Monday, January 5, 2009

Hair Health - Shampoos and Conditioners

Shampoos and Conditioners
The main purpose of a shampoo is to cleanse hair. Most shampoos perform this task satisfactorily.

What does a shampoo do?
We use a shampoo is to cleanse hair. In the process it removes environmental dust deposited on the hair shaft, sebum (oil secreted by the oil glands of the scalp), dead skin, sweat and other hair care products e.g. oil / gel / lotions etc. We all know that the hair that has been shampooed is dull, coarse, has static electricity and is difficult to style. Clearly we want a shampoo to perform more functions out of a shampoo than just that of cleansing the scalp.

What does a shampoo constitute?
Shampoos like all other body cleansers, have their skeleton made by detergents. These are also known as surfactants. Surfactants can be lipophilic which adhere to sebum or hydrophilic component which allows the water to wash off sebum which is being acted upon by lipophilic component of surfactants.

Shampoos are made up of the following:
Detergents: These can be anionic, cationic, nonionic and natural surfactants.

Foaming agents: these have no particular scientific function to perform. However, these are vital components as they introduce air bubbles into formulation and improves user acceptance.

Thickening agents: These also add to consumer acceptability by making it more viscous.

Conditioners: These are added to make the hair more manageable, make it glossy and act as an anti static agent.

Sequestering agents: These are used to chelate magnesium and calcium ions and thus prevent soap scum which forms when the water is hard making the hair unmanageable.

pH adjusters: Acids are added to change the basic pH to neutral and thereby prevent swelling up of the hair shaft.

Opacifiers: These make the formulations opaque. As we know most shampoos are opaque.

Fragrance: Not only does this component of a shampoo make a product distinct from others but also masks the unpleasant odors which are common in some of the chemicals used in manufacturing the formulations.

Specialty additives: There is no dearth of these products and these give marketing edge to the product. They may or may not have a scientific basis and are used extensively as advertising tools. They may include vitamins, botanicals, proteins etc.

Most shampoos now perform a 2 in 1 task of both shampooing and conditioning. There are critics of this function as they claim that a formulation can not perform two diametrically opposite functions of cleansing and conditioning. However silicones are used for this purpose as they have a high substantively and do not get removed by cleansing. A silicone performs a variety of task namely coating the hair shaft and reducing static electricity, minimizing combing friction and makes it more manageable.

What are conditioners?
Hair conditioners would not have been born had the shampoo not invented. Most shampoos are effective in removing the dust and cleanse the hair but make them dull and are coarse to feel. A conditioner in many ways reverses what the shampoo has done, i.e. it makes them more manageable, adds gloss and makes it soft.

Additionally a conditioner is also helpful to hair which has been subjected to modern maneuvers like blow drying, permanent waving, Bleaching, dying, styling, combing, shampooing, high lightening etc.

Healthy and undamaged hair has an intact cuticle and that is why hair is shiny, soft and does not get entangled easily. All above mentioned procedures damage hairs by damaging cuticle. This makes hairs dull, brittle, and coarse and difficult to disentangle. Hair conditioner reverses all these. Split hairs occur due to missing cortex. Conditioners ‘seal’ those split albeit temporarily.

There are three different types of conditioners available in the market.

Cationic detergent formulations: a prime example is Quaternary ammonium compounds which smoothens the cuticle and decrease the static electricity. They are good for hairs that are treated with chemicals.

Film formers include polymers which fill hair shaft defects, reduce static electricity and add shine. They are used for dry hairs.

Protein containing conditioners are available as hydrolyzed proteins which penetrates the shaft. They temporarily mend split ends.

Some interesting facts about hairs:
Cleaner hairs are less shiny than dirty hairs. However, consumers
Prefer the shiny hairs. There are many factors that affect the luster of hair.

Hair porosity: This is the ability of hair to absorb moisture. Very porous hairs exhibits split hairs. Various modern maneuvers damage cuticle & allows chemicals and moisture to penetrate the hair shaft. This kind of hairs is more vulnerable to hair colors, permanent procedures and straightening processes.

Cuticle texture: Smooth hairs are better reflector of light than rough hair. Therefore, smoother hairs have more adherent scales
to the hair shaft & more shiny.

