Tag Archives: healthy diet

Three healthier home baked Valentine’s Day dessert ideas

No Valentine’s Day meal would be complete without a delicious dessert but some of those shop-bought puddings can contain over 400 calories and 25g of fat – that’s nearly the same as a quarter-pounder with cheese!

So for a healthier homemade alternative, here are three heavenly home-baked Valentine’s Day dessert ideas.

Visit our website for more than 30 healthier dessert ideas.

Peach Spice Filo Pies

Peach spice filo pies

Spice up your Valentine’s Day with these filo fruit pies.

Serves two


• One large can (420g) peaches, in juice, drained
• Pinch of ground mixed spice
• One teaspoon flaked almonds
• 20g sultanas
• Two sheets filo pastry
• Low-fat natural or fat-free Greek yoghurt to serve (optional)


Preheat the oven to 180°C/360°F/gas mark 4.

Divide the peaches between two ramekins.

Sprinkle over the spice, almonds and sultanas and stir gently.

Loosely scrunch the filo sheets like tissue paper and use them to cover the top of the pies.

Note: You can brush a small amount of melted reduced-fat spread over the filo pastry for a more golden and crispy finish.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the tops are golden (watch them carefully as they can ‘catch’ and burn).

Serve hot, with low-fat natural, or fat-free Greek, yoghurt.

Nutritional analysis per serving:

277 kcal, 3.2g fat, 0.3g salt, 2 of your 5 A DAY

Apple and Strawberry Crumbles

Apple and strawberry crumble

If you fancy getting fruity on Friday then try one of the next two recipes. These tasty and warming mini-crumbles are the perfect treat to end any Valentine’s Day meal.

Serves two


• Three cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced (approx 400g peeled and cored weight)
• One tablespoon caster sugar
• Two pinches ground cinnamon
• One tablespoon orange juice
• 100g strawberries (fresh or frozen)
• 15g reduced-fat spread
• 20g plain flour
• 20g porridge oats
• 15g golden granulated sugar


Preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F/gas mark 6.

Place the sliced apple in a bowl and toss with the caster sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and the orange juice.

Place about one-third of the apple mixture in a saucepan, cover and cook gently on a medium heat until soft.

Allow to cool.

Mix the cooked apple with the uncooked apple. Halve the strawberries (if using fresh) and add to the apples.

Place the fruit equally in each ramekin.

To make the crumble, gradually rub the spread into the flour, oats and remaining cinnamon until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the golden
granulated sugar.

Sprinkle on top of the fruit and lightly pat down.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the juices are bubbling and the topping is golden.

Serve with low-fat natural yogurt or fat-free vanilla yoghurt (perfect for those with a sweet tooth).

Nutritional analysis per serving:

277 kcal, 6.2g fat, 0.2g salt, 3 of your 5 A DAY

Fruit Clafoutis

Fruit Clafoutis

Nothing says romance like a fancy French pudding! Clafoutis come in many forms – this is a custard-like one, with a puffy golden top.

Serves two


• 110g frozen forest berries – you can also use fresh berries or tinned fruit (in fruit juice), such as peaches, pears or cherries
• 1 medium egg
• 30g plain flour
• 15g caster sugar
• 100ml skimmed milk


Preheat the oven to 220°C/430°F/gas mark 7.

Lightly grease an ovenproof dish.

Place the berries in the dish. If using tinned fruit, drain first.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then add the flour and sugar. Gradually add the milk, beating continuously, to make a smooth batter.

Pour the batter over the berries and bake for 25 minutes.

Serve hot, warm or cold.

Nutritional analysis per serving:

156 kcal, 3.1g fat, 0.1g salt, half of your 5 A DAY

These recipes were taken from our publication Healthier Home Baking.

Download more free publications including recipe books, exercise tips and health guides from our website.

Obesity and breast cancer media coverage

Newspapers: reporting cancer risk
Newspapers and cancer risk

You might have seen an article in the Metro today about a new study suggesting that overweight girls may be at lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life.

