14 October 2010

High Fat and Ecessive Salt in Children's Hosptial meals

Children's hospital meals 'too salty and fatty'

A recent Survey by the Food Standards Authority revealed that half of meals served by NHS hospitals contravene standards for healthy diets for school meals.

A high proportion of children's hospital meals tested poorly for saturated fat and or unecessarily high salt content.

Almost half of meals served in hospital to children have too much fat and contain excessive amounts of salt.

A report by the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash) and campaign group aworrying number of child hospital meals to be too unhealthy and unlikely to be served in schools because they exceeded salt and fat limits introduced in 2008.

A third of all 451 meals tested would be classified as “red” for saturated fat or salt, according to the Food Standards Agency’s traffic light labelling scheme, meaning they should be eaten in smaller amounts or infrequently.

Cash wants the government to create nutritional guidelines for hospital food. The Department of Health said it was concerned by the group’s report, which found a chicken tikka masala and rice served in a hospital contained 14 times more salt (2.2g) and 8.5 times more saturated fat (6g) than a chicken and vegetable balti with rice in a school dinner.

Professor Graham McGregor the chairman of Cash, said: “With everything we know about the risk of children developing high blood pressure and diet-related diseases such as obesity, it is vital to keep their consumption of salt and saturated fat as low as possible, while still being appetising.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: “We recognise the importance of good quality food for patients of all ages, both in terms of improving their health and in relation to their overall experience of services.

“Tools are available to support caterers in assessing the nutritional content of meals.”

21 September 2010

Is it better to eat standing up?

On the positive side you may burn more calories but you could also end up snacking your way through more food

The boss has decided not to sit down at work. His desk has been raised so that he can type standing up and he also likes to eat while standing. Now he is encouraging us to do the same, arguing that sitting down is not good for the digestion. Is this true?
This is an “interesting one”. From a political point of view, you clearly can’t go bowling in to tell your boss that you think he’s nuts. Saying that, there may be some health advantages that are worth considering.
The main one is that standing up all day — versus sitting down — means that you burn more calories. If a 9st 7lb woman sits for eight hours she will burn around 510 calories. If she were to stand for the same amount of time, she would burn something like 1,085. There is also evidence that sitting down for long periods may increase your risk, if already prone, of developing deep vein thrombosis.

I can’t find any convincing evidence that standing up is better for your digestion, although Jeya Henry, Professor of Nutrition at Oxford Brookes University, says that diet-induced thermogenesis may increase if a person stands while eating. In simple terms, this means that the natural phenomenon, whereby more calories are burnt after you eat, rises farther.

But there are disadvantages, too. One is that it encourages people to eat more, for example, if they are cooking and absentmindedly picking at ingredients or hoovering up leftovers while clearing the table. Even worse, we are less likely to remember eating these extra titbits. Of course, given that lots of people graze all day at their desks from charity snack machines to fully loaded christmas gift hampers, this argument probably doesn’t hold much water in a work environment.

Another concern about standing and eating while working is that it implies you will be spending all day at your desk. Again, I know a lot of people do this while seated, but it is better for your general well-being to take a break away from the office at lunchtime — whether standing or sitting — and to eat in a different environment. Doing this could produce more digestive juices, making you less prone to indigestion. It also encourages you to eat more slowly, which in turn can help you to eat less.

Taking this farther, it is a good rule not to allow any food at your desk. If you want a snack, leave your work station — you are more likely to remember it and account for it in your mental calorie count for the day.
Ultimately, perhaps the solution lies in doing a bit of both. In the World Health Organisation’s offices in Copenhagen, staff apparently have adjustable desks that have a lever at the side and can be raised to allow you to stand and work, and lowered again to sit when you need a break.

Given that most offices in the UK probably won’t invest in this kind of office furniture because more staff are keen to have more home like furniture, perhaps the best way forward is to improvise.

Here’s one: stand while making phone calls. That should burn a few calories.

05 August 2010

Salt in Restaurant Food

Hypertension - all the medical data has for years, pointed to salt, being overweight and stress contributing to high blood pressure.

The doctors lay this on you, usually during a high stress office visit, in a medical environment, while the GP has a white coat on. It is astounding to discover the amount of people who are on drugs for hypertension, prescribed during the office visit, or worse yet, during a physical. A good suggestions is track the blood pressure readings over time, and see if you can help to control it. Salt and sugar are everywhere, and almost impossible to measure, unless you pour either, yourself.

Restaurants thrive on salt so people enjoy the food. No-one has any idea what or how much salt is added.

Salt is a major issue and a defininte problem for everyone. Everyone today could stand with a significant reduction in both their salt and their sugar content.

The restaurants today are amongst the biggest offenders.

26 June 2010

Life Without Coffee

From an ex-coffee addict:

I used to feel dull and tired every morning, and I woke up with a strong craving for coffee. Then I stopped drinking coffee entirely. It was difficult for a few days, but then the feeling of tiredness in the morning and the desire for coffee just went away. Now I wake up feeling alert, and with no desire at all for coffee.

So my experience backs up this research. Fatigue in the morning is actually a result of coffee addiction. Coffee is counterproductive to alertness in the long run. It gives you a short boost, but then alertness falls lower than before.Fortunately, it's possible to break the addiction in a few days with a little will power.

02 June 2010

White Coat Effect on Blood Pressure Readings

What is the "white coat effect"?

... Many people find their blood pressure rises when it is being measured in the presence of a [nurse or] doctor (with or without white coat) and this has cast doubt on the accuracy of these readings.'

