Why Folic Acid is important for pregnant women?

Folic acid is a B Vitamin and is an especially important vitamin for pregnant women. It is absolutely important that women who are planning for a pregnancy consume recommended amount of Folic Acid before and during early pregnancy. Folic Acid is extremely critical in the development of a baby’s brain and spine. The baby’s brain and spine is formed at a very early stage in the pregnancy, when the woman does not even realise she is pregnant yet.

Consuming recommended amounts of folic acid everyday can help prevent some major birth defects of the baby’s brain (known as anencephaly) and spine (known as spina bifida). Anencephaly is a serious birth defect in which parts of a baby’s brain and skull do not form correctly. Babies born with anencephaly cannot survive. Spina bifida is a serious birth defect in which a baby’s spine does not develop correctly, and can result in some severe physical disabilities.

All women, but especially those who want to become pregnant, need 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day.Yes! Every woman needs to get enough folic acid each day, even if she does not plan to become pregnant. This is because our bodies make new cells every day—blood, skin, hair, nails and others. Folic acid is needed to make these new cells. Start a healthy habit today and get 400 mcg of folic acid every day.

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Why vegetarians are prone to Vitamin B12 deficiency?

Research and studies suggest that a strict vegetarian diet — one that excludes all animal products — can lead to vitamin B-12 deficiency, and possibly heart disease. Now, new research suggests that even those who follow a more lenient vegetarian diet (those who consume milk and dairy products) are also at risk.

Vitamin B12 is prominently found in animal based foods: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. Most of the Indians who are vegetarians are deficient in Vitamin B12. While it is fairly easy to correct a Vitamin B12 deficiency through supplements, most of us are ignorant of our condition and do not go for a diagnosis. People who consume antacids are also at a risk of vitamin B12 deficiency since it interferes with the absorption.

Vitamin B12 helps maintain healthy nerve and red blood cells and is also needed to make DNA, which is why it’s especially important that pregnant and nursing women consume enough.

Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to anemia. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, which usually come on gradually, include fatigue, weakness, nausea, and constipation. Long-term and severe vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to nerve changes such as numbness, tingling in the hands and feet, balance and memory problems, and depression.

A blood test is the best way to test for vitamin B12 deficiency, and Metropolis recommends that all vegetarians get tested every year.

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What are Trans Fats and How Should I avoid them?

Trans fats are linked to raise the LDL cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Regular consumption of foods rich intrans fats increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
What foods should I avoid?
Trans fats can exist in any and all foods that you may consume. If the packet of muffin or chips that you are having does not list Trans Fat as an ingredient, check for partially hydrogenated oil. It is the one and the same and detrimental for your health.
Did you know that the very commonly used Vanaspati or Dalda is a Trans fat?
Next time you grab fried foods like Samosas, Bhaturas and vadas from the street, remember that it is fried in repeatedly used oils and may contain fats that are detrimental to your health.
Doughnuts, cookies, crackers, muffins, pies and cakes are examples of foods that may contain trans fat.
How do you control Trans Fat?

  • Limit how frequently you eat them.
  • Limit commercially fried foods and baked goods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
  • Use oils like Olive, Canola and Liquid vegetable oils
  • Add fresh vegetables and fruits to every meal
  • Say NO to products that list Trans Fat on their label
  • Reduce the intake of instant meals and frozen food

Be sure to check your lipid profile. Regularly monitoring your total fats will give you an assessment of your cardiac health.

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Simple tips for a Diabetes-Friendly Diwali

Diwali is the most auspicious festival celebrated in India. However, come Diwali and people lose a track of their calorie intake. It is considered OK to have a little more sweet on this day! Here is how you can still have a fun and healthy Diwali!

  • Limit consumption of foods and sweets. Over intake of sweets at a short period leads to sugar spike and creates complications
  • Choose roasted and baked alternatives in place of fried savouries and sweets
  • Gift dry fruits loaded with good fat instead of sweets
  • Use natural sweeteners like honey and jiggery. There are many new age recipes that are just as sweet and healthy too!
  • Final word of caution, Do not skip your exercise routine
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2
Know the Ten Symptoms of Swine Flu

Swine flu, H1N1 is a respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses that infect the respiratory tract of pigs and result in a barking cough, decreased appetite, nasal secretions, and listless behaviour; the virus can be transmitted to humans.

