Health Articles

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Understanding calories

Calories are the measurement used for the amount of energy in the food and drink.

 

When we consume food and drink, we put energy into our bodies. This energy will then be used for our everyday activities from breathing, sleeping, to running.

 

In order to maintain a stable weight, the energy that we put into our bodies must be balanced with the energy that we use through normal body functions and our daily activities. In a simpler words, the more calories put in the body the more activities you needed to burn it and vice versa.

 

General calories intake

 

Men on average need about 2500kcal per day while women need about 2000kcal per day. However, as mentioned above, the amount of recommended nutrient intake vary from person to person based on their daily activities, occupation, frequency of exercise, lifestyle habits and also body metabolism.

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The more vigorously you do an activity, the more calories you’ll use. For example, fast walking will burn more calories than walking at a moderate pace. If you’re gaining weight, it could mean you have been regularly eating and drinking more calories than you have been using. To lose weight, you need to use more energy than you consume, this can be achieved via consuming lesser food or exercise more vigorously. Continuously doing this over a period of time will lead you to your desired weight.

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However, when people try to loss weight, they tend to curb their food intake and often times do not enjoy their diet modification. A healthy diet should also be a sustainable diet, thus, cut down on unhealthy food consumption slowly but consistently, consuming more healthier food option and also be mindful about the amount of food consume.

 

Calorie counter

 

 

Nowadays, there are various apps that can be used on mobile phone to track not only your calorie intake but also, your steps, exercise and also energy that you burn. Using all these apps, and gadget are helpful in making sure that you are on track with your diet and exercise.

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One of the apps developed by Ministry of Health Malaysia that is tally with Malaysian variety of foods is my nutri diary 2.0 aps. The app is helpful in monitoring your calorie intake and your weight progress. Often times, when we use calorie tracking app, it frustrates users that the app does not know how much calorie does a nasi lemak have  (any local food), but with my nutri diary it covers variety of Malaysian foods option which can be helpful for our daily food consumption.

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Gap between unhealthy diet and body needs

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While trying to loss, putting on or maintaining weight, imbalance consumption of foods may lead to losing some essential nutrients. Hence, to bridge the gap between lack of nutrient from food and body needs, consumption of multivitamin and multimineral are helpful.

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Other conditions includes denture problem, loss of appetite, hectic lifestyle, and many more.

Is fruit juice really healthy for us?


Is fruit juice really healthy for us?

To answer this, it really is a very tricky one. There is always two sides of belief  when it comes to this.

One believe that juicing is unhealthy than eating whole fruits, due to the loss of fiber throughout the process which makes fructose (sugar in fruit) absorb even quicker as compared to when it is together with fiber, thus less healthy(1).

Another believe that juicing is better than eating the whole fruits and vegetables because body can absorb better and let digestive tract rest from digesting fiber. If ones consider blending fruit, that is even better since edible fiber in it makes we feel full, so it promotes satiety(1).

 

 

So should we consider juicing, blending or just eat raw fruits and vegetables ?

 

Three longitudinal prospective cohort studies found out that, greater consumption of fruits such as blueberries, grapes, apples, bananas and grapefruit reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes while greater consumption of fruit juice was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (2).

 

When fruit is squeeze for its juice, what left inside the fruit juice are basically sugar, vitamins and  antioxidants such as carotenoids etc thus it is healthier in this aspect as compared to frizzy drinks (3). However, the amount of sugar inside both of these drinks are about the same, which is about 20-26g of sugar per cup (3).

 

The reasons why fruit juice contain higher sugar content as compared to fresh fruit even when the fruit juice is the 100% fruit juice without the addition of anything else is because of, in order to make the 250ml of orange juice as an example two medium size of orange is needed, and that is only 250ml, since when it is in liquid form people tend to consume it even more thus more no of fruits needed. As the number of fruit increases so does the sugar in it but not the fiber inside, which in returns make it have loads of sugar(1,3,4,7,8)!

 

 

According to Singapore Health Promotion Board, many people may think that naturally occurring sugar is healthier than added sugar, but actually there is no chemical difference between the two, and they have the same impact on blood sugar level when ingested(8).

The similar case goes to smoothies  not only that it has lot of sugar from multiple number of fruits, but  various kind of protein based food like yogurt, milk, almond milk etc that is mixed together with it will increase it calorie as well (4).

High sugar level in both of these drinks make it a high calorie beverages thus poses the same effect like high calorie food, which can lead to weight gain. As we know that, Malaysia is the fattest country in Southeast Asia, one of the contributing factor behind is the lack of knowledge on what can increase weight and what cannot. 

 

 

Weight gain is link to many health problems such as heart diseases, metabolic syndrome, cancer, bone and joint problem, kidney problem etc(3).

 

Study on the composition of grapefruits with different method of household processing also found out that, composition of antioxidant on blended grapefruit has higher concentration of the beneficial compound as compared to juicing or hand squeezing (5).

 

However, as for the absorption of beta carotene, study found out that fruit and vegetables juice makes beta carotene absorb better as compared to blending or eating raw fruit. This is due to the fact that fiber hinder the absorption of beta carotene (6).

 

The takeaway message

 

Eating raw fruit, juicing and blending all has its pro and cons. What important is always take into account the amount of sugar content and fiber content. All in all make sure that you have balance, nutritious and moderate diet as per suggested by Ministry of Health, eat 3 servings of vegetables/day and 2 servings of fruits/day. Varied the way vegetables and fruit cooked or served and eat in moderation.

 

References

  1. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/juicing/faq-20058020
  2. MurakiIsao, ImamuraFumiaki, Manson JoAnn E, Hu Frank B, Willett Walter C, van Dam Rob M et al. Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies BMJ 2013; 347 :f5001. https://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f5001
  3. Healthline (n.d). Is Fruit Juice is as Unhealthy as Sugary Soda? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fruit-juice-vs-soda#sugar-content
  4. Healthline (n.d). Juicing vs Blending: Which one is better for me? https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/juicing-vs-blending
  5. 5Ram M Uckoo1Guddadarangavvanahally K JayaprakashaV M BalasubramaniamBhimanagouda S Patil. Grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi Macfad) Phytochemicals Composition Is Modulated by Household Processing Techniques.
  6. Julia K Kolodziejczyk1Shirley W FlattLoki NatarajanRuth PattersonJohn P PierceGregory J Norman. Associations of Soluble Fiber, Whole Fruits/Vegetables, and Juice With Plasma Beta-carotene Concentrations in a Free-Living Population of Breast Cancer Survivors. Women Health 52(8). DOI: 10.1080/03630242.2012.728189
  7. How many orange does it take to make a cup of orange juice? (n.d). https://www.eatdifferentrd.com/blog/2016/8/12/how-many-oranges-does-it-take-to-make-a-cup-of-oj
  8. Chanel News Asia (CNA) International (2019). That cup of fresh fruit juice could contain as much sugar as a soft drink. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/fruit-juice-sugar-diabetes-health-risks-soft-drink-11708652

Salt Intake, How Much is Too Much?


Salt Intake, How Much is Too Much?


Rapid urbanization has increased the production of more and more processed food which in turn transforming dietary patterns. Nutrition transition or change in dietary patterns is taking place in the nation where people around the world consume more energy dense but less nutrients food. For instance, food that are high in saturated fats, trans fat, refined carbohydrates, sugar and salts. On the contrary, people are consuming less vegetables and fruits that are key components of a healthy diet.

 


Study titled “Malaysian Community Salt Study 2017/18” showed that the average salt intake per day among Malaysian is 7.9g or 1.6 teaspoons. Four out of five Malaysians consumed excessive salt which is above the level recommended by the World Health Organization (< 5g per day or equivalent to one teaspoon) (7).

 

A study showed that Malays had 21% higher odds of having pre-hypertension and 64% higher odds of having Stage 2 hypertension compared to the Chinese. The traditional cuisine of Asian people is well known to contain high amounts of salt. It has been widely used in fish fermentation, pickling, and the production of local Asian sauces. This result may related to high sodium intake among the ethnicity as previous research has established that excessive sodium intake leads to uncontrolled blood pressure among adults (1).

 


 

Sodium: what is the main dietary sources? (5,6,8)

 

Salt is the primary source of sodium however high sodium consumption is generally associated with health problems such as high blood pressure, fatal coronary heart disease or higher risk of incident of stroke.

Salt in the diet can obtain either from processed foods that are normally high in salt such as instant noodles, snack foods, sausage or added to food during cooking such as stock cubes or at the table such as soy sauce, fish sauce and table salt. Fried rice, omelette, fish cake, nasi lemak, thick soy sauce, tomato sauce, chilli sauce, oyster sauce, roti canai, meat soups and fried mee are also major source of sodium.

 


 

 

Sodium: How much is too much? (4, 8)

 



In general, World Health Organization (WHO) recommends consume less than 5g (just under a teaspoon) of salt per day or equivalent to less than 2000mg of sodium per day. However, this recommendation for children does not address the period of exclusive breastfeeding or the period of complementary breastfeeding.

 

Read the Nutrition Facts Label! (5,6,8)

 

Nutrition facts label found on packaged or processed foods list the amount of sodium in each serving and be sure how many serving are in a package.  Normally, sodium is found in most foods  as sodium chloride (NaCl) generally known as salt. In addition to  NaCl, sodium may also present in other forms, such as monosodium glutamate, baking soda, baking powder, disodium phosphate, sodium nitrate, sodium citrate, sodium benzoate and sodium alginate. However, sodium chloride (salt) is still the major source of sodium.

 


 

Tips for Cutting Back on Sodium (4,5,6,8)

 

  • Eat more fresh food. Increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables meanwhile cut down on consumption of salty foods such as salted fish, salted eggs, salted vegetables and high sodium snacks (potato crips, fish crips) and highly processed foods (sausages, nuggets, meatball and burger)

 


 

  • Read the ingredients list on the food label and take note on all sources of sodium. Note the sodium content of a food in the Nutrition Information Panel, compare with other products and choose the ones with the lower sodium content

 


  • Enhance the flavour of food using natural herbs and condiments such as garlic, onion, spices, lemon grass and lemon juice. Whilst, reduce the addition of flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), sauces (oyster sauce, chili sauce, light soy sauce) and flavoring cubes.

 


 

  • Limit your fast food consumption or eating out. Eat home cooked meals more frequent as this offers more control over the use of salt and sauces. Request for low salt or sauces dishes or no MSG added meals if eating out.


 

 

  • Avoid adding salt and sauces at the table; Eat well and shake off the salt.
  • For children, do not add salts or condiments then replace with natural flavor enhancers when preparing their foods. Provide healthy and low salt snacks for school children.

 



 


Misconceptions about Salt Reduction

 


 

  • You need more salt in your diet when you sweat on humid and hot day. Extra salt is not needed even on a hot and humid day but it is important to drink a lot of water.
  • “Sea salt is better”. No matter what is the source of salt, it is the sodium content that causes bad health outcomes.

 


 

  • “Foods high in salt taste salty”. Other ingredients in the food may mask the salty taste. It is important to read the food label to find out the sodium levels.
  • “Only old people need to aware of salt intake”. No, eating too much sodium can increase the risk of hypertension at any age.

Go Low and Take it Slow! (2)





Reduce your salt intake gradually and your taste buds will adjust as our taste for salt is acquired. Consider using low salt or salt free flavour enhancers during cooking and reduce addition of salt or soy sauce at the table.

After a few weeks of cutting back on salt, you probably won’t miss it, and some foods may even taste too salty.

