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Q1: In an effort to start eating healthier, I have been trying different types of fish as advised by numerous diet plans. Which is better for you- saltwater fish or freshwater fish?
First of all, fish is a very healthy food in general. It’s high in protein and contains healthy amounts of omega 3 (the “good fat”). But the simple answer to your question is that saltwater fish are better. They contain more iodine, which helps in the function of the thyroid gland and prevents in the formation of goiters. Due to the colder climate of the ocean compared to saltwater, the saltwater fish also contain more omega-3-fatty acids. In addition, levels of other chemicals such as mercury, chlordane, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are lower in saltwater fish.
Try to choose wild fish instead of the farm-raised variety, as farm raised fish tend to contain a higher amount of pollutants than their wild friends. If you are really into it, you can check out the chart for the nutrition contents of different salt water fish on this site.
Q2: Are almonds really good for you? Do they really lower cholesterol and help memory?
Good question. A lot of us (especially being desi) have often heard our parents tell us to eat a few almonds a day and maybe more when we are studying for exams because they will help our memory. Now for the facts: The almond contains a mix of vitamins, sterols, and fiber which gives them a heart-healthy reputation. Recent studies also claim that it’s the almond skins that are responsible for reducing LDL (the bad cholesterol).
As for memory: Recent reports state that low levels of vitamin E are associated with poor performance on memory tests. Vitamin E can reduce oxidative damage to tissues caused by free radicals. Eating foods high in Vitamin E may be beneficial to memory, but before your start overdosing on Vitamin E pills be aware that no definitive studies have been done on this.
Q3: Are there any foods I can eat to prevent Cancer?
I wish it were that easy! When it comes to cancer, there are no 100% guarantees. However recent research shows that there is a link between what you eat, what lifestyle choices you make, and the incidence of cancer. Basically, I would suggest that you avoid smoking, drink in moderation and eat mostly fresh fruits, eat a diet high in fiber and low in animal fat.
Here is an excellent article for more info.
Q4: I have many friends who are vegetarian by choice and though I’ll never stop eating meat all together, they have raised some valid points about red meat and are slowly convincing me to stop eating it for my health. Should I stop eating red meat? Does it cause cancer? How should I incorporate meat into my diet?
I wouldn’t suggest taking all red meats out of your diet. However, I would suggest for you to stop eating fatty red meat. Too much fatty meat clogs your arteries and it may also take the place of carbohydrates you could be eating, which can lower stamina. Red meat has also been linked to certain cancers such as colon cancer so it would also be a good idea to reduce your intake of red meat if you are eating huge amounts of it on a daily basis.
Lean cuts of meat can be easily included in your diet. The Food Guide Pyramid recommends two 2- to 3-ounce servings of lean meat a day for a total of 5 to 6 ounces. Lean meats are excellent sources of protein as well as iron and zinc, two minerals particularly important for athletes.
Keep portions small. Slice a small piece of lean steak into thin strips, then stir-fry it with veggies and serve with a medium portion of rice. Or add a little extra-lean hamburger to spaghetti sauce.
Q5:My chai-loving parents always put honey in their tea instead of sugar. They insist that honey is healthier than sugar and you can replace honey for sugar? Also is honey less harmful to teeth than sugar in terms of cavities?
Not really. Honey is mostly a solution of sugars called fructose and glucose, which affect teeth only very slightly less than ordinary sugar (sucrose). Honey does contain certain nutrients that are good for you, however they exist in trace amounts so it’s not certain if it will make any significant contribution to your health.
Disclaimer: The information provided is intended to be informative and educational and is not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.