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WHAT'S REALLY IN THE BASKET?



You started the year off well eating your way through the produce section of the supermarket and then BAM! In comes all of the chocolate, hot cross buns and now they even have chocolate hot cross buns and it's only March. You have a little dabble but then remember to get back on track. You snuck past Australia day fairly well unscathed, February seemed easy, the begining of March was ok but there were a few slip-ups as you climb your way to the Easter break. Now how do you avoid all of the delicious food that is on offer over what is usually a 4 day weekend of chocolate, hot cross buns, honey coated everything, soft drinks and a few alcoholic beverages to boot.

Not only can Easter weekend be tough when it comes to eating, but the days and weeks ensuing Easter can also be tough to try to avoid eating all the left over chocolate, hot cross buns and various other things that have made their way into your fridge and often into your work lunch box. Firstly what is wrong with most of these foods and why we should at least limit most of their intake?

They are loaded with empty calories
What empty calories means is that the majority of the food like chocolate, breads, biscuits and alike are full of the dreaded extra calories but offer little else with regard to vitamins and minerals and various other nutrients. they therefore leave you feeling like you are still hungry and probably wanting even more, resulting in that bloated feeling and likely increased weight.

High levels of oxidative stress
Oxidative stress is what happens when your body does not have enough antioxidants to neutralise free radicals. Free radicals are the unstable molecules that react with other substances in your body to damage cells or create abnormal ones. When the body has to process sugar it also creates oxidation and the more sugar we eat, the more oxidation happens. Processed foods often contain sugar and/or other chemicals that also result in oxidation.

The almost immediate degradation in cardiovascular function.
A new study, published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology showed that almost immediately after eating some “rubbish food” men’s arteries dilated 24% less (decreased endothelial function) than when the subjects were in a fasted state. Poor endothelial function is a significant precursor of atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries that can block blood flow. So for anyone at risk of heart attack can have a massive spike in risk from a solid weekend of ‘food boozing.’

Now they are just three of the problems that can occur and there are countless others.

SOME WAYS TO AVOID THE EASTER DANGERS:

Eat a large healthy breakfast every day.
A breakfast that is high in protein, good fats, loads of fibre and plenty of vitamins and minerals will help remain satiated for longer and hopefully prevent a lot of the pointless overeating.

Do an exercise session each morning of the long weekend.
This will help to build a calorie bank, meaning you can probably eat a few more calories through the day because you were able to get a good session of calorie burning in the morning. Better yet also go for a long walk in the afternoon.

Load the plate at lunch and dinner with vegetables.
Green and purple vegetables are some of the better ones. Also at dessert stick to the fruit salad with blueberries, purple grapes and raspberries. Doing this will help prevent the excessive oxidative stress that can occur and will also help long term with cardiovascular function.

Over Easter there is no need to be the fun police for everyone but look after yourself and make sure you maintain the positive healthy start to the year that you have made so far. If you have not been able to have a positive start then maybe this can be the turning point by adopting the strategies above.

IS IT WORTH IT?


 

Have a happy & healthy easter from all of us at HBP Group

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