 

 

References

  1. Balkish, M., N., Muhammad, F., M., Y., Sarimah, A., Kamarul Imran, M., Najib Majdi, Y., Maria, S., M., Norhafizah, S. and Tahir, A. 2019. Factors associated with the severity of hypertenstion among Malaysian adults. PLoS ONE 14(1): e0207472. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0207472
  2. Mayo Clinic. 2019. Healty Lifestyle: Nutrition and healthy eating [online]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/sodium/art-20045479 [Accessed on 6 April 2020].
  3. Ministry of Healthy Malaysia. 2018. Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals: Health Education and Communication Tools to Reduce Salt Intake in Malaysia [online]. Available from http://www.moh.gov.my/moh/resources/Penerbitan/Rujukan/NCD/Garam/Guideline_for_healthcare_professionals.pdf [Accessed on 6 April 2020].
  4. Ministry of Health Malaysia. 2018. Manual Penggunaan Bahan Pendidikan Kesihatan: Penjagaan Pemakanan Dalam Pengawalan Pengambilan Garam [online]. Available from http://www.moh.gov.my/moh/resources/Penerbitan/Rujukan/NCD/Garam/Buku_manual.pdf [Accessed on 6 April 2020].
  5. National Coordinating Committee on Food and Nutrition. 2013. Malaysian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents [online]. Available from http://nutrition.moh.gov.my/wp-content/uploads/penerbitan/buku/MDG_Children_adolescent_2014.pdf [Accessed on 6 April 2020].
  6. National Coordinating Committee on Food and Nutrition. 2017. Recommended Nutrient Intakes for Malaysia [online]. Available from http://nutrition.moh.gov.my/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/FA-Buku-RNI.pdf [Accessed on 6 April 2020].
  7. New Straits Times. 2019. 4 out of 5 Malaysians eat too much salt [online]. Available from https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/04/479149/4-out-5-malaysians-eat-too-much-salt [Accessed on 6 April 2020].
  8. World Health Organization. 2016. Salt reduction [online]. Available from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/salt-reduction [Accessed on 6 April 2020].

Workout Tips and Tricks!


Workout Tips and Tricks!

You’ve been told a hundred times that exercise is good for you, and it’s true, but to maintain or do it everyday is a problem right. Here are five very good tips to rock out during your next workout time.

 

 

Tip 1: Make an exercise goals that you can achieve.

Many people find that having a firm goal in mind motivates them to move ahead. Goals are most useful when they are specific, realistic, and important to you. So maybe you can start try to exercise on three weekdays and one weekend day for 30 minutes to start but if you can only do less but slowly increase the duration, that’s okay too. The point is to get moving and keep moving. You can also start with mini workouts for only 5 minute. After you get comfortable then challenge yourself by increase the duration until your exercise get 30 minutes (1).

 

Tip 2: Get a partner to work out together so both of you can support each other.

There will be someone to help motivate you. Doing with your exercise partner, however, makes it a lot easier. Men and women have different intensity level. People put more effort into their workout routine when they’re exercising with someone else. So you must to realize your partner can not always keep on with you if your partner is different gender . What feels like a good workout to one of you might be too much or too little for the other. The same goes for healthy eating. The identical meal may not be acceptable to both of you. You must meet nutritionist and get advice on tips for healthy eating (2). Fact! Men lose weight faster than women. It is due to the fact that they have more muscle mass and can burn 30 to 40 percent more calories during the same workout. You cannot compare your result with your partner. It’s not realistic to see the same results in the same time period (3).

 

 

 

Tip 3: Don’t stick only one place or one exercise.

Head outside. Do variety of exercise so you don’t get bore. One of the simplest reasons for working out at variety of places and do different exercise is that it will be more fun. Going to the gym day after day can start to feel routine, and the last thing you want is to dread your workouts. Instead, get some fresh air with a walk, run, bike ride or hike (2).

 

Tip 4: Play Some Music to Keep Your Energy Up

Music could be just what you really need to motivate you to push further. Research has found that playing music while exercising increases the duration of workouts without a perceived increase in effort. This effect because music boosts mood and encourages rhythmic movement. When a song has a strong, steady beat, for example, you can pedal or run to the beat of that music, which tends to feel satisfying and may inspire you to exercise more. While any type of music is beneficial, some research suggests faster music is more effective than slow music.

Choosing music that you enjoy and that fits your exercise routine can help you get more out of your exercise experience. Since everyone has a different ideal workout pace and intensity (4).

 

 

Tip 5: Work Out in the Morning and Get It out of the Way

Some people find it easy if they do it in the morning, getting it out of the way before an excuse comes up to skip it. By the end of the day, you’re often really tired, random things have come up, and there’s always something else to do instead of exercise.

 

Morning workouts have been shown to lower night time blood pressure and improve sleep quality and physical activity also improves focus and concentration, regardless of when you do it. But if you have trouble focusing during the day, a morning workout might be just the ticket. The most important thing is to find a routine or schedule and workout routine that you can stick with (5).

 

References

  1. WebMD (n.d). Setting Your Goals on Fitness. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/setting-goals-fitness#
  2. Sadie Trombetta. (2016). 12 Reasons To Exercise With A Partner, Because Everyone Should Have A Gym Buddy. https://www.bustle.com/articles/156775-12-reasons-to-exercise-with-a-partner-because-everyone-should-have-a-gym-buddy
  3. Cari Nierenberg. (2018). Yes, Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women, Here’s Why. https://www.livescience.com/63324-men-women-weight-loss-difference.html
  4. National Center for Health Research (n.d). Can Listening to Music Improve Your Workout?. http://www.center4research.org/can-listening-music-improve-workout/
  5. Kirsten Nunez (n.d). 13 Benefits of Working Out in the Morning. https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/working-out-in-the-morning

From Heart To Heart: How To Take Care of Your Heart


From Heart To Heart: How To Take Care of Your Heart

Heart is the organ in the body that is responsible for the circulation of blood and transportation of nutrients to all parts of the body 1. Another function of heart including protect the body from infection1, help to maintain the body temperature and also maintain fluid balance within the body2. Thus, heart is consider as one of the most important organs of the body because even small dysfunctions may cause drastic changes or effects in the human body system.2

 

Image shown, location of the main important organ that function to pump blood through the circulatory system all throughout the body.

 

Ways you can do to keep your heart health:

 

  • Stay active and keep your weight healthy

 

 If you’re overweight, you tend to have a risk of high cholesterol and blood pressure than usual 3As the result, it can affect your heart condition. According to World Health Organization (WHO), adults age between 18–64 years old should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity throughout the week. Moreover, aerobic activity should be done at least 10 minutes of duration. The Picture below show the list of exercise of moderate and vigorous- aerobic physical activity.

 

 Image show lists of moderate-intensity activity and vigorous-intensity activity

 

  • Eat less salt and reduce oily food

 

A high consumption of salt can lead to high blood pressure, which increase the chance of developing heart disease. The maximum daily intake of salt for adult is not more than 6g and aim for  food that contain 1.5g of salt or 0.6g sodium per 100g whenever possible 4. Next, most oils are made up of a combination of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats. Choosing ones that are low in saturated fatty acids (SFA) and high in unsaturated fats can help to lower cholesterol levels5. Example of heart-healthy oil such as grapeseed oil, avocado oil and olive oil5.

 

Consume low intake of salt to maintain normal blood pressure.

 

  • Eat more fish

 

Oily fish contain high level of Omega-3- fatty acids which can reduce your cholesterol level as well as reduced your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clot 4. Example of fish contain high level omega 3- fatty acids can be shown as below:

 

Image shows fish that is rich of Omega 3

 

 

  • Manage your cholesterol level

 

High level of cholesterol can also cause coronary heart disease. If the cholesterol is too high it can build up in your wall of your arteries. Continuous consumption of food which high in cholesterol will lead to plague (hardening of cholesterol in your arteries) which called atherosclerosis. Later, the arteries will become narrowed; and the blood flow become slow.  In the end, reduced blood flow can result in chest pain or heart attack if blood vessel blocked  completely7. So, you need to maintain your cholesterol level which is for normal total cholesterol level should below than 5.2 md/dl.

 

References

  1. News Medical Net (n.d). Structure and Function of the Heart. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Structure-and-Function-of-the-Heart.aspx
  2. Patient Direct. Anatomy and Physiological Major Function of the Cardiovascular System. https://www.ptdirect.com/training-design/anatomy-and-physiology/major-functions-of-the-cardiovascular-system-2013-a-closer-look
  3. News Medical Net. Structure and Function of Heart. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Structure-and-Function-of-the-Heart.aspx
  4. Lloyd Pharmacy. 10 Healthy Ways to Take Care of Heart. http://blog.lloydspharmacy.com/health/10-ways-take-care-heart-health/
  5. Garavaglia J, Markoski MM, Oliveira A, Marcadenti A. Grape seed oil compounds: biological and chemical actions for healthNutr Metab Insights. 2016;9:59-64. doi:10.4137/NMI.S32910
  6. World Health Organization 2010; Global recommendations on physical      activity for health.
  7. WebMD (n.d). Cholesterol  Management  Guide. https://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/guide/diseases-linked-high-                  cholesterol


How Much Sugar is Too Much Sugar?!


How Much Sugar is Too Much Sugar?!

You may have heard the term “sucrose” at one point or another, but what is that, really? Sucrose (table sugar) is the chemical name for sugar which made up of glucose and fructose. It is naturally found in foods such as rice, noodles, breads, pasta and also present in fruits as fructose and in milk as lactose(11). Intake of additional sugar can be obtained from carbohydrate-rich foods however, the intake of additional sugar is unnecessary.

 

 

2015 World Health Statistics Report showed that in 2008, Malaysia had the highest obesity prevalence for adults aged ≥20 years among Southeast Asia countries. Increasing availability of sugar or sweeteners coupled with sedentary lifestyles are the contributing factor to Malaysia’s rising problem of obesity and other non-communicable disease problems (11). On the other hand, Malaysian Adult Nutrition Survey (MANS) 2002/2003, average adult in Malaysia consumes 7 teaspoons of sugar a day comprising 4 teaspoons of table sugar and 3 teaspoons of sweetened milk into beverages. This amount exceeds the recommendation of the World Health Organization and Malaysian Dietary Guidelines (11).

 

 

Type of Sugar

 

Sugar can be found naturally in foods or added to foods during cooking, processing or added at the table (11). Main sources of added sugar are regular soft drinks, sugars, candy, cakes, cookies or sweetened beverages (2).

 

 

Learn more about reading food labels can helps to limit your daily sugar intake. Sugar has many other names besides those ending in “ose” such as sucrose, fructose or maltose, other names include sorbitol, mannitol, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, honey, malt or malt extract, rice extract, molasses, golden syrup and inverted sugar (11).  

 

Recommended Intake of Additional Sugar

 

Added sugar refers to monosaccharides and disaccharides which are added into food and beverages during preparation of food and food manufacturing. Additional sugar should be limited to not more than 10% of our daily energy consumption is recommended by World Health Organization (WHO).

The average amount of additional sugar intake for adults recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) inclusive of hidden sugar should not exceed 10 teaspoons a day or equivalent to 50g (12).

 

 

Track your consumption of added sugar can be tricky, since packaged foods don’t list the number of teaspoons of sugar and some of us are getting our added sugar by spooning it onto our foods or into our beverages.

Here are the important numbers to remember: There are 4 calories per gram of sugar and 4 grams per teaspoon. So if the label says it has 20 grams of sugar, that’s 5 teaspoons, or about 80 calories from sugar. Scan the labels for all sources of sugar in processed foods and  check the number of grams of added sugars in the nutrition labels (5). 

 

Artificial Sweeteners vs Sugar: Which is better?

 

 

Sugar substitute are known as a food additive that provides sweet taste like sugar without excess energy which can promote weight loss and deemed safe for consumption by diabetics (7). They can be either naturally produced or synthesized. Those sugar that are not natural are referred to as artificial sweeteners (9).

American Heart Association labels low-calorie sweeteners, artificial sweeteners and non-caloric sweeteners as non-nutritive sweeteners (NNSs), since they offer no nutritional benefits such as vitamins and minerals. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the label “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) to five non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame, acesulfame-K, neotame, saccharin, sucralose and stevia. However, stevia doesn’t have a GRAS distinction but that doesn’t mean it’s dangerous, it just means there isn’t enough evidence yet either way (4).

Artificial sweeteners are thought to be beneficial for diabetics or obese as it provides sweetness without calories and a choice of sweets foods to those who cannot partake refined sugars. This artificial sweeteners may indeed restrict calories but their consumption has been shown to cause mild to serious side effects ranging from nuisance headaches to potentially life-threatening cancer.

However, artificial sweeteners are generally safe to consume but should be avoided by individual with phenylketonuria (a metabolic disorder which cannot metabolize amino acid phenylalanine found in aspartame or allergic to sulfonamides as saccharin belongs to this class of compound. In short, the consumption of artificial sweeteners may poses few health concerns  but it is especially beneficial if you use them to decrease the amount of added sugar in diet. The likelihood of negative effects can vary by individual and depend on the type of artificial sweetener consumed (1). If you have bad experience or negative effects after consuming artificial sweeteners try natural sweeteners instead.   

 

Get started cutting down on sugar with these tips

 

  1. Consume foods or beverages low in sugar (3)

 

                                                                Source: American Heart Association

 

  1. Focus on whole foods (8)
  • No sugar diet should focus on eating whole foods as processed foods are more likely to contain refined ingredients or added sugars
  • Aim to eat foods such as:
    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Lean meat or poultry
    • Whole, unprocessed grains and legumes
    • Nuts and seeds

 

 

  1. Check food labels

a)Reading the food labels and ingredients list on packaged food is a good way to know and limit how much added sugar you eat

 

b) Identify the sugar content claims on packaged foods such as (6):

  • Sugar Free: one serving contains less than 0.5g of sugars, both natural and added. Also: free of sugar, sugarless, no sugar, zero sugar or trivial source of sugar
  • Reduced Sugar: Has at least 25% less sugars than the older version of the product. Also less sugar, low in sugar or lower sugar
  • No Added Sugar: No sugar or ingredients containing sugar was added during processing or packaging. Also without added sugar or no sugar added.

 

References

 

  1. Alina, P. 2019. Artificial Sweeteners: Good or Bad? Healthline. Available from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/artificial-sweeteners-good-or-bad [Accessed on 15 April 2020].
  2. American Heart Association. 2018. Added Sugars [online]. Available from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/added-sugars [Accessed on 15 April 2020].
  3. American Heart Association. 2018. Life is Sweet with These Easy Sugar Swaps-Info graphic [online]. Available from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/life-is-sweet-with-these-easy-sugar-swaps-infographic [Accessed on 15 April 2020].
  4. American Heart Association. 2018. Non-Nutritive Sweeteners (Artificial Sweeteners) [online]. Available from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/nonnutritive-sweeteners-artificial-sweeteners [Accessed on 15 April 2020].
  5. American Heart Association. 2019. By Any Other Name It’s Still Sweetener [online]. Available from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/by-any-other-name-its-still-sweetener [Accessed on 15 April 2020].
  6. American Heart Association. 2020. What’s the Difference Between Sugar Free and No Added Sugar [online]. Available from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/difference-between-sugar-free-and-no-added-sugar [Accessed on 15 April 2020].
  7. Arun, S., Amarnath, S., Thulasimani, M. and Ramaswamy, S. 2016. Artificial sweeteners as sugar substitute: Are they really safe? Indian Journal of Pharmacology 48(3): 237-240.
  8. Johnson, J. 2019. What to know about no-sugar diets. Medical New Today. Available from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319991#why-cut-out-sugar [Accessed on 15 April 2020].
  9. Kirtida, R., T. 2011. Sugar substitutes: Health controversy over perceived benefits. Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics 2(4): 236-243.
  10. Maria, S., V., A., Khor, G., L. and Pauline, C. 2016. Intake of added sugar in Malaysia: a review: Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 25(2): 227-240.
  11. MyHealth Ministry of Health. 2014. Facts About Sugar [online]. Available from http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/facts-about-sugar/[Accessed on 15 April 2020].
  12. World Health Organization. 2015. WHO calls on countries to reduce sugars intake among adults and children [press release]. Available from https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/sugar-guideline/en/ [Accessed on 15 April 2020].

 


Get your Facts on Fiber!


Get your Facts on Fiber!

“Eat more vegetables and fruits to get your fiber!” You may have heard these words. But what is fiber, really? How it works to improve our health? Let us take a closer look on it!

 

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that our body cannot digest undigested. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules but fiber cannot be broken down into sugar and thus it will pass through our body. These carbohydrates often considered beneficial in which mostly come from fruits, vegetables and legumes (1, 3, 6).

 

Fiber comes in two varieties, both beneficial to health (3):

 

Soluble fiber

 

Dissolves in water; absorb water to form a gel like substance that slow the digestion and cause you to feel full. They have been shown to decrease cholesterol and lower blood glucose. Common source of soluble fiber includes beans, oat bran, fruits and vegetables. It is also found in pysllium, a common fiber supplement.

 

Insoluble fiber

 

Does not dissolve in water; Increase fecal bulk and appear to help food pass more quickly through the digestive tract so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation and irregular stools.

 

 

 Facts About Fiber (3,4)

 

 

 

#1 Fiber aids in achieving healthy weight.

 

#2 Fiber fight diseases. It appears to reduce risk of developing various health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, constipation and breast cancer.

 

#3 Fiber helps to lower cholesterol.

 

#4 Fiber helps to regulate blood glucose.

 

#5 Recommended dietary fiber intake per day for all age group is 20-30g/day. However, if a person is not currently eating enough of fiber, he or she should increase his or her fiber intake slowly  to avoid gas and bloating.

 

 

#6 More fiber needs more water. When eating a high fiber diet, be sure to drink at least eight or more glasses of water every day.

 

#7 Fiber aids in improving digestion by increasing stool bulk and regularity. A high-fiber diet may help reduce the risk of hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.

 

#8 Too much fiber is a bad thing. You may experience abdominal cramping, bloating, gas, constipation and even diarrhea.

 

#9 Fruit and vegetable peels are rich in several nutrients including fiber. Eating unpeeled fruits and vegetables keep you feel full longer due to its high fiber content. However, certain fruit and vegetable peels may be hard to consume or simply inedible. These peels are best removed and not eaten.

 

#10 Fruits and vegetable juice has less fiber than whole fruits and vegetable. This is because the skin is removed and thus it is more healthful to eat whole fruit and vegetable.

 

#11 Fiber cannot be cooked out.

 

Tips to Increase fiber intake (5,7)

 

Consume products that have whole grain listed as the first ingredients, high fiber content and low fat and sugar content.

 

Replace white rice, bread and pasta with brown rice and whole grain products.

 

 

Include legumes in your diet (beans, dried peas and lentils)

 

 

Eat unpeeled whole fruit and vegetables not juice.

 

Snack on fruits and vegetables

 

Take a fiber supplement (e.g psyllium)

 

In conclusion,

 

Fiber is an important dietary substance to your diet. This is because high fiber foods are also good sources of vitamins, mineral and antioxidants which offer many health benefits. Therefore, as one of the key ingredients to healthy eating, fiber is something you cannot skip.

 

References

  1. Cleveland Clinic. 2019. Improving Your Health With Fiber. Available from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14400-improving-your-health-with-fiber [Accessed on 23 April 2020].
  2. Danielle, D. 2018. How much fiber is too much. Medical New Today. Available from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321286#treatment [Accessed on 23 April 2020].
  3. Harvard University School of Public Health. (n.d.). Fiber. Available from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/ [Accessed on 23 April 2020].
  4. Karin, L. 2016. 45 Interesting Facts about FIber. Fact Retriever. Available from https://www.factretriever.com/fiber-facts [Accessed on 23 April 2020].
  5. Kerri, A., J. 2016. 16 Easy Ways to Eat More Fiber. Healthline. Available from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-ways-to-eat-more-fiber [Accessed on 23 April 2020].
  6. Mayo Clinic. 2018. Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet. Available from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983 [Accessed on 23 April 2020].
  7. My Health Ministry of Health. 2012. SERAT DAN KAWALAN DIABETES. Available from http://www.myhealth.gov.my/serat-dan-kawalan-diabetes/ [Accessed on 23 April 2020].

 


What happen to your stomach when you fast?


What happen to your stomach when you fast?

Fasting is a longstanding part of many religious traditions, including the Jewish and Muslim observances of Yom Kippur and Ramadan. As you read this, billions of Muslims around the world are engaging in this declaration of faith that involves abstaining from food and drink from dawn until dusk. While fasting for Ramadan is down to spiritual beliefs, many of us choose to fast with the belief that it benefits our health. But what happen to our body when we fast?

 

A person’s primary source of energy is sugar called glucose, which usually comes from carbohydrates, including grains, dairy products, fruits, certain vegetables, beans and even sweets.

 

 

The liver and muscles store the glucose and release it into the bloodstream whenever the body needs it. However, during fasting, this process changes. After about 8 hours of fasting, the liver will use the last of its glucose reserves. At this point, the body enters a state called glucogenesis, marking the body’s transition into fasting mode.

 

 

Studies have shown that glucogenesis increase the number of calories the body burns. With no carbohydrates coming in, the calories in the body burns. With no carbohydrate coming in, the body creates its own glucose using mainly fat.

 

Eventually, the body runs out of these energy sources as well. Fasting mode then becomes the more serious starvation mode. At this point, a person’s metabolism slows down, and their body begins burning muscle tissue for energy. Although it is a well-known term in dieting culture, true starvation mode only occurs after several consecutive days or even weeks without food. So, for those breaking their fasting after 24 hours, it is generally safe to go without eating for a day unless other health conditions are present. (1)

 

“A detoxification process also occurs, because any toxins stored in the body’s fat are dissolved and removed from the body,” he adds, noting that after a few days of fasting, higher levels of endorphins – “feel-good hormones” are produced in the blood, which can have a positive impact on mental well-being. As mentioned previously, the study by Dr.Longo and colleagues suggests prolonged fasting may also be effective for regenerating immune cells. “When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged,” Dr.Longo explains. In their study, publish in the journal Cell Stem Cell, the team found that repeated cycles of 2 – 4 days without food over a 6-month period destroyed the old and damaged immune cells in mice and generate new ones.

 

 

Moreover, the team found that cancer patient who fasted for 3 days prior to chemotherapy were protected against immune system damage that can be caused by the treatment, which they attribute to immune cell regeneration. “The good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting,” says Dr. Longo. “Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.”(2)

 

On the other hand, according to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), there are numerous health risks associated with intermittent fasting.

 

People who fast commonly experience dehydration, largely because their body is not getting any fluid from food. As such, it is recommended that during Ramadan, Muslims consume plenty of water prior to fasting periods. Other individuals following fasting diets should ensure they are properly hydrated during fasting periods.

 

 

Fasting can also cause heartburn; lack of food leads to a reduction in stomach acid, which digests food and destroys bacteria. But smelling food or even thinking about it during fasting periods can trigger the brain into telling the stomach to produce more acid, leading to heartburn.(2)

 

Finally, to sum up, moderation is the key. Know the precaution step to avoid the potential risk. A person must understand his or her current health condition before proceeding to any sort of diet plan.

 

 

References

 

  1. Medical News Today (n.d). What Happens If You Don’t Eat For A Day? Timeline And Effects. [online] Available at: <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322065#can-fasting-promote-weight-loss> [Accessed 29 April 2020].

 

  1. Medical News Today (n.d). Fasting: Health Benefits And Risks. [online] Available at: <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295914> [Accessed 29 April 2020].


7 Tips Penyediaan Menu Sihat & Makan Secara Sihat di Hari Raya!


7 Tips Penyediaan Menu Sihat &  Makan Secara Sihat di Hari Raya!

Setiap tahun Hari Raya Aidilfitri ialah pada 1 Syawal tahun Hijrah. Perayaan tersebut juga dikenali sebagai Hari Raya Puasa atau Hari Raya Fitrah atau Hari lebaran. Hari Raya Aidilfitri merupakan sambutan yang diraikan oleh umat Islam di seluruh dunia setelah berjaya menjalani ibadah puasa sepanjang bulan Ramadhan.

 

Antara amalam – amalan tradisi yang dilakukan semasa Hari Raya ialah amalan ziarah – menziarahi sanak – saudara dan jiran tetangga. Amalan mengeratkan silaturahim ini sangat digalakkan dalam Islam bagi memohon kemaafan di antara satu sama lain. Akan tetapi oleh kerana Hari Raya Aidilfitri tahun ini ialah pada musim Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan Bersyarat maka, ikutlah saranan untuk beraya dengan selamat dalam kita menjauhi wabak COVID19. Walaupun sesetengah daripada kita ada yang telah mendapat vaksin tetapi masih ramai yang belum, dan sudah divaksin bukan bermakna anda tidak boleh dijangkiti wabak COVID19.

