Monday, 16 June 2008


Drop A Dress Size In Five Days

Drop A Dress Size In Five Days

This five-day low fat, low calorie plan is nutrient packed. If you stick to the meal plans you should be able to drop a dress size. There's a list of snacks to choose from too.

What is it?

A low-fat, nutritionally balanced five-day plan designed to leave you feeling and looking trim. Follow it exactly and you could lose enough weight to drop an entire dress size.

How does it work?

The meals in this diet plan are low fat and low calorie but still packed with nutrients so you'll lose weight without missing out on anything. There's plenty of fruit, veg and fibre in the meals that should fill you up.

Even if you do get peckish, there's a list of snacks to choose from. There's also a wide choice of breakfasts, lunches and dinners so you shouldn't get bored.

People who want to lose weight quickly for an event or party. People who don't like calorie counting, as long as you follow the meal plans, that's all been done for you.

What are the drawbacks?

It's a quick fix not a long-term solution so you could put back on any weight you lose after the plan.

What do you do?

Each day you should choose one breakfast, lunch and dinner. You're also allowed two snacks from the list below and you should aim to drink at least eight glasses of water.

People who want to lose weight quickly for an event or party. People who don't like calorie counting, as long as you follow the meal plans, that's all been done for you.

What are the drawbacks?

It's a quick fix not a long-term solution so you could put back on any weight you lose after the plan.

What do you do?

Each day you should choose one breakfast, lunch and dinner. You're also allowed two snacks from the list below and you should aim to drink at least eight glasses of water.


13 Keys to a Healthy Diet

Developing healthy eating habits isn't as confusing or as restrictive as many people imagine. The first principle of a healthy diet is simply to eat a wide variety of foods. This is important because different foods make different nutritional contributions.

Secondly, fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes—foods high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, low in fat, and free of cholesterol—should make up the bulk of the calories you consume. The rest should come from low-fat dairy products, lean meat and poultry, and fish.

You should also try to maintain a balance between calorie intake and calorie expenditure—that is, don't eat more food than your body can utilize. Otherwise, you will gain weight. The more active you are, therefore, the more you can eat and still maintain this balance.

Following these three basic steps doesn't mean that you have to give up your favorite foods. As long as your overall diet is balanced and rich in nutrients and fiber, there is nothing wrong with an occasional cheeseburger. Just be sure to limit how frequently you eat such foods, and try to eat small portions of them.

You can also view healthy eating as an opportunity to expand your range of choices by trying foods—especially vegetables, whole grains, or fruits—that you don't normally eat. A healthy diet doesn't have to mean eating foods that are bland or unappealing.

The following basic guidelines are what you need to know to construct a healthy diet.

1 Eat plenty of high-fiber foods—that is, fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. These are the "good" carbohydrates—nutritious, filling, and relatively low in calories. They should supply the 20 to 30 grams of dietary fiber you need each day, which slows the absorption of carbohydrates, so there’s less effect on insulin and blood sugar, and provides other health benefits as well. Such foods also provide important vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (plant chemicals essential to good health).

2 Make sure to include green, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables—such as broccoli, carrots, cantaloupe, and citrus fruits. The antioxidants and other nutrients in these foods may help protect against developing certain types of cancer and other diseases. Eat five or more servings a day.

3 Limit your intake of sugary foods, refined-grain products such as white bread, and salty snack foods. Sugar, our No.1 additive, is added to a vast array of foods. Just one daily 12-ounce can of soda (160 calories) can add up to 16 pounds over the course of a year. Many sugary foods are also high in fat, so they’re calorie-dense.

4 Cut down on animal fat. It’s rich in saturated fat, which boosts blood cholesterol levels and has other adverse health effects. Choose lean meats, skinless poultry, and nonfat or low-fat or nonfat dairy products.

5 Cut way down on trans fats, supplied by hydrogenated vegetable oils used in most processed foods in the supermarket and in many fast foods.

6 Eat more fish and nuts, which contain healthy unsaturated fats. Substitute olive or canola oil for butter or stick margarine.

7 Keep portions moderate, especially of high-calorie foods. In recent years serving sizes have ballooned, particularly in restaurants. Choose a starter instead of an entrée, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything.

8 Keep your cholesterol intake below 300 milligrams per day. Cholesterol is found only in animal products, such as meats, poultry, dairy products, and egg yolks.

9 Eat a variety of foods. Don't try to fill your nutrient requirements by eating the same foods day in, day out. It is possible that not every essential nutrient has been identified, and so eating a wide assortment of foods helps to ensure that you will get all the necessary nutrients. In addition, this will limit your exposure to any pesticides or toxic substances that may be present in one particular food.

10 Maintain an adequate calcium intake. Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. Get your calcium from low-fat sources, such as skim milk and low-fat yogurt. If you can't get the optimal amount from foods, take supplements.

11 Try to get your vitamins and minerals from foods, not from supplements. Supplements cannot substitute for a healthy diet, which supplies nutrients and other compounds besides vitamins and minerals. Foods also provide the "synergy" that many nutrients require to be efficiently used in the body.

12 Maintain a desirable weight. Balance energy (calorie) intake with energy output. Exercise and other physical activity are essential.

13 If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. That is one drink a day for women, two a day for men. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits. Excess alcohol consumption leads to a variety of health problems. And alcoholic beverages can add many calories to your diet without supplying nutrients.


Eat Your Way to Beauty

Stock your grocery cart with foods that make you beautiful both inside and out.
Beauty Foods

Could a trip to the supermarket double as a mini-beauty treatment? The answer is "yes" if you're stocking your cart with the right nutritious foods that can also sideline as nourishment for skin and hair. Talk about getting your money's worth!

So, whether you're a young 20-something, a mom on-the-ago (and what mom isn't?) or already through menopause, here's 5 types of foods that every woman should have on her grocery list.

Though it seems counterintuitive that bacteria can be good for you, certain strains of bacteria can enhance digestive wellness. Eliminating gas, bloating and other digestive discomforts might be just a spoonful away. Try yogurt and kefir (a cultured yogurt beverage), which also supply much-needed calcium and vitamin D. Some fermented, soft cheeses, miso soup and probiotic-enhanced dry cereal can also add to the bacteria count.
Beauty Science: With it's origin in Ayurvedic skincare, mix non-fat plain yogurt with rice flour for a wonderful, exfoliant facial wash or mask.

These good omega-3 fatty acids are credited with reducing the inflammation commonly associated with heart disease. Ladies, take note that 39% of all female deaths in the US are from cardiovascular disease. So shop the seafood case for fatty fish, such as mackerel, herring, salmon and sardines, all rich in omega-3's. Flaxseed and flaxseed oil, canola oil and walnuts are great plant-based sources of these fats, too.
Beauty Science: Omega-3's contribute to cell membrane health which means skin cells can retain more moisture resulting in less dry, healthier, wrinkle-free skin.

