Food Talk - Best Private Hospital in Dubai Al Mankhool | IMH Dubai


Fasting is a very healthy thing to do and has a good effect on the body. Studies have shown that
it can decrease cancer and improve your immune system. It increases insulin sensitivity, enhances
cardiovascular health, boosts brain function and improves immunity and metabolism that aid overall
well-being. Ramadan fasting should help you to lose weight. Ramadan also is a good time for person to
quit smoking. There is medication available for withdrawal symptoms if required, that will help them
turn in to a nonsmoker. Fasting can be beneficial for people with acid reflux disease and functional
bowel disorders if we do not over eat. Benefits of smoking cessation, weight loss, heightened spiritual
involvement help to reduce stress and blood pressure.
With a little planning, you could finish the month in a healthier condition than when you began.
It would be safer to choose dishes that are low in fat, rich in fiber when dining out. One should aim to
eat three to four small, balanced meals. A balanced meal would consist of third portion of fruit and
vegetables, a third portion cooked meat and carbohydrates, and third portion of fluids. Eat dates to end
the fast, and then pray so your body gets rest, after that drink a little water and continue with your
meal. If you don’t over eat you will not get acid reflux and acidity. Choose quality lean proteins and
healthy fats in sensible portions. Start your day with fast acting carbs like refined wheat and wheat
products, rice, starches, honey, avoiding sugar cereals and toasted white bread. Strive for a good
balance of macronutrients: At iftar make sure to include all the major macronutrients -ensure half your
plate is filled with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with protein, a quarter with grains. Also include
serving of dairy. A good balance of macronutrients comprises complex carbohydrates (vegetables and
whole grains), lean protein (fish, white meat and legumes) and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado etc.),
in additions to fruits. Since sugar is not an essential nutrient, recommendation of sugar is about six
teaspoons or 25grams. Stay hydrated-drink plenty of water- at least three liters between Iftar and
suhoor. Avoid caffeinated and carbonated drinks.
Maintaining regular sleeping pattern throughout the month is also an important part of a
successful Ramadan. Exercises moderately about two to three hours after you break your fast.
Exercise during fasting stimulates the body to burn fat and raises the level of mental activity.
Recommended sports are brisk walking, bike riding, and moderate exercise at the gym.
Many medical conditions require special attention during Ramadan like diabetes, hypertension,
kidney disease, heart disease and pregnancy. Patients is on medications should discuss with their
physician about how best to adjust the doses. People with chronic health conditions are exempted
from fasting, but still can do it as long as they consult with their doctors. Patients on
medications for hypertension can generally continue to fast, since most medications are given
once or twice daily. Although there is risk associated with fasting for diabetes, patients can fast
especially if they are taking long acting medications and their blood sugar is well controlled. If
you feel dizzy or faint, you have to end your fast and drink some beverage or eat light snack,
such as orange juice or dates.
Pregnant women should discuss her fasting with her doctor based on her personal

For children it’s best to eat dates and drink water or milk followed by short break before
having the main meal. Children are encouraged to drink at least to four to six cups of water
between iftar and suhoor and avoid sugary drinks. The iftar meal does not have to be very
heavy and should be equal to regular lunch or dinner. One healthy snacks such as whole fruits,
dates, yoghurt, milk or a smoothie can be offered before sleep. A normal breakfast meal should
be scheduled as close as possible to dawn.



What is Anorexia?

Male-AnorexiaAnorexia Nervosa is a psychological and possibly life-threatening eating disorder defined by an extremely low body weight relative to stature (this is called BMI [Body Mass Index] and is a function of an individual’s height and weight), extreme and needless weight loss, illogical fear of weight gain, and distorted perception of self-image and body.

Additionally, women and men who suffer with anorexia nervosa exemplify a fixation with a thin figure and abnormal eating patterns. Anorexia nervosa is interchangeable with the term anorexia, which refers to self-starvation and lack of appetite.

Types of Anorexia

There are two common types of anorexia, which are as follows:

  • Anorexia Nervosa Binge / Purge Type – The individual suffering from anorexia nervosa binge / purge type, will purge when he or she eats. This is typically a result of the overwhelming feelings of guilt a sufferer would experience in relation to eating; they compensate by vomiting, abusing laxatives, or excessively exercising.
  • Restrictive Anorexia Nervosa – In this form of anorexia nervosa, the individual will fiercely limit the quantity of food consumed, characteristically ingesting a minimal amount that is well below their body’s caloric needs, effectively slowly starving him or herself.