 

 

 

Semasa bulan Ramadhan sebelum ini, ramai di antara kita mengambil kesempatan menurunkan berat badan dan makan secara sihat. Walau bagaimanapun, apabila tiba musim perayaan, kebanyakan kita mengalami penambahan berat badan. Berat badan yang berjaya diturunkan sepanjang 30 hari menjalani ibadah puasa mungkin meningkat semula hanya selepas 15 hari menyambut Hari Raya. Hal ini adalah kerana, hari raya adalah masa untuk menikmati juadah hari raya yang hanya setahun sekali dimasak dan dimakan bersama – sama oleh kerana itu ramai yang mengambil kesempatan ini untuk makan juadah raya tanpa mengira jumlah kalori dan panduan pemakanan sihat (1).

 

 

 

Sebenarnya pemakanan sihat sangat mudah diikut walaupun ketika hari raya. Makan dengan sihat bukan bermaksud kita tidak dapat menikmati juadah hari raya akan tetapi makan dengan kadar yang betul dan dengan cara penyediaan makanan yang lebih sihat. Kita dapat bahagikan amalam pemakanan sihat ketika hari raya kepada dua kategori iaitu semasa penyediaan makanan dan semasa menikmati hidangan hari raya.

 

7 Tips Sediakan Hidangan Sihat di Hari Raya (1,2,3)

 

1. Kurangkan gula, minyak dan lemak dalam penyediaan biskut dan kek.

 

Gunakan ½ atau ¾ daripada kuantiti gula yang biasa digunakan semasa menyediakan biskut dan kek. Jika perlu, gunakan gula gantian bagi mendapatkan biskut atau kek yang sempurna tekstur dan rasanya.

 

 

2. Gunakan daging yang telah dibuang lemak atau ayam yang telah dibuang kulit.

 

 

 

3. Kurangkan mensajikan makanan yang bersantan, bergoreng dan berminyak.

 

4. Gantikan penggunaan santan dengan susu rendah lemak dalam penyediaan rendang dan kuah lontong.

 

 

 

5. Potong ayam atau daging dalam size yang kecil.

 

6. Gunakan ramuan tinggi serat untuk membuat  biskut dan kuih raya seperti tepung bijirin penuh, oat dan buah prun.

7. Kurangkan penggunaan pewarna tiruan dalam penyediaan kuih-muih, kek dan puding. Sebaliknya gunakan pewarna semulajadi seperti dari sumber daun pandan dan sebagainya.

 

7 Tips Makan Secara Sihat Di Hari Raya (1,2,3)

 

1. Makan dalam saiz hidangan atau kuantiti yang kecil.

 

Pemilihan pinggan yang lebih kecil membantu dalam mengurangkan pengambilan makanan lebih – lebih lagi jika anda makan secara buffet.

 

2. Pilih makanan yang rendah kalori seperti buah-buahan serta makanan yang kurang minyak, lemak dan santan.

 

 

 

3. Pilih makanan tinggi serat untuk mengelakkan sembelit.

 

 

4. Hadkan pengambilan makanan yang manis dan berlemak seperti biskut raya dan dodol.

 

Anda juga boleh mengehadkan pengambilan kuih-muih atau kek semasa hari raya kepada hanya 5 biji kuih raya sehari dan kurangkan pengambilan makanan manis yang lain.

 

 

 

5. Pilih buah- buahan segar sebagai pencuci mulut.

 

6. Hadkan pengambilan makanan yang tinggi kandungan garam seperti kerepek

 

 

7. Minum air kosong berbanding minuman berperisa, minuman berkarbonat dan minumam yang manis.

 

 

Senang bukan? Ikutilah panduan pemakanan sihat semasa hari raya ini, agar usaha anda untuk menurunkan berat badan sepanjang bulan Ramadhan tidak sia – sia. Bagi individu yang mempunyai masalah kesihatan, hari raya bukanlah tiket untuk anda menikmati juadah tanpa mengambil kira faktor kesihatan ya!

 

Akhir sekali, selamat menyambut Hari Raya Aidilfitri, semoga hari raya ini memberi keceriaan kepada kita semua!

 

Rujukan

1. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Bahagian Pemakanan. Perancangan dan Pemilihan Menu Sihat Rumah Terbuka Aidilfitri. http://nutrition.moh.gov.my/wpcontent/uploads/penerbitan/buku/Menu%20Rumah%20Terbuka%20Hari%2 0Raya%202013.pdf

2. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Bahagian Pemakanan. Makan Secara Sihat di Hari Raya. https://www.infosihat.gov.my/index.php/multimedia/bukukecil/item/makan-secara-sihat-di-hari-raya

3. Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Perak. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM), bahagian Pemakanan. Makan secara sihat di hari raya. http://jknperak.moh.gov.my/v4/index.php/my/arkib-berita/69-informasikesihatan/509-makan-secara-sihat-di-hari-raya.html

TINJAUN KEBANGSAAN KESIHATAN MALAYSIA (NHMS), Kenapa perlu kita khuatir?


TINJAUN KEBANGSAAN KESIHATAN MALAYSIA (NHMS), Kenapa perlu kita khuatir?

Tinjauan Kebangsaan Kesihatan Malaysia atau Nama Inggerisnya, National Health Morbidity Survey Malaysia (NHMS) adalah survei kesihatan yang dibuat setiap empat tahun oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) bertujuan untuk mengenal pasti status kesihatan rakyat Malaysia. Tinjauan ini adalah tinjauan yang melibatkan negeri di seluruh Malaysia.

 

Tinjauan ini mengkaji beberapa perihal aspek kesihatan yang terpenting seperti penyakit tidak berjangkit yang dialami oleh rakyat Malaysia iaitu obesiti, kencing manis, darah tinggi, dan masalah kolesterol. Ia juga merangkumi aspek pemakanan seperti  pengambilan makanan dan minuman sihat, aspek kesihatan mental, kesihatan seksual dan pengambilan dadah. Selain daripada itu, tinjauan ini juga mengkaji aspek yang melibatkan perkhidmatan kesihatan di Malaysia.

 

Terdapat beberapa perkara serius menurut hasil dapatan ini iaitu;

 

1 daripada 2 dewasa di Malaysia adalah obese!

 

Obese atau obesity adalah masalah lebihan berat badan yang di alami oleh individu, yang berpunca daripada pelbagai faktor. Namun, apa yang lebih membimbangkan adalah, menjadi obese ini sendiri adalah merupakan risiko utama kepada masalah kesihatan seperti kencing manis, darah tinggi, kolesterol, masalah jantung serta masalah kesihatan yang lain – lain lagi.

 

Jika perkara ini berterusan, bayangkan setiap orang yang anda jumpai separuh daripadanya adalah obese dan mempunyai kencing manis, darah tinggi dan sebagainya!! Menurut kajian ini, inidividu yang mengalami obesity tertinggi adalah wanita iaitu sebanyak 57.6%, kaum india iaitu sebnayak 63% dan dalam kalangan mereka yang berumur 55 – 59 tahun.

 

 

Antara lain perkara yang membimbangkan ialah masalah kencing manis dalam kalangan rakyat Malaysia.

 

1 daripada 5 dewasa mengalami masalah diabetes!

 

Diabetes atau kencing manis adalah keadaan di mana paras gula dalam darah menjadi tinggi. Hal ini berpunca daripada kekerapan pengambilan makanan yang tidak sihat. Makanan yang tinggi karbohidrat, gula dan lemak dan gaya hidup yang tidak aktif.

 

Selain daripada peratusan obesity yang semakin meningkat saban hari, yang mengeruhkan keadaan ini juga adalah pengambilan minuman yang manis, menurut tinjauan,sebanyak 53.2% individu di Malaysia minum minuaman manis yang disediakan sendiri setiap hari, 4.2% individu minum minuman berkarbonat setiap hari dan 6.7% individu minum minuam 3 dalam 1 setiap hari.

 

Menurut tinjauan ini, seramai 3.9 juta dewasa berusia lebih dari 18 tahun menghidapi penyakit kencing manis. Kebanyakkan dari mereka yang berumur 18 – 40 tahun tidak tahu bahawa mereka menghidapi kencing manis.

 

Antar negeri yang mempunyai prevalen kencing manis yang tinggi adalah Negeri Sembilan (33.2%), Perlis (32.6%), dan Pahang (25.7%).

 

Antara gejala yang melibatkan masalah kencing manis ialah, keletihan, kerap membuang air kecil, kehausan yang melampau, penurunan berat badan, dan kerap mengalami jangkitan kuman. Sekiranya anda tidak mempunya gejala seperti ini, anda juga boleh melakukan saringan kencing manis jika anda mempunyai berat badan yang berlebihan, BMI melebihi 23 kg/m2 atau ukur lilit pinggang melebihi 80 cm untuk wanita dan 90 cm untuk lelaki.

 

Kegagalan mengenal pasti masalah kencing manis dengan lebih awal akan menyebabkan komplikasi yang lebih serius di masa akan datang.

 

 

4 daripada 10 dewasa mengalami masalah kolesterol

 

Seramai 8 juta rakyat Malaysia mempunyai masalah tinggi kolesterol, iaitu 4 daripada 10 orang mengalaminya. Bacaan kadar bagi tinggi kolesterol ialah sebanyak 5.2 mmol dan ke atas. Mereka yang berumur 40 – 59 tahun adalah individu yang paling ramai tidak mengetahui bahawa mereka mempunyai tahap kolesterol yang tinggi. Hanya 63% daripada individu yang mempunyai masalah kolesterol yang tinggi Berjaya mengawal tahap kolesterol dengan pengambilan ubat – ubatan.

 

3 daripada 10 dewasa mengalami  Hipertensi

 

Hipertensi atau tekanan darah tinggi yang tidak dikawal boleh mengakibatkan serangan jantung, strok dan pelbagai penyakit kardiovaskular yang lain. Bacaan kadar tekanan darah tinggi yang tidak terkawal ialah bacaan yang melebihi 140/ 96 mmHg. Lelaki yang berumur 30 tahun ke bawah adalah mempunyai 3 kali ganda lebih ramai menghidapi hipertensi berbanding wanita. Dalam 6.4 juta rakyat Malaysia yang mengalami hipertensi atau tekanan darah tinggi, hanya separuh yang menyedari bahawa mereka menghidapi penyakit ini.

 

Kesimpulannya, masalah seperti obesity, kencing manis, darah tinggi dan tinggi kolesterol mempunyai perkaitan rapat antara satu sama lain. Penyakit – penyakit ini membawa komplikasi yang lebih serius dalam jangka masa panjang dan merupakan risiko kepada masalah kardiovaskular yang juga merupakan penyebab kematian nombor satu di Malaysia. Seramai 1.7 juta individu di Malaysia mempunyai tiga faktor risiko manakala seramai 3.4 juta individu di Malaysia mengalami faktor risiko utama.

 

 

 

 

Bagi mengatasi masalah ini, individu perlu mengawal bacaan tekanan darah iaitu bacaan perlu kurang dari 140/ 90 mmHg. Individu juga perlu mengamalkan diet yang seimbang dan sihat bagi mengekalkan berat badan yang ideal, selalu bersenam dan menghindari rokok dan alkohol.

 

Rujukan

  1. Tinjauan Kebangsaan Kesihatan dan Morbiditi (2009). Penyakit tidak berjangkit, permintaan jagaan kesihatan dan literasi kesihatan. Penemuan Utama, Infografik Booklet. Institut Kesihatan Umum.

 

  1. Tinjauan Kebangsaan Kesihatan dan Morbiditi (2009). Lembaran Fakta. Penyakit tidak berjangkit, permintaan jagaan kesihatan dan literasi kesihatan. Lembaran Fakta. Institut Kesihatan Umum.

 

 

  1. Portal Rasmi Pendidikan Kesihatan Malaysia (MyHealth) (2016). Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia. Bagaimana Diabetes dikesan? http://pendidikanpesakit.myhealth.gov.my/bagaimana-diabetes-dikesan/

 

  1. Portas Rasmi Pendidikan Kesihatan Malaysia (MyHealth) (2008). Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia. Obesity and Overweight. http://pendidikanpesakit.myhealth.gov.my/bagaimana-diabetes-dikesan/

DURIAN!!! Eat whole durian is equivalent to 3 bowl of rice?