This particular group of antioxidants seems poised to also combat inflammation, a contributing factor to obesity, heart disease and cancer. Lucky for us, polyphenols are abundant in foods we love: berries, red wine, chocolate, and assorted teas.
Beauty Science: Several studies published in the Archives of Dermatology indicate that green and oolong teas may be useful for treating dermatitis and may also provide anti-carcinogenic benefits.

Chances are you're not getting 11 cups of fluid, the daily amount recommended for women by the National Academy of Science. Proper hydration is key to keeping all metabolic functions operating smoothly, and this can be attained by both food and drink. High moisture produce, such as lettuces, greens and melons can contribute fluids while packing nutrients. Slurping soup, too, is a good way to reach your fluid quota.
Beauty Science: An interior well-hydrated body is reflected on the outside with more supple, healthy looking skin.

Though reading glasses may be a necessity as you age, do what you can to hold off more serious eye problems like age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Start by getting enough lutein (pronounced "lou-teen") in your diet, an antioxidant most readily available in eggs as well as green and yellow vegetables.
Beauty Science: Combine a beaten egg with sesame and coconut oil for a pre-shampoo treatment that helps repair damaged hair while it conditions.

Sunday, 15 June 2008


Choosing the Right Fats for your Diet

Guide to Understanding Fats; Choosing Healthy Fats for your Diet

For over thirty years, fat in our diet has been considered the culprit in obesity, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Recent studies dispel these beliefs and show that good fats are absolutely essential to our health and well-being. But which fats are good? Sifting through all the information can leave you with even more questions. Here is a basic primer on fats and their nutritional qualities.

What is fat?

For most people the word fat is associated with the padding on their bellies and hips used to store excess calories. But those bulges aren't fat per se – they’re adipose tissue, which the body uses to store special molecules called fatty acids. Fatty acids perform a wide variety of functions in the body, functions so vital to our health and well-being that we would instantly fall over and die without them.

This distinction between adipose tissue and fatty acids (or fats) is important. To understand the purpose of fats and their value, we must see them as more than just a curse to our waistlines.

Why are fats good?

Good Fats Are Important!

Watch this video learn why Good fats are especially important for pregnant and nursing women.

The human body uses fatty acids to do everything from building cell membranes to performing key functions in the brain, eyes, and lungs. The functions of fats include:

  • Brain - Fats compose 60% of the brain and are essential to brain function, including learning abilities, memory retention and moods.
  • Heart - 60% of our heart’s energy comes from burning fats. Specific fats are also used to help keep the heart beating in a regular rhythm.
  • Nerves - Fats compose the myelin sheath that insulates and protects the nerves, isolating electrical impulses and speeding their transmission.
  • Lungs - Lung surfactant, which requires a high concentration of saturated fats, enables the lungs to work and keeps them from collapsing.
  • Eyes - Fats are essential to eye function, and are a key component of the rods and cones.
  • Digestion - Fats in a meal slow down the digestion process so the body has more time to absorb nutrients. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) can only be absorbed if fat is present. Fats in a meal, help provide a constant level of energy and keeps the body satiated for longer periods of time.
  • Hormones - Fats are required to make hormones and hormone-like substances called prostaglandins found in every tissue, cell and organ in the body.
  • Skin & hair - Ever heard of feeding oil to a dog to make their coat shiny? Humans get their soft skin and hair from fats.

Of course the other key role of fats is for energy. The body burns fats for fuel and stores extra fuel in adipose tissue so that it always has reserves to draw from. Adipose is the most efficient way for the body to store energy. If the body were to store the same amount of energy in the form of carbohydrates, it would weigh twice as much and take up more space. Adipose also protects and cushions the organs, and like insulation in a house, keeps us warm.

Different kinds of fats

Fats are broken up into three families, and the poly-unsaturated family is further split into two groups:

  • Saturated
  • Mono-unsaturated
  • Poly-unsaturated
  • Omega 3
  • Omega 6

It’s important to note that one family is not more important than another. The body uses different fats in different places depending on what it needs to do. For instance, poly-unsaturated fats are typically used by body parts that have the highest activity such as the brain and eyes. Each type of fat is vital to the body.

Foods in nature typically contain some combination of all three families of fats, and some foods contain more of one type then another. For example, avocados contain 28% saturated, 68% mono-unsaturated and 13% poly-unsaturated. Flax seeds are high in Omega 3 (63%) and sunflower seeds are high in Omega 6 (65%). Olives and nuts are typically high in the mono-unsaturated fats, and animal fat and coconut oil are high in saturated fats.

Essential fatty acids, or EFAs

Polyunsaturated fats are broken up into the Omega 6 family and the Omega 3 family. Each of these families has a “parent” fatty acid, also known as the essential fatty acids, or EFAs:

  • Alph-linolenic acid (also called ALA or LNA) - the parent fatty acid in the Omega 3 family.
  • Linoleic acid (LA) - the parent fatty acid in the Omega 6 family.

Technically, as long as the body has the parent fatty acid, the rest of the family can be made by the body. However, the body cannot make the parent fatty acids, thus the term, “essential fatty acids.” When you hear the word “essential” in nutrition, it means the body can’t make it on its own and has to get it from an outside source.

The body functions optimally with a 2:1 balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3. Most Americans, however, are getting a 20:1 ratio. This imbalance is largely due to a high intake of vegetable oils, margarine, and processed foods made with partially hydrogenated soybean oil, all of which are high in Omega 6. To compensate, it’s important to add foods to your diet that are rich in Omega 3 or to supplement.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids

Although most foods contain a combination of the different types of fatty acids, it is helpful to know which foods are good sources of certain types of fat in order to include them in your diet.

Foods high in Omega 3 include:

  • flax seeds
  • English walnuts
  • cold-water fish (salmon, herring, mackerel)
  • sardines

Foods high in Omega 6 include:

  • sunflower seeds
  • vegetable oils (corn, sunflower, sesame, soybean, safflower)
  • margarine
  • pumpkin seeds

Mono-unsaturated and saturated fats

Foods high in mono-unsaturated fats:

  • olive oil
  • avocado
  • nuts (macadamia, peanuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios)

Foods high in saturated fats include:

  • animal products such as butter, cheese, and cream
  • coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils.

What makes a fat bad?

Fats are good if they come from whole, natural, unprocessed foods. Fats are only bad if they become damaged. Fats are damaged by heat, light and oxygen. High heat and chemicals used by manufacturers to process oils are the chief sources of damaged fats. One particularly damaging process is partial hydrogenation, which gives oils longer shelf life. This process creates trans fats and other altered molecules that are harmful to the human body.

Poly-unsaturated fats are the most fragile. Oils that are high in poly-unsaturated fats (such as flax seed oil) must be refrigerated and kept in a dark container. Cooking with these oils damages the fats, depleting their nourishment, and creates oxidized fats and toxins. Oils that are best for cooking are those high in the mono-unsaturated fats (such as olive oil and macadamia nut oil) or ones that are high in saturated fat (such as coconut oil) because saturated fats are resistant to damage.

