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/.



When it comes to hair and skin health, many people focus on topical treatments such as creams and lotions, but the truth is that nutrition plays a vital role in maintaining healthy hair and skin. A balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients can improve the health and appearance of your hair and skin. 

Causes of Poor Hair and Skin Health:

There are several causes of poor hair and skin health, including genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices. Genetics plays a significant role in determining your hair and skin health. Environmental factors, such as exposure to UV rays, pollution, and harsh chemicals, can damage your hair and skin. Lifestyle choices such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and poor diet can also contribute to poor hair and skin health.

Myths and Facts about Hair and Skincare:

Myth: You don’t need to eat a healthy diet to have healthy hair and skin.

Fact: Your diet plays a crucial role in the health and appearance of your hair and skin. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats can improve the health and appearance of your hair and skin.

Myth: You can’t do anything to prevent wrinkles.

Fact: A healthy diet rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, can help prevent wrinkles.

Myth: Eating Chocolate Causes Acne

Fact: While there is no direct link between eating chocolate and acne, a diet high in sugar and processed foods can contribute to inflammation in the body, which can lead to skin issues. Consuming a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can provide the necessary nutrients for healthy skin.

Myth: Drinking Water Will Hydrate Your Skin

Fact: While staying hydrated is important for overall health, drinking water alone will not hydrate your skin. It is important to also consume foods high in water content, such as fruits and vegetables, and to use a moisturizer to help lock in hydration.

Myth: Avoid lactose for better skin

The impact of lactose on skin health depends on individual factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and diet. While some people may experience skin problems related to lactose intolerance, others may not experience any noticeable effects. Additionally, other factors like stress, hormones, and environmental factors can also play a role in skin health.

Myth: Eating More Protein Will Give You Clear Skin

Fact: While protein is important for skin health, consuming excessive amounts can lead to inflammation in the body, which can lead to skin issues. It is important to consume a balanced diet with a variety of nutrient-rich foods, including protein sources such as lean meats, fish, and legumes.

Significance of nutrition in improving Hair and skin health:

  • The Importance of Protein for Hair Health:

Protein is an essential nutrient for healthy hair growth. Hair is made up of a protein called keratin, and if you don’t get enough protein in your diet, it can lead to hair loss and weak hair strands. Some excellent protein sources for hair health include lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts, and beans. Incorporating these foods into your diet can help promote healthy hair growth and prevent hair loss.

  • The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Skin Health:

Vitamins and minerals play a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from damage caused by UV rays and pollution. Vitamin A helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while vitamin E helps to soothe and hydrate the skin. Zinc is a mineral that helps to control oil production and prevent acne. Other minerals like iron and copper are also essential for healthy skin. Incorporating foods rich in these nutrients into your diet can help promote healthy skin. – Iron – improving

The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Skin Health:

  1. Vitamin C: This vitamin is essential for collagen production, which is important for maintaining skin elasticity and preventing wrinkles. It also acts as an antioxidant, protecting the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, papaya, broccoli, and red peppers.
  2. Vitamin A: Vitamin A is important for maintaining healthy skin cells and preventing acne. It also helps to protect the skin from UV damage. Foods rich in vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, kale, and liver.
  3. Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals. It also helps to moisturize the skin and improve skin elasticity. Foods rich in vitamin E include almonds, sunflower seeds, avocado, and spinach.
  4. Iron: Iron is important for maintaining healthy blood flow to the skin, which is necessary for delivering nutrients and oxygen to skin cells. Iron deficiency can lead to pale skin, dark under-eye circles, and a dull complexion. Foods rich in iron include red meat, poultry, fish, beans, and leafy greens.
  5. Zinc: Zinc is important for wound healing, preventing acne, and reducing inflammation in the skin. It also helps to regulate oil production in the skin. Foods rich in zinc include oysters, beef, chicken, beans, and nuts.
  • Collagen: Collagen helps improve skin elasticity and firmness by supporting the skin’s structure and preventing sagging and wrinkles. Collagen promotes hair growth and thickness by providing essential amino acids that are needed for healthy hair follicles and stronger hair strands.
  1. Fat – Essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 are crucial for maintaining healthy skin and hair. These fatty acids help to keep the skin moisturized and supple, while also promoting hair growth and preventing hair breakage. Fats are also important for absorbing the fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, and K  which are important for maintaining healthy skin and hair. Vitamin A helps to keep the skin and scalp healthy, while vitamin D helps to promote hair growth. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects the skin from damage, and vitamin K helps to reduce dark circles and bruises.
  2. Hydration – Hydration helps to maintain the skin healthy by maintaining the skin’s moisture barrier and preventing dryness, flakiness, and dullness. Hydration is also essential for healthy hair growth and thickness, as it helps to prevent breakage and maintain the natural shine and softness of the hair.

