F.A.T’s New Year’s Health Advice
Juicing: Fruit juice does not cut the risk of early death significantly. The higher sugar content of fruit is likely to counteract the other benefits. According to Peta Bee writing in the London Times, five portions of fruit contain 18-19 teaspoons of sugar. Just ten grapes or one banana, apparently, have the same amount of sugar as a slice of gateau. Smoothies should contain all the edible flesh, the pith and the seeds to count as part of our daily intake of fruit. Dried fruit could count as one of our daily fruits but contains a high proportion of sugar: one portion would be three prunes, one tablespoon of raisins or currants. The jury is still out on whether tinned fruit and vegetables count; some say yes, providing they are in unsweetened juice. Others say no. The mantra is ‘moderation in all things’ .
Optimum time to eat for weight loss: A survey of 1,000 slimmers identified the best time of day to maximise weight loss. In research conducted by Forza Supplements, 84 per cent of dieters said that eating meals at regular times of the day was important. 76% thought that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. As a result of the survey optimum times for meals were identified as: 7.11am for breakfast; 12.38 for lunch and 6.14 for dinner. The advice from Robert Tynan, CEO of Fitness Adventure Travel, is to eat light meals and have light snacks between meals so the body doesn’t think that winter is coming and start storing fat.
Women who go to bed earlier walk more: UP monitoring data from Jawbone shows the small changes that we could make to our lifestyles that might enable us all to lead healthier lives. A new device called UP24 was launched in the UK earlier this year which enables wearers to monitor various types of behaviour such as the amount of sleep, quantity of water drunk, and other achievements against goals set. The device has been updated to make it Bluetooth enabled. It can also be linked to other apps e.g. to switch off the lights when the band is in sleep mode or automatically turn on the coffee machine when you wake up.
BMI – is it an accurate measure? Bodybuilders and rugby players could be mistakenly seen to be overweight or even obese if we use body mass index (BMI) as a measure. A combination of waist-hip ratios, cholesterol and blood sugar levels would give a more accurate measure according to Caroline Finucane, health editor at NHS Choices. Because BMI doesn’t differentiate between fat and muscle, you could be categorised as overweight if you are work out regularly.
BMI is also called the Quetelet index after the Belgian who created it around 1830. It was originally used for population studies not for individual measurement. A waist-hip ratio is now favoured for diagnosing indications of individual health by many medics including the World Health Organisation (WHO). The WHO says a ratio of more than 0.85 for women and 0.9 for mean indicates abdominal obesity and that the health of the individual concerned may be at risk.
Are you or any of your family suffering from osteoporosis? About three million people in the UK are thought to have osteoporosis, 690,000 in Australia and a total of about 200 million women worldwide. Sufferers from osteoporosis are advised to exercise regularly in order to improve bone density. Walking, dancing and aerobics are supposed to be particularly beneficial. Medical treatment has usually been Vitamin D and calcium supplements aimed at preventing the loss of overall bone mass. However, in new research findings from the University of Cambridge, a new explanation has been found for increasing vulnerability to fractures as we age, which could change the medical treatment that is given.
Scientists have found that a gel-like substance called citrate acts as a lubricant to prevent bones grinding on one another. So in addition to keeping up with the exercise, suggestions from the medics include eating food with lots of antioxidants (artichokes, berries, beans, cranberries, hazelnuts, pears, pecan nuts, plums, watercress, walnuts). These would be more beneficial than the vitamin D and calcium supplements. Dr Melinda Duer who led the research team, commented that the Japanese eat almost no dairy and their incidence of osteoporosis is a fifteenth of that in the UK.