Trans fat

A trans fat is a normal fat molecule that has been twisted and deformed during the hydrogenation process. Trans fats mimic natural fats in some respects, but are unnatural to the human body. No amount of trans fats is healthy. If the diet does not contain enough good fat, the body will use the deformed trans fats instead. Studies have implicated trans fats as contributing to major health risks from heart disease to cancer.

The FDA now requires food manufacturers to list trans fats on nutrition labels. If the ingredients contain partially hydrogenated oil then the product is suspect, even if the label says no trans fats. To bypass the labeling rules, manufacturers sometimes decrease the serving size until the number of trans fats is less than .5 grams, which regulations permit listing as “zero” trans fats.

Common sources of trans fats (i.e. the 'bad' fats) include:

  • margarine
  • vegetable shortening
  • fried fast-food
  • doughnuts
  • processed food containing partially hydrogenated oils such as: hot chocolate, peanut butter, energy bars, crackers, cookies, cakes, pastries, biscuits, chips, imitation cheese, microwave popcorn and other snack foods

Problems with a low-fat diet

Won’t I get fat if I eat fat?

Eating good fat causes the body to be satiated quicker and longer than occurs with the consumption of carbohydrates and refined sugars. Therefore, you will eat less. Good fat, especially in conjunction with fiber and protein in whole foods, will be readily accessible for our needs, and satisfy our food cravings, without dangerous sugar spikes.

Americans are turning to low-fat and no-fat processed foods in a misguided effort to keep their weight down. Ironically, these processed foods are one of the main culprits in weight gain because these foods are typically “high glycemic.” High glycemic foods cause the level of blood sugar to spike (to rise suddenly). Sustained high blood sugar levels are so destructive that the body attempts to get the sugar out of the blood fast to minimize any damage. One way the body will do that is to signal the liver to take the sugar from the blood and turn it into “long chain” sticky saturated fat – the exact kind we are trying to avoid. The liver will create more fat than the body can immediately use, so the extra fat is stored in the adipose tissue (e.g. on our hips). Ironically, pulling the good fat out of the food causes the body to build up the kind of fat we’re trying to avoid.

Getting good fats into my diet

What About Coconut?

Coconuts are 92% saturated fat, which often makes people avoid them. But all saturated fats are not created equal. 65% of the saturated fats found in coconut are what is called “medium chain.” Medium chain fats have unique characteristics that set them apart from the other fats. One is that they do not require bile from the liver for digestion, so they are quickly absorbed and used by the body for quick energy. Medium chain fats also protect the body from disease by disabling and killing bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

Manufacturers pull out these medium chain fats and sell them as a separate supplement called MCT oil. This oil is good for people with liver/gallbladder issues who need the energy from fat but have trouble digesting it. Athletes also use this oil for quick energy.

  • Eat fats and oils directly from whole foods without any processing or heat. Raw nuts & seeds, avocados, and olives are good examples.
  • Purchase oils that are processed as minimally as possible. Look for words such as “cold expeller pressed”, and “extra-virgin.”
  • Make your own salad dressings with pure oils. Typical ready-made salad dressings are made with inferior, overly-processed, damaged oils.
  • Be diligent about getting Omega 3 fats into your diet with either whole foods (such as flax seeds) or by taking supplements.
  • Avoid foods containing partially hydrogenated oils and deep fried fast foods.
  • Avoid animal fat since the highest concentration of toxins in animals will be found in their fat. This is why it is especially important to buy organic dairy.

How much ‘good’ fat is okay in my diet?

All fats contain different amounts of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. There isn’t one right amount for every diet, but should be based on the amount of calories consumed.

That being said, the usual recommended amount of fat in a diet is 30% of total calories a day, with no more than 5% coming from poly-unsaturated fat. Omega 3 fatty acids should be 2-3% of total calories and omega 6 should be 1-1.5% of total calories. A 2:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is best. In a 2000 calorie diet that means:

  • 56g (500 calories) of mono-unsaturated and saturated fat
  • 3.7g (33 calories) of Omega 3
  • 7.3g (66 calories) of Omega 6


Weight Loss Problems Gone Forever!

weight loss
Imagine if you would for a moment your weight loss problems gone forever. What would your life be like? What kinds of things would you be able to do as a result?

If you were not overweight you might discover what sitting comfortably in a movie theater chair might feel like, or what it would be like to take a long walk with your grandchildren or enjoy the excitement of participating again in your favorite sport. Even your daily routine of toileting, showering and getting dressed with ease would be greatly improved.

Continue to imagine…what kind of dreams could you be fulfilling if weight was no longer a concern for you? How would you feel about yourself? How much money would you save? Imagine never again having to worry about gaining weight or losing weight. On top of that imagine being able to eat all you want and never worry about your weight!

You Can Lose Weight And Always Keep It Off!

I know it sounds too good to be true. However, it’s entirely possible to have all that and more. Eating a delicious whole foods, plant based diet can give you all that, plus the added benefit of promoting excellent health. According to T. Colin Campbell, Author of The China Study, a whole foods, plant based diet reduces your risks of heart disease, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, cancer and many other common diseases.

Obesity Is A Huge Problem

We all know obesity is a huge problem in America today. Yet, there’s probably not one obese person who enjoys being that way. You don’t need the statistics to tell you that 2 out of 3 adults in America are overweight; all you need to do is look around at your friends, family, church members and coworkers.

In 2002 American medical care costs related to obesity were listed at $100 billion dollars. Yes, that’s billion! And believe it or not, that’s $30 billion dollars more than was spent in 1999. Doesn’t it seem absurd that we spend billions of dollars each year on medical care related to obesity when there are millions of starving children in our world!

Promoting The Problem

It is unfortunate that we have a system that promotes obesity. Obesity is promoted by the “super size it”, “more is better”, and “I want it now” mentalities. On top of that, to solve the weight gain problems that our system encourages, the same system promotes “quick fix” weight loss solutions: diet drinks and foods, fad diets, calorie counting, carb counting and food exchange gimmicks.

Now The Solution

Life does not have to be this way. You can experience freedom from weight loss issues and enjoy the best health of your life! You can eliminate all the worries and the guilt associated with wrong eating. You can make eating a joy and a pleasure not a mathematical equation.

According to Dr. Campbell, research has shown over and over again that vegetarians and vegans (people who eat no animal products) are typically significantly slimmer than those who eat the standard American diet. In one study overweight subjects were told to eat all they wanted of foods that were mostly low-fat, whole food and plant-based. In three weeks the subjects on average lost 17 pounds each.

Vegetarian Versus Whole, Plant Based Foods

I need to give a word of clarification here. One can be a vegetarian and still be overweight. What happens is some vegetarians simply replace meats with refined grains, pastas, breads and sweets. A whole food, plant-based diet is the key to weight loss and an ongoing healthy lifestyle.

I tell my clients they can eat all they want of plant based foods in their natural forms, i.e. foods that have not been or have been very minimally processed. Some examples would be fresh raw fruits and vegetables, soaked nuts and seeds (not raw or roasted), brown rice, oat groats, various legumes and beans. Examples of foods that don’t fit the whole food criteria are breads, pastries, milk, cheese, products with refined sugars or artificial sweeteners, canned fruits, soups, and vegetables etc.

