By now, many of you who have started training for the Flora Women's Mini Marathon are making small changes to your diet to suit this more active lifestyle. Congratulations -- you are already on your way to improved fitness and a healthier heart!
However, as we all know, to get heart healthy, we must use a combination of diet and exercise.
Dr Patricia Heavey, independent nutritionist with the Flora Women's Mini Marathon, has some tips to reduce your fat intake.
1 Watch how you cook. Try not to add a lot of fat while cooking, a little will go a long way. Grill instead of frying and bake or boil food instead of roasting.
2 Cut the fat off your meat. Go for lean cuts of meat where possible and only eat the lean part of the meat. Reduce your intake of fatty processed meats such as sausages.
3 Watch your portion sizes. 'Treat' foods that contain a lot of fat, such as cake and chocolate, are allowed as part of a healthy diet. What matters is how often and in what portions you eat them. Reduce portion sizes of fatty 'treat' foods and have just one small treat a day.
4Avoid creamy sauces on your pasta. Always go for tomato-based sauces when eating out and ask for sauces and dressings on the side so that you can choose how much you eat.
5 Switch to low-fat alternatives of your favourite foods. Go for low-fat milk and spreads, such as Flora Light, look for low-fat dressings and sauces in the supermarket and see if you can find low-fat versions of treat foods such as crisps and biscuits.
>For more information on heart health, check out the Flora Health Files on the Flora Women's Mini Marathon website at www.flora womensminimarathon.ie