Let’s Talk About Sustainable Packaging

In our efforts to be more conscious about the way we consume, we may choose to buy “natural” or “organic” products, thinking that once you’ve made the purchase, the work is done. But, have you ever stopped to consider the environmental impact of the packaging of your product? To put our choices into perspective, here is something to consider: There is a patch of floating garbage in the Pacific Ocean which has been measured by satellite imagery, this patch of garbage is mostly comprised of plastic and spans across 1.6 million square kilometers. A lot of this garbage is plastic and has a catastrophic effect on biodiversity and even human health. These microplastics disintegrate when subjected to heat and are consumed by the fish, making their way to the very top of the food chain, so yes, this devastating effect trickles down to you too.

Now, there are garbage patches like this all over the world’s oceans, including our Indian ocean. And each of these patches has an estimated amount of 80,000 metric tons of plastic. Such is the terrible effect of packaging on our planet. After reading these numbers, doesn’t the ban on plastic in the state of Maharashtra make more sense to you? There are plenty of sustainable materials which can serve the same purpose, in fact, many countries are even banning the production and use of single-use plastic.

So what is sustainable packaging?

Simply put, it is packaging which has a longer life cycle and reduces the environmental impact and ecological footprint. It takes into consideration the entire life cycle – from the whole supply chain, from production to the end of its life, everything is taken into consideration.

What can we gain from sustainable packaging?

The long-term goal is to improve the quality of the ecosystems, without compromising on the functionality for the consumer. It’s the brainchild of economics and functionally so that the environment and the future generations do not have to pay the price for our consumerism.

Why is sustainable packaging the need of the hour?

Because we need packaging that’s biodegradable, we need options which allow conscious citizens to recycle or reuse plastic, we need to provide solutions which are long term, and we must take into consideration the ramifications of our actions. There is nothing that’s more important than conserving our natural resources, and sustainable packaging is a huge part of this.

What are the products that you need to be wary of?

There are some products which are used every day and have very short product lifecycles. Such products are single use and are usually discarded within a few hours of using the product. Such products include daily grocery staples such as butter, milk, grains, toothbrushes, earbuds, and razor blades. A lot of this plastic is single use, which means that even if you send it to a recycling facility, there’s not much that they will be able to do with it. As a result, all of this plastic waste gets dumped into rivers and water bodies which ultimately empty out into the oceans.

This vicious cycle continues because simple items like milk delivered in plastic bag are something that we consume every day. So when you think about doorstep delivered milk, for example, not only is the product itself could be adulterated which the packaging can do nothing to prevent, but the packaging is also a major pollutant. What’s more is that you consume milk every day, so you end up being a huge contributor to waste which upsets the ecological frameworks of the planet. Feeling distressed? It doesn’t have to be that way! Tetra packs come with tamper proof sealants and are made with biodegradable materials. These materials are selected based on the supply chain of the materials, important questions such as the greenhouse gases produced in the making of the packaging, the processes involved, and the even the resources spent on sourcing the raw materials required to assemble the packaging are considered. So when it comes to packaging, remember that as a consumer, you have a choice, choose for the planet, and choose sustainability!

 

Did You (Also) Believe These 12 Eye Health Myths?

Don’t watch TV from so close! Don’t spend hours on your phone! Don’t watch your phone or laptop screen in the dark! How many times have you heard these and many other statements that end with ‘you will spoil your eyesight!’? Numerous, isn’t it? We all have grown up listening to such bizarre statements about our eye health. Let’s debunk some myths that you have lived by and believed in ever since your childhood.

Myth 1: Eating carrots improves vision

Fact: Carrots are a good source of Vitamin A but only eating carrots cannot help in maintaining or enhancing your vision. There are various other foods that are richer in Vitamin A than carrots. Milk, cheese and egg yolk have richer Vitamin A content than carrots.

Myth 2: Watching TV from too close ruins your vision

Fact: Watching TV constantly or watching it from too close can lead to headaches. That’s all the damage watching a TV from close range can do to you. It doesn’t affect your vision at all. In fact, kids who do this should be checked for their eyesight. Chances are that they are near-sighted and need glasses to see TV clearly from a distance.

Myth 3: Reading in the dark can impair vision

Fact: Reading in dim light or darkness adds strain to your eyes. The strain can cause severe headaches and it certainly doesn’t affect your eyesight. To avoid getting stinging headaches, it is advisable to read in sufficiently lit rooms.