Making the transition to preparing delicious whole food dishes can be challenging at first. An excellent resource for helping you to do so is Rita Romano’s recipe book, Dining In The Raw. Another great resource is Hallelujah Acres.

Make Exercise Part Of Your Plan

We all know that exercise promotes weight loss. One study suggests that only 15 to 45 minutes of exercise a day will result in maintaining a body weight that is 11 to 18 pounds lighter than it otherwise would be. However, that’s not the whole story. There is also some scientific evidence that suggests that vegetarians have on average a higher metabolic rate, meaning they burn more of their ingested calories rather than depositing them to fat. In another study, rats on mainly a vegetarian diet chose to exercise more than rats on a high animal protein diet.

You Have A Choice

Obesity and weight loss issues affect millions of people in our nation each year. Largely these problems can be eliminated with the proper education and attitude about what kind of foods promote health. Being overweight is not a problem that will ever be corrected by a diet program or a diet drink! Dr. Campbell says, “the diet that helps to reduce weight in the short run needs to be the same diet that creates and maintains health in the long run….we can control the cause (of obesity). It is right at the end of our fork.”

What will you choose to do?

Friday, 13 June 2008


next weekly healthy diet plan


On rising
Lemon Water

Untoasted muesli (½ cup) with skimmed milk; one cup mixed berries and low-fat yoghurt. Cup of tea with milk.

Large salad sandwich on wholegrain bread with salmon, avocado, beetroot, tomato, grated carrot, cucumber, sprouts, onion. One nectarine.

Skim milk coffee; one wheat biscuit.

½ cup canned lentils with one medium sized grilled lamb steak and two slices of grilled eggplant served with tomato pasta.

Baked apple stuffed with two chopped dates, one tbsp tahini and one tsp honey, served with two tbsp low-fat natural yogurt.

Total water: two litres


On rising
Lemon water

Two poached eggs with one slice toasted grain bread and one grilled tomato. Cup of tea with skimmed milk.

Small can 4-bean mix with 100g lemon and cracked pepper tuna, rocket salad and lemon juice. Two small pears.

One apple

One cup homemade coleslaw made with shredded cabbage, Spanish onion and carrot, dressed with one tbsp olive oil, one tsp lemon juice and ½ tsp mustard powder, served with one small grilled chicken breast fillet.

Two small plums and one small tub low fat natural yogurt.

Total water: two litres


On rising
Lemon water

Two slices wholegrain toast with one tsp honey and two tsp tahini; two small plums. Cup of tea with skimmed milk.

One cup wholemeal pasta with two tbsp pesto sauce and one cup green salad with vinaigrette dressing.

Skim milk coffee; one row dark chocolate.

Medium-sized fillet steak with one cup cooked English spinach and salsa made from one small onion, five medium sized olives, one large tomato and lime juice.

Total water: two litres


On rising
Lemon water

Mixed berry smoothie made with 200ml skimmed milk and ¼ cup low fat yogurt and one tsp honey.

Three small falafel patties on one small wholemeal pita bread with ½ cup tabouleh salad and two tbsp hummus.

Herbal tea; four apricot halves.

Stir fry chicken made with 120g chicken breast, carrots, snow peas, capsicum, 10 roast almonds, one tbsp sesame oil, one tbsp low sodium soy sauce and ½ lemon juiced.

Total water: two litres


On rising
Lemon water

Two slices of toasted rye bread with four slices avocado, smoked salmon, rocket and six cherry tomatoes. Cup of tea with skim milk.

10 small pieces sushi. Two plums.

Skim milk coffee.

Grillled octopus salad with baby English spinach, five olives, sliced cucumber, tomatoes and onion with lemon vinaigrette.

One cup mixed paw paw and blueberries with three tbsp skim yoghurt, one tsp pumpkin seeds and one tsp sunflower seeds.

Total water: two litres


On rising
Lemon Water

Small can baked beans on two slices wholegrain toast. Cup of tea with skim milk.

Smoked trout salad with ½ cup smoked trout, ½ cup bulgur, three slices avocado, five cherry tomatoes and horseradish cream made from two tbsp low-fat plain yoghurt and one tsp horseradish cream.

Skim milk coffee; 10 grapes.

Small piece homemade lasagne (approx 7x10cm) served with a mixed green salad.

1 apple

Total water: two litres


On rising
Lemon water

Untoasted muesli (½ cup) with skimmed milk and 10 strawberries. Cup of tea with skim milk.

Three medium slices roast turkey with steamed green beans, medium corn cob, three small boiled potatoes and small serve of gravy and one tbsp cranberry sauce.

Skim milk latte; one small piece un-iced carrot cake.

Scrambled eggs made with two eggs, one medium grilled tomato.

1 medium nectarine

Total water: two litres

i hope this blog is usefull for you. if you have question just leave comment here. we post new diet program everyday !


Your first weekly plan


You could start the week with a glass of orange juice and a large bowl of cereal with semi-skimmed milk and one tablespoon of raisins for a tasty breakfast.

Mid-morning snack

  • Pot of low-fat rice pudding
  • Drink of squash
  • Lunch
    • Jacket potato with a teaspoon of margarine or butter and baked beans
    • Carton of apple juice
    • One handful of grapes
    • Two slices of malt loaf with margarine/butter
    • Pork or chicken stir-fried with broccoli and peppers, with boiled rice or noodles
    • Pot of fruit yoghurt or fromage frais


    orange juice

    Kick off your Tuesday with a glass of orange juice then have a soft-boiled egg and two slices of wholemeal toast with margarine or butter.

    Mid-morning snack
    • One banana
    • Drink of water or squash
    • Tuna, sweetcorn and pasta salad
    • Bottle of water or carton of orange juice
    • Two plums
    • Bowl of cereal with semi-skimmed milk
    • Spaghetti Bolognese with a mixed green salad
    • Pot of jelly (sugar free)


    cereal muesli

    For your midweek breakfast opt for a glass of pineapple juice before tucking into a large bowl of cereal with semi-skimmed milk and a sliced banana.

    Mid-morning snack
  • One apple and a drink of water or squash
  • Lunch
    • Two slices of cold pizza with mixed salad
    • Bottle of water or carton of apple juice
    • Bowl of strawberries
    • Pot of yoghurt, glass of fruit juice or squash
    • Salmon fishcakes with carrots, peas and boiled new potatoes
    • Pot of low-fat chocolate mousse



    For today's breakfast toast a bagel with peanut butter or a low-sugar fruit spread, and wash it down with a glass of pineapple or apple juice.

    Mid-morning snack
  • One pear
  • Drink of water or squash
  • Lunch
    • Wholemeal pitta bread stuffed with roast chicken and coleslaw
    • Bottle of water or carton of orange juice
    • One handful of grapes
    • Oatcakes, houmous, raw carrots, cherry tomatoes, strips of red pepper
    • Flavoured yoghurt drink
    • Veggie burger with jacket potato, ratatouille and a tablespoon of grated cheese
    • Sliced banana with one scoop of ice cream


    apple green

    Have a fruity Friday by eating an apple for breakfast with a glass of pineapple or orange juice, followed by a bowl of muesli with semi-skimmed milk.

