Calories & Fat: Simple, easy & fun to understand!
Adults should exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, five days a week, at moderate intensity, according to the UK government’s chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson.
Physical activity is strongly related to health and provides a wide range of benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, maintenance of mobility, control of body weight and increased mental wellbeing. For many of us, though, finding the time to fit exercise into a busy schedule isn’t easy. But if you find it impossible to spare 30 minutes a day for a workout, don’t give up.
You can achieve your daily quota by doing three shorter bursts of exercise lasting 10 minutes or more. To ensure you're doing enough to benefit your health and burn up calories when you exercise, you should feel warmer than usual, your breathing should be quicker than normal and your heart rate will be slightly raised.
Use the handy calorie counter at the Food Standard Agency's Eatwell site (see useful links) to find out just how many calories an activity will burn up, but keep in mind that the amount of calories burned will depend on your weight, gender and other factors, so use it as a guide only.
Walking – c.35 calories.
Cycling – c.60 calories.
Stairs – c.70 calories.
Skip yourself fit – c. 70 and 110 calories.
Jogging – c.100 calories.
The Department of Health recommends that you aim to walk 10,000 steps a day. Try using a pedometer to keep track of how many steps you do. You can burn 35 calories in 10 minutes of brisk walking.
Reference taken from:
FAT's: Top level info
• Good fat: Unsaturated – nuts, fish etc.
• Bad fat: Saturated – pasties, biscuits.
If you believed everything you read, you could be forgiven for thinking that fat is a dirty word. It makes us put on weight and clogs up our arteries, right? Saturated fat (sometimes called 'bad fat') is the fat found in processed meat products such as sausages, bacon, pies, butter, lard, biscuits, cakes and pastries.
It's no surprise then that it’s the fat that most of us need to cut down on. Too much saturated fat can raise our cholesterol, and so raise risk of heart disease and stroke. Unsaturated fat, or the 'good fat', is found in avocados, nuts and seeds, oily fish such as salmon, fresh tuna and mackerel, and sunflower and olive oils.
Omega-3: the healthy heart fat
There’s one type of unsaturated fat that has been shown to help keep the heart healthy and protect against heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are primarily found in oily fish such as salmon, fresh tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines and pilchards. It’s recommended that we eat two portions of fish a week, and one of them oily. Next time you are going to cook bangers and mash, why not try grilled salmon with mash instead? If you make that swap regularly, you'll be doing your heart a huge favour.
Tips for cutting down
There are a few things we can all do to reduce the amount of fat we eat: • Choose lean cuts of meat. • Trim off extra fat before cooking. • Bake, stream, poach or grill rather than fry or roast. • Check food labels for the fat content of the foods you buy. • Add bulk to bulk sauces and stews with vegetables. • Use less meat. • Choose lower-fat dairy products, such as skimmed milk and low-fat yoghurt.
Extracts from the NHS
(National Health Service)