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Dr Emma answers your nutrition questions

Dr Emma answers your nutrition questions



We asked loads of BESTFIT readers to send their nutrition questions to Dr Emma Kirke, our resident expert. Here, she answers a selection. Remember, you can also catch Emma on BESTFIT TV!


I heard Juicing is healthy; will it help me to lose weight?

Whatever you like to call them, juice ‘fasts’, ‘cleanses’ or ‘detoxes’ have taken the dieting industry by storm over the past few years. In exchange for a diet that’s heavy on ‘healthy’ juice (think: a mix of fruit and veg), we’re promised healthy, young, radiant skin, potential weight loss and an improved clarity of mind. However, they are coming under question as to whether they are actually any good for us.

Should I maintain a low-carb diet to ensure I don’t put on weight?

Such a buzzword in the current climate. Everyone that is anyone has tried a low-carb diet. However, low-carb, high-fat or a ketogenic diet appear to be better than pure low carb, as they won’t leave you lacking in energy. A diet low in carbohydrate without a boost in fats can leave you feeling lethargic and tired. Carbohydrates are multi form and comprise of any of a large group of organic compounds occurring in foods and living tissues and including sugars, starch and cellulose. They contain hydrogen and oxygen in the same ratio as water, and typically can be broken down to release energy in the animal body. Consequently carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source.

How much protein should I be eating to ensure ‘gainz’?

Proteins are the building blocks of life. Every cell in the human body contains protein. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids. You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. High-protein foods include meat, fish, cheese, tofu, beans, lentils, yogurt, nuts, and seeds. The amount you need is individual and therefore based on your training and activity levels and your personal goals.

What is Q-10?

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance similar to a vitamin.

It is found in every cell of the body. Your body makes CoQ10 and your cells use it to produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. It also functions as an antioxidant, which protects the body from damage caused by harmful molecules.

Should I avoid salt?

Contrary to common belief, we all do actually need a little bit of sodium because it helps keep your body fluids at the right concentration and is needed for muscle and nerve activity. Salt (sodium chloride) is the main source of sodium in the UK diet, but the majority of us eat much more salt than we need. Eating too much salt over time is linked with high blood pressure, which can lead to serious problems such as heart disease or stroke. On average, adults in the UK eat about 8.1g of salt (3.2g sodium) a day. This may not sound like much, but to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, it is recommended that adults should not be eating more than 6g of salt (2.4g sodium) a day.

Why should I avoid trans fats?

Artificial trans fats can be formed when oil goes through a process called hydrogenation, which makes the oil more solid (known as hardening). This type of fat, known as hydrogenated fat, can be used for frying or as an ingredient in processed foods. This is the main fat that should be avoided in a health conscious diet. Man-made fats or artificial trans fats can be found in some processed foods such as biscuits and cakes, where they are sometimes used to help give products a longer shelf life.

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