Food Diet and Health

Asghar's Articles

Posted by Asghar in Diet at July 03, 2010

Vitamins and Minerals

A varied diet gives most people all the vitamins and minerals they need. Vegetarians and vegans need to take care to get enough vitamin B12, which most people get from meat. Alternative sources are egg yolk, milk, cheese, and yeast extract supplemented with B12.

Vitamin pills containing vitamin D and nicotinic acid can have serious effect if taken in excess. An increase of vitamin A in liver has occurred, from supplements in the feed for livestock, it is thought. Pregnant women are advised against eating live since there is a small risk to the unborn child from a high intake of vitamin A.

A much more frequent occurrence is the loss of minerals and vitamins by keeping or cooking freshest ensures the highest vitamin content.

Frozen vegetables and fruits are processed quickly after gathering and retain their vitamins; indeed, they contain all the nutrients of fresh vegetables.

Only their texture is different; they lose the distinctive crispness of fresh vegetable.

You should eat fruits and vegetables as often as possible, and when cooking them, do so for the shortest possible time. To retain the nutrients in vegetables, steam them, stir-fry them, bake them, or sauté them in a minimum of oil. When you cook meat in a casserole, cook the vegetables with it. Adding those that need short cooking for the last few minutes. When you do boil vegetables, use as little water as possible and do not throw it away but add it to stock, soup or sauces.

Posted by Asghar in Diet at June 27, 2010

Keeping a Check on Protein

The main –course recipes all contain an adequate amount of good quality protein. The focus in creating the recipes has been to avoid excessive amounts of protein which will simply be turned into body fat. For red meat, the suggested serving is 4oz 9115g). it is better to move away from serving large slabs of meat and make the most of the smaller, but adequate, 4oz by cutting it into fine strips or slicing it thinly. In fact, 4oz of meat is not all that small a helping. It takes quite a large lamb or pork chop to provide 4oz of meat after trimming away all the fat. And although a 4oz steak may look small, the same weight of lean roast beef, cold and thinly sliced, looks a much more ample helping.

Poultry and game, which are lower in fat, are used in larger amounts of about 6oz (175g).

White fish provides high-quality protein while being particularly low in fat, and oily fish (generally fish with darker flesh) contains particular types of polyunsaturated oils that help to improve the balance of fats in the blood.

It is easy to get enough protein without eating meat or fish; eggs are another source of high-quality protein. If you do not want to eat meat, fish or eggs, you can get high-quality protein from low-fat cheeses, low-fat yoghurts and skimmed or semi- skimmed milk. Without eating any protein from animal source you will still get enough protein from plants if you combine pulses with grains, cereals or nuts.

Posted by Asghar in Food at June 25, 2010

Hummous Savoury Slices


PREPARATION TIME:          15 minutes

 8oz  (225g) cooked chickpeas.

½ level teaspoon ground cumin

1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed

2 tablespoons olive oil.

2 tablespoons lemon juice

4oz  (115g) low-fat fromage frais

Freshly ground black pepper

8 slices from a wholemeal baton loaf

2 rashers unsmoked back bacon, trimmed of fat, grilled and finely chopped.

4 button mushrooms, wiped and chopped

1 level tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Springs of watercress to garnish

  • Blend the chickpeas, cumin, garlic, oil, lemon juice and fromage frais in a food processor, or pass through a food mill. Season the hummous with pepper.
  • Toast the slices of bread lightly on both sides and spread them with the hummous. Top each slice with some bacon and mushrooms, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Garnish with the watercress and serve.
  • Chickpea and sesame spread, served either as an appetizing dip or as a side dish in the Middle East, is given an English-breakfast flavour here with a sprinkling of bacon and mushrooms.

Posted by Asghar in Breakfast and Brunch at June 20, 2010

Filled Avocados with Strawberry Dressing




Total Fat


Saturated Fat




Added Sugar








PERPARATION TIME:          25 minutes

40 oz (115g) strawberries, rinsed, dried and hulled

2 level tablespoons low-fat natural yoghurt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 large orange, peel and pith remove, segments freed of membranes and cut into small pieces.

3 oz (85g) cucumber, diced

Seeds from 4 green cardamom pods, crushed

1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar

2 ripe avocados

Curly endive, lamb’s lettuce, watercress and mint springs to garnish.

