Nutrition Q&A: Diet changes to lose weight

Nutrition and Dietetics expert, Parvathy Radhakrishnan answers readers’ questions on nutrition. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Wednesday.
This week’s answers:

1. Hi, I am having kidney stones, 3 and 4mm. Is there foods I should avoid apart from tomato. Is it safe to drink milk?
Please mention what kind of stone you have. Kidney stones could be mainly calcium oxalate or uric acid. And for both kinds, tomato is not avoided. Yes it is safe to drink milk.

2. madam, how to control uric acid through diet?
You can control uric acid by:

1. Avoiding organ meats, shellfish, sardines, anchovies, mussels, mackerel, minced meat, meat soups and gravies, alcohol, fish eggs (roe), yeast supplements
2. Restricting fish/meat/poultry, mushrooms, oats, cauliflower, spinach, dried peas, lentils. Do not eat dals and animal proteins in the same meal.
3. Eat low fat, more vegetables, lots of fruits, enough water to flush out the uric acid and maintain normal weight. Reduce your weight gradually since sudden weight reduction can increase uric acid.

These days medication has replaced the need to follow strict diet to control uric acid.

3. hi parvathy. My son is 15 yrs old. Does not eat many vegetables and fruit. Please suggest ways to make him eat them.
Good eating habits should have been taught from childhood. Adolescence is the time when peer pressure leads to bad eating habits. Make your son choose what vegetables he likes to eat on a daily basis and encourage salads at least for one main meal.

Even if he does not eat variety of fruits make sure he eats whatever he likes daily. Fresh juices without the pulp removed is an alternative. Encourage cereals with dried fruits.

Getting your son involved in the shopping may help since he assumes responsibility for his shopping.

4. I am having 140/90 bp past 3 months. Please suggest what foods to take and avoid to reduce this.
What is your weight, Jayanti? Overweight is one big factor that increases blood pressure. First step is to reduce weight.

Try to be more of a vegetarian so eat lots of vegetables and fruits, low fat dairy products, whole grains. If you eat meat it should be lean.

Avoid salty, processed, or bakery foods, restrict salt in cooking, eating out in restaurants.

Interestingly eating excessive sweets also tend to increase blood pressure.

Regular walking will reduce blood pressure but you need to do this gradually or else blood pressure could shoot up.

5. hi, im from pune. We eat a lot of jowar based foods and raw vegs but im not losing weight. Pl suggest what changes I can make.
There may be several reasons why you are not reducing your weight.

If you are eating more than the calories needed you will not reduce your weight even if it is high fiber.

Also take a look at the amount of fats used in cooking. Reduce fats in your cooking to a minimal.

Dieting works best along with physical activity as it keeps the metabolic rate.

Do not eat big meals. Eat small portions at each meal with fruits or raw vegetables in between so that your metabolic rate does not dip leading to a static weight. You may need to visit a dietician who can advice how many calories you need in a day.

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