Dirt in the hair: this is especially relevant in India with its atmosphere replete with dirt & dust. Large numbers of people drive two wheelers and expose their hairs to dust. When cuticle scales are damaged dirt can easily get between the cuticles. Thus the hair’s ability to reflect light reduces & impairs the shine. The dame phenomenon of dirt being trapped between the cuticles can happen to hard water scum. Cleansing shampoo or household remedies such vinegar or lemon juice impart shine to the hair by getting rid of such deposits.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Neem - Tree of Life

Close your eyes and picture a Neem tree. What do you see? Delicate leaves with gentle serrations along their edges. A hardy bark. A healthy bouquet of branches , laden with lush leaves. And the pert round fruit, fondly called nimboli, that lies strewn at the foot of the tree. Let your eyes move down, to where a weary traveler is fast asleep on a jute cot in the shade of the Neem, letting its wind-kissed leaves fan him.


  • Neem is though to have originated in Assam and Myanmar. Today, there are an estimated 20 million neem trees in India.
  • Neem is the same plant family as mahogany. Its wood can be used as a substitute for true mahogany, because it is heavy and similarly red in colour.
  • It enjoys a very high status in Indian life. Its leaves are strung on thresholds to ward off evil spirits. Brides take ritual baths in neem-infused water. Smoke from the tree is wafted into rooms to cleanse them.


This plant is deeply etched in the psyche of the Indian subcontinent.

In ancient times, people of South Asia used to cook neem leaves like spinach!

  • It is said that Mahatma Gandhi ate neem leaf chutney despite its bitter taste.
  • In some communities, newborns are laid on neem leaves to provide them with a protective aura.
  • Goddess Kali is said to reside on the tree, and sometimes stones representing her are placed before a neem tree and worshipped.
  • In southern India, neem leaves are mixed with jaggery and chewed on New Year’s Day, to symbolize acceptance of the good with the bad.
  • In ancient India, Hindus believed that planting it ensured a passage to Heaven.

Every part of the tree is usable. Here’s short list of benefits:

  • The leaves, bark, twings and oil have anti-bacterial properities, and have been applied since olden days to heal swellings and boils.
  • The oils is effective in treating leprosy. In fact, its Sanskrit name is pichumarda(pichu means leprosy).
  • Neem oil is also used for massage, and relieves arthritis.
  • Twings have been used for centuries to clean teeth and kill oral bacteria.
  • Extracts of the bark and twings aer used to treat fevers, thirst, sickness, vomiting, jaundice, anorexia, dysentery and worms.
  • The leaves are believed to aid digestion and stimulate the liver(hence their role in healing jaundice). Folk wisdom says that the infusion can treat lung conditions and decrease glucose levels in diabetics.
  • Dried leaves and seed oil have been traditionally used to protect stored foods and fabrics from insect damage.
  • In some rural areas, meat and fish are cleaned with neem water and then stored with dried neem leaves.
  • Research shows that a special chemical in neem prevents insects from feeding and reproducing properly. That’s why, villages, the walls and floor of houses are painted with a mixture of cow dung, clay and neem oil, which keeps bugs away. Neem based insecticides have been shown to be effective against over 200 different varieties, including head lice, fleas, locusts and mosquitoes.
  • The bark yields a fibre that is woven into rope.
  • Neem seeds can be used to make hardboard.
  • The sap can be made into alcoholic today.
  • Neem flower honey, although bitter-tasting, heals many an ailment.
  • The oil is burned in lamps.
  • The seed, husk and wood are all used for fuel.
  • Traditional craftsmen carve toys, figurines and small boxes out of neem wood.
  • Cabinets and chests made of its wood are not only sturdy, but repel termites and insects.
  • Neem timbre is great for making carts, tools, bridges, poles and boats.
  • Neem bark gum is used as an adhesive for traditional Indian mural paintings.
  • The refined oils used in nail polishes, shampoos, toothpastes and massage creams.
  • Leaf-based extracts are used for making face creams and other skincare products.


  • Chewing five very soft leaves purifies blood. Improves voice quality and helps prevent chronic diseases. Find them bitter? Just boil or fry them in butter or Olive oil for a more pleasant taste.
  • Regular brushing with a neem stub keeps teeth white,shining,strong and disease free. The next best thing use neem-based toothpaste.
  • Heal simple cuts and wounds with a paste of its leaves.
  • Boil water, and add a handful of leaves. Let cool, and have a bath in it to keep skin problems at bay.
  • In ayurveda, neem is considered to be tridoshic, that is it balances all three doshas: vata, pitta and kapha.
  • Drinking neem leaf juice helps a lot in skin diseases, diabetes and allergies.
  • Hair fall? Putting a few drops of neem oil in your nose might help. A scalp massage with the oil at night prevents dandruff.
  • Sprinkle dried leaves in your suitcases and among woolens to keep pests away.Tuck a few dried leaves In your rice jar, it keeps it free of insects.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dietic Therapy - Promoting optimal health

Clinical nutrition is now evolving as a specialized field. Health care professional and the patients have appreciated the role of nutrition in promoting optimal health. This nutrition awareness has created the need for more and precise information on all aspect of nutrition and clinical dietetics related to the patient care. My plan is to covey the information concerning the role of diet in few common diseases and to give the diet plan for the same.


