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Count the pennies and still lose pounds; Despite food costs increasing, there are ways to eat healthily without going broke.

Byline: Melanie Harvey

OBESITY is a health crisis waiting to happen.

Between 1995 and 2012, the proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in Scotland who were obese or overweight increased from 52.4 per cent to 61.9 per cent.

But one of the main issues facing many is the price of food.

Research shows the cost of eating healthily has rocketed and it is now three times more expensive to eat well than buy less nutritious alternatives.

Clearly we are facing a crisis, with the poorest less able to feed themselves properly. Scottish Slimmers have been helping people lose excess weight for 34 years and have found their members struggling with the cost of food in recent years.

Alexandra Howie, of the slimmers' ' group, said: "Eating healthily means making the most of fresh, local produce - not falling for the latest low-fat convenience meal or gimmick.

"It just takes a little more time to get the best prices and still eat super healthily."

Here are two simple low-calorie recipes from Scottish Slimmers that won't break the bank.

Sticky sausages with spring onion mash Serves 2 Per serving: 285 cals Some sausages tend to be very high in fat, so be sure to buy low-fat ones (up to 75 calories per sausage). Alternatively you can use Quorn sausages. | 1 tsp Dijon mustard | 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard | 1 tbsp runny honey | Juice of 1 lemon | 4 low-fat sausages Spring onion mash: | 250 g/9oz potatoes, cut into chunks | 1 tbsp skimmed milk | 2 tbsp virtually fat-free fromage frais | 4 spring onions, finely chopped | Salt and freshly ground black pepper Mix together the mustards with the honey and lemon juice until well blended. Add the sausages and turn them over in the mustardy mixture to coat them.

Place the sausages in a non-stick baking dish and pour over any of the remaining mustardy mixture.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C/gas mark 6 for 25 minutes, turning the sausages occasionally, until cooked through and glossy.

For the mash, cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water until tender. Drain well and return to the pan.

Mash with a fork or potato masher adding the milk and fromage frais.

Beat well until the mash is smooth and free from lumps. Stir in the spring onions and season to taste.

Serve the sticky sausages with the spring onion mash and green vegetables, like spring greens or cabbage.

Health-savvy shopping tips | Frozen fruit and vegetables are very nutritious.

| Two slices of wholemeal bread provide around a quarter of your daily fibre. Other fibre sources include fruit and veg, jacket potatoes and wholemeal pasta.

| Buy big value bags of oats from supermarket economy ranges. They're low GI, so will keep you satisfied for longer.

| Canned pilchards, sardines, salmon, herring and mackerel are less expensive ways of getting omega 3 oils from fish.

| If you've bought more meat than you need in one go, freeze in usable portions as soon as you get home.

Smoked haddock pate Serves 4 Per serving: 115 cals This delicious dish makes a little bit of fish go a long way. You can spread it on bread, crispbreads or toast, or eat it with a crisp salad.

| 225g/8oz smoked haddock fillet | 225g/8oz low-fat cottage cheese with chives | Grated zest of 1 lemon | Juice of 1 lemon | 3 tbsp chopped parsley | 2 tsp chopped capers in brine | Salt and freshly ground black pepper Place the smoked haddock fillet in a wide pan and cover with water. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil.

Cover the pan and simmer gently for five minutes and then allow the fish to cool in the poaching liquid.

When the fish is cool enough to handle, lift it out of the poaching liquid and pat dry with kitchen paper. Remove the skin and any bones. Flake the flesh into a mixing bowl.

Health-Mix the smoked haddock with the cottage cheese, lemon zest and juice, parsley and capers. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover the pate mixture and chill in the refrigerator for two hours before eating.

| Frozen very | Two slices provide daily fibre. include and wholemeal | Buy big supermarket They're satisfied | Canned salmon, less expensive Serve in small, individual ramekin dishes, each topped with a sprig of parsley.

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STRUGGLE Prices have shot up but it is possible to eat well on a budget
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Oct 10, 2014
Words:737
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