Myth 4: You cannot do anything about the loss of eyesight

Fact: Technically, yes you cannot. But to speak medically, getting regular eye check-ups can help in detecting the problems at the onset which can be rectified with the use of glasses and other medical rectification methods.

Myth 5: If you don’t have eyesight issues, you don’t need eye check-ups.

Fact: Doing so will only make the Myth 4 come true for you. It is advisable to get your eyes checked twice a year to eliminate high-grade risks. Majority of the vision loss cases occur due to negligence on the part of the patient.

Myth 6: Wearing somebody else’s glasses will harm your eyes

Fact: No, it won’t. Wearing somebody else’s glasses with a different prescription will cause eye fatigue or a headache. It can make you feel dizzy for a while. Hence, it is not recommended to wear somebody else’s glasses.

Myth 7: LASIK is a long and painful procedure of correcting eyesight

Fact: A LASIK surgery is a laser surgery which takes a maximum of 20 minutes and is absolutely pain-free. You are up and running within an hour of the LASIK surgery.

Myth 8: LASIK cannot correct farsightedness

Fact: LASIK can correct all kinds of refractory errors. In cases of severe farsightedness, other corrective surgeries would be preferable.

Myth 9: You will never need to wear glasses after LASIK surgery

Fact: It is party true. LASIK surgery gives you freedom from glasses but it does not prevent progression of vision with age. Maybe sometime after the age of 40, you might need to wear glasses to correct the vision.

Myth 10: Eyesight decreases with age

Fact: No, it doesn’t! It isn’t necessary that growing age means receding eyesight. If you eat healthily and maintain a good lifestyle, there are high chances that you would never need to wear glasses.

Myth 11: All Eye health issues are genetic

Fact – Yes, eye health issues like glaucoma and cataracts can be inherited, there is no guarantee if you will or you will not inherit these. That apart, there can be other issues which you can suffer which you will not know unless you get the eyes checked regularly.

Myth 12: It’s OK to sleep in contact lenses

Fact – Remember, your eyes need to breathe properly while wearing contact lenses. While sleeping, when your eyes are closed, it is extremely difficult and you can risk eye infection. We would highly recommend you taking off your contact lenses during bedtime unless your doctor has specifically approved of you to sleeping in those.

How surprised are you after debunking these eye health myths? Go and share it with your smart Aleck friends.

How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

Protein is one of the most essential nutrients required by your body. The human body breaks down the protein into enzymes and amino acids. The cells present in the human body get cytoskeleton from protein, which is used to build up new skeleton muscle.

The moment people hit the gym, they shift to high protein consumption. But little do people realize that as much as protein is important for gaining muscle or losing weight, the quantity of protein consumed by your body plays a vital role in maintaining good health. Excess of anything is harmful and protein is no different. There are different school of thoughts about what should be the ideal protein consumption for a human body.

As per the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) the ideal protein consumption is 0.8g per kilogram of the body weight. This is further bifurcated upon the gender:

  • 46g per day for the average woman
  • 56g per day for the average man

Factors To Consider For Protein Intake

Everybody needs protein. It is one of the essential nutrients required by the body to function properly. Each one of us consumes protein in our daily diet through the regular food. Why’s there a whole market for protein supplements then – you may ask. Let’s read on to find out the answer to your whys.

One needs to take into consideration various factors while deciding the protein intake. Each body is different than the other and so are the body’s nutritional requirements.

Here are some factors to consider while deciding the amount of protein to include in your daily diet:

  1. Gender

An average man consumes around 2,600 calories per day, and a woman consumes around 1,700 calories per day. According to nutritionists, an average healthy man should consume around 3000 calories per day and a woman should consume around 2000 calories. The percentage of protein in the total calorie intake should be between 10-30%. The latter only when you are on a high protein diet and are having an active lifestyle.

  1. Workout and other physical activity

People who are into strength building, heavy workouts and sports need higher amounts of protein to build muscle and stamina. If you have a lower rate of physical activity in your routine, then the amount of protein consumed from the regular diet is enough for your body to maintain the nutritional balance.

  1. Food Habits

Vegetarian food is comparatively lower on protein contents. Vegetarian people who are into bodybuilding, athletics or sports would need to supplement their diet with protein. Animal meat has a high percentage of proteinform of powders hence non-vegetarians can do without supplements. To meet the exceeding protein requirements, the non-vegetarians can increase the animal meat in their diet.

