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    The ultimate guide to the best meal plan subscriptions in Dubai

    Emirates Man

    by Camille Macawili
    4 hours ago

    Looking to start off 2024 strong?
    Whether you’re hitting the gym regularly, want to regulate your health levels or simply want to eat healthy, Emirates Man has rounded up the best meal plan providers in the UAE to support your fitness goals.
    Best for Plant-Based Meals: Right Bite
    One of the first and leading meal plan service in Dubai, Right Bite offers a wide array of option that match your dietary needs such as Diabetic Meal Plan, Made for Mums Meal Plan, Gut Healthy Meal Plan and more.
    For those aiming to switch to a vegan lifestyle for 2024, Plant-Based Goodness is a nutrient-rich option with curated and flavorful meals that are high in protein and fibre. From breakfast to dinner, expect a variety of dishes and snacks such as sweet potato Spanish tofu omelette, hot Buddha bowl, soba miso noodles, artichoke and potato soup and more to be delivered to you.

    For more information, visit
    Best for Home Cooked Family-Friendly Meals: Hello Chef
    Hello Chef is a subscription-based meal prep service that delivers fresh and ready-to-cook ingredients with easy-to-follow recipes – from low-calorie, hearty, to family favorites that starts at Dhs35 per serving. Meals can range from pizza, burgers or healthy meals, this option is perfect for those who are looking for a stress-free and hearty home cooked meal.

    For more information, visit
    Best for Macros: Fuel-Up by Kcal
    For the calorie-conscious looking to gain, shred, or optimize your athletic performance, you’ll find range of meal plans at Fuel-Up by Kcal that will boost your fitness goals. You can opt to create your own meals according to your preference or the exact macros you need or choose from a wide selection of chef-cooked meals to be delivered to you.

    For more information, visit
    Best for Ketogenic Meals: Ketolife
    For those looking to lose weight, control their appetite the healthy way, or improve PCOS symptoms, a ketogenic diet might work for you.
    This trendy diet is known to have food restrictions so opting for a meal plan can make it fuss-free and affordable. Ketolife, the first ketogenic diet meal plan provider in UAE, serves low-carb delicious and hearty ketogenic meal plans. Sample dishes include avocado and bacon muffin, keto pizza, chicken Alfredo with cauliflower and spinach, and more at an affordable starting weekly price of Dhs539.

    For more information, visit
    – For more on how to look smart and live smarter, follow Emirates Man on Facebook and Instagram
    Feature Image: Instagram @hellochef More

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    How To Manage The Festive Sugar Spike This Christmas – For Adults And Kids

    Mince pies, Christmas pudding smothered in lashings of caramel sauce, endless amounts of chocolate and a personal favourite, good old Lindor chocolate truffles, who doesn’t love a bit (okay, a lot) of sugar at Christmas?

    The amount of sugar we consume during December can be shocking and what about the amount our children are eating? Trying to keep our blood sugar in some sort of balance at Christmas can be a minefield. So, Women’s Health spoke to a whole host of experts – some of the best nutritionists, GPs and PTs we know – to find out how you can best take care of your sugar levels this festive season while still enjoying a treat or two.

    How to manage the festive sugar spike

    “Whether you are a chocaholic like my husband Michael Mosley, who has been known at times to scoff more than a few slices of the children’s chocolate oranges, or simply have a sweet tooth, Christmas can be really challenging.”
    Dr Clare Bailey of The Fast 800

    Willpower is often overestimated and wanes rapidly when handed a chocolate cupcake after a long day. So, with all this temptation, how do we avoid abandoning ourselves to a full-on sugar fest?

    ‘Don’t forget that all these enticing confectionaries, especially chocolate and shop-bought mince pies are designed to be addictive – that combination of sugar and fat somehow manages to bypass those signals telling you that you have had enough… just one more slice of cake,’ Dr Clare added.

    So how can you indulge without having major sugar surges?

    “Unless you are very active, all those extra sugary calories won’t get burnt. Instead, as we slump on the sofa over Christmas, they will get stored as fat in all the wrong places, especially around the middle, affecting your metabolic health. Over time, raised sugar levels in your body cause inflammation, and this can lead to Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even depression.”

    Everything in moderation

    Of course, if this is just an occasional indulgence and you are fit, active and a healthy weight, you don’t need to be too concerned, Dr Clare adds.

    It’s completely expected to be surrounded by sugary treats around Christmas, rather than try to fight it, embrace the holiday season with open arms and don’t beat yourself up for enjoying the odd treat or two in moderation is the advice from MyFitnessPal’s Registered Dietician, Stephanie Nelson. The key word from the experts here though, is moderation.

    READ MORE: These Raspberry And Yoghurt Tartlets Make The Tastiest & Cutest Summer Dessert

    What are the best foods to balance blood sugar naturally?

    We grilled Dr Clare further on how we can have our cake and eat it this festive season. “My advice is, if you have Christmas nibbles beforehand, try to avoid the crisps and Doritos and instead go for dips – ideally with vegetable crudites, or eat the sausages, or cheese as these foods are rich in protein and fibre and will help reduce your appetite.”

    If you are prone to raised sugars you can still have a generously filled plate by adding plenty of turkey, fowl, meat or veggie equivalent, as the protein helps you feel full sooner, enjoy lots of red cabbage and mounds of green veg, but cut back on the starchy veg such as potatoes, parsnips as they rapidly convert to sugars. Remember that protein and natural fat beforehand tend to lessen the sugar surge.