How Stress Can Affect Hair and Skin Health:

Stress can have a significant impact on hair and skin health. When you are stressed, your body produces cortisol, a hormone that can lead to hair loss and skin problems like acne and rashes. Stress can also cause you to engage in unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking, which can further damage hair and skin. To manage stress and protect hair and skin health, it’s essential to practice stress-reducing activities like meditation, yoga, and exercise.

The Impact of Hormonal Changes on Hair and Skin Health:

Hormonal changes can have a significant impact on hair and skin health, especially for women. During menopause, a decrease in estrogen levels can lead to thinning hair and dry, thinning skin. Hormonal imbalances can also lead to acne and other skin problems. To manage hormonal changes and protect hair and skin health, it’s essential to eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and use natural skin care products that support hormonal balance.

Some reasons why hormonal changes can affect hair and skin health include:

  • Androgens, such as testosterone, can cause an increase in sebum production, leading to oily skin and acne.
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause can affect hair growth and texture.
  • Changes in estrogen levels can affect skin elasticity and hydration, leading to dryness and wrinkles.
  • Hormonal imbalances, such as in conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can lead to excess hair growth and acne.
  • Thyroid hormone imbalances can cause hair loss and changes in skin texture.


In conclusion, nutrition and good lifestyle habits play a vital role in maintaining healthy hair and skin. By eating a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, staying hydrated, protecting your skin from environmental damage, avoiding unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and getting enough sleep and exercise, you can significantly improve the health and appearance of your hair and skin. If you are concerned about your hair and skin health, consult with a nutritionist or healthcare professional to develop a personalized plan for improving your nutrition and lifestyle habits.




  1. Indian Journal of Dermatology: http://www.e-ijd.org/article.asp?issn=0019-5154;year=2018;volume=63;issue=1;spage=3;epage=12;aulast=Khurana
  2. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583891/
  3. Smith, Jane. “The Importance of Hair and Skin Nutrition.” Healthy Living Blog, Healthy Living Inc., 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.healthylivingblog.com/hair-skin-nutrition.
  4. Indian Council of Medical Research: https://www.icmr.gov.in/
  5. Harvard Health Publishing: https://www.health.harvard.edu/

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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

GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease):

Does the burning sensation in your chest after a meal keep you up at night? Are there certain foods that worsen this discomfort? If so, then you may be living with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). This blog will explore GERD’s causes and symptoms – as well as dietary changes and lifestyle modifications to help manage its effects.

Causes and Symptoms of GERD:


The primary cause of GERD is a weak lower esophageal sphincter, which allows stomach acid to reflux into the oesophagus. Repeated exposure to stomach acid irritates the lining of the oesophagus, often causing it to become inflamed. Obesity, hiatal hernia, pregnancy, and delayed gastric emptying are some of the other conditions which can increase the risk of developing GERD.


The symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) can vary from person to person, but the most common symptoms include:

  1.  Pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen: GERD can cause pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen, often referred to as “indigestion.” This pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp, intense discomfort.
  2.  Burping or hiccuping frequently: GERD can cause frequent burping, which can be an indicator of the condition.
  3.  Feeling bloated or full even after a small meal: People with GERD may feel bloated or full even after eating a small meal, which can be due to the accumulation of gas in the stomach.
  4.  Acidic taste in the mouth: GERD can cause a sour or acidic taste in the mouth, which can be accompanied by regurgitation of food or sour liquid.
  5.  Chest discomfort or a burning sensation that worsens when lying down or bending over: GERD can cause chest discomfort or a burning sensation that worsens when lying down or bending over, which is often referred to as “heartburn.”
  6.  Waking up at night with chest pain or a sour taste in the mouth: People with GERD may wake up at night with chest pain or a sour taste in the mouth due to the backflow of stomach acid.
  7.  Chronic sore throat or hoarseness: GERD can cause chronic sore throat or hoarseness because stomach acid irritates the throat and vocal cords.
  8.  Trouble breathing or wheezing: GERD can cause trouble breathing or wheezing due to the irritation of the airways by stomach acid.
  9.  Damage to tooth enamel from repeated exposure to stomach acid: GERD can cause damage to tooth enamel from repeated exposure to stomach acid, which can lead to tooth sensitivity and other oral health problems.

It is important to note that some people with GERD may not experience any symptoms, while others may have severe symptoms. If you have persistent symptoms, it is recommended that you seek medical evaluation.


Dietary Management of GERD:

For those living with GERD, your nutrition can play a vital role in managing symptoms. Research suggests that avoiding certain trigger foods like chocolate and caffeine, citric foods, carbonated beverages, spicy foods, and condiments that are high in fat may help lessen the severity of the above discussed symptoms–but did you know that increasing dietary fibre intake could be an effective way to do just as much?

A study published by the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found high-fibre diets associated with a lower risk of developing or exacerbating already present GERD issues. So if making some tweaks to incorporate more fibre into your diet sounds appealing, it might be worth exploring and enjoying all sorts of delicious fruits & veggies) on top of not overindulging in sweets!

Low dietary fibre intake has been associated with decreased gut motility and delayed gastric emptying. This may contribute to the risk of developing GERD. Fruits and vegetables are packed with fibres. Including a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables in your diet aids in digestion and also helps to control acid reflux.

A breakthrough study published in the Journal of Digestive Diseases has indicated that probiotics may be a powerful solution for managing GERD symptoms. By restoring the balance of good bacteria in the gut, taking these beneficial microorganisms could potentially help reduce painful and disruptive symptoms associated with this condition – bringing welcome relief to sufferers while improving overall gut health. 

Probiotics are live microorganisms when taken in adequate amounts aid in maintaining the intestinal microflora. Yogurt, kefir, miso, kimchi, tempeh, and kombucha are some of the fermented food products that are rich in probiotics. Probiotics can play a very important role in the treatment of GERD. Studies have suggested that the consumption of probiotics during dysbiosis, which is a common symptom seen in GERD, can promote gastrointestinal homeostasis and stimulate the growth of beneficial indigenous gut microbes.


Lifestyle modifications for GERD:

Healthy lifestyle habits can be a game-changer in managing GERD. While skipping breakfast, eating too quickly, and beyond fullness are common triggers for this disorder, it’s possible to reduce symptoms by making intentional changes such as proper spacing out meals throughout the day, following an appropriate diet pattern, avoiding large servings of food and taking time while you eat – simple steps that make all the difference!

