A WELL balanced diet and staying hydrated is very important for everyone, but especially important for those being cared for in a hospital or care home, writes Dr Richard Davies.
This week is Nutrition and Hydration Week, which is aimed at highlighting how poor nutrition and hydration can lead to a deterioration in health, increased and prolonged hospital admissions, and a rise in costs for the NHS.
Medical evidence shows that good nutrition and hydration can also assist in preventing pressure ulcers, heart disease, diabetes, and low blood pressure.
It is also recognised that it helps to keep you alert and feel generally healthier.
If you’re looking at ways of improving your diet, here are a few things that could help:
* Base your meals on starchy food – these include potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread.
* Eat plenty of fruit and veg – It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and veg a day.
* Eat more fish – fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals.
* Cut down on saturated fat and sugar – we all need fat in our diet, but it’s important to watch the amount we’re eating.
* Eat less salt – too much can raise blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease or a stroke.
* Stay active – staying active is an important part of maintaining overall good health.
* Be aware of dehydration – we need to drink about 1.6 to 2 litres of fluid every day.
If you’d like to help spread the message of good nutrition and hydration, there are plenty of ideas at http://nutritionandhydrationweek.co.uk .
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