    Don’t indulge on an empty stomach

    When it comes to the sweet stuff, don’t indulge on an empty stomach. If you eat protein-rich food beforehand the sugar spike will be flatter compared to eating it on an empty stomach.

    “To prevent sugar spikes, eat protein-dense foods first, followed by high glycaemic carbs and desserts,” says Rosalba Martone, Director of Education at Perricone MD.

    “If you’re dealing with a sugar spike that’s already happened, the best thing to do is go for a lovely Christmas walk and get some fresh air but any exercise will be effective. Try and get your body moving to help metabolise the sugar.”

    Top tips for balancing your sugar intake this Christmas

    1. Relax

    Easier said than done but try to get in the mindset that you are enjoying some Christmas spirit rather than doing something wrong. Between family events, shopping and cooking, there’s no need to add extra stress over whether or not you should be enjoying sweets, MyFitnessPal’s Stephanie advises.

    2. Prioritise regular meals

    Many people think they should restrict what they eat during the holidays since they are eating more sweets, but all this does is make you more likely to overeat. Instead, focus on meeting your most important needs.

    Outside of celebrations, focus on meals high in protein, fibre, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Stephanie added, “I use the MyFitnessPal app and I shift my focus from calories, fat and sugar, to meeting my needs for fibre, protein and unsaturated fats. This helps me keep a balance and a healthy mindset toward indulging a little over Christmas.”

    3. Hydrate and encourage your kids to hydrate as well

    This will help minimise the impact sugar has on your bloodstream and may lighten the sugar rush in kids so they don’t become as wild.

    4. Pair sweets with other foods

    The more food in your or your kids’ stomachs, the slower it’ll hit the bloodstream. Whenever possible, time the sweets so they come at the end of a meal.

    What is the best way to tackle sugar overload in children this Christmas?

    The number one thing experts told us when it came to managing sugar overload in both adults and children was to go for a walk and get the body moving.

    The second thing is managing when they eat and what they eat the sweet treat with. Health researcher and chemist, Dr Tim Bond from the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP) agrees, advising you to take children who have eaten too much sugar out for a walk or to the park for a game of soccer.

    An interesting report by TAP highlighted the importance of not depriving anyone of sugary treats as it can make them want them more, so keep this in mind.

    “Protein and natural fat beforehand tends to lessen the sugar surge.”

    Get creative in the kitchen

    It’s best to enjoy indulgent treats soon after lunch so they are full – the sugar rush is less and you are not having to restrain their indulgence (much!).

    “Try making a cake, muffins or biscuits which are sweetened by natural fruits such as bananas, dates, cranberries or blueberries,” Dr Clare advised.

    Swop to using whole grain flours, or ground almonds as a base, as these are gut-friendly and help support a healthy gut microbiome thanks to the extra fibre. Avoiding a sweet tooth makes it far easier and protects them for life.

    Homemade is always better than food that is mass-produced and packaged in a factory. Something to bear in mind about chocolates and biscuits bought in the shops-processed sweet treats contain few nutrients, are designed to be addictive and are likely to damage your gut microbiome, as well as your teeth.

    What exercise is best for children who’ve had too much sugar this Christmas?

    “The reality is, there aren’t specific ‘quick fix’ exercises for children and adults who’ve had too much sugar intake during the holidays. The general rule of thumb is to avoid processed sugars and find healthy alternatives and get your kids moving,” Martial artist and social activist Coach Chris Otokito told us, himself a dad of two.

    “We as parents have the blessed responsibility to discover and introduce our children to healthy options and choices. The best way of doing this is to lead by example. I’m personally a huge advocate of training myself and coaching my own bambinos, plus other warrior cubs in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts); specifically, Jiu-Jitsu, Kickboxing and Boxing. It helps teach kids discipline and let off steam.”

    Is it harmful to binge on sugar once in a while?

    “No, but it’s just going to wreak havoc with your sugar levels leaving you tired and possibly craving more sugar, so be aware of how often you do it,” Celebrity Trainer Monique Eastwood told us.

    “It’s perfectly normal and fine to have sweet treats occasionally. The best thing to do is have a proper healthy meal first and then finish with that treat. This way you may want less of the sugary stuff as you will not be substituting your meal with those unhealthy sugars. Just try and make sure it’s not an everyday occurrence.”

    Any tips for mums who have diabetic children or have diabetes themselves?

    We went straight to Dr Tim for this one who told us that Christmas can be a challenge for both diabetic children and adults. Children may be used to working out their insulin doses. Let them know what food to expect and don’t tempt them with any extras.

    “Bear in mind that it’s not just sugary foods and drinks that are a problem,” he added.

    “Keep all foods out of sight between meals. Look out for signs of high and low blood sugar, make sure your child tests as often as they are recommended to do so (maybe more often at Christmas) and get them to talk in private about any distress they may feel regarding diabetes with others present.”

    “For an adult with diabetes, create a food plan and stick to it. Make this plan when you are not hungry as hunger distorts what you want to eat. Tell your family about your plan so they don’t offer you anything outside of it. Factor in alcohol as it contains calories and can impact blood sugar levels. A small glass of wine with one meal a day over the festive period is likely to be fine (but check with the GP or dietitian).”

