Elixir anti-gripe

Fight the Cold Elixir, by Megan Morris | 10.12.2016

Ingredientes:
  • um limão, cortado às rodelas;
  • um pedaço de gengibre, com cerca de 10 g, descascado e finamente cortado;
  • uma colher (chá) de açafrão das índias em pó;
  • um pau de canela ou uma colher (chá) de canela;
  • 1/4 colher (chá) de pimenta cayenne;
  • uma pitada de pimenta preta moída;
  • uma ou duas colheres (sopa) de mel;
  • quatro a seis chávenas de água.

Modo de preparação:
Coloque todos os ingredientes, com excepção do mel, numa panela. Aqueça até ferver, diminua o calor e deixe cozinhar durante 10 minutos.
Desligue o fogo, quando arrefecer um pouco adicione o mel.
Coloque num termos e beba ao longo do dia.

Fonte e imagem: http://prescribe-nutrition.com/fight-the-cold-elixir/

Seis ideias de marmitas saudáveis e ‘low cost’


por Rute Gonçalves Marques, 5 de Outubro, 2015

"Conheça as ideias de receitas saudáveis e 'low cost' das chefes Justa Nobre e Mafalda Pinto Leite para levar na marmita, para o trabalho ou escola.

Seis Ideias de marmitas saudáveis e ‘low cost’ para levar para o trabalho
Em 2012, 40% das famílias portuguesas levavam comida para o trabalho. Em 2009, a percentagem era de apenas 29%, segundo um estudo da Kantar Worldpanel, lançado em 2013. Este aumento deve-se à crise económica, que “obrigou” os portugueses a repensarem os seus hábitos. E uma das principais mudanças passou por deixar de almoçar fora todos os dias e levar comida para consumir no local de trabalho. Seis dicas para ter uma alimentação ‘low cost’ saudável
As vantagens são muitas. Evita o desperdício alimentar, come melhor e, muito importante, poupa dinheiro. Muitos portugueses já fizeram as contas. Se não é o seu caso, faça o seguinte exercício: uma pessoa que costuma ir almoçar fora todos os dias e gasta em média sete euros. Ao final do mês (20 dias úteis), gasta 140 euros. Se passar a levar almoço para o trabalho durante quatro dias da semana, passa a gastar apenas 28 euros em refeições fora, o que dá uma poupança de 112 euros mensais. Ao final de 12 meses pode representar 1.344 euros, ou seja, o suficiente para fazer umas férias de sonho ou então aumentar o bolo da poupança. Leia o artigo: Cinco formas de diminuir o desperdício alimentar em sua casa
Levar a marmita para o trabalho é um hábito que muitas vezes tem de ser trabalhado e planeado, para não correr o risco de estar sempre a levar uma lata de atum com o resto do arroz do dia anterior. Se está a ficar sem ideias de refeições saborosas para levar para o trabalho, o Saldo Positivo pediu a duas ‘chefs’ – Justa Nobre e Mafalda Pinto Leite – para darem ideias de receitas saudáveis, simples de confecionar e ‘low cost’. Como poupar nas compras de supermercado


Mafalda Pinto Leite

1. Caril de grão com arroz de couve-flor (4 pessoas)
Ingredientes
Caril
– 2 colheres de sopa de azeite
– 1 cebola picada
– 2 dentes de alho esmagados
– 2 colheres de sopa de gengibre picado
– 2 colheres de sopa de caril em pó
– 1 colher de chá de açafrão-das-índias
– 1 lata de tomate pelado
– 1 lata grande de grão-de-bico
– 4 ramas de acelgas cortadas em tiras ou 2 mãos-cheias de espinafres bebé
– 1 lata de leite de coco
– 2 colheres de sopa de sumo de lima
– 1/2 chávena de coentros picados
– chutney de manga (opcional)

Como preparar
Aqueça o azeite numa panela média em lume médio. Junte a cebola e salteie por 5 minutos ou até começar a ficar caramelizada. Junte o alho e o gengibre, e cozinhe, mexendo por uns segundos. Junte o caril e o açafrão. Misture por 1 minuto.
Adicione os tomates e o suco, e esmague com um garfo. Junte o grão e misture bem. Tempere a gosto com sal. Deixe levantar fervura, tape e deixe cozinhar por 10 minutos. Retire a tampa e junte as acelgas ou os espinafres. Cozinhe até murcharem. Adicione o leite de coco e o sumo de lima. Prove e ajuste o tempero. Retire do lume e junte os coentros. Enquanto isso, faça o arroz de couve-flor.

