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Plant Vs Animal Protein: Which One Is Better? Top Proteins That Help In Quick Weight Loss

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The nutrient protein is an extremely important part of our diet. Proteins are made up of amino acids and they exist throughout the body, in muscles, bones, skin and hair. They are beneficial for the growth and development and help to build, repair and maintain the body’s structures. Most importantly, it helps in building muscles, repairing tissues and promotes fullness. Broadly speaking there are two types of protein: animal based proteins and plant-based proteins. Foods derived from plants and animals can both provide protein, but there are some differences. In the following article let us explore some of the major differences between animal and plant protein. According to the Delhi based nutritionist, Pooja Malhotra “The building blocks of proteins are amino acids. There are 20 amino acids in all. While some amino acids can be synthesized by our bodies, some of them can’t be, we must obtain these from food, hence called essential amino acids.”

Plant and animal proteins differ according to their amino acid contents. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. When the body digests the proteins in food, it breaks them down into amino acids. Foods derived from plant are not the complete sources of protein, as they do not contain all nine essential amino acids. Most plant proteins are incomplete, which means that they do not contain one of the essential amino acids. For the growth and development of the body all the essential amino acids are needed. Even high protein plant sources like legumes, beans and nuts lack one or more essential amino acids. However, some plant-based foods, such as quinoa and buckwheat, are complete sources of protein. Therefore, it becomes important for vegetarians and vegans to mix their protein sources to ensure that they are getting all of the essential amino acids. But you need not worry as there are some plant-based proteins well which provide a lot of health benefits. These include nuts, legumes, buckwheat, quinoa, soya products and lentils.

She continues to say, “Plant proteins (lentils, beans, nuts) are incomplete, they lack one or more of the essential amino acids. This drawback can be overcome by combining the plant protein with some cereal/ grains. It has usually been found that amino acids lacking in pulses are present in grains and vice versa. So cereal-pulse combinations are found to have complete amino acid profile. Hence the humble khichadi is an excellent source of protein. Plant proteins too contain a number of other nutrients, besides the very important non-nutrient ‘fibre’. ”

 

Animal-based protein:

Animal proteins have more nutritional content than plant protein. The best part about animal-based proteins is that they contain all the essential amino acids. For instance some milk products, fatty fish and poultry are excellent sources of Vitamin B 12, Vitamin D and essential omega 3 fatty acids. Some amazing sources of protein are eggs, poultry, fish, meat, chicken breast and dairy. Nutritionist further added, “Animal proteins (egg, fish, poultry, meats etc) are complete proteins, they contain all essential amino acids. They also are a good source of nutrients like Vit D, B12, heme iron, zinc etc. However, these are devoid of fibre. They also are abundant in cholesterol, which if now not considered to be a nutrient of concern. Red meats, especially the processed ones are considered to significantly increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Lean anima protein also helps to increase muscle mass and prevent muscle loss that happens with ageing.”

To conclude nutritionist says, “For meat-eaters, a flexitarian approach works best. So restrict yourself to lean meats 2-3 times a week, eggs can be consumed almost daily, make sure your veg meals have cereal-pulse combinations, also include beans and nuts to get adequate protein and also obtain the benefits of both.”

Protein-rich foods that help in weight loss:

Chicken

Eggs

Milk

Soya

Quinoa

Peas

Nuts

Lentils

Brown rice

Salmon

Cottage cheese

Avocados

(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)


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Health

Hepatitis A Causes and Symptoms

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Generally speaking, hepatitis A is more common in parts of the planet that are developing. It’s for the fact that sanitation and food handling practices are by and large poor. However, medical experts say that living in developed countries can also put you at risk of having hepatitis A, but it’s really a rare occurrence.

Just like what’s mentioned earlier, hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus or HAV. It can be spread around by someone who has hepatitis A because he or she is a carrier of the virus behind it. It is said that a person with hepatitis A is most infectious about 2 weeks before he or she begins to experience signs and symptoms.

Here are some of the ways that hepatitis A is spread around:

 

Consumption of food that is prepared by a person who has hepatitis A. This is most especially true if he or she has not properly washed his or her hands.