    READ MORE: How To Do The Festive Season Sober, Plus The 15 Best Alcohol-Free Drinks

    Look out for hidden sugars

    “Hidden sugars are sugars which have been labelled differently and are usually the words which end in “ose” For example, dextrose, maltose, fructose,” Curaprox’s Children’s Dental Ambassador, Theodora Little, advised.

    It is always important to read labels and check for these hidden sugars before giving them to babies and young children. Yoghurts should also be checked thoroughly. Fruit juices also contain natural sugars and should be limited to meal times only.

    Don’t deprive yourself

    We rate the advice from PCOS Dietician Jodie Relf, spokesperson for MyOva who told us that one of the most important things we can do at this time of year is to permit ourselves to eat the foods we love and enjoy.

    “Remind yourself that these foods are readily available throughout the year. One of the reasons so many of us struggle with this time of year is because of what happens next – the “New year, new you” diet pressure OR because we tell ourselves that once January starts, we’re going back to eating healthy and there will be no more chocolates. This narrative encourages us to eat ALL the chocolates and delicious foods now because come January there will be none. If we know we are allowed to have these foods after Christmas, there’s suddenly less of an urge to eat as many of them as you can now.”

    Fill up on fibre

    “Increase your fibre intake as this slows down carb digestion and sugar absorption. This applies to children as well as adults and think outside of the box to make colourful festive-themed snacks out of vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains,” advised Nurse Yasmin Shirazi of Remedi London.

    Check your cravings

    Check-in with hunger and satiety cues. Ask yourself if you’re reaching for those Christmas chocolates simply because they’re there, are you genuinely hungry or do you simply really fancy a bit of chocolate?

    If it’s just because they’re there, rather put them away and save them for when you really fancy them – you’ll enjoy them more. If you’re hungry, could you have something slightly more substantial and balanced to go alongside your chocolate? Remember that pairing carbohydrates (including sugars) with a protein or fat helps slow down the release of sugars and reduce the spike in blood glucose levels.

    Have healthy snacks ready

    Have nuts, fruits, wholegrain crackers, hummus, yoghurt (check for hidden sugars) and cubes of cheese available for when hunger strikes amidst the Christmas chaos.

    How should women with PCOS manage their blood sugar levels this Christmas?

    “Insulin resistance is thought to be present in up to 80% of those with PCOS and those with PCOS are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, so managing blood sugar levels is an important step in managing your PCOS symptoms,” PCOS Dietician Jodie Relf, added.

    In order to manage blood sugar levels, it’s important to make choices that improve insulin sensitivity. This includes the following:

    Remove the labels

    The first step is to remove the labels we give food and not to think of foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. This narrative is not helpful and is what drives a lot of our behaviours around the foods we really enjoy.

    Give yourself the freedom to eat the foods you love alongside foods that nourish your body and energise you.

    Notice how foods make you feel

    After having a well-balanced breakfast, how do you feel for the rest of the day? Possibly more energised and more satisfied. Compared to grabbing a quick mince pie or a pastry – does this keep you satisfied for as long? Do you find yourself feeling a bit of a slump later in the day or snacking loads before lunchtime? Once we can identify how certain foods make us feel it makes it easier to make better decisions.

    Regular exercise

    Our muscles use glucose as a main fuel source, therefore if we increase our muscle mass and use our muscles this increases the amount of glucose we require and the efficiency of being able to metabolise glucose.

    Eating regularly 

    When we leave long gaps between our meals this can cause large fluctuations in our blood glucose levels. What’s more, our body can start to crave sugar because it’s the quickest way to get energy.

    READ MORE: The Healthy & Crunchy Watercress Salad That’s Perfect For Summer Lunches

    Include protein and healthy fats

    Try to include a source of protein and/or healthy fats with your meals and snacks – it takes the body longer to break down protein and fat which helps slow down the release of glucose present in that meal.

    Protein is also great for keeping us fuller for longer. As an example, having toast with jam for breakfast contains very little protein. If you have you add an egg or two and have jam on just one slice of toast, the addition of protein will help keep your blood sugar levels stable for a lot longer and keep you fuller for longer.

    Prioritise sleep and stress

    The festive season can be a stressful time, we’re also more likely to stay up a little later than usual due to all the socialising. Research has shown us that both sleep and stress can influence the types of foods we reach for and can have a negative impact on our insulin resistance. When we’re tired or stressed we’re more likely to reach for sugary, high-energy foods to keep us going.


    Inositol effectively improves insulin sensitivity and reduces levels of male hormones (testosterone), making it a great supplement for individuals with PCOS and enhancing ovulation.

    Don’t punish yourself if you feel it’s all gone wrong – this will lead to a binge restrict cycle. If you do find that you’ve overindulged get back to regular balanced meals as soon as you can.

    This article by Margarita Mitchel Pollock was originally published by Women’s Health UK. More

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    6 Health Benefits Of Kombucha You Should Know About, According To Dieticians

    As far as drinks that have transcended hipster status go, kombucha – and kombucha health benefits – is right up there with green juice and coconut water. Convenience stores and petrol stations carry the stuff these days. So it’s safe to say kombucha has officially gone mainstream⁠ — and, in the process, gained a rep as a health tonic for everything from gut trouble to lifeless skin.