Anorexia is not a simple disorder. It has many symptoms and effects, and its causes are complex as well

  1. Environmental factors

The effects of the thinnessculture in media, that constantly reinforce thin people as ideal stereotypes

  • Professions and careers that promote being thin and weight loss, such as ballet and modeling
  • Family and childhood traumas: childhood sexual abuse, severe trauma
  • Peer pressure among friends and co-workers to be thin or be sexy.
  1. Biological factors
  • Irregular hormone functions
  • Genetics (the tie between anorexia and one’s genes is still being heavily researched, but we know that genetics is a part of the story).
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Signs and Symptoms 

Living with anorexia means you’re constantly hiding your habits. This makes it hard at first for friends and family to spot the warning signs. When confronted, you might try to explain away your disordered eating and wave away concerns. But as anorexia progresses, people close to you won’t be able to deny their instincts that something is wrong—and neither should you.

food behavior signs and symptoms

  • Dieting despite being thin – Following a severely restricted diet. Eating only certain low-calorie foods. Banning “bad” foods such as carbohydrates and fats.
  • Obsession with calories, fat grams, and nutrition – Reading food labels, measuring and weighing portions, keeping a food diary, reading diet books.
  • Pretending to eat or lying about eating – Hiding, playing with, or throwing away food to avoid eating. Making excuses to get out of
  • Preoccupation with food – Constantly thinking about food. Cooking for others, collecting recipes, reading food magazines, or making meal plans while eating very little.
  • Strange or secretive food rituals – Refusing to eat around others or in public places. Eating in rigid, ritualistic ways.

appearance and body image signs and symptoms

  • Rapid weight loss with no medical cause.
  • Feeling fat, despite being underweight – You may feel overweight in general or just “too fat” in certain places, such as the stomach, hips, or thighs.
  • Fixation on body image – Obsessed with weight, body shape, or clothing size. Frequent weigh-ins and concern over tiny fluctuations in weight.
  • Harshly critical of appearance – Spending a lot of time in front of the mirror checking for flaws. There’s always something to criticize. You’re never thin enough.
  • Denial that you’re too thin – You may deny that your low body weight is a problem, while trying to conceal it (drinking a lot of water before being weighed, wearing baggy or oversized clothes).

purging signs and symptoms

  • Using diet pills, laxatives, or diuretics – Abusing water pills, herbal appetite suppressants, prescription stimulants, ipecac syrup, and other drugs for weight loss.
  • Throwing up after eating – Frequently disappearing after meals or going to the bathroom. May run the water to disguise sounds of vomiting or reappear smelling like mouthwash or mints.
  • Compulsive exercising – Following a punishing exercise regimen aimed at burning calories. Exercising through injuries, illness, and bad weather. Working out extra hard after bingeing or eating something “bad.”

Steps to recovery

  • Admit you have a problem. Up until now, you’ve been invested in the idea that life will be better—that you’ll finally feel good—if you lose more weight. The first step in anorexia recovery is admitting that your relentless pursuit of thinness is out of your control and acknowledging the physical and emotional damage that you’ve suffered because of it.
  • Talk to someone. It can be hard to talk about what you’re going through, especially if you’ve kept your anorexia a secret for a long time. You may be ashamed, ambivalent, or afraid. But it’s important to understand that you’re not alone. Find a good listener—someone who will support you as you try to get better.
  • Stay away from people, places, and activities that trigger your obsession with being thin.You may need to avoid looking at fashion or fitness magazines, spend less time with friends who constantly diet and talk about losing weight, and stay away from weight loss web sites and “pro-ana” sites that promote anorexia.
  • Seek professional help. The advice and support of trained eating disorder professionals can help you regain your health, learn to eat normally again, and develop healthier attitudes about food and your body.

The difference between dieting and anorexia

Healthy Dieting


Healthy dieting is an attempt to control weight. Anorexia is an attempt to control your life and emotions.

Your self-esteem is based on more than just weight and body image.

Your self-esteem is based entirely on how much you weigh and how thin you are.
You view weight loss as a way to improve your health and appearance. You view weight loss as a way to achieve happiness.
Your goal is to lose weight in a healthy way.

Becoming thin is all that matters; health is not a concern.

Learn to tolerate your feelings

Identifying the underlying issues that drive your eating disorder is the first step toward recovery, but insight alone is not enough. Let’s say, for example, that following restrictive food rules makes you feel safe and powerful. When you take that coping mechanism away, you will be confronted with the feelings of fear and helplessness your anorexia helped you avoid.