Especially an attractive one! (As was pointed out by a colleague a couple of years ago when I had rather unexpectedly high blood pressure readings.)

More about the white coat effect here

More seriously, when is culinary salt going to be taxed - to help discourage its use? And perhaps food itself should be taxed more highly if it contains a lot of salt.

Other areas of concern include food labelling where excessive salt is disguised by not publishing the salt content, and only giving the (far lower) sodium content: I was horrified to find that a jar of Patak's Mango Pickle contains 4.4% sodium, which is equivalent to 10.6% salt! Wake up FSA!!!

19 May 2010

Healthy Eating And Food Preservation

Eating's a necessity, not an ideological statement or a fashion statement. The rise of food preservation technology coincided with the Allies winning the Second World War (fed with tinned food) then getting postwar fat (fed with tinned food) and losing the undeclared ongoing commerce war with lean and hungry Asians, Africans, Indians. Building 'burger palaces in the USA's competing nations, then expecting the locals to follow our example and become overfed and sedentary was the subtext of the Reagan administration.

What food is good for you and what is going to kill you seems to change weekly. Last week a Subway sub was best, but now its bad because its made with lunch meat. But now head back to McDonalds. That Quarter Pounder with cheese has 1190 mg sodium, whereby a 6" Blackforest Ham with cheese has 1295 mg. Not a whole lot different actually.

The fact of the matter is BOTH have WAY to much sodium. If its not salty enough I know how to fix that easily, but its sure hard to take out the sodium if I don't want it. Even the rolls have over 400mg sodium which is crazy.

30 April 2010

Hulacize For Heath Hula Hoops Are Back

Hurah for Hula Hoops - no no the salty processed potato snack but the hip swinging hoop that has been a popular playground toy for many years.

Hulacize for Health

Now adults are joining in the craze - spinning and gyrating during demanding cardiovascular exercise - great for the lungs and heart - hula hoops are back.

It has been well reported that fitness exercises show an improvement in blood pressure readings - so for the price of a coffee and cake you can have your own hoop and start to hula hula for your heart and see your readings change

06 April 2010

Burj Tower Dubai Flights Heart Racing Jump

This incredible stunt performed from the newly opened Burj Tower in Dubai is enough to set the heart racing just watching it. Imagine the strain put upon the base jumpers cardiovascular system - not least gettng to the very top of the world's tallest building but then leaping out to freefall back to the ground.

Security at the tower has been stepped up to prevent further attempts of this adrenaline rush - but with the ever increasing numnber of flights to dubai it is expected that a mass jump from the Dubai tower will be inevitable soon.

24 February 2010

Women Shopping and Blood Pressure

In the Mood - Checking out Fashion, Living and Blood Pressure

A recent programme on LivingTV suggested that what you wear not only affects your mood and confidence which is common knowledge but in turn those effects are beneficial to general health.

This may be the answer to why shopping for some women is an addiction - in the same way people become dependent on exercise for the feel good factor of endorphine release.

Lingerie and Dresses

Shopping - especially clothes shopping can be a double edge sword though.


Lingerie can set the heart racing - the elation of finding boutique lingerie shops offering stylish underwear that looks fabulous on the lingerie manequin can easily turn to disappointment when the outfit is unwrapped and worn back home.


Dresses too can be a source of terrible frustration - with bulges and creases in all the wrong places - the pressure builds to find the perfect fit. Fitting room lighting and mirrors have long been known to enhance the appearance of dresses and ladies outfits. However when the dress is revealed in natual light the shadow effect can be deeply dis-dressing.


The ultimate shopping rush for many women - footwear fashion has been likened to addictive chemicals - the need for new heals knows no bounds.

18 January 2010

Boost Your Health Get Winter Sunshine on Holiday in Spain

Sunny Spain - Winter Holidays in Andalucia

The Costa del Sol is traditionally a destination for family holidays in summer but the surrounding region is becoming of interest for those looking for a break from the grey skies of winter in the UK and at the same time benefiting their health.

Low season travellers are finding it easy and affordable to bask in pleasantly warm sunshine in Andulaucia, Spain and visit some of the regions fascinating towns and cities. Most regional airports run scheduled flights to Malaga and there are many cheap package holidays deals to the region especially at this time of year its easy to see why more and more holidaymakers are choosing to pack their bags.

So cheap are the deals that canny travellers are taking advantage of cheap flights combined with hotel accomodation on the Costa del Sol along with cheap car rental to explore the wider region of Andalucia including , Jerez, Corbobra, Seville and Granada all which benefit from year round sunshine.

Year Round Sunshine - Relaxing and Lowering Blood Pressure

The easy car blog offers the following sunshine information on its car hire Malaga page:
Boasting around 300 days of sunshine every year, flying to Malaga, the gateway to the Costa del Sol in southern Spain, is the ideal choice for a lazy beach holiday or tour of Andalucia at any time of the year!

Car hire Spain Getting Around Andulucia

Andalucia is adequately served by public transport although many bus services require an early start which can mean missing your hotel breakfast if taking advantage of the package deals on the Costa del Sol. A frequent inexpensive train runs along the Costa del Sol from Feungirola to Malaga. Buses run out of Malaga to Granada and Cordobra and there is an excellent rail connection between Jerez, Seville and Malaga. Alternatively you can take advantage of the massive over supply of cars during the low season prices are especially competative which makes considering renting a car to allow more freedom to explore the region at your own relaxed pace and car parking is easier too!

If you are planning to go on holiday this winter please read out blood pressure and travel article