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Wednesday, September 05, 2012 9:13:10 AM (IST)  

Mangalore : Meet Sanjana Shenoy - Dietitian for All...

Florine Roche
Daijiworld Media Network

Mangalore, Sep 5: Good health is said to be the key to looking beautiful and fit.  It would also mean eating right, getting required amount of sleep and burning the calories through exercise.  With media going hammer and tongs over the craze for looking good the concept of ‘diet’ has taken new manifestations and there is heightened awareness on the role of nutrition and good diet in maintaining good health. 

It is generally accepted that “being healthy and good-looking go hand in hand’.  There is also an increasing emphasis the world over that “kitchen must become as crucial as the clinic” thus reinforcing the role of diet in good health.   

Yet sometimes the craving for food gets the better of us and unfortunately craving proves stronger than the will to go for healthy diet.  Now dieticians have come to play an important role to help people maintain their overall health. Dieticians provide nutritional assessment and counseling in order to prevent and treat illnesses by promoting healthy eating habits and recommending modifications in diet and also the lifestyle.       

Sanjana Shenoy (Nayak)  is working as a  dietician for the last 5 years in Mangalore believes that health is much more than the absence of disease. Sanjana is a post graduate diploma holder in Dietetics and a university topper from Manipal University.  She followed it up with Masters of Science in Dietetics and Food Service Management from IGNOU. She has worked as a Dietician for KMC Mangalore and has been a consultant for corporate giants like Infosys and others where she has been giving   presentations. She conducts talks and presentations at various companies such as IOCL, MRPL, MCF and various associations such as Indian Medical Association. She has also been a regular face in local television shows through which she has been trying to promote good cooking and eating habits. 

At present she is a part time consultant at Yenepoya hospital, where she consults patients with weight issues, diabetes, high cholesterol problems and also athletes, childhood obesity and other nutritional problems in all age groups and many more medical conditions.

According to her good health is another name for positive quality that emphasizes on physical, social, intellectual, emotional and spiritual well being and a positive change can be brought about by trying to amend our lethargic lifestyle.  

In an interview to Sanjana talks about the need of lifestyle change, proper nutrition, healthy eating habits and role of physical activity and exercise as the panacea for all the present day ills afflicting people.

Q.    What is the level of awareness among people about diet?

A.   People these days are aware about the fact that diet and health go hand in hand. There is lot of information about diet and related subjects but overall knowledge is still poor.  There are many myths about diet and from the point of view of a dietician I believe a systematic approach is essential.  This approach is individually unique to every person.

Q.  What according to you are the common misconceptions about diet?

A.   Most people consider diet as boring, involves consuming tasteless food or starvation or that diet means living on salads, fruits and juices. There are many who think that as long as you exercise you can eat whatever you want. This is wrong.  A healthy diet can be interesting, food can be tasty and it need not be boring at all.  A healthy diet is all about making healthy choices and cooking smarter.

Q.  Is following a healthy diet key to weight loss?

A.    Yes.  Healthy diet coupled with regular exercise can do wonders for a person   trying to lose weight.  However, it has to be remembered that each weight loss diet is individualized depending on age, lifestyle etc. 

Q.  What are the basic components of healthy lifestyle diet?

A.   Eating healthy and eating right is the first step in this direction.  Ample physical activity and good sleeping habits form the crust of what we can call as the essence of a healthy lifestyle.

Q.  What do you mean by healthy eating habits?

A.  Taking correct calorie intake for your  lifestyle  as well for the body frame, making good food choices such as consuming more of whole grains and more of good carbohydrates  which come from whole grains like wheat, ragi, oats  and all vegetables and fruits, lean protein like egg white, chicken without  skin, skimmed milk, curds and nuts.  A healthy eating habit can be practiced by considering food as nourishment rather than looking at it as something to gulp down in a hurry like any other routine. 

Q. What about consumption of oils and other fatty acids?

A.  Fats are essential for our healthy as they support a number of our body functions.   But the dark side of fats is that some types of fats lead to cholesterol which herald heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity.  It is advisable to use oil sparingly and the best oil to use is Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA) such as rice bran oil, mustard oil, olive oil which is good for the health of the heart.

Q.  Is it advisable to completely avoid oil from diet?

A. Exclusion of oil from diet completely is not a good idea at all.  If followed, it leads to deficiency of fat soluble vitamins in the body.  About 2 liters of oil per month for a family of 4 can be considered as safer.

Q.  What are the common problems arising out of a flawed diet?

A.  A flawed diet is the precursor to diseases like obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, high cholesterol   and many other diseases which are linked to unhealthy eating habits. In women unhealthy eating habits can lead to menstrual problems, underweight, cystic ovarian syndrome.  Lifestyle diseases are the result of inappropriate relationship people have with their environment.  These lifestyle diseases take years to develop and are quite insidious, thus disturbing the quality of human life.    Once encountered these diseases become an inseparable part of human life as they don’t lend themselves easily to cure.  