How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

There’s no gym or gym instructor who doesn’t press their clients to give in to protein shakes. You would see every gym selling some sort of protein supplements in the form of powders etc. Don’t fall for the trap that you can’t build muscle or lose weight without going on a high protein diet which is largely dependent upon the protein supplement they are selling.

There’s no denying that one does need protein supplements to build muscle, but not everyone is training to be a bodybuilder or a weightlifter. Before jumping onto the bandwagon, you need to understand your goals and body needs.

Going on a high protein diet often means neglecting or completely eliminating carbohydrates from the diet. Carbohydrates are as important as protein for the body. The body derives its energy from the carbohydrates and when you deprive your body of carbs, you start feeling lethargic and low on energy all the time. One needs to maintain a balance between the protein and carbohydrate intake in their diet.

Excess intake of protein can result in weight gain. The body consumes the protein it requires and stores the excess amount in the form of fats. This results in weight gain. Until and unless you are looking to gain weight or doing high-impact exercise, excess intake of protein can have adverse effects on your workout goals.

Dietary needs vary for every individual. Each body has a different requirement. No two people can have the same or similar results with the same dietary habits. Nutrients are essential for a healthy body but overconsumption of anything can have adverse effects on the body. Working out is just the tip of the iceberg. It won’t bear fruits without a healthy and adequate nutrient supply to the body.

 

Useful Tips to Help you Manage Greasy Hair

Running late for office and have an important meeting later in the day but your hair seems to be too messed up and greasy to survive the day without a hair wash? Read on this article to help save yourself during such situations.

Before we jump on to dealing with this issue, it is vital to understand the reasons for an oily scalp. The greasiness can be due to various factors such as hormonal imbalance, dandruff, using wrong products etc. All these factors can result in excessive production of sebum – the natural oil secreted by your hair follicles.

If there is a sudden change in your pattern, you need to consider seeing a dermatologist, and if you have grown up with an oily scalp then it merely means that your hair follicles produce excessive sebum compared to others – it’s natural and fine.

Managing Greasy Hair

The most common trick or tip out there seems to be to wash your hair daily or as frequently as possible. But the truth is that washing hair frequently can actually make the scalp greasier. Yes, you read that right. Oily scalp is a result of the production of excessive sebum which is a natural uncontrollable process. When you wash your hair frequently, you strip off your scalp of the natural sebum. The body’s instant reaction to it is panic. As a response to this panic, hair follicles produce excessive sebum to rehydrate the scalp making it greasier than before.

So what are the other options? Read on these tips to manage greasy hair:

  1. Change / Break Sebum Production Cycle

This can be done by altering the hair wash routine. Extend wash days to understand your sebum production cycle. Instead of washing hair every day, wait until your hair gets extremely greasy. Start slowly by extending the wash day by one day gradually making it 2-3 days. This will help in altering the sebum cycle.

  1. Read Ingredients on Your Shampoo and Conditioner

More often than not, people choose hair products depending upon the brand instead of the ingredients. In fact, 85% of people do not even bother to read the ingredients on hair products! To beat sebum, one needs to balance the scalp moisture. Using clarifying shampoos can help the cause. And to maintain the moisture balance, follow the clarifying shampoo with a moisturizing conditioner. Avoid shampoos with SLS, parabens and mineral oils.

  1. Shampooing Technique

How you shampoo your hair plays an important role in maintaining a healthy scalp. Oily heads should completely avoid using shampoo brushes or using fingernails to scratch the scalp. Scratching the scalp ends in higher production of sebum. Always use fingertips to gently massage the scalp while shampooing.

  1. Stop Touching Your Hair!

As good as it feels to run your fingers through that soft and silky hair, one should completely avoid it. Touching hair frequently escalates sebum production thereby making your hair oily. Don’t touch your scalp until and unless necessary.

  1. Use Hair Dryer on Cool Air Setting

The heat from the blow dryers makes the hair follicles swell which results in increased sebum secretion. It is advisable to use blow dryers on the cool air setting. This will not only help in containing the sebum production but will also help in setting the hairstyle for longer periods.

  1. Dry Shampoos

Dry shampoos are a boon. Dry shampoos generally come in spray bottles and are convenient to use when you are in a rush. It is the best way to combat oily scalp on busy days.

  1. Water Temperature While Washing

Start the wash with lukewarm water. Don’t use hot water. Hot water stimulates sebum producing glands. Always end the wash with cold water. It helps in closing the hair cuticles which helps in protecting from damage and excessive sebum production.

