14 September, 2009
Battling hypertension, cancer, diabetes, a weak heart or kidneys... right nutrition plays a key role. The National Nutrition Week just passed by (Sept 1-7). For a strong, healthy body and a happy mind, nutrition plays a pivotal part not just as prevention but as a tool for speedy recovery as well.
Diet in Cardiac Diseases
The best diet for a healthy heart is a diet low in fatty and sugary foods and rich in fruits and vegetables which are quick foods that require little or no preparation time. They are loaded with important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber and disease fighting antioxidants.
Unsaturated oils (refined oils) help maintain blood cholesterol levels if consumed in recommended quantities. Thus it is advisable to use only 4-5 teaspoons of cooking oil per day and a variety of refined oils should be taken. Select one from each group for your daily cooking purpose. Ratio of both oils should be 1:1. It is advised to use oil from Group A for 15 days and oil from Group B for 15 days or lunch with oil from Group A and dinner with oil from Group B.
Group A: Sunflower / safflower/ corn / soybean
Group B: Mustard / groundnut / olive/ rice bran
High fiber food items like whole cereals [whole wheat flour ( atta ), wheat bran, whole wheat bread, bajra , jowar , oats], whole pulses ( dals with skin, rajmah , chola, kala chana, chowli etc.), leafy vegetables, salad vegetables and whole fruits are recommended.
Good quality protein like egg white, soy, fish chicken and dairy protein (toned/ skimmed cow's milk and milk products like curds and paneer prepared with cow’s toned milk) is recommended. Oily fish like ravas (salmon), herring, bangda (mackerel), tuna , tarli (oil sardine) and nuts like almonds and walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and found to be beneficial for heart. All these food items are advised in recommended quantities.
It is advised to avoid fatty meats like ham, bacon, yolk of egg, red meat, organ meat, shrimps, lobster, prawns, etc as well as alcohol, aerated drinks, squashes, fruit juices (lack fiber), canned, tinned, processed and preserved foods e.g. tinned fruits, sauces, processed cheese.
Diet for Hypertension
A vegetarian's diet contains more potassium, complex carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C all of which may have a favourable influence on blood pressure. It can be a great benefit to start lowering your blood pressure naturally.
Calcium: Consume skim / toned milk and milk products (curds and paneer). This milk is low in fat, but very high in Vitamin D and calcium, both of which are known to combat high blood pressure. Calcium can also be found in fish (sardines, salmon, mackerel), nuts, sunflower seeds (unsalted) and green leafy vegetables (beetroot leaves, turnip greens, arbi leaves, chowlai , methi leaves, cauliflower greens, celery leaves, parsley, mint, curry leaves, drum stick leaves and radish leaves). Cereals like ragi (nachni) and whole pulses like kala chana and rajmah , soybean and tofu are also rich in calcium. Spices include hing , ajwain , khas khas , black pepper ( kali mirch ), cumin seeds ( zeera ), coriander ( dhania ), cloves ( laung ) and mustard seeds ( sarson ).
Magnesium: Magnesium rich foods such as pulses and legumes and dark green leafy vegetables are an excellent way to lower blood pressure. Other good sources of magnesium are almonds, walnuts, coriander seeds (dhania ), cumin seeds ( zeera ), ginger, turmeric, plums and mango figs, whole grains, soy products, broccoli, oysters and mackerel. Magnesium has the effect of relaxing the blood vessels which allows the blood to flow easier.
Potassium: Restricting sodium (salt) intake to lower blood pressure appears to work better if accompanied by increasing potassium. Pulses and legumes, soybeans and cereals like bajra , jowar , ragi (nachni), whole wheat flour ( atta ) are good sources of potassium. Spices rich in potassium include coriander seeds ( dhania ), cumin seeds ( zeera ) and methi seeds. Vegetables like potato, sweet potato, yam ( suran ), tomatoes, karela , brinjal, drumstick, green papaya and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, sarson ka saag , chowlai and coriander leaves are high in potassium. Potassium rich fruits include sweet lime, apricots, amla, bael, cherries, lemon, mango, muskmelon, watermelon, peaches, plums and seetaphal. Coconut water and vegetable soups are also rich in potassium.
Vitamin C: It seems to expand blood vessels and constricted arteries, consequently helping to lower blood pressure. Vitamin C rich foods include strawberries, lime, sweet lime ( mausambi) , orange, guava ( peru ), amla, radish ( muli ) leaves, fenugreek leaves ( methi ), coriander ( dhania ), cabbage, capsicum, green chillies, cauliflower and bitter gourd ( karela ).
Research also shows that eating foods high in fiber, such as oat bran, fruits, and vegetables can significantly reduce high blood pressure, and even improve blood pressure in healthy individuals. Omega-3 fats, typically found in oily fish, garlic and flax seeds are known to have a lowering effect on blood pressure.
Avoid foods like pickles, papads and salted chutneys, biscuits and namkeens, all sauces and soy sauce, cheese, salted butter, margarine, mayonnaise, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ajinomoto, breads, cakes, pastries, cornflakes, salted chips, nuts, popcorns, bacon, ham, sausages, malted beverages, boost, bournvita, preserved foods and canned foods.
Diet in Renal Diseases
Renal diet plays a major role in restoring the kidneys to function normally after a kidney-related ailment. A
special renal diet helps to control the buildup of toxic fluids in the blood and decreases the stress on the kidneys. A typical renal diet controls the intake of protein, potassium, phosphorus and sodium.
Nutrition for chronic kidney failure involves variable nutrient adjustment according to the individual needs of patients. It is required to provide just enough protein (50 per cent of high biological value) to maintain tissue integrity while avoiding a damaging excess. Carbohydrates and fats must supply sufficient calories to reduce the need for proteins. With non-dialyzed patients, fluid intake should be sufficient to maintain an adequate urine volume. Intake is usually balanced with the output. The need for sodium varies. If hypertension and edema are present, salt intake is usually recommended in very low amounts between 2-5 grams/day.
The damaged kidney/ kidneys cannot clear potassium adequately and so the dietary intake is kept low or moderate. Therefore, it is important for patients to be aware of the potassium levels in various foods so that they consume cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables that have low to moderate potassium content.
Usually, nutrition therapy for dialysis patients is planned with more liberal nutrient allowances and the patient is encouraged to eat a variety of foods to help maintain normal body weight and nutritional status.
Diet for Cancer
It is very important to eat well during cancer treatment. One needs to have adequate calories and proteins which would help prevent weight loss, regain strength and rebuild normal tissues. If one is overweight, the Clinical Nutritionist can assist with weight loss after the treatment is over and one is fully recovered. If one is losing weight during the treatment, the clinical nutritionist can assess the calorie needs and create a meal plan to stabilize the weight.
Free radicals damage the DNA, rearranging the genes within the cells, which leads to the development of cancer. Antioxidants are free radical scavengers which can prevent less aggressive malignant cells to transform into more aggressive types which are more likely to grow and spread faster. These are found in variety of foods as listed below:
Vegetables: cabbage, spinach, broccoli, onions, celery, citrus fruits (especially ripe): pomegranates, kiwis, plums, apples, lemons, apricots, plums, pears, oranges, strawberries, bananas, grapes.
Dried fruits: raisin, prunes, apricots.
Pulses and legumes
Herbs ans spices: Garlic, parsley, mint, coriander, thyme, rosemary
Carotenoids: beta-carotene (carrots, peaches, apricots, spinach)
Alpha-carotene: carrots and pumpkins
Cryptoxanthin: oranges, papaya, peaches
Lycopene : tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit
Lutein and Zeaxanthin : spinach, red pepper, peas, broccoli, celery
The diet should consist of unsaturated oils and omega-3 fatty acids which can be of great benefit rather than saturated and trans-fats which are bad fats. A high fiber diet can prevent colon cancer. Fiber moves potential carcinogens through the intestines faster, decreasing the contact time between carcinogens and the intestinal wall. Small frequent meals are recommended.
