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Learn more about Indian Heart Association’s “Ask the Nutritionist”.

IHA’s Ask the Nutritionist is an upcoming initiative with a goal aimed towards connecting individuals with the IHA nutrition team. This question and answer page will be an avenue for the IHA nutritionists to dispense dietary advice and answer questions relating to nutrition. Our chief Nutritionist is Professor Tejaswini, from Buffalo State, the State University of New York.

Please email your dietary questions to Sevith Rao and Dr. Sishir Rao at sevith@indianheartassociation.org and srao@mgh.harvard.edu. We will post your questions and our answers soon. Please see below for a sample question.

Indian Heart Association’s “Ask the Nutritionist Initiative” Question and Answer Page

Sample Question: From IHA reader Dinesh: “I wanted to know whether anything like ” negative calorie foods ” really exists. Kindly enlighten or send me any references related to that.”

Dear Dinesh,

Our cardiologist and nutrition team believes that there have been no proven “negative calorie foods.” Foods like citrus fruits and celery have received positive press coverage for being difficult to digest and potentially leading to weight loss. However there is no scientific evidence in support of this theory. In fact, the calories in any food outweigh the calories burnt in digesting the food.

A soda entitled Enviga in the US was forced to pay a fine and drop its claims that it is a “negative calorie” beverage. (www.naturalnews.com/021684_Enviga_soft_drinks.html and www.law.alaska.gov/press/releases/2009/022609-Enviga.html). The only beverage that is truly negative calories is cold/ice water which contains no calories and requires the body to expend energy to raise the temperature.

A cursory glance online shows that there are no peer reviewed journal articles testing the negative calorie theory. Multiple media and other outlets however have stated that this is a “myth” (for example,  http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1896439_1896359_1896346,00.html). However, a food high in fibers, fruits, and veggies can lead to weight loss given that they leave us full and less likely to eat other high carb or junk food (http://www.divinecaroline.com/self/wellness/negative-calories-diet-holy-grail-or-urban-food-legend).  Dr. Dean Ornish has really mastered this approach (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Ornish).

Please let us know if you have any other questions.


Indian Heart Association Nutrition Team