There was a interesting article in the Daily Mail this week regarding calorie counting and which foods make us fat.

It seems that we need to re-think the whole idea of whether simply counting calories is a successful way of losing weight.

The article covers a great deal of research and certainly poses some surprising questions about weight management.

Rick Miller, a clinical dietitian and spokesman for the British Dietetic Association, says: ‘The texture and consistency of a food influences the amount of energy you need to digest it.

‘Soft and highly processed foods require less effort to chew, so you use fewer calories.

High-fibre foods require more chewing and are more difficult to digest, so you use up more calories eating them.’

I have always advocated introducing more fibre into the diet as a way of helping to reduce weight. Not only does fibre require more energy to digest but it will help make your feel fuller so you tend not to eat so much during a meal. You will also be less likely to start getting those hunger pangs a short time after eating a main meal which encourage you to reach for a snack.

Researchers also mentioned the low Glycaemic Index (GI) diet which advocates eating food as close to its natural state as possible and concentrating on eating more slow release carbohydrates such as oats, beans and pulses and vegetables whilst reducing biscuits, pastries, white bread and pasta.

If you would like more information about adopting a GI diet and introducing more fibre into your diet, or have any questions about your eating habits, please contact Pippa Mitchell on 01483 527945.

Meanwhile here is a high fibre, low GI recipe to get you started:

Vegetable and lentil curry
Serves 4

• 2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
• 1 onion chopped
• 2 garlic cloves crushed
• 700g potatoes peeled and cut into chunks (substitute with sweet potatoes if you prefer)
• 4 carrots thickly sliced
• 2 parsnips thickly sliced
• Half a head of broccoli, broken into florets
• 2 tbsp curry paste or powder
• 1 litre/1¾ pints vegetable stock
• 100g red lentils
• a small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
• plain bio yogurt with a tablespoon of freshly chopped mint

1. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Tip in the potatoes, carrots and parsnips, turn up the heat and cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables are golden.
2. Stir in the curry paste or powder, pour in the stock and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, add the lentils, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook for another 5 minues or so, until the lentils and vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened.
3. Stir in most of the coriander, season and heat for a minute or so. Top with the yogurt and the rest of the coriander. Serve with basmati or brown rice.

Read the whole article on this link: