Do milk packets like nandini and others contain fat or not? How frequently is it advisable to consume paneer for a 20-year-old boy?

Most milk packets contain fat. Nandini however has two types; the red packet is whole milk, which contains the whole normal fat that is present in cow’s milk (6%). The blue packet contains less than 3% fat (about 1.5 –2%). Some companies supply skimmed milk, which contains less than 1% fat. Only those wanting to put on weight may use whole milk with the full fat content. Normally it is advisable to use less than 3% fat milk but after removing as much fat as possible by the following method called ‘skimming’. Heat milk on fire and bring to boil, do not switch off the fire but lower the flame and allow milk to simmer on slow fire for 10 minutes. Cool, refrigerate and remove the cream after 5-6 hours. Use yesterday’s milk for this morning’s coffee. All those on a weight reduction diet and those who have cholesterol, triglyceride or diabetic problems must use milk that has been skimmed as mentioned above.

However during weight reduction and till cholesterol and sugar levels are brought down, the ideal thing would be to use skimmed milk powder like Sagar or Anik spray or packet milk that has less than 1% fat. To use skimmed milk powder mix 2 heaped or full tablespoons of powder in 1 glass (200 ml) of warm water. Curd made from this is very enjoyable and so is buttermilk or lassi and it is safe for consumption whenever hungry. While on a diet 2-3 glasses of this milk is permitted for most people. Paneer bought from a store is usually made from whole milk and therefore quite high in its fat content. I would say consuming this for a young man should be limited to twice a week.

Today nandini skimmed milk powder and nilgiri skimmed milk powder are also available.

Besides these nandini has introduced Good life SLIM, skimmed milk in a liquid form, ready to use from a sachet. Also Nestle offers Nestle SLIM in a tetra pack in the liquid form. Either of these may be used and curd, lassi, buttermilk must also be prepared from the skimmed milk.

My father-in – law is a diabetic with bad teeth and difficulty in chewing chapatti. What alternative food can be given? Is it safe to give him idly?

The basic principle to follow while planning a diabetic patient’s meal is to try and give whole cereals as far as possible. Whole cereal means cereals like wheat, ragi, oats, corn, rice, etc., where the outer covering has not been removed and the grain not polished too much e.g. Atta is from unpolished wheat. Maida is thoroughly polished wheat grain powdered. Whole wheat bread or brown bread is made from atta and white bread from maida. Similarly we have polished white rice and unpolished brown rice. When we consume the unpolished cereal, we are consuming more fibre, which is an advantage for diabetic patients as it delays the rising of blood sugar levels. It prolongs the digestive process and raises the metabolism.

For your father-in- law, I would recommend oats or rage porridge or broken wheat porridge for breakfast. Whole wheat bread too is soft and chewable. Idly for breakfast is O.K., twice a week as it is made of polished rice. Avoid idly for 6 pm snack or dinner. Ragi ball for lunch is a good idea. Broken wheat cooked like rice may replace rice for lunch but once or twice a week he may take a little rice along with a small ragi ball. At night whole wheat bread or wheat rice or even phulka dipped in dhal or curd to soften it may be eaten.

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