Ingredientes
Arroz
– 2 chávenas de pedaços de couve-flor
– 2 colheres de sopa de azeite
– 1 dente de alho esmagado
– sumo de 1/2 limão

Como preparar
Coloque uma panela com água e uma pitada de sal ao lume. Quando levantar fervura junte a couve-flor. Deixe borbulhar por 3 minutos. Retire do lume e passe por água fria, escorra e seque muito bem com um pano de cozinha. Coloque a couve-flor num robot e bata somente até obter pedaços pequenos que se assemelhem a arroz (se bater de mais, vai ficar como puré).
Entretanto, aqueça o azeite numa frigideira grande em lume médio. Junte o alho e deixe fritar por um minuto. Adicione a couve-flor e cozinhe, mexendo por 5 minutos até começar a dourar. Prove e tempere a gosto com sal.

2. Crepes de trigo-sarraceno com recheio de ricotta e espinafres (4 pessoas)
Ingredientes
Crepes
– 2 ovos batidos
– 600 ml de leite de amêndoa ou do que mais gostar
– 2 chávenas de trigo-sarraceno

Recheio
– 2 colheres de sopa de azeite
– 1 cebola picada
– 1 alho esmagado
– 2 mãos-cheias de espinafres bebé
– 2 mãos-cheias de cogumelos fatiados
– 1 embalagem de ricotta
– 4 ramos de cebolinho picado
– manteiga q.b.

Como preparar
Comece por fazer os crepes. Misture os ovos e o leite. Junte a farinha, o sal e a pimenta. Incorpore até obter uma mistura sem grumos. Tape com um pano de cozinha até necessitar.
Para fazer o recheio, aqueça o azeite numa frigideira grande em lume médio-alto. Junte a cebola e cozinhe por 2 minutos. Junte o alho e deixe cozinhar mexendo por 1 minuto. Adicione os cogumelos e espinafres, cozinhe por 6 minutos ou até a mistura começar a murchar. Tempere a gosto com sal e pimenta. Retire do lume e coloque numa tigela. Incorpore a ‘ricotta’ e o cebolinho.
Volte aos crepes. Para os cozinhar, aqueça 1 colher de chá de manteiga numa frigideira grande em lume médio. Deite ¼ de chávena da massa de crepes, virando a frigideira de maneira a cobrir a base e a fazer um crepe fino. Deixe cozinhar por um a dois minutos ou até começar a dourar. Vire e cozinhe por mais 1 minuto. Vire para um prato enquanto repete o processo para a restante massa. Para servir, recheie os crepes com a mistura de espinafres e cogumelos. Acompanhe com uma salada, se desejar.


3. Hambúrgueres de grão e quinoa (10 pessoas)
Ingredientes:
– 1 lata grande de grão-de-bico
– 1 colher de chá de pasta de pimentão
– 2 colheres de sopa de coentros picados
– raspa de 1 lima
– 1 chávena de quinoa cozinhada
– 1 ovo
– 1/4 chávena de aveia moída
– 2 colheres de sopa de azeite ou óleo de coco

Molho
– 1 chávena de iogurte grego natural
– 2 dentes de alho esmagados
– raspa de lima

Como cozinhar quinoa
– 1 chávena de quinoa, bem lavada
– 2 chávenas de água

Aqueça uma panela média em lume médio. Junte a quinoa e deixe saltear por 1 minuto, mexendo, só para secar. Junte a água e tempere com sal a gosto. Deixe levantar fervura. Tape e baixe o lume. Cozinhe por 15 minutos, sem destapar. Quando decorrido este tempo, tire do lume e deixe ficar por mais 5 minutos, sem abrir.

