Sitting is the New Smoking – Dt. Nidhi Prakash

Dietitian Mrs. Nidhi Prakash is an expert in the field of Therapeutic and Community Nutrition. Her diet philosophy is ‘No Feasting and No Fasting’. She believes in a Healthy and Balanced Diet Mantra to reduce unwanted weight and to combat various Lifestyle Diseases such as Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Gout, etc.

She has given Health Talks to various government and non-government organizations in Delhi and Kolkata. She presented various papers on Diabetes, Fatty Liver disease etc. at various Conferences organized by the Nutrition Society of India and Indian Dietetics Association.

She has written several articles on Lifestyle Diseases, Healthy Eating Habits, Nutritive Value of Salads, Bariatric Surgery : Best option for Morbid Obese People, etc.  She also guided Corporate Offices such SAIL, BPCL, GAIL etc. in Delhi for adopting a Nutritious Menu with Hygienic Practices.

She Conducted various Health Camps organized by Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi at the corporate offices of GAIL, TCS, SAIL, IOR, BPCL, etc. and gave Diet Consultations to various employees in such camps.

In an exclusive interview with Zotezo, she has opened up about Stress and Lifestyle. Here is the edited excerpts of the interview.

Team Zotezo: Can you tell us something about yourself, your background and what led you choose to become a nutritionist?

Dt. Nidhi: She is a clinical nutritionist by profession and she has bee into this field for almost 11 years now. The reason for choosing this profession was an inclination as a child towards people having the same food and still having different body structures. She always had curiosity and interest in this field. so she opted to become a nutritionist to get in depth knowledge of this science.

Team Zotezo: Why is losing weight a struggle for most people?

Dt. Nidhi: All across the globe, especially in India, it is about the mentality or an ubringing system that we have. We all have this school of thought that thin is beautiful and fat isin’t which is a wrong concept. Beauty has nothing to do with weight. We are a carbohydrate eating population, so losing weight is a little difficult. All across the country, carbohydrate in the form of rice, paratha, puris etc. is our staple food. The whole concept is not about eating carbs and being bad, but there are many associated factors like the way we eat it, pursue it is responsible. Then our diet goes to a point where it gets difficult to lose weight due to our exposure to grains. All this is the root cause of obesity.

Team Zotezo: How is stress affecting our lifestyle these days?

Dt. Nidhi: Stress is a very broad term. Stress can be physical or emotional. Both affects healthy beings and their lifestyle adversly. We need to combat this stress smartly to improve our lifestyle. We should look at a holistic wellbeing approach to battle stress. Even if the origin of the stress is psychological the impact it has is physical. The stres should be categorized properly and then treated. Both types of stresses are equally responsible for an unhealthy body.

Team Zotezo: Can you suggest an ideal diet to battle stress?

Dt. Nidhi: If we talk about dealing with stress via diet, we should include colorful fruits and vegetables. These give you a visual well-being once you see them. It also has ample amount of anti-oxidants and bio-active components when we consume it. These help to reduceoxidative stress levels in the body. These tend to de-oxidise the free radicals produced in the body.

In terms of calming down the body, magnesium plays an important role which can be found in nuts. these should be consumed therapeutically to get best results. Also simple home set curd is helpful to battle overall stress. Curd has lacto bacillus microbes is known to release enzymes in our guts which releases stress.

Team Zotezo: What kind of workouts would you suggest to help with stress for those who sit and work long hours in office?

Dt. Nidhi: In the umbrella of healthy lifestyle, “Sitting is the New Smoking”. This is what WHO has to say about sitting. The corporate culture nowadays is just sitting in front of the computer or laptop and not move for 6-8 hours.  This problem has to be dealt with vigilance. When a person is sitting for so long, the physical activity becomes zero. Then there is a significant drop in the metabolism rate and body’s mechanism slows down. As a result mind functions very slowly and has no intercation with nature.

If you want to address this issue, for every one hour that we sit we need to get up for 5-7 mins and move around. Set an alrm or reminder for the movement. While we sit we are exposed to some screen and our mind is captivated. Even when we get up we fidget with our mobiles and not let our brain rest. Breaks have to be breaks where you walk around in the nature and breathe fresh air.

Team Zotezo: How do you rate the Indian diet and do we get enough protein?

Dt. Nidhi: The Indian diet is deficient in protein. if we put it in numbers, 70% of Indians are are protein deficient in terms of their diet. Our diet is traditionally ample to meet all demands. In terms of local growth, spices, herbs and millets, we are one of the richest countries to have agricultural growth. Owing to globalisation, and recent trends, we have changed out eating pattern that takes a toll on us. We don’t need to follow a keto diet as such, but we need to eat the right food in right amounts. We should not adapt every new trend instead eat protein available in our country. We should be able to apply our diet correctly to get protein. There has to be a balance of carbs, protein & fat to be fit & healthy.

Team Zotezo: Indian vs International Superfoods, which one do you prefer and why?

Dt. Nidhi: The Indian superfoods like almonds give us all the good fats and Vitamin E. Choosing international superfoods would be falling prey to the Western Culture. We Indians have grown up eating certain kinds of food, so international superfoods does not adjust to our body. So from whichever country you belong, the superfood that grows there is the best for you.

Team Zotezo: Can you share some tips to get a flat tummy?

Dt. Nidhi: There is nothing specific for a flat tummy. We need to have a combination of right diet and a workout. When we talk about a right diet we do not want to ditch the carbs. We will include adequate complex carbohydrates, protein, good amount of fiber, so that it works for overall fat reduction. This has to be accompanied with specific ab toning exercises in order to have the best impact on our tummy.

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