  • Reach and maintain ideal body weight
  • Be careful of serving sizes
  • Avoid skipping meals
  • Increase your daily activity


Diabetic diet need not be a complete deviation from the normal diet. A normal Indian diet can be made suitable for diabetics with few modifications in the nutrient intake based on age, sex, weight and physical activity. The diet is designed to improve blood glucose and lipid levels, encourage healthy eating patterns, promote consistent food intake and avoid undue starvation. Today, it is widely accepted that the traditional Indian foods (with few minor modifications) is the best diet for a diabetic person! Not only can you enjoy most of the foods you like, the diet can be varied as you like. Your diet can take into consideration your likes and dislikes and suit your lifestyle. CALORIES:

The calorie requirement should allow the patient to loose or gain weight as required to maintain ideal body weight. The total calorie requirement can be calculated based on the level of physical activity and individual’s actual body weight.



1cup tea, 3 slices of bread or 3 chappatis or 3 khakhras or 2idlis with sambher or 2 dosas with rasam or 1 katori of cooked upma.


1 cup plain milk


3 chappatis without ghee, ½ katori of cooked rice.

¾ katori dal or sambhar or ½ katori non-veg. Curry.

½ katori cooked vegetables. ½ katoricurds. Plan salad/soup unlimited.

(Restrict use of coconut/ peanuts, sugar, jaggery, fried non-veg and other fried items)


Same as break fast


Same as lunch

Bedtime 1 cup of plain milk or 1 medium fruit

Fat allowance/day 4-5 tsp.


Carbohydrates 60 - 65 %

Proteins 15 – 20 %

Fats 15 - 20 %

Carbohydrates – Diabetics need not restrict their carbohydrate requirements in their diet. Simple carbohydrates obtained from honey, sugar, jaggery, sugarcane, jam, glucose is readily absorbed and is to be avoided completely. Complex carbohydrates are first digested to produce sugar and do not raise blood sugar quickly. Thus adequate intake of complex carbohydrates is recommended. Cereals, whole grains, dals, pulses and vegetables provide complex sugars. Fruit and milk can also be taken in proper amounts.

Proteins -- Milk and milk products (except cream, butter), dals and pulses, nuts, oil seeds, fish, egg, poultary and meat are rich sources of protein.

Fats – are concentrated source of energy. Excess amount of fat increases the risk of obesity and heart diseases. Ghee, butter, vanaspati contain a high proportion of saturated fats which tends to increase the serum cholesterol levels. Vegetable fats such as sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil contain a high proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). PUFA are helpful in controlling the cholesterol levels. These all are visible fats. Some amount of fat that is derived from milk and milk products, eggs, flesh foods, nuts and oil seeds is known as invisible fat. A diabetic diet should provide both visible and invisible fat in limited quantities. A diabetic patient can take 15-20 Gms of visible fat per day.

Vitamins and minerals – they both are essential for the body. Supplements are advised as per the patients need.

Fibre – Dietary fibre is beneficial in Type 2 DM as well as Type 1 DM. Fibre present in vegetables, fresh fruits, legumes and fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) is soluble in nature which is effective in controlling blood sugar and serum lipids. Insoluble fibre present in cearals and millets like ragi, jowar and bajra improves long-term glucose tolerance.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Vitamins - Essential micro nutrients.

Vitamins are essential nutrients required for us in micro level to perform our bodies in healthy condition. There are many types of vitamins are there and what are their functions in body. They act as anti oxidents, repair agents, anti bodies and energy boosters.
Pharmacies throughout the world have been going through growing pains over the last several decades. When our grandparents went to the pharmacy, they chose from only a handful of different vitamins to supplement their diet. For children, there were a few chewable vitamins to pick from and for adults, even fewer choices existed. Most of these multivitamins were taken on the advice of their doctor who told them they “would feel better” if they took them.
Today, your pharmacy likely has an entire aisle devoted to vitamins. The sheer number of vitamin options makes for confusion in even the most savvy customers.
To choose a vitamin or vitamins that are best for you, it helps to be clear on the reasons why you want to take them.
Think about your situation and explore these possibilities:

• Do you have a specific vitamin deficiency that your doctor wants you to correct?

