The right diet to beat the heatwave

With temperatures still high in parts of the country, we get you expert advice on what to eat and drink to remain in good health

As temperatures continue to soar, we get you expert advice on what to eat and drink to remain in good health

The monsoon has arrived in parts of the country but temperatures continue to soar elsewhere. Dr Varsha Gorey, clinical dietician and head of diabetes department at Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, offers tips on what to eat and drink to beat the heat.

Be aware of the dangers of a heatwave

At temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius, the body finds it difficult to adapt and there is a high amount of sweating to keep the body cool. Sweat makes one lose not just water but also vital fluid components, such as electrolytes, salt and minerals like potassium and magnesium. Often we do not even realize the dangers of extreme fluid loss. So we must plan a diet that will help our bodies cope with extreme heat conditions.

Do not drink liters of water

Drinking too much water too soon will just cause the liquid to pass as urine and there will be more loss of electrolytes. It is best to drink hydrating fluids slowly.

Opt for natural sources of minerals

There are products in the market to replenish fluid loss, but one can also opt for natural ones such as coconut water, thin buttermilk, starch water or dal ka paani with some flavor or herbs added, lemon or barley water, and kokum juice. Fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of water and vitamins during the summer months.

Avoid excessively heavy meals

Too much oil and spice will require more energy for digestion and release heat. Opt for moderately oily food and smaller meals. One should not cut out fat or protein completely even if they have a high thermogenic effect as these nutrients are essential. However, one can cook them in moderation or look for other lighter sources. For example, boiled chicken versus deep fried, and so on.

Watch your sugar intake

During the summer months, people have a lot of ice creams and sweets but do keep an eye on your weight and blood sugar levels.

Consult a doctor if needed

Those with heart disease or kidney disorders have water restrictions for their health, so they should not be in very hot conditions and must stay indoors as much as possible. Moreover, summer diets should be planned keeping in mind any existing conditions or medications. Consult a doctor if you have doubts.

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