Low Mood, Depression, Anxiety and how to get some practical help (list of free services around the world with details)

In this last year we discussed a lot of alternatives to manage comfort eating and emotional eating related to stress and depression and how to be more mindful
 (links at the bottom if you want to have a look)

But what if it's not enough, as a Dietitian I can tell that sometimes is not about food. Mental health and the mood are important to guarantee that you are able to have a good quality of life included following a healthy lifestyle.
But what if low mood, depression and anxiety are "devouring" you and need to constantly fight with all of this.
Sometimes food is not the solution, and focusing on what is creating all those emotions is not an easy process but something that could help permanently instead of a temporary fix like comfort eating.
So this time I am going to list you some professional support, free to use that could be used to avoid the long waiting from your local medical centre and to keep all your confidentiality, because sometimes the waiting could make things …

Comparison between different oils and what to look on the labels and ingredients, including butter, margarine, spray oil and vegetable oils

Here is a quick comparison between different kind of oils and what to check on the labels before buying 

What to check on the labels:

Mainly are two things:

- The nutritional values
Trying to prefer oils rich in Polyunsaturated fats and at the same timeAvoid or reducing the amount of saturated and trans fats
To note that any fat/oil from a plant is naturally without cholesterol Which means that is present in any animal fat including butter or ghee for example

- Checking the ingredients is important too!Sometimes there are more ingredients than expected and often could reduce the quality
For example when buying Extra Virgin Olive oil: Often there is a percentage of different kind of qualities of olives to obtain a cheaper version so to not get tricked is important to check the percentages and in this case " you get what you pay for" applies almost always.
Just consider that you may pay a little bit more to get a better quality of a product that is lasting for a while as we don'…

Royal Jelly: How a Queen Bee is made, a perfect example of how important neutron can be and the nutritional comparison with honey

Let's start with a question:

How do you think a Queen Bee is made ?

Would you say she was born already like this or something else made her become the Queen ?

The answer is:
She was born exactly as the other bees, nothing different at all
But because of the a different diet, her whole structure would grow differently
and that's how she becomes a Queen with all the specific characteristics

To give more details, the Queen Bee is receiving  a different kind of nutrient compared to any other, which is Royal Jelly,  and this is one of the biggest example I came across on how much the diet could impact overall

Just to make one example:
The Queen Bee can live almost 5 years
while the "regular bee" has a life cycle between 45 and 90 days, and all the credits goes to the different nutrients they have 

Now, as you have probably seen this product in your local supermarket, let's have a look to the nutrients and let's compare this to honey

Generic Honey

Nutritional value per 1 table …

Nutrition during Menopause, Perimenopause, oestrogen plants and food to avoid

How to alleviate all the symptoms during and before the menopause ?

Here some practical tips:

- Hormones are the first thing changing and you can notice that by the irregular periods before the menopause when after that is going to stop and not have periods anymore

The oestrogens are reason for lot of these changes and side effects that you may experience during this time so how can we replace them?

There areplant oestrogens which even mildly they can have a similar effect as replacement to the hormones and reduce all the symptoms especially hot flushes and in case you would like to try this alternative before any supplement 

Some of this are:
- Soya 

- Edamame (link below with more information)

- Flax or sesame seeds (more information and other seeds properties below)

- Peaches and Berries (more information with low fructose fruits below) 

Protein alternatives or simply having more choices: Tofu, Quorn, Oncom

Let's start by saying that is not always to be just
black OR white

In this case is not about switching completely to these options instead of your favourite protein intake

It's more about having varieties and alternatives during the month and sometimes trying new things that you don't know yet if you will love it or hate it, but let's give a chance at least!

So here some alternatives with detailed nutritional values per 100 gr :


What is it ?
Similar procedure as cheesemaking it's made from condensed soy milk, also called bean curd.

Nutritional Value:

Calories  76 

Protein  8 gr

Carbs 2 gr

Fat  5 gr

Where to find it and How to use it?

