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Diet and Nutrition – Eat Well Live well

vegetable salad in gray bowl

What we can offer

At FFP we have our own Registered Dietitian, Jill Whitehall, who offers individually tailored support and advice on a range of nutrition related topics, including:

  • Sustainable weight loss (one to one or in groups)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (one to one or in groups)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Frailty
oatmeal with nuts

Eating well can help you to:

  • Manage, or lower your risk of developing long term conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and osteoporosis
  • Lose weight if needed, and maintain a healthy weight
  • Support your immune system
  • Improve your energy levels and mood throughout the day

For more information call the practice, speak to one of the clinical team or email Jill on: [email protected]

three toasted bread on brown chopping board

Healthy eating

Choosing a variety of foods everyday in balanced amounts is the key to a healthy diet.

Top 10 tips for eating well:

  • Include a range of plant-based foods everyday: wholegrains; vegetables and fruits; nuts and seeds; legumes and herbs and spices
  • Choose a wide variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables every day – aim for at least 5 servings
  • Cut down on refined, low fibre carbs such as white bread, white rice and highly processed sugary and/or fatty foods. Opt for whole and natural foods rather than refined and processed
  • Swap sugary drinks, energy drinks and fruit juice for low sugar options including water, tea, coffee and herbal or fruit teas
  • Include up to 3 servings of dairy foods a day (or plant-based alternatives fortified with calcium), such as unsweetened, plain yogurt and milk
  • Choose chicken or turkey, fish, eggs, tofu, beans and lentils or unsalted nuts instead of processed meats. Limit red meat
  • Choose healthier fats, found in unsalted nuts, seeds, