LONDON: Faith Toogood, a nutritionist working with Spire Bristol Hospital, has suggested tips on foods that can help to boost healthy living, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
Four foods to give up:
Sugar: The sweet stuff is enemy number one when it comes to losing weight. Recent studies have suggested that our excessive consumption of sugar is contributing to the obesity epidemic. Try opting for low sugar alternatives and make a habit of reading the labels of the foods you buy – if sugar is listed in the first three ingredients, don’t buy itQ.
Trans-fats: A trans-fat is a form of unsaturated fat which behaves like a saturated fat because of its chemical structure. It should be avoided as it increases the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol in blood, while also lowering the amount of ‘good’ cholesterol in blood.
Processed meats: processed meat isn’t just spam, which is what initially springs to mind. The definition includes any meat that undergoes processes of salting, curing or smoking using chemical preservatives.
Ready meals: They’ve been on the bad list for a while, but ready meals are often laden with a large amount of salt and sugar and are highly processed. Popular choices such as lasagne, moussaka and curry which are some of the worst culprits as they can contain large amounts of saturated fat.
Five easy-to-find foods to boost your health:
Nuts: Nuts are packed with protein, fibre and essential fats, which makes them a very healthy snack. Just a handful of nuts contain a variety of vitamins and minerals – from vitamin E to help your skin, to zinc which aids fertility. The best choices include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews and walnuts.
Oats: Oats have long been associated with a healthy lifestyle. Wholegrain oats are a good source of carbohydrates and magnesium. They also have a low glycemic index, which means they release energy into the blood stream slowly.
Kale: This leafy green has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity and rightly so. It’s extremely nutritious, widely available and cheap so there’s no excuse not to give it a try. Kale is very low in fat and low in calories and it’s also a good source of dietary fibre, iron and calcium.
Oily fish: There is some evidence that oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines help protect against cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, age-related vision loss and dementia. Eating two portions of fish a week, with at least one of these being an oily fish, can help maintain healthy blood pressure and reduce risk of heart disease.
Pulses and beans: Pulses include foods such as beans, lentils and chickpeas – they’re a great low fat source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals which makes them an excellent addition to a healthy diet.