Fats, Sugars, Alcohol and Salt
- These food groups should be consumed rarely, in small amounts should be left as a celebratory food. Eating these foods too often is linked to weight gain, one of the key risk factors for heart disease.
- Fats: unsaturated fats (found in extra-virgin olive oil and margarine) are encouraged in small amounts. On the other hand, trans fats and saturated fats are encouraged to be rarely eaten. These foods include: smallgoods (such as salami), coconut cream, lard, fatty meats, deep fried foods and pastries) .
- Sugars: whilst there are many naturally occurring sugars in foods such as fruit, the refined sugars which are added to sweet treats such as ice-cream and cakes should be eaten sparingly. These sugars are linked to Type 2 Diabetes, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
- Alcohol: drinking excess amounts of alcohol not only has health effects such as weight gain, it can also lead to other heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure. Women are recommended no more than 2-standard drinks per day, or 4 drinks in a single, isolated event. 1 standard drink is the equivalent to 100mls of wine, 30 mls of spirits or 285mls of full-strength beer. Perhaps try to have at least 2 alcohol free-days per week?
- SALT: a small amount of daily salt is great for your health, but any more than that can lead to high blood pressure; a risk factor for heart disease. Check labels for sodium, choosing foods where sodium is one of the last ingredients mentioned, or low-salt labelled products .