October “Eat Healthy” – Variety is the spice of life

What’s the first thing you think of when someone says the word “diet”?


That’s because most weight-loss orientated diets involve cutting our major food groups such as carbs, fat, and sugars. Here at Kalila we are more interested in “Eating Healthy” to promote a healthy approach to food combined with an active lifestyle for ourselves and our families. That’s why you’ll see us promoting a wide range of activities from running, yoga, nutrition, prenatal and post natal well being and parenting. Variety really is key to maintaining health over a life time and none more so than with food.

  • It is important to consume a variety of foods as they supply us with different nutrients.


Rather than cutting out foods why not try different types of :

  • carbohydrates -breads/crackers such as wholegrain, seeded, rye, soda, sour dough, pitta, tortillas, rice / corn / buckwheat crackers
  • grains such as quinoa, brown rice, cous-cous, oats

whole grain carbohydrates

  • a wide variety of different coloured fruit (around 2 a day) For example, colourful fruit (and vegetables) contain antioxidant vitamins and minerals which support healthy cells and immune function (Cheng T-Y et al. 2001).
  • a wide variety of different coloured  vegetables (around 7-8 a day) For example, dark leafy green vegetables and bitter salad leaves can help to support liver function and digestion eg. rocket leaves, water cress, coriander, spinach, kale (McMullen M. et al. (2014)  .


  • Animal and vegetable proteins – fish, meat, dairy foods, eggs, nuts, seeds, lentils, pulses.  It is important to eat a wide variety of proteins because they all contain different amino acids, which have different uses in the body affecting the bodies immune and repair functions, mood (Holzer P. et al. 2012), and digestion.


  •  Essential omega 3 fatty acids (healthy fats) found in oily fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines, fresh tuna, sardines, herring, anchovy, trout), nuts (mainly walnuts,) seeds (mainly chia and flax).  They occur in smaller amounts in white fish & seafood (haddock, cod, scallops) and some green leafy vegetables (broccoli, kale, spinach).  These fats have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may improve energy, skin health, brain function, mood, gut health, cardiovascular health (Erkkilä A. et al. 2014) and aid blood sugar balance (Moosher S. et al. 2014).
  • Essential omega 6 fatty acids found in avocados, chicken, nuts and seeds (pumpkin, flax, sesame/ tahini, sunflower).

good fats

Eating Healthily should be anything but boring!

There are so many good foods, locally grown / reared foods, seasonal foods that eating healthily should be exciting and tasteful. Variety is the spice of life and spices can add even greater excitement to food.  The greater the variety the greater the range of nutrients (minerals and vitamins) you will be consuming and each one plays an important role in health.  The Kalila challenge for this month is to go buy and try some new foods and add variety into your everyday diet!



  • Cheng T-Y, Zhu Z, Masuda S, Morcos NC (2001). Effects of multinutrient supplementation on antioxidant defense systems in healthy human beings. Journal of nutritional biochemistry. Vol 12. Issue 7. Pp.388-95
  • Erkkilä A, Schwab U, Lehto S. et al. (2014) Effect of fatty and lean fish intake on lipoprotein subclasses in subjects with coronary heart disease: A controlled trial, Journal of Clinical Lipidology. Vol.8, Issue 1, pp. 126-133
  • Holzer P. Reichmann F & Farzi A (2012) Neuropeptide Y, peptide YY and pancreatic polypeptide in the gut-brain axis. Neuropeptides. Dec;46(6):261-74.
  • McMullen M, Whitehouse J, Whitton P et al. (2014)  Bitter tastants alter gastric-phase postprandial haemodynamics. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 154, Issue 3, 3 July 2014, Pages 719-727
  • Moosher S. et al. (2014) A protein-enriched low glycemic index diet with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation exerts beneficial effects on metabolic control in type 2 diabetes. Primary Care Diabetes. Vol 8, Issue 4, pp. 308-314