Okay, admittedly it’s still far too hot to stand outside for long enough to even think about lighting a BBQ or grill, but it won’t be long before lots of us are doing just that and until then plenty of us are still enjoying grilled meats at brunches and restaurants.

Eating outside with friends is a fun, social pastime and not one I’m prepared to stop completely, but in recent years growing research has told us that cooking meat over a flame or frying at high temperatures increases our exposure to chemicals which can damage the DNA in our genes, possibly leading to certain cancers such as skin, liver and stomach cancer. The main culprits? Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). HCAs are created when high heat reacts with and changes the proteins in meat. PAHs are caused as juices and fat drips from meat into flames and the smoke caused rises and sticks to the meat; which we then eat. Adding certain spices and marinades can also change the chemical reactions that occur when meat is grilled.
(more…)

Healthy Eating Ramadan

With Ramadan fast approaching I’m being asked by clients how they can avoid falling into the trap of eating the wrong foods, as well as some of the associated problems such as headaches, constipation, low blood sugar levels and weight gain. Here are my top tips to having a healthy holiday!

DOs

  • When you break your fast, drink water first! You will feel less hungry as your body’s fluids are replaced. Try to drink 8-10 cups before you sleep.
  • Avoid sugary drinks; consider coconut water or water with lemon, honey and a pinch of salt to stay hydrated.
  • Despite being hungry eat slowly and chew food well. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full – put small portions on your plate first. Overeating can cause highs and lows in your blood sugar and dehydration.

(more…)