Para os hambúrgueres:
Coloque o grão, pasta de pimentão e coentros num robot. Pique até obter uma pasta. Vire para uma tigela e junte a raspa e sumo de lima, quinoa, ovo e aveia. Tempere a gosto com sal e pimenta. Misture, delicadamente até ficar tudo bem incorporado. Divida a mistura em 10 pedaços e forme os hambúrgueres. Se desejar pode guardar no frigorífico até necessitar.
Aqueça o azeite numa frigideira grande em lume médio alto. Cozinhe os hambúrgueres por 2 minutos de cada lado ou até ficarem dourados. Retire do lume e deixe secar num prato forrado com papel de cozinha.
Entretanto faça o molho. Misture todos os ingredientes. Tempere a gosto com sal. Se desejar polvilhe com coentros picados.


Justa Nobre

4. Quiche de cebola e linguiça
Ingredientes
– Q.b. Massa quebrada (receita da massa aqui: http://oishii-ideias.blogspot.pt/2017/07/massa-de-tarte.html)
– 1 dl Azeite
– 150 gr Cebolas
– 150 gr Linguiça
– 150 gr Bacon
– 6 Ovos grandes
– 2 dl Leite
– 40 gr Farinha
– q.b. Sal, pimenta e noz-moscada
– 3 dl Natas

Como preparar
Forre uma tarteira com a massa moldando-a bem. Refogue no azeite as cebolas em meias-luas fininhas, juntamente com o bacon em cubos pequenos e a linguiça às rodelas fininhas. Retirar do lume. Numa taça bata os ovos, com a farinha, o leite e as natas. Junte o preparado da cebola. Tempere de sal, pimenta e noz-moscada. Verta o preparado para a tarteira ou tarteiras individuais. Levar ao forno a 160ºC durante mais ou menos 25 minutos. Serve-se com salada de tomate e orégãos.

5. Creme de couve flor e ervilhas
Ingredientes
250gr Ervilhas
350gr Couve-flor
150gr Cebola
1 Dente de alho
1,5dl Azeite
1,5l Caldo de galinha
500ml Leite
100gr Bacon em cubos pequenos
1 Ovo cozido
Q.B. Manjericão
Q.B. Sal, pimenta e noz-moscada

Como preparar
Numa panela coloque o azeite, junte a cebola, o alho e a couve-flor e deixe refogar. Adicione o caldo de galinha e deixe cozer durante 10 min. Junta-se o leite, as ervilhas, sal, pimenta e noz moscada. Quando as ervilhas estiverem cozidas, triture muito bem a sopa e passe por um passador de rede, para que fique um creme bem aveludado.
Leve a sopa ao frigorifico. Frite o bacon em cubos pequeninos até ficar crocante, sem queimar. Sirva a sopa e no meio coloque uma colher de bacon frito e o ovo ralado. Enfeite com o manjericão.


6. Grão-de-bico estufado com espinafres e requeijão esfarelado
Ingredientes
½ Kg Grão-de-bico cozido
150gr Espinafres congelados
150gr Requeijão magro
½ dl Azeite
1 Dente de Alho
1 Folha de Louro
1 Pé de Tomilho
1 Copo de água
Q.B. Sal
Q.B. Pimenta

Como preparar
Forre o fundo de um tacho com azeite, adicione a cebola picada, o alho picado, a folha de louro, o tomilho, o grão-de-bico e o copo de água. Tempere com um pouco de sal e pimenta e deixe estufar por 5 minutos. Junte os espinafres, misture tudo muito bem e deixe cozinhar por mais 2 minutos. Na hora de servir polvilhe com o requeijão esfarelado."


