Q & A

Hello All. We invite ‘queries’ from all of you out there, on Healthy Diet, Good Nutrition, Right Eating, Health Concerns, Weight-Related Issues, Diet in Diseases that you may want answers to. We shall be glad to provide you with the right answers to the best of our knowledge.

Do connect with us on e-mail (shruti@nutrimantra.com), Facebook (Nutrimantra), twitter (@nutrimantra) or our website (Contact Us).

Wishing you health and happiness always.

Question: Will diet help me in my Herpes? If yes what should I take and avoid? I am a vegetarian.

A reader from Assam, India

Answer: A healthy diet always helps. If it doesn’t directly then it will have indirect benefits. So Yes diet certainly helps. 

Now what you can do: Apart from keeping your body rested, free from mental and physical stress and keeping your immunity up; a balance needs to be maintained between two essential amino acids (Lysine & arginine). This balance plays an important role in managing symptoms, treatment and outbreak of Herpes. 

It is recommended to consume a high lysine and low arginine for the same. Here are some excellent plant-based sources of lysine: avocado, dried apricot, mango, beetroot, tomato, pear, green and red peppers, potato, kidney beans, navy beans, black beans, lentils, pistachios, cashews, macadamia nuts, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat. Avoid the following foods as they are rich in arginine: pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, chickpeas, soybeans and peanuts.

Stay healthy, happy and safe!

Question: Hello. Can you please suggest what to eat and avoid for kidney stones?

A reader from Gurugram, India

Answer: The most common types of kidney stones are calcium stones followed by uric acid stones. There is no single diet plan for stone prevention.  Most dietary recommendations are based on the type of stone which is then individualized. Still, the following tips can help:

  1. Drink plenty of water (2-2.5 litre/day): This will help produce less concentrated urine.
  2. Limit foods with high oxalate content: Spinach, berries, chocolate, wheat bran, nuts, beetroot, tea, etc. should be eliminated from your diet.
  3. Eat enough dietary calcium and avoid extra calcium supplements: Eat calcium-rich foods with meals. Calcium supplements if required should be prescribed by your physician.
  4. Eat a moderate amount of protein: High protein intake will cause the kidneys to excrete more calcium, therefore, causing more stones to form.
  5. Avoid high salt intake: High sodium intake increases calcium in the urine which increases the chances of developing stones
  6. Avoid high doses of vitamin C: Excess amounts (1000mg/day or more) may produce more oxalate in the body
  7. To prevent uric acid stones: cut down on high-purine foods like red meat, organ meats, alcoholic beverages, meat-based gravies, sardines and shellfish. Limit sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, especially those that have high fructose corn syrup.

It is also very important to note that a person having a tendency to form stones will always be prone to stones. Even after surgical removal / passing the stone out in the urine.

Stay Healthy & Safe!

Question: Please suggest the dietary dos n don’ts for an individual with asymptomatic gall bladder stones.

Anshu Sharma, Delhi, India

Answer: You will not need treatment considering that you are asymptomatic. Still, lifestyle changes can prevent the gall stones from getting bigger and causing problems in future.
Five pointers:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Avoid rapid weight loss.
  3. Have a diet rich in fibre and antioxidants.
  4. Engage in regular physical activity.
  5. Take supplements which are suggested by your doctor.

To help improve your condition, try these tips:

  • Reduce your intake of fat and always choose low-fat foods. Avoid high-fat and fried foods.
  • Add fibre to your diet. Add fibre slowly and gradually to prevent gas.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages, high-fat dairy products, and very sweet foods.
  • Eat small frequent meals per day. Smaller meals are easier for the body to digest.
  • Drink around 6 to 8 glasses of water per day.
  • If you plan to lose weight, do it slowly. Aim to lose no more than one kg per week. Rapid weight loss may increase your risk of gallstones and other health problems.

Hope this Helps!

Question: Is Canola Oil Healthy?

Sucheta Bedi, Gurugram, India

Answer: I would list a few of the properties of Canola Oil and let you decide whether it is healthy or not.

  1. Canola oil is made by crossbreeding of crops and most of the canola crop is genetically modified
  2. Oil is extracted from the seed after heavy processing which involves the use of synthetic chemicals
  3. It has a very low level of saturated fatty acids, a plus point. But on the downside, the ratio of omega 3 to 6 fatty acid is 1:2 which ideally should be 1:1

Most of the processed/packed foods use Canola or Palm oil for cooking.

Our Take: Do not use canola oil as a cooking medium at home if your diet includes any of these: biscuits, bread, namkeens, wafers, chips, frozen snacks, etc.