DURIAN!!! Eat whole durian is equivalent to 3 bowl of rice?

Durian or ‘King of fruit’ is a well-known fruit for its smell. Anthony Bourdain, the late renowned food critic describes durian as “It smelled like you buried someone holding a big wheel of Stilton (cheese) in his arms, then dug him few weeks later” (1). That is to describe how horrible the smell of durian is, but to certain people who like to eat durian the smell of durian to them is heaven!

 

Durian actually has more than 30 species but the one that people usually eat are about 8 species only, due to its exotic nature, people have started to commercialized durian even to the international level. The most common durian being exported and widely consumed is Durio Zibethinus (2).

Due to its popularity, people started to questioning about durian health benefits, whether it is good or bad for health? Unlike apple, orange, guava and many other common fruits where people always equate it to “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” which means, consuming all these fruits are going to make you healthier, since it is packed full with nutrients that is good for body. For durian, the opinion regarding its health effect is mixing, some people say that it is good for health and can even be used to alleviate infertility or PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome  and some people say that it is heaty thus cannot be consumed too much etc. (3).

 

In general, durian is considered a safe fruit to eat just like any other fruit, but since durian has high calorie value, thus it is not advisable to consume in large amount unlike other fruits. Look at the infographic below to understand, calorie in durian in comparison with other fruits (4).

 

 

Here is the calorie of durian per seeds, surprisingly eating  5 seeds of durian is equivalent to a bowl of rice! ANDDDD IF A DURIAN CONSISTS OF 15 SEEDS IT IS EQUIVALENT TO 3 BOWL OF RICE! Thus, the recommended intake of durian is only 2-3 seeds, which is equivalent to about per serving of fruits or 90 kcal.

 

 

Though, it is crystal clear here that it is safe to eat durian within recommended amount, but there are people who should be even more cautious in consuming durian, that is people who are obese, people who have diabetes and people who have kidney problem. As for people who are obese and diabetes, it is due to its high calorie, high carbohydrate and high fats value thus should be extra careful on the consumption of durian. Whereas for people with kidney problem or undergoing dialysis, due to high potassium content in durian and it is difficult for their body to excrete potassium, thus, they must avoid eating TOO MUCH durian at all cost (4)!

 

 

Apart from its high calorie content durian has many benefits as well. It has high antioxidant effect, which makes it a potent fruit to fight against cancer. Durian contains high vitamins, nutrients and organic chemicals that function as antioxidant. All these antioxidants are vital in scavenging the free radicals, that potentially mutated and becoming cancer cells. Which is why it is very important to consume food that is high in antioxidant. It also contains high vitamin C, vitamin B complex and vitamin E, as well as phytonutrients that battle cancerous cells (2).

 

Durian also, is found to helps in maintaining healthy bones due to its high potassium content. It can help in alleviating depression and sleeping problem, for it contain tryptophan – a natural sleep-inducing compound, that can increase level of serotonin and melatonin for better sleep and emotion management. Durian also contain high fibre which can aids in digestion and helps in infertility for it has high estrogen hormone for conceiving (2).

 

 

Albeit durian has many health benefits, when it comes to its consumption with other foods and beverages such as alcohol, it is said that it can interfere with liver function. In detail, durian contain sulphur-containing volatiles which can inhibit the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase (enzyme that helps in process alcohol), thus explaining why consuming durian together with alcohol is a deadly mixed (4).

 

 

As for the consumption of durian with paracetamol, there is no study on human has been conducted, so far. But there is study on lab rat regarding this. The study shows that, rat that receive paracetamol and durian gives sign of hypothermic effect (significant drop in temperature) thus explain that the two mixture is toxic. However, the mechanism of toxicity is still unknown. To be safe, it is not safe to consume durian together with paracetamol (5).

 

In conclusion, for people who does not have any health concerns, consume durian within the recommended intake and consume it in moderation, is very much advisable. While for those who have health concerns, eat durian very minimally, it is advisable to eat other types of fruit that have lower calorie count as compared to durian, but since it is in the season thus consume it very minimally with caution towards calorie intake from other food types as well is recommended.

 

 

References

  1. The Star. Benefits of eating durian? Its rich in antioxidant but its fattening (2019). https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/health/2019/09/10/eating-durian-healthy-or-not/ (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. Tan M.C & Shyamala A. (2018). Exploring the Nutritional Content and Benefits of Durian (Durio Zibethinus). Institute of Bioproduct Development, Universiti Teknologi Mara. https://www.utm.my/ibd/project/exploring-the-nutritional-contents-and-benefits-of-durian-durio zibethinus/#:~:text=Durian%20is%20widely%20celebrated%20for,and%20protect%20against%20cardiovascular%20diseases. (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. Reshma M. Ansari (2016). Potential Use of Durian Fruit (Durio Zibenthinus linn) as an Adjunct to treat Infertility in Polycystic Ovarian Synrdome (PCOS). PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26778225/ (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. International Medical University (IMU). Can A Durian A Day Keep the Doctor Away? http://imunews.imu.edu.my/people/can-a-durian-a-day-keep-the-doctor-away/ (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. A. Chua., H. Nurhaslina., S.H. Gan. (2008). Hyperthermic Effect of Durio Zibethinnus and Its Interaction with Paracetamol. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19271022/#:~:text=Because%20durian%20(Durio%20zibethinus)%2C,a%20risk%20of%20toxic%20effects 

Red Meat; Is it Good or Bad?


Red Meat; Is it Good or Bad?

Among Hari Raya celebrated by Muslim all over the world is Hari Raya Aidiladha. There are various reasons behind this celebration, but most importantly, during this celebration Muslims all over the world slaughter animals as to share this meat with those unfortunate. Since it is nearing the celebration of Hari Raya Aidiladha, let us share with you regarding the consumption of red meat, is it healthy? And is it true that people with hypertension cannot consume meat?

 

Meat refers to the muscle or organs of an animal consumed as food. In most parts of the world, it comes from animals raised on large industrial farms. As for red meat, it is referring to meat from the source of pork, ham, cuts from pig, lamb, and beef. Red meat is particularly said to have link with various kind of disease such as heart disease and cancer, the question is, is this true?

 

Well, this statement is partially true. First, there are various kind of red meats on the market. There is lean meat (meat without its fat), meat (meat with its fat), and processed meat. Processed meat refers to a processed where meat has undergone such as salting, curing, fermenting, smoking and other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation. Processed meat include ham, salami, bacon, and sausages such as frankfurters and chorizo. Certain minced meat on the market, also undergo this kind of processed which makes it processed food as well.

 

Meat itself, referring to the lean meat, is a healthy food. It is a good protein source, it contains micronutrient such as zinc, vitamin B12 and iron. Iron that is in meat is easier to absorb or in another word has higher bioavailability as compared to iron from plant-based food. Lean meat also, is part of food that is recommended to be eaten in the Malaysian Food Pyramid.

 

 

Recommended intake of meat

 

As stated in the fish, poultry, meat, and legumes section on the food pyramid, it is recommended to eat 1 to 2 serving of either poultry, meat, or legumes but and 1 serving of fish every day. This is because in the Malaysia Dietary Guideline (MDG), the key message is to consume balance, moderate and variety of food. Thus, it is recommended to consume from different source, such as protein-based food, it can be from fish, meat, poultry, and eggs. Thus, if you already got your protein that day from fish source for your lunch then for your dinner your protein source must be from meat, poultry, or eggs. Now another question pops up, how much is one serving?

 

 

Example of serving size of protein, but this portion is for healthy male and female only, not for individual with health problem.

 

Serving is loosely translated into ‘sajian’ or ‘hidangan’ in Bahasa Malaysia, thus picture above shows how much per serving of protein is. As for meat, 1 serving of meat is about 2 matchboxes size of meat. For fish, medium size of fish is equivalent to 1 serving, while for chicken one part of chicken such as drumstick is considered 1 serving of chicken. As for egg, 1 egg are considered 1 serving of protein.

 

As mentioned earlier, it is not advisable to consume protein from the same source, thus it is also not advisable to consume meat every day, since we have protein-based food from variety of source which will give different kind of nutrient as well, such as ‘tauhu’, ‘tempeh’, eggs, seafood and many more.

 

 

Picture below show the easy way of knowing how much you should consume, carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits and protein just by using your hands!

 

 

Good and bad things about meat

 

Study mostly found out that, lean meat has various positive outcome on individual health, especially for those with strength training exercise like athletes, as compared to if they consumed food from carbohydrates source like pasta or rice, their muscle growth is much less and slower. Another meta- analysis study which search on the consumption of lean red meat less than 0.5 servings per day noted that, the consumption of lean red meat does not negatively affect blood lipid and blood pressure. Which means the consumption of lean red meat does not impose risk to heart problem, provided if it is consume within the recommended intake.

 

However, there are also study indicates that the consumption of red meat can impose health problem such as, its saturated fat can lead to colon and breast cancer, the higher the cooking temperature for meat can make it carcinogenic, and heme that is found in meat when cooking, can produce compound that can damage the cells and leading to cancer.

 

Which is why, when it comes to food there is just no healthy food and unhealthy food, it is more than that. It is depending on the health status of the individual consuming it, it is depending on the cooking method and various other factors.

 

In conclusion

 

Limit red meat and processed meat to not more than 70g per day or 2 servings per day is the best. Consume protein – based food from the other sources of protein as well not only red meat and processed meat just as per recommended by Malaysia Dietary Guideline (MDG).

 

References

  1. co.uk. Red Meat (2019). https://www.diabetes.co.uk/food/red-meat.html (Accessed on August 4, 2020).
  2. World Cancer Research Fund. Limit red and processed meat. https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/recommendations/limit-red-processed-meat#:~:text=Dietary%20goal,%2C%20if%20any%2C%20processed%20meat. (Accessed on August 4, 2020).
  3. The truth about red meat. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-truth-about-red-meat#2 (Accessed on August 4, 2020).
  4. Is red meat bad for you, or good? An Objective Look. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-red-meat-bad-for-you-or-good (Accessed on August 4, 2020).
  5. National Health Service (NHS) UK. Red Meat and The risk of Bowel Cancer (2018). https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/red-meat-and-the-risk-of-bowel-cancer/ (Accessed on August 4, 2020).
  6. Ministry of Health Malaysia. Malaysia Food Pyramid. http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/malaysian-food-pyramid-2/ (Accessed on August 4, 2020)

Fats, Is It Unhealthy?


Fats, Is It Unhealthy?

Various kind of diseases and health complication is said to link with consumption of fat, such as obesity, diabetes, heart problem, and cancer. However, there are also role of fat in our body, such as to transport and helps in the absorption of vitamin A, D, E, and K, which is fat soluble vitamins. Fat also act as insulator to insulate our vital organ and as shock absorber in the body. With all these functions, yet fat still is the culprit for various kind of diseases, is this true? (1,2,3)

 

 

History of dietary fat recommendation (4)

 

The confusion on dietary fat intake, started long ago when nutrition scientist failed to communicate finding of the nutrition studies to the public. Previously based on the classic diet-heart hypothesis, dietary fat was told bad due to two key observations from observational studies and randomized controlled trial.

 

1) Controlled feeding trials demonstrated that dietary saturated fatty acids and
cholesterol raised serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
cholesterol (bad cholesterol) level .

 

2) Dietary fat intake increased serum total cholesterol and LDL level (bad
cholesterol) which is the predicted factor for cardiovascular disease.

 

 

 

Current finding on dietary fat intake (4)

 

Previously, study was very concentrated on the single causal outcome, but nowadays extensive research has identified that there are multiple pathways that mediate the development of cardiovascular diseases, not only total cholesterol intake or LDL level (marker for bad cholesterol and risk for CVD) but as well as other factors such as, smoking, overweight and obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and many more.

 

Thus, the recommendation on dietary fat intake to people with cardiovascular
disease and for people to prevent cardiovascular disease need to be altered as well.

 

 

Types of fat and cholesterol and dietary recommendation to it (4,5,6)

 

To understand the dietary recommendation to fat and cholesterol intake, first, let’s understand types of fat and cholesterol. There are few types of fat, there are saturated fat which usually consider as ‘bad’ fat, there are ‘good’ fat which further divide into two, which is monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat.There are even worse types of fat which called trans-fat.

