No more cheat days or ‘sin-days’!

Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 11.25.11 PMReprinted from DailyMail UK. In case you are wondering how to consume 3000 calories a day, it’s easy: some pizzas, some soft drinks, some ice cream, some chocolates, some danish…  I am switching to a monthly cheat day; waiting for 1st October.

Does Rice Make You Fat?

Every time I travel to Indonesia, India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka, I notice the amount of rice consumed at every meal. For many, rice is a big part of their breakfast, lunch and dinner. And very often, it’s fried rice and in huge portions – unlike the rice consumed in Japan or Hong Kong where it’s usually steamed rice and limited to a small bowl per meal. And it’s all white rice! I wondered if there’s a connection between the consumption of rice and obesity in these countries. I did some quick reading and research and here are some of the facts:

  • Indonesia and China are amongst the top five consumers of rice with 150kg and 90kg per person per year, respectively. US and France consume only 9kg and 4kg of rice per person per year! World rice consumption has increased 40 percent in the last 30 years, from 62kg per capita to 86kg per capita.
  • Carbohydrates like rice break down as sugar and are stored as fat when not burned as energy. According to WikiAnswers: White rice is a simple carb; it is converted to sugar with very little calorie usage. In itself rice does not make you gain weight. However if you would like to lose weight it is best to stick to whole grains e.g. brown rice and whole wheat bread, these take more processes to get converted into sugar so they use more calories.
  • Brown rice is an excellent source of dietary fibre; one cup provides 14% of the daily value. Consumption of brown rice can reduce high cholesterol and prevent constipation.
  • A Harvard Med study on 74,000 females between the ages of 38-63 suggested that weight was directly related with the consumption of refined grains like white rice. The women who had brown rice in their diets were not only slimmer, but were also 49% less likely to gain weight.

In summary, there are compelling reasons to switch from white rice to brown rice. And obesity, as we all know, is a result of too many calories in and too few out. And eating less, eating natural food and regular exercise are the surest ways of staying healthy and in good shape. Please provide your thoughts and tips through comments.

[Photo of Nasi Goreng from Indonesia – white fried rice mixed with meat or vegetable, usually served with a fried egg and some salad]

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Are You Drinking Enough Water?

I was advised yet again by my Chinese reflexologist to drink more water in order to keep my back pain under control. And it surely works! I also read some more on the topic to remind myself of the importance and benefits of drinking enough water. Here’s one such article:

Water is a major component of every body cell, tissue and organ. It plays an important role in almost every body function, including:

  • Temperature regulation
  • Transportation of oxygen and nutrients through the blood
  • Acting as a necessary component of chemical reactions
  • Aid in elimination of waste through urine and feces
  • Lubrication of joints
  • Acting as a major component of body fluids such as mucus and tears
  • Giving the cells their shape and stability

Daily Requirements: Generally speaking, people should consume approximately 2 to 3 liters of fluid each day. This does not take into account a person’s medical condition, exercise habits, and living environment. Day-to-day activities may also increase ones need for fluid. For example, water requirements are increased when flying or during strenuous exercise.

Other sources of water: Many fruits and vegetables have a high water content, another reason why we should eat a lot of fresh produce. One hundred percent fruit juice also contributes fluid to our diet. Caffeine, however, is dehydrating and can cause you to lose water. Soda and many fruit juices are a huge source of wasted calories in our diet. (Source: Dudek, Susan G. Nutrition Essentials for Nursing Practice)

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