Also in conditions with advanced cancer or those whose tumours or treatments have affected their ability to eat or digest food, such patients should seek advice from a clinical nutritionist attached to a hospital.
Diet in Diabetes
Management of diabetes requires self-discipline and self-control under the guidance of a doctor and a nutritionist.
Effective diabetic management requires a healthy lifestyle which should include a balanced diet, regular exercise and sensible weight control.
Carbohydrate: The distribution of carbohydrate in various meals is determined by whether or not the patient is on insulin therapy. According to the type of insulin calories from carbohydrate need to be distributed. When not on insulin, the carbohydrate is divided equally between breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Spread the intake of carbohydrate foods throughout the day. Eating large amounts of carbohydrates at one time produces increased amounts of glucose and stimulates the release of increased amounts of insulin which can cause blood glucose levels to drop.
There should be steady release of glucose into the blood stream. Therefore in between snacks should be stressed to avoid hypoglycemia. Eat 5-6 small meals rather than 2-3 large meals.
High fiber foods as mentioned in diet for cardiac diseases are recommended.
Protein: Proteins are required in adequate quantity as proteins do not raise blood sugar levels during absorption like carbohydrates. In poorly regulated diabetes, large quantities are excreted through urine therefore the protein requirement is higher. Proteins promote satiety, provide essential amino acids for tissue repair to be restricted in case of early kidney disease.
Fats: Diabetics are prone to atherosclerosis. Therefore fat intake has to be restricted. Same guidelines as for diet in cardiac diseases have to be followed.
Vitamins and minerals: A diet rich in antioxidants like B carotene, Vitamin E and C should be emphasized.
Dietary sodium may have a role in the development of insulin resistance. Moderate sodium restriction is beneficial.
Meal combination is also an important factor in managing blood glucose levels. Combining protein, fat and carbohydrate at meals and snacks can lead to a better control of blood glucose levels and doing so, slows down insulin release than meals or snacks that consists mainly of carbohydrates.
(The writer is Clinical Nutritionist with Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Fortis Network
Hospital, Navi Mumbai) Click here to Read more!
10 September, 2009
A Massachusetts company received federal approval Sep 2006 to sell up to 4,000 artificial hearts a year, though the number of devices implanted annually will likely be far smaller.
The hearts would be used only in patients who are close to death and have no other treatment options.
The Food and Drug Administration granted Abiomed Inc. a humanitarian exemption allowing it to sell the devices, agency spokeswoman Susan Bro said. The actual number of the devices, called the AbioCor, to be implanted likely will be small — between just 25 and 50 a year, Bro said.
So far, the artificial heart has been tested in only 14 men. Two died from the operation, and another never regained consciousness. The rest survived only an average of five months, with one exception: a man who lived 17 months, until the mechanical heart wore out.
The company said earlier that it would begin implanting the artificial hearts at five hospitals around the country, once doctor training is complete. The devices are fully contained within the chest, with no outside wires.
Abiomed is targeting men — but not precluding women — with heart failure who are too sick for a heart transplant, have exhausted other options and are likely to die within a month.
The current device is too large for about 90 percent of U.S. women and many men. The company is developing a smaller version.
In 2005, an FDA panel of outside experts voted against recommending Abiomed be given permission to sell the device in limited numbers. At the time, the experts expressed concern that many AbioCor recipients suffered severe strokes, some fatal, that compromised their final weeks.
The company has since redesigned the design of the cuff of the device to prevent two bars from coming into contact with human tissue. That contact was believed to be the cause of the strokes in the first test patients, said Michael R. Minogue, the company's president and chief executive officer.
