For the longest time, obesity and being overweight were assumed to be health issues faced solely by high-income or developed nations. Now, the world knows better. Weight gain and obesity can affect anybody, and it can have long-term ill effects on your health, especially by increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, hormonal disorders like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and uterine fibroids.
Why obesity is a concern for India
As per India’s National Health Portal, obesity is an emerging problem in the nation. The National Family Health Survey India-3 (NFHS-3) of 2005-06 revealed that 13% of women and 9% of men between the ages of 15-49 years were obese. This prevalence of excess weight gain was found to be higher in urban areas and lower with people engaged in agriculture or manual labour. A study published in Public Health Nutrition in 2015 found that dietary patterns in India have a deep link with the rising obesity rates in the country.
The fact that your diet affects your weight, just as much as exercise and other lifestyle factors do, is well known now. According to a study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences in 2014, consuming low-calorie but high-nutrient density foods is the best way to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight in the long run.
Keeping this in mind, you might want to include the foods mentioned below in your regular diet. However, remember that too much of a good thing is bad, and portion control is one of the key mechanisms of weight loss and maintenance.
1. Green leafy vegetables
All vegetables are low in calories and very high in nutrients, but green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, collard greens, lettuce, etc are exceptionally high in essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Not only are these veggies loaded with dietary fibre, but they also add volume to your meals and keep you feeling full for a long period of time.
There’s a lot of controversy about egg yolks being healthy, but the fact is that while egg whites have a slightly higher protein content than yolks, the yolk is packed with vitamins, minerals and vital bioactive compounds. This is why whole eggs – the cheapest source of animal protein – should be a part of your weight loss diet.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Instead of using it just as a condiment, you should adopt apple cider vinegar in your regular diet for weight loss and weight maintenance because this is a highly effective food. It’s rich in vitamin C and antioxidants and can even regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels – which proves that its addition can holistically improve your health.
4. Nuts and seeds
All nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants. They’re also great sources of plant-based protein. Include walnuts, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc in your daily diet.
5. Whole grains
Whole wheat, quinoa, oats, barley and all types of millets are packed with dietary fibre, proteins, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Because of their high fibre content, these grains not only regulate bowel movements but also aid weight loss by keeping you full for longer.
All fresh fruits are packed with a plethora of vitamins and antioxidants. While this is well known, you should also eat more fruits like banana, orange, apple, grapefruit, berries, etc for their soluble fibre and mineral content. However, stay away from fruit juices, since juicing increases the concentration of sugar – consuming which can lead to weight gain.
For more information, read our article on Weight loss.
Health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.
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