Good health, vitality and a sense of well being – all essential ingredients in living life to the max. Eating a healthy diet is vital but, with so much often conflicting and confusing advice around, how do we make sense of it all? Mature Times’ Lee Knights talks to Harley Street experts about a new nutritional system that could help.
At Harley Street Skin Clinic, co-founders Dr Aamer Khan and Lesley Reynolds are pioneering the Harley Street 180 Concept – a practical and wholistic path to optimal health, based on the latest medical and scientific research. Here is their 10-point guide to eating your way to a healthier lifestyle, exclusively formulated for Mature Times readers.
1. Cut out convenience foods
Choose good quality, single ingredient foods (i.e. chicken, fish, vegetables, fruit) over convenience foods. Packed with additives, preservatives, salt and sugar, fast foods can trigger leaky gut syndrome – linked to high blood pressure, kidney problems, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer, explains Dr Khan.
2. You are what you eat – go organic
Choose organic produce, pasture raised, free range meat and wild – not farmed – fish. Look out for eggs from pastured hens too, these are better for human health. “Eating non-organic meat and farmed fish means you are eating sick animals dosed with antibiotics and hormones to fatten them up,” Dr Khan explains. This helps reduce the risk of hyper-tension, heart disease, cancer and degenerative eye disease, Dr Khan advises.
3. Don’t bit off more than you can chew
Set achievable goals that fit into your life. “Take a longer route when you walk to the shops, or the stairs rather the lift. Swap from white rice to brown basmati or from brown to soya & linseed or rye bread. It all adds up,” Dr Khan says.
4. Go low GI & sugar free
Choose foods with a low glycemic (GI) index that release their energy slowly, helping to prevent sugar and insulin highs. This helps protect against diabetes and heart disease. Low GI foods include: whole foods and grains, nuts and most fruit, vegetables and beans. Avoid high GI foods like white bread, white rice, corn flakes and all refined sugars, including honey.
5. Have the guts to do it – go gluten free
Avoid processed wheat products (including bread and pasta) as these can increase your risk of leaky gut syndrome. Choose alternatives – like organic brown rice, rye, quinoa and oats – in moderation.
6. Keep hydrated
Drink a glass of water every 2 hours – your kidneys will thank you for it! Cut out additive laden low calorie drinks and fruit juices.
7. Fat isn’t the enemy – it’s the fuel your body needs
Add healthy fats to your shopping list – grass fed, organic beef and butter; free range, organic outdoor pastured, poultry; organic cheese; organic virgin olive oil (cold pressed, single estate), coconut oil. Other good choices are nut butters – check out Meridian’s range of almond butters. Eat no more than 2tb of fat/oil a day; this provides essential fatty acids you need for muscular and neurological good health. Always dress salads – otherwise fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K will be lost.
There are fats you should avoid, Dr Khan recommends. Avoid: low fat foods which usually have higher GI levels. Avoid: margarine – all types contain hydrogenated trans-fats. Avoid: re-using oil for cooking and using seed oil for cooking; this can lead to the formation of free radicals.
8. Moo-ve on from lactose
From about the age of 4, we lose our ability to digest lactose, present in cow’s milk – protect your gut and the gut microbium by going lactose free, Dr Khan recommends. Instead, buy alternatives – organic almond milk, or goat’s milk, goat’s and sheep’s cheese.
9. Cholesterol isn’t the baddie it’s made out to be
Despite the bad publicity, Dr Khan emphasises we need cholesterol in our diets. The latest research indicates that good cholesterol – found in good quality olive oil, fish and nuts – can help maintain brain function and good health.
10. Let them eat steak…and butter…and cheese…and salt
“Eating healthy food doesn’t mean being miserable,” Dr Khan concludes. Now, you can eat foods you weren’t allowed before with a clear conscience. Enjoy steak for dinner – as long as it is reared organically on grass, and not contaminated with antibiotics and growth hormones. By cutting out processed foods, you can afford to add a pinch of salt to meals. If you have a sweet tooth, use low GI dried fruits and dates as sweeteners instead of sugar.
Fancy a glass of wine a day to celebrate your new healthy lifestyle? Treat yourself to a single glass of wine a day. Good Health!
More on the Harley Street 180 Concept or to book a 1 hour consultation (price: £100), call: 020 7436 4441: Dr Aamer Khan, Harley Street Skin Clinic London, 48 Harley Street, London W1G 9PU. Call: 020 7436 4441 www.harleystreetskinclinic.com