Why a balanced diet is as crucial as modern medicine - Nutrition & Hydration Week (11-17th March)

You’ve read the headlines – ‘Global shortage of lifesaving drugs fuels rise in superbugs’, ‘Antibiotic resistance plan to fight 'urgent' global threat’ and ‘UK unveils plans to fight threat of antibiotic apocalypse'. Where do we draw the line when it comes to the UK’s obsession with opting for prescription medicine in times of ill-health?

With more of us turning to the marvels of modern medicine in hopes of curing aches, pains and ailments – it’s estimated that antibiotic use has increased by 65% in recent years – stocks are running low and resistance is rising. The vulnerable and elderly people, living in our communities, are struggling to fight infection through use of prescription medicine and this, more often than not, is due to a lack of a nutritional and hydrational diet.

In a bid to support those affected by poor diet, and just in time for National Nutrition & Hydration Week, David Glover, Managing Director of in-home care franchise, Caremark gives his four top tips for living a balanced and nutritional lifestyle.

1. Five a day

The oldest tip in the book, but this fundamental part of a basic, healthy diet is still being overlooked by most! According to a recent study by the NHS, only 29% of adults are getting their 5 a day*, which is very disappointing when you consider how much the nutrients in fresh fruit and vegetables benefit health and wellbeing. Eating 400g of fruit and veg per day can reduce risks of long-term chronic illnesses, including heart disease, stroke and cancer. It’s a no-brainer!

2. Simple swaps

Many of us, including our elderly relatives or loved ones, are prone to the odd guilty, sugary snack but a high sugar diet puts you at risk of heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. Whilst the odd treat isn’t going to cause long-term problems, a daily intake of more than 30g of sugar per day (for adults) should be avoided. Try switching out the honey in your porridge for a few dried apricots, or your full-fat fizzy drink for a sugar-free version – and if you’re a ‘tea with two sugars’ kind of person, slowly reduce the amount until you’ve cut it out altogether, or try sweeteners instead.

3. Lend a hand

Older people, who live alone, generally opt for a meal-for-one dish that is easy to prepare. This often means a takeaway or ready meal, which are usually high in sugar and prepared with vast amounts of oil. Why not offer to help them out by preparing meals on their behalf? Batch-cooking starch-based, home-cooked meals is a great way to make sure your elderly loved ones are getting the nutrients they need, and by adding one or two vegetables to the dish, you’re providing some of their recommended 5 a day too!

4. Know your numbers

Did you know? The Eatwell Guide, commissioned by the NHS, recommends all adults should drink 6-8 glasses of fluid every day. Rumours have often circulated about drinking two litres of water per day – some have even said as many as four litres! – but 1.2 litres is more than adequate.

Whilst water is the most health-conscious choice, fruit juice, plain tea, fruit tea and coffee (without added sugar) can also be healthy. Milk is also a great choice, especially for older people, as it is jam-packed with calcium and other essential vitamins, which strengthen bones and reduces the risks of tooth decay.

David summarises: “At Caremark, we’re passionate about ensuring our clients are getting all of the nutrients they need, from a well-balanced and maintainable diet. We understand that not everyone has the support at home to be able to put these methods into practise. Following these few simple steps, for yourself or for a loved one, can make all the difference and can perhaps alleviate some of the side effects of long-term health problems and possibly prevent illness too. It’s better to be safe than sorry and can make all the difference.”

For more information, visit www.caremark.co.uk

-Ends-

Editors notes:

To speak with David Glover, contact Kelly Ayres at Rev PR on 07895 876745 or email kelly@revpr.co.uk

A hi-res photograph of David Glover is available on request.

*http://healthsurvey.hscic.gov.uk/data-visualisation/data-visualisation/explore-the-trends/fruit-vegetables.aspx


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About Caremark

Caremark is the UK's largest privately owned care franchise with a turnover of £65m. We are a leading home care provider with over 100 offices in the UK and Ireland. We support over 6000 customers and employ more than 5400 carers who deliver on average, over 96,000 hours of care, every single week, across the UK. Established in 2005, we are proud to be a wholly UK owned and operated home care franchise which has an established and successful UK based network. 43% of Caremark franchisees are female, which is almost double the national franchising average. It's a figure we are really proud of. Not only that, but a large proportion of our management team are women, including our Managing Director, Finance Director, National Operations Manager and National Training Manager. The UK has an ageing population which is estimated to grow some 58% in the next 20 years. As the demand for more complex and highly professional levels of care increases, we continue to provide a quality service to those in need of help and support. There is also a developing awareness that care at home can benefit not only those individuals in need but the hospitals and other organisations that are also responsible for looking after them.


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