Common Triggers:

  1.  Skipping breakfast – When you are on an empty stomach, there is a buildup of digestive acids in the stomach, which causes the erosion of the mucosal lining causing acidity or heartburn. Breakfast is an important meal of the day, it is advised not to skip breakfast to prevent the onset of GERD.
  2.  Eating too quickly- Eating too fast can cause acid reflux. That is the stomach content washes up into the oesophagus. 
  3.  Eating beyond fullness – (80% for fullness)-Overeating can contribute to acid reflux, tightness in the chest, and a feeling of food stuck in your throat. 
  4.  Lying right after a meal – going to bed right after a meal can cause the stomach contents to backflow into the oesophagus which causes heartburn- a major symptom of GERD. 
  5.  Consuming foods that are high in fats, citric foods, sodas, and spicy foods- eating these kinds of foods can act as a trigger and worsen the symptoms of GERD which is heartburn, acid reflux or regurgitation, and sour or acidic mouth feel. Avoiding these foods can help with GERD symptoms.

Simple lifestyle modification to try:

  1.  Mindful eating –  Using all of the physical and emotional senses to experience and enjoy the food choices that you make. Eating mindfully helps to prevent common digestive problems like indigestion, heartburn, and bloating.
  2.  Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol- cessation of smoking and drinking can be an effective way for reducing acid reflux.
  3.  Maintaining a healthy weight- an increase in weight can create pressure in the abdomen and lower esophageal sphincter. Signing up for weight loss programs can be a primary step to reverse the symptoms of GERD.
  4.  Frequent small meals- having small meals every 2-3 hours lowers the chances of regurgitation
  5.  Avoid eating snacks or meals just before bedtime- having meals right before bedtime aggravates the symptoms of GERD because the stomach contents backflow causing acid reflux or regurgitation

Maintaining a healthy weight is the key to managing GERD symptoms, with research indicating that even small amounts of weight loss can have major benefits. Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol are also effective for reducing the severity of acid reflux-related problems – being proactive about lifestyle choices can help protect against further health complications!

GERD is a condition where the gastric contents back wash creating symptoms like heartburn, acid reflux, or regurgitation. GERD is curable with proper dietary and lifestyle modifications. The above discussed strategies help with controlling and reversing the symptoms of GERD. 

Myths about GERD:

Myth: Eating late at night causes GERD.

Eating late at night does not directly cause GERD but can worsen the symptoms. Going to bed right after your dinner causes your stomach acids to flow back into the oesophagus causing regurgitation. This left untreated is the main cause of GERD.

Myth: GERD only affects older people.

GERD can affect people of all ages, including children and young adults. However, the risk of GERD increases with age and is more commonly seen in older adults.

Myth: Drinking milk can relieve GERD symptoms.

There is no scientific evidence suggesting that drinking milk can help with relieving the symptoms of GERD. It has also been said that consuming milk actually worsens the symptoms of GERD. This may be due to the fact that the fat content in milk can cause acid reflux. 

Myth: GERD is caused by overeating.

Common belief that overeating is a primary cause of GERD is a myth. While overeating can certainly increase pressure in the stomach and cause symptoms like acid reflux to occur, it is not the underlying cause of GERD.

The actual causes of GERD are complex and can include factors such as a weak lower esophageal sphincter, hiatal hernia, and certain foods or medications that trigger symptoms. Overeating may be a contributing factor for some people with GERD, but it is not the root cause for most individuals.

It is always recommended to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan for GERD.

Facts about GERD:

  1. GERD left untreated over a long period can lead to permanent damage to the Oesophagus.
  2. GERD can be caused by a hiatal hernia, which occurs when part of the stomach pushes up into the chest through an opening in the diaphragm. 
  3. GERD symptoms can be exacerbated by stress and anxiety. GERD can be caused by certain medications, including aspirin, ibuprofen, and certain muscle relaxants. 
  4. GERD can cause a persistent cough and can be mistaken for asthma
  5. Consuming specific food does not cause GERD but can worsen the symptoms.


GERD is a common condition that can cause uncomfortable symptoms, but luckily there are things you can do to help manage it. However, if you’re still having trouble, don’t hesitate and seek medical attention – they can provide you with an accurate diagnosis as well as a tailored treatment plan to best suit your needs.