• Do you have a particular illness and your doctor has recommended a vitamin supplement to treat that illness?

• Are you planning to take vitamins in the hopes of improving your general wellbeing?

• Have you been told that a certain vitamin can help prevent an illness from developing in the future?

All of these are valid reasons to take vitamins. Choosing the best vitamin, however, takes a big more research. Let’s explore the different ways that vitamins can be formulated and packaged in the hope that it becomes less confusing for you.

Many vitamins are sold as single vitamin sources, such as Vitamin E or Vitamin C. Vitamin E, for example, is believed to have an anti-oxidant property which means that it has the potential to reduce your risk of developing certain kinds of cancers.
If this is all you are looking for, buying Vitamin E as a single ingredient makes sense. Similarly, if your doctor tells you that you have a Vitamin D deficiency, taking a single-source vitamin D preparation is likely all that is necessary.

A few vitamins are prepared using only a few ingredients. The B vitamins, for example, are commonly packaged as a complex. This is because they generally share physiological responsibilities and work together to maximize your metabolism.
It makes sense to buy them as a complex. Calcium, which is not technically a vitamin, is almost always prepared and sold as a complex with Vitamin D. This is because your absorption of calcium depends on the presence of Vitamin D. Taking calcium without vitamin D can mean that you are not absorbing the calcium you have paid good money for.

Multivitamins have their place primarily for children or adults with highly unbalanced diets and for those who feel that a multivitamin will give them more energy and a sense of wellbeing.
Children’s vitamins are easy. Once you find a vitamin whose taste they like, the rest involves reading the back label to make sure the vitamins within contain nearly100% of the recommended daily allowances (RDA) for children.
The only exception to this is iron. Some parents prefer to have less than 50% RDA of iron in the vitamin because their children get adequate iron in their diet and too much iron from food and vitamin sources can lead to iron toxicity. The rest of the vitamin choices can safely be taken at 100% RDA.

Adult vitamins today have increasingly become tailored to the specific needs of adults who differ from each other in several ways, including age and gender. There are vitamins for men, for women and for seniors. These multivitamins can even be tailored to the type of diet you’re on. Most adult multivitamins have a long list of vitamins, mostly provided at 100% RDA.
Senior versions are nearly identical except for the addition of more Vitamins E and D as well as lycopene for the prevention of heart disease. The brand you choose rarely matters as long as the labeling reflects nearly 100% RDA of the bulk of the vitamins. Certainly, some brands are better known than others and likely have labeling that is complete and accurate. Choosing a well known brand is probably the safest plan.

Is it risky to take vitamins? Generally, no. Your body takes from a vitamin supplement what it needs and discards the rest. The biggest exceptions are the fat-soluble vitamins, namely Vitamins A, E, K and D. These vitamins can build to toxic levels in your system, especially if you take a multivitamin along with another supplement containing even more of these fat soluble vitamins. Reading the labels is your best defense against this complication.

Vitamins are taking an increasing role in healthcare. More and more people are taking vitamin preparations every day. When making your own choices, keep in mind what you’re looking to achieve and read all labels carefully before making your choice.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Eating well on a tight schedule

Eating Smart:
Most of us start off the day with the best intentions for eating healthy. Unfortunately, a missed alarm, getting stuck in traffic or working through lunch can botch the best plans for eating right. With today's hectic schedules and an abundance of convenience foods, it's easy to get off track even when you want to stay on course.
Whether you're trying to lose weight or just eat right, the smartest thing to do is create a healthy eating plan. With these simple steps you'll be able to fit in nutritious meals and snacks, even when you're squeezed for time.
Rise and Shine:
Just like with most things, mom was right about breakfast — it is the most important meal of the day. Trouble is, it's probably the easiest meal to skip since we're the most rushed. Even if you don't have time to sit down and eat a bowl of multi-grain cereal with fresh fruit, don't fret — there are plenty of grab-and-go ways to start your day. A low-fat yogurt is a great choice, but don't forget to pair it with a handful of unsalted nuts (for extra protein and a dose of "good" fat) or granola. Take a banana or other easy-to-grab fruit and add an energy bar that has no more than 200 calories.

Your best bet: Keep a box of instant oatmeal at work. All you need is a microwave and you're all set for an energized morning.