  1. Blend the strawberries and yoghurt in a food processor, or pass the fruit through a nylon sieve and whisk into the yoghurt. Season with pepper
  2. Mix the orange, cucumber, crushed cardamom and vinegar
  3. Halve the avocados and remove the stones. Arrange the halves on serving plates and surround with the endive, lamb’s lettuce and watercress. Fill the avocados with the orange mixture. Spoon on a little of the strawberry dressing and garnish with the mint sprigs. Serve the rest of the dressing separately.

Fresh orange and cool cucumber, spiked with cardamom and raspberry vinegar, are bathed in a smooth strawberry dressing to make an unusual filling for butter y avocado.

Posted by Asghar in Food at June 16, 2010

Citrus and Mango Salad




Total Fat


Saturated Fat



25 g

Added Sugar



5 g


10 mg


PREPARATION TIME:    20 minutes.

1 (one) Ripe pink grapefruit, peel and pith pared off
1 (one) Ripe yellow grapefruit, peel and pith pared off    
1 (one) Large ripe arrange, peel and pith pared off            
1 (one) Large ripe mango
Lemon balm or mint leaves to decorate.

  1. Holding the pink grapefruit over a bowl to catch the juice, cut down both sides of the membranes with a very sharp knife and as each segment of flesh is freed, put it in the bowl. Squeeze the remaining tissue to extract all the orange in the same way.
  2. Using the sharp knife, cut down each side of the mango and trim the halves of flesh away from the stone. Cut a deep cross in the flesh of each half of the mango with the flesh uppermost, press the skin with your thumbs so that the flesh bulges up. Trim the flesh away from the skin and slice it into the bowl. Treat the remaining half of the mango in the same way.
  3. Gently mix all the fruit and spoon it into chilled glasses. Decorate with the lemon balm or mint leaves.

You can prepare this salad the night before and leave it in the refrigerator, covered, overnight.

Calories 105
Total Fat 0
Saturated Fat 0
Carbohydrates 25 g
Added Sugar 0

Posted by Asghar in Diet at June 06, 2010

Ways of Cutting down Fat

Besides having a reduced fat content overall, the recipes generally use olive oil, but occasionally other fats are used. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils or virtually tasteless corn oil, for example are used in desserts, cakes and biscuits. Sesame’s flavour is welcome in stir-fries, walnut oil is delicious in salads, and butter (used only in small quantities) that a particular creamy taste that improves delicate sauces.

Dishes are kept low in fat by skilful adaptation of ingredients, as well as by reducing quantities. For example, low-fat yoghurt replaces egg yolk and oil to make a thick salad dressing. Skimmed or semi-skimmed milk replaces full-fat milk in sauces, puddings, pancakes and other dishes.

Helpings of red meat are smaller than some people may be used to because the meat contains invisible fat even after all you can wee has been trimmed off. Poultry and game helpings are larger because their flesh is lower in fat – but the skin is not low in fat and where the skin is left on to keep the meat moist during cooking, there is a reminder to remove the skin before serving or before eating.

Cheese is prudently reduced to keep down the saturated fat, but its flavour and protein make cheese invaluable. In some dishes, reduced-fat. Cheddar is used, in some a small amount of high-flavour mature cheese is the choice, while in others low-fat cottage cheese, from age fraise and quark (made from skimmed milk) are used.

There is o deep-frying in this book, but the benefits frying offers – sealing in the juices of food and enhancing its flavour – are achieved by browning or lightly tossing food in a small amount of oil. The Chinese method of stir-frying with a small amount of oil is also use.

Scares about cholesterol from egg yolks have subsided; the cholesterol level in blood does not result solely from the diet. The body makes cholesterol independently of what is eaten. The most people, keeping down saturated fat will control cholesterol. Medical treatments will help anyone whose body produces excess cholesterol.

The recipes include desserts, biscuits, cakes, party snacks and some brunch dishes which have been adapted to reduce saturated fat and make healthier snacks than crisps, biscuits, cakes and ice-creams. Some special-occasion dishes have a total fat content higher than the norm, but it is expected that such items will not be eaten often.

Posted by Asghar in Food at June 01, 2010

Why the Recipes are Healthy:

In the creation, testing and selection of recipes for this site, all the latest nutritional targets and guidelines have been borne in mind – plenty of complex carbohydrate and fibre, moderate amounts of protein, and very little saturated fat, refined sugar and salt. With all the groundwork done, you can simply eat and enjoy the dishes and learn from the choice of ingredients and cooking methods a great deal about healthy eating to apply to some of your old favourites.