The company also hopes to implant the hearts in patients who can be treated with blood-thinning drugs, further reducing the risk of stroke, Minogue said in a recent interview.
"We want to focus on getting the right patients and getting them home, so whatever that number is, that is what it will be," Minogue said.
The implant is expected to cost about $250,000. It is unclear whether insurance would cover it.
Abiomed eventually hopes 10 medical centers would be equipped to implant the hearts.
Source: Health Discovery Click here to Read more!
Washington: US President Barack Obama has said given a chance he would like to have dinner with Mahatma Gandhi, whom he considered a real hero.
Obama expressed his desire in response to a question from a student Lilly during his discussion with 9th graders at Wakefield High School in Arlington Virginia where he accompanied with the Education Secretary gave a national speech welcoming students back to school.
Obama called for students to take responsibility and to learn from their failures so that they succeed in the end.
"Hi. I'm Lilly. And if you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?," Obama was asked by one of the students.
"Dinner with anyone dead or alive? Well, you know, dead or alive, that's a pretty big list," Obama responded amidst laughter. The next moment he was serious.
"You know, I think that it might be Gandhi, who is a real hero of mine," Obama said. "Now, it would probably be a really small meal because he didn't eat a lot," he said amidst laughter. But Mahatma Gandhi is someone who has inspired people across the world for the past several generations, he said.
Terming the iconic figure as the source of inspiration for many, Obama said "He (Mahatma Gandhi) is somebody whom I find a lot of inspiration in. He inspired Dr King (Martin Luther), so if it hadn't been for the non-violent movement in India, you might not have seen the same non-violent movement for civil rights here in the United States." said.
"What was interesting was that he ended up doing so much and changing the world just by the power of his ethics, by his ability to change how people saw each other and saw themselves -- and help people who thought they had no power realise that they had power, and then help people who had a lot of power realise that if all they're doing is oppressing people, then that's not a really good exercise of power," Obama said.
Expressing his belief in the way of change proposed by Gandhi, the President said, "I am always interested in people who are able to bring about change, not through violence, not through money, but through the force of their personality and their ethical and moral stances. That is somebody that I would love to sit down and talk to," said Obama.
Mahatma Gandhi has always been a source of inspiration for this first African-American President of the United States of America.
"In my life, I have always looked to Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration, because he embodies the kind of transformational change that can be made when ordinary people come together to do extraordinary things," he wrote in the ethnic India Abroad newspaper last year.
"That is why his portrait hangs in my Senate office; to remind me that real results will not just come from Washington, they will come from the people," Obama said.
Source:CNN-IBN Click here to Read more!
09 September, 2009
Flu/Cold: Fever is rare with a cold.
Swine Flu: Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.
Flu/Cold: A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.
Swine Flu: A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).
Flu/Cold: Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.
Swine Flu: Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.
Flu/Cold: Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.
Swine Flu: Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.
Flu/Cold: Chills are uncommon with a cold.
Swine Flu: 60% of people who have the flu experience chills.
Flu/Cold: Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.
Swine Flu: Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.
Flu/Cold: Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.
Swine Flu: Sneezing is not common with the flu.
Flu/Cold: Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.
Swine Flu: The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.
Flu/Cold: A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.
Swine Flu: A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.
Flu/Cold: Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.
Swine Flu: Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.
Flu/Cold: Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.
Swine Flu: Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu. Click here to Read more!
07 September, 2009
Flat tax of 20% and 30%
A huge shock awaits Amin and millions of NRIs, in regard to taxation of their interest and investment income and capital gains earned in India, proposed to be treated under the draft Direct Tax Code as "income from special sources."
In 2011-12, on the same interest income of Rs 3 lakh, Amin will be required to pay a hefty tax of Rs 60,000 at the flat rate of 20 per cent, without being eligible to claim any basic exemption or other deduction, as provided under rule three of the First Schedule to the Code.