Swine flu spreads from people to people just how common cold spreads. When people infected with swine flu cough or sneeze, they spray tiny drops of the virus into the air. If a person come in contact with these drops, touch a surface (like a doorknob or sink) where the drops landed, or touch something an infected person has recently touched, the person is at an increased risk of catching the H1N1 Swine Flu.

Symptoms of Swine Flu include fever, lethargy, muscle and joint pain, runny nose, sore throat, lack of appetite, coughing, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Children, elderly, pregnant women and diabetics are at a greater risk of contracting swine flu and develop complications. For this reason, health care practitioners advise vaccination for high risk category patients.

Very few laboratories in India are authorised to conduct Swine Flu testing. Metropolis Healthcare is the only laboratory which is authorised to conduct Swine Flu tests in Mumbai, Pune and Chennai. Testing for swine flu is based on the guidelines laid down by the public health department and is done only against a doctor’s prescription. Metropolis assures you of 100% accurate results.

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Dengue fever progression

Symptoms of mosquito borne diseases like Malaria, Dengue and Chikungunya can be confusing. Here is a small guide that explains in simple terms how Dengue progresses.
Dengue almost always begins with Chills, headache, pain upon moving the eyes and low backache. This is followed by severe pain in legs and joints. One of the most marked symptoms of Dengue is headache and pain behind the eyes. Following this, there is a rise in temperature with reddening of eyes. Another typical symptom of Dengue is rashes on the face that appear and disappear. This is followed by swelling of the lymph nodes. Fever continues and drops only to increase again. Rashes appear on legs and hands and cover the entire body except the face.

Dengue requires adequate rest and fluid intake. Since this is a viral disease there is no specific medicine for treatment. Proper diet with enough hydration and rest makes the patient feel better and recover.

It is however important that dengue be diagnosed accurately since the symptoms can be confusing at times. Get yourself tested from accredited and authorised centers and laboratories to be absolutely sure of your diagnosis.

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Top 10 Sources of Hidden Sodium!

Research and studies support that cutting down on Salt Consumption lowers your blood pressure thereby reducing your risk for Stroke and Heart Attack.

The American Heart Association recommends consuming less than 1 teaspoon of Salt per day. Indian foods and spices are slightly on the higher end in Salt content and add to it the high sodium content that we consume through processed and ready to cook foods.

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How much fat does your regular Samosa contain?

The big fat Indian Samosa is devoured by one and all. Each samosa contains about 25 grams of fat which is equal to the calories that is found in one large slab of butter. More important to note is that Samosas brought from roadside and street vendors are usually fried repeatedly in the same oil and contains unhealthy levels of trans fats.
Monitor your total fat and lipids to be sure of your heart health!

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Why Trans fats the worst type of fat you can consume?

Trans fats are linked to raise the LDL cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels.
Regular consumption of foods rich intrans fats increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

What foods should I avoid?
Trans fats can exist in any and all foods that you may consume. If the packet of muffin or chips that you are having does not list Trans Fat as an ingredient, check for partially hydrogenated oil. It is the one and the same and detrimental for your health.
Did you know that the very commonly used Vanaspati or Dalda is a Trans fat?
Next time you grab fried foods like Samosas, Bhaturas and vadas from the street, remember that it is fried in repeatedly used oils and may contain fats that are detrimental to your health.
Doughnuts, cookies, crackers, muffins, pies and cakes are examples of foods that may contain trans fat.

How do you control Trans Fat?

  • Limit how frequently you eat them.
  • Limit commercially fried foods and baked goods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Be sure to check your lipid profile. Regularly monitoring your total fats will give you an assessment of your cardiac health.

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The myth that is Low Fat

Many processed foods are labelled as Low Fat, right from the packet of your favourite chips or low fat yoghurt or ice cream.
What goes in to these so called Low Fat foods?

  • Artificial colors and sweeteners
  • Added flavors
  • Stabilisers
  • Added sugar and salt
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • High fructose Corn Syrup

Periodically monitoring your lipid profile gives you an overall assessment of fat and helps you control your health better.

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