Dr. Kaushik Sridhar


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Every day you make numerous choices about what to eat and drink. They are either positive (fruits, vegetables, plenty of water) or negative (junk food, candy, caloric drinks), or both. Good choices (“salmon with a side of broccoli”) make you feel better during the day (short-term) and reduce potentially negative physical consequences, such as cancer or heart disease (long-term). When you eat a meal that contains saturated fat, your arteries cannot move sufficient blood throughout your body or to your brain. The result is a high-fat hangover that slows you down physically and mentally. Eat enough fatty fish (salmon is a good choice) weekly and you can reduce your chances of getting kidney cancer by 74%.

Your body works best when you eat and drink properly, get sufficient sleep and exercise every day. The phenomenon of “epigenetic inheritance” shows that how you eat can affect your offspring and their offspring as well. If you suffer improper nourishment, there is a stronger chance that diabetes and heart disease will strike your children and grandchildren. Eat bad foods (with high carbohydrate and sugar counts) and your “appetite-control cells” signal your brain to eat more. Foods with unsaturated fats (for example, nuts, olive oil and avocados) signal the brain to tell your body to stop consuming.

Your image of your body, right or wrong, significantly influences your psychological wellbeing. Your body image can be more credible to you than objective data, such as your body mass index (BMI). If you know you are doing good things for your body, your body image will improve, and this will encourage you to continue healthy behaviour.

The best foods are vegetables and fruits “that have darker tones of red, green and blue,” such as apples (red), broccoli (green) and cabbage (blue). Avoid food extras such as “toppings, dressings, snacks and drinks” because they often are high in calories, sugar and fat. Plan in advance to make the right diet choices. Buy only good foods at the supermarket. Stay out of places like fast food restaurants that offer primarily unhealthy meals.

Exercise at least 30 minutes daily, five days a week. You should exercise when you feel tired because exercise reduces fatigue. Get the sleep you need. Doctors recommend seven to eight hours nightly. Too little sleep (less than six hours) and too much sleep (more than nine hours) are equally bad for you: Both “short-duration” sleepers and “long-duration” sleepers are prone to substantial weight gain.

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