 

 

Saturated fat is the fat, that is in the state of solid in the room temperature. It can increase body weight and LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood. Food source that is high in saturated fat are meat, chicken skin, margarine and dairy product that is high in fat.

 

As for unsaturated fat, it is consider as ‘good’ fat since it can helps in increasing HDL level (good cholesterol) level, lower LDL (bad cholesterol) Level , lower blood  pressure, and lower the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases. Unsaturated fat can further be divided into two, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. Example of monounsaturated fat includes, palm oil, canola oil, olive oil, and cashew nuts. Whilst the example of polyunsaturated oil is corn oil, sunflower oil, and fish oil. For the best result, study suggests mixing 1:1 ratio of these two types of oil, such as 1- part palm oil with 1 part of sunflower oil in the cooking.

 

Another kind of fat is called trans-fat. Trans fat formed when fat in the liquid form is convert to solid to form such as during the hydrogenation process. Trans-fat or also known as trans-fatty acid is usually found in the processed food, frozen food since it is used to keep the food fresh in the long-time span. Consumption of trans-fat need to be limit, since the consumption is related to the increase in the LDL (bad) cholesterol level, increase risk of cardiovascular disease, and increase risk of certain types of cancer. Food source that contain trans-fat are margarine, fry food using monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat such as sunflower oil, or processed food like ready to eat food, canned food, and pastry.

 

 

In conclusion (4,5)

 

According to study there is no specific standard limit for each types of fat due to various reasons. But in general, World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that fat intake should be in between 20% to 30% of total calories. In Malaysia, this consumption is equivalent to 45g – 67g of fat which is about 3- 5 tablespoon of oil (based on 2000kcal/day).

 

Thus, as a consumer, it is important to know which type of fat is good for health and which one is not, and to limit the intake of bad fat is very much essential in order to incorporate healthy eating habit into lifestyle.

 

Among things that can be practiced is, there are many processed food products on the market nowadays such as tempura, finger food for children and many more. Instead of consuming these process foods, the healthier choice is to consume fresh poultry or seafood rather than the processed one.

 

 

 

Another thing to note is that, cooking method again is very crucial in making sure that food is healthy, choose food that is cook using method such as steam, baked, boil and grill. Especially if you are frequently eating outside, since most of food in the restaurant or stall recycle the oil thus by choosing the better cooking method it is opting the healthier choices.

 

Limit intake of trans fat is very important, apart from processed food, frozen food, food that is high in cholesterol such as mayonnaise, animal internal organs, anchovies head also must be limit as well.

 

 

Being mindful about what to put into your body is just as essential as being mindful about what to put into your mind, flourish your body and mind with good nutrients for the healthier life by choosing the healthy fat for your body!

 


How to shop for healthy food on the market?


How to shop for healthy food on the market?

As the demands for healthy food is increasing thus healthy food option on the market is becoming more ubiquitous as well. In 2017, Forbes wrote that people who view on food related contents is more than 23 billion and search on healthy food content like vegan or gluten free food on the internet is increasing more that 100% (1).

 

As people are started to search for healthy food and there are many healthy food options on the market, how do consumers make the right choice in buying healthy food? Or is healthy food is more to marketing strategy rather than ‘healthy’ itself ?

 

 

Tips for buying healthy groceries.

 

Buying groceries seems easy until, you put into account your budget, how many heads need to be fed and the need to make healthier food choices for everyone in the household! Even more headache, if any of the members in the house have specific food allergies or certain medical condition that allow only specific food to be eaten. Fret not, here we try to simplify things for you and smoothen your grocery shopping experience!

 

1. Plan ahead (2,3,5).

 

In order to ease your groceries shopping out, you may actually plan ahead your meal of the week, this can as well make sure that you only shop within your budget. Meal planning not only saving your money and time, but it also can ensure you and your family gets healthy and nutritious meal. Below is the example of meal planning for family of two throughout the week.

 

 

You may get this kind of template for weekly meal planner online since it can be exciting, to incorporates your family members favourite dish or trying new recipe using this. Based on this, you get to know what are the things you need to stock at your kitchen and pantry with.

 

2. Looking for healthy food on the market (3,4,5,6,7).

 

Here comes the tricky one! After you have planned your meal of the week, you may divide it according to classes of food, since food in the supermarket or even your local grocery shop (support local, small SME), is usually by category. Food classes can be divided into carbohydrate, protein, fats, fruits, and veggies.

 

Carbohydrates (3,4,5).

 

Always remember to consume food in variation, balance and in moderation, to keep you and your family a healthy balance diet. When it comes to carbohydrate, make sure the source of your carbohydrate comes from variety of source. Example of carbohydrate sources are pasta, rice, bread, noodle, and some vegetables like potatoes. Vary food from these sources throughout the week and choose food from the low glycaemic index and whole-grain product more than the high glycaemic index.

 

Glycemic index (GI) is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates. It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own. High GI foods are broken down quickly by your body and cause a rapid increase in blood sugar level, such as sugary and sugary foods, soft drinks, white bread, potatoes, and white rice. Meanwhile, low GI food is the kind of food that will slowly spike your blood because it is broken down slowly and makes you full longer (promotes satiety). Example of low GI foods are green leafy vegetables, wholegrain food such as oat and brown rice, legumes and many more.

 

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Protein (3,4).

 

Protein can also derive from various food resources, commonly known are chicken, meat, and fish, but there is also other soy-based food that is high with protein content, such as ‘tauhu’ and ‘tempeh’. Not only that ‘tempeh’ (local soy-based food) is high with protein but rich in probiotics as well.

Always choose white meat over red meat, since red meat has high saturated fats which is not good for your heart health, it is ok to consume it but in moderation and not too seldom. Dairy products are important as well in incorporating healthy, balance meal, thus consider including dairy product in your diet as well.

 

Fats (7).

 

There are many types of cooking oil on the market, they are also marketed as the cooking oil which has low cholesterol level. Is it true? This is all marketing strategy, as all of the cooking oil such as sunflower oil, canola oil, corn oil, olive oil, or even the common one which is palm oil is derived from plant thus, plant-based food generally does not contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is only coming from animal -based food.

 

Below is the classification of cooking oil;

 

 

It is suggested to mix your cooking oil in the 1:1 ration, which means 1 part of monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat.

 

Vegetables & Fruits (3,4,5).

 

As for vegetables, it is suggested to consume 3 servings of vegetables per day, thus you can tell that it needs to be the most food items that you bought for the market in order to make sure everyone consume enough vegetables.

 

It is quite troublesome when it comes to vegetables since most of the vegetables have short life span. Make sure 20%-30% of your vegetables coming from green leafy vegetables, since these are insoluble fiber which is good for your digestion and slow down the spike of your blood glucose level, but these are the kind of vegetables that is easily perishable as well. The rest you may add with rhizome types of vegetables such as carrot and radish, and another one us tuber such as potatoes.

 

Tuber kind of vegetables are mostly high in carbohydrate as well, it is still helping the digestion, but it can spike your glucose level. Thus, be careful on the consumption of this kind of vegetables.

 

 

 

 

3. Looking for LOW sodium, LOW sugar, LOW fat (6).

 

Always read food labels especially for condiments, but it is also suggested to use natural herbs as to give flavour to your dish. Garlic, ginger, celery, onion spring, turmeric, chilli powder are the kind of herbs that can be used to improve your dish flavour.

 

As for condiments, less sugar, less salt and low fat, does not mean that it has no sugar, fat and salt, but it just means that it is the improve formulation from the previous. Meaning to say as an example if the previous formulation has 30g of salt the current formulation perhaps has only 15g of salt. Thus, do not go and binge using all these low in salt, sugar and condiment, still need to use in moderation but it is still the healthier option for your health!

 

 

In conclusion

 

Though it is very essential to buy healthy food in order to eat healthy food, but cooking method is as well as important. Make sure most of your cooking method is boiling, grilling, and steaming. Taste is something that you can mould if you mould your taste bud into consuming healthy food, as time passed by you will get use to it and eat healthily.

 

 

 

References

  1. Marketing Healthy Food: Strategies to make discovery easier (2017). https://www.forbes.com/sites/matzucker/2017/02/22/marketing-healthy-food/#4e329aa462e8 (Accessed on August 20, 2020).
  2. Kathleen M.Z., 10 Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping (n.d). https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/10-tips-for-healthy-grocery-shopping#1 (Accessed on August 20, 2020).
  3. Make a Grocery List in a Minute (n.d). https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/grocery-list#1 (Accessed on August 20, 2020).
  4. Food Network. Katie Allen. Smart Shopping Guide for Healthy Meals (n.d). https://www.foodnetwork.com/how-to/articles/a-guide-to-smart-supermarket-shopping-from-the-fn-kitchens (Accessed on August 20, 2020).
  5. How to make healthy shopping grocery list (n.d). https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthy-grocery-list#TOC_TITLE_HDR_5 (Accessed on August 20, 2020).
  6. Ministry of Health. My Health Portal. NurAidaliana Abas. Lemak dan Kolesterol (2015). http://www.myhealth.gov.my/lemak-dan-kolesterol/ (Accessed on August 20, 2020).
  7. National Health Service (NHS). What is the Glycemic Index (GI) (2018). https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/food-and-diet/what-is-the-glycaemic-index-gi/ (Accessed on August 20, 2020).

5 Useful Tips to lose weight healthily!


5 Useful Tips to lose weight healthily!

When you read the title you must be thinking that this is just another tip on how to lose weight, but please do not stop reading yet! This is where we will tell you why this article is different from the other article that you have read. Well, the tips here are from Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), National Health Service (NHS) United Kingdom and many most reputable and trusted healthcare bodies with scientific studies. The reason why losing weight tips should be read from all these authoritative bodies is because these bodies are bodies that put your whole health as their main concern, different from those whom only give you tips on losing weight, which can harm other body health aspect. Okay, now that we are clear with that, let’s dive into these tips.

 

 Tips 1: Plan your meals (1,2,3)

 

Try going for grocery shopping according to a list that you have made and while making that list try to picture the kind of healthy food that you are going to prepare. Do not forget to take into account your snacks. Make sure to stock a lot of fruits and vegetables. Try your best not to buy any junk food. Try to snack on all those fruits and vegetables without dressings, start off with fruits and slowly move to vegetables.

 

 

Tips 2: Do not banned food, but use smaller portion (1,2,3)

 

When it comes to diet or losing weight people tend to ditch all of their bad habits and try to acquire new habits, but most of the time this is something that will not last long. According to studies, when you suppressed your craving you will be even more craving for it, but rather try to ease your craving with eating in smaller portion. Use small plate all the time when you are trying to lose weight. Smaller plates will trick your mind to think that you have eaten a lot since your plate is full of food, but actually using small plate allow you to eat much lesser than what you usually consume.

 

 

Tips 3: Drink plenty of water at the right time (1,3, 4,5)

 

A study that is published in journal of obesity found out that, drinking water 30 minutes before your main meal is able to reduce about 9.48 pounds if you do this with all three of your main meals. While, if you do this only once per day on average you will be able to lose about 1.76 pounds.


Drink water before main meals make you less likely to drink water while eating or shortly after eating. This is good to allow your nutrient to be able to absorb properly in the body. Eating food while drinking water or shortly after your main meals will dilute your enzyme and cause poor nutrient absorption.


Also, whenever your mind sending signal that you are hungry and need food, try to drink water first and see if it satisfy you. Study shows that when you frequently eating without waiting for your body cues sometimes your mind is confused whether you are hungry or you simply want something to munch or boring. Thus, it is advisable to drink plain water first and see if it makes you full.

 

 

Tips 4: Consume high fiber food (1, 3, 4)

 

Although, fat is seen as the culprit to many kinds of diseases but the truth is nowadays, the main culprit is carbohydrate. It is true that carbohydrate is very important in making sure that we have sufficient energy, however consuming extra carbohydrate is what making most of us Malaysians nowadays fat. Furthermore, most of our foods nowadays come in huge sizes as compared to the previous years, which make people even more difficult to control their food portion. 


