Going to the doctor for most of us is something that we seldom like to do and for many of us it’s something that we only do when we really have to. If you are anything like me, I have an unparalleled respect for doctors and people in the medical profession generally as they have devoted their lives to protecting us from illness and disease. Most doctors that I know are in the profession to help others, with only a select few that are in it for the social status. All that said, when we get round to picking up the phone and dialling the doctor’s number to organise an appointment, we are all too often greeted by an over eager receptionist that wants to delve into our medical history before even offering us an appointment! For years this used to annoy me greatly, as I was not comfortable discussing my medical history with someone that sounded like they had just woken up out of bed!
I know this sounds really bad but this is just how I felt, it’s only when I asked a doctor why this was the case that I got an answer that made me view this invasion of privacy in a different light. The reason for this is to make sure that in the first instance, a doctor is actually required as many doctors’ surgeries hours are lost by no shows. They then went on to point out that if someone has booked an appointment and doesn’t turn up, then that appointment is just lost as people don’t bother calling to cancel. Hence, this explains the reason why getting an appointment is often very difficult. So, let’s all think carefully before we make an appointment with the doctor, consider if you actually need to see the doctor and if so make sure you attend the designated appointment or even more paramount call and cancel if you cannot!
Follow the guide below to ensure that you are getting the correct nutrients and the correct balance of foods in your diet each day:
- Stay active and eat a healthy and well balanced diet: The main factor in achieving a healthy diet is to make sure that you eat a good mix of food from each food category and not omit any particular food.
- Potatoes, Rice, Pasta & Bread: This particular food group provides you with starchy carbohydrates and should make up approximately one third of your daily food intake.
- Opt to eat unrefined carbohydrates. Wholegrain foods are high in fibre and help to minimise the risk of diabetes and some cancers.
- Fruit and Vegetables: A good choice for a snack and should count for approximately one third of your diet. Aim to consume at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily to protect yourself against obesity, heart disease and even cancer.
- Fish, Meat, Beans & Eggs: A source of protein from both plants and animals. Protein is key for growth and repair of the body as well as providing us with energy.
- Milk and Dairy: Although these food products are a good source of calcium, they should be eaten in moderation due to the amount of saturated fat. Opt for low fat variations.
- Food /Drinks which are high in Fat/Sugar: These foods should be eaten scarcely. Although they are classed as an energy source, they have little nutritional value. These foods often contain high trans fatty acids, high saturated fats and high sugar and salt levels.
The Food Standards Agency Suggests:
- Eat breakfast
- Drink more water
- Reduce saturated fats/sugar
- Be active and maintain a healthy weight
- Eat plenty of fish
- Reduce salt intake to less than 6g each day
- Increase fruit and vegetable intake
- Plan meals around starchy foods