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What it means to eat a balance diet

Currently, the adult ‘average diet’ in the UK is made up of 42% carbohydrate; protein 11% and 6% alcohol. These proportions are not the best health wise if you are to maintain a healthy weight. In a normal ideal health plan, 10% of the calories should come from protein, 50% from carbohydrates, 34% from fats and alcohol should remain as 6%.

It is recommended that at least 10% of the calories should come from proteins.

Our body changes about 60% of protein into glucose. Protein takes 3-4 hours to affect blood sugar levels, and would not cause much of a rise in blood sugar levels.


Protein also has 4 calories per gram. In a healthy diet, about 12 to 20 percent of your total daily calories should come from protein. Your body needs protein for growth, maintenance, and energy.

At most, the ideal fibre intake should be around 30grams

Quote NHS choices

Why do we need fibre in our diet?

There is strong evidence that eating plenty of fibre (commonly referred to as roughage) is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer.

Choosing foods with fibre also makes us feel fuller, while a diet rich in fibre can help digestion and prevent constipation.

Find out more about the importance of fibre and when you may need to reduce your intake, in Why is fibre important?

Tips to increase your fibre intake

It’s important to get fibre from a variety of sources, as eating too much of one type of food may not provide you with a healthy balanced diet.

To increase your fibre intake you could:

Choose a higher-fibre breakfast cereal such as plain wholewheat biscuits (like Weetabix) or plain shredded whole grain (like Shredded wheat), or porridge as oats are also a good source of fibre. Find out more about healthy breakfast cereals.
Go for wholemeal or granary bread, or higher fibre white bread, and choose whole grains like wholewheat pasta, bulgur wheat or brown rice.
Go for potatoes with their skins on, such as a baked potato or boiled new potatoes. Find out more about starchy foods and carbohydrates.
Add pulses like beans, lentils or chickpeas to stews, curries and salads.
Include plenty of vegetables with meals, either as a side dish or added to sauces, stews or curries. Find out more about how to get your 5 A DAY.
Have some fresh or dried fruit or fruit canned in natural juice for dessert. Because dried fruit is sticky, it can increase the risk of tooth decay, so it’s better if it is only eaten as part of a meal, rather than as a between-meal snack.
For snacks, try fresh fruit, vegetable sticks, rye crackers, oatcakes and unsalted nuts or seeds.

People go wrong when they do not eat a balanced diet, they choose the wrong types of food. There is the danger of either taking in too much sugar or too much fat.

Quote from

According to the British Nutrition Foundation, “To lose weight, the energy intake from food must be less than the energy output”*. This is why calorie counting is the most effective weight loss method. It goes straight to the heart of the problem.

Lose Weight Calorie Counting

Losing weight through calorie counting is relatively easy. You won’t have to put normal life on hold while calorie counting.

Added benefits are that calorie counting:

· raises your awareness of what your body needs;

· educates you about what’s in what you eat,

· and helps you learn how to eat healthily for life.

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Which tea to drink to make you healthier, happier and slimmer! The 8 ways a brew can help

By Anna Mcgee For Healthista

Cuppas have long been claimed to fix anything and today is National Tea Day
Teas can help you to detox, boost your energy, and improve your mood
There are still teas you can drink even if you’re trying to cut out caffeine

Brits are known for reaching for a cup of tea to fix anything.

The phrase ‘tea and sympathy’ has even made it into the Macmillan dictionary as shorthand for providing support and kindness for someone who is upset or in trouble.

While the many benefits of black and green tea are well documented, from boosting metabolism to anti-ageing, herbal teas too, may also come with benefits.

They can help calm the nervous system to even assisting on energy levels, especially if they’re quality, well-sourced teas high inactive ingredients.


Just this week a leading scientist claimed that chamomile could even help manage diabetes.

The herbal beverage helps to manage people’s blood-sugar levels through its effects on carbohydrate digestion, said associate professor Richard Blackburn, who is head of the Sustainable Materials Research Group at the University of Leeds.

Indeed, common parlance aside, most of us know instinctively that a cup of tea really can help, whether you’re feeling sad, stressed, in need of a lift, celebrating a triumph and everything in between.

Herbal teas have a variety of benefits: hibiscus can lower your blood pressure, while marigold can help to ease stomach cramps +3
Herbal teas have a variety of benefits: hibiscus can lower your blood pressure, while marigold can help to ease stomach cramps

‘All teas are healthy,’ says Louise Cheadle, a tea taster (yes that is a thing and what a dream job) for cult tea brand Teapigs.

‘Black, green, white and oolong teas contain tea flavonoids which research shows have an antioxidant effect on the body and all teas are hydrating so they help increase water levels in the body’.

Moreover, she explains, ‘Herbal teas and rooibos teas have lots of different benefits and have been drunk for centuries in different countries in lots of different ways’.

It’s led the team at Healthista – being the total tea fanatics that we are – to celebrate National Tea Day on April 20th by asking the question: which tea-scription (tea prescription, get it?) can help which need?



What’s so great about green tea?
Scientific evidence of the benefits of green tea is not conclusive, but people drink it for a number of reasons and it is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine.

All teas are produced from the same type of plant, but the leaves are processed differently for different types.

The leaves are thought to contain more antioxidants than other types of tea.

It is thought that green tea makes you burn more calories thanks to its caffeine and catechins (antioxidants).

Drinking green tea can help to lower cholesterol; high cholesterol can cause heart problems.

One study showed that green tea was as good as mouthwash at preventing tooth decay.

You’ve probably heard enough about the health benefits of green tea by now, from heart health to anti-ageing. But one of its key benefits is for increasing metabolism.

