If you need to lose weight, you can use the NHS weight loss plan. It’s a free 12-week diet and exercise plan to help you lose weight and develop healthier habits. Aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, including 1 portion of oily fish. Dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks, are also included in this food group.
High blood pressure increases the risk of developing some health problems, such as heart attack or stroke. The systolic pressure is the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats. The diastolic pressure is the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats. Ingredients added such as lactose and galactose are also considered to be free sugars. Interestingly, this is not due to fewer calories, as some people might assume.
A recent documentary titled Seaspiracy exposed how commercial fishing is contributing to the blight on the marine ecosystem. Sugar – it’s sweet, delicious and, when consumed as part of a balanced diet, is definitely not something to feel guilty about… Vitamins are a way of supplementing your diet, which people only tend to consider as health or age-related issues emerge. Animal Aid campaigns peacefully against all animal abuse, and promotes a cruelty-free lifestyle. Supplements containing long-chain omega-3 fats from microalgae are also available. Vitamin B12 is needed for healthy blood as well as our nervous system and immune system.
Plant-based diets are often portrayed as repetitive, bland and predominantly based on nut roasts. But this ignores the incredible variety of ingredients, cultures and cuisines that vegetarian and vegan diets can embrace. At NDPH’s Old Road Campus, this can be seen every day (in non-pandemic circumstances) at the Tulip Tree Café, which became the University of Oxford’s first meat-free café in March 2020. The menu includes a full English vegetarian breakfast, daily soups such as miso noodle broth, and main courses that include vegan spiced pulled oats and seitan cottage pie. Meat, particularly red meat, is rich in heme iron, a well-absorbed source of iron, lack of which can cause anaemia (a lack of red blood cells to transport oxygen to the body’s tissues). Plant-based sources of iron are less easily absorbed by the body compared with heme iron; in addition, phytate and tannin compounds present in plants can inhibit non-heme iron absorption.
As well as being very calorific, nuts are also high in fat, that latter fact largely explaining the former one. Fat has nine calories per gram, with protein and carbohydrates much lower at four calories per gram. Whilst many nuts are high in protein, they are also high in fat and whilst this tends to be a mix of healthier fats, it does mean that by weight nuts have a lot of calories. Eating high quantities of fibre may be the healthiest dietary option of them all and yet fibre is so often overlooked.
Educating yourself will help you to stay inspired and committed to follow a healthy plant-based diet. Plant-based meat alternatives, although largely processed, can make the transition easier. Depending on their current diet, some people adopt a plant-based diet overnight.
Meat and dairy are undeniably good sources of protein and other nutrients, but the NHS recommends cutting down on red meat and processed meat, because of the connection with bowel cancer. Saturated fat, abundant in some meat and cheese, is also linked to cardiovascular disease. Diet is a personal choice, and individuals should take into account the specific benefits and risks for them, ensuring they maintain adequate levels of macro- and micronutrients, besides a healthy weight.
These products may make the transition to a plant-based diet easier. But, ultimately the goal should be to consume a WFPB diet – which is made up of whole, unrefined, or minimally processed plant foods such as fruits, vegetables and nuts. It is worth mentioning that tofu, tempeh and whole grain flours and pastas are considered minimally processed and can be enjoyed as part of a healthy WFPB diet.