It's easy to get off track at lunch, especially if you've skipped breakfast. Your stomach is growling; your boss is on your nerves; you can't focus; and you're likely to grab the closest comfort food you can find. If you haven't thought about lunch until you're starving, you're more apt to grab a greasy
cheeseburger and fries than a grilled chicken salad.

Your best bet: Bringing your lunch — whether it's leftover soup or pasta from the night before, or a turkey sandwich on whole wheat — is nearly always a better choice than trying to navigate your local deli for a healthy meal. Still, it is possible to find good food that's fast.

Another crunch time for working people, especially if you have a family. It's easy to dial the number for pizza or Chinese takeout, but try to keep it to a minimum. Keep salad fixings, frozen vegetables, chicken breasts and, yes, frozen pizza dough on hand. You'll always be able to whip up a quick stir-fry or make a veggie pizza.
Your best bet: Try to eat dinner at a reasonable time — like before 9 p.m. The earlier you eat dinner, the more likely you'll be to burn it off. Try to cook or "assemble" at least four nights a week. If you haven't gotten in your five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables for the day, make an extra effort to include them now.
The best way to eat smart throughout the day is to plan, plan, plan. Even if you're not a super-organized person, just taking 10 minutes to make a weekly shopping list full of healthy foods is guaranteed to keep you on the healthy eating track.

Have a sugar-free diet.

Diabeties is the severe concern of the Medical professionals as well the community. As per the World Health Organisation report, there will be more than 40% Indian population having diabeties. Controlling food habbits are only helpful treatments for the diabeties patients.

Even if you don't have a sweet tooth, chances are you take in more than your fair share of sugar each day. Added sugars can be found in everything from soda to salad dressing and even in otherwise healthy foods like yogurt.
The World Health Association recommends cutting back on refined sugar to reduce your risk of obesity. The added sugar in our diets seems to be adding up to extra pounds on American waistlines. The amount of added sugars in products is on the rise. According to the American Dietetic Association, the average American consumed about 123 pounds of added sugar per year in 1980. By 1999, that number had risen to 158 pounds. Why? We eat out more often, and we're eating more and more packaged foods and drinking more and more beverage.
The Sugar BowlYou don't need to have a sugar-free diet, but reducing the amount of sugar you consume is a wise decision. Look for the following items on the ingredients label — they're all forms of sugar:

Corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup
Fruit juice concentrate or fructose
Sugar—ite, brown, raw or cane Look for the amount of sugar listed on the "Nutrition Facts" Panel of the foods you buy. It will be listed in grams. Because that doesn't mean much to most of us, use this simple equation to determine how much sugar is in the foods you eat: 7 grams of sugar = 1 tablespoon of sugar.

For example, if the label on your strawberry yogurt says it has 21 grams of sugar, that's the equivalent of 3 tablespoons. And the 20-ounce frozen coffee drink you had as an afternoon snack not only had 400 calories, but also 18 teaspoons of sugar. Now that's a little hard to swallow.

Remember: No matter what the source is, be it the natural fructose in strawberries or the added sweetness of corn syrup, it all winds up in the same place on the nutrition facts label. If a product only lists fresh or dried fruit in the ingredients list, you know that the sugar is derived from these sources. However, if cane sugar and corn syrup are listed in addition to the strawberries, you know that sugars have been added.

Cutting down on sugar:
Avoid heavily sweetened breakfast cereals. Go for ones that have 10 grams of sugar or less per serving.
Energy bars and drinks are a common source of hidden sugar. Look for ones that have less than 12-15 grams of sugar per serving.
Watch out for reduced fat and fat-free products. Sugars are often added to mask the loss of flavor when fat is removed. You may be cutting out fat, but not
necessarily calories.

Limit sweetened beverages like milkshakes and coffee drinks, which are deceptively full of sugar and calories. Buy juices that are 100 percent fruit juice. Be careful about products that say "100 percent natural." That doesn't mean they're not loaded with added sugars. Avoid products that call themselves "juice cocktails" and "juice beverages." Mix fresh or dried fruit into plain yogurt. Many fruity yogurts are loaded with added sugar.
Reduce conusming the sugar rich food items like rice, potatoes etc., which releases sugar into the blood as soon as you take it. Where as some food items like cauliflower, cabbage etc., releases sugar into the blood in a slow process.
Learn to appreciate the natural tartness of fruits like grapefruit, strawberries and other berries. Choose fruit when it's in season and it shouldn't need any added sweetness.
Alter food habits and live with complete health.

