Some people wanted me to translate the article that has been posted in Al Siyassa newspaper.
So here is the translation! 🙂
1- What are the reasons of obesity in Kuwait?
Kuwait is sorted as the 2nd country known for its obesity, right after the united states. Obesity here has many reasons. One major cause is the lack of oxygen which is needed for metabolic reactions in the body. When oxygen is missing, our metabolism will slow down and we tend to gain weight.
Another reason is the lack of physical activity, and the multiple food options present in this country. Everything we do and everywhere we go is centered around food and eating. When we want to go out, it is either coffee shops or restaurants, so we tend to eat more. So doing healthy choices whenever we are eating out, plus exercising and being active are a must in this country.
2- Do you think losing weight is something hard ?
This is absolutely not hard at all! We have to take it as a lifestyle rather than thinking about it as a diet. Losing weight can be achieved by planning our meals, by consuming low-fat products, by drinking a lot of water rather than juices and soft drinks which have a lot of sugar and calories. We have to control what we eat, we have to learn to say no and not to feel ashamed or embarrassed if we are on diet. Physical activity is a must as well.
3- How can obesity affect children?
Parents need to educate their children from early ages. When the child is overweight or obese, his fat cells will also be big which will create a problem later on. When the fat cells are big, it will be hard for him to lose weight when he grow up. So early introduction of vegetables, fruits and healthy food for your child will help him a lot to have a healthy weight and to be fit later on.
4- Do you recommend low-fat products for children?
Low –fat products can be given to children after the age of 3, and specifically dairy products. But parents need to buy the products that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D, for maximum growth and for better bone health.
5- What about Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, so it dissolves in fat, that’s why we can’t find this vitamin in skim products, unless it is added to these products.
It is a very important vitamin for bones and for growth, because it increases calcium absorption in the body.
Pregnant women, women in menopause and children should never neglect this vitamin.
6- What is the best diet to follow?
A lot of people start to do many wrong diets taken from internet, from friends. They hear that it is better to cut carbohydrate for them to lose weight, and to take a lot of fruits for dinner better than bread and proteins and many many other things.
Actually the best diet to follow is to eat all kind of foods but in moderation. You need to eat a balanced diet, the one that includes all sort of vitamins and minerals, protein, fat and carbohydrate. This is the best approach to take. Plus a balanced diet will help in the weight maintenance stage. Whenever you lose weight, you will not gain it back because your body got used to all kind of food.
7- Is the Atkins diet dangerous?
This diet cannot be done by everybody. Unfortunately a lot of people go for this diet without even asking an expert about its side effects. This diet should only be done by people who have high insulin level. Usually endocrinologists prescribe this diet after doing the insulin test.
Doing a general blood test is also a must because the Atkin diet is high in fat and protein which will be dangerous for people having cholesterol, triglycerides, and kidney diseases.
If you are allowed to do this diet, it is effective in weight loss, because it makes you lose weight without affecting the muscle mass. But I personally don’t encourage it for a long period of time.
8- What do you think about the vegetarian diet?
For people who don’t consume meat, chicken fish and eggs, this diet can be a good option. But the only problem is that it lacks some very important vitamin like B6 and B12 that are only present in animal protein not in plant proteins. So supplement should be taken while doing this diet.
For anemic people, a iron supplement should also be taken with vitamin C for maximum absorption.
9- Is 30 % of fat in a diet plan considered too much? And what are the best fat sources we can have?
30% of fat is not considered a lot at all. It is very normal to have this amount in a diet. But we need to focus on the good fat, not on the bad fat.
The good fat is the unsaturated fat, like olive oil, avocado, almonds, walnuts. These fat are called good fat because they lower cholesterol level, LDL level and they raise HDL level which is the good cholesterol.
Any good fat that is heated becomes saturated or Trans fat and so becomes a poison for us!
10- What are the best vegetables and fruits options we can have?
All vegetables are good for us, and no specific one is considered better than the other one. Every kind of vegetable contains a specific mineral or vitamin not present in another kind. So eat 3 to 4 servings of different kind of vegetables daily.
I personally tell my clients to consume vegetables as much as they want and not to worry about their calories.
Fruits are also important for us, they provide the body with water, antioxidants that fight against heart diseases and cancer and are zero in fat.
But zero fat doesn’t mean zero calorie. 2 to 3 servings of fruits are essential for us, but don’t forget fruits include sugar and must be counted in any diet plan
11- What is the most essential meal we have to take during the whole day?
Breakfast is the most important meal we should have! And unfortunately most of my clients don’t include it in their daily eating habits. Breakfast increases metabolism almost 30 %, that’s why when we do have this meal, we feel that we are hungry 2 hours later. So this specific meal helps a lot in the process of weight loss.
Whole grain cereals and bread, cheeses, eggs and milk are the best options we should consume during breakfast after the 8 hours of fasting during sleeping.