    Mid-morning snack
  • One banana
  • Yoghurt drink
  • Lunch
    • Boiled egg and cress sandwich on wholemeal bread
    • Bottle of water or carton of pineapple juice
    • Small box of raisins
    • Slice of banana or carrot cake
    • Glass of chocolate-flavoured milk
    • Pasta with turkey, peas and sweetcorn
    • Pot of fruit yoghurt or fromage frais


    egg boiled

    The weekend starts here, so rustle up two eggs (boiled, scrambled or poached), two slices of wholemeal or granary toast with spread of your choice and have a glass of orange juice.

    Mid-morning snack
  • Dried apricots
  • Lunch
    • Chicken tikka and salad wrap
    • Bottle of water or carton of apple juice
    • Two plums
    • Chocolate and banana smoothie (place one sliced banana, two teaspoons of drinking chocolate, 150ml of semi-skimmed milk and 150ml of yoghurt in a blender, and purée until smooth)
    • Homemade beefburger (made with lean beef), oven chips, peas and a corn on the cob
    • Fresh fruit salad including a satsuma, an apple, a handful of grapes and a pear



    Enjoy a leisurely Sunday breakfast by tucking into a grilled bacon and tomato sandwich with granary or wholemeal toast and a banana smoothie (place one sliced banana, 150ml of semi-skimmed milk and 150ml of yoghurt in a blender, and purée until smooth).

    Mid-morning snack
  • Dried apricots
  • Drink of water or squash
  • Lunch
    • Soup (vegetable/lentil/tomato or carrot) and a wholemeal roll
    • Bottle of water or carton of orange juice
    • One pot of yoghurt and a handful of grapes
    • Slice of carrot cake
    • Glass of flavoured milk
    • Roast chicken, boiled new potatoes, gravy and vegetables of your choice
    • Apple crumble and custard (made with semi-skimmed milk)

    Snack attack

    nuts mixed

    If you feel peckish, don't dip into the cookie jar - get a load of these...

  • Handful of dried fruit and nuts
  • Fresh fruit salad
  • Pot of rice pudding
    • Bowl of wholegrain cereal with semi-skimmed milk
    • Cereal bar
    • Houmous with raw vegetable sticks and pretzels
    • Scoop of frozen yoghurt

    Fast food

    Chickpea curry

    Fast food is fine to have as a treat once in a while. Especially when you choose the healthier options...


    • Avoid korma and massala, pilau rice, naan bread
    • Go for tandoori chicken, plain rice, chapatti


    • Avoid cheese, mayonnaise, chips
    • Go for grilled burgers made from lean meat or fish or veggie burgers. Ask for extra salad


    • Avoid battered or deep-fried options and egg-fried rice
    • Go for chicken chop suey, szechuan prawns, steamed fish


    • Don't ask for extra cheese!
    • Go for toppings like vegetables, ham, fish and prawns

    Dieting dos

    doctor says...

    • Eat breakfast every day! Skipping it won't help you lose weight. It'll just have you reaching for snacks later.
    • Drink water, juice, milk or smoothies instead of fizzy drinks. The normal kind are packed with sugar, and the diet kind have no nutritional benefits.
    • Drink 8 glasses of water a day - it's calorie free! The symptoms of dehydration can also be mistaken for hunger pangs.
    • Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Even a glass of fruit juice counts!
    • The odd treat's fine, just don't base your diet solely around chips!

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    The eatwell plate

    If you want to get the balance of your diet right, use the eatwell plate.

    The eatwell plate makes healthy eating easier to understand by showing the types and proportions of foods we need to have a healthy and well balanced diet.

    Click for a larger version of the eatwell plate

    The eatwell plate shows how much of what you eat should come from each food group. This includes everything you eat during the day, including snacks.

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    Making healthier choices


    When you're eating out in a restaurant or café, or taking your own lunch to work, there are a few simple things you can do to make your meal healthier.

    Practical tips

    When you're eating out or buying food that has been prepared for you, it's often easy to have more fat, salt and calories than you realise.

    You can also end up eating more than you would have done if you had made the food yourself.

    Although it feels like good value for money when you get served a big portion, if you're trying to eat healthily this means it's all too easy to eat too much or have lots more fat and calories than you need to.

    The simplest tip, but not always the easiest, is to remember that you don't need to clear your plate! Ideally try to eat slowly and stop when you're full.

    Even when you're out, try to choose the healthier options, here are a few tips to get you started.

    Go for Try to cut down on
    dishes that are:
    • grilled
    • boiled
    • poached
    • steamed
    • stir-fried

    dishes that are battered such as:
    • sweet and sour pork
    • scampi
    or deep-fried such as:
    • doughnuts
    • samosas
    • chicken (without the skin)
    • lean meats such as ham and beef
    • fish
    • prawns
    • pulses such as lentils and beans
  • pies
  • bacon
  • sausages
  • pâté

  • bread – wholemeal, granary, brown, seedy, bagels and currant buns croissants and pastries

    low salt and low sugar breakfast cereals sugar coated breakfast cereals
    fruit, fruit salad and sorbets

    cakes, puddings, biscuits, sweets, cream and ice cream
    sauces based on:
    • tomatoes
    • vegetables
    sauces based on:
    • cream
    • cheese
    curries that are dry
    curries based on coconut milk
    vegetables and salads served plain. If you want some dressing, ask for it to be served on the side so you can add it yourself

    vegetables and salads served with:
    • butter or buttery sauces
    • oily dressings
    • mayonnaise such as potato salads and coleslaw
    rice that is:
    • steamed
    • boiled
    fried rice such as:
  • pilau
  • egg fried rice
  • potatoes that are:
    • baked
    • boiled

    potatoes that are:
    • creamy such as dauphinois
    • chips

    If you can't tell from the menu how a dish is cooked then don't be afraid to ask.

    As well as choosing healthier options, it's also important to avoid eating too much. This isn't always as easy as it sounds, so here are some common sense tips that you might find helpful:

    • Try not to have lots of bread or other nibbles before your meal arrives.
    • You could try sharing a starter or dessert with a friend.
    • When you're ordering a variety of dishes, for example in a tapas bar or restaurant, try not to order too many. Ask the waiter or waitress how many dishes they would recommend.
    • Try waiting until you've eaten your main course before you order a dessert. You never know, you might already be full!
    • If there is a dessert on the menu you really fancy, then don't have a starter and go straight to your main course, or don't have a main course and have two starters instead.
    • If you want a healthy dessert, go for fresh fruit or sorbet.
    And to help you on your way to your 5-a-day fruit and veg:
    • If your meal doesn't come with vegetables, order some as a side dish or have a salad with your meal or as a starter.
    • If you go for dessert, choose one made with fruit.
    • Have salad in your sandwiches.
    • Have a glass of fruit juice with your meal.
    • Choose a meal made with lentils, beans or vegetables.

