Rushden dietitian shares her knowledge on how to eat well during lockdown

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After working in the NHS for many years, Dr Mabel Blades now has her own business and helps people with their diet

An expert on diet and nutrition has shared some of her knowledge about how to eat well during lockdown.

Dr Mabel Blades of Rushden is a registered dietitian and nutritionist with a PhD in diet and diabetes.

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She has her own business, Nutrition and Dietetic Services, after working in the NHS for many years and now does consultancy as well as writing books.

A balanced diet is recommended, as shown in the Eatwell Guide produced by the NHSA balanced diet is recommended, as shown in the Eatwell Guide produced by the NHS
A balanced diet is recommended, as shown in the Eatwell Guide produced by the NHS | other

Dr Blades, who is also a governor at Kettering General Hospital, is going to share her knowledge with the Northants Telegraph in the coming weeks, helping us make good use of the food in our cupboards and offering advice on getting a balanced diet despite the lockdown restrictions.

While the British Dietetic Association has warned that there is no diet that prevents coronavirus, Dr Blades said: "A well balanced and nutritious diet is important in this stressful time whether you are working long hours, self- isolating or shielding due to feeling unwell or just having difficulties with shopping."

Here are a few suggestions from Dr Blades:

- Take enough fluid, a minimum of two litres per day for most adults (unless you have been told to restrict fluid for a medical reason). Lack of fluid can make you feel irritable and fatigued which is not what you want to feel at present. Water is ideal for hydration but most other beverages also contribute except for strong coffees and alcoholic drinks

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- Eat regular meals – so a breakfast, lunch and evening meal. Try to have some protein at each meal

- Include five portions of vegetables and fruit each day. If you find it difficult to obtain fresh items then try frozen, canned or dried vegetables. These can be useful in soups and casseroles as well as stir fries, curries and chillies to mention but a few dishes. Dried, canned or frozen fruits can be a basis of many desserts

- Try to eat enough fibre by using wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread and fruit and vegetables plus nuts and seeds

- If you are not going out into the sunshine it is worth looking at taking a vitamin D supplement. It is also worth considering a multivitamin and mineral preparation

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- Now is a good time to try different recipes and to experiment with cooking items in different ways. Get out the tins or packets from the back of the cupboard or bottom of the freezer and try to use these up instead of leaving them there. Then replace them with new items for variety

- If you are following a special diet do contact your dietitian or health professional if you have any queries

- It is also a time to have some sort of treat like chocolate, a glass of wine or cake but do try to not devour the whole cake or bottle of wine!

For more information about Dr Blades and her work, click here

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