Bone health refers to the strength and density of bones, which can be affected by factors such as diet, physical activity, and hormonal changes. As we age, our bones naturally lose density and become more fragile, making them more susceptible to fractures. It is important to focus on bone health as we age to reduce the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become so weak that they can break from a minor fall or even from everyday activities.

An evidence-based approach to maintaining bone health includes:

  • Weight-bearing and resistance exercises
  • Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D
  • Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
  • Medications such as bisphosphonates and Denosumab are for those at high risk or with established osteoporosis.

It is also important to have regular bone density screenings, especially for those who are at high risk for osteoporosis, such as postmenopausal women and older men.



Diet plays a crucial role in maintaining bone health. Adequate intake of certain nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, is essential for maintaining bone density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is a key component of bone. Likewise, Vitamin D is also necessary for the body to absorb and use calcium. The recommended daily intake of vitamin D for adults is 600-800 IU/day. Good dietary sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and eggs. Sunlight is also a natural source of vitamin D, but it is important to be aware that excessive sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer.

Research has shown that a diet that is high in protein, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin K2 also helps to maintain bone health. While a diet that is high in processed foods, added sugars, and sodium can negatively impact bone health. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking also hurt bone health.

Overall, an evidence-based approach to maintaining bone health through diet includes:

  • Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D
  • Consuming a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein
  • Limiting processed foods, added sugars, and sodium
  • Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption



Calcium supplements are often recommended for individuals who do not consume enough calcium in their diet or those at high risk for osteoporosis. However, it is important to note that the best source of calcium is through diet.

The recommended daily intake of calcium for adults is 1000-1200 mg/day for men and women up to age 50, and 1200-1500 mg/day for women over 50 and men over 70. Good dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy green vegetables, and fortified foods such as cereal and orange juice.

Supplementing with calcium can be beneficial for some people, but it’s not always necessary. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if calcium supplements are appropriate for you and to assess the optimal dosage.

Calcium supplementation is effective in increasing bone density and reducing the risk of fractures in older adults, especially in those with low dietary calcium intake, however, excessive calcium intake can lead to health issues such as kidney stones and cardiovascular disease.



It’s also worth noting that calcium alone is not enough to maintain optimal bone health, vitamin D is also necessary for the body to absorb and use calcium, so it’s important to have an adequate intake of both nutrients.

In summary, while calcium supplementation can be beneficial for some individuals, it’s important to first aim to get enough calcium through diet and to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if supplements are necessary. It’s also important to ensure adequate intake of vitamin D and other bone-supportive nutrients, as well as engage in regular physical activity and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.



Physical activity plays a crucial role in maintaining bone health. Weight-bearing and resistance exercises can help to increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, running, stair climbing, and dancing, put stress on the bones and stimulate bone growth. Resistance exercises, such as weightlifting and resistance band exercises, also put stress on the bones and can increase muscle strength, which can help to reduce the risk of falls and fractures.

Aerobic exercises, such as cycling and swimming, are not weight-bearing, but they have other health benefits such as cardiovascular health, balance, and flexibility.

There is a significant amount of research that supports the benefits of physical activity on bone health. A meta-analysis of over 100 studies found that physical activity is associated with increased bone density in both children and adults. Another study found that regular weight-bearing exercise can reduce the risk of osteoporotic fractures in postmenopausal women.

Physical activity is also beneficial for maintaining balance and coordination, which can help to reduce the risk of falls and fractures in older adults. It is important to note that the amount and type of physical activity needed to maintain bone health can vary depending on an individual’s age, sex, and baseline bone density. It is best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine an appropriate exercise program that is tailored to your needs. Overall, regular physical activity, including weight-bearing and resistance exercises, plays a crucial role in maintaining bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.