    Choosing healthier meals

    fish and chips 1

    When you're eating at different restaurants or ordering takeaways, here are some practical suggestions for making healthier choices.

    Choose lower-fat options such as:

    • tandoori or madras with chicken, prawns or vegetables
    • plain rice and chapatti instead of pilau rice and naan
    Try to avoid creamy curries such as:
    • korma
    • passanda
    • massala
    Remember for a healthy meal you should try to:
    • base your meal on starchy foods, so this means choosing plain rice or chapatti
    • have plenty of vegetables, so choose vegetable side dishes and a dhal
    If you're having pizza, choose lower-fat toppings, such as vegetables, ham, fish and prawns. You could ask for some extra veg on your pizza to bump up your daily fruit and veg portions.

    But if you don't want to increase the saturated fat content and number of calories in your meal, don't ask for extra cheese.

    When you have pasta, for the healthier option go for a sauce based on tomatoes or vegetables, rather than cream.

    If you're having a starter or a dessert then you could go for a smaller main meal such as a starter-size pasta with a side salad - Italian restaurants often serve two sizes of pasta dishes.

    Rather than garlic bread, which often contains a lot of butter (and so is high in saturated fat and calories), you could try bruschetta, which is a tasty ciabatta bread topped with fresh tomatoes and herbs.

    Choose lower-fat options such as:
    • steamed fish
    • chicken chop suey
    • Szechwan prawns
    Remember anything in batter will be high in fat. Sweet and sour pork is usually battered (ask if you're not sure).

    Go for steamed or plain rice rather than egg-fried rice and watch out for those deep fried starters such as prawn crackers, dim sum and spring rolls.

    Try to stick to stir-fried dishes or steamed dishes containing chicken, fish or vegetables.

    Green and red curries contain coconut milk, which is high in saturated fat, so if you do choose a curry, try not to eat all the sauce. And have some steamed rice with your meal.

    Fish and chips
    There are lots of ways of making your fish and chips a healthier option:
    • Have a portion of baked beans or mushy peas and bread with your fish and chips.
    • The thicker the chips the better because they absorb less fat.
    • Try to have a smaller portion or share your chips.
    • Ask for your fish and chips without salt - if you want some salt then add it to taste yourself.
    • Don't eat all the batter, because it soaks up a lot of fat. If you can get it, fish coated in breadcrumbs soaks up less fat.
    • If fish and chips are cooked in oil at the right temperature, they won't only taste better, but they absorb less fat. So watch out for soggy batter and chips because this is often a sign that the oil wasn't hot enough.
    Burgers and kebabs
    If you're having a burger you can still go for the healthier option:
    • Choose grilled burgers made from lean meat or fish.
    • Ask for your burger without cheese or mayonnaise.
    • Ask for extra salad.
    Go for a shish kebab served with pitta bread and salad rather than a donner kebab.

    Healthier lunch options

    sandwich blt and orange juice

    Whether you buy your lunch from a sandwich shop, café, supermarket or work canteen, the good news is that there are usually plenty of healthy lunch options available.

    And if you make your own lunch, the advantages are you know exactly what's in your lunchbox and you can save money at the same time.

    There are lots of different salads available and many sandwich shops, supermarkets and canteens have salad bars with a good range to choose from.

    Salads can be very filling, especially if they include some starchy foods such as rice, pasta, potatoes or couscous. Cold grilled chicken (without the skin), prawns, sardines, cottage cheese, mozzarella, or strips of lean ham are all healthy choices to add to a salad.

    And choose a variety of veg - you could add roasted peppers and courgettes, avocado, spring onions, salad leaves, tomatoes, olives, radishes, grated carrot, raisins or green beans.

    But remember to watch out for salads that contain a lot of mayonnaise or other dressings high in fat such as coleslaw, potato salads and some pasta salads.

    Pre-packed salads often have a nutrition information panel on the label so you can check how much total fat, saturated fat, and salt they contain. Go for salads that are lower in fat, especially saturated fat and salt (or sodium).

    If you are making your own salad at home, you could add leftover potatoes and veg such as broccoli and green beans. Or turn leftover rice into a tasty salad (see the advice on storing and reheating rice and grains safely from the link below). If you're feeling adventurous, why not get some inspiration from the salads you see in sandwich bars - you could make them at home at a fraction of the price.

    And of course there are a multitude of sandwich options you could choose.

    Whether you're making your own sandwiches or buying them from a shop or staff canteen, here are some tips to help you make healthier choices:

    • choose brown or wholemeal bread, in thick slices or rolls, when you can
    • choose healthier sandwich fillings such as lean meats (this includes ham, beef, turkey and chicken without the skin), tuna, smoked mackerel, hard-boiled egg, and cheeses such as Edam, Emmental, gruyère, mozzarella and low-fat cream cheese
    • go for a sandwich that contains salad. Add or ask for extra, if possible
    • if the sandwich is home-made or made to order, try having it without butter, spread, mayonnaise or other dressing especially if the filling is moist, or just have a small amount
    • if you do have mayonnaise, choose a low-fat variety, when you can
    To add variety, why not try different types of bread? For example you could choose:
    • squashy granary rolls
    • brown bread with added nuts or seeds
    • rye bread
    • bagels
    • tortilla wraps
    • wholemeal pitta bread
    Here are a few suggestions for different sandwich combinations:
    • low-fat cream cheese, roasted red pepper and sunflower seeds in a toasted bagel
    • Edam, tomato and cress in granary bread
    • chicken tikka and cucumber with a mint and yoghurt dressing in chapatti or pitta bread
    • lean ham, mustard and salad leaves on rye bread
    • mozzarella, olives, roasted vegetables and red onion in a wholemeal roll
    • turkey, cranberry sauce and baby spinach in brown bread
    And to add interest and texture, try adding some of these: a few olives, sundried tomatoes (if possible remember to drain off the oil), gherkins, some seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin.

    When buying pre-packed sandwiches, have a look at the nutrition information on the label to help you choose the healthier option.

    It's better to choose a sandwich that is low in fat - 3g fat or less per 100g (and 1.5g saturates or less per 100g). Food is high in fat if it contains more than 20g fat (and high in saturated fat if it contains more than 5g of saturates) per 100g.

    And watch out for the salt content too. Food is high in salt if it contains more than 1.5g salt per 100g.

    Hot food
    Baked potatoes are a good lunchtime choice, but it's better to leave out the butter, or just have a tiny bit. Healthy fillings include baked beans, cottage cheese and ratatouille. Try to avoid ready-mixed fillings that contain lots of mayonnaise, because these can be high in fat.

    Pasta is another popular option. Avoid dishes served with a creamy or cheesy sauce, or mixed with lots of oil, because these tend to be high in fat. Tomato or vegetable-based sauces are a healthier choice. And the vegetables will count towards your daily portions of fruit and veg (aim for at least five portions a day).

    Or you could try soup with chunky vegetables. Soups can also help count towards your five-a-day and to make it a filling and balanced meal you could add a wholemeal bread roll or two.