Moreover, all capital gains earned by a non-resident will attract a flat tax of 30 per cent, irrespective of the amount of capital gains. While a resident Indian will be required to pay tax of Rs 3.84 lakh on his taxable income of Rs 25 lakh, an NRI earning equivalent capital gains will be called upon to pay almost double tax of Rs 7.5 lakh.
New section 13 (2) provides that such ‘special income’ shall be computed in accordance with the provisions of the Ninth Schedule, the drafting of which is literally hair-raising. It provides that the amount of accrual or receipt shall be computed as the taxable income, and no loss, allowance or deduction shall be allowed, as the same shall be presumed to have been granted. The only exception in this regard, in respect of capital gains arising from the transfer of equity shares or units of equity oriented mutual fund chargeable to STT, is quite amusing, as it stands redundant in view of the proposal to abolish STT (a classic instance of incoherent drafting).
The draftsman does not seem to have realized the harsh implications. It means that if an NRI sells a capital asset purchased for Rs 10 lakh at Rs 30 lakh, he will be required to pay tax of Rs 9 lakh at 30 per cent on the gross sale consideration of Rs 30 lakh without any deduction even for the cost of acquisition of Rs 10 lakh (not to mention any benefit of indexation on the same).
Determination of residential status
The residential status of an individual under the Code is proposed to be determined as per the current norms. However, the status of "not ordinarily resident" (NOR) is proposed to be eliminated. Despite the above, Clause 24 of the Sixth Schedule has still provided for exemption in respect of interest earned on foreign currency deposits in the case of NOR. Poor drafting indeed!
The Code has proposed to retain the current exemptions availed by a non-resident in case of interest earned on NRE and FCNR deposits with banks.
Special exemption for returning NRIs
A useful exemption has been provided in case of income earned outside India, if it is not derived from a business controlled from India, in the financial year in which the returning NRI becomes an Indian resident and the immediately succeeding financial year. However, the benefit of the said exemption would be available, only if such individual was a non-resident for nine years immediately preceding the financial year in which he becomes a resident.
Wealth-tax liability for NRIs
Proposed Section 102 of the Code provides for wealth tax liability in the case of the value of all global assets of an individual or HUF. However, an exemption has been provided in case of the value of assets located outside India in case of an individual who is not a citizen of India or an individual or HUF not resident in India. Hence, while returning NRIs who are non-citizens will enjoy wealth-tax exemption for their overseas assets, NRIs with Indian citizenship becoming residents will attract wealth-tax liability on such assets held abroad.
Illogical exemption under wealth-tax
Talking about wealth tax, the Code prescribes an exemption in respect of any house or plot of land belonging to an individual or HUF, if it is acquired before April 1, 2000. It is difficult to understand the logic as to why this exemption has been denied in all cases where such immovable property is acquired after March 31, 2000!
Proposals That Will Hurt the Global Indian Sentiment
Flat Rate of Tax
20% flat tax on interest & other investment income
30% flat tax on all capital gains
Apart from 20% & 30% TDS on above, TDS at a baffling rate of 35% prescribed on all residual income
No Personal Exemption
No personal exemption or deduction allowed in computing the above income treated as ‘income from special sources’.
Poor drafting leads to such a weird interpretation that transfer of a capital asset may attract 30% tax on gross sale consideration.
Ironical but true! Non-Indian sportspersons, say Ricky Ponting or Shoaib Akhtar, required to pay a concessional tax of 10% on their game, advertisement and column earnings in India, thus enjoying a more privileged tax status than our own sons of the soil living abroad
Source: Times of india
31 August, 2009
The partition of Indian subcontinent in 1947, following World War II is perhaps the most tragic of all political events to affect India in its long political history. The partition divided Hindus and Muslims who had lived together for hundreds of years.
