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NutrationPrintFor a century, Bollywood films have been associated with fantasy, formula plots, glamour, song-and-dance sequences and more recently – during the last 20 years – with beautiful faces and super sculpted bodies. Along with exercise (and some help from medical and cosmetic science), diet plays an important role in turning the men and women of Bollywood into icons of beauty, glamour and physical fitness.

Here is what some Bollywood stars with the best bodies eat.

Katrina Kaif is partial to broccoli which is low in calories and fat, and rich in fibre and vitamin C. Studies indicate that vitamin C reduces abdominal fat and also helps burn more fat during exercise. So now you know how Kaif maintains her flat tummy as seen in ‘item number’ performances such as Sheila and Chameli.

Ranbir Kapoor drinks plenty of liquids especially karela (bittergourd) juice which is high in fibre and vitamin C and low in fat. Karela helps regulate blood sugar levels and its vitamin C content reduces abdominal fat, which is perhaps how Ranbir has managed to keep the infamous Kapoor family paunch away.

Salman Khan eats plenty of low calorie daal which is a good source of fibre and iron. The iron in daal helps boost energy levels, especially beneficial during rigorous workout sessions. It’s the low calorie, high energy diet that has helped Khan maintain his fitness 20 years after he started the bodybuilding trend in Bollywood (his shirt comes off at least once in every movie).

Shilpa Shetty includes dates and raisins in her breakfast menu. Both are good choices for weight control because they are high in fibre and keep you full and sustained for longer. Additionally, raisins are iron-rich; they help oxygenate the body thus raising stamina so Shetty can work out longer and harder to maintain a body that is more famous than her movies.

– Beenish Israr

The writer is a PhD scholar studying Human Nutrition at University of Reading, UK. She is also a lecturer of Food and Nutrition at University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.

First published in the Health Advertiser Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser

on April 28, 2013.