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Forget fad diets and miracle creams: There are no quick fixes for cellulite

This article is authored by Dr. Dharini Krishnan, an award-winning Consultant Dietitian, she believes that for a healthy body and mind, we must combine modern medicine with native Indian practices which are proven to benefit us.

It’s something many of us fret over. But cellulite is also a condition that seems to unite women all around the world, as 85-98% of women over the age of puberty of all races are affected by it.

Despite its commonness, cellulite has given rise to a burgeoning industry of creams, lotions and fad diets that promise to rid your skin of those “unsightly marks.” But this industry only thrives because of the myths that have grown around cellulite.

What is cellulite?

Skin Care

Cellulite refers to the appearance of lumpy, dimpled flesh on the thighs, hips, buttocks and abdomen. It is sometimes compared to orange peel or cottage cheese in texture.

Cellulite is completely harmless, though some women can be conscious of the appearance of cellulite.

It is caused by the skin being stretched by fat cells beneath it. While there are no definitive theories on what causes cellulite to occur, genetics, tissue structure, and hormones all seem to contribute to its formation.

Is there a quick fix?

One of the most significant myths about cellulite is that it can be “cured” by various fad diets and “miracle” skin creams and lotions. However, to date, no diet or topical medication has been found that can guarantee a cure to cellulite. Indeed, fad diets may actually contribute to the formation of more cellulite by causing sudden decreases and increases in weight.

Even more medically proven methods such as endermologie (a type of mechanical massage), and laser or radiofrequency treatments may take time to show results and do not produce permanent results.

Can healthy eating fix cellulite?

Skin Care

While there are no guarantees for cellulite, a healthy diet and exercise can affect this condition by strengthening connective tissue and reducing fat deposits.

Building an anti-cellulite lifestyle pattern is similar to building patterns to overcome obesity. The first step is always a reduction in carbohydrate consumption. This doesn’t have to mean a very low-carb diet. Rather, if you are used to eating three cups of rice, the first step would be to reduce that number to one cup.

The second step would be to substitute refined grains with whole grains, moving from white rice to semi-polished to red rice. Millets and moong dal are other important option since they provide high levels of fibre.

The third step would involve increasing the amount of vegetables and fruits consumed, particularly at between-meal times when the tendency to snack kicks in. At such times, eating a full cup of fruits might be a healthy way to keep calories at bay.

Finally, dietitians often work alongside physiotherapists in order to develop suitable exercise patterns that target areas of significant fat deposits.

Along with a wholesome diet, it is important to never do away with regular exercise if you intend to tackle cellulite problems. So remember to stay healthy, and stay fit!



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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Diet, exercise and sunlight: Three factors women shouldn’t ignore for good bone health

Dr. Dharini Krishnan

Dr. Dharini Krishnan
11 January 2021

This article is authored by Dr. Dharini Krishnan, an award-winning Consultant Dietitian, she believes that for a healthy body and mind, we must combine modern medicine with native Indian practices which are proven to benefit us.

Barring a significant injury or fracture, we rarely tend to think about bone health. Yet, for women, particularly those who are middle-aged or older, this is a vital concern because of the risk of osteoporosis.

In 2013, it was estimated that there were 50 million Indians who were osteoporotic or having low bone mass. Some studies have found that the prevalence of osteoporosis could be as high as 42.5% in women over the age of 50.

Osteoporosis and health complications

Eat Breakfast

Osteoporosis comes from the Latin for “porous bone”, and is a condition where bone tissue loses its density, and becomes weaker and more fragile. Such bones are easily susceptible to breaks, resulting in pain, disability and loss of functionality in everyday life.

Bones, which form the primary supporting framework of the body, grow from birth till our early twenties, which is the period of peak bone mass. Bone is an active tissue that undergoes regular replacement in conditions of health.

In osteoporosis, however, bone formation is outpaced by bone loss, leading to porosity or thinness of bone tissue and brittle bones. Such bones could easily be fractured even in the absence of significant trauma. Such fractures tend to reduce mobility and lead to increased hospitalization and dependence on others.

Why osteoporosis affects women more

Women are particular at risk for osteoporosis because they have lesser bone mass to start with. The geometry and structure of bone have also been increasingly recognized as important risk factors for fracture.

The risk of osteoporosis significantly rises during menopause because of the hormonal changes women undergo at the time. This is because estrogen plays a significant role in maintaining bone health, and the secretion of this hormone falls drastically during menopause.

The importance of protein and calcium in the diet

Skin Care

For some time now, awareness of the importance of calcium for bone health has been growing. Hence, women are advised to consume sufficient amounts of dairy, green leafy vegetables, soya products and nuts.

What many don’t realise is that sufficient levels of protein are just as important for strong bones. After all, protein makes up roughly 50% of bone volume and about one-third of its mass. Daily intake of protein is also necessary to provide the raw materials for bone formation. Unfortunately, research shows that the levels of dietary protein consumed by Indians are actually reducing.

For non-vegetarians chicken, fish and eggs are good sources of protein. For vegetarians, pulses are one of the primary sources of protein, along with dairy products. Daily intake of protein in at least two major meals of the day, particularly in healthy forms such as sambhar or dal is, therefore, vital.

The role of exercise and sunlight

Eat Breakfast

Bone health also requires good muscle health. This makes it necessary to undertake moderate exercise as often as possible. A 45-minute walk six days a week as well as resistance training using the body weight, such as surya namaskaras, can go a long way to building muscles. Importantly, the body also requires Vitamin D to mobilize calcium for bone health. Hence, exposure to peak sunlight between 11am and 3 pm at least twice a week is also vital for bone health.

Osteoporosis can be a serious health problem that disrupts life and limits mobility, particularly for women. However, a healthy diet, rich in calcium and protein, together with exercise, can go a long way in maintaining bone health.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

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