    Healthier desserts

    cherry pie

    If you want something sweet, there are lots of healthier options you can choose. Fruit is an especially good choice and can count towards your 5-a-day, which we should all be aiming for whether it's fresh, frozen, tinned or dried.

    You could try:

    • seasonal or exotic fresh fruit salad
    • a slice of melon
    • baked apples
    • rhubarb crumble
    • tinned peaches with lower fat natural yoghurt - remember to go for fruit in natural unsweetened fruit juice rather than syrup
    • low-fat fruit yoghurts - you could buy individual pots, or mix your own using low-fat plain yoghurt and soft fruit
    Rather than desserts with cream or chocolate fillings, you could choose:
    • fruit flan, tart or pie - the healthier option is pie with just one crust, either a top crust or a flan with a pastry base
    • fruit crumbles
    • steamed puddings
    • rice pudding made with skimmed or semi-skimmed milk. If you're buying it tinned, go for lower-fat varieties. Try to avoid adding sugar, and throw in some bits of fresh or dried fruit instead such as dates
    And rather than having cream with your dessert, which is high in saturated fat go for:
    • low-fat yoghurt
    • low-fat fromage frais
    • fruit puré
    • custard made with skimmed or semi-skimmed milk

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    Hygiene standards - what to look for

    couple eating

    When you are choosing somewhere to eat out or buy a takeaway, here are some things you might want to look out for to check that hygiene standards are up to scratch.

    Signs to look for


    If you are going somewhere local, keep a look out in the local press about food hygiene offences. But if you have ventured in somewhere new, watch out for the following:

    Danger signs

    • dirty public areas (if the areas you can see aren't managed well, imagine the state of the areas you can't see)
    • dirty tables, crockery, cutlery and glassware
    • staff with dirty hands or fingernails, dirty aprons or long hair that isn't tied back
    • overflowing wastebins or bags of rubbish outside the premises (these could attract pests and flies)
    • dirty toilets and handwashing areas
    • raw foods displayed next to ready-to-eat foods or the same serving spoons or tongs used for both
    • food on display that has passed its 'use by' date
    • hair or insects in food
    If you spot a few of these, there is a good chance that standards of hygiene are not what they should be and you might want to think about taking your business elsewhere.

    If you think hygiene standards aren't up to scratch, see Know your rights.

    Good signs
    If you spot these, you have probably found yourself a good new eatery:
    • hot food is piping hot when served
    • cold food is properly cold when served
    • a fresh batch of food is brought out when a batch is finished (an old batch of food should never be topped up with a fresh one)
    • self-service fridges are properly cold
    • staff hygiene training certificates on the walls or food safety instructions in food preparation areas

    Know your rights

    You have a right to be served food that is:

    • what you ordered
    • not described or presented in a misleading way
    • of satisfactory quality
    • safe to eat
    If you're concerned that a restaurant is misleadingly labelling any food or describing it in a way that leads you to expect something different to what is served, you can report it to your local authority.

    If you order a hot dish and you think that it might not have been cooked or reheated properly - don't eat it - send it back. A hot dish that is cold in the middle has probably not been properly cooked.

    If you think hygiene standards aren't up to scratch:
    • complain to the owner
    • take your business elsewhere
    • report the business to your local environmental health service - this is important because you could help prevent poor hygiene making other people seriously ill

    Food business inspections

    All food businesses are inspected routinely by their local authority to check standards of hygiene.

    An environmental health officer looks at the way staff work and whether the business is obeying the law. Generally businesses are not given advance notice of the inspection.

    If the officer is not satisfied with what they find they can advise the business, issue a warning letter or formal notice to put the situation right, or prosecute the business. In extreme cases, the premises can be closed down immediately.

    It depends on the type of business and its previous food safety record how often routine inspections take place. Complaints or concern among the public influence the frequency of inspections or prompt a follow-up investigation by the local authority. So remember to complain if you have a concern.

    Food poisoning

    If you're concerned about your health, contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or get in touch with your GP. This is especially important for children, elderly people, pregnant women and people who are already ill.

    If you think that you have become ill because of food you have eaten from a restaurant or other food business, you should contact your local authority.

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    Vegetarian and vegan

    cashew nuts

    The important thing to remember if you're a vegetarian is that you need to eat a balanced diet to make sure you're getting all the nutrients your body needs.

    Healthy eating

    spaghetti big

    The main healthy eating messages are the same for everybody. As part of a healthy balanced diet, we should all be trying to do the following:

    • eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day
    • basing meals on starchy foods such as pasta, rice, cereals and pulses such as beans, peas and lentils. These should make up about a third of the diet
    • trying to cut down on food that is high in saturated fat and having foods that are rich in unsaturated fat instead, such as vegetable oils (including sunflower, rapeseed and olive oil), avocados, nuts and seeds
    • trying to grill, bake, poach, boil, steam, dry-fry or microwave instead of frying or roasting in oil
    • eating some protein foods such as dairy products, eggs or pulses and having a variety of these foods
    • cutting down on sugar
    • watching how much salt we're eating - it's a good idea to check food labels and try not to add salt to your food when you're cooking

    • drinking about 1.2 litres (6 to 8 glasses) of fluid a day or more if you exercise
    But you also need to make sure you're getting enough nutrients, especially protein, iron and selenium, which can sometimes be lacking in a meat-free diet.

    Getting the nutrients you need

    Getting enough protein


    It's important to make sure you're getting enough protein.

    These foods are all good sources, so try to include a mixture of these in your diet each day, and vary the types you choose:

    • pulses (such as lentils and beans)
    • nuts and seeds
    • eggs
    • soya and soya products such as tofu
    • mycoprotein, sold as Quorn™
    • wheat proteins, such as cereals, bread, rice and maize
    • milk and dairy products
    Protein is made of amino acids, some of which are known as 'essential amino acids' because the body can't make them itself.

    It's important to get some of each of these essential amino acids at the same time. Soya and quinoa are the only vegetarian sources of the complete mix of essential amino acids. (The complete mix is also found in meat, poultry, fish and eggs.)

    Although it sounds complicated, it's actually easy to get all the essential amino acids you need by eating different types of protein foods at the same time, in fact you will often being doing this already, for example by having:

    • beans on your toast
    • milk with your breakfast cereal
    • rice with lentil dhal
    • a rice and bean salad
    • vegetable chilli (with kidney beans) served with rice or tortillas
    • bread and cheese
    • soup made with lentils, beans or split peas with a chunk of bread
    • houmous and pitta bread
    It's also not a good idea to rely on one type of protein because you might be missing out on nutrients. And, if for example you rely on cheese as your source of protein, you might be having too much saturated fat.

    If you don't eat milk and dairy products, choose soya, rice or oat drinks fortified with calcium instead.

    Getting enough iron


    Although meat is the best source of iron, it can also be found in:

    • pulses
    • green vegetables such as watercress, broccoli, spring greens and okra
    • bread
    • fortified breakfast cereals
    Remember that it's easier to absorb iron from food if we eat it with foods that contain vitamin C, so have some fruit or veg, or a glass of fruit juice with your meal.

