Coffee & Catch Up with Kate Quilton

BAFTA-winning TV presenter Kate co-hosts the successful Channel 4 show Food Unwrapped which explores the scientific research behind certain food myths.

Q) You returned to our screens on January 3 for a Food Unwrapped: Diet Special to investigate whether a weight-loss superpower is hidden in the nation’s favourite takeaway dish – curry! What did you discover?

Surprisingly that curry may not just be the Saturday night treat that adds inches to your waistline. There is some scientific evidence for cumin, a spice used in many curries, actually aiding weight loss. In a clinical trial, overweight women lost three times as much body fat when taking cumin, when compared to a group that wasn’t taking cumin. Be sure to add a big spoon of cumin to your curry and it is possible that it could aid weight loss. Just make sure all the other ingredients you include in the recipe are low fat and swap out ingredients steeped in saturated fat, like ghee and cream, for healthier options like yoghurt.

Q) You’re looking forward to the birth of your first child. Have you changed your diet much during pregnancy and if so what advice would you give to other mums-to- be?

Eating well in the first trimester canbe tricky depending on how queasy you’re feeling. If you constantly feel like you’re on the precipice of being sick, vegetables can be the last thing you want to eat. But after the queasy phase, good nutrition in pregnancy can be simple. Eat lots of veggies, drink water (and lots of it), avoid processed foods that contain lots of sugar and fat and eat a varied and balanced diet. But don’t give yourself a hard time if the only thing you can stomach is a bland piece of toast or a plain bowl of pasta.

Q) January is obviously a peak month for starting a diet after all the overindulgence at Christmas.What do think you should consider before choosing the right one for you?

I’m not a big believer in diets. If you can, the best thing to do is to work on lifestyle changes rather than entering a cycle of yo- yo diets to lose weight. If you’re eating the right kinds of foods, and getting the right exercise, you can reach a healthy weight. But every person is different and will know what works for them. Whatever lifestyle changes – or diet – you adopt in January, best of luck with it.

Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped returns later this year, with Kate Quilton, Jimmy Doherty, Matt Tebbutt and Dr Helen Lawal. Follow Kate @Quilton on Twitter.

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