The award winning Your Healthy Kitchen campaign returns with a whole new range of recipes, including snack and light lunch ideas as well as a host of top tips to help people enjoy delicious South Asian dishes that are altogether healthier for you and the whole family.
Adopting a healthier diet can have multiple health and nutritional benefits especially for Leicester’s South Asian population that is more prone to conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease. Leicester city residents have been confirmed to have the highest rates of diabetes in the country. The Diabetes UK data released earlier this year showed that, 10 per cent of the population of Leicester city suffers with the condition – that is significantly higher than the whole of England, with the national average being at 7.3%.
To help combat these conditions in Leicester city, the NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland has partnered with, Belgrave and Spinney Hill Primary Care Network, Leicester Community Links, Leicester Ageing Together and South Asian Health Action (SAHA UK) to work with people at the heart of the affected communities to develop the new range of recipes that enables people to eat the food they know and love but in a healthier way.
Jessica Mhesuria, NHS Dietitian at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust has worked with South Asian people in the Belgrave and Spinney Hill areas of Leicester City to help them to implement some healthy changes to their staple dishes whilst maintaining an authentic flavour. Jess said: “It can be daunting for some to implement too many changes at one time so we really wanted to develop a range of delicious recipes that will encourage people to take control of their health. It’s really important for us to raise awareness about how to tweak traditional recipes and keep them tasty, nutritionally balanced and help to improve overall health.
“It has been incredibly rewarding and enlightening working in the community to develop not only healthier dinner options but also a variety of snack and light lunch alternatives too. We really want to show people that no matter your budget or dietary needs there are healthier alternatives available even when preparing traditional dishes. We’ve also developed a top tips guide so that healthier tweaks can be applied to any recipe not just those featured in our recipe booklet.”
As part of the new campaign there’s a full range of new videos and a detailed recipe booklet full of hints and tips that can be downloaded from the Your Healthy Kitchen website by clicking here.
Leena Chande, a local resident added: “I attended Jessica’s sessions as I wanted to improve my health and my family’s health. Jessica explained things in such an easy way that I was able to cut down on oil and the food still tasted good. Now I don’t fry my paneer, I make the healthy chevdo recipe and even changed some habits for my son. Before he didn’t eat many vegetables and preferred meat, but I now include 5 fruit and vegetables into his diet every day and he’s eating less processed meats. As a family I don’t put salt on the table too now.”
To maximise on health benefits people are encouraged to not only eat well but to also exercise regularly. Dr Sulaxni Nainani, GP and Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland Integrated Care Board, said: “We are keen to work with our local communities to prevent the onset of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes as if left untreated it could cause serious health implications later in life. Supporting people to maintain a healthier lifestyle is the first step in reducing the need for medical intervention but it must be maintained to ensure that the benefits are realised. Your Healthy Kitchen is an excellent tool for anyone looking to improve their diet without compromising on taste and best of all it’s suitable for the whole family.”
Kirit Mistry, Health Inequalities Lead for South Asian Health Action, said: This has been a great project to help patients, carers, and communities to come together and learn about healthy cooking and to pick up dietary tips that will benefit them and their families. We are pleased to have been able to use our networks to help facilitate this project to support the NHS to reach those most in need of the guidance.”