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Do You Have PCOD? Here’s Why You Need To Check Your Blood Sugar Levels; Expert Tips To Manage Both

The Kashmir Monitor




It’s well understood that type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle related disorder. The risk factors for type 2 diabetes include poor lifestyle with poor eating habits, lack of exercise, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history and a history of gestational diabetes. It’s is now well established that PCOS is a strong risk factor for diabetes among women of reproductive age. Studies have shown that the risk of developing diabetes is 4 times greater and the diagnosis can be done much earlier in women suffering from PCOS.

PCOS (Poly cystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a condition associated with menstrual irregularities, infertility, hair loss, and appearance of facial hair, menstrual cramping and pain. Women with PCOS typically have multiple immature follicles in their ovaries, caused by an over production of hormones called androgens. Uncontrolled PCOS increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and endometrial cancer too.

We know that our pancreas produce insulin and the role of insulin is to drive blood sugar into the cells. When someone becomes insulin resistant, the insulin receptors in our body cells become inefficient and the body is not able to use the sugar circulating in the blood. In response, our pancreas produce more insulin and our body constantly needs higher levels of insulin to utilize the circulating blood glucose. Insulin is an appetite-stimulating and a fat-storage hormone and the higher circulating levels of insulin in the blood lead to obesity.


High circulating levels of insulin also alter the reproductive hormones, thus disturbing the menstrual cycle and leading to the typical PCOS symptoms, though symptoms can vary a lot from person to person.

Consistently high level of circulating blood sugars over the years can lead to pre-diabetes and eventually diabetes. Infact, PCOS and pre-diabetes frequently co-exist.

Most doctors prefer to use the most common hypo-glycemic drug, Metformin, as the first line of treatment for PCOS.

Since, insulin resistance, PCOS and diabetes can be attributed to poor lifestyle (apart from genetic factors), its management requires lifestyle strategies as follows:

1. A diet high in refined carbs, starchy and sugary foods increases insulin resistance.

2. Consume high fibre whole grains, whole pulses, local and seasonal fruits & vegetables too as these have a low glycemic index.

3. Also include nuts, flaxseeds, omega-3 rich fatty fish

4. Include lean protein like whole pulses, beans, legumes, egg, dairy, lean cuts of chicken.

5. Abstain completely from colas, alcohol, sugary snacks like muffins and cookies, all processed and packaged foods and also fruit juices.

6. Look out for hidden sugars on food labels especially biscuits and breakfast cereals.

7. Try to eliminate/minimize the use of plastic in your kitchen.

8. Exercising regularly improves the efficiency of your insulin receptors. A minimum of 150 minutes of exercise a week goes a long way in overcoming insulin resistance, improving your PCOS and reducing your risk for diabetes.

9. Weight training or strength training regularly in particular is the most effective way of overcoming insulin resistance.

10. Managing your stress, getting adequate sleep, yoga and meditation are also very helpful lifestyle strategies.

Do not get lured by starvation/ crash/ fad diets to achieve quick weight loss as it further compromises nutrient availability and worsens your hormonal imbalance.

(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi) COURTESY:NDTV

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These Nutritious Breakfasts Can Give A Kick Start To Your Day: Do Try Them!

The Kashmir Monitor



Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of the day. It is the meal which kick-starts your metabolism and helps you burn calories throughout the day. Not only is it important for people who are trying to lose weight, it is simply important for a person to stay fit and healthy. Breakfast is the one meal which can give you the energy to do things and focus at your work and school. WebMD says that including breakfast in your diet can have positive effects on your memory and concentration.

Following are some breakfast options suggested by Delhi-based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra, which can give a boost your energy and also keep you warm during the chilly winter months.

Try these healthy breakfast options right now!


1. Stuffed rotis

Winter is the time when a variety of vegetables are in season. Stuffed rotis or paranthas made from methi (fenugreek), mooli (radish), gobi (cauliflower), matar (peas) or gajar (carrots) can all make for a delicious and wholesome winter breakfast. You can cook them with ghee (make sure you use it in the right quantity) and eat them with pickle and curd. Stuffed rotis are essentially the traditional Indian breakfast which people have been having for years. Prepare them as your grandmother used to prepare and enjoy them throughout winter.

2. Palak or beetroot roti with mint raita

Palak or spinach is a leafy geen veggie with more health benefits than you can count in your fingers. Similar is the case with beetroot, which is a root vegetable which is incredibly low in calories and is a great source of essential nutrients like fibre, folate and Vitamin C. Beetroot also contains nitrates and pigments which can help in controlling your blood pressure and may improve your overall athletic performance.

3. Egg parantha or scrambled eggs with chapati

Now that is a protein-rich breakfast which can help you keep full for longer. Prepare egg paranthas or eat scrambled eggs with roti for the perfect blend of protein, fat and carbs in your breakfast. Also, do not separate the yolk from egg white. A whole egg will provide you with all essential nutrients.

4. Bajra roti with beetroot raita/bajra khichdi

Bajra is a healthy grain which can be included a weight loss diet as well. You can either make a dough of bajra flour or prepare bajra khichdi as a healthy breakfast option. Bajra or millets has properties that can help in stabilising cholesterol levels in the body. Being rich in fibre, the grain is great for digestion and makes for a healthy breakfast option during winter.

(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)

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5 Super Healthy And Warm Drinks To Keep You Hydrated During Winter

The Kashmir Monitor



Are the teas and coffees failing to keep you warm during the chilly winter? Then need not worry as we are right here with multiple options for warm and comforting drinks during winter. Warm drinking options are important to keep you hydrated during winter. Staying hydrated during summer seems to be way easier as cold and healthy drinks are aplenty. The easiest way to stay hydrated during summer is to simply gulp down a bottle of water. But in winter, the body is usually in need of something which keeps us warm and on-the-go. Keep reading if you want some alternative warm drinks instead of sipping on a third our fourth cup of coffee.

Drinks to keep you warm and hydrated during winter

Turmeric latte:


Well, this is nothing but our very own haldi doodh. It is the traditional drink which is taken when a person is suffering from cold or fever. It is a healing drink which can naturally detox your body and even strengthen your bones.

Ginger, honey, lemon tea:

Yes, this is another traditional drink which can be taken in warm form as well. You can create a tea concoction by adding ginger, honey and lemon to water and bring to a boil. It can make for a refreshing and warming drink during the chilly winter months.

Hot mulled cider:

All you need to do is add cardamom, peppercorns, star anise, ginger, lemon and cloves to apple cider vinegar. Add a tinge of all these ingredients in a cup of ACV and heat it in low flame. The drink is going to make for a flavourful companion to you and your favourite book by the fireplace.

Vegetable/chicken/bone broth or soup:

Soups or broths are filling and extremely warming during the cold winter months. You can either prepare steaming hot vegetable soup or broth or chicken soup or bone breath. Broths and soups are fluids which can help you hydrated during winter while also boosting your immunity and protecting your from catching a cold or infection. Just make sure that their preparation is light and healthy.

Vanilla-almond steamer:

Now this is a toasty treat you all have been craving! All you need is some warm milk, cinnamon, vanilla and some almonds. This velvety winter drink is going to be your all time favourite! What’s more is that you can prepare it beforehand and have it when you’re ready for a warm treat for yourself.

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Fasting can improve overall health, study suggests

The Kashmir Monitor



Fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation.

Fasting can lead to improved health and provide protection against ageing-associated diseases, a recent study suggests.

According to the research, fasting affects circadian clocks in the liver and skeletal muscle, causing them to rewire their metabolism, which can ultimately lead to improved health and protection against ageing-associated diseases. The study was published recently in Cell Reports.


The circadian clock operates within the body and its organs as intrinsic time-keeping machinery to preserve homeostasis in response to the changing environment. And, while food is known to influence clocks in peripheral tissues, it was unclear, until now, how the lack of food influences clock function and ultimately affects the body.

“We discovered fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation,” said lead author Paolo Sassone-Corsi.

“Skeletal muscle, for example, appears to be twice as responsive to fasting as the liver,” Paolo asserted.

According to the researchers, fasting is able to essentially reprogram a variety of cellular responses. Therefore, optimal fasting in a timed manner would be strategic to positively affect cellular functions and ultimately benefiting health and protecting against ageing-associated diseases.

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January 2019
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