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May 8, 2020 by Community Manager 0 Comments

5 Healthy Eating Habits to Form Today

The latest numbers say that the average person in the UK spends around £45 per week on food – including groceries and eating out. So, how do we make sure we’re getting our money’s worth? Here are 5 simple, easy, HEALTHY eating habits to form – 

Stay away from fad diets

This should be a no-brainer. Yes, that juice cleanse all your friends are doing on Instagram seems fun, but pause for a second and think – will it help you achieve your fitness and weight goals? Is it sustainable for you in the long run? Or will it be a one-week wonder and you’re left to your devices again? Understand your body, set realistic goals, and create a sustainable diet. A good diet is one that you can continue adhering to, is balanced, and right for your body.

Keep a food diary

The first step to finding or fixing an issue is to collect enough data about it. Keep a food diary to understand what goes into your system each day. Write it down or use an app that will calculate everything for you. With this information, you can track macros and calories, and also make a note of how the foods are affecting your moods and well-being. Monitor, then adjust.

Eat a balanced meal

No-carb is a thing of the past. Try and opt for a balanced meal instead – one that has enough protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. This also means more fruits and veg, less sugar, and less salt. Also keep in mind that a ‘meal’ includes what you drink – swap out that sugary, fizzy unhealthy drink for a healthier option. Or better yet, opt for some hot water or tea, which will help you digest your food better.

Find healthy alternatives

Studies show that deprivation can result in more intense binging. So how else do you stop eating unhealthy food? By finding healthier alternatives. For example, if you like your grain, choose one with higher fiber content – brown rice instead of rice, wheat bread instead of white bread. Sugar craving? Eat your favourite fruits instead to satiate that. Find healthier options and integrate the swap slowly into your diet.

Watch your meat intake

The NHS recommends a serving or two of fish everyday – mainly for the omega-3 fatty oils that are available in abundance in fish. On the other hand, the general consensus is that red meat may not be as good for us in large portions. Where possible, eat more white meat than red. And more fish than white meat.

Whatever habits you choose to keep or make, ensure that they do not introduce additional stress on your health – physical or mental. What we consume is closely tied to our well-being, so it is important to consume right. If you have questions about allergies, portion control, or how certain foods are affecting your health, talk to your GP. You can also speak to an expert GP at Gogodoc by scheduling an online video consultation  – visit our website or download our app to book an appointment as early as the hour. Eat well, stay safe, and be healthy!

Book an appointment today
and consult on your diet

July 25, 2018 by Community Manager 0 Comments

Meat And Health: Assimilating The Facts

Still having dinner according to your grandmother’s advice of ‘meat and two veg’? How very 2017 of you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to Mintel’s Meat-Free Foods UK Market Report, more than one in four Britons are now favouring a vegetarian lifestyle.

Vegetarians have many reasons for not eating meat, including concern for animal welfare, health benefits, and reduced environmental damage. Here are some of the benefits of leaving meat off your plate.

 

Are humans meant to eat meat?

The dietary status of the human species is that of an ‘unspecialised frugivore’ – an animal specialised for nuts, grains, seeds, fruit and vegetables, but can handle ‘unspecialised’ food sources too. Biochemistry, comparative anatomy and genetics do not support the contention that human digestive tract is specialised for meat-eating. ‘But we have canines!’ is the all-too-common quickfire rhetoric.

 

Our pathetic, short and blunt canines may be useful to take a bite out of an apple. But try lunging for the throat of a cow and see if they are of any use then.

Due to limited resources our ancestors became habituated to eating meat, and through evolution our gut can handle it to some degree. But it is not the case that we are specialised for meat eating or need it in our diet to be healthy. In fact, the opposite is the case.

 

The WHO report

A wealth of research indicates that vegetarians have reduced incidences of diseases, and overall greater longevity. In support of this, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified processed meats as a Group 1 carcinogen. Tobacco smoking and asbestos are classified in the same category. As stated on their website, ‘this classification is based on sufficient evidence … that eating processed meat causes colorectal cancer’.

Moreover, red meat is classified as Group 2A, which means it’s ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’. My gut feeling is that it is only a matter of time that additional evidence will confirm this positive association.

Put it this way: if you had a choice between a meal that is proven to be protective against cancer (e.g. a wholefood, plant-based meal) and one that is ‘probably carcinogenic’ (e.g. a meal that contains red meat), which one would you choose?

Nevertheless, there are other health risks that are associated with meat eating such as coronary heart disease and diabetes, to which we now turn.

 

Backed up by research

In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the authors state that ‘Vegetarians had a 32% lower risk of [ischaemic heart disease] than did nonvegetarians’. And a study published in Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism showed that vegetarians had an overall 18% lower cancer incidence. Moreover, the largest study to examine the effects of different sources of dietary protein found that a high intake of proteins from animal sources – particularly processed and unprocessed red meats – was associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, whereas high plant protein intake had an inverse effect. The authors note that, ‘substitution of plant protein for animal protein … was associated with lower mortality, suggesting the importance of protein source’.

To be fair, a limitation of some epidemiological studies is that they do not consider the food source and the quality of the meat. However, in a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine, 73,308 participants were analysed and were controlled for important demographic, lifestyle and food confounders. They found that even a modest amount of red meat, regardless of the source, led to an increased rate of mortality. Whereas vegetarian dietary patterns were associated with reduced all-cause mortality and increased longevity.

In a study published in American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found that a higher intake of red meat and poultry is associated with significantly increased risk of developing diabetes. Further, in a 2017 Sweden study, it was found that beef, pork and poultry are associated with colorectal cancer, which is considered one of the most common forms of cancer in the Western world. In fact, heart disease and cancer are the biggest killers on the planet, both of which have been directly linked to meat consumption.

 

Colossal damage

Aside from the health issues, rearing livestock for food is highly inefficient and wasteful. Every year over 56 billion animals are slaughtered by humans, not to mention sea creatures whose deaths are so great they are only tallied in tonnes. The crops fed to industrially-reared animals worldwide could feed an extra four billion people on the planet.

Let us not forget the devastating effect of the meat industry has on the environment. A staggering 51% of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute. Grass fed, and ‘humanely slaughtered’ (an oxymoron) is even more unsustainable.

 

Conclusion

Humans have been facultative meat eaters for a long time, but recent research suggests that a diet with minimal meat is much more healthful. And we certainly do not need meat nutritionally in our day and age.

But the health benefits of keeping meat of the menu is only one side of the argument. For many, it is the ethical implications that make meat indigestible.