A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea extract increases the metabolism by four percent over a 24 hour period. Three to five cups a day can help you burn an extra 70 calories a day, which adds up to seven pounds a year, 35 pounds for five years and 70 pounds for 10 years.

Green tea has also been shown to inhibit fat absorption — the movement of glucose into fat cells, support healthy glucose levels after eating a meal, prevent insulin spikes which prevent fat storage, and reduce appetite.


‘For increased energy and to help support the nervous system, liquorice is a great tea’, says Hay. Animal studies have shown it helps with fat metabolism and, according to Hay, it’s great before a workout because it provides energy.

Try: Trim from Teapigs, £3.99, which contains a potent mix of green tea and liquorice along with organic guarana which helps with energy production, focus and stimulates digestion.


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Whether taken as a juice, supplement or tea, beetroot is fast becoming a favourite of athletes because of its ability to promote nitric acid production in the body – essential for energy.

A review of studies recently found beetroot could help with High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and previous research has found it helps stamina too.


‘Hibiscus can help lower blood pressure and is a great liver tonic too,’ says Hay. ‘Liver health is essential to energy production.’

In Egypt, hibiscus tea known as Arkady is served both hot and cold over ice.

Try Upbeat Energy tea, £3.99, from Teapigs which contains beetroot, hibiscus, ginger and green tea and tastes super fruity and aromatic with a sweet edge (it’s gorgeous on ice too).



Its reputation as a medicinal plant that makes you snooze is well known and the fresh chamomile plant has a distinct apple-ish smell and its reputed benefits include strengthening the immune system, aiding digestion, calming nerves and easing stomach pains.

‘Along with being a great support for the nervous system, chamomile is also believed to help period pain,’ says Hay.


Not just for curries, lemongrass makes a delicious citrus-taste tea. Its herbal properties are centuries old and are commonly used in Indonesia and Malaysia by herbalists as a tonic to help combat depression and low mood.

‘Along with being great for mood, concentration and sleep, lemongrass is also a digestive tonic so great for eating,’ says Hay.

Try Calm Relaxing Tea from Teapigs, £3.99, which also contains valerian, a powerful herb used for helping promote calm with a clean, limey taste we love.



Herbal teas, including ginger, can help to calm your mood and detoxify the body +3
Herbal teas, including ginger, can help to calm your mood and detoxify the body

With thermogenic properties – meaning it helps heat the body – ginger can help digestion after eating and is sometimes used to calm an upset tummy.


Well known as a digestive tonic, dandelion helps stimulate the liver and gallbladder making it great for digestion and if you’ve been overdoing the fat or alcohol, says Hay.

‘The bitter qualities in dandelion are good for helping fluid retention so could help reduce bloating’.


‘This herb is a liver and digestive tonic that is also sometimes used for easing tummy cramps,’ says Rick Hay.

Try Clean N Green Detox tea from Teapigs, £3.99. Possibly the best green tea we have ever tasted (and we have tasted a lot of green teas), it contains ginger, marigold, green tea and dandelion as well lemongrass which gives it a refreshing, sweet taste, without a hint of the bitterness that you often get from regular green tea.


Yerba Mate

Even those who are trying to cut out the caffeine of a traditional cuppa can enjoy the benefits of herbal teas +3
Even those who are trying to cut out the caffeine of a traditional cuppa can enjoy the benefits of herbal teas

If you’ve ever If travelled to South America and Argentina in particular, you’ll see Yerba mate being drunk by just about everyone.

It’s drunk there to help maintain a healthy weight and for its stimulating properties, but Yerba mate is also thought combat fatigue, control the appetite, reduce stress and boost immunity. Is there anything this Latin super-tea (pronounced Yerba mah-tey) is not purported to do?

Try: Yerba Mate from Teapigs, £3.99, which tastes kind of like a smoky flavoured green tea.



This humble spice has been shown in numerous studies to help balance the blood sugar and is even suggested to people with diabetes for that purpose.

Along with its irresistible sweet taste, that means cinnamon can not only help keep mood steady, it could also help reduce sugar cravings. We love a cinnamon flavoured tea when the need for a 4 pm hit of caffeine, chocolate or both hits.


Quite the food of the moment, every day seems to deliver a new health benefit of this bright yellow spice. Most recently, researchers found turmeric could help mood and memory and previous research have shown it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Try Happy uplifting tea from Teapigs, £3.99, which contains cinnamon, turmeric as well as organic apple and lemon peel making the taste alone – fruity, spicy, citrusy – enough to put you in a better mood.

If you don’t like the taste of green tea but want the benefits

Genmaicha tea

Back in the day, green tea was rather expensive and too pricey for your average Japanese peasant so to make it go further, they would mix it with grains of toasted rice.

Now, it’s celebrated as a green tea in its own right, with all the benefits of green tea but with the most unbelievably irresistible nutty flavour and scent that tastes like liquid popcorn in a mug.

Try: Popcorn Tea from Teapigs, £4.99, (it’s not cheap but it is delish).

If you’re giving up Builder’s tea: Rooibos

Rooibos tea has been drunk by the bushmen of Africa for hundreds of years and it’s thought to ease headaches, nervous tension and insomnia. It also contains pheylpyretic acid which is thought to help skin conditions such as eczema.

If you’re trying to give up caffeine and love the hot, sweet milky comfort of a Builder’s brew, Rooibos with your choice of milk (we love it with almond milk) is your favourite fantastic caffeine free replacement.

It’s also thought to ease headaches, nervous tension and insomnia.

Try Honeybush and Rooibos Tea from Teapigs, £3.99, which contains honeybush, another South African wonder bush that has a slightly sweeter taste than regular rooibos and is super-high in vitamin C, calcium and magnesium and also totally caffeine free.

National Tea Day is 21-22 April.