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November 5, 2019

Inflammation is your body's immune response and its way of protecting itself against illnesses and injuries. 

However, persistent inflammation is when the body doesn't stop the immune response, putting a strain on the body and causing problems. Chronic inflammation is linked to an increased risk of conditions such as obesity, type II diabetes and heart disease.

Thankfully, practising a prudent approach to health can help, such as regular dental checks, undertaking moderate exercise, taking the full dose of antibiotics to prevent prolonged infection and consuming an anti-inflammatory diet.

Foods that should be avoided include:

- Sugar (e.g. anything ending with '-ose', any kind of syrup, honey)

- Processed carbohydrates (e.g. white bread, biscuits, chips, crisps)

- Processed meats (e.g. poor-quality bacon and sausages)

- Vegetable and seed oils (including margarine)

- Trans-fats (e.g. foods containing partially hydrogenated ingredients)

- Excessive alcohol consumption

Following a minima...

January 27, 2019

You can check your blood pressure at the chemist or in many GP waiting rooms in the UK. If you are 140/90 - this is defined as having hypertension or high blood pressure. 

If you have high blood pressure you need to:

- eat less processed/ultra-processed foods (see my blog on this subject)

- reduce sugar and salt consumption

- exercise more (in particular walking, cycling, swimming and avoiding higher-intensity

  exercises such as HIIT, running and heavy weights)

- include beetroots, pomegranates, avocados, bananas, kiwis and oranges to your

  diet, as these can help to keep your blood vessels healthy and help to lower blood

  pressure

- eat a high fibre diet, consuming plenty of vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds and

  wholegrains

- consider taking an omega-3 and magnesium as a supplement in addition to improving

  your diet 

There is a great BBC Radio 4 programme covering this topic and I recommend you have a listen here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0001xtr

October 20, 2018

The 'It' word these days is Protein. I see it dotted about all over packaging in the supermarkets right now - even in the confectionery aisle.

So does this mean that chocolate bars give you muscles and keep you fuller for longer? Unfortunately not. This is often products packaged in shiny new ways, where food manufacturers use (or abuse?) nutritional information to make their products more appealing, or adapt their recipes to adhere to UK labelling laws.  Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!

In the UK, manufacturers have to follow certain rules in order to make health claims, such as 'source of protein' or 'high in protein'. For the former, this claim can only be made where at least 12% of the energy value (i.e. kilojoules/kilocalories) of the food is provided by protein. For a product to be high in protein, at least 20% of the kilojoules/kilocalories have to be provided by protein. 

So this is what you need to think about:

- What is the source of protein being used?

- Is it n...

April 20, 2018

I was asked about bloating this week on BBC Radio Leeds and due to time pressures of live radio, I couldn’t delve deeper into this subject, so I thought I would expand further on this subject (pardon the pun). 

Bloating is that uncomfortable full feeling that just makes us want to lie down and hope it will pass, sometimes literally, very soon. It can make your stomach swell and for some people, it can be very painful. Studies have found that up to one-third of the general population can experience bloating and this rises up to 90% for those people who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Bloating can be associated with some health problems, but for many, it is usually as a result of the foods we are eating or food intolerances.

So, how do you beat the bloat?

  • Take your time when you are eating and savour your food by chewing slowly. If this doesn’t work, try eating smaller portions too.

  • Keep a food diary, noting everything you have eaten and then writing down any symptoms you...

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