Here are a few interesting facts on how milk is not the richest source of calcium-

  1. Leafy green vegetables: Spinach, kale, and collard greens are all excellent sources of calcium, with one cup of cooked spinach providing about 245 mg of calcium, which is more than a cup of milk (240 mg).
  2. Fortified foods: Many non-dairy foods are fortified with calcium, such as fortified orange juice, cereal, and plant-based milk alternatives.
  3. Nuts and seeds: Almonds and sesame seeds are both good sources of calcium, with a quarter cup of almonds providing about 75 mg of calcium and 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds providing about 130 mg of calcium.
  4. Fish with bones: Sardines and salmon with bones are also rich in calcium, with a 3-ounce serving of canned sardines providing about 325 mg of calcium and a 3-ounce serving of canned pink salmon with bones providing about 181 mg of calcium.
  5. Legumes: Some legumes, such as navy beans, black-eyed peas, and soybeans, are also good sources of calcium. A cup of cooked navy beans provides about 126 mg of calcium.




There are many nutrition myths when it comes to bone health. Here are a few examples:


  1. High-protein diets leach calcium from bones: There is no evidence to support the idea that a high-protein diet causes calcium to be leached from bones. A diet that is high in protein may be beneficial for bone health, as protein is necessary for the formation and maintenance of bone.
  2. Drinking milk will prevent osteoporosis: While milk and dairy products are good sources of calcium, they are not the only sources of calcium. Consuming a diet that includes a variety of calcium-rich foods, as well as other bone-supportive nutrients such as vitamin D and K2, is important for maintaining bone health.
  3. Only postmenopausal women need to worry about osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a disease that can affect anyone, regardless of age or sex. While postmenopausal women are at a higher risk, everyone needs to take steps to maintain bone health throughout their life.
  4. Supplements are better than food sources of calcium: Supplements can be beneficial for some individuals, but it’s important to first aim to get enough calcium through the diet. Food sources of calcium also provide other important nutrients that are beneficial for overall health.
  5. Eating too much salt can lead to osteoporosis: While a diet that is high in salt can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems, there is no evidence to support the idea that salt causes osteoporosis.


In summary, by following an evidence-based approach that includes a healthy diet, regular physical activity, adequate intake of bone-supportive nutrients, and avoiding risk factors such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, you can reduce your risk of osteoporosis and maintain optimal bone health as you age.

One of the most important determinants of fat loss is energy balance or the balance between the energy we consume through food and beverages and the energy we expend through physical activity and other bodily functions. When energy intake exceeds energy expenditure, the body stores the excess energy as fat, leading to weight gain. Conversely, when energy expenditure exceeds intake, the body must draw on its stored energy, resulting in fat loss.

Difference between fat loss vs weight loss:

Fat loss and weight loss may seem like interchangeable terms, but they are quite different.

So what’s the difference? Well, fat loss is more specific and targeted. When you lose fat you’re focusing on reducing the amount of adipose tissue, or fat in your body. This can improve your overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Weight loss on the other hand can be more general. When you lose weight, you could be losing fat, muscle, water, or even bone mass. While losing weight may result in some fat loss, it’s not the same thing as targeting fat loss specifically.

To lose fat, it is necessary to create an energy deficit by reducing energy intake or increasing energy expenditure, or ideally, doing both. Several strategies can help achieve this:

  • Diet: Reducing energy intake through diet is one of the most effective ways to create an energy deficit and promote fat loss. This can be achieved by cutting back on calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods such as processed snacks and sweets, and increasing the intake of nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Research has shown that high-protein diets are particularly effective for fat loss, as protein can help preserve muscle mass and increase feelings of fullness, which can help with weight management.
  • Physical activity: Increasing energy expenditure through physical activity is another key strategy for fat loss. Regular exercise has been shown to increase metabolic rate, reduce abdominal fat, and improve insulin sensitivity, all of which can help with weight management. In addition to its direct effects on fat loss, physical activity has numerous other health benefits, including improving cardiovascular fitness, mental health, and bone health.
  • Lifestyle factors: Several lifestyle factors can impact energy balance and fat loss. Getting sufficient sleep, managing stress, and limiting alcohol intake can all help with weight management. Poor sleep and high levels of stress can disrupt hormone balance and increase the risk of weight gain, while excessive alcohol intake can contribute to weight gain by providing excess calories.

