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Showing posts from tagged with: spring food

Don’t forget food groups that ARE healthy!

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19.04.16

Nutritional guidelines and recommendations are constantly changing with new research. It can be difficult to keep up with which foods are healthy and which aren’t, there is also confusion with inaccurate sources telling us different things all the time!

Take a look at these foods that have gone through the cycle of being the 'baddies' of nutritional science, but are now okay to eat again.

Remember, everything in moderation, and cooking methods play a large factor in healthy eating too!

EGGS

For a long time, eggs were thought to be bad for your heart. A large egg contains 185mg of cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol was believed to contribute to high blood cholesterol levels. But for the last 20 years, nutrition and medical research has shown repeatedly that at normal intakes dietary cholesterol has very little influence on a person’s cholesterol levels.

Although it’s taken time, nutrition experts are now correcting the record for eggs by removing it as a nutrient of concern from dietary guidelines. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and several vitamins and minerals.

It can often be the way you cook an egg that contributes to it being unhealthy. Frying an egg in lashings of butter, and making scrambled eggs with too much butter and full fat milk will increase your daily fat intake drastically.

Try poaching your eggs for a delicious breakfast.

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POTATOES

Potatoes are one of the few vegetables that are actually considered to be unhealthy. They have a high glycaemic index so often get put with foods made from refined carbohydrates as foods to avoid. But potatoes are a rich source of carbohydrates, vitamin C, some B vitamins and minerals.

How you prepare potatoes completely changes the aspects of those starches that get a bad name. Cooking and cooling potatoes increases the amount of resistant starch in the potatoes. This resistant starch then acts like dietary fibre which “resists” digestion in the gut, potentially having a positive impact on your gut bacteria.

DAIRY

Milk, butter, yogurt and cheese were once considered a staple in many people’s diet, but this seems to have changed which could be down to mixed health messages.

Positive aspects of dairy include the high protein and calcium content. Fat content and fat type are important when choosing dairy products as some contain high amounts of fat per serving and this fat tends to be high in saturated fat.

Although it’s best to avoid a diet high in saturated fat (a risk factor for CHD), regularly consuming dairy products doesn’t need to be a concern if your overall calorie intake and fat intake is healthy.

It can often be worse to consume dairy products such as cheeses and yogurts that are reduced fat or 'healthier', as added sugar, artificial flavourings and additives are often used to replace the fat content.

The recent updates to the UK Eat Well Plate still promotes dairy foods as part of a healthy diet, as long as the dairy choices are lower in fat.

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NUTS

Nuts also get a bad reputation for being high in fat and high in calories, leading some to suggest they should be avoided by anyone looking to lose weight. A recent study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed that eating raw nuts reduces death from all causes, cardiovascular diseases, coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death.

Raw nuts contain protein, healthy fats (low saturated fat and high monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat), dietary fibre and micronutrients.

Nut butters, such as peanut butter, can also be part of a healthy diet. The fat in peanut butter has a healthy profile and peanut butter is also an excellent source of protein, fibre, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Some recent evidence has shown increased weight loss for people that replace less healthy proteins, such as processed meats, with peanut butter.

You should aim to avoid nut butters with added sugar, salt and palm oil though.

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Hello Spring Well-being!

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29.03.16

HELLO Spring Well-being!

Following the coldest months of the year, what continuously felt like an endless slog of dark nights and difficult mornings, and Christmas festivities a mere memory, Spring appears to have popped out of nowhere and the inevitability of flip flops and kaftans creeping out of wardrobes is so strong you can almost smell it. New Years resolutions may have slightly been forgotten about, so what better way to start again with Spring a great time for new beginnings. Tying in with new beginnings is the birth of lambs and chicks and lovely tree blossom!

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GET OUTSIDE!

So now the weather is warming up, there really is NO excuses not to go get some fresh air, and light exercise outside. The evenings are now much lighter, and so after work why not get yourself your running gear on and go for a light jog or evening walk. You could try bringing a friend or family member with to keep you company. If you're more of a morning person, then setting your alarm an extra half an hour earlier could mean you fit in a little exercise before you head off to your daily jobs! Around this time of year also, outdoor bootcamps begin to fill up again, the runners come out again, and even walking seems the more popular mode of transport, so why not pop your best trainers on and be a part of it! (and an excuse to treat yourself to that pair of new trainers to show off!)

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LET GO

The beginning of Spring gives us the perfect excuse to simply let things go that were perhaps niggling away at us during the winter months. In the lighter months, people are generally much happier, this is often because the sun is out, lighter days and therefore meaning spending more time with loved ones and feeling warmer too! Jump on the same band wagon, and let go of things that were holding you back in the winer, and embrace the potential for new beginnings, relationships, work prospects, or improved health - letting things go will undoubtedly help you to embrace the spring as it should be.

GOALS

With new beginnings comes a wealth of inspiration from sometimes nowhere, or occasionally from something that has been a suppressed goal for a while but you haven’t given the time to it that you would want to. Spring provides the perfect opportunity for you to begin to achieve the goals you subconsciously set for yourself. The brighter mornings can change your perspective on how achievable something is, so make the most of them and run with your goals in these lovely Spring mornings - you never know, you might just have ticked a few things off the list by August, or be further on your way to achieving something you’ve always wanted to achieve.

Why not re-evaluate some of your daily choices? From diet to exercise, and work to leisure, there are many ways our immediate lifestyle choices can impact our overall happiness, long and short term. If you are thinking of cutting out refined sugar or chocolate, why not make that choice now but instead of depriving yourself, try making healthy swaps such as swapping a bag of crisps for Giving Tree fruit or veg crisps (packed full of fibre, nutrients and 1 of your 5 a day!)

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