Avanti Deshpande is a clinical nutritionist. She is the founder of a healthy food startup called “Avanti.” She advises people on PCOS, gut health, and diabetes. She has several achievements to her name, including WOMENS ACHIEVERS of PUNE 2020.

ICY TALES conversed with Avanti Deshpande about her journey and how she formed her profession towards becoming a nutritionist.

Q) Tell us something about your journey. Was getting into nutrition always the aim or something that pushed you towards the same?

Avanti Deshpande: I have always had a passion for food. I knew I wanted to work in the food industry because I have loved cooking since I was a teenager, helping my mother, and trying out new recipes.

photo by avanti deshpande

The turning point was when I was overweight in college, and because the food was very interesting, a new course came up in my college in Pune. It was “food science and quality control.” I wanted to change my lifestyle, which is how I got aligned with my field. So, it was quite natural for me to opt for this.

Q) We eat several cuisines every day, and they have a variety of nutrients. But why is it important for us to track our nutrition intake?

Avanti Deshpande: It’s quite important as that is even if I practice. I practice holistic nutrition. If we take India as a whole, we’ll find people eating wheat-based products in north India, whereas, in south India, people are more likely to eat rice-based products. The diet changes entirely when you move throughout the country; every area has its own flavor. It depends on the local environment, but today’s scenario is that we are skewed in terms of choosing the right food groups throughout the day.

I advocate eating a healthy plate. This is given by Harvard University, which says that 50% of your diet should be salad, 25% should be protein like daal, meat, and curd, and the remaining 25% will go with carbs like chapati or rice in the south. It’s not important to change your staple food1, but more important is to balance the diet with proteins, carbs, and everything else that is good in the diet.

Q) Our personality reflects what we eat. Even our face skin can. We want to understand how different nutrients work and affect our bodies scientifically.

Avanti Deshpande: Nutrients make up our bodies. What you eat is what you see. If you eat healthily, your skin will be healthy. Whenever you eat, you’ll either nourish or deplete your body. You should feel like you’re nourishing your body.

avanti deshpande

If I elaborate on gut health, there are millions and trillions of microorganisms in our intestines; when your gut is healthy, your digestion is good, your absorption is good, and your body will be healthy. If your gut is healthy, good microorganisms2 will flourish. If they grow, they will keep you away from many diseases, including heart diseases, diabetes, PCOS, and other mental disorders.

Q) You elaborated on gut health and how diseases start from the stomach. So, how can we regulate our gut health?

Avanti Deshpande: There are various things that we can do. If we see why we have gut issues, the first thing might be that our body is not digesting it properly. These are the two things that we can do.

The first is pre-biotics, the fiber in foods and vegetables. It’s very important to consume five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. You’ll get antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber as well. This fiber is the food of good microorganisms. The second thing is pro-biotics, the light microorganisms we intake directly, like buttermilk or curd, and fermented vegetables.

Q) There are many times when people go off track with their diet or fitness regime. Please tell us what you do to stay focused and some tips to help readers with the same.

Avanti Deshpande: Sometimes we go wrong, and that’s totally OK. We have to remember that mindful eating is important. It’s not like a complete ban on fast food. Both, a too restricted diet or overeating, are bad. If you nourish the body, it means you are giving it good. Then you can observe fat loss, diabetes reversal, and changes in the metabolism are happening.

Q) What has been seen is that PCOS is increasing continuously in women and is also seen as a taboo in our society. What is the reason for this, and how can it be avoided? How should we normalize talking about this?

Avanti Deshpande: The statistics say that one in five women are affected by PCOS, specifically in the urban population. It’s happening to all ages of the reproductive group, i.e., from 15 to menopause3.

If we look at teenagers, the main reason is that they are not moving and eating unhealthy. They are not exposing themselves to sports. If we look at adult women, stress is one of the biggest factors, as they have a fast-paced life with multitasking.

Everybody should follow a healthy diet and nourish their bodies while managing stress. Stress causes PCOS more than dieting. And if we see forty-plus women, the declining metabolism and fewer activities with the same food habits is the biggest concern.

Q) You also founded a start-up of healthy foods. What’s on your mind when you make these products, and how can they help with our metabolism?

Avanti Deshpande: I had a conception of a new idea. I developed these products which will help you in day-to-day life. When we change our staples, the reversal of diabetes or other diseases will happen fast. I see that products on the market are not healthy enough, so I came up with these products to manage your diet as they are free of preservatives.

Q) You are an inspiration to many. Would you like to share your diet plan? How do you maintain your health?

Avanti Deshpande: The one thing that I do is never sleep before I do my workout. I like gyms and weighing. I started learning more about fitness and added that to my schedule. I divide 5 days a week among yoga, weight lifting, and cardio. Again, five servings of fruits and a high-protein diet are essential. And if I get distracted from my diet anyhow, as we et to eat junk when we go for socializing, I immediately try to maintain it.

Q) Could you please brief our viewers about your programs and services?

Avanti Deshpande: I’m a consultant nutritionist and have programs in clinics and online. I have programs for every element and provide practical, personalized solutions. I got a specialty program.

I have a 90-day PCOS reversal program4, a diabetes reversal program, and a thyroid reversal program. I also have a pregnancy plan which helps a woman from pre-conception to months after pregnancy with weight loss and a CGM program. My best program is the gut healing program, as I have expertise. It’s an 8-week program where we focus on metabolic disorders like PCOS, diabetes, and other diseases.

avanti deshpande

Avanti Deshpande rose through the ranks of her career, beginning with a natural interest in food and ending as a consultant nutritionist. Prevention is always better than cure, and this is how Avanti Deshpande is helping people with her gut healing, diabetes reversal, and thyroid reversal programs.

Watch this hale and hearty conversation on our YouTube Channel!

  1. Welch, Ross M., and Robin D. Graham. “Breeding for micronutrients in staple food crops from a human nutrition perspective.” Journal of experimental botany 55.396 (2004): 353-364. ↩︎
  2. Crits-Christoph, Alexander, et al. “Good microbes, bad genes? The dissemination of antimicrobial resistance in the human microbiome.” Gut Microbes 14.1 (2022): 2055944. ↩︎
  3. Mckinlay, Sonja M. “The normal menopause transition: an overview.” Maturitas 23.2 (1996): 137-145. ↩︎
  4. Mehta, Manthan N., Mahesh Jayaraman, and Sharda Agarwal. “Holistic approach in the management of PCOS: a pilot study of an online PCOS-reversal program.” International Journal of Reproduction, Contraception, Obstetrics and Gynecology 7.7 (2018): 2829-2834. ↩︎

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