PAD THAI

"Stir-fried noodles and vegetables with a spicy, slightly sweet flavour.

SERVES 4
PREP10 minutes
COOK 15 minutes

Ingredients
250g dried rice noodles
2 tsp rapeseed oil
6 spring onions, chopped at angle in 1cm pieces
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3cm fresh ginger, grated
1 Thai chilli, finely sliced
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 courgette, cut into sticks
100g frozen broad beans
100g baby pak choi, leaves separated
200g beansprouts
75g canned pineapple, drained, chopped small
1 tbsp reduced-salt, gluten-free soy sauce
juice 1 lime
15g chopped coriander
50g unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped and toasted
1 lime cut into wedges 

Method
Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, around 3-5 minutes. Plunge them into cold water, drain and reserve.
Heat the oil in a large pan or wok. Add the spring onions and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
Add the red pepper and courgette, stir-fry for another minute add the broad beans and pak choy. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
Add the noodles, stir-fry for 2 minutes and add the beansprouts, pineapple, soy sauce and lime juice. Stir-fry for a further 2 minutes and add the coriander.
Put into a bowl, top with the peanuts and lime wedges.

Chef's tips
For a side dish, cut half a cucumber into ribbons with a vegetable peeler and add fresh coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime.To add more protein to this dish, use soya beans in place of broad beans or add some tofu".

AUBERGINE STUFFED WITH TOFU, MUSHROOMS AND BORLOTTI BEANS

"Aubergines baked with herby tomatoes, beans and vegetables, topped with tofu to make a satisfying main meal.

SERVES 4
PREP 25 minutes
COOK 55-60 minutes

Ingredients
2 aubergines, halved lengthways (500g)
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 onion, finely chopped (120g)
320g mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 heaped tsp dried oregano
1 400g tin borlotti beans, drained (240g)
1 x 80g bag fresh spinach
360g pack tofu, diced small
half ball reduced-fat Mozzarella (62g), thinly sliced
1 fresh tomato (80g) chopped small
2 spring onions (50g) chopped
8 fresh basil leaves, torn

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4.
Scoop the flesh out of the aubergines, chop, and reserve. Place the aubergine skin-side down onto a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add oil to a pan, then add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and chopped aubergine flesh, then cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, canned tomatoes and oregano, mix well, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Next, add the borlotti beans and spinach and cook for 2 minutes.
Remove the aubergines from the oven and fill with the bean and vegetable mixture, then place in an ovenproof dish.
Scatter with tofu, return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Top with the sliced mozzarella and bake for a further 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and scatter with chopped tomato, spring onion and basil to serve.

Chef's tips
Once the aubergines are stuffed, you can pop them in the fridge, and bake when as needed.Use a non-dairy cheese alternative for a vegan version".

AFGHAN SALAD

"Also known as Salata. This refreshing and colourful tomato, carrot and onion salad is light and crunchy.

SERVE 4
PREP 15 minutes

Ingredients
2-3 large tomatoes, finely chopped (260g)
50g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
20g fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 lemon, juice and finely grated zest
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
good pinch pepper
1 large red onion, finely diced (180g)
half cucumber, finely diced (160g)
2 large carrots, grated (250g)

Method
Add the tomatoes to a bowl with the coriander, mint, lemon juice, olive oil and pepper and mix well.
Add the red onion, cucumber and carrot. Mix well and serve.

Chef's tips
Try with different herbs such as parsley, basil or dill.Serve with grilled meat, fish or poultry.Great as part of a buffet or for a packed lunch".

FRUITY FRENCH TOAST

"SERVES 2
PREP 10 minutes
COOK 10 minutes

Ingredients
1 tbsp water
100g frozen mixed berries
1 apple, peeled and grated
2 free-range eggs
1 tbsp skimmed milk
2 thick slices wholemeal bread, cut in half diagonally
1 tsp sunflower oil

Method
Place the water and frozen fruit into a pan and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until they are warmed through. Stir in the apple and remove from heat.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs and milk together, then soak the bread slices in the egg mixture for 2-3 minutes. Turn the bread a couple of times to make sure all the liquid has been absorbed.
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the slices of bread, and cook gently. Turn the bread a couple of times until golden brown on both sides. This should take about 8 minutes in total.
Serve topped with the fruit.

