Currently Browsing: Food and Nutrition

Dangers of Being Overweight

The difference between overweight and obese is the range of the body weight to height ratio or body mass index (BMI). Both categories are considered above the recommended healthy average weight of a person and are at risk of various diseases. However, an overweight individual weighs less than an obese; a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is overweight, while a BMI of 30 and above is obese.

You’re at Risk of Several Health Problems

An overweight is at risk of contracting different diseases, because your body is working harder than usual to keep all your organs functioning properly. While the impact isn’t felt immediately, you will notice some changes in your appearance (waist size) and physical capabilities (fatigue and mood changes). When you are overweight you are at risk of the following health problems: type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases, sleep problems, osteoarthritis, kidney and fatty liver disease, cancer, and fertility and pregnancy problems. However, this is only a list of the most common diseases, but you’re also going to be exposed to a host of other health problems.

How You Gained Excess Weight

Some doctors agree that genetic factors play a role in an individual’s fitness level, but most cases of excessive weight are caused by unhealthy lifestyle. Specifically, you can become overweight through eating larger servings of meals, excess consumption of food that are high in energy, and not being able to burn off that excess energy from food because of a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately, the number of individuals who are either overweight or obese are increasing even in Singapore.

How Obesity is Measured

There are some tests that can be performed besides measuring your BMI to get a good idea of how much weight you need to lose. Among these are hydrostatic body fat test, bioelectrical impedance, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, height and weight charts, and the use of calipers to measure body fat.

What Metabolic Syndrome Means

Some individuals also have a condition called metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of different issues that are the result of abdominal obesity. To diagnose an individual, he/she must have at least three of the following symptoms: high triglycerides (150 mg/dL and higher); big waist (more than 40 in men and more than 35 inches in women); high blood pressure (130/85 mm Hg and higher); low HDL level (less than 50 mg/dL in women and 40 mg/dL in men); and high blood glucose levels (100 mg/dL and higher).

More Weight Equals Shorter Lifespan

According to research, more people are now prone to having excess weight because it’s easier to perform different tasks nowadays, therefore, fewer choices in the activities that will burn excess energy stored in the body. Because of this, an overweight individual becomes more susceptible to a host of diseases that can be fatal especially at ages between 50 to 71. The only way to address these problems is to formulate a weight loss program that is appropriate for your condition and age.

How to Find the Right Probiotics for Your Tummy

Your digestive tract is home to a lot of bacteria and help in breaking down your food and synthesizing nutrients that your body needs but can’t produce on its own.

This large population of bacteria and yeasts that live inside you is called your gut flora, and when these different strains are all equally balanced, they can work together to help keep your body functioning normally.

Probiotics are also one of the many strains of good bacteria that help your body in breaking down food and providing nutrients, and many foods sold commercially often have them as a selling point.

Finding the Right Probiotics
Yogurt is the first thing that comes into people’s minds when they think of “probiotics”, but they are actually just one source where the good bacteria can be found.

When it comes to choosing yogurt as your source of probiotics, you may need to check the label to see if it’s pasteurized before commercially sold, as many dairy products are nowadays required to be, and the process often kills the probiotic bacteria.

Other sources of this good bacteria include fermented foods such as kombucha (a type of fermented tea), kimchi (a Korean side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables), and sauerkraut.

Keep in mind that not all probiotics are made equal. Here are the four different strains of probiotics to get you started:

• L. Casei – Studies have shown that this bacteria regulates bowel movements as well as reduces symptoms of anxiety of depression
• L. Rhamnosus – This strain is especially beneficial for treating cases of diarrhea and preventing eczema
• L. Plantarum – This strain is responsible for regulating inflammatory responses in the gut and provide relief from abdominal pain and even bloating
• L. Acidophilus – This strain has been known to reduce lactose intolerance symptoms and reduce the likelihood of colon cancer in certain patients

Should You Take Probiotic Supplements?
Probiotic bacteria also comes in supplements, which are great for taking a more concentrated source, though the exact strains of probiotics that you take aren’t the same as having a variety of different strains of probiotics in your system.

There are also gummy versions of probiotic supplements available as an alternative for children who don’t like taking capsules.

Probiotic supplements are best taken on an empty stomach (ideally, before breakfast) to allow them to enter your digestive system a lot more quickly. If you do happen to notice something wrong with your digestion, you can take supplements for a few weeks and wait to see if your problem subsides.

Be sure to consult your dietician before taking probiotic supplements, as they may not always be necessary for your system.

Why Singaporeans Love Noodles So Much

Noodles have been a big part of our lives as most of the dishes around us involve noodles and it is only fair that we write about noodles. Why shouldn’t we? They are definitely a big part of our diets and our lives.

