I write on food & health for newspapers, websites & magazines in the UK and US. I also do nutritional analysis & medical writing. I'm a registered nutritionist.
Coconut oil has more saturated fat than butter – and a single tablespoon has more than half of the recommended daily limit for women (Credit: Getty Images)
You’ll almost certainly be having more saturated fat than the officially recommended amount if you’re doing one of the popular low carbohydrate regimens, like the keto or paleo diet, or if you’re following the trend of spooning a butter or fat into your coffee each morning. Eat much more than 100g of fatty meat, pastries, or cheese each da...
How porridge got posh: With a growing number of oat products claiming greater health benefits, we look at how the breakfast staple has improved... but is it any better for you?
If there were a prize for the healthiest breakfast, humble porridge would win. Oats provide slow-release carbs that give us energy, B vitamins for a healthy nervous system, and beta glucan, a type of fibre that keeps 'bad' cholesterol levels in check.
'We need at least 3g of beta glucan a day to get the cholesterol-lowering benefits,' says Derbyshire-based dietian Helen Bond.
'A bowl of porridge made with 50g of oats [4 tbsp, an adult portion] provides 1.9g.'
A serving prepared with 300ml sem...
Most of us aren’t, which is a big concern for our health. Here’s how you can up your daily intake
Since the F-Plan diet in the 1980s, and the days when it was known as ‘roughage’, we’ve learnt a lot more about fibre and its importance to health. Apart from helping keep us ‘regular’, aiding digestion and preventing constipation, a high-fibre diet has been linked to a lower risk of stroke, heart disease and bowel cancer, so it’s vital to get the message out there that fibre is seriously importa...
So when is frozen or tinned better than fresh? From fruit and veg to fish and meat, as our expert dietitian reveals, the answers may surprise you...
Canned and frozen foods tend to be seen as less nutritious than fresh versions — but that’s not always the case.
According to a recent Which? report, frozen and canned foods may contain more nutrients, as well as being less wasteful since they don’t go off before you’ve had a chance to use them.
‘Though, in theory, fruit and veg fresh from the field are the most nutritious, as the vitamins and minerals are all intact (they decline naturally over time), this might not be the case after produce...
Fake meat really CAN be a treat: From porkless sausages and 'facon' to beef-free burgers, we taste-tested some of the leading veggie foods on the shelves
Almost two-thirds of Britons now choose to eat meat substitutes, up from half two years ago, research shows.
And supermarkets are catching on and stocking up: almost one in four new food products on supermarket shelves last year was vegan, according to consumer research company Mintel.
And it seems the real aim is to produce a meat alternative that's as close to the real thing in taste and texture, in order to appeal to those who have given up meat or reduced their intake for health and envir...
Can a snack bar ever replace a proper meal? As more and more convenience products claim they’re a healthy, easy way to fill you up our expert assesses a selection of bars and shakes
Meal replacement shakes are no longer the preserve of slimmers. Now, there’s a new range of bars and shakes that cater to the general population, claiming to give you all the nutrients you need for a balanced, convenient meal.
So how healthy are they? Helen Bond, a dietitian from Derbyshire says they are ‘okay’ as an occasional meal when you’re busy, but should not be relied upon regularly.
‘Only a truly balanced diet with real food can provide the wide range of nutrients we need,’ she explai...
Don't buy into the superfood hype... but eating right CAN reduce your risk of dementia: The Mediterranean diet helps keep you trim - and protects the brain (and no, you don't have to give up red meat or puddings)
As a nutritionist, perhaps I’m more acutely aware than most of the often overblown claims made for ‘brain boosting’ foods and supplements. Take oily fish: fantastic, tasty, super-healthy, it almost goes without saying. But browse online and you’ll find no end of articles claiming that eating salmon, mackerel and sardines helps ‘support brain function’ amid other claims.
Sounds great. Problem is, there’s no good evidence for it. In fact, last year a study of more than 8,000 adults revealed tha...
Look away Jamie! The new Turkey Twizzlers really ARE healthier as family favourites from Coco Pops to Lucozade are reformulated to be better for us
Has there ever been a more maligned food than the Turkey Twizzler? More than a decade ago, these corkscrew-shaped turkey sausage creations were singled out by TV chef Jamie Oliver in his campaign to improve school dinners – and shamed for containing just 34 per cent meat.
The rest was a concoction of flavourings, sugar, rusk – a wheat-based bulking product – water and fat, which made up more than a fifth of each Twizzler.
Oliver filmed a series in which he terrified children by showing the 'g...
Good news! The chemicals on your fruit and veg aren't as scary as you think despite a damning new report on pesticide use
From horse meat in beef burgers to the threat of chlorinated chicken, Britain has had its fair share of food scares over the past decade.
According to data from the Food Standards Agency, a third of us now have serious concerns about the safety of what we eat. Top of that list of concerns are pesticides – used in commercial food production to increase yields by killing pests and strangling weeds.
A damning new report by Britain’s leading food and farming organisation, the Soil Association, sa...
Can 'fizzy' milk really keep your gut fighting fit? Kefir is the miracle drink that some experts say helps you fight off disease AND lose weight
The sharp tang of kefir may not be to everyone's taste, but the fermented milk drink has a growing legion of fans, as it flies off the shelves.
Tesco, for example, reported a 400 per cent increase in sales in the 18 months to February this year. Kefir, available in dairy and non-dairy versions, is high in the 'good' bacteria thought to contribute to improved gut health, reducing the risk of disease and supporting weight loss.
It is a source of nutrients such as vitamins A, B, K and calcium. A...
How to keep the weight off in your lockdown bake-off: Try our tips for making cakes and sweet treats slightly healthier
While in lockdown many of us are whiling away the boredom by baking, but there's a risk that the fruits of our labour will end up around our waist, while excess sugar and saturated fat can contribute to unhealthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
There are ways to make cakes and bakes slightly healthier, however, such as using stewed apple or yoghurt instead of butter. Portion size is also key. 'With cake, stick to a portion the size of your index and middle finger together,' says dietitian...
Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper is an old nutritional adage that at first glance would seemingly be supported by a recent study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
But though the study made some interesting findings it certainly didn’t warrant the slew of overblown headlines that came with it …. “Wait, What? Study Shows Eating a Big Breakfast Can Lead to Weight Loss”
The findings of the study? The men’s...
Acai breakfast bowls are available in every trendy smoothie and juice bar, but if you haven’t partaken in this particular superfood fad yet, you haven’t missed out. Turns out acai bowls don’t actually make a healthy start to the day after all.
Which is a healthier breakfast: a “superfood” acai bowl or THREE bowls of Froot Loops with skim milk? (Note that the recommended portion for Froot Loops is 1 cup or 29 grams.)
If it seems like a trick question, it’s not, at least inasmuch as the nutriti...
Last November, the government moved cannabis-based medicinal products out of Schedule 1 into Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations, meaning they can now legally be prescribed. However, conflicting advice from different authorities, sourcing difficulties and a lack of guidelines have meant that few patients have so far been able to access these medicines.
Read the full article.
The real food miles! No, not how far your restaurant meal has travelled, but how far you’d have to walk to burn off the calories
For anyone watching their weight, eating out can be a minefield — even seemingly virtuous dishes can be laced with calories, fat and sugar.
While some restaurants print at least some nutritional information clearly on the menu, others keep it hidden away on a website — or don’t provide it at all.
It’s an issue that was highlighted last month when the campaign group Action on Sugar reported on the astonishing amount of calories and sugar in some pancakes, waffles and pretzels on restaurant bre...