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Dust off your diet for the Flora Women's Mini Marathon

Women of all ages are gearing up to participate in the 29th Flora Women’s Mini Marathon and are beginning to make positive changes to their diets and lifestyles to get race-fit.

With 13 weeks to go, now is the time to dust off your diet and kick start your training programme.

According to Flora nutritionist Dr Patricia Heavey, we need a range of different foods to stay healthy.

It’s not hard to create a healthy diet that’s tasty and interesting and can help keep your heart healthy.

Eating a nutritious, balanced diet can help you:

- Reduce levels of bad cholesterol

- Control your blood pressure

- Achieve a healthy weight and shape

The basic rules for a balanced diet:

- Eat a variety of foods from each of the food groups, including at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

- Base meals on starchy foods such as bread, pasta, rice or potatoes. Choose wholegrain varieties when possible.

- Eat smaller amounts of meat or other protein, choosing lower-fat versions when possible.

- Eat two portions of fish each week, one of which should be oily.

- Swap high-fat dairy foods for lower-fat versions.

- Eat small amounts of fatty and sugary foods.

- Cut down on saturated fats and trans fats and replace them with unsaturated fats.

- Eat less salt.

- Drink alcohol in moderation.