Challenge damaging mindsets

People with anorexia are often perfectionists and overachievers. They’re the “good” daughters and sons who do what they’re told, try to excel in everything they do, and focus on pleasing others. But while they may appear to have it all together, inside they feel helpless, inadequate, and worthless.

Develop a healthier relationship with food

Even though anorexia isn’t fundamentally about food, over time you’ve developed harmful food habits that can be tough to break. Part of recovery is developing a healthier relationship with food.

Medical treatment

The first priority in anorexia treatment is addressing and stabilizing any serious health issues. Hospitalization may be necessary if you are dangerously malnourished or so distressed that you no longer want to live. You may also need to be hospitalized until you reach a less critical weight.

Diet And Acne – What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You

Diet And Acne – What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You


Acne is caused by a combination of the skin producing too much sebum and a build-up of dead skin cells which clog the pores and leads to a localized infection or spot. It is thought that excess sebum production is caused by hormonal fluctuations, which explains why around 80% of teenagers experience bouts of acne throughout adolescence. While there is no danger from the spots themselves, severe acne can scar as well as lead to anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.
For ages there’s been an exception to ‘you are what you eat’ saying- ‘Acne’. Doctors scoff at the idea and the web is littered with diet acne myth articles. But is it really so?
A landmark overview of research carried out over the past 50 years has found that eating foods with a high glycaemic load (GL) and dairy products not only aggravated acne, but in some cases triggered it, too.

Current diet-acne scenario

A positive correlation exists between consumption of dairy products and acne. A 2005 analysis titled “High school dietary dairy intake and teenage acne explored the possible associations between dairy-related foods and the incidence of physician-diagnosed acne. In an analysis of more than 47,000 teens, a positive correlation was found between acne and the intake of milk. The study noted that there was no difference seen between full-fat versus low-fat milk intakes in relation to breakouts. In other words, regardless of the type of cow’s milk, acne was still seen prevalently in the participants’ skin.
A similar analysis study conducted in 2006 titled “Milk consumption and acne in ` adolescent girls reviewed the affects of dairy on visible breakouts in young women from 9–15 years of age. Researchers concluded that greater consumption of milk was associated with higher prevalence of acne.”
Both studies also pointed to the hypothesis that the association with milk may be because of the presence of hormones and bioactive molecules, as well as its effect through the insulin like growth factor (IGF-1) pathway. Through these pathways, dairy intake may aggravate acne on a number of levels, including an increase in oil production, inflammation and abnormal hormonal activity.

2. A low-glycemic load diet has a positive correlation in the reduction of acne.

Regular consumption of high-glycemic load foods elevates insulin levels and may, in turn, stimulate sebum production and sebaceous cell prolifer¬ation. It concluded that the improvement in acne and insulin sensitivity after a low-glycemic load diet suggests that nutrition-related lifestyle factors may play a role in the pathogenesis of acne. This includes whole foods, such as fruits, greens, vegetables, brown rice and nuts.

3. Fruits and vegetables may help minimize signs of acne.

Rural cultures with diets high in fruits, nuts and root vegetables have been observed to have a very minimal incidence of acne. Studies point to whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, as having a positive correlation with clear skin. This makes sense: Plants are, by and large, some of the strongest anti-inflammatory food sources available. By increasing daily intake of fruits, greens and vegetables, clients biologically increase their immunity and could potentially decrease signs of acne.

Choosing low Glycemic load (GL) foods

  • Only carbohydrates have a GL rating.
  • Because the body takes longer time to break lower GL foods hence they help you feel fuller for longer too.
  • High GL foods include sugary fizzy drinks, cakes, pastries, chocolate, white bread, potatoes etc.
  • Low GL foods include fruit and vegetables, wholegrain options such as brown pasta, brown rice, pulses etc.
  • Not overcooking your pasta and vegetables helps lower the GI.

Encourage and educate
Physicians are often first in line to work with clients suffering from acne. With the subject of diet and skin care becoming more mainstream, it is important that those working in the skin care community arm themselves with the information and know-how to advice clients about such matters.

• Keep a binder of studies in the waiting area. Allow clients easy access to such information, perhaps even highlighting important areas of note.
• Inform clients that research shows a positive correlation between high glycemic load diet/ dairy consumption and acne.
• Encourage healthy eating by suggesting an increase of more fruits, greens and vegetables. On average, a person eat less than two servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which is far below the minimum daily recommended serving size of 5–13. Plant-based foods are some of the richest anti-inflammatory resources available. An increase in these foods may decrease visible signs of inflammatory skin disorders, such as acne.

