Fat and Cholesterol
There are two main types of fat – saturated and unsaturated. Eating foods that are high in saturated fat can raise cholesterol levels in the blood. Most people in the UK eat too much saturated fat. Foods high in saturated fat include: 
  • meat pies
  • sausages and fatty cuts of meat
  • butter, ghee, lard, cream
  • hard cheese
  • cakes and biscuits
  • foods containing coconut or palm oil

fatty foods nhs

Eating foods that contain unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat can actually help reduce cholesterol levels. Try to replace foods containing saturated fats with foods that are high in unsaturated fats, such as:
  • oily fish (such as mackerel and salmon)
  • nuts (such as almonds and cashews)
  • seeds (such as sunflower and pumpkin)
  • vegetable oils and spreads (such as sunflower, olive, corn, walnut and rapeseed oils)

less fatty foods

Trans fats can also raise cholesterol levels. Trans fats can be found naturally at low levels in some foods, such as those from animals, including meat and dairy products. Artificial trans fats can be found in hydrogenated fat, so some processed foods such as biscuits and cakes will contain trans fats. As part of a healthy diet, try to cut down on foods containing trans fats or saturated fats and replace them with foods containing unsaturated fats.

You should also reduce the total amount of fat in your diet. Try microwaving, steaming, poaching, boiling or grilling instead of roasting or frying. Choose lean cuts of meat and go for low-fat varieties of dairy products and spreads, or eat just a small amount of full-fat varieties.

Cholesterol-lowering products
There's evidence that foods containing certain added ingredients, such as plant sterols and stanols, can reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood.Sterols and stanols can be found in specially developed products, such as some spreads and yoghurts. These foods are aimed at people who need to lower their cholesterol levels. People who don't have high cholesterol shouldn't eat these products regularly, particularly children and pregnant or breastfeeding women. If your doctor has told you that you have high cholesterol, you can lower it by changing your diet without having to eat special products. If you do eat foods that are designed to lower cholesterol, read the label carefully to avoid eating too much.

Low iron
If a lack of iron in your diet is thought to contribute to your iron deficiency anaemia, your GP will advise on how to include more iron in your diet. Iron deficiency anaemia is often caused by heavy periods, pregnancy (the growing baby requires more iron from mother), or poor diet. Rarely it can be bowel conditions i.e. Coeliac disease or intestinal problems
Iron-rich foods include:
  • dark-green leafy vegetables, such as watercress and curly kale
  • iron-fortified cereals
  • wholegrains, such as brown rice 
  • beans
  • nuts, meat
  • apricots, prunes, raisins

To ensure a healthy, well-balanced diet, include foods from all major food groups in your diet. If you have iron deficiency anaemia, eat plenty of iron-rich foods, such as those listed above.

iron diet

However, some foods and medicines can make it harder for your body to absorb iron. These may include:
  • tea and coffee
  • calcium, found in dairy products such as milk
  • antacids (medication to help relieve indigestion)
  • proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which affect the production of acid in your stomach
  • wholegrain cereals - although wholegrains are a good source of iron themselves, they contain phytic acid which can interfere with how your body absorbs iron from other foods and pills

Taking iron medication
The doctor may recommend that you take iron tablets to bring up your iron levels and build up your stores in your body. Drinking orange juice when you take your iron tablets can increase the absorption of iron into your body. Some people have side-effects when taking iron. These include: feeling sick (nausea), an upset stomach, constipation, or diarrhoea. You should tell a doctor if side-effects are a problem. Don't stop the iron or the anaemia will not get better. Possible ways to reduce the problem with side-effects are: 
  • Taking the iron tablets with meals. Food reduces the absorption of the iron and so you may need to take a longer course to correct the anaemia.
  • Taking a lower dose, but again a longer course will be needed to correct the anaemia.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids if constipation develops.
  • Iron tablets may make your stools black. This is normal and nothing to worry about. However, it is sometimes confused with blood in the stools from internal bleeding, which can also make your stools black.

Vitamin D diet
Vitamin D has several important functions. For example, it helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.These nutrients are needed to keep bones and teeth healthy. A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone pain and tenderness and rickets in children.

We get most of our vitamin D from sunlight on our skin. The vitamin is made by our body under the skin in reaction to summer sunlight. However, if you are out in the sun, take care to cover up or protect your skin with sunscreen before you turn red or get burnt.Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods. Good food sources are: 
  • oily fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, tuna, cod liver oils
  • eggs
  • fortified fat spreads
  • fortified breakfast cereals
  • powdered milk

vitamin D diet

Taking Vitamin D medication
Vitamin D suppliments can be obtained over the counter or at most pharmacies/supermarkets. It is very unusual to get side effects from vitamin D if taken in the prescribed dose. Very rarely, if you are taking very high doses of vitamin D then this can raise your calcium levels in the blood. This would cause symptoms such as thirst, passing a lot of urine, nausea or vomiting, dizziness and headaches. If you have these symptoms whilst taking the higher dose of Vitamin D (20,000 units), then  see your GP for a blood test.

Diabetic diet
In the UK, current 2013 NHS diabetes diet advice is that there is no special diet for people with diabetes.Many people with diabetes focus on the carbohydrate content of their meals and prefer a low-carb diet for tight blood glucose level control.

