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Why you should have the flu jab

The weather is getting colder now, as the days get shorter, it is obvious winter is approaching. This means fireworks in the sky and flu is on the agenda. Flu does put a strain on you, as it subjects your body to a challenge, through stress which affects your blood pressure. It also affects your heart and the general heart function.

According to the British heart foundation, (BHF), There is evidence that heart attacks happen most after an infection. Older people are most vulnerable. As we get older, our immune system works less efficiently, so flu jab is necessary to give us that extra protection. The most recent flu vaccines have added ingredients to improve protection.

The best time to have flu is in October, from your GP surgery or a local pharmacy

Besides older people over 65, other vulnerable groups are those with disabilities and pregnant women.


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Unsaturated fats and whole grains can lower your risk of heart diseases

So, following from the header what you would probably like to know is which foods have unsaturated fats. As already disclosed in earlier articles, monounsaturated fat is good for you, as slightly increase good cholesterol and decrease triglycerides.

  1. olive oils
  2. rapeseed oil,
  3. Sunflower oil, corn oil
  4. Oily fish
  5. Avocado
  6. Nuts
  7. Seeds
  8. cereals, wholegrain bread, brown rice
  9. Oats

These are all good for you, however, as you are no doubt aware moderation is the watchword.

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We are all aware that cooking healthy is a better option, we might have been diagnosed with being diabetic, but we can still eat delicious foods, prepared from our homes.
Guided by the basis of meal planning, you can make almost any recipe work.

You can enjoy tasty, healthy meals at home when you have diabetes by making a few changes to the way you choose and prepare food. There are things you can do in the kitchen to lower fat and cholesterol in the foods you serve, without losing flavour.

So don’t despair. Instead, take some tips about how to cook wisely.
Be more aware of carbohydrates, only choose, that which would give you energy that lasts and with fibre. For instance, if you fancy potatoes have the baked one with no added butter.
When a recipe calls for “white” flour, “white” rice, or other refined grains, try substituting whole wheat flour, brown rice, or other whole-grain flours or grain products.
Try to avoid sugar, if you can sugar can quickly raise your blood sugar, unlike the carbs from vegetables or starches, which are absorbed more slowly.

Many times you can cut the amount of sugar without seriously affecting taste or texture.
If you’re using a sugar substitute, check the product label to be sure it’s designed for baking.
Cook with liquid fats in place of solid fats, spray fat in a can would be a good substitute, that way you use a little as possible
Solid fats often include saturated fats, which you should limit, or trans fats, which you should avoid totally.If a recipe calls for solid fat like butter try trans-fat free margarine, instead.
Many liquid fats — oils such as canola, corn, olive, and grape seed — can be healthy when used in moderate amounts. Some oils have stronger flavours that may affect the taste. So experiment to find which oils work best with which recipes.

Try low-fat cheeses, skim or low-fat milk, and low-fat and non-fat yoghurt. Use evaporated skim milk when making cream sauces. Cook with an egg substitute. Use small amounts of trans fat-free margarine. Researchers now say, having butter in much smaller quantities is better for you than margarine.

Reach for ingredients other than sugar, salt, and fat to satisfy your taste buds. Try out different herbs, spices (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg), mustards, and vinegar (balsamic, sherry).

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What we mean by servings


We have talked about the food pyramid and how it benefits you. So now how do we make it work for us?

The biggest problem with any diet seems to be the portion sizes. We are eating far too much, we need to weigh and to measure every last grain, but the following would guide us.


A single serving, for instance, is not a bowl heaped full of rice or pasta, or a steak the size of a dinner plate. Recently We in the UK have been consuming considerably large portions, plates are far too big.

A Serving of fruits ( should be as follows)

blueberries-2270379_640 (1)

medium apple or satsuma (200g. about the size of a tennis ball)

a medium banana (150g.peeled, should fit the average side plate)

a half cup(100g.) of chopped fruit or berries

a quarter of a cup of fruit juices

A serving of bread, cereal, rice or pasta


1 slice of bread or 1/2 a bagel or roll

30g. of cereal

50g. of cooked rice or pasta ( the size of a child’s clenched fist

A serving of vegetables is :

a cup of raw, leafy greens ( about the size of a woman’s clenched fist)

a quarter  of a cup of vegetable juice

a large piece of broccoli ( about the size of a light bulb)

a half cup of chopped  vegetables

1 baked potato ( about the size of a computer mouse)

A serving of milk, yogurt or cheese is :

1 cup(236ml) of milk or yogurt

28g. of cheese( about the size of your thumb)

a slice of cheese ( the size of a floppy computer disc)

a half cup of cottage cheese 57g.

A serving of meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, nuts is:


85g. lean cooked meat, poultry, or fish ( the size of a deck of playing cards)

1 medium  pork chop

1 small hamburger

1 fish fillet

half of a chicken breast or a medium chicken leg

1 medium egg

half a cup of cooked beans

2 tablespoons of peanut butter( half the size of a golf ball

a handful of nuts or seeds


Having known your serving, the next step would be to calorie count. We shall discuss this in the next topic