Why do we need carbs and how do I manage them for weight loss?

We need a certain amount of carbohydrates in our diet for normal physiological functions such as keeping our eyes moist, keeping thyroid levels healthy, keeping LDL cholesterol in check and providing better and deep restorative sleep. While low-carb diets appear to be popular, they are not sustainable. And while you will definitely see your body weight drop, over a period of time, these low-carb diets begin to get to you. Bad breath, severe constipation and feeling emotionally deprived are some of the immediate side effects of going on such low-carb diets. Eventually, people get frustrated and just go back to eating normally, which is when the weight comes back with a vengeance. In our opinion, eating clean carbs, such as white rice and sweet potatoes, is an absolute must. If you are looking for extreme weight loss, have about 100g of clean carbs every three to five days and stay on a high-fat, high-protein diet. But if you want a more sustainable approach, we would recommend you include around 100g of cooked, clean starches daily.

My mother has been diagnosed with pre-diabetes and has been prescribed medication. What can she do to control/manage her condition?

The first thing to remember is that your mother does not have to be on any drugs for now. If she is pre-diabetic, we can reverse everything with just food and lifestyle changes. However, these changes will have to be made for a lifetime. Food: Start mornings with a tbsp of organic ghee, butter or coconut oil. Blend this in black coffee or tea or have it by itself. Refined sugar consumption should become negligible over time but initially, take small gradual steps so changes are easy to maintain. Breakfast should have mainly proteins from eggs or lentils if that suits her gut. Carbs should be from vegetables not from potato and corn. White rice is better than gluten-containing wheat. Add a tsp of ghee and some lentils, or meat and veggies along with rice. Stay away from bread, chapatis and oats. Sweet potato for dinner with some protein is good. A handful of nuts as a snack is also good. Stay well hydrated. Exercise: Light walking three times a week, up to 3km each time. Follow these lifestyle changes and almost 80 per cent of the issues will be sorted.