It is important to note that while creating an energy deficit is necessary for fat loss, the size of the deficit and the rate of weight loss can vary depending on individual circumstances. Factors such as age, gender, genetics, and starting weight can all impact the rate at which fat is lost. In general, it is recommended to aim for a weight loss of 0.5-2 lbs (0.2-0.9 kg) per week, as this is a safe and sustainable rate of loss that allows the body to adjust and minimize the risk of muscle loss.

Another important consideration when it comes to fat loss is the role of weight training. While aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, and cycling can be effective for burning calories and promoting fat loss, weight training can also play a key role. Resistance training can help increase muscle mass, which can in turn increase metabolic rate and make it easier to maintain weight loss.

Myths about fat loss:

Myth 1: Low-fat diets are the best way to lose fat.

While it is true that creating a calorie deficit is important for fat loss, the type of calories consumed can also play a role. Low-fat diets, which are based on the idea that fat is the main cause of weight gain, have been popular for many years. However, there is little evidence to support their effectiveness for fat loss. Some research suggests that low-fat diets may be less effective than other types of diets, such as low-carb or high-protein diets, for weight loss.

Myth 2: Spot reduction is possible.

Spot reduction is the idea that it is possible to target specific areas of the body for fat loss, such as the belly or thighs, by doing exercises that specifically target those areas. However, this is not supported by scientific evidence. Fat loss occurs when the body uses stored fat as energy, and this process is largely controlled by hormones and genetics. It is not possible to selectively target specific areas of the body for fat loss.

Myth 3: Carbohydrates are bad for fat loss.

Carbohydrates have often been demonized as a cause of weight gain and poor health. However, this is not supported by scientific evidence. Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for the body, and they play several important roles in health. While it is true that reducing carbohydrate intake can be effective for weight loss, this is likely due to the calorie deficit that is created, rather than any specific effect of carbohydrates on fat loss.

Myth 4: Supplements and weight loss pills are effective for fat loss.

There are many supplements and weight loss pills on the market that claim to help with fat loss. However, the vast majority of these products have little to no scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. Some weight loss supplements can be dangerous and may even cause long-term health problems. The best way to lose fat is through a combination of diet and exercise, and there is no shortcut or quick fix.

Stress and fat loss:

When the body experiences stress, it activates the stress response, which involves the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. These hormones help the body cope with the perceived threat or challenge by increasing energy availability. This is achieved through several mechanisms, including the breakdown of stored glycogen and fat, and the suppression of non-essential processes such as digestion and immune function.

In the short term, this stress response can be beneficial, as it provides the body with the energy it needs to cope with the stressor. However, chronic or excessive stress can lead to an imbalance in energy metabolism, which can lead to weight gain or difficulty losing weight.

The relationship between stress and weight gain:

There is evidence to suggest that stress is associated with weight gain in several ways. One of how stress can lead to weight gain is by increasing appetite and food intake. Stress has been shown to increase levels of appetite-stimulating hormones such as ghrelin, and to reduce levels of appetite-suppressing hormones such as leptin. This can lead to an increase in food intake, particularly of high-fat, high-sugar, or comfort foods.

Stress can also lead to weight gain by disrupting the body’s ability to use energy effectively. Chronic stress has been shown to increase insulin resistance, which can lead to an increase in fat storage. Stress can also disrupt sleep, which can have negative effects on metabolism and energy balance.

