Diet and Nutrition

We all know that what we eat and drink can have a big impact on our health – not to mention our weight and appearance.

But what exactly is a ‘good’ diet? How do we know if we’re making smart choices and eating the right things for our bodies?

Would you like to find out more about the potential health benefits and risks of different foods? If so, we hope you’ll find the articles in this section helpful. We would welcome your feedback, at info@agewatch.org.uk

Alcohol and disease: the bad news and the good! 

We know that drinking too much alcohol can have negative effects on our health. But what is too much? And what are the consequences of drinking more than the recommended amount? Might drinking some alcohol actually offer health benefits if consumed sensibly? Find out more.

Chocolate: good or bad for your health?

There has been much debate over the potential health benefits of chocolate. A number of studies have suggested that chocolate can have positive effects on the heart and brain. But how reliable is the evidence and what kind of chocolate is the best? Find out more.

A diet that works for you

Nowadays there are so many different diets to choose from so how do you know which one is best for you? And what about all those dieting myths – are they fact or fiction? Find out more.

Glycaemic index and glycaemic load

What are they and why are they so important in helping us to understand and measure the effect that food has on our blood sugar levels? Does a low GI and GL diet reduce the risk of diabetes? Find out more.

Healthy eating on a budget

Eating healthily doesn’t have to cost more. Follow our top ten shopping tips to save money when you do your next food shop. Find out more.  

Healthy foods?

You’ve probably heard about ‘superfoods’. Garlic, green tea and green tea are just a few examples of foods that claim to have fantastic health benefits. But are they really that good for us and if so, why? Are there likely to be any side effects? Find out more.  

Oily fish We’re often told that eating cold water oily fish such as mackerel, sardines and salmon can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and can even protect us from heart disease. But what is the scientific evidence? And what other health benefits can oily fish bring? Find out more.  

Olive oil

Olive oil is another well-known ‘superfood’ but what does it actually protect us against and how strong is the evidence? Can too much olive oil have an adverse effect on our health? Find out more.  

Organic food: is it healthier? Consumers often choose organic food believing that it is better than food that has been conventionally farmed. But how much truth is there in this? Is organic food really more nutritious and safer than other food? Find out more

Regional diets

How important is our diet on our health and longevity? What are the potential benefits of adopting a Japanese, Mediterranean or Nordic diet? And are there any adverse side effects? Find out more.  

Salt, sugar and fat

Sugar, salt and fat are three of the most debated dietary topics. We know that too much salt and sugar is bad for our health. But how much is too much? And what about fat? We need a certain amount of fat in our diet but some fats are healthier than others. So how do we get the right balance? Find out more

Top foods

Learn which foods come out on top in Yale University’s overall nutritional quality index and which ones are the least nutritious. Find out more

Vegetarian diet

What are the benefits of adopting a vegetarian diet? Can it really reduce our risk of heart attacks, strokes and diabetes? And how do you make sure that you’re not missing out on important nutrients that your body needs? Find out more

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals play an important role in helping our bodies to work effectively. But which ones are the most important for our health? And what are the main sources? Find out more

Reviewed and updated by Stephanie Reynolds April 2016, next review April 2019 

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