A healthy diet is an important part of optimising short term and long term health for Alphas. Eating a balanced diet provides us with the range of nutrients our bodies need and also helps maintain a healthy weight.
Being a healthy weight (categorised as a BMI of between 20 and 25) can help reduce the risk of developing other conditions such as heart disease and diabetes but can also help your Alpha1.
Being underweight can increase risk of developing infections (including those of the respiratory system). Being overweight can put increased pressure on vital organs (including the liver and lungs) and therefore make them work harder. If you are concerned about your weight, speak to your GP who may refer you to a Dietician.
An important aspect of a balanced diet is dietary fats. There are different types of fats found in the diet and the balance of these is essential for achieving good health. Cakes, biscuits, takeaways, butter, cream, meat fat and poultry skin are examples of foods that are high in saturated fats. These fats increase the levels of cholesterol in the blood which collect on the inside of blood vessels and restrict blood flow to and from major organs. These foods should be kept as occasional treats. There are two main fats that are classed as good fats.