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Deans Health and Fitness Blog

Deans Health and Fitness Blog dean

Health and Fitness is a hot topic of discussion at the moment so once a month our health and fitness manager Dean will be keeping us up to date with some great tips and also answering some key fitness related questions:

 

What is the one thing I should cut out of my diet?


Sugar! Whenever I speak to people who are trying to lose weight or change their lifestyle to become healthier, sugar is the one ingredient I recommend they reduce or remove from their diet (and most people don’t realise just how much they consume.)

Sugary food and drinks tend to be high in calories but contain no essential nutrients, and won’t fill you up. This is is why these foods and drinks contain what is known as “empty” calories. Because they won’t fill you, this makes it easy to over-consume them, and the excess calories can cause you to gain weight.

Sugar also suppresses the immune system, raises insulin levels and can cause obesity. Fill up on fresh fruit to get your sweet fix and save sugary foods for a treat.


I have heard there are ‘good fats’ and ‘bad fats’ – is this true?


Yes, it is true. There are two main types of fat; these are saturated and unsaturated. Unsaturated fat can be found in olive oil, avocados, oily fish and nuts. Despite falling into the ‘fat’ category, these foods are vital for a healthy diet as they help the body absorb certain nutrients, provide a source of both energy and essential fatty acids that the body can’t produce itself.

Saturated fat is found in many prepared foods and fast foods, fatty meats such as sausages, full-fat dairy products and lard. Good fats can help metabolise fat for energy whereas bad fats can clog arteries and cause cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease, which includes heart attack, stroke and narrowed arteries. Try to ensure your diet stays balanced and avoid saturated fats where possible. Small changes such as leaving spread out of sandwiches and grilling rather than frying will help with this.

Should my children be exercising?

When most adults think about exercise, they think of working out in the gym, running or lifting weights, but for children, exercise can be playing games, riding bikes and running around outdoors.

Being physically active every day is important for the healthy growth and development of babies, toddlers and young children as well as adults. Physical activity will help children develop stronger muscles and bones, ward off obesity and decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, active children also sleep better – a welcomed incentive for many parents! So this summer, encourage your children to stop watching TV or playing video games and go outside and play football or take a long stroll in the fresh air. The importance of an active lifestyle isn’t restricted by age.

 

Keep an eye out for Dean's next installment.