By bringing to light the diet-acne connection, the wheels start turning for clients to consider how their food choices affect their skin. It is important for skin care professionals to be at the forefront of emerging research and understand the nutritional connections to skin health. Providing sound and honest advice about skin care is crucial to enriching your individual practice. The more you are able to share with your clients, the deeper your relationships with them will grow.

1. CA Adebamowo, et al, High school dietary dairy intake and teenage acne, J Am Acad Dermatol 52 2 207–214 (Feb 2005)

2. CA Adebamowo, et al, Milk consumption and acne in adolescent girls, Dermatol Online J 12 4 1 (May 2006)

3. RN Smith, et al, A low-glycemic-load diet improves symptoms in acne vulgaris patients: a randomized controlled trial, Am J Clin Nutr 86 1 107–115 (Jul 2007)

4. ML Nagpal, et al, Human chorionic gonadotropin up-regulates insulin-like growth factor-I receptor gene expression of Leydig cells, Endocrinology 129 6 2820–2826 (Dec 1991)

5. L Cordain, et al, Acne vulgaris: a disease of Western civilization, Arch Dermatol 138 12 1584–1590 (Dec 2002
6. (Accessed April 30 , 2015)

7. O Schaefer, When the Eskimo Comes to Town, Nutrition Today 6 6 8–16 (Nov/Dec 1971)


Dr. Rahul Chaudhary

M.B.B.S, MD(Dermatology)

Specialist Dermatology

Adding Mushrooms to Your Meals

They’re nutritious and low calorie

— Don’t be put off by the fact that mushrooms are a type of fungus. They’re nutritious, low-calorie, low in sodium, fat, cholesterol, and calories and have often been referred to as “functional foods.” In addition to providing basic nutrition, they help prevent chronic disease due to the presence of antioxidants and beneficial dietary fibers such as chitin and beta-glucans.

Include healthy fats in your diet

Include healthy fats in your diet

Eating fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat! Many immune supportive vitamins, like Vitamin E or beta-carotene and hormones, like Vitamin D require some fat in the diet for absorption. Fat is a rich source of energy, you should try and eat no more than your recommendation intake. It is also important to choose unsaturated fats as much as possible, such as those found in oily fish, nuts and seed, avocado, and spreads made from sunflower, rapeseed and olive oil.

Quinoa vs Brown Rice

Is quinoa a healthier option than brown rice?

As an increasing number of supermarkets begin lining their shelves with this ancient grain-like seed, consumers are beginning to ask this very question. Quinoa, a complete-protein seed that resembles a cross between couscous and short-grain rice, is a popular swap for rice.

Quinoa is becoming commonplace in many homes throughout the country, while brown rice is definitely better than white rice, quinoa may be a better option all around and provide a higher proportion of nutrients.

Quinoa vs. Brown Rice: Nutritional Comparison

When comparing quinoa with brown rice, quinoa wins every time. Quinoa has more fiber, a lower glycemic load, and substantially more amino acids. Quinoa is one of the rare complete-protein foods, meaning it contains all essential amino acids needed for growth, cellular repair, and energy production.

Here’s a quick nutritional comparison of quinoa and brown rice:

Quinoa, 1 cup cooked

  • Calories: 222
  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Magnesium: 30%
  • Iron: 15%

Brown Rice, 1 cup cooked

  • Calories: 216
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Magnesium: 21%
  • Iron: 5%

With few exceptions, quinoa is much more nutrient-dense than brown rice. That’s not to say brown rice is totally worthless, it is a good source of nutrition–but, quinoa offers a higher level of nutrients (including antioxidants) necessary for supporting a superior state of health.

Quinoa Poison Myth

There is a myth that quinoa is poisonous and should never be consumed in large amounts, if at all. The substance cited in this myth is saponin, which is somewhat toxic and should never be eaten. That being said, saponin is not in the quinoa seed, but is merely a natural coating that covers the seed. This coating can be rinsed off with cold running water before cooking. South Americans often use this rinsed-off saponin as a laundry detergent.

Why I Recommend Quinoa

Quinoa is a natural, gluten-free food that has a slightly nutty taste and aroma and is extremely versatile. It can be used in place of rice and steel-cut oats in most recipes without compromising the taste of the completed dish. It is higher in overall nutrients and is now easily accessible at most grocery stores. Also, if you’re into gluten-free baking, check out quinoa flour. It can replace rice flour in most gluten-free baking recipes and lends a softer texture to breads while increasing nutrient quality. If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, I recommend that you pick some up today!


 Dr. Archana Karthik