    But is the slightly sour-tasting drink really a magic health potion ⁠— or just another health fad? Given today’s surge in all sorts of wellness products (and the growing research on the benefits of probiotics on many aspects of health), kombucha is here to stay, says Beth Warren, a dietician and author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl. In the age of pills and supplements, “kombucha is a major source of whole-food probiotics,” she says.

    What is kombucha?

    Quick refresher: Kombucha is a mixture of black or green tea and sugar that’s fermented with the help of a SCOBY (short for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). Essentially a blob of live bacteria that sits on top of the tea mixture, the SCOBY turns kombucha into the carbonated beverage you know and (maybe) love.

    People generally describe the brew as “rather effervescent with a slight vinegary and tea taste,” says Keri Gans, a dietician.

    Kombucha fans claim the slightly nose-stinging stuff does everything from help with weight loss and boost energy, to lower blood pressure and (yes, really) even prevent cancer, says Gans.

    So what are the kombucha health benefits I should know about?

    Honestly, it would be pretty much impossible for kombucha to live up to every single health claim associated with it.

    So far, research on the drink is pretty scant. Example: Though one study on mice found that the bubbly brew could help lower both cholesterol and blood sugar, researchers haven’t replicated these findings in humans yet.

    Still, if you break down all the components in the drink, you’re still looking at some pretty promising health benefits, says WH advisor Dr Samantha Nazareth, a gastroenterologist.

    READ MORE: 10 Low-Calorie Cocktails Worth Sipping On This Summer

    1. Probiotics for your gut

    Like other fermented foods, such as kimchi and sauerkraut, kombucha’s health benefits extends to its probiotic properties. It contains probiotics, beneficial bacteria that have been linked to gut health, says Nazareth. Having the right balance of these microbes in your gut helps with immunity, digestion and balancing blood sugar.

    Kombucha’s probiotics come from its sugar and the yeast in the SCOBY. Though they’re different than those you’ll find in fermented cabbage, the benefit is likely similar, notes Nazareth.

    2. Kombucha’s antioxidants may help fight disease. 

    Since kombucha is made with green or black tea, it’s rich in polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals and repair damaged cells, says Nazareth. Tea polyphenols may even protect against some forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease, according to research published in Critical Reviews of Food Science and Nutrition.

    Tea also contains antioxidants and flavonoids, which have been associated with a lower risk of cancer, notes Gans.

    3. The acetic acid in kombucha helps fight bad bacteria.

    Kombucha gets its slightly vinegary flavour from acetic acid, an anti-microbial agent found in vinegar like apple cider vinegar (a.k.a. ACV). The acid can help fight off bad bacteria that enter our systems when you eat, says Nazareth.

    4. Drinking kombucha may help you kick your soda habit. 

    Whether you love soda’s bubbles or sweetness (or both), fizzy and flavorful kombucha can be a great better-for-you option when the craving strikes. “If someone replaces their daily high-sugar soda with a lower-sugar, probiotic-packed kombucha, then that is a win-win,” says Gans.

    5. Kombucha might be good for your waistline, too. 

    Full disclosure: Some promising research supports this claim but it’s not super robust. After an older study found that obese women who took green tea extract lost more weight than those who didn’t, experts began wondering whether tea-based kombucha might also have weight-related benefits. “It is hypothesised that kombucha made with green tea, specifically, may have a similar effect on weight loss,” says Warren. But, of course, research on kombucha itself will truly confirm the theory.

    6. Kombucha’s probiotics can help your skin glow. 

    You already know that kombucha’s probiotics can help balance out your gut⁠—and those balancing benefits can carry over to your complexion, too. In fact, according to Warren, as probiotics nourish the gut microbiome, they can help with inflammatory skin conditions like acne and eczema. However (as with kombucha’s potential impact on weight), more research is needed to understand its true skin benefits, Warren says.

    READ MORE: What Is Kombucha, Really? Here’s What You Should Know

    So I should grab a bottle right now?

    With so many nutritional hard-hitters, it’s tempting to have a daily ‘booch, but you might not want to chug bottles every day.

    When people first started drinking kombucha thousands of years ago, they took it as a shot, multiple times a day, says Nazareth. That was probably a good idea, considering the Centers for Disease Control recommends sticking to less than 350ml a day.

    How come? According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking a lot of kombucha may lead to stomach upset.

    Another reason not to overdo it: Kombucha does contain sugar (often about six or seven grams per serving). Drink a full bottle (two servings), and you’ve downed 14 out of the 25 grams of sugar you’re supposed to consume per day, says Nazareth. (Still, a significantly better option than soda.)

    To minimise the sugar issue, “look for brands that have less than four grams of sugar per serving and drink them in small amounts,” says WH advisor and integrative physician Dr Frank Lipman, founder of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City. He recommends mixing kombucha with soda water to dial down the sugar content further.

    Also good to know: Because kombucha is fermented it does contain traces of alcohol, (some brands more than others), says Gans. It also contains caffeine, which can make you anxious or unable to sleep if you chug too much.

    READ MORE: 15 Wellness Journals To Kickstart Your Year

    Curious? Try one of these kombucha brands.

    If you’re intrigued by kombucha’s funky flavour and potential benefits, Gans recommends trying one of the following quality kombucha brands on for size.