Mahatma Gandhi with Pethwick Lawrence, British Secretary of State for India after a meeting on 18 April 1946
Aerial view of contingents setting off on the Victory Parade in Delhi in March 1946
A Colour Party leads the British infantry contingent through India's memorial arch in Delhi during the Victory Parade in March 1946
Indian Army passes the saluting base during the Victory Parade in Delhi in March 1946. Thousands of spectators watched the Victory Parade in Delhi.
In 1947, the border between India and its new neighbour Pakistan became a river of blood, as the exodus erupted into rioting.
An outbreak of violence a few months after the main riots resulted in the redeployment of the Battalion on the streets of Calcutta. A small British foot patrol on Lower Chitpur Road.
Indian Pioneers who were brought in to scatter lime around the city in an effort to prevent the spread of disease from decomposing bodies.
Looted and burnt corrugated iron dwellings near College Square, Calcutta in 1946.
Looted and burnt corrugated iron dwellings near College Square, Calcutta in 1946.
Calcutta police disperse a mob of rioters attacking a Hindu temple on Circular Road during the Calcutta Riot of 1946.
Calcutta police regroup during the Calcutta Riot in 1946. An Anglo Indian policeman stands in the centre.
Crowds involved in the Calcutta Riot in 1946. This photograph was taken by Captain Peter Farrant during his service with the York and Lancaster Regiment in India between 1945 and 1947. Thousands of people were killed in the rioting, caused by tensions between Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. This sparked off further violence in surrounding areas.
The 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers parade in Fort St George, Madras in August 1947. This was their last parade in Fort St George before India became independent.
Jawaharlal Nehru is sworn in as India's first Prime Minister by the outgoing Viceroy, Mountbatten, watched by Lady Mountbatten, in August 1947
Emergency trains crowded with desperate refugees
Dividing up a library at the time of 1947 partition
The migration was a "massive exercise in human misery,"
Men, women and children who died in the rioting were cremated on a mass scale. Villagers even used oil and kerosene when wood was scarce.
With the tragic legacy of an uncertain future, a young refugee sits on the walls of Purana Qila, transformed into a vast refugee camp in Delhi.
"The street was short and narrow. Lying like the garbage across the street and in its open gutters were bodies of the dead,"
The massive exchange of population that took place in the summer of 1947 was unprecedented. It left behind a trail of death and destruction. The Indian map was slashed to make way for a new country - Pakistan.
In a couple of months in the summer of 1947, a million people were slaughtered on both sides in the religious rioting. Here, bodies of the victims of rioting are picked up from a city street.
An aged and abandoned Muslim couple and their grand children sitting by the the roadside on this arduous journey.
Over 10 million people were uprooted from their homeland and travelled on foot, bullock carts and trains to their new home.
Millions left for their new homeland with smiles on their faces as trains left both India and Pakistan. This is a train to Pakistan being given a warm send-off.
Gandhi listens to Muslims during the height of the warfare which followed the partition of India in 1947.
Mountbatten and Lady Mountbatten meet Mr Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the leader of Pakistan, in 1947.
The partition of India in 1947 led to a process which we today probably would describe as "ethnic cleansing". Hundreds of thousands of people were massacred and millions had to move; Muslims from India to Pakistan, Hindus in the opposite direction. Photo shows part of the crowds of refugees which poured into the city of New Delhi.
India before Partition
Dubai - Hundreds of construction Labourers working for Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises stopped work on Monday to demonstrate against low wages and the lack of overtime pay. Halted traffic in Deira and Jebel Ali at around 8am this morning but were quickly dispersed by police and labour officials. The workers also blocked traffic for a brief time on Sheikh Zayed Road.Colonel Abdullah Al Ghaithi, the acting director of the Dubai Police’s organisational safety, told UAE daily Gulf News that 300 workers had taken to the streets and that the Ministry of Labour (MoL) was trying to settle the dispute between the labourers and the company. Click here to Read more!
Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Personnel
Cathodic Protection Personnel
Review of Welding Procedures Click here to Read more!
30 August, 2009
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