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Indian Food Facts Weighed At IPN Meet

January 2004
Indian Food Facts Weighed At IPN Meet

The Indian Professionals Network (IPN) held its monthly meeting at the Maharaja Restaurant in Tucker on December 11. The topic of discussion was "Managing Weight Loss and Diabetes with Indian Foods." The event was organized by image consultant Gita Mehrotra of New-U. Dr. Satya S. Jonnalagadda of the Department of Nutrition, Georgia State University (GSU), fitness expert Veronica A Norris and Mehrotra were the speakers for the evening.

Dr Jonnalagadda presented an audio-visual insight into managing diabetes with an Indian diet. She highlighted the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. "A family history of diabetes, age, being overweight and inactive or a high blood pressure," she said were the high risk factors. Race also plays a significant role, she said, adding that Indians have a higher risk of diabetes. A history of diabetes during pregnancy is also a risk factor, she said.

Dr Jonnalagadda went on to outline lifestyle and dietary changes to effectively manage diabetes. Her recommendations included eating meals and snacks at regular times daily, eating about the same amount of food each day, eating smaller portions for weight loss, eating out less than three times a week, making low fat choices and being physically active.

The GSU nutritionist provided a very useful analysis of different types of food and her recommendations for each of them. "Protein intake does not increase blood glucose, and hence it is important to get good quality protein in the diet," she said. Animal protein, as in meat and dairy, soy protein and other plant proteins (beans, legumes, dals and grains) should be consumed in combinations, she added.

Dr Jonnalagadda recommended three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day.

Veronica Norris spoke on "Walk For Health And Wellness". Norris listed the many benefits of walking. "It improves posture, lowers blood cholesterol, manages stress, improves self esteem, improves sleep habits, stabilizes blood pressure and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease," she said.

Walking also has other benefits, Norris stressed. A regular exercise program, she said, improves the quality of life. Besides, walking is inexpensive, requires no special skills, is safe and convenient and can be a spiritual experience, she added. "Walk in the neighborhood, in parks, malls, treadmills, start a walking club, walk your dog," she urged.

Image consultant Gita Mehrota of New U was the last speaker for the evening. She provided an audio-visual presentation on the "A to Z Of Achieving Your Goal".

"Are you ready for the new you?" she asked of the audience. "Change is an ongoing process. (In order to achieve change) goals are important. Pick out an outfit that does not fit, that reminds you that you need to lose weight," she suggested.

Mehrotra said the community was picking up bad habits from both cultures. "Earlier, back home, we walked to the temple. Now we drive everywhere. We have added meat to our diet. Earlier we had our food served in katoris, but that is not the case anymore," she lamented.

The image consultant defined the ABCs of success. "The formula to reach any desired goal is to align your attitude, affirm and act, believe in yourself and be balanced between change and consistency." Find a balance, she added, between yes and no; work and play; family and friends; health and wealth.

"Plan your work, and work your plan," she exhorted. "Reprogram yourself to make changes. Finding five words everyday that would help us stay in touch with our goals would be a great idea, she said.

Mehrotra stressed on time management, thought management, organizational skills and stress management as the keys to success in reaching goals.

Earlier, Mehrotra introduced the guests for the evening. The event was well attended by professionals from all walks of life.

-Veena Rao

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