The NHS (and Diabetes UK) recommend a healthy, balanced diet that is low in fat, sugar and salt and contain a high level of fresh fruit and vegetables. Together, these can be said to sum up the NHS approach to controlling type 2 diabetes with diet.
  • Eat plenty of starchy carbohydrates
  • Eat carbohydrate foods with a low GI
  • Avoid high GI foods, especially between meals
  • Eat regular meals and healthy snacks
  • Don’t miss breakfast
  • Don’t skip meals
  • Avoid all unhealthy/hydrogenated fats
  • Choose low-fat dairy products
  • Check food labels
  • Choose lean meat and remove fat and skin
  • Avoid fried and fast food, and baked goods
  • Keep hydrated and avoid binge-drinking
  • Base meals upon starchy carbohydrate

The NHS advises people, including those with diabetes, to base meals around food with starchy carbohydrate such as:
  • Potatoes
  • Cereals
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Bread

Have plenty of fruit and vegetables
The Department of Health recommends we eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The 5 portions should ideally be different fruit and vegetables. Fruit juice counts as one portion, and a smoothie can be up to 2 portions.

Eat less saturated fat
The NHS recommends people to eat less saturated fat and advises eating foods containing unsaturated fats such as:
  • Oily fish
  • Unsalted nuts
  • Avocados

Rather than foods containing saturated fat such as:
  • Cheese
  • Biscuits
  • Sausages
  • Pies
  • Choosing leaner meats such as chicken or trimming fat off cuts of red meat can help to reduce saturated fat.

Eat more oily fish
Oily fish is a good diet option because it contains important minerals as well as being a good source of omega-3 fats. Eating at least 2 portions of fish a week is recommend, with at least 1 of those portions being oily fish.

Eat less sugar and salt
Cutting down on sugar comes expected for people with diabetes. It is also recommended to cut down on salt. The Department of Health advise eating less than 6g of salt each day. Foods with more than 1.5g of salt per 100g are considered to be high in salt.

Reduce weight diet
This information sheet has been provided to give you basic initial information about what to do if you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of greater than 25kg/m2 (overweight) or greater than 30kg/m2 (obese). If you need more detailed advice and support, please ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian.     

The amount of energy (calories) you take in by eating is usually ‘balanced’ by the amount of energy you use up in everyday living. This results in having a stable weight.  Any excess energy is stored as body fat. This happens if the amount of energy taken in is greater than the amount of energy burned. In order to lose weight, energy intake should be reduced and combined with increased daily activity.

Aim for realistic weight loss targets
Even a small weight loss can benefit your health. Aim for 1/2-1kg (1-2lbs) loss per week. Achieving 5-10% weight loss in 3-6 months can reduce your risk of some chronic conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure. For example, if you weigh 100kg, this means losing 5-10kg, or if you weigh 80kg, this means losing 4-8kg. 

Benefits of weight loss and active lifestyle:
  • Clothes fit better
  • Less short of breath
  • More energy
  • Improved diabetic control/ reduced risk of developing diabetes
  • Lowers cholesterol level
  • Improves blood pressure
  • Less joint and back pain
  • Move around more easily
  • Reduced risk of developing certain cancers

Dietary Change Why? 
Regular balanced meals Have three meals every 4-5 hours (follow the portion plate below)

Try to avoid other activities at mealtimes, such as watching TV or working etc, to help you to recognise when you are full.

Eating regularly prevents feeling hunger which can lead to snacking on unhealthy options. Missing food groups can lead to overeating and increased snacking. 

Balanced meals help to ensure a good intake of nutrients

Avoid foods high in fats and/or sugar These foods & drinks are high in calories even in small amounts.

Limit the amount you have or use low fat/sugar alternative where possible, for example low sugar drinks, low fat yogurt.

Small changes can add up to big calorie differences.

Watch your portions Large portion sizes can result in large amounts of calories. Try to use a smaller plate and follow the plate guide for quantities on the plate.

Aim for your plate to be balanced as shown (palm size of carbohydrate, palm size of protein & ½ a plate of vegetables).

Vegetables tend to be very low in calories so have a large portion.

Snack check Think! Are you hungry or thirsty? Try having a drink first.

Healthy snacks such as low fat yogurt, piece of fruit, small handful of plain nuts, vegetable sticks, or rice cakes. 

High calorie snacks like biscuits/chocolate/cheese can prevent weight loss and can cause weight gain.

Drink plenty of fluids 
Aim for about 6-8 glasses/day. Choose low or zero calorie fluids such as water, low sugar squash, flavoured water, tea/coffee.

Have a drink with your meal to help you feel fuller.

Alcohol is high in calories. Try limiting how often you drink alcohol or reduce its quantity.

1 large glass wine/ 1 pint 4% beer  = approximately 200 calories

Include more low Glycaemic Index (GI) foods and high fibre foods 
Low GI foods are digested slowly & can help you stay fuller for longer.

This can include seeded breads, oats, breakfast cereals with dried fruit, pasta, beans, pulses, most vegetables, fruit loaf, teacakes, and yoghurts.

You could also try swapping for brown rice, pasta, bread to increase your fibre intake.

30 min activity daily  All activity causes you to burn calories and is beneficial for weight loss.

Aim for 30 min/ day minimum. This could include brisk walking, housework, taking stairs instead of lifts, dancing, swimming, and sport.

Get motivated & understand  your eating behaviour
Are there times when you eat & you are not hungry?

Think about why you are eating in these circumstances & what you could do to instead.

Try keeping a diary & log how you are feeling/ why you are eating. This can help you understand your eating patterns.