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Men's Health Week - Eating Healthily & Staying Active

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet can play a huge role in your health and the problems you develop later in life. Healthy diets can have a whole host of benefits, such as:

  • Weight loss
    • Losing weight can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, Type II Diabetes and poor bone density.
  • Cancer prevention
    • Eating fruit and vegetables have been seen to prevent cancer, especially those rich in antioxidants that ensure our cells are kept fit and healthy.
  • Diabetes prevention and management
    • Eating healthily can keep cholesterol and blood pressure within their target ranges, while also managing blood glucose levels.
  • Stroke prevention
    • Removing trans fats from your diet can have a significant positive effect on your cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of plaque building inn arteries later in life.

Consideration should be paid to eating fruit and vegetables and wholegrain foods such as brown bread, rice and pasta. These foods are lower in calories but high in fibre, further reducing your risk of cancer in the future.

Lean red meat such as beef is high in protein and nutrients but too much can increase your risk of certain cancers such as bowel cancer. Aim to reduce your portion sizes or opt for alternatives such as chicken and turkey. Sausages, rashers and other processed meats should be reduced or substitutes for other options like eggs.

Food on the go

Modern life often means eating lunches and dinners on the move but try not to get into the habit of choosing the sausage rolls over something more nutritious. Eating healthily doesn’t have to cost the earth, most supermarkets have salad bars that have tasty, crunchy and calorie light salads that are currency easy.

Things to be wary of

Take away foods – Sausage rolls, pastries and cakes are best avoided as they contain a high amount of fat which can be of detriment to your health.

Salt – People in Ireland are particularly heavy handed when it comes to salt. Try to cut back on salt and reduce your risk of high blood pressure and future heart disease by switching to alternatives like herbs, black pepper or spices to flavour your food instead.

Dietary Supplements – While being incredibly useful to ensure you’re getting the right vitamins and minerals into your body, supplements cannot replace a healthy, balanced diet. For advice on vitamins and minerals read our blog on the right ones for you.

Alcohol

Alcohol is incredibly high in calories and is linked to cancer, liver issues and high blood pressure. Switching to soft drinks or non-alcoholic beers during a night out can significantly reduce weight and lower your risk of health problems. Alcohol has been especially linked to mouth, throat, oesophageal and liver cancers.

Aim to drink no more than 2 standard drinks per day, while also allowing for some alcohol-free days too. A standard drink would equal ½ pint of beer, 1 small glass of wine and 1 pub measure of spirits.

3. Be physically active

Being physically fit and active doesn’t mean spending your evenings after work in a room full of machines you wouldn’t even find in a torture chamber. It can be a lot easier than that. Getting out in the open and going for a brisk walk after work can help clear your head and lead you on the path to better health.

Aim for at least 30 minutes each day of exercise that gets the heart going and keeps your risk of developing cancers down. Sport is a great way to stay fit and healthy or visiting your local gym can be beneficial, where they can help you set up a training plan with your goals in mind. Here at Stratus Healthcare we have running plans and exercise videos to get your heart pumping.

Any exercise can be beneficial, such as getting off the bus a few stops earlier and walking the rest of the way or using the stairs instead of the lift.

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