Q.  The eating habits of most Indians were the one practiced by our forefathers and they were quite healthy unlike today’s generation….

A.  We should know to differentiate between good carbs and bad carbs.  30 years back our parents and grandparents were healthy because they were doing lot of physical activity.  These days we have replaced good carbs with refined carbs like maida, refined sugar, white rice etc., and we also indulge in less physical activity. So we end up accumulating more calories and burn less leading to accumulation of fats. Consuming healthy carbs like whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables is important as they are digested slowly and help people feel full longer.  They also help stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels.  

Q.   So what is the role of physical activity in preventing lifestyle & diet-related health problems?

A.  A healthy diet should go along with physical activities which help people burn calories they consume.  Exercise and other forms of physical activity help reduce body weight and it also improves the sleep pattern of people. 

Q.  What type of physical activity do you recommend for people, which is less cumbersome and also convenient?

A.  When we talk about exercise it does not mean one has to go to the gym or run or jog in playgrounds or streets.   Even a simple change in our day to day activities like walking to the nearby market, avoiding lifts wherever possible, short bouts of exercises, short walks or even pacing inside the four walls of the house can be treated as a physical activity.  Climbing stairs is a very good cardio exercise for any age group.    Over exercise is also detrimental to health as it may lead to heart attack due to the stress. 

Q.  Is it ok for a person to consume excess calories if he/she has the capacity to burn those calories?

A.  It all boils down to many other aspects like the weight of the person, the amount of physical activity, the type of food intake etc.  What we dieticians focus is on healthy eating where emphasize is on moderate eating which is the key foundation for any healthy eating habit.  The goal is to inculcate a healthy diet that can be sustained for life rather than short term results.  

Q. Does diet play an important role in maintaining health at all stages of life of a person?

A.  Yes.  At every stage of life diet changes as nutritional requirements also keep changing.  For eg for boys during the growth spurt, for women during pregnancy, after childbirth, lactating mothers, during pre and post menopausal stages etc. 

Q.   What about the fad diets which are in vogue? 

A.  Though it is a common knowledge that eating right and exercise is the best way to stay fit and healthy many people succumb to the temptation of fad diets or what we call as crash diets. These crash diets lead to many side effects and can be dangerous. 

Q.  Is it possible to prevent major diseases by following a disciplined diet?

A.  Yes. It can be achieved through both lifestyle change as well as proper stress management.

Q.  What about the role of diet in mental health?

A.  Mental health depends on our lifestyle such as being physically active and having a positive outlook towards life.  To be physically active you have be mentally strong and active too.  

Q.  Is there a strong relationship between dietary habits and genetics?

A. Genetics play an important role in deciding our body types.  But it remains in our hands how we maintain our physic. 

Q.   What is your message to diet and health conscious people as well as the general public?

A.  Many of us go through what is called as diet abuse when we are in our 20’s and 30’s. However, health problems manifest in the 40’s and early 50’s which cannot be prevented.  So taking good care of the body should start as early as possible to prevent them.  People also must remember that there is no short cut to losing weight and to good health.

Sanjana  has her own personal website and also has an active online consultation forum.

Her motto is to “Eat Healthy and Stay Fit”.

Contact Details: Mobile: 9880268082


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Comments on this article
Ridwon, 5q7JGeAYKjJ
Tuesday, July 14, 2015

As long as you have some muscle mass, eaitng healthily will allow your body to naturally (yet more slowly) burn off excess fat. However, what do you think it is easier to sell people? Pricey "healthy" food that they can just replace with items from the store, or "get ripped quick" exercise machines for $20 a pop? Also (and this is just my opinion) telling people they can still eat most of what they want and they just have to exercise is more appealing than telling them that they have to be very strict about what they eat.References :

Friday, March 27, 2015


Joel, Sydney/ Mangalore
Thursday, September 06, 2012

Sanjeev Kamath, Udupi / Bahrain Mate nothing is harmful as far as u consume it within ones limits plus u play or exercise a lot and sweat it out.. If coconut was the case whole of Southern India and SriLanka would be wiped off with people having heartattacks and stuff like that.. its easy when you are young eat well once u get a little bit old watch on wat u eat...

R.Bhandarkar., M
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Sanjana Thanks Sandeep...
My patent. Please do not steal title please. Can steal my tips
for sure....

Sanjana Shenoy, Bejai
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Thanks Sandeep

Amin Bhoja, Patte / Riyadh
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Modern world with it's style of living and modern eating habit see an invitation to our early death.Eat always what your health permit's,a balancing diet always. Always try to Analyze your blood once in 6-12 months,a way to keep your health an healthy.

sunil , mangalore-bengalure
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Mr.Rakesh shetty thank u for good tips.