    BREW Kombucha Original

    Theonista Ginger & Rooibos Kombucha

    CultureLab Lemongrass Kombucha

    This article was originally published on More

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    Your Christmas Menu Is Sorted With These 6 Healthy Festive Recipes

    Want healthy festive recipes that will leave you seriously satisfied?! These are delicious, fresh and allergen-friendly! Therefore you have a Christmas menu that suits (and can easily be tweaked for) all dietary requirements. Below is a healthy menu that’s perfect for our hot sunny, South African festive season: indulgent, but feel-good.

    If you have a gluten-free guest: no adjustments necessary! All these recipes are gluten-free.

    If you have a vegetarian guest: replace the fillet in the Beef Tagliata with gorgeous grilled mushrooms. Then replace the salmon in the Trout Tartare with heirloom tomatoes (think different colours and sizes and textures).

    If you have a vegan guest: Do the above step and simply leave out the ricotta in the Herby Cress Salad and replace the yoghurt in the Raspberry and Yoghurt Tartlets with coconut yoghurt.

    READ MORE: I Tried 3 Viral Recipes And Here’s How It Panned Out

    Healthy Festive Starter: Trout Tartare

    Start off the menu with a refreshing recipe that requires minimal prep and no cooking. A few quality ingredients and you have a crowd-pleasing, effortless festive appetiser. Because what could be better than silky diced fish seasoned with zesty lime, sesame oil, spring onions, chives and a hint of chilli?

    Healthy Festive Main: Beef Tagliata with Roasted Rosa Tomatoes

    Who said your table had to be adorned with gammon, turkey and lamb? This Beef Tagliata is light and succulent and perfectly complemented by sweet and flavourful roasted Rosa tomatoes. Bon appetit!

    READ MORE: 5 Low-Calorie Smoothie Recipes That Legit Taste Like Milkshakes

    Healthy Festive Side Dish 1: Herby Cress Salad with A Crunch

    This watercress salad with flavour-packed homemade dressing is fresh, easy-to-make and uber crunchy thanks to the assortment of nuts and seeds. Best part? It’s easily customisable. Don’t add the cheese if you have vegan or dairy-free guests.

    Healthy Festive Side Dish 2: Whole Baked Baby Sweet Potatoes

    Everyone loves garlicky, well-spiced potatoes. And you’re going to love these sweet potatoes even more. With very few steps, you’ll be able to pop these in the oven and basically forget about them. We love fuss-free festive recipes!

    READ MORE: The 2 Hangover-Curing Recipes You’ll Need This Festive Season

    Healthy Festive Side Dish 3: Asparagus, Bean and Tenderstem Broccoli Salad

    Every festive feast needs a salad that no one can get enough of and every one demands the recipe for. This will be that dish. Fresh, crunchy and perfect for South African summer, this is guaranteed to be on your table every year from now.

    Healthy Festive Dessert: Raspberry and Yoghurt Tartlets

    Here at WH, we love recipes that make use of seasonal ingredients. Take full advantage of the summer berry season by treating yourself and your guests to the tangy and slightly sweet goodness of our Raspberry and Yoghurt Tartlets! This is a perfect summer dessert of creamy Greek yoghurt, fresh raspberries and zesty lemon. Yum! More

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    Beat The Burn: Your Essential Guide To A Heartburn-Free Summer!

    As we enter the festive season, prioritising our health becomes paramount, and unravelling the intricacies of our well-being takes precedence. Acknowledging this, Adcock Ingram, a prominent pharmaceutical company, proudly lends its support to shed light on Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD), a common yet frequently underestimated health issue.

    Experiencing frequent heartburn can significantly impact your everyday activities. Finding effective remedies for heartburn can be a game-changer for individuals managing Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD). Among various interventions, adopting a diet that includes foods to alleviate heartburn is a natural and sustainable approach.

    READ MORE: Apple Cider Vinegar Might Actually Help Your Heartburn

    Implementing specific lifestyle and dietary adjustments can frequently provide relief from Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) symptoms. For mild symptoms, attempting these heartburn remedies before consulting a medical professional is an option. However, if your symptoms are more severe, it’s advisable to consult your doctor before making any changes. They can guide you on integrating these approaches into your personalised treatment plan.

    Tips For A Heartburn-Free Summer

    Tip 1: Stay active and maintain a healthy weight

    Regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight can significantly reduce your risk of GORD.

    Tip 2: Opt for smaller, frequent meals

    Instead of three large meals, go for smaller, more frequent meals. This can ease the pressure on your stomach.

    Tip 3: Trim the fat

    Cut back on high-fat foods like full-fat dairy products and fatty meats. Choose leaner options for a healthier gut.

    Tip 4: Mind your posture

    Sit or stand upright while eating and continue to do so for 45 to 60 minutes after your meal to minimise reflux risk.

    Tip 5: Dine early

    Avoid eating right before bedtime. Give yourself at least three hours before you hit the hay.

    READ MORE: The Ultimate Training Guide For Your Gut

    Dr Thiruvasan Govindsamy, Head of Medical Affairs at Adcock Ingram, says, “Understanding the symptoms and impact of GORD is vital for early intervention. It is essential for individuals to be aware of the potential complications and the available treatment options. Seeking medical advice plays a pivotal role in managing GORD effectively.”

    Visit to learn more. More

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    If The Festive Season Stresses You Out, Try These Psychologist-Backed Coping Strategies

    It’s the end of the year and that means summer holidays, late nights, family gatherings — you know the drill. And it can all feel pretty overwhelming, right? Know first, that you’re not alone. Per Harvard Medical School, 62% of survey respondents felt somewhat stressed or experienced elevated stress levels over the festive season.