    Avoid drinking tea or coffee with your meals because these make it harder for the body to absorb iron. It's best to wait at least half an hour after eating before you have a tea or coffee.

    Getting enough selenium

    Brazil nuts

    It's important to make sure you're getting enough selenium because selenium is important for our immune systems to function properly.

    Meat, fish and nuts are the best sources of selenium, so if you're a strict vegetarian, it's important to make sure you're eating enough nuts.

    Brazil nuts are a particularly good source of selenium, so try to eat a couple every day. Eating a small bag of mixed unsalted nuts can be a convenient way to get your daily selenium intake, but make sure it contains Brazils.

    Bread and eggs also provide some selenium.

    If you eat a mostly vegetarian diet but also eat fish, you should be getting enough selenium.

    What do vegetarians eat?

    Vegetarians don't eat any meat, fish, seafood or animal by-products such as gelatine, but the majority of vegetarians do eat some animal products, mainly milk, cheese (made with vegetarian rennet) and eggs.

    Some people eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but also eat fish.

    What do vegans eat?

    Vegans don't eat any foods of animal origin. This includes meat, fish and dairy foods, and also honey.

    If you are a vegan, you need to make sure you're getting enough protein and iron (see above), but it can also be difficult to get enough vitamin B12.

    These are good vegan sources of vitamin B12:

    • yeast extract
    • fortified bread
    • fortified breakfast cereals

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    Sport and exercise

    Oranges sliced

    Taking part in sport or just getting physically active will help you burn off excess calories and maintain your body weight. It will also help reduce your risk of many diseases, such as heart disease.

    But remember to check with your GP before starting a new exercise programme, particularly if you haven't exercised for some time.

    What to eat

    Eating a healthy balanced diet will provide you with all the nutrients you need to take part in your favourite sport or activity. This means eating a wide variety of foods, see Nutrition essentials for how to get the balance right.

    If you take part in a sport regularly, perhaps you're a member of a club or team, or a regular at your local gym, then the best way to get the most out of your sport is to:

    • be the right weight for your height
    • drink plenty of fluids
    • eat enough carbohydrate to keep you going during exercise
    • eat plenty of wholegrain breads and cereals, fruit and vegetables and moderate amounts of milk, yoghurt and cheese, lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and pulses
    • eat enough food for your level of activity. If you eat too little then you won't be able to keep up your exercise levels

    Timing of meals around workouts is just as important as what you eat if you want to keep your energy levels up. For the first two hours after exercise, muscles can refuel their glycogen stores twice as fast as normal so it's important to eat carbohydrate-containing foods as soon as possible after a workout or exercise session.

    Good sources of energy

    Carbohydrate is the most important fuel for energy, so you should eat lots of foods that are rich in starchy carbohydrates.

    Many different foods contain carbohydrate. The richest sources of carbohydrate are bread, rice, pasta, cereals and potatoes, but other foods also contain useful amounts, such as: fruit, vegetables, beans, pulses, yoghurt and milk.

    Carbohydrate is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen, and if you get tired during your sport or activity, this might be because your glycogen stores are running low.

    The more you exercise, the more carbohydrate you need. The actual amount you need depends upon the type of exercise you're doing, the intensity, duration and frequency of the exercise, and your fitness level.

    The bigger the glycogen stores in your muscles, the longer you can perform. So this is particularly important if you do an endurance sport such as marathon running, long distance cycling or fell running.

    After exercise, your muscles can refuel their glycogen stores twice as fast as normal, so it's important to eat foods containing carbohydrate soon after you�ve finished exercising.

    Protein and sport

    We need protein for our muscles to grow and repair themselves. Protein is also a source of energy.

    The amount of protein athletes need has been a topic of huge debate for many years because people who are very active, especially those who train frequently, generally require more protein than those who don't.

    However, most people in the UK eat more protein than they need, so even top athletes should be getting enough protein to meet their needs. This means there should be no need for you to increase the amount you eat of foods rich in protein and there is no need to buy protein supplements.

    Protein supplements might seem to be scientifically based, but don't be fooled. According to current evidence, taking protein or amino acid supplements doesn't improve performance.

    Remember, you should be able to get all the protein you need by eating a variety of foods.

    Drinking for sport

    If you get dehydrated it can stop you getting the most out of your activity, so it's important to make sure you drink enough.

    To help keep you hydrated:

    • Don't wait until you feel thirsty
    • Drink lots before you start exercising

    • Keep some drink to hand so you can reach it whenever you need it while you're exercising
    • Drink plenty when you've finished
    And remember that the fluid we have when we're exercising should be on top of the usual 1.2 litres (6 to 8 glasses) we need every day in climates such as the UK to stop us getting dehydrated.

    If you're exercising for longer than 1.5 hours, try to eat a high-energy snack such as a banana or some dried fruit before you start or during exercise (if this is practical). If you can't manage this, you might find it useful to have some diluted fruit juice or squash to help give you energy.

    It's not usually necessary to drink sports drinks just because you're active. Fruit juice mixed with water, well diluted fruit squashes, or juice drinks will hydrate you and give you some energy. But remember that these, like sports drinks, contain lots of sugar, which means they contain extra calories and can lead to tooth decay.

    Sport and supplements

    You should be able to get all the nutrients you need from a healthy balanced diet - and remember that taking supplements won't make up for not eating well.

    If you decide to take protein supplements, be careful that you're not increasing your energy intake so much that you aren't able to burn it off. If you do this, you'll put weight on - and it might not be put on as muscle but could actually be stored as fat.

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    Drinking enough?

    water fizzy

    It's very important to make sure we are drinking enough. Our bodies need water or other fluids to work properly.

    Why it's important

    Water makes up about two-thirds of our body weight. And it's important for this to be maintained because most of the chemical reactions that happen in our cells need water. We also need water for our blood to be able to carry nutrients around the body.

    Losing water

    water carbonated

    As your body works it produces waste products and some of these waste products are toxic. The body gets rid of these toxins through the kidneys in urine, and urine is mainly made up of water.

    We also lose water through evaporation when we breathe and sweat. As the temperature rises and as we do more activity, this increases the amount of water the body loses.

    To stay healthy, you need to replace the fluids you lose. And don't forget, if the weather is hot or you are exercising, you will be losing even more water.

    How much water do we need?

    In climates such as the UK, we should drink approximately 1.2 litres (6 to 8 glasses) of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated. In hotter climates the body needs more than this. We also get some fluid from the food we eat.

    Caffeine in drinks


    Drinks that contain caffeine, such as tea, coffee and cola, can act as mild diuretics, which means they make the body produce more urine.

    This affects some people more than others, but it also depends on how much caffeine you drink and how often.

    It's fine to drink these sorts of drinks, but we should also drink some fluids each day that don't contain caffeine.

    Signs of dehydration

    One of the first signs of dehydration is feeling thirsty.

    If you think you might not be getting enough fluids, check if you are showing any of these other common signs of dehydration:

    • dark coloured urine and not passing much when you go to the toilet
    • headaches
    • confusion and irritability
    • lack of concentration

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