Baby and You

senior couple making nordic walking in the park

Our dietary experts are on hand to provide help and guidance on a wide range of dietary issues

Q1: Penny Hunking
Penny Hunking RD, R.SEN loves food, loves life and always keeps active. A retired fitness instructor, Penny ensures that activity is part of everyday life.

Q Is it better to run or walk to keep fit and burn calories?

The number of calories burnt during exercise varies with how often, how long and how hard you exercise. For the same period of time, running burns more calories than walking because you’re working at a faster pace. A person weighing 65 kilograms uses about 110 calories when walking the dog or on a work break for half an hour – if they walked more briskly they’d burn more calories. If they ran for the same time they’d burn about 230 calories – over twice as much – but need the fitness level to be able to run. If you can only run for 5 minutes and need a rest, then you won’t burn many calories whereas you could walk for longer. Walking is something that almost everyone can do and has the same health benefits as running – it’s also easier on your knees and back. It’s your choice, but the key to keeping fit and burning calories is regular activity.

Q2: Angie Jefferson
Angie Jefferson BSc (Hons) RD, RNutr has researched, written and discussed almost every aspect of diet and health.

Q What are the best foods to eat for healthy looking skin?

A Healthy skin affects not only how you look but also how you feel, so it’s worth eating a balanced diet to help keep wrinkles at bay. In addition, there are several other things you can do to help skin look its best. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables in a rainbow of different colours for protective antioxidants. Top up on omega 3’s by eating oily fish (such as salmon, trout, sardines), fortified eggs and walnuts regularly. The skin uses these fats to create a waterproof layer. Stay well hydrated – dry skin can be a good indicator of a dry environment and a need to drink more water. Keep an eye on your alcohol intake as too much can cause a dehydrated body and dehydrated skin. Finally, try to avoid cigarette smoke as this tends to age skin – another good reason to quit, or to avoid second-hand smoke.

Q3: Stephanie Wakefield
Stephanie Wakefield BSc (Hons) Nutrition and Dietetics & Masters in Research is currently based and working in the Middle East as well as writing and publishing for the UK.

Q Should I be making changes to my diet to improve my fertility?

A Yes. If you are struggling to conceive there are dietary changes that both you and your partner can make to get you on the right track. Being overweight or underweight has a negative impact on your fertility: 70 per cent of women conceive spontaneously once they reach a healthy weight. Vitamin D deficiency also has a huge impact on pregnancy outcomes, and is important for both men and women. Women with the highest vitamin D levels have the highest chances of pregnancy. Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables which includes wholegrains (https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/GIDiet.pdf) and lean sources of meat will help most couples lose weight and increase their fertility. Take a supplement of 400 micrograms of folic acid and 10 micrograms of vitamin D every day. Alcohol intake should be kept to a minimum and, if either of you are a smoker, it’s important to stop smoking. Keeping regularly active will also help improve your chances of conception.

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