    Noa Belling, somatic psychologist and best-selling author of The Mindful Body has simple, smart strategies to help you make it through festive season stress, emotionally and physically unscathed.

    Scenario: The Office Party

    You feel: Overwhelmed. 

    It’s loud. It’s crowded. You’re tired and overwhelmed. Belling suggests you go for a brief mindful walk. “The movement can be calming and will help you reconnect with yourself. This works because when you drop attention down into your body and away from your thoughts of being overwhelmed, you ground and centre yourself,” she explains.

    As you walk, take a few deep breaths and let go of thoughts of the party and people. Massage any tense areas in your body and do a few stretches to loosen up. “Dropping attention into our bodies in a supportive, nurturing kind of way can promote feel-good hormones to help you feel more comfortable. It can also free your brain to think more clearly,” says Noa.

    READ MORE: It’s Official: Stress Makes Us Crave Junk Food

    Scenario: A Family Gathering

    You feel: Defensive.

    Family gatherings can be stressful, especially when there’s unresolved tension, but remember compassion: to yourself and your family. “Pause to use self-supportive touch, such as placing a hand or even just a couple of fingers on your chest or over your heart. This can be a tangible reminder of compassion that you can direct as you choose. Assisted by the release of oxytocin through touch, which ignites feelings of nurturing and care, you can be reminded to take care of yourself. You might even feel inclined to extend kindness and care to others too because oxytocin also inspires this,” explains Belling.

    Scenario: You Over-Indulged

    You feel: Guilty.

    There’s food everywhere!? It’s hard not to overindulge. And if you did, you need to let the feelings of guilt and shame go. “Feelings of shame, self-criticism, inadequacy and guilt can have the same effect on us as trauma. They can cause us to freeze up inside. This can make us really anxious or we can succumb to feeling down, helpless and hopeless. The effect on our brains is to cut us off from our ability to see a bigger picture and to access higher-level thinking like rationality, creativity and insight,” says Belling.

    Basically, you start to feel stuck when you dwell on the negative. Best way to get past this? Exercise. “Moving our bodies gets oxygen and blood flowing to wake up and energise body and mind,” says Belling. “Make time for a walk, run, swim, cycle, yoga class or whatever you prefer. This can build your sense of personal strength with a boost of feel-good motivation. Reaching out to someone who cares for support and to talk some sense into you can also help.”

    READ MORE: 10 Best Essential Oils To Help Relieve Anxiety and Stress

    Scenario: There’s Activity Overload

    You feel: Exhausted.

    With festive season stress, you might feel run down and out of touch with yourself from all the socialising and attending to others’ needs. To combat this, take some time out for yourself. “Focus on doing something you love and something your body needs, whether that’s activity or rest,” says Belling. “Make a priority of going to the gym, a yoga class, reading in your favourite quiet place, meditating, gardening, being creative in your own way or whatever feeds you.” More

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    How To Do The Festive Season Sober, Plus The 15 Best Alcohol-Free Drinks

    SoberSeptember, OcSober, DryJanuary or even going #StraightEdge (no stimulants at all!) – there’s no end to the sober bandwagons you can jump on. Whether it’s for health and fitness reasons, a way to detox and reset or manage your tolerance levels, many people are opting to ditch the booze and embrace a teetotalling lifestyle. Here’s what you need to know about having a sober festive season.

    The Sober Trend

    According to Janet Gourand, founder of Tribe Sober, a South African membership programme helping people change their relationship with alcohol, they have seen more people wanting to decrease their consumption of alcohol or cut alcohol out completely lately.

    And women are leading the charge. Gourand says that 80% of those in Tribe Sober are women with most of the women being 40+ but despite that, there is still a trend for younger women to drink less. Plus, local non-alcoholic G&T brand The Duchess reported that 74% of its buyers are women between 18 and 34 years old.

    The truth is many millennials are driving a huge trend towards cutting booze completely – or never starting. Hashtags like #SoberSaturday and #SoberLife (over two million tags on Insta) are being seen more and more and form part of what has been dubbed the “sober curious” movement. The number of alcohol drinkers in the world has decreased by nearly five percent since 2000, according to reports by the World Health Organisation.

    In fact, 49% of Women’s Health readers said they would buy non-alcoholic beers or cider (up from 34% when we asked you in 2019), while 31% said they would be choosing Castle Free over Castle Lite this festive season. 47% of Women’s Health readers said if they were offered non-alcoholic wines – that actually taste good – they’d try it.

    READ MORE: Mindful Drinking: How More And More People Are Becoming ‘Sober Curious’

    Reasons To Have A Sober Festive Season

    According to Gourand, the stress and the “working from home” impact of the pandemic have created more dependence on alcohol.  “People who would only use alcohol for ‘socialising’ have now discovered that they enjoy drinking alone and their drinking has become more about self-medicating their anxiety than having fun,” she says.

    This has been dubbed “Grey Area” drinking and it has seen an increase since the pandemic. Healthline describes “grey area” drinking as the realm between healthy levels of alcohol consumption and a diagnosed alcohol use disorder. 

    It’s no secret that South Africa is known as a drinking nation, with 2.1% of total household spending in South Africa going to beer, according to Stats SA (only 1.5% is going to veggies). And the festive season is a period that sees a dramatic increase in consumption. But many people, even South Africans, are taking the downsides of drinking alcohol more seriously.

