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ASK KOMAL: How can I avoid getting a heart attack?

September 06, 2022 10:53 IST
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Heart health

IMAGE: Kindly note that this image has been posted only for representational purposes. Illustration: Puwadon Sang-ngern/

Dear Readers, are you worried about your health?

Concerned about what you and your family are eating?

Struggling with weight gain?

Or are you facing other heath issues like diabetes, blood pressure, joint pain or heart problems?

Please mail your questions to Nutritionist Komal Jethmalani (Subject: Ask Komal) for her advice.


Dear Komal,
I am diabetic. Sugar average is 160.
Do I need to completely give up sweets?
I eat rice for one meal every day and I am 45 years old.
Thank you,

Diabetes is a metabolic condition which can be controlled by carbohydrate management.

If your average blood sugar level is 160 mg/dl, it probably is indicative of a borderline diabetic condition.

Complete restraint from sugar is not the solution for blood sugar control. You must manage the total amount of carbohydrates in your diet. Avoid high carb foods like maida, sweets, chocolates, fast foods, desserts, fruit juices, etc.

Opt for a high fibre diet.

Have lots of complex carbs like whole grain cereals, pulses, vegetables and high protein foods to blunt the rise in blood sugar and sustain muscle growth.

Adopt a fitness regimen that involves cardio and strength-building exercises. This will help increase metabolism and thereby control spikes in your blood sugar level.


Dear Komal,
I am very disciplined about fitness and what I eat.
I take protein supplements.
I don’t have health issues.
But now, when I read about so many young people dying of heart attack, it is very worrying.
How can I make sure I don’t make this mistakes that lead to heart attack?
Thank you,
Arijit Saxena
PS: I am 32 years old.

Discipline in fitness and dietary habits is healthy and will ensure higher immunity.

A heart attack can occur due to multiple reasons like physical and/or mental stress, etc.

It is preferable to keep your mind at rest and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Adopt a good dietary pattern with low carbohydrates, low fat and high protein foods, including a lot of vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc.

Drink plenty of water and sleep well.


Dear Komal,
I am very worried about my mother.
She is 50, diabetic and forgets to take her medicines.
She does not exercise and follows a normal diet, no restrictions.
I am very worried about her.
How do I get her to follow a healthy routine so that she leads a long healthy life?

Diabetes is a metabolic condition which needs to be effectively controlled through a disciplined combination of regular medication, a good fitness regimen and healthy dietary patterns.

Ensure that your mother is following the above.

Encourage her to go for short walks, keep a watch on her medication schedule and follow a low carbohydrate, low fat and high protein diet to ensure her wellbeing.

Her diet should contain good antioxidants from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc, with a focus on complex carbohydrates.


Dear Komal,
I have always had strong nails.
Since I turned 35, I have been taking my calcium supplements.
There is no change in my routine but lately, for two months or so, I find my nails have become weak and chip easily.
Does this mean there is something wrong in my diet?
I am a non-veg but eat mainly veg.

Iron deficiency, lack of folic acid and Vitamin C can cause brittle nails.

Include foods rich in biotin (a B complex vitamin) like eggs, fish, nuts, seeds, legumes, sweet potatoes, etc.

Omega 3 oils will aid in strengthening nails. Deficiencies in Vitamin A, D, E and K can also cause soft nails.

Ensure a healthy diet by avoiding high fat and high carb foods which cause inflammation. Your diet should include good antioxidants from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc.


Dear Komal,
It has been two years since my daughter was born.
I still feel a lot of weakness.
The doctor has given supplements and I am eating normal food but I don’t feel strong.
What kind of diet should I follow to regain my health?
I eat both veg and non veg food.
Thank you

A post-partum diet needs to be healthy to help you recover from childbirth.

Most women try to lose weight by following unhealthy diets that are lacking in essential nutrients. This leads to muscle loss and tremendous body weakness due to nutritional deficiencies.

Your diet must have good macro nutrients to support the growth of lean mass.

Opt for a high protein diet with protein-rich foods in every meal.

Avoid high carb and high fat foods as a quick source of energy.

Eat healthy vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grain cereals to increase immunity.

Follow a fitness regimen that includes strength-training exercises along with cardio for muscle growth.

This will increase your endurance and build your lean mass.

  • You can read all of Komal Jethmalani's columns here. 

Komal Jethmalani is a dietician with over 25 years of experience in food, nutrition and dietetics, with an MSc in food science and nutrition.

A certified diabetes educator and lifestyle coach, specialising in diabetic, cardiovascular, weight loss and various therapeutic diets, she consults under the brand The Diet Mantra.

And she will try and help you achieve your dietary and fitness goals through healthy lifestyle changes.

Do share your complete health details including age, weight, height and health issues if any.

Write to (Subject: Ask Komal), along with your name.

Please Note: The questions and answers in this advisory are published to help the individual asking the question as well the large number of readers who read the same.

While we value our readers' requests for privacy and avoid using their actual names along with the question whenever a request is made, we regret that no question will be answered personally on e-mail.

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Please always seek the guidance of your doctor or a qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Do not ever disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read herein.

If you believe you may have a medical or mental health emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital, or call emergency services or emergency helplines immediately. If you choose to rely on any information provided herein, you do so solely at your own risk.

Opinions expressed herein cannot necessarily provide advice to fit the exact specifics of the issues of the person requesting advice.

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