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Dr Anjali Mukerjee, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, May 07, 2013
When on business trips, I often skip breakfast because of lunch meetings. Is that harmful? How can I make up for the missed breakfast?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and is important for refuelling your body after a night's sleep. If you skip breakfast, your blood sugar levels drop, which leads to fatigue, poor concentration, irritability and lethargy.

To make up for that skipped breakfast, try a nutritious mid-morning snack such as fresh fruits, yoghurt, a low-fat muffin or a whole-wheat sandwich. Other options include whole-grain crackers, boiled eggs, cottage cheese, low-fat granola bars or even a peanut butter sandwich.

I am 52 years old. How can diet affect age-related weakness in the eyes?
Foods that you eat and the dietary supplements you take impact your overall health as well as the health of your eyes. Eating foods rich in antioxidants is probably the easiest way to preserve your vision. Healthy foods such as whole grains, dark greens and brightly coloured fruits and vegetables protect your eyes by reducing the damage related to oxidising agents (free radicals) that can cause age-related eye diseases. Lutein, found in dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, is one of the best known eye-protecting antioxidants.

Supplements containing essential fatty acids and vitamin E can also help maintain vision. Besides adopting a healthy diet, you also can help protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses to avoid the intense ultraviolet (UV) light, quitting smoking and getting regular checkups that may help any detect chronic diseases contributing to eye problems.

I am prone to acidity due to which eating out doesn't suit me. What foods items can prevent acidity?
The most common causes of an overly acidic condition are the over-consumption of fats, proteins, sugars and white flour products. Chemicals added to or absorbed by foods - such as colouring, preservatives, pesticides and synthetic drugs - are also acid to the system. Avoid acidity by including whole grains with vegetables, fresh green salads and fruits as the bulk of the diet - with vegetable juices, fruits and green or peppermint tea taken between meals. If you increase your intake of fresh fruits, you will experience less acidity.

Eating small and frequent meals and adequate intake of water is also of importance. Red meat, dairy, sweets, alcohol, cigarettes, coffee and colas should be kept to a minimum. Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and the founder of Health Total, a nutrition  counselling centre.