    “People are becoming aware that drinking more than a bottle and a half of wine a week puts their mental and physical health at risk.  The wellness trend is resulting in more people eating organic, doing yoga and meditation and they are realising that drinking alcohol doesn’t really fit in with this lifestyle,” explains Gourand.

    READ MORE: 17 Super-Stylish Stocking Fillers & Gifts Under R150 – That Aren’t Socks

    The Sober Life

    “The smart people are getting sober curious.  The wine industry has been marketing directly to women for the last 25 years – and they have been stunningly successful.  Many women cannot imagine having fun or socialising without it.  As many women get older the fun turns to self-medication and drinking alone,” says Gourand. 

    If you want to change your relationship with alcohol, finding your tribe helps. “Community is a big part of recovery,” says Gourand. In his TED Talk, writer and journalist Johann Hari explains the science behind the fact that connection is the opposite of addiction.

    “There is so much shame around drinking (especially for women) that joining a community of others with the same issue is a huge relief and we feel less alone.  We learn so much from hearing about other people’s experiences and as we progress in our alcohol-free journey we are able to inspire others,” explains Gourand.

    “Even if people are just “sober curious” or not even sure that they want to make a change they can join a tribe, listen and learn and it will help them decide which direction to take,” she says.

    READ MORE: The Top Gifts WH Team Want Under The Tree This Season

    Tips For Going Sober

    Janet Gourand has been sober since 2015, leading her tribe at Tribe Sober and inspiring people to have an alcohol-free life. These are three tips for people who are sober curious or looking to cut down their alcohol consumption:  

    1) “Take a look at your life”

    “What would it look like without alcohol in it?  If all your social activities involve drinking then it’s time for a change.  The first step is to increase your awareness – keep a drinks diary and note your consumption.  Are you drinking more than the low-risk limit of a bottle and a half of wine a week?”

    2) “Take an alcohol-free challenge – at least a month.”

    “If you can get through it easily then you are probably fine.  If not (or if you can’t even contemplate taking a break) then it’s time to make some changes.  Join a group like Tribe Sober to connect with others who are looking to quit drinking and to learn to thrive in their alcohol-free lives.”  

    3) “Start discovering the vast choice of alcohol-free drinks.” 

    “Try everything and you will find your go-to alcohol-free choice.  Integrate that into your lifestyle.  Alternate it with alcoholic drinks when you go out and make sure you have at least 4 alcohol-free days a week.”

    The Best Alcohol-Free Drinks For Adults

    Designated driver, watching your calorie intake, fitness stole your alcohol tolerance or realising it might be time to cut back? Going booze-free is a health trend that celebs, brands and just about everyone else is getting behind! 

    Below you’ll find the best wine, gin, beer and cider 0.0 versions. With half the calories and no need for a stash of painkillers in your bedside drawer, your sober summer is sorted!

    If you like fruity beer, try Bavaria 0.0% Pomegranate.

    If you like light lagers or Pilsners, try Beck’s Blue.

    If you like Castle, or lagers in general, try Castle Free Alcohol-Free Lager.

    If you like IPA, try Devil’s Peak Zero to Hero.

    If you like Weiss beer, try Erdinger Alkoholfrei.

    If you’re a Heineken gal, try Heineken 0.0.

    If you like an aperitif, try Babylonstoren BitterLekker.

    If you like gin and tonic, try The Duchess Virgin Gin & Tonic.

    If you like gin cocktails, try Seedlip Garden 108.

    If you like red wine, try Van Loveren Radiant Red Almost Zero % Alcohol.

    If you like white wine, try Natura De-Alcoholised Classic White.

    If you like bubbly, try Lautus De-Alcoholised Sparkling.

    If you like cider, try Savanna Non-Alcoholic Lemon.

    If you like a full-bodied beer, try Non-Alcoholic Super Bock 0.0%.

    If you like mocktails, try Fehmz Mocktails in various flavours.

    Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. More

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    Everything You Need To Know About Type 1 Diabetes

    Per the Diabetes Atlas, over 40,000 people in South Africa suffer from diabetes. And, according to the Type 1 Diabetes Index, 39 healthy South African lives are lost due to the condition. What’s more, an estimated 100,000 people are undiagnosed, according to the Diabetes Atlas. Here’s what to know about Type 1 diabetes specifically.

    What Is Type 1 Diabetes?

    Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune condition in which the pancreas produces little to no insulin. It is provoked by an autoimmune reaction, in which the body attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Without insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream and cannot enter cells to produce energy, leading to elevated blood glucose levels and a range of symptoms and potential complications.

    This process may unfold for months or years before symptoms appear. While some individuals with type 1 diabetes have a genetic predisposition to the condition, others do not, and researchers are still working to pinpoint potential environmental factors—like viruses or other stressors—that may trigger the autoimmune attack. Diet and lifestyle habits do not cause type 1 diabetes.

    Type 1 diabetes has historically been referred to as “juvenile” or “insulin-dependent” diabetes. But Dr Joel Zonzsein, director of the Diabetes Center at the University Hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, notes that although the condition is “mostly diagnosed in children and young adults, it can develop at any age and should be taken seriously as a possibility in adults—referred to in such cases as ‘latent autoimmune diabetes of the adult’ (LADA).”

    What Are The Causes Of Type 1 Diabetes?

    Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction. Having a parent or sibling with the disease may increase your risk for developing type 1 diabetes. Environmental factors may also play a role in triggering the autoimmune reaction, but researchers are still working to better understand this possible pattern.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes?

    Type 1 diabetes symptoms may occur suddenly, often in adolescence or early adulthood and can include:

    Talk to your healthcare provider if you notice any of the above symptoms in yourself or your child. In some cases, the first noticeable symptoms of type 1 diabetes may be signs of a life-threatening state called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Symptoms of DKA include:

    If you or your child have symptoms of DKA, contact your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

    How Is It Diagnosed?

    Diagnosing type 1 diabetes requires only a few simple tests. Doctors most often use a random plasma glucose (RPG) test, which measures blood glucose at a single point in time, to diagnose. A random blood-glucose test higher than 200 mg/dL suggests a diabetes diagnosis, regardless of when you last ate a meal or snack. Often, a healthcare provider will use an A1C blood test, which provides an average of blood glucose levels over a period of three months, to determine the duration of a patient’s high blood glucose.

    While these tests can determine whether you have diabetes, they cannot differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Treatment plans differ significantly between the two conditions, so it is crucial to have a correct diagnosis.

    To determine if you have type 1, a doctor will test the blood for specific auto-antibodies that are a common marker of the autoimmune reaction that causes the condition. They may also test your urine for ketones, which are produced when the body burns fat for energy instead of glucose and indicate type 1 diabetes if present.

    How Is Type 1 Diabetes Treated?

    While treatment options have significantly advanced in the past few decades, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. So living with it—and preventing later complications—requires close blood-glucose management, via a blood-glucose meter or a continuous glucose monitor.

    Type 1 diabetes is primarily managed via insulin therapy. Different types of insulin work at different speeds and last different lengths of time. You may need to use more than one type. Insulin can be taken in several different forms to best suit personal preferences and lifestyles:

    Syringes and pens: These are injected multiple times daily and often involve a combination of short- and long-acting insulin types. Different brands vary slightly in their effective onset, peak time and duration.

    Insulin pumps: Pumps are small devices that deliver a continuous supply of long-acting insulin throughout the day via a small tube inserted under the skin, mimicking a healthy pancreas. They can also be programmed by the user to release short-acting insulin during mealtimes.

    Artificial pancreas (AP) systems: These systems combine the functions of an insulin pump with a continuous glucose monitor to adjust insulin delivery based on glucose fluctuations. By responding to real-time glucose readings, AP systems can regulate blood sugar more effectively than traditional manual methods. As the name indicates, this form of closed-loop management most effectively imitates a healthy pancreas—but does require the use of two devices at all times.

    Inhaled insulin: Quick-acting inhaled insulin is one of the newer forms of FDA-approved treatment for type 1 diabetes management. It is used in combination with long-acting insulin (either via injection or pump) and inhaled shortly before meal times. However, according to Diabetes South Africa, this treatment is not yet available here.

    Living With The Condition

    Living a healthy life with type 1 diabetes also involves lifestyle adjustments, including:

    Regular blood-glucose monitoring: Checking blood-glucose levels throughout the day is essential to managing the condition and preventing future complications that can result from prolonged high blood sugar.

    Carbohydrate counting: In order to maintain stable blood-sugar levels, it’s often important to match your insulin dosage to your carbohydrate intake. An endocrinologist can help you determine your individual insulin-to-carb ratio and dose accordingly for each meal and snack. Managing this condition does not require you to give up your favourite foods—so long as you know how to dose for them!

    Movement: Regular exercise can help to regulate blood sugar levels and improve long-term health.

    Regular checkups: People living with type 1 diabetes should regularly meet with a team of medical specialists, including an endocrinologist, optometrist and in some cases a dietitian, to help monitor their blood-glucose management and prevent future complications.

    Complications Of Type 1 Diabetes

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    Although this is a chronic and lifelong condition, many people live long and healthy lives with it, with few or no associated complications. “Keeping blood sugar levels under control is the most important thing that people with type 1 diabetes can do to prevent complications,” Dr Zonszein says. He also emphasises the importance of regular check-ups and developing a good management plan with a team of medical specialists.

    Poorly managed type 1 diabetes—namely, continuous high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia—can damage several areas of the body. Complications can include:

    Nerve damage: Prolonged high blood glucose levels can cause nerve damage. This leads to diabetic neuropathy, which most often affects the hands and feet.

    Eye problems: Elevated or uncontrolled blood glucose levels can also cause diabetes-related retinopathy. This can lead to vision loss, blindness, macular oedema and glaucoma.

    Kidney damage: High levels of glucose in the blood can damage the blood vessels and filters in the kidneys (nephropathy).

    Foot issues: High blood glucose levels can reduce the blood supply to the feet, resulting in reduced sensation. This can increase the risk of wounds, cuts, infections and non-healing sores.

    Complications related to the heart and blood vessels: Extended high blood glucose levels can damage the blood vessels and nerves. It can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure.

    Gum disease: Excess glucose in the blood can move into the saliva, causing germs and plaque. These increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

    How To Prevent It

    Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent type 1 diabetes. Because it can be passed down genetically, your family can be preemptively tested for auto-antibodies. Their presence in the blood—even in the absence of symptoms—can help catch the early onset of the condition.

    This story was written by Zoë Brown and was first published on More