Q. I have noticed halal gelatine on food labels. What does it mean?

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Monday, 19 August 2013. Posted in Additives & labels
Tagged: additives, diets, food labels, gelatine, halal

Q. I have noticed halal gelatine on food labels. What does it mean?

A. Halal is an Arabic word meaning 'permitted', 'lawful' or religiously appropriate. In Islam, halal describes many things including food. All the food groups are halal with the exception of meat which must meet certain criteria. For meat to be halal it must come from a permitted source and it must be slaughtered according to Islamic rites. Pigs, for example, are not a permitted source because they are considered 'impure' and so pork is not halal.

What is Vitamin D? The Sunshine vitamin

on Thursday, 15 August 2013. Posted in Healthy eating
Tagged: butter, calcium, cod liver oil, dairy, eggs, fish oil, fish oils, margarine, vitamins

What is Vitamin D?  The Sunshine vitamin

Formed by the action of sunlight on the skin, vitamin D (chemically known as Cholecalciferol) has been called the ‘bone vitamin’ as it enables calcium and phosphorus to be absorbed to make strong bones. It’s a cross between a vitamin and a hormone and may do a lot more for our immune system and keeping us healthy than we ever realised.

Product Review: COYO coconut yoghurt alternative

on Thursday, 15 August 2013. Posted in Reviews
Tagged: allergy, artificial sweeteners, coconut, dairyfree, fat, gluten-free, review, special diets, vegan, yoghurt

Product Review: COYO coconut yoghurt alternative

COYO coconut milk yoghurt has been on my radar for a while. Being advertised as dairy free, vegan, soy free, gluten free, lactose free and with no added sugar, it's no surprise that it's the new favourite amongst lactose intolerant individuals, vegans, 'sugar haters' as well as a whole swag of alternative health seekers including lovers of coconut. Whilst I am none of these things, I am still interested to see what the hype is all about.

Read the August Foodwatch Newsletter now!

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Tuesday, 13 August 2013. Posted in Handy stuff
Tagged: eatKit, newsletter, sardines, soup, soup diets

Read the August Foodwatch Newsletter now!

In this August edition of the Foodwatch Newsletter I’m putting soup diets under the microscope. I’ll tell you what works and what doesn’t and how to take advantage of soup to lose weight in a sustainable way. Don’t be fooled by all the hype you read or see on TV. In addition to talking about soup there’s the Foodwatch Product of the month, August EatKit and a host of new articles on the Foodwatch website. What are you waiting for?

Q. How can I work out what’s the best cut-off figure for salt?

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Wednesday, 07 August 2013. Posted in Healthy eating

A.  To be classified as a low-salt (low sodium) food, the official cut-off figure is 120 milligrams sodium or less per 100 grams. This applies to all unsalted foods as it takes into account the small quantity of natural sodium present in foods. But at this low level, it can be hard to produce good-tasting foods. So for breads, cereals, soups and cracker biscuits, anything below 400mg is considered acceptable. Some organisations are even more lenient and set their cut-off higher at 600mg or less to encourage manufacturers to gradually decrease what's being added.

Q. What does the warning on artificially sweetened products Phenylketonurics: Contains phenylalanine mean?

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Monday, 05 August 2013. Posted in Additives & labels
Tagged: additives, allergies, artificial sweeteners, childhood allergies, diabetes, diabetes type 2, diet foods, drink, drinks, food labels, soft drinks, sugar, sugary drinks, sweetener

Q. What does the warning on artificially sweetened products Phenylketonurics: Contains phenylalanine mean?

A. People with phenylketonuria are born with an inherited condition that stops their body from properly breaking down the amino acid phenylalanine - one of the building blocks of proteins. It’s a rare condition affecting only one in 10,000 and is tested for in all babies as part of their screening in hospital as a newborn.

Q. I have recently become vegetarian. What should I watch for so I don't miss out on nutrients?

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Friday, 02 August 2013. Posted in Medical Diets
Tagged: anaemia, balanced diet, energy, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, iron, meal planning, nutrition, nuts, protein, special diets, vegetables, vegetarian

Q. I have recently become vegetarian. What should I watch for so I don't miss out on nutrients?

A. If you have only recently started cooking vegetarian meals and looking for meatless swaps, here's how to avoid the 3 most common nutrition pitfalls.

A day’s eating plan to lower your cholesterol

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Tuesday, 30 July 2013. Posted in Medical Diets
Tagged: cholesterol, cholesterol lowering, eating plan, healthy heart, heart health, high cholesterol

A day’s eating plan to lower your cholesterol

Eating for a healthy heart doesn’t have to be hours of hard work. You can use supermarket foods and mix and match these easily available items with fresh to come up with a day’s eating plan that’s healthy, easy and will help lower your cholesterol. I’ve put together a day’s eating plan for a busy working woman who needs to shed weight.