Q: I am 26 years old. I eat a balanced diet except I concentrate on the fat content. If it's available in non-fat such as milk or cheese, that's what I buy and eat. My fat intake is typically between 5 and 10% of my calories. I do weight train and do cardio workouts three times a week. Is my fat intake too low? Kulsoom
A: Dear Kulsoom, it is a wrong practice to restrict fats completely. Low-fat products are chemical bombs. What you need to do is to take good saturated fats in the form of eggs, butter, coconut oil and cottage cheese. Plus, omega 3 based anti-inflammatory fats like olive oil, oily fish like mackerel, sardines, tuna and salmon, mixed nuts, seeds like flaxseeds, sunflower, hemp and pumpkin seeds and avocados if available. Pump up your fat intake of good fats and cut down on bad fats like trans-fats, hydrogenated oils and vegetables oils like sunflower, canola and corn.
Q: I've always been active and in good shape, but now that I'm getting older (42 year-old-male), it's tougher to keep the weight off. Therefore, I am trying to pay closer attention to what I eat, especially the amounts and types of fat in my diet, but it's still very hard to tell how much I'm eating over the course of the day. Is there some way that I can measure how much fat I am eating? Please suggest a diet for me. Subhan
A: Dear Subhan, there are many phone apps and sites like fitness pal and sparkle for people to keep a track of your daily intake of every nutrient, not just fat. But I suggest you to not count calories like this. Just eat good fats – good saturated fats like coconut oil, egg, butter and cottage cheese, nuts, seeds, olive oil in moderate quantities. For weight loss, restricting fat is not that important. It’s the metabolism that needs to be working fast. For that I advise you to take three meals and three snacks daily. Incorporate protein with every meal and don’t forget fibre, good fats and even complex carbs (in limits though).
Q: I am stuck in my weight gaining. I am 42 years old with height 5ft 9 inches and now weigh 120kg with a body fat of 9.5%. During the day I work at a desk, but I am always running around the office and at night I lift weights 4 times a week, 2 hours each night. I do very little cardio exercise, but I consider myself active. Please suggest ways to lose weight? Imtiaz
A: Dear Imtiaz, trick is to keep your metabolism running. You should eat three meals and three snacks daily. Keep in mind to include protein in your diet as it acts as a metabolism trigger. Have fibre, good fats and limited amount of complex carbs to get things going.
Q: My one-year-old son has constipation problems and has been put on a high-fibre diet by his doctor. It is getting difficult to make the baby eat raw vegetables. He doesn't like to chew things that are too hard. Do you have any ideas for things he might like to eat? Shazia
A: Dear Shazia, you can give him fruit and vegetable smoothies and good quality whole-wheat cereals. Pureed pears and apples or boiled peas and beans are good for his digestion. Also, give him flaxseed oil mixed in liquid to stimulate stool.
Q: I am suffering from a vitamin B6 and B12 deficiency. I’m taking the supplements as prescribed by my physician but please suggest a diet to improve my health. Anonymous
A: Dear anonymous, you need to eat animal-based foods such as dairy products, seafood, eggs and also fruits and vegetables. I suggest you to take a broad spectrum B complex. All the best!