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Celebs reveal top secret recipes to keep our hearts fit and healthy

SOME of Ireland's best known celebrities have opened their kitchen cabinets and revealed their secret recipes.

Miriam O'Callaghan, Tiffany Stanley, Nicky Byrne and other celebrities have contributed to a book aimed at reducing Ireland's high heart attack rate.

Irish celebrities revealed their own favourite dishes in a new cook book I Love Good Food.

They joined TV cooks like Donal Skehan and Nevin Maguire in giving hints to families on how to cook simple healthy recipes. Each recipe lists the amount of saturated fat, salt and sugar per portion.

Miriam O'Callaghan's recipe for 'one crust rhubarb pie' comes with her recommendation: "This must be the perfect pie. It looks attractive because it has only one layer of pastry and you can see the fruit inside."

Her pie has three grammes of saturated fat and 13g of sugar per portion.

Marty Whelan declared he often cooks his veal marsala at home. He said: "It must be the Italian in me trying to get out."

Westlife's Nicky Byrne revealed how he cooks roast fillet of beef with roasted balsamic beetroot for family and friends. Boyzone's Mikey Graham's spaghetti bolognese contains some extra ingredients and has a very low salt content.


TV cook Donal Skehan told the Herald he was delighted to share his 'quick wok curry noodles' secrets as it was really fast to prepare and simple to make. The addition of curry powder gives it a totally different flavour from any other stir-fry.

"I was really happy to participate with the book as my grandfather had difficult heart issues before he died. Diet and food are key to health," he said.

The Herald's columnist Rosanna Davison contributed her family's firm favourite 'crunchy Thai tofu salad'.

Some 60 pc of Irish adults are obese or overweight and healthy eating is essential to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, said the Irish Heart Foundation's dietician Janis Morrissey.

She said poor diet is strongly linked to high blood pressure and raised cholesterol, and is responsible for about one third of premature cardiovascular disease.

The book offers practical 'swap it' tips such as replacing salt with black pepper for flavour and provides useful health advice including how to eat more fibre, lose weight, choose the right portion size and cook more healthily.

Ms Morrissey said: "It can often be difficult to choose food that is good for you and tasty. In Ireland we are consuming excessive amounts of highly processed foods....which are high in calories and poor in nutrients

"But by cooking food yourself, you can control what goes into your meals and what you eat."

I Love Good Food is available shops at €16.99 or directly from www.irishheart.ie.

A donation will be made to the Irish Heart Foundation for every cookbook sold.