Eat right

Poorna Kulkarni
Monday, 13 January 2020

Pune-based nutritionist and model, Shweta Khade, tells us how diet plays an important role in one’s fitness 

You may start your fitness journey on an energetic note, but if you pay no attention to nutrition, you are unlikely to meet your goals. To follow any exercise or fitness routine, diet plays a vital role. A balanced nutritious diet fuels the body and gives it energy. Shweta Khade, Pune-based nutritionist and a model, tells us more about the benefits of  a right diet. 

Work on your diet 
Currently Khade, who has a Masters in Health Sciences (Dietetics), is a sports nutrition faculty for trainers at well-known gyms in the city. She has also worked in healthcare centres for nearly a decade. 
Talking about the lifestyle of today’s youngsters, she says, “Many of those, who come to me with problems like hypertension, diabetes and so on, are in their 30s. They need to change their lifestyle and, very importantly, work on their diet. They must try to include all kinds of nutrients in their meals. That said, Indian diet is rich in carbohydrates but has less proteins which often leads to obesity, heart problems etc. To stay healthy, one must include physical exercise, for a minimum of 45 minutes daily.” 

When it comes to diet and nutrition, people should keep certain things in mind. “Firstly, they should stick to their meal plans, however, meal timings can be adjusted according to one’s daily routine. Secondly, there should be a good combination of macro and micro nutrients in all the meals. Also, it’s important to have a minimum of three litres of water everyday,” she says.  

While macro nutrients include carbohydrates, proteins and fats, micro nutrients include vitamins and minerals that can be found in mixed seeds, dry fruits or any fruit, adds the nutritionist. 
Add variety 
“It is important to add variety to your meals and have green leafy vegetables at least thrice a week as it has more of calcium, iron and magnesium. Multi-grain parathas or rotis increase fibre intake leading to high nutritive value. Flax seeds are also a good source of omega 3 and can be easily incorporated in chutneys. Having water infused with sliced carrot, apple and lemon or any citrus food helps in easy detoxification,” says Khade. 

Talking about whole foods and their benefits, she says, “Whole foods, in their natural form, are more nutrient rich than the refined ones. The more refined it is, the more is the nutrient loss in food. For instance, whole wheat, daliya (broken wheat) and wheat flour have dietary fibre. Once you refine the flour further, you take the fibre out of it and it becomes maida (all-purpose flour). Also, as far as salads are concerned, the more raw food you consume the more nutrients you get, and it also satiates the hunger.” 

Ask her what is her go to meal that she can nibble on anytime of the day and she says, “I prefer single foods like Thalipeeth, homemade Vegetable/ Paneer Wrap or Paratha, which can be easily packed and taken anywhere.”

Diet chart 

  • Indian foods are not only full of flavours but also full of nutrition, if chosen correctly. Taking some of the most common ingredients available in Indian kitchens, you can come up with a nutrient-rich, healthy diet chart, says Khade. She shares a six-meal plan a day, which can be followed easily: 
  • After waking up in the morning, have one glass of jeera (soaked and strained) water with half a lemon. After 10 minutes, have four soaked almonds and five-six soaked black raisins. 
  • For breakfast, have two multi-grain phulkas with one egg omelette or one multi-grain paratha with curd (set at home) or one bowl of chopped green leafy veggies. 
  • Mid meal can consist of green tea along with a handful of mixed seeds and dry fruits along with one fruit. 
  • Lunch can consist of two small multi-grain phulkas with any cooked vegetable (subzi) along with raita and one glass of buttermilk. 
  • Evening snack can be a bowl of homemade puffed cereal — chivda (use wheat / jowar puff) or makhana (lotus popped seeds). 
  • Dinner can consist of one multi-grain bhakri with cooked vegetables, one bowl of salad and one bowl of moong dal.
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