Annaji, Mangalore
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Follow the following steps for healthy life.
1.Eat only when you are really hungry.
2.Eat more vegetables,sprouts and affordable fruits.
3.Take curd milk along with each meal.
4.Follow vegetarian diet.
5.Fried items and sweets only during special occasions.
6.Walk more.
7.Avoid sitting long time, walk when you read.
8.Sit on the floor with folded legs when you watch TV.
9.Do your work like washing cloths,pressing cloths etc on your own.
10.Have sound sleep after completion of your day's work.Dont keep anything pending while going to sleep as the worry of keeping things pending would affect your sleep.

Murti, mangalore/dubai
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Nice effort by Daiji. People have misconceptions about dieting and hope these type of article defintely help them.

sandeep, mangalore
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

I was going out of shape since last year, A big belly and eating unwanted food. I had a consultation with sanjana last year. It was an eye opener for me. I lost around 12 kilos, waist size came down from 42 to 34 inches in a matter of months, by just following simple diets she prescribed. I am a totally changed man now. I cant thank you enough sanjana, You have given me a new life. Kudos to you.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

There is a famous saying that'Health is wealth' and healthy mind lives in a healthy body. But today most of the people find it difficult to reduce their weight and are becoming prone to BP,cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and the core reason behind this is obesity.

Amin Bhoja, Patte / Riyadh
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

A good article of Sanjana Shenoy and the nutrition and body.The lifestyle of us changed totally,we are so busy enough we forget our health all together a reason our life became so short now a days.Our younger generations go for easy foods like Pizza,hamburger, mcdonald and kind of soft carbonated drinks an early invitation of diseases to one's body.A secrets itself of our forefathers thier life styles and their longevity's.A thanks to Sanjana Shenoy,the dietitian.

Sanjeev Kamath, Udupi / Bahrain
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Ma'am, we hear plenty of anti-coconut publicity, perhaps from the lobby of sunflower. Is raw coconut in our daily sambaar, chutney and oil for garnishing good for health or harmful?

Blaan Mendonca, USA
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Balancing diet with exercise is very important. Protein and Branched-Chain Amino Acids, carbohydrates and fat are very essential for better health and to achieve metabolic balance. They provide the sugar and Amino acids to our cells for energy, repair and growth. 35 percent protein, 35 percent carbohydrate and 30 percent fat. Fiber is very important. protein requirement varies from little exercise 0.36gm per pound (body weight) to heavy exercise 1gm per pound (body weight) according to exercise. Protein is the basic components of all living cells and principal substance that make up the body. Carbohydrates gives you energy. When our body digests fat, this helps the body absorb fat soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A,D, E, and K.

Joel, mangalore/ Sydney
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Its easy just SWAP it dont STOP it.. like SWAP watching Sports to Playing Sports and so on -)

Blaan Mendonca, USA
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Sanjay Shenoy,
I have a few questions to you. In the present generation, diet and exercise cannot solve the problems to be fit. There are several other causes or factors which can harm our health and life such as technology which produces harmful electromagnetic waves, Nuclear radiation, UV rays, Pollution generated by vehicles, chemicals used in pest control, chemicals used in Agriculture and food industry, second hand smoke from smokers, Tuberculosis patients traveling in public transports, HIV infected persons who do not disclose their illness. How can you regulate and avoid this in a country where there is no prevention or screening of general public.

You are absolutely right that Healthy Diet with micro nutrients and Regular exercise with proper metabolism are the two important factors to maintain good health and lead a happy life only when the environment or surrounding is healthy or green. A healthy person cannot tolerate pollution and may collapse, but a smoker can tolerate pollution.

Vivek Baliga, Bangalore/Abohar
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

"People also must remember that there is no short cut to losing weight and to good health."........ Bang on... well said

Shabir A., Mangalore
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Good awareness...
@Rakesh Shetty, you have become the other name for negativity!

Ln Peter A Pinto, Lalbagh
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

All the best Sanjana. God bless you for the good work. We will share this information with all our LION members of LC Lalbagh.

KRPrabhu, Kudla/Bangalore
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Hats off Sanjana Shenoy Nayak for your accomplishment as a specialist in dietics and nice to know that you render service so many prominent corporate giants.Yours is a rare speciality field and commonly DK young ones opt for Engg and Medical fields.
Keeping fit is of vital importance and apart from eating prescirbed foods and engaging is regular physical excercises,it is pertinent to note that now a days mental stress is a major cause for all helth anomolies of todays population in every field.In this direction the application of Yoga and meditation also can contribute significantly in keeping man fit.Hope you will agree.

R.Bhandarkar., M
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Eat Tight
Drink Light
Never be pensive about Plight Dont swear n Fight
On dance floor with S and F
Swing with all Might
Now say bye bye Diet.
(S and F are my friends for kind information).

Rakesh shetty, mangalore
Wednesday, September 05, 2012









Annaji, Mangalore
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

I believe only one thing, i.e. whatever you eat you should burn by regular physical work or exercise.
Hype has been created in the name of diet and people are misguided by wrong concepts.
See the diet of rural folk, they dont fry anything and use very little oil.They always eat fresh items and not stored items.How good their physique is!

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