are skeptical about consuming whole eggs daily, remember that consuming saturated fats along with lots of ultra-processed foods/refined carbohydrates is unhealthy. 

Instead include eggs as a part of your healthy diet along with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 




Many people think eating late at night will make them fat but the truth is it doesn’t. 

According to science, a calorie is a calorie taken regardless of the time. 

What causes weight gain is the type of food you eat and the number of calories you eat. 

Most studies suggest that nighttime eaters mostly make poor choices of food. 

Studies show that most people who eat late at night binge eat to keep them awake, for this they rely on hyper-palatable foods that are high in sugar and fats that have low satiety value and make them eat more. 

The second most important point is that the calories that go in from the hyper-palatable foods must be burned out, if not definitely it will make them gain weight. 

VERDICT – Eating late at night is not bad but the type of food we eat matters the most and the calories we eat must be within the limits. 




For most of our lives, breakfast has often been dubbed “BREAKING THE FAST” and is considered one of the most important meals of the day.


They say skipping breakfast might lead you to overeat later in the day.


But, this is not true.


Also, it may not cause you to eat less either. It definitely depends on the individual. 


If you are taking appropriate amounts of calories and nutrients throughout the day, skipping breakfast won’t make much difference. 




A detox diet – is a more popular diet trend that claims to detox/ clean our body and eliminates harmful toxins from our body. 

A typical detox diet involves a period of fasting followed by a diet that includes only fruits, vegetables, fruit juices, and water. Sometimes it might also include herbs, teas, and enema. 


THE TRUTH – our body doesn’t need any detox program or diet, it’s naturally designed to detox itself. Our organs such as the liver, kidney, and lungs are detoxification machines that are naturally designed to get rid of the toxins from our body. 

That means maintaining a healthy diet is important in order to maintain the proper functioning of these organs. 


THE CON – The detox diets can also be dangerous since they include only a particular type of food group and avoid most of them and can cause nutritional deficiencies, electrolyte imbalances, and other problems.

Hydration power!

Our body is made up of almost 60% of water. Water is very important for many basic functions of the body such as transportation, chemical reactions, lubrication, shock absorption and temperature regulation.

Summer is a time where hydration becomes even more crucial for proper functioning of the body. The requirement of water for any individual depends on their age, gender, occupation and environmental conditions. But, in general, 3-4 litres of water on an average is vital and advisable.

Signs of dehydration-

Dehydration can occur to people of all ages but infants, children, and elders are more vulnerable to dehydration.

Some signs of dehydration:
-Muscle cramps
-Dark urine or no urination
-Dry nasal passage
-Cracked and dry lips
-Dry skin
-Feeling extreme thirst or parched

A simple method to identify if you are properly hydrated or not is to check for the color of your urine. Urine should be transparent to pale yellow in color, dark color urine can be a sign of dehydration. Also, try to focus on replenishing the lost fluids by sweating to prevent dehydration. Apart from water, consuming drinks containing electrolytes such tender coconuts are also great options.

Significance of electrolytes-

Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electrical charge. The electrolytes in the body are Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Chloride, Phosphate, and Bicarbonates. Your cells use electrolytes to produce energy, which is why you might feel tired if you’re low on them. They’re all connected to fluid loss! That’s why the dynamic duo of water and electrolytes is so important for hydration.

An electrolyte imbalance can happen for many reasons such as,
-Severe burns
-Heart diseases
-Kidney diseases
-Eating disorders

Signs of electrolytic imbalance-

There are many symptoms that pop up due to electrolytic imbalance but it depends on the type of electrolyte that is out of balance. Some of the signs include fatigue, mood changes, confusion, stomach pain, loss of appetite, numbness in the hands and feet, irregular heartbeat or muscle cramping. Electrolytes are also found in foods like dense leafy greens, cucumbers, water fruits and celery.

Benefits of water and electrolytes in Summer

– It helps to balance your body temperature. Hence, keeps you cool and cope with summer better.
-Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance can cause brain fog as electrolytes play an essential role in supporting the neurotransmitters that your brain depends on.
-Drinking plenty of water and electrolytes may enhance physical performance during exercise sessions and especially during summer when the heat can induce further dehydration.
-Water and electrolytes help the blood carry oxygen to different parts of the body.
-Proper balance will also support digestive process.
-It will help you to keep your skin healthy!

Enjoy the summer to the fullest by ensuring to stay hydrated throughout and keeping your electrolytic balance in check!