This product now it's very famous and easy to find in any groceries
There are different types:

- Silken:
perfect to be blended like in smoothies or in recipes instead of eggs, so even scrambled on your toast

- Firm:
 more as a meat substitute, has to be seasoned and usually fried, and used like in a pad Thai

- Marinated:
 so it means has…

Less obvious than how it sounds, The secret to make a good cup of coffee and tea, considering the second most important ingredient

I was in a local bar in Naples when I made a compliment on how good was the coffee and the barista kindly explained to me that the secret was the water!
Was the first time hearing something like that so I was curious about this answer, and the reason it's because the tap water from Naples it's usually very pure and low in minerals
Thinking about this, actually makes sense that all the waters don't taste the same and just considering  the varieties of minerals you can have in the water really changes a lot from places to places or from different brands, and each mineral changes the taste of it, therefore since this is basically the other half as ingredient for any kind of coffee or tea, it means that changes the taste too!
As a personal experience, I can say that the taste of the coffee of the same brand was different in Naples compared to the one I usually had in Rome (where I grew up)
So what did change ?
Immediately I can recall that the tap water in Romeit's famous to be…

How to make KENKEY (fermented maze dumpling) calories and recipe. also called KORMI or DORKUNU


Simple and tasty, Originally from Western Africa.
It is similar to sourdough dumplings and could be served with soup, stew or grilled fish.
The only thing to consider is the preparation that requires few days for the fermentation process


You can find lot of recipes and videos online if you want something more elaborate.
This is a simplified version:

- 2 cups of cornmeal 

- 1 table spoon of corn starch 

- dry corn husks 

put the cornmeal and starch in a bowl add warm water (same amount like the cornmeal so 2 cups in this case)stir for a smooth doughcover the bowl and leave it for 2 days in a warm place (fermentation)Now that the dough is ready, scrap any mould formed Separately in a container Boil 2 cups of water and add salt inland after that put half of the dough in the water and mix it for 10 min (medium heat)after 10 min. remove it from heat but continue to mix/stirdivide the dough in 3 portions and put them onto corn husksnow we have to make the ball…

10 cal fruit jelly one of the snack lowest in sugar and calories, also suitable for vegetarian

One of the first snack alternative I usually discuss with patients is this one:

The low sugar Jelly


Suitable for vegetarian, which means is suitable for lot of different dietary choices that could be due to religion or ethic reasons, but I would recommend to always double check the label to confirm this.
Flexible to mix with other products like yogurt or even ice cream, to still have something that you like but with a considerable reduced amount of sugars and calories
Easy to transport as a snack when you are out to avoid a high in calories snacks from the shop

 Doesn't require any preparation at all


There are different brands let's see the differences:

Hartley's 10 cal jelly:Calories: between 5 and 10 calories depending on the flavour
Sugar: 0.1 gr
Fat:  0.1 gr
Protein: 0.1 gr
Flavours:  - Lime - Mango - Orange - Blueberry - Cranberry - Raspberry - Strawberry - Watermelon - Lemon Cheesecake
Extra tip: just pay attention to not confuse with the 50 calories or …

How to reduce Fructose in your daily intake if needed (due to intolerance or restrictions for instance) and fruit naturally high and low in fructose:

Fructose could be found in a variety of products in an elevated amount as a syrup or simple sugar for example


Keeping in my mind that the dose is making the difference, we are not talking about fruits and veggies which the amount could be included in a healthy diet.

A high amount of this can increase extra fat disposition and insulin resistance.

Another important note is the level of satiety which is low, it basically means that you need more of these kind of product to fill full and satisfied which also means a bigger portion/calories


LOW FAT YOGURT  (always check the label because some brands are claiming a low fat product without mentioning a higher amount of sugars/fructose)
DRESSING ( like Ketchup and Mayonneise )

As you can notice once again reading label is important to be aware about the content and the amount of certain products, fructose included.
Now if you do suffer of a se…

Diabetes type 3 and NHS Diabetes prevention programme

Prevention it's always better than any future treatment
Working in the NHS Diabetes prevention programmemade me realise how important it is to always look in a long term perspective to avoid any further complications

Doesn't matter if you are feeling young and invincible right now or have you just been diagnosed with Diabetes (even borderline)

The point is that an "investment" made on yourself to get healthier will be paid off with many interests in the future and the only person to benefit from this is yourself 

You might have heard already about:

Diabetes type 1: It happens when the body can't produce enough insulin 
Diabetes type 2: The body develops insulin resistence or is not produced enough 
But maybe you didn't hear about:
Diabetes type 3: An insulin resistance that could trigger Alzheimer's disease, because of the complications from the chemical imbalances (to not be confused with type 3c) PRACTICAL ADVICE:
Now the takeaway is how important is the pre…