Dennis MillardEvery day we see new information about the latest super food or diet craze. We’re advised to eat lots of proteins, but not in excess. Healthy fats to help with our brain function, but cut them out if we’re dieting. Carbohydrates because our body needs them to help burn fat, but not to eat them so we can lose weight. Grains, no grains, fruit, no fruit. The list goes on and on.

So we sat down for 5 minutes with our Dr Dennis Millard who is an advocate for healthy eating and exercise (just look at him) to try and clear the air about what we should and shouldn’t be doing in our diet and exercise.

What does your daily routine consist of?

Every day I eat a lot of healthy protein and carbohydrates, because I do a lot of high intensity exercise. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, seafood and meat. My daily food intake is fairly high because I burn a lot of energy daily. However, my diet and level of exercise as a male in his 30s won’t be right for a female in their 60s. Each person needs to work out what’s right for them.

So what should we be eating?

In my opinion, go as natural as possible and you can’t go wrong. Some people react with gluten, others need more protein than the next, it all depends on the person. Keeping a food diary and eliminating and introducing different foods will give you an indication to how your body reacts to them. Record how you feel and see if there’s any changes.

Eating “as natural as possible”, can you explain?

Eat foods that are unprocessed and free from preservatives, salts, sugars and additives. My view is “if you can’t make it, you can’t eat it”. Working in hospitals, I have seen so many preventative diseases and illnesses caused by unhealthy diets, the statistics are scary and people need to be more conscious of what they eat and drink.

What’s the right amount of exercise a person should do?

Again, everyone is different, based on their goals, age, etc. however 30 minutes of exercise daily is crucial. For some this could be high intensity such as running or kitesurfing, for others low intensity such as yoga, swimming or light walking – just get up and move.

What are the benefits of exercise?

Besides the obvious of weight loss and management, regular exercise prevents many illnesses, injuries and diseases and has an exceptionally positive impact on people’s mental health. Find something you love, if you’re not enjoying your exercise you won’t stick to it.

Any other advice?

If you are struggling with your diet, habits or exercise, see a professional. They can help get you on the right path. Being healthy is a great feeling and people need to remember they only have one body and your body is made up of what you put into it.