The Balance of Good Health continued
Meat, Fish, Eggs, Pulses and Nuts
These foods are high in protein and help to keep your body healthy. They also contain important vitamins and minerals. Try to have one of these foods at least twice a day as part of a meal.
Meat can be high in saturated fat so follow these guidelines:
- Trim the fat off meat and take the skin off poultry before you cook it, or buy lean meats
- Don't add extra fat to meat when cooking
- Grilling or baking in the oven can help to reduce the fat content of meat
- You only need 2-3 oz (50-70g) of meat at a meal
- Fill up on vegetables, or add pulses such as lentils or baked beans to casseroles so you can use less meat
- Cooked meats such as ham, turkey and chicken are lower in fat than cold meats such as corned beef, pate and salami
- Processed meats such as sausage rolls, pork pies and meat pies are high in fat so try not to have these too often
Liver and offal meats are high in dietary cholesterol but this has very little effect on your blood cholesterol level.
Fish is a low fat alternative to meat if you do not fry it, try grilling, poaching or steaming instead.
You only need 4-5 oz (100-150g) of white fish at a meal.
Oily fish contain a special type of fat that can protect against heart disease.
Examples of oily fish are:
You should try to have these fish two or three times a week as part of a meal. Try them fresh, frozen or tinned in brine or sauce. You only need 2-3 oz (50-75g) of oily fish at a meal.
(Tuna is an oily fish but it is not as beneficial as those listed).
Shellfish are high in dietary cholesterol but this has very little effect on your blood cholesterol level.
Eggs make a nutritious meal if they are poached, scrambled or boiled but not fried. They are a useful alternative to meat.
You only need 1-2 eggs at a meal.
Eggs contain dietary cholesterol but this has very little effect on your blood cholesterol level.
Pulses are low in fat and very high in soluble fibre. They include baked beans, red kidney beans, lentils and chickpeas. They are a useful alternative to meat and fish and can be added to stews, soups, casseroles, spicy dishes or used to make dips or burgers.
Nuts are a useful alternative to meat and are high in unsaturated fat.
However snacking on nuts between meals will not help if you are trying to lose weight because they are high in calories.
Sugar and Sugary Foods
These foods contain many calories so it is important not to eat them too often if you are trying to lose weight.
They can also increase the triglyceride level in your blood. If you have a high triglyceride, it is important to cut down on sugar.
You can cut down on sugar and sugary foods by:
- Not adding sugar to food and drinks, try using artificial sweeteners if you need that sweet taste
- Choosing low sugar, diet or slimline fizzy pop, squash and cordial drinks
- Cutting down on sweets and chocolates
- Cutting down on cakes and biscuits
- Cutting down on sweet puddings
- Choosing fruit tinned in natural juice rather than syrup
- Trying low sugar jams and marmalades
Eating regular meals containing starchy foods will help to fill you and stop you snacking on sweet foods between your meals.
There are some medical conditions that do not allow you to drink alcohol, it is important to check with your doctor if you are unsure what you should do.
Alcoholic drinks are high in calories, so you may need to cut down if you are trying to lose weight.
Alcohol can also affect the triglyceride level in your blood. If you have a raised triglyceride, it is important to cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink.
Try to drink alcohol in moderation.
Men should drink no more than 3-4 units a day; women should drink no more than 2-3 units a day.
It is important to have two or three alcohol free days each week. Don't save your units and have them all at once.
1 unit of alcohol is:
- Half a pint of beer, lager or cider (3.5% abv)
- 1 standard (125 ml) glass of wine (8% abv)
- 1 pub measure of sherry, vermouth, aperitif or liqueur
- 1 pub measure of spirits
Fish Oil Capsules:
Fish liver oils such as cod liver oil do not contain enough of the beneficial oils that protect against heart disease. It is better to eat oily fish itself. There are oily fish supplements available in pharmacies if you do not like the taste of oily fish.
A balanced diet should give you all the vitamins your body needs. Consult your doctor or dietitian before taking any vitamin or mineral supplements.
Vitamin E can help protect against heart disease but consult your doctor or dietitian before taking vitamin E supplements. The following foods are good sources of vitamin E:
- wholegrain cereals
- wholemeal bread
- green leafy vegetables
- sunflower oil
- sunflower margarine
Your guide to healthy eating
If you would like more information about weight loss the following website may be helpful: www.bdaweightwise.com
If you would like more information about diabetes the following websites may be helpful: www.diabetes.org.uk