Cutting down on refined sugar such as table sugar, brown sugar, honey and hidden sugar in foods and drinks also help in maintaining your weight, ditch all of the sugary beverages like Starbucks, Boba teas and all those processed and high sugar food which can makes you full for shorter period of time. 


Instead, replace sugar intake with high fiber food such as vegetables and fruits. They are not only rich with vitamins and minerals, but also antioxidants, that are require by the body. Choose carbohydrates with high fiber content, this will help to keep your blood sugar is in control and will allow you to feel full longer. 

 

 

 

 

Tips 5: Be active (1, 2, 3)

 

Exercise consistently. Start with a few minutes of walking and slowly extend the time until you can do at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. If you have not exercised in a while, be sure to check with your doctor first. Also, if you are worried to exercise in public spaces due to COVID19, you may try indoor exercise, you will be surprised at how effective this is not only to your physical health but also to your mental health.

 

Commonly people will say that they do not have time to exercise, the advise is if you have time to scroll your Facebook feeds or any social media then you have time to exercise. Exercise do not really require you to put on your gym attire, or yoga mat, it just require you to move your body, it can be as simple as walking (e.g: try to take public transport to office), or as simple as doing house chores.

 

Find a good buddy. Friends and family are great buddies to support on losing weight and exercise journey.

 

In conclusion

 

All these tips will not only make you lose weight, but it also will make you healthier. Losing weight quickly may be intriguing, but it can be detrimental to your health. Thus, try to incorporate habit that will give no harm to your body and try to acquire as many healthy habit as you can.

 

 

References

  1. National Health Service (NHS). United Kingdom (UK). 12 Tips to help you lose weight (2019). https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/12-tips-to-help-you-lose-weight/ (Accessed on December 31, 2020)
  2. Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH). My Health Portal. Weight Management (2019). http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/weight-management/ (Accessed on December 31, 2020)
  3. Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH). My Health Portal. Diet for Overweight and Obese. (2019). http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/diet-for-overweight/ (Accessed on December 31, 2020).
  4. Singapore Health Promotion Board. HealthXchange Singapore. Drinking water at the right time (n.d). https://www.healthxchange.sg/food-nutrition/food-tips/drinking-water-right-time (Accessed on December 31, 2020).
  5. Parretti, H. M., Aveyard, P., Blannin, A., Clifford, S. J., Coleman, S. J., Roalfe, A., & Daley, A. J. (2015). Efficacy of water preloading before main meals as a strategy for weight loss in primary care patients with obesity: RCT. Obesity, 23(9), 1785-1791.

 

Differences between Omega 3, 6, and 9?


Differences between Omega 3, 6, and 9? 

 

Infographic above explains types of good and bad fats. But what about the differences between Omega 3, 6, and 9? All these three fats can be considered as good fat, but there are certain thing which differ it from one another.

 

MUFA or Omega 9

 

Monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) or also known as omega 9, is because of the double bond position which is on the ninth position from the omega end. It is a type of fat that is found in vegetable and animal fat such as in canola oil, sunflower oil, olive oil and in nuts. Unlike Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), Omega 9 is a non essential fat, which means body is able to produce this types of fat. However, there are also benefits when it is obtained from food such as it can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and help to eliminate plague build up in the arteries which can cause heart attack and stroke.

 

PUFA or Omega 3 & Omega 6 

 

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) can be divided into Omega 3 and Omega 6. The difference between these two is that the position of the double bond for Omega 3 is at the third position from the end, whilst for omega 6 is in the sixth position from the end.

 

Among types of Omega 3 with extensive scientific research are Eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and alpha lipoic acid (ALA). The difference between these three types of Omega 3 fat is the number of carbon atoms 18, 20, and 22 for ALA, EPA, and DHA respectively. ALA can be converted to EPA and then to DHA, but the conversion which usually occurs in liver is less than 15%, which is why it is recommended to consume EPA and DHA directly from foods or/ and dietary supplement. ALA is present in plant oils, such as flaxseed, soybean and canola oils. DHA and EPA is present in fish, fish oils, and krill oils. But the DHA and EPA in krill oil is not originating from krill but rather from the ingestion of microalgae.

 

Whilst, among types of Omega 6 are linolenic acid (LA) and Arachidonic acid (AA). The difference between these two are the position of double bond in the omega 6 fatty acid chain. Linolenic acid (LA) is the same like ALA, it is essential fatty acids which cannot be produced by human body. Sources of food with  LA are soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, cottonseed oil and rice bran oil. Whilst source of food for AA are peanut oil, meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Omega 3 and Omega 6, are beneficial for cardiovascular diseases where it can help with managing cholesterol level, triglycerides level and blood pressure level. There are also certain supporting data stated that it can help with reducing weight and waist size, improving infant brain development in fetus and fighting inflammation. However, other than for cardiovascular health the finding are rathe inconclusive. But as for Omega 3 and 6 (PUFA)  and heart health American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that 8-10% of calories should come from PUFA as there is evidence eating more PUFA up to 15% of daily calories in place of saturated fat can lower risk of heart disease.

 

 

Diagram below shows the comparison between these three types of good fat.

 

 

All in all, Omega 3, 6, and 9 are beneficial for the cardiovascular health, as it can help with lowering LDL level (bad cholesterol), increasing HDL level (good cholesterol) and help with blood pressure level. Several other studies also mentioned that certain good fat can help with inflammatory diseases such as joint pain and skin health such as eczema. However, consumption of all these fat must be in balance since overconsumption of these can lead to serious health effect! However, replacing bad fat (or even good fat) with refined carbohydrates food, does not help with your health either. It is so important to note that everything must be in balance, and consuming healthy food is not about one type of food only, it about variety kind of food and the quality of food, and the food source as well!

 

References

  1. Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH). Hyperlipidemia.
  2. Harvard T.H Chan. School of Public Health. Types of fat. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/
  3. Harvard T. H Chan. School of Public Health. Saturated fat or not does type of fat  matter.  https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2014/05/15/saturated-or-not-does-type-of-fat-matter/
  4. Healthline. Omega 3, 6, and 9. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/omega-3-6-9-overview#omega-6

Suku – Suku Separuh Diet ?

Diet Suku – Suku Separuh

 

Suku – suku separuh diet adalah saranan diet oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) untuk cara pemakanan sihat. Pelbagai langkah dan inisiatif telah dilakukan bagi mempromosikan amalan pemakanan sihat kepada rakyat Malaysia.

 

MegaLive menyambut baik saranan ini dengan turut sama mempromosikan amalan pemakanan sihat ini kepada semua.

 

Suku – suku separuh adalah diet yang merangkumi suku jumlah karbohidrat seperti nasi, mee, bihun, capati, roti dll, suku jumlah protein seperti ayam, ikan, sotong dll dan separuh jumlah sayur – sayuran dan buah – buahan. Pinggan yang dirujuk dalam saranan diet ini adalah pinggan berukuran 10 inci/ 25sm.

 

Contoh hidangan suku – suku separuh:

 

Capati dengan kuah dhal.
Nasi beras perang dengan ayam tanpa kulit dan sayur.
Nasi putih dengan ikan bakar dan sayur.
Nasi lemak
Roti dengan telur dan salad.

 

Terdapat 5 mesej utama dalam amalan diet suku – suku separuh.

 

Mesej Utama 1: Makan 3 Hidangan Utama yang sihat dalam sehari.

 

Makan sarapan, makan tengah hari, dan makan malam dengan sihat dengan mengikut konsep suku – suku separuh.

Makan pada waktu yang tetap juga membantu pengawalan porsi/ saiz hidangan makanan. Berikut adalah contoh waktu makan seharian.

 

Mesej Utama 2: Makan 1-2 Snek yang Sihat di antara Waktu Makan Jika Perlu

 

Bagi menggalakan pemakanan secara sihat secara holistik atau sebagai gaya hidup, anda juga digalakkan untuk mengambil snek sihat 1-2 kali dari sumber buah – buahan, kekacang, dan sayur – sayuran.

 

Contoh snek sihat yang boleh di ambil 1-2 sajian ialah:

 

 

Mesej Utama 3: Makan Sekurang-kurangnya Separuh Daripada Bijirin Anda Sebagai Bijirin Penuh

 

Malaysia adalah negara di mana, makanan rujinya adalah nasi, oleh itu tidak hairanlah jika kebanyakkan rakyat Malaysia masih berasa tidak kenyang selagi tidak makan nasi. Oleh yang demikian, Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) menggariskan pengambilan karbohidrat hendaklah diambil kebanyakkannya dari sumber bijirin penuh, seperti dari sumber nasi beras perang, roti bijirin mil penuh, jagung, barli dll.

 

Contoh makanan berkarbohidrat yang tinggi serat:

 

 

Mesej Utama 4: Makan Hidangan Tidak Bergoreng dan Tanpa Santan Setiap Hari

 

Seterusnya, lauk -pauk di Malaysia begitu sinonim sekali dengan jenis lauk -pauk yang bergoreng menggunakan minyak yang sangat banyak iaitu menggunakan kaedah ‘deep -frying’. Makanan bergoreng dengan minyak banyak yang digunakan secara berulang – ulang dan makanan yang mengandungi jumlah santan yang tinggi  boleh meningkatkan masalah kesihatan seperti masalah jantung, darah tinggi, kolesterol dan kanser.

 

Justeru, pengambilan makanan dengan cara masakan dan kandungan santan yang tinggi seperti masak lemak, kari, gulai, dan masakkan bergoreng hendaklah dihadkan.

 

Cara mengantikan pengambilan minyak dan santan dalam masakan dan makanan:

 

 

Mesej Utama 5: Makan Makanan yang dimasak di Rumah Lebih Kerap

 

Makanan yang dibeli di luar secara amnya mempunyai kandungan gula, garam, sos, kicap, perasa, dan monosodium glutamate (MSG) yang tinggi, ia juga kebanyakannya menggunakan kaedah memasak yang kurang sihat iaitu dengan cara menggoreng dengan minyak yang banyak dan berulang- ulang.

 

Kandungan makanan yang tinggi garam, gula, sos, kicap, perasa dan MSG boleh menyebabkan tinggi risiko kepada masalah kesihatan seperti diabetes, dan juga darah tinggi.

 

Selain daripada itu, pengambilan makanan dari luar juga seringkali mempunyai jumlah porsi yang tidak mengikut spesifikasi suku – suku separuh, hal ini menyebabkan individu lebih cenderung untuk makaan secara berlebihan dan mendapat lebih risiko untuk menjadi obes.

 

Cadangan hidangan harian di rumah:

 

 

Rujukan:

  1. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Bahagian Pemakanan. Panduan Pinggan Sihat Malaysia. https://bit.ly/3HHHdU6

3 Tips that will speed up weight loss


Once  you google about how to loss weight you will find all sorts of ways to loss weight from portion control, exercising, ban fatty foods, do not skip breakfast and many more.

The most important and simple concept about losing weight is, the more you put into your body (calories/foods) the more effort you need to put in order to lose it. For someone with extra weight, it is important to control your portion so that body can use whatever calories it already has to burn. In doing this, exercise really helps to speed up the process.

 

Here are 3 Tips that you can practice apart from portion control and exercise in order to speed up the weight loss:

 

  • Drink plenty of water

 

Drink water helps your body to identify whether you are hungry or you are just wanting something to munch or your stomach is merely ‘boring’. That is why one pro-tips for dieting is to drink water 30 minutes before you eat. This allow your stomach to feel a bit full and avoid you from eating too much. Of course the water that we are referring here is PLAIN WATER not your juice, coffee, tea or milkshakes.

 

 

  • Eat high fiber food

 

Consumption of 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits as per recommended by Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) will also help in improving portion control. Often times, dieters find its hard to limit portion as it will at the end makes people even more crave for food as the portioning does not satisfy their appetite.

 

But actually, a good amount of vegetables, fruits and protein should help to curb the cravings. That is the beauty of consuming whole food as compared to processed foods or fast foods. Often times the later will not satisfy your hunger and due to the high sodium content it will make you crave for it even more.

 

 

Hence, lead to bigger portion size and more calories/weight being load into your body.

 

High fiber content can also be found in your carbohydrates. Consumption of carbohydrates from wholegrain breads, brown rice, or even starchy fruits/ vegetables such as pumpkin and corn also help to improve your daily fiber consumption and at the same time give you sufficient carbohydrates and fullness.

