Making health work

I’m never too far away from thinking about my health, so I thought I’d explore ways in which we can try to help prevent serious illness.

I hope some of these tips help:

It’s important both men and women consume the right number of calories to balance their energy consumed with the energy they use. The more active we are the more calories we need. The less active we are, the least calories we consume. The daily recommended calorie intake for women is 2,000 whilst for men it is 2,500. We’re all capable of eating more calories than we need.

We should all eat at least two portions of fish a week and should try to make sure that at least one of those portions is an oily fish. Oily fish such as mackerel, trout, salmon, pilchards and sardines are all good choices. Tinned and smoked fish are alternatives to fresh fish, but will contain more salt due to the way its processed. Oily fish contains Omega-3 that may help prevent heart disease; if eaten continually. Haddock, cod and plaice are also good choices.

Try to cut down on saturated fats in hard cheese, sausages, meat, cream and butter. Unfortunately all those choice of foods, increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases our risk of heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure. Unsaturated fat is the best alternative and is found in oily fish, vegetable oils and avocados.

We should also try to cut down on meat or at least use organic or lean cuts that contain less fat. Chicken and turkey are better alternatives, but fish is better. Also try to cut down on takeouts, processed foods and ready meals.

It has been well documented by many of the health experts how bad sugar is for us and I would have to concur with their findings. Refined sugar not only contributes to weight gain, but can also contribute to Diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Natural sugars found in fruit are the kind of sugars we should be looking to consume. Try adding fruit sugar to baking and when stewing fruit.

Reducing our salt intake is important.  Salt increases blood pressure and can contribute to heart disease and strokes for those people who already suffer with high blood pressure. Try to cut out salt altogether or where possible and instead use herbs and condiments to flavour your dishes.

Of course there are other things to consider, such as eating your daily portions of fruit and vegetables; taking regular exercise and drinking at least a minimum of between 6-8 glasses of fluid daily (excluding coffee and alcohol). Herbal teas are fine.

We may not get all of our nutrition right, but getting some of it right will go some way towards us staying healthy.

20 Nov, 2011

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