Chef's tips
You can use any fruits you like for the topping - pears and blackberries are especially tasty.Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg for extra flavour.You can also make a savoury version with grilled mushrooms or tomatoes in place of fruit."

Fonte e imagem: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Recipes/Fruity-French-toast-/

APPLE AND RAISIN CHELSEA BUNS

"MAKES 16
PREP 30 minutes + 90 minutes rising
COOK 20-25 minutes + 15 minutes for filling

Ingredients
250g wholemeal flour
200g plain flour
20g caster sugar
7g sachet fast-acting yeast
50ml rapeseed oil (reserve 2 tsp to oil bowl and baking sheet)
1 egg, beaten
200ml milk, warmed to lukewarm (reserve dash to brush buns)
1 tsp honey

For the filling:
2 dessert apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1 tbsp water
2 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
2–3 tsp granulated sweetener
70g raisins

Method
Mix the wholemeal and plain flour with the sugar and yeast. Make a well in the middle.
Add the oil, egg and half the milk. Mix well, gradually adding the rest of the milk until it comes together as a dough.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for five minutes until it becomes elastic. Place into an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 1 hour to double in size.
Meanwhile, make the filling: add the apples to a pan with the water, cover and cook for 10 minutes over a low to medium heat, mashing with a fork occasionally until they are a soft pulp. Remove from the heat and add the cinnamon, sweetener and raisins. Mix well, cover and leave to cool.
‘Knock back’ the dough by shaping to its original size, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a rectangle, ½cm thick (approximately 48x30cm).
Spread the apple/raisin mixture over the dough, leaving a 2–3cm margin along the longest top edge.
Tightly roll the dough into a cylinder with the seam on the bottom, then cut into 16 pieces approximately 3cm thick.
Place the buns onto a lightly oiled baking sheet, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C /gas 4.
Brush the buns with the milk and bake for 20–25 minutes until risen and golden. Remove from the oven, brush with honey and allow to cool.

Chef's tips
You could use sultanas, currants or a mixture of dried fruit.Try adding some grated lemon or orange zest to the filling or use mixed spice in place of cinnamon".

APPLE CHARLOTTE

"SERVES 4
PREP TIME 10 minutes
COOK TIME 20 minutes

Ingredients
3 unpeeled apples, cored and grated
200ml apple juice
1 tbsp molasses sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
dash sunflower oil
4–5 slices wholemeal bread, crusts removed
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4. Add the apples to a saucepan with 100ml of apple juice and simmer until soft (4-5 minutes). Leaving the juice behind, place the apples in a bowl.
Add the molasses, sugar and cinnamon to the pan with the remaining 100ml of apple juice and gently melt the sugar, adding a little more juice if needed. Allow to cool, you should end up with around 100ml of syrup.
Rub the sunflower oil around a small pudding basin or ovenproof dish. Dip the bread in the apple syrup and use it to line the basin. Make sure there are no gaps.
Stir the egg yolk into the apple, then put the mixture into the bread-lined bowl.
Finally, top with more syrup-soaked bread and spoon on any remaining liquid. Bake for 20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes and if the top is very brown at the edges, place a piece of foil over it for the last 5 minutes.
Allow to stand for a few minutes, loosen the edges with a knife and carefully turn out onto a serving plate.

Chef's tips
Best served straight after cooking.Try serving with a little low-fat yogurt or half-fat crème fraiche."