  1. Experiment with Hairstyles

The hair can get greasy when they lie flat on the scalp. Try hairstyles that would lift up your roots and keep the rest of the hair away from touching your scalp all the time. Ponytails are one of the best examples and you can experiment with the variations in this.

Hair health is a direct signal of your lifestyle and healthy living habits. Hair and nails are the last parts of the body to receive the nutrition that your body consumes. Besides these tips, eat healthy and nutritious food. Hair transitioning is a very slow process. Adopting these changes won’t give you instant results. Be patient and give time to your hair to adapt to the new changes.

 

5 Technologies Patients Expect their Doctors to Use

In today’s tech-savvy world where everything is available at a click, it has become imperative to adopt the technological changes and operate with the technological advancements irrespective of what domain you are serving in. Every sector has gone through drastic technological changes in the last decade or so. Technology has occupied a permanent place in people’s lives. With the increasing dependency on technology, businesses, small as well as large, cannot delay embracing these changes. Easy accessibility to the Internet via smartphones has evolved the way people consume information, network with families and friends, stay updated about the latest news, and also entertain themselves. It’s just a matter of few clicks, and everything that one needs to know is rightly available.

Technology has made life easier than what it used to be 20 years ago. Remember the times when you worked on a school project sitting in a library for hours gathering information from various books? All that can be done from the comfort of your home today.

In such a scenario, today’s patients expect their doctors also to adopt and embrace technology to make the interactions easier. Nothing pleases an ailing person more than reaching out to a doctor conveniently. The healthcare sector isn’t lagging behind when it comes to accepting technological changes. In fact, the healthcare sector has benefitted the most from technology. Diagnosis and treatments have become better with the use of technology over the years.

5 Technologies that Doctors Need to Adopt

As technology evolves, expectations rise. Or, the technological inventions are a result of the expectations and ideas of making life easier for humans. Medical and healthcare services are not devoid of these expectations. Rather, patients expect more from their doctors in today’s time.

Here are the 5 things that patients expect their doctors to use:

  1. Online Appointments

The most tedious task while visiting a doctor is to fix an appointment. Despite numerous phone calls to the hospital or doctor’s clinic, patients end up waiting for hours to see the doctor. Online appointments can help in solving this major issue in the healthcare sector. With appointments being booked online in advance, doctors can reduce the patient wait time considerably, leading to higher patient satisfaction.

  1. Online Record of Patient’s Medical History

Every time a patient visits a doctor, he/ she needs to carry all the files containing the previous medical history. Maintaining and managing these records is a cumbersome task. Having an online system where this data can be stored and accessed anytime through mobile phone is a boon not only for patients but also for the doctors. It can help in better diagnosis and treatment and reduce the chances of medical errors.

  1. Medical Advice

Today, the Internet is filled with health-related articles. But the problem is that patients don’t know which information they find on “Dr. Google” can be trusted and which cannot be. What if the hospital or doctor’s clinic offers an online portal with only valid and verified information? It could include tips to take care of health, pre-surgery preparations, post-surgery precautions, etc. These will help in patients in staying healthy as well as reduce the burden on doctors as patients will be able to serve themselves and get their queries resolved through such information.

  1. Mobility

All the major businesses are making themselves available to their clients at the go either through their own personalized mobile app or via third-party apps like WhatsApp etc. Patients don’t want to queue outside the doctor’s clinic for getting the medical test reports checked or switching/altering the current medication or getting a small doubt clarified. They need a simple option to communicate with their doctor on an ongoing basis. This can also help the doctors in not only offering ongoing medical advice to their patients but also in keeping them engaged.

  1. Online Billing and Payment

Digital payment transactions have made life easier. Today, people are used to using various digital payment options such as cards, NEFT, and mobile wallets. They expect their doctors to facilitate payments through such online modes. Online billing and payment system can also help in keeping a track of all the medical service related payments, generate receipts for patients, and provide them easy access to all the information for easy insurance claims. For doctors, it means easy compliance, ease of billing, and up-to-date financial records.

Technology has dramatically transformed people’s lifestyle – Be it shopping or medical health. In this era of lightening fast communication, the patients expect the doctors and hospitals to be efficient with their reach. Adopting these technologies can change the way the medical fraternity operates thereby saving not only time but also making the medical services cost effective for every patient.