 

  • Eat slowly

Consumption of foods nowadays are often times in rush, or while doing other things like small talk, or while watching screen/video etc. These activities do not allow individual to be engaged with foods but rather with other things. This will also lead to over consumption of food and inability to realize fullness, in the long run can caused weight gain.

 

Thus, among things to do during eating is by using small plate and also by eating slowly. Using small plates allow individual to reduce the portion size while eating slowly allow ones to realize fullness.

 

 

Often times, people do not realized their body cues which can lead to over consumption, weight gain and obesity.

 

Eat mindfully allow one to fully aware of what is put inside the body, having said this, it does not mean that one has to eat healthy food all the times, since pleasurable is one of the important factor to mind, food is not merely consume for the sake of being healthy, but also a source of happiness. Thus, try to find balance in these two helps with not only being healthy physically but also mentally!

Understanding calories

Understanding calories.

 

Calories are the measurement used for the amount of energy in the food and drink.

 

When we consume food and drink, we put energy into our bodies. This energy will then be used for our everyday activities from breathing, sleeping, to running.

 

In order to maintain a stable weight, the energy that we put into our bodies must be balanced with the energy that we use through normal body functions and our daily activities. In a simpler words, the more calories put in the body the more activities you needed to burn it and vice versa.

 

General calories intake

 

Men on average need about 2500kcal per day while women need about 2000kcal per day. However, as mentioned above, the amount of recommended nutrient intake vary from person to person based on their daily activities, occupation, frequency of exercise, lifestyle habits and also body metabolism.

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The more vigorously you do an activity, the more calories you’ll use. For example, fast walking will burn more calories than walking at a moderate pace. If you’re gaining weight, it could mean you have been regularly eating and drinking more calories than you have been using. To lose weight, you need to use more energy than you consume, this can be achieved via consuming lesser food or exercise more vigorously. Continuously doing this over a period of time will lead you to your desired weight.

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However, when people try to loss weight, they tend to curb their food intake and often times do not enjoy their diet modification. A healthy diet should also be a sustainable diet, thus, cut down on unhealthy food consumption slowly but consistently, consuming more healthier food option and also be mindful about the amount of food consume.

 

Calorie counter

 

 

Nowadays, there are various apps that can be used on mobile phone to track not only your calorie intake but also, your steps, exercise and also energy that you burn. Using all these apps, and gadget are helpful in making sure that you are on track with your diet and exercise.

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One of the apps developed by Ministry of Health Malaysia that is tally with Malaysian variety of foods is my nutri diary 2.0 aps. The app is helpful in monitoring your calorie intake and your weight progress. Often times, when we use calorie tracking app, it frustrates users that the app does not know how much calorie does a nasi lemak have  (any local food), but with my nutri diary it covers variety of Malaysian foods option which can be helpful for our daily food consumption.

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Gap between unhealthy diet and body needs

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While trying to loss, putting on or maintaining weight, imbalance consumption of foods may lead to losing some essential nutrients. Hence, to bridge the gap between lack of nutrient from food and body needs, consumption of multivitamin and multimineral are helpful.

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Other conditions includes denture problem, loss of appetite, hectic lifestyle, and many more.

How to improve your blood circulation ?

How to improve your blood circulation ?

 

Poor blood circulation is a condition where individuals will usually experience numb and cold in their extremities such as in the hands and feet area. Often times, it can be an underlying condition to a more serious condition such as uncontrolled diabetes or poor blood pressure, but it can also be due to poor posture and many more.

 

Here are some tips on how to improve your blood circulation:

 

1. Go on regular walks. 

 

Walking can improve blood circulation. Contraction of the calf muscle causes venous blood to be pushed back up to the heart. The arteries dilate when patients walk and improve blood flow throughout the body. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of walking three times per week.

 

2. Reduce your weight. 

 

Being obese or overweight posed more health risk towards your circulatory system as it often lead to risk of hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes which will all boils down to blood circulatory problem.

 

Consumption of food in moderation, balance and exercise regularly can help to prevent being obese and overweight.

 

3. Take more work breaks. 

 

Taking more work break helps you to get into the habit of alternating between sitting, standing, and walking. In doing this it cause less demand on the circulatory system as while you are sitting down, it cause blood flow slows and to pool in your legs, resulting in muscle pain and fatigue. Thus taking more break while doing office job is beneficial in improving blood flows and also can help to keep your stress level from getting out of whack.

 

Do your best to take stretch breaks every 15 to 20 minutes, and get-up-and-go breaks from sitting every hour—even if it’s just a power walk around your home.

 

4. Stay hydrated. 

 

When body is lack of water (dehydrated), it will affect the amount of blood circulating through your body, it will also causing your blood to retain more sodium, causing it to thicken and making it much harder for your circulatory system to work properly.

 

The easiest way to make sure that you are getting enough fluid is to check your pee. Yellow light or clear urine indicate that your are drinking sufficient amount of water, anything darker that that means you need to up your water intake game!

 

5. Manage your blood pressure. 

 

High blood pressure makes your blood circulation haywire and give more works towards heart and blood vessels. The heart and circulatory system will have to work extra in supplying blood flow throughout the body if you do not manage your blood pressure efficiently.

 

High blood sugar level can cause damage to the lining of small blood vessels and this can lead to the problem with blood circulation. This condition will also promotes formation of plaque in the blood vessels and will further cause complication to your blood flows.

 

Exercise, cutting back on sodium, reduce stress, good sleep quality and modification in some lifestyle factors can help to lower your blood pressure and improve your circulation in the process. Aim for a blood pressure less than 120/80 mmHg.

 

6. Elevate your legs.

 

Elevate legs helps to take the pressure off your veins, since it does not have to work against the gravity to get the blood back to the heart.

 

The most convenient time to elevate your legs would be when you are watching TV or having a nap – lie down and prop your legs above your heart level for 15 minutes or more at a time will be really helpful in improving overall blood circulation.

How can exercise improve blood circulation?

How can exercise improve blood circulation?

 

Many experts suggest that to improve blood circulation is by doing exercise or at least by moving around. This is true as exercise muscles require more oxygen, hence improving blood circulation.

 

Current  knowledge of medical science proves the old saying that ‘ A man is as old as his arteries (blood vessels)’, this is because nowadays we know that blood vessels carry vital oxygen-rich blood to all of the body tissue. So, maintaining artery health (blood vessel health) is just equivalently to maintain your overall health.

 

Blood vessels are made up of endothelial cells, in blood vessels these cells play a variety of roles, but among all one of its most important functions is to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is important for keeping blood vessels lining smooth and slippery, preventing white blood cells and platelets from latching on and causing inflammation or blood clot. Other than that, it also relaxed the muscle cells in blood vessels in order to prevent spasm and keep arteries open.

 

A Study of four groups of healthy people: young exercisers, young- non exercisers, elderly exercisers, and elderly non- exercisers found that age took a substantial toll on endothelial function and nitric oxide production, for people who exercised regularly, age had a smaller and more gradual drop in nitric oxide production. This, prove that indeed exercise, keep blood vessels young!

 

 

Regular exercise helps blood vessels by boosting the endothelial cells’ nitric oxide production, hence maintaining oxygen supply throughout the body and maintaining heart health as well!

 

Among area that usually affected when you have poor blood supply is your extremities such as hands and legs.

 

Here are some exercise that can help with improving blood circulation in your extremities;

 

  1. Walking
  2. Ankle rotation
  3. Heel and toe raises
  4. Knee bends
  5. Squat
  6. Using exercise ball
  7. Yoga movement that requires movement of hands and legs

 

In conclusion, as we know that exercise is essential in keeping healthy blood vessels, hence, body movement in some ways will help in having healthy blood vessels. So, move around and do not be a couch potato!

Do you think slimming pills work?


Do you think slimming pills work?

There are millions of slimming pills product on the market with various marketing strategy, not only in pills, but there are also, drinks or beverages, functional, ointment, lotion, and many other products which claimed that it can be used for weight loss. But is it really works?

 

In this article we are going to focus solely on slimming products that people consume like functional foods, pills, beverages, not for external use like ointment, lotion, or other types of slimming products since different kind of product has different method on how they give effect to the body.

 

 

Slimming pills on the market is either from drug, or drug combination or from herbal supplement. As for drugs at the moment, in Malaysia we only use two types of drugs which is anti-obesity medicine (AOM) that act on gastrointestinal tracts (GIT) or better known as orlistat (brand name Xenical) and drugs which is used to suppress appetite or better known as Sibutramine or phentermine. The consumption of all these drugs must be prescribed and monitored by doctors.

 

 

There are certain criteria for doctors to consider in order to prescribed slimming pills such as when individual has BMI more than 30, but most importantly is when the individual have tried to loss weight like eat healthily and exercise. Once individual have achieved certain weight loss then the doctor can no longer prescribed the medication, which is why, the consumption of such drugs needs to be monitored by doctors only. Also, to note that there have been cases previously where the prescription of slimming drugs which harm individual health, the drug is called Fen-Phen, it was phenomenal back then, it was a combination from Phentermine and Fenfluramine, but Foods and Drugs Administration (FDA) already take it back from the market as it can harm human health specifically heart valve. When prescribing slimming drugs doctors will usually conduct full body examination and blood test from time to time thus whatever things that is not suitable for body may be detected early, unlike consuming slimming pills without prescription.

 

As for herbal supplement slimming pills, the ingredients can be from various ingredients, either plant-based ingredients or animal-based ingredient. Since it does not consider as drugs thus it is not put under the strict and effectiveness requirement that drugs are in.

 

 

In Malaysia, all these supplement products need to be notified to Ministry of Health (MOH) under the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) for its safety. Once it is being notified, NPRA will provide the supplement products with notification number. Many product founders use this as their marketing strategy as to promote that their product is approved by MOH. However, products with notification number does not means that they are safe. It means that they are confident that their product is safe so that MOH can come and spot check anytime to make sure that their products is safe. Of course, before NPRA provide the product with the notification number they already go through the product ingredients and all that, but different batches of supplement are produce over the time, which can be different from the one sent for checking initially.

 

Among common ingredients that are in slimming pills supplement are chitosan (from shrimp shell), caffeine, bitter orange, green tea, beta gluten, carnitine, raspberry ketone, white kidney bean, yohimbe, guar gum, garcinia cambogia, fucoxanthin and many more. All these ingredients usually do not have conclusive study findings but rather mixing or promising study findings.

 

 

Which is why when it comes to supplement consumption it is very much suggested to go through below guideline from MOH:

 

  1. Check the products that you are going to buy whether it is registered with the regulatory authority.
  2. Some of the products (including herbal) may also cause adverse effects. Make sure your medical condition is not affected by it if you would like to try these products. Seek advice from healthcare practitioner before consuming it.
  3. Read label carefully and do not take more than the listed dose.
  4. These products are licensed as either over the counter (OTC), traditional, or functional food, therefore it is not ethical for the founder to make claim such as ‘stops from being fat’ or ‘speeds up metabolism’.
  5. Avoid slimming products which promote rapid weight loss, promise quick result, suggest that you do not need to exercise or diet, fail to recommend dietary advice or worse encourage that you can still consume anything you want.

 

In conclusion, whether slimming pills work or not it is still depending on type of slimming pills itself whether it is considered as drugs (need doctor prescription) or herbal one which is over the counter pills. All in all, health experts agree that making lifestyle changes including following a healthy eating pattern, reducing calorie intake, and engage in physical activity is the basis for achieving long term weight loss. But since making lifestyle changes can be difficult to some people, even more nowadays that there are many temptations for unhealthy food around us, not to mention the processed food which is marketed as ready to eat or ready to cook food (microwaved) but contain high trans-fat. Thus, it is really suggested that if you are to consume any slimming pills, get advice from healthcare professionals and accompanied it with healthy eating habit and exercise.

 

References

  1. Ministry of Health (MOH). MyHealth Portal. Slimming Pills. http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/slimming-pills-2/
  2. National Institute of Health (NIH). Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/WeightLoss-HealthProfessional/
  3. Lasting damage from Fen Phen. https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20081105/lasting-heart-damage-from-fen-phen#1

 


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