The key component to staying healthy is maintaining a sensible and healthy diet and taking regular exercise. Research has shown that this will significantly reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It can also help reduce the risk of some forms of cancer.
For more advice on healthy eating and exercise tips, you can make an appointment to see Jackie, our Health Care Assistant who is fully trained to offer expert advice.
Fruit & Vegetables
It is recommended that we eat at least 5 portions of fruit or vegetables each day. Fruit and veg contain lots of fibre, vitamins and minerals, are low in fat and are filling but low in calories. If you stick to a regime of 5 portions a day, your chances of developing heart disease, stroke or bowl cancer is greatly reduced. And you will feel a lot better for it!
Starchy foods, such as bread, cereals, potatoes, rice & pasta contain about half the calories of fat and often contain a lot of fibre. It is easy to add too much fat to starchy foods so go easy when you’re putting butter on bread, try to avoid chips and creamy sauces with rice or pasta.
Protein foods, such as meat, fish, nuts, pulses & chicken are essential but should be eaten in moderation. Some meats are high in fat so try to choose lean cuts and avoid recipes which include fatty sauces. Evidence suggests that eating oily fish, such as mackerel, salmon, kippers, etc helps protect against heart disease. Aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, 1 of which should be oily.
Don’t eat too much……
- Fat eaten should be low but also consider the type of fat you are eating. Saturated fats, such as butter and lard should be avoided. Unsaturated fats, such as corn, sunflower and olive oil is much better.
- Sugar is high in calories and may cause weight gain. Even small amounts of sugar in sweets, etc will often lead to bad breath and teeth.
- Salt increases the risk of developing high blood pressure. Reducing your salt intake gradually will help educate your palate.
Don’t forget to take regular exercise; brisk walking, cycling, swimming, dancing is all very good for you and can be good fun too. You should aim to complete at least 2 to 3 hours a week.
Watch your weight
The more overweight you are the greater the risk of high blood pressure or diabetes. If you are looking to lose weight, make sure the process is gradual (2lb or 1kg a week). Or for more advice, why not make an appointment to see Jackie our Health Care Assistant who is fully trained to offer expert advice.
The government recommends a body mass index (BMI) of between 19 - 26. You can calculate your own BMI by:
- Work out your height in metres and multiply the figure by itself.
- Measure your weight in kilograms.
- Divide the weight by the height squared.
For example; you might be 1.6m (5ft 3in) tall and weigh 65kg
(10st). The calculation would be:
1.6 X 1.6 = 2.56. 65 divided by 2.56 = a BMI of 25.39
Be a Non Smoker
If you are a smoker, you double your risk of getting heart disease and cancer.
Smoking cessation clinics are offered by Bournemouth & Poole PCT on a one to one basis or in group sessions. Please ring the central telephone number of 01202 541507.
Watch your Alcohol intake
Excessive drinking can lead to heart disease, stroke and mental illness. Memory is lost when someone drinks too much and most victims of crime are very often people who have drunk too much. The expert guidelines for safe alcohol consumption are:
- No more than 14 units per week (or 2 – 3 per day but not every day) for women.
- No more than 21 units per week (or 3 – 4 per day but not every day) for men.
- 2 alcohol-free days weekly are advised.
- Pregnant women are advised not to drink but certainly no more than 2 units per week.
- 1 unit = half a pint of weak beer, lager, cider (3.5% ABV) or a small glass of wine (100 mls, 10% ABV) or 25ml of spirit (35 ml shots = 1.5 units). It is advisable to read the label carefully as a lot of wine now is up to 16% ABV.