APPLE STRUDEL

"SERVES 6
PREP 15 minutes
COOK 40 minutes

Ingredients
4 medium apples, unpeeled, cored and chopped
2 tbsp water
25g sultanas
25g dried apricots, chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp granulated sweetener
grated zest 1 orange
3 sheets filo pastry
7 squirts spray oil

Method
Preheat the oven 180°C/gas mark 4.
Add the apples to a pan with the water, cover, then simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring regularly until just soft.
Add the sultanas, apricot, cinnamon, almond essence and half the sweetener. Mix well and set aside.
Place a layer of pastry on a board and spray with two squirts of oil, then sprinkle with a third of the remaining sweetener. Lay another piece of pastry on top and repeat with two more sprays of oil and another third of the sweetener. Finally, repeat with the last sheet of pastry, oil and remaining sweetener.
Spread the apple mixture over three-quarters of the pastry, leaving the top quarter free, then sprinkle with orange zest.
Fold the top length of pastry over the apple mixture and roll the strudel over to completely cover the filling. Fold in the edges to prevent the filling from leaking out and roll the strudel over again, so the fold is at the bottom. Place on a baking sheet and spray with oil.
Heat in the oven for 20–25 minutes, until the pastry is lightly browned.
Serve with a dollop of yogurt, or non-dairy soya alternative, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Chef's tips
Try using pears in place of apples, or adding a few blueberries or blackberries".

MINI BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

"MAKES 10 pancakes
PREP 5 minutes
COOK 15–20 minutes

Ingredients
200g wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 medium egg, beaten
250ml skimmed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g fresh blueberries
2 tsp sunflower oil

Method
Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat together the egg, milk and vanilla extract.
Make a well in the middle of the flour, then gradually stir in the egg and milk mixture until you get a smooth batter. Ideally, leave the batter to stand for a few minutes before cooking.
Lightly crush half the blueberries with a fork and mix these into the batter, along with the remaining (whole) blueberries.
Add a little oil to a non-stick pan, then add the batter to the pan, 1 tbsp at a time, to create small pancakes, making sure the blueberries are evenly distributed.
Cook the pancakes on a medium heat for 2–3 minutes, then turn and cook for a further 2 minutes. The pancakes are ready to turn when you see bubbles appearing on the surface. Sprinkle with a little sugar before serving, if using. Serve with some low-fat yogurt or low-fat crème fraiche, if liked.

Chef's tips
You should be able to cook 3–4 pancakes at a time, depending on pan size, but it’s a good idea to just cook one pancake first to check the pan isn’t too hot or too cool.Keep the first batch of pancakes warm by placing on a plate over a pan of gently simmering water.Freezing instructions: Defrost for 2 hours, or defrost/warm in the microwave or a moderate oven".

Eight tips for healthy eating

"These eight practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating, and can help you make healthier choices.


The key to a healthy diet is to:
  • Eat the right amount of calories for how active you are, so that you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use. If you eat or drink too much, you'll put on weight. If you eat and drink too little, you'll lose weight. 
  • Eat a wide range of foods to ensure that you're getting a balanced diet and that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.
It is recommended that men have around 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules). Women should have around 2,000 calories a day (8,400 kilojoules). Most adults are eating more calories than they need, and should eat fewer calories.

Base your meals on starchy carbohydrates

Starchy carbohydrates should make up just over one third of the food you eat. They include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals.
Choose wholegrain varieties (or eat potatoes with their skins on) when you can: they contain more fibre, and can help you feel full for longer.
Most of us should eat more starchy foods: try to include at least one starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the calories of fat.
Keep an eye on the fats you add when you're cooking or serving these types of foods because that's what increases the calorie content, for example oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy sauces on pasta.

Eat lots of fruit and veg

It's recommended that we eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day. It's easier than it sounds.
Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit?
Unsweetened 100% fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies can only ever count as a maximum of one portion of your 5 A DAY. For example, if you have two glasses of fruit juice and a smoothie in one day, that still only counts as one portion. 

Eat more fish – including a portion of oily fish

Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week, including at least one portion of oily fish. Oily fish contains omega-3 fats, which may help to prevent heart disease. 
Oily fish include:
  • salmon
  • mackerel
  • trout
  • herring
  • fresh tuna
  • sardines
  • pilchards.
Non-oily fish include:
  • haddock
  • plaice
  • coley
  • cod
  • canned tuna
  • skate
  • hake
If you regularly eat a lot of fish, try to choose as wide a variety as possible.
You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned: but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.

Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

Saturated fat in our diet
We all need some fat in our diet, but it's important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat we're eating. There are two main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.
The average man should have no more than 30g saturated fat a day. The average woman should have no more than 20g saturated fat a day, and children should have less than adults.
Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as:
  • hard cheese
  • cakes
  • biscuits
  • sausages
  • cream
  • butter
  • lard
  • pies.
Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake, and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados.
For a healthier choice, use just a small amount of vegetable oil or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee. When you're having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat. 
Sugar in our diet
Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay.
Sugary foods and drinks, including alcoholic drinks, are often high in energy (measured in kilojoules or calories), and if eaten too often, can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.
Many packaged foods and drinks contain surprisingly high amounts of free sugars. Free sugars are any sugars added to foods or drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices.
Cut down on:
  • sugary fizzy drinks
  • alcoholic drinks
  • sugary breakfast cereals
  • cakes
  • biscuits
  • pastries
These foods contain added sugars: this is the kind of sugar we should be cutting down on, rather than sugars that are found in things such as fruit and milk.
Food labels can help: use them to check how much sugar foods contain. More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g means that the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means that the food is low in sugar.

Eat less salt – no more than 6g a day for adults

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.
Even if you don’t add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much. About three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces.
Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt. Adults and children over 11 should eat no more than 6g of salt (about a teaspoonful) a day. Younger children should have even less.

Get active and be a healthy weight

Eating a healthy, balanced diet plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy weight, which is an important part of overall good health.
Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Being underweight could also affect your health.
Check whether you're a healthy weight by using our Healthy weight calculator.
Most adults need to lose weight, and need to eat fewer calories to do this. If you're trying to lose weight, aim to eat less and be more active. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help: aim to cut down on foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar, and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Don't forget that alcohol is also high in calories, so cutting down can help you to control your weight. 
Physical activity can help you to maintain weight loss or be a healthy weight. Being active doesn't have to mean hours at the gym: you can find ways to fit more activity into your daily life. For example, try getting off the bus one stop early on the way home from work, and walking.
Being physically active may help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. For more ideas, see Get active your way.
After getting active, remember not to reward yourself with a treat that is high in energy. If you feel hungry after activity, choose foods or drinks that are lower in calories, but still filling.
If you're underweight, see our page on underweight adults. If you're worried about your weight, ask your GP or a dietitian for advice.

Don't get thirsty

We need to drink plenty of fluids to stop us getting dehydrated – the government recommends 6-8 glasses every day. 
This is in addition to the fluid we get from the food we eat. All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water and lower-fat milk are healthier choices. 
Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks that are high in added sugars and calories, and are also bad for teeth. 
Even unsweetened fruit juice and smoothies are high in free sugar. Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day – which is a small glass.
For example, if you have 150ml of orange juice and 150ml smoothie in one day, you'll have exceeded the recommendation by 150ml.
When the weather is warm, or when we get active, we may need more fluids.

Don't skip breakfast

Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight. In fact, research shows that people who regularly eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight.
Breakfast has also been shown to have positive effects on children’s mental performance and increase their concentration throughout the morning.
healthy breakfast is an important part of a balanced diet, and provides some of the vitamins and minerals we need for good health.
wholegrain, lower-sugar cereal with fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and nutritious breakfast.

More information

  • To help you get the right balance of the five main food groups, take a look at the Eatwell Guide. To maintain a healthy diet, the Eatwell Guide shows you how much of what you eat should come from each food group. It's important to have only small amounts of foods high in fat and/or sugar.
  • Learn how to have a balanced diet, and read about the energy contained in food in our page on understanding calories.
  • Download Losing weight: Getting started, a 12-week weight loss guide that combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity".