Eating out raises blood pressure
The benefits of healthy meals prepared at home are well known - after all, that's the only way you can be sure of exactly what's in your food. Everyone likes a treat now and then though, but it's been suggested that just one meal out a week could increase your risk of high blood pressure by six per cent.
Restaurant offerings and takeaways are often stuffed with cream and sugar, but most people believe that won't do much to the body if you're healthy the rest of the time.
Researchers at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore have studied this, particularly looking at why younger people might be at risk of hypertension in South East Asia.
501 university students took part, all aged between 18 and 40. Many different facts and figures were taken into account, including blood pressure, lifestyle, body mass index, exercise levels and how much food was eaten outside the home.
It was discovered that 27.4 per cent of the population had pre-hypertension, with 37 per cent munching on over 12 takeaways or meals out weekly. Men were more likely to have it too, with 49 per cent sufferers as opposed to nine per cent of women.
The research was published in the American Journal of Hypertension and stated that people with pre-hypertension or the actual condition tended to eat out more, not exercise much, have a high BMI and smoke.
Although some of this seems obvious, it's the first time there has been a link proven between eating out and increased blood pressure. In fact, the team stated that just one meal not cooked at home a week could raise the risk of pre-hypertension by six per cent.
All this might have you wondering if it's time to get a bit healthier. If so, you could do worse than listen to Parisian native Valerie Orsoni, who's penned a book about the ways French women stay in shape. They are renowned for maintaining their figures, with Valerie explaining why their approach is different to other people's.
“French women don’t think about fitness as being in another box. It's just part of their life,” she told shape.com.
Her main suggestion is to fit exercises into everyday life, so you're working out while you're doing other things. For example, Valeria proposes squatting while you use the toilet or walking to talk to someone rather than emailing them at work.
If food's your issue, she warns portion control is the main culprit for weight gain - vegetables with everything and protein limited to the size of a pack of cards.
"French women don’t believe in taking extra supplements or quick-fix diet pills. They know a magic pill is too good to be true," she added, explaining you need to make fresh produce the most important part of your food.