The carbohydrate content in main dishes varies widely because some have rice, pasta, or potatoes as an integral part of the dish. Others have starch in a supporting role. Where this is not so, there is often a suggestion to serve bread, potatoes or some other carbohydrate food with the dish.

Starchy foods, such as cereals, potatoes, grain, pasta, peas, beans and lentils, are varied and filling. How you cook them makes a difference to the diet. Potatoes should generally not be creamed with milk and butter, or fried, although the occasional helping of creamed potatoes or chips does no harm. Rather than mash potatoes with fat, you can steam them or bake them with other vegetables to make them moist. If you do fry potatoes, cut them in thick slices so there is less fried surface in proportion to the inside. There are very simple recipes that give you the roast potato taste without lots of fat.

Pasta in itself is a very good thing to eat, but do not serve rich sauces with it or sprinkle on too much cheese. It is simple to make your own sauces based on tomatoes or other vegetables and avoid the saturated fat, salt and even sugar that some ready – made sauces contain.

Grains, another excellent carbohydrate source, are the staple of some of the world’s healthiest diets. Rice is at its most nutritious when it has brown bran coating, which also gives it a satisfyingly chewy texture and a nutty flavour; it is an excellent base for salads. However, some dishes, fish for example, require the softer texture and less pronounced flavour of white rice.

Many of the recipes include beans and other pulses, all excellent starchy foods. The recipes are based on using home – cooked pulses. Since most tinned varieties contain salt. Dried pulses take some time to prepare at home but they need supervision for very little of that time.

The majority of the recipes have no added sugar. Some desserts, and drinks with sour ingredients make use of it, and a few savoury recipes contain a small amount to produce a sauce or glaze. A little sugar now and again will do no harm, but it si better to gain sweetness from fruits (and some vegetables) which also contribute fibre, vitamins and minerals to the diet.

Even in dishes where sugar is used to give a particular effect or to make special – occasion desserts it has been kept to the minimum needed to make the recipe work well and taste good.

There are carefully adapted recipes for several old – fashioned tea-breads, which are also excellent for packing to eat at work or school as a change from straightforward bread. The aim has been to give recipes for bread that taste good on their own without fatty or sugary spreads.


Diet Plan

Posted by Asghar in Diet at June 01, 2010

Diet Plan

To help you keep track of what you eat, every recipe in the main body of this site has alongside it is chart of nutritional information. The chart dies not detail every component in the recipe but only those you need to take care about. A varied diet has enough protein, vitamins and minerals, so no figures are given for them – except for sodium, which is often to excess.

The number of calories provided y one serving of the dish is shown first. Then the chart shows how much carbohydrate there is altogether in a serving; a separate entry shows how much of the total carbohydrate comes from sugar, that is from deliberately added refined sugar (or occasionally honey), not the natural sugar in fruits and vegetables. The figure for added sugar is often zero, and in that case it is emphasized by being printed on a shaded strip, in the recipes using yeast, the sugar use to start the yeast fermenting in converted to carbon dioxide and none of it remains in the finished dish.

The char shows the total fat in a serving, and also has a separate entry to show how much of the total is saturated fat. Where this is particularly low – 11 percent or less of the calories per serving – the figure is on a shaded strip so that flick through any chapter shows at once the recipes that are low in saturated fat.

A shaded strip also shows which recipes make a useful contribution of fibre. The shading is used when the fibre content per serving is 3g or more that is one – sixth of the daily target.

The sodium content of a serving is shown in milligrams not grams, since the amounts are so small. You can spot the low sodium (low-salt) recipes quickly because of the shaded strip, this is used when a serving has one milligram or less of sodium per calorie; many have much less.



Posted by Asghar in Food at May 26, 2010

The body uses food and drink as its fuel supply for growth, energy and maintenance. Carbohydrate is converted into glucose which is carried by the blood to where energy is needed. A small amount of glucose is stored for a time in the muscles and liver, and the rest is converted into body fat.

Small amounts of fat are vital to maintain the structure of body cells and to enable vitamins A, D, E and K to be absorbed. The fat we eat provides energy for activity protects delicate tissues such as the kidneys and forms a layer of insulation under the skin. It is particularly high in calories; excess intake is converted into body fat.

Protein provides the materials for the body to build and repair cells, muscles, bones and organs.

Fiber, from the cell walls of plants, has no nutrients and is indigestible, but it adds bulk to food and, as it makes its way undigested through the system, it carries away waste products.