Six Ways of Healty Eating for healthy Living

For many of us, learning to develop healthy eating habits takes a little more discipline than it does for others. But by making small changes with every meal, you can start developing healthier eating habits in no time. Here are a few small steps that can lead to giant leaps for you and your family's daily diet.

The Power of Choice begin with the types of foods that you choose to buy. In most cases, you'll eat what you buy — if the cookies or chips are in the house, trust me, you'll have more of a tendency to snack on them than on a piece of fruit.
Tip No. 1
Start by changing the "snack ratio" in the house. Slowly and gradually have more fruit and healthier snack choices around, rather than the typical, higher-calorie junk food. For instance, have three types of fruit (apples, oranges, grapes) to replace some of the small bags of chips or candy bars. Or simply start replacing unhealthy snacks with alternative choices, such as oatmeal bars, granola bars, or peanuts and yogurt.
Tip No. 2
When shopping at the grocery store, spend more of your time in the outer aisles. That's where you'll find the healthier foods, such as fresh fruits, fish and vegetables, which are naturally lower in fat and cholesterol and have not been filled with sugar, salt and other preservatives that add on the pounds.

Tip No. 3
Begin reading the labels of the foods that you eat. Foods that are labeled "low in fat," or "light," are not always the healthiest choice. Many times, if a product is lower in fat, it may be higher in sodium, or, if it's lower in sugar, it may be high in fat. Start reading the "Nutrition Facts" chart on the back of the box, can or bag.

I will admit, it's hard to read the label of every food item while you're shopping. A better way to start is with your favorite packaged foods and snacks at home. Soon you'll start to notice the differences in the amounts of sodium, carbohydrates, sugar and calories per serving between the different foods that you've chosen. The next step is to slowly begin making adjustments in your shopping choices, and to look for alternatives with fewer calories, sodium, and fats.

Don't get caught up in the calories"Everyone zeroes in on the calories," says registered dietitian Claire LeBrun. "I even catch myself sometimes doing it; you gotta look at the portions and calories per serving size." The gotcha that gets a lot of consumers with the nutritional facts charts is the number of calories per serving size. Most consumers read the number of calories and assume that's the number of calories for the entire package, rather than the number of calories per serving — buyer beware.

Tip No. 4
Develop a healthy habit of selecting sensible-sized food portions. If your plate has a serving of rice that can't fit into the cupped palm of your hand, then, in most cases, the amount of food you've chosen is too much. Using this "cup of your hand" technique is a good way to mentally measure the amounts of foods that go onto your plate. Some people use the size of their fist as a measurement. The size of your fist, or a cupped hand, is about the same size of one measuring cup.

Tip No. 5
Retrain your taste buds and retrain your brain and attitude toward good food choices. The natural sweetness of an orange or apple can't compete with the sugary taste of a candy bar, but you must retrain, and relearn, the goodness of what's good for you. Start choosing to eat more fruits and vegetables as snacks or as replacements for some of the fats that you would tend to add onto your lunch tray or dinner plate — you and your taste buds will get used to it.
Tip No. 6
Learn basic alternatives to fattening foods. Learn to speak the second language of food — the language of healthy food :
Choose mustard over mayo (mustard naturally has less calories/fat)
Choose brown rice, whole wheat, rye or oat bread over white bread (brown foods don't have extra fats added to them to change their color)
Choose the white meat of turkey or chicken over dark meat, red meat or pork (most of our fat intake comes from animal fat; white meat contains less fat) Choose baked or broiled over fried, battered or breaded.

Choose water over juice and soda. Some juices contain just as many carbs and calories as a small bag of potato chips. Try slowly weaning yourself off caffeinated soda with [herbal] tea or water — have two glasses of water, or cups of tea, per every can of soda. (Also, don't drink your calories — that those100 calories of juice could be two pieces of fruit or a cereal bar, a more filling feeling for you and your stomach.)

Choose low-calorie sauces and ask to have sauces and dressings served on the side. (Usually more sauce is poured on than is needed. Dip your fork into the sauce, then dip your fork into the food. This will give you the flavor with every bite, but without the extra, unnecessary fat.)

Choose fat-free milk and cheese made with skim milk, as opposed to whole milk (again, most of our fat intake comes from animal fat).

Choose vegetables as side orders over fries and chips. Steamed veggies are preferable over creamed veggies (vegetables naturally carry less fat).
Choose to pack fruit and nuts to hold you over to the next meal, rather than opting for fast food or snacks from a vending machine. Fruit snacks will help you get to the next meal, as they allow you to eat more, more often and without the extra fat intake). Fruits like bananas and oranges are convenient and have their own protective packaging.