Strategies for managing stress and promoting fat loss:

Given the negative effects of stress on energy balance and weight, it is important to find ways to manage stress to promote fat loss. Here are a few strategies that may be helpful:

  • Practice mindful eating: When we are stressed, it can be easy to turn to food as a coping mechanism. However, this often leads to overeating or making unhealthy food choices. To counteract this, try to be more mindful when you eat. This means paying attention to your food and the sensations of hunger and fullness. Take the time to sit down and enjoy your meals, rather than eating on the go.
  • Incorporate stress-reducing foods into your diet: Certain foods can help to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. These include foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, nuts, and seeds. Turmeric, a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine, has also been shown to have stress-reducing properties.
  • Don’t skip meals: It can be tempting to skip meals when you are feeling overwhelmed, but this can increase stress and make it harder to lose fat. Instead, try to stick to a regular meal schedule and make sure to include balanced, nourishing meals.
  • Stay hydrated: Dehydration can contribute to feelings of stress and fatigue. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and reduce stress.
  • Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can increase stress and make it harder to lose fat. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to help manage stress and support fat loss.
  • Incorporate physical activity: Exercise has been shown to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Find an activity that you enjoy and aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
  • Try stress-reducing techniques: In addition to diet and exercise, several stress-reducing techniques can be helpful, such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga. Find what works best for you and try to incorporate these techniques into your daily routine.

Facts about fat loss:

  • A calorie deficit is necessary for fat loss: To lose fat, you need to burn more calories than you consume. This can be achieved through diet and exercise, or a combination of both.
  • Whole, unprocessed foods are generally more effective for fat loss: These types of foods tend to be more nutrient-dense and lower in calories, which can help with creating a calorie deficit.
  • Protein is important for fat loss: Protein can help to increase satiety, or the feeling of fullness, which can make it easier to stick to a calorie deficit. In addition, protein has a high thermic effect, meaning that your body expends more energy digesting it compared to fat or carbs.
  • High-fiber foods can be helpful for fat loss: Foods high in fiber tend to be more filling and can help to reduce hunger, which can make it easier to stick to a calorie deficit.
  • Cutting calories too low can be counterproductive: While it is important to create a calorie deficit to lose fat, cutting calories too low can slow down your metabolism and make it harder to lose fat. It is important to find a balance and make sure you are still consuming enough nutrients to support your overall health.
  • Regular exercise is important for fat loss: In addition to diet, regular exercise can help to increase calorie expenditure and promote fat loss. It is important to find physical activities that you enjoy and that are feasible for your lifestyle.
  • Sustainable lifestyle changes are key for long-term fat loss: While it is possible to see significant changes in a short amount of time through crash dieting or extreme exercise, these changes are often not sustainable and can lead to weight regain. A slow and steady approach, with a focus on making sustainable lifestyle changes, is typically the most effective way to achieve long-term fat loss.

Sleep is very important for fat loss for several reasons, which are supported by evidence:

  • Lack of sleep can lead to an increase in appetite: When we are sleep deprived, our bodies produce higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite. At the same time, levels of the hormone leptin, which suppresses appetite, decrease. This can lead to an increase in hunger and cravings for high-calorie, unhealthy foods.
  • Lack of sleep can lead to an increase in calorie intake: Studies have shown that people who get less sleep tend to consume more calories than those who get enough sleep. This can make it harder to create a calorie deficit and lose fat.
  • Lack of sleep can lead to a decrease in physical activity: When we are tired, we may be less motivated to exercise or engage in physical activity. This can lead to a decrease in calorie expenditure and make it harder to lose fat.
  • Lack of sleep can lead to an increase in stress: Stress can lead to an increase in the production of the hormone cortisol, which can contribute to weight gain, particularly in the abdominal area. Getting enough sleep can help to reduce stress and prevent an increase in cortisol production.
  • Lack of sleep can affect metabolism: Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to impaired metabolism, which can make it harder to lose fat. Adequate sleep is important for maintaining a healthy metabolism and supporting fat loss.

In summary, getting enough sleep is important for fat loss for several reasons. It can help to reduce appetite and calorie intake, increase physical activity, reduce stress, and maintain a healthy metabolism. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to support fat loss.


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.