If you have a nutrition or diet question or need some advice on eating a healthier diet you can email one of our nutritionists below and receive a personal reply to your question. If you can’t find the answer to your question here, or within our Health and nutrition pages, email us below.
I've gained a few pounds over Christmas and I want to lose it. How can I lose
Nutritionist Moira Howie says...
The best way to lose weight is to try and follow a healthy, varied diet which means eating 3 appropriately sized meals a day with healthy snacks in-between. Below I have listed some simple steps to start with:
- Eat regular meals - although it doesn't matter when you eat your food, having a routine can help people to manage their diet and weight.
- Control your portion sizes so that over time, the amount of energy you consume matches your level of activity.
- Cut down on saturated fats and use unsaturated fats such as rapeseed oil or olive oil as a substitute.
- Choose lean cuts of meat, removing any visible fat.
- Opt for low-fat dairy products.
- Try to be more physically active. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. Remember, gardening, brisk walking and housework all contribute.
I'm always on the go and find myself snacking all the time. Can you suggest any healthy snacks to replace my love of chocolates and sweets?
Nutritionist Nicola Selwood says...
Snacking is an important part of a balanced diet as it can help to maintain your energy levels and in fact, studies show that snacking may help you eat less at your next main meal. That said however, the snacks need to be healthy, not too calorific (like chocolate and sweets!) and provide you with sustained energy. Fruit is the obvious suggestion, with apples and bananas being great for on the go snacking but variety is also key, so here are some other foods you can snack on.
Nuts and seeds are packed full of nutrients, high in protein and fibre but they are high in calories so keep to no more than a handful a day. You'll be surprised at how filling a small amount of nuts and seeds can be. Have you tried nut butters? A teaspoon spread on an oatcake makes a tasty alternative.
Vegetable sticks with a dip are also a great snack and count towards your 5 a day.
Dried fruit is great to have when you are craving something sweet. A tablespoon is a portion so stick to this. Mixing the dried fruit with nuts helps slow the release of the sugar into your body. Try the Love Life Vitality Mix >
- A small pot of low fat yogurt is a great snack and packed with calcium.
- A small cheese portion is also a great snack and beneficial for your teeth.
- A small fruit salad will provide a wealth of nutrients and satisfy your craving for sweets.
I've recently discovered that I'm intolerant to gluten, but I'm not sure where to start with following a gluten free diet. Do you have any advice?
Nutritionist Emma Williams says...
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, oats and barley, so although any foods containing these ingredients are not suitable for you, there are lots of foods that you can still eat. You can choose from a range of products and ingredients that are either naturally gluten free or specially made to be gluten free.
Naturally gluten free foods include meat, fish, dairy, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and speciality products include gluten free bread, cakes and pasta like those available under our LOVE life free from range.
If you are unsure whether a product is suitable for you to eat, always check the ingredients list where wheat, barley, oats and rye will be highlighted.
Download your gluten free product list here: www.waitrose.com/specialdiets