The cancer prevention Policy Report World Cancer Research Fund published last year made recommendations for the media and, to be fair, this article has at least put this study into context.

After all, it does get across the point that, looking at all the research, there is convincing evidence that being overweight increases risk of six types of cancer. And one of these types of cancer is breast cancer.

I am still concerned, though, about the potential cumulative effect of headlines of the “Fat girls are ‘less likely’ to get cancer” variety.

Think about how you read a newspaper. Often you will just read the first few paragraphs before moving onto the next story. And if that is the case, context is not going to be much help if it is all in the second half of the article.

With this in mind, it’s possible that someone just scanning the paper would have come away with the impression that scientists are saying that being overweight can actually help reduce cancer risk, even though there is now very strong evidence that the opposite is the case.

This has an effect.

The advice on how to reduce risk of cancer has not changed much in the last 10 years. But last year WCRF commissioned a YouGov survey that found over half of people thought scientists were always changing their minds about cancer risk.

This perception is perhaps not surprising considering all the apparently contradictory stories in the press. We read, for example, that being overweight both does and does not increase risk of cancer.  Or that drinking wine is both good and bad for our cancer risk.

I’m not saying that any of these articles are inaccurate, but looking at the situation overall, there is concern that media coverage of cancer isn’t doing a good job of raising awareness of how people can reduce their cancer risk.

The problem, I think, is not so much that people immediately believe everything they read in newspapers. The real issue is that people end up not trusting any of it .

And that means that sometimes the good advice – to eat a plant-based diet, to be physically active and to maintain a healthy weight – can be ignored along with the bad.

Our recipe of the week: Wimbledon strawberry, mint and melon salad!

After a long day of tennis (or any physical activity for that matter), there is nothing quite as refreshing as fresh fruit. In the spirit of Wimbledon, we are featuring our strawberry, mint, and melon salad as our recipe of the week. Strawberries are a great source of vitamins C and B and contain potassium, iron, fibre and antioxidants. This year, instead of strawberries & cream and a glass of Pimms, why not try this easier-on-the-waist alternative?

Wimbledon strawberry, mint and melon salad

Preparation and cooking time: 10 minutes
Per serving:
Calories: 180kcal
Fat: 1g
Salt: 0.08g
5 A DAY: 2

Ingredients (serves 2)

8 strawberries
¼ Cantaloupe melon, chopped into 2.5 cm/1” pieces
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
150ml/5fl oz orange juice

1.             Place all the fruit in a large bowl and scatter the mint over the top.
2.             Add the fruit juice and mix so that all the fruit is covered. Chill in the fridge.
3.             Serve with half-fat crème fraîche or low-fat yoghurt.

It is simple, affordable, and, more importantly, delicious!

B Vitamin levels linked to reduced lung cancer risk

We’ve issued a press release today about a study we funded, which found that people with high levels of B-vitamins in their blood may be at reduced risk of lung cancer .

The story was covered by the BBC website, as well as a several other websites.

The study found that people with above average levels of Vitamin B6 and methionine –a related nutrient – are half as likely to develop the disease. The results were similar for smokers, non-smokers and ex-smokers. However, more research is needed before scientists can be confident that increasing levels of B-vitamins in the diet can reduce risk of lung cancer and also to understand how this works.

Smoking is by far the biggest risk factors for lung cancer, so the best way to reduce the risk of lung cancer is not to smoke. However, a significant number of lung cancer cases occur among people who have never smoked or who have stopped smoking. This means that for ex-smokers and people who have never smoked, the findings of this study could mean that these people can do something positive to reduce their risk of lung cancer. Food sources of vitamin B6 and methionine include beans, grains, meat, poultry, some nuts and some fruits and vegetables.

It is also important to emphasise that this study does not show that taking B vitamins in supplements will be effective. WCRF recommends not using supplements to protect against cancer .