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You know what they say, “you are what you eat”. And for some of us, our diets are not the healthiest out there. Fish and chips on Fridays, takeaways and chippie meals on the weekends, ready meals here and there for lunch. This is not a healthy way to eat and live.

So in steps our personal chef, the NHS. Yes, the NHS as a personal chef, sort of the Gordon Ramsey, or Jamie Oliver of the health profession.

The NHS is here for us on many levels.

One level is to provide medical care and treatment if and when it is needed. Should you have an accident or emergency, the A&E and hospitals are there for you. Should you require day-to-day medical advice or car, your GP as part of the NHS is there for you. If you require surgery or more intense medical treatment, again the NHS and hospitals are there for you.

But the NHS is so much more. They are also preventive care specialists, and offer guidance and support for those trying to quit smoking, or drinking too much, wanting to lose weight and stay fit, etc. They don’t want us to get sick or take ill, they want us to stay healthy and not have a need for their services. Yes, they don’t want us having to come to them. While most business or companies want you to come to them, the NHS wants you healthy and in no need of their services.

So they offer information on ways for us to stay healthy and one of those tidbits (pun intended) of information is in the form of recipes on eating better and a healthier way to cook.

We all know that in watching what we eat, and I don’t mean just watching it as we fork it into our gobs, means limiting fats, especially saturated fats, salt and sodium, and also sugar. When you look at it all together it looks like there is very little we can eat to eat healthily but vegetables.

But the different recipes offer ways to cook meals without using too much fats, or salts. Many of us just salt our meals even before we taste them! We automatically reach for the salt, and there may be tons of salt already in the meal.

One thing that is really good about the recipes the NHS has put out, is that they list not just the ingredients and cooking time, but also the nutritional values of each meal. How much energy, protein, fats, and fats that are saturates, fibre, salt, sodium, etc, is in each meal and portion.

And portion control is another biggie when looking to loss weight. Obesity is becoming a huge (no pun intended) problem in the UK. So knowing exactly what is in your food and monitoring the portions you eat is important.

The recipes also list any allergy advice and food safety tips. Both of which are important for our health. If someone has an allergy to a specific food product, it will be noted in the recipe.

The food safety tips cover washing your hands before cooking or preparing food, which is common sense and a given when cooking. But also how to handle leftovers, which if it is really good, it should all get eaten up. They also cover reheating of food and how to deal with this.

I found the recipes to be very extensive in what they covered, but also very easy to prepare. And while there were not a lot of recipes there, it was enough to get you started and pointed in the right direction; and it was a varied menu.

So the NHS is there not just when we are in a medial emergency or need medical attention, but also as a preventive friend.

More information can be found on the NHS’s web site.

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