Vitamins enable the body to make use of other nutrients, an adequate supply of vitamins helps to give good skin, resistance to infection, a healthy bones nervous system, well-maintained cells and blood vessels, and prompt healing of damage.

Minerals help to give healthy bones and teeth, efficient carrying of oxygen and waste by the blood, effective muscle function, the breakdown of food to usable energy in cell, maintenance of the nerves, and the proper balance of fluids.


Healthy Diet


A good diet should supply just enough nutrients for growth, repairs and chemical process, and give ample energy for daily tasks. The energy derived from food is measured in calories.

To maintain a stable weight, 15 calories a day are needed for every 0.45kg of body weight – rather more for people doing physical work, and rather less for those who sit a good deal. Among adults in their most active years, between 19 and 50, men of average height and build need about 2550 calories a day, and average women about 1940 calories, older people need fewer calories and growing children and adolescents need more. Many people, however, eat more than enough for their daily needs and have an excess store of body fat.

CARBOHYDRATES: Nutritionists now advise that about half the day’s calories should come from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates come in the forms of starch (complex carbohydrate) and sugar (simple carbohydrate), both of which provide four (4) calories per gram (about 115 calories per ounce). Sugar, however, is something to be wary of – not natural sugars, for example the fructose and lactose in fruit and milk, because these are accompanied by valuable nutrients such as protein and vitamins. Refund sugar (sucrose) does not come in a natural package with other nutrients; because of this, the calories it provides are virtually the same as refined sugar.

Starch is the form of carbohydrate to eat in greater quantities. Bread, cereals, oats, potatoes, grains, pasta, peas, beans and lentils are all high-starch foods which should be a regular part of the diet. Not many years ago, starchy foods were thought of as fattening; they were the first item to be cut by people wanting to lose weight. Eating less fat is a far healthier alternative – and makes a much bigger cut in calories.

PROTEIN: A healthy diet must include protein, but most of us eat far more that we need. About 60gram a day of pure protein is enough; about one-fifth of meat is protein, and about one-tenth of bread. Like carbohydrate, protein provides four (4) per gram. Animal protein – beef, lamb and pork, poultry and game, fish, and eggs, milk and cheese – is called complete protein because it contains the right combination of some 20 amino acids to make the protein accessible to the body. Proteins from plants are known as incomplete proteins; certain combinations are needed to make their protein available to the body. For example, pluses – beans, peas and lentils – should be combined with grains such as rice, or with cereals such as wheat.

FATS: Fat should provide a maximum of 35 per cent of the daily calories, not the present British average of 40 %. Fat, the most concentrated calorie source, provides nine (9) calories per gram.

Cutting down fats will help to prevent obesity and heart ailments.

It is not just reducing fat that improves the diet; the type of fat is also important. You should cut out as much as possible saturated fats, high amounts of which are in meat, milk and dairy produce, coconut and palm oil, and the hydrogenated vegetable oils in, for example, hard margarines. Saturated fats stimulate production of cholesterol which furs up arteries, impeding circulation and causing extra work for the heat.

Small amounts of polyunsaturated fat are vital for cell structure. This kind of fat is derived from vegetables, seeds, nuts and fish; polyunsaturated oils include corn, sunflower and sesame oil.

The third type of fat, monounsaturated fat, is present in large amounts in olive oil, rape seed oil (sold as vegetable oil), nuts and avocados, but is present also in smaller but significant amounts in all other fatty foods, monounsaturated fats have not been linked with and harmful effects.

FIBRE: You should eat 18g of fibre a day. This is a lower figure than once recommended, because of a new method of analysis; fibre has a new name too – non-starch polysaccharides (NSP). Fibre can be insoluble or soluble. Insoluble fibre is found in whole-grain cereals, wholemeal bread and pulses. Soluble fibre is found in fruits and vegetable. Soluble fibre is fund in fruits and vegetables.

To increase fibre intake, eat brown rice rather than polished, and wholemeal bread rather than white; replace some meat with beans, lentils and other pulses, and eat good helpings of leafy vegetables and fruit daily. There is no advantage in exceeding the daily target; too much, or a sudden increase in, fibre causes discomfort.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS: The foods that provide protein, carbohydrates and fibre also give a plentiful and varied supply of vitamins and minerals. Take care about sodium (eaten mainly as salt), which can be a factor in high blood pressure. At the moment the average intake in this country is 3600 mg a day. Nutritionists recommend a reduction to 2000mg a day – and jus 500mg would probably be enough.