Drinking of water that is contaminated with the hepatitis A virus.

Intake of raw or undercooked seafood obtained from contaminated water.

Close contact with someone who has hepatitis A. This includes having sexual intercourse with an infected person, especially when the rectal or anal area has been touched with the fingers, mouth or tongue.

Using illegal drugs, especially when paraphernalia contaminated with the hepatitis A virus are used.

Symptoms

Medical experts say that it may take a while before the various signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A show up. They say that someone may experience them about 4 weeks after getting infected. It’s even possible for someone with hepatitis A to not experience any sign and symptom at all.

Some of the initial signs and symptoms of hepatitis A include:

Tiredness and malaise
Achy muscles and joints
Pain in the upper right section of the abdomen
Loss of appetite
Mild fever
Headaches
Sore throat
Diarrhea or constipation
Hives or raised rash that’s itchy

These initial signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A can last anywhere from a few days only to a couple of weeks. Afterwards, as the infection of the liver progresses, the following may be experienced by the individual:

Jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin as well as the whites of the eyes (sclera)

Pale colored stools
Dark colored urine
Skin itching

Tenderness and swelling of the upper right section of the abdomen

Although it rarely happens, hepatitis A can cause liver failure. When such develops, the person who is infected may experience severe vomiting, frequent bruising, bleeding of the nose and gums, drowsiness and confusion.

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Health

Busting myths around blood donation

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As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

Contrary to the myth about blood donations making a person weak or anaemic, the body replenishes the lost blood in a matter of a few days, say experts.

“A healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets, so there is no question of becoming weak, much less anaemic. It is a myth and should not deter people from donating blood,” says Dr RK Singal, chairman, internal medicine department, BLK super-speciality Hospital.

 

The donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components, as there is sophisticated equipment available these days that extract relevant components from blood and the rest of the blood can be transfused back to the donor.

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

About 65% of India’s population is young and if this section donates blood regularly, chances of the country facing blood shortage will be remote. Hence, there is all the more reason for people, especially youngsters, to come forward and be regular blood donors.

How to prepare

Have enough fruit juice and water in the night and morning before you donate

Have a full meal 3 hours before donation; never on an empty stomach

Have some rest for about 10-15 minutes after donation

Have some snacks or a juice with high sugar content after donation

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Health

Erectile dysfunction’s connection with lifestyle

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By Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal

healthy-lifestyle-can-reverse-effects-of-hypertensionAll over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED).

All over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED). From my research, I have found a strong link between ED and stress. Other major causes include smoking, drinking, diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. My advice to these patients is — do not get even more stressed over this situation. Instead, focus on taking the right medication and making some changes to your lifestyle, so you can once again enjoy a satisfactory sexual life.

 

DIAGNOSIS OF ED

We normally diagnose ED and its underlying causes by asking the patient a few questions about his medical and sexual history. This is sometimes done by sharing a questionnaire with the patient. The questions that we ask are designed to help us understand the cause of ED in the particular patient.

We also do a physical exam, ask for certain blood tests to rule out other medical conditions responsible for erectile dysfunction, and recommend imaging tests (if required) to determine whether the person is physically able to have an erection or not.

SHORT-TERM SOLUTION, LONG-TERM CURE

Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol levels) can cause ED. In these cases, ED can be reversed once the patient starts treatment.

In my experience, many men suffer from ED because of work stress, family pressure and anxiety. So, changes in lifestyle with regular exercise, yoga, abstaining from alcohol and smoking, and proper counselling help in treating ED. Along with this, medicines for ED are usually prescribed for about 3 to 6 months by which time lifestyle changes start to take effect and the patient is physically and mentally healthier, which helps resolve the problem.

An estimated 16% to 25% of men experience ED at some point in their lives. I would urge them not to be embarrassed about it. Seek medical help from a urologist or andrologist; get the necessary advice/medication; and go on to enjoy a healthy, fulfilling sexual life.

The author of this article is Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal, head, andrology, department of urology sciences, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket

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