Noodles are Part of Our Lives
From hand-made noodles all the way to the instant noodle packs we buy at the local store, we can’t help eat noodles every once in a while or maybe even more frequently. It is clearly evident that Asian cuisine has a huge effect on Singapore as not just noodles but other elements find their way into the pallets of the locals.

From the choice of seasonings to the way the food is cooked, Singapore has had a lot of influence from its neighbouring countries in Asia. A good flavored meal is really complicated to describe. Aside from personal preference, there are also a lot of other factors which affect a person’s taste when it comes to flavor.

Why Do We Love Noodles So Much?
It’s hard to find at least a single person who doesn’t eat noodles. Have you tried? Well, you’ll most likely spend a huge amount of your energy looking for the person who doesn’t eat noodles and you might not even find that specific person. Even in the western world, noodles and other pastas have had a huge hold on their cuisines.
Noodles is not necessarily something that only Asians enjoy, it is just mostly associated with us because of the fact that a lot of our dishes involve noodles. Why do you think Singaporeans love noodles? Well, we’ve asked around and we’ve had some answers but none of them were able to fully explain the mystery as to why we celebrate noodles dearly.

Our Favorite Dishes are Noodle-Base
So far, most of the people we’ve asked would claim that Singaporeans love noodles because of its texture and how it gives life to the flavors surrounding it. Well, it’s no mystery that noodles work well with a great number of dishes so maybe it’s safe to say that this is the most accurate explanation as to why noodles are so important in the Singaporean cuisine.

Dishes like laksa, char kway teow, hae mee, and mie goreng alone are proof that there are so many things you can do with noodles. Noodles can be used for so much more so don’t limit your options to soups which are what noodles are famous for. Anyway, maybe it’s time to go to the nearest hawker and get yourself a bowl of laksa.

4 Healthy Food Trends That Are Worth Trying

Throughout my career, I’ve seen many food trends that flourished and failed. Some – like eating clean and organic – were awesome, while others like sugar- and fat-free diet foods were just downright dreadful. Luckily, some healthy food trends are making a big comeback in the food scene. To give an idea about these favourites, we’ve listed down four of the former food trends that has been making some buzz lately.

Baby spinach

  1. Spinach. Kale has been the rage these days. You can see it on the shelves of most health food stores and even in your casseroles. However, spinach has its own aces to hold up against the newcomer trend. Apart from being more affordable, spinach is also rich in iron, magnesium, manganese and vitamins A, K, C and B2. Still doubting its superfood abilities? Then ask Popeye about it.

 

  1. Juicing. Not fond of chewing on veggies and fruits, but still want to fill your tummies in the same healthy way? Then this food trend is for you. Not only does it help in reducing certain health risks, it also aids in improving the immune system and kicking the pesky toxins off your digestive system. What’s more is, it can even help you shed those extras pounds.

juicing-101

  1. Seaweed. Remember the time when you used to snack on the crispy green seaweed strips? Well, you’re about to experience that once more. Just sprinkle it over your popcorn, pasta or tuna casserole to give it some extra flavour and nutrients. Want to go extra healthy? Then munch on the plain roasted ones.

 

  1. Beef Jerky. A couple of years ago, a treat called Cow Label became a household staple. But with the popularity gained by the Paleo Diet, this sweet, juicy jerky is slowly rising up in the healthy food trend ranks again. What’s even better is you can now enjoy the healthier version of this Cow Label treat.

Just like in fashion, food trends also come and go. But now that these four food trends are slowly making their way back on your pantries, you’ll finally be able to taste the goodness that you tasted from them a couple of years ago.

beef-jerky-on-plate

An Overview of Vitamins

Vitamins are any of the carbon containing compounds that the human body needs in small to moderate amounts to sustain overall health, general wellbeing and proper functioning. All individuals, regardless of age and gender require a regular adequate supply of vitamins. However, children, the sick and the old aged need an additional supply for growth and sustenance of normal functioning. The body obtains almost all of its vitamins from the foods and beverages that an individual consumes. 

More-studies-to-add-to-the-confusion-about-vitamins

A healthy diet which consists mostly of vegetables and fruits could give almost all of the vitamins that an individual needs to survive. Experts have been able to classify 13 organic compounds as vitamins. They have given almost all of these vitamins letters and or letters plus numbers as names, such as vitamin A, B12, C and D. Most vitamins are naturally occurring found in most fruits and vegetables. There are some, such as Vitamin D that are solely produced by animals.

Selection Of Fresh Fruit

There are a few vitamins that are naturally manufactured by the human body itself. Some good examples are Vitamin K which is produced by bacteria found in the digestive tract of humans and Vitamin D which is produced by the skin through the utilization of sunlight. Vitamins can also be manufactured synthetically and made commercially available as supplements for individuals who need an extra supply of vitamins to meet their needs. An adequate amount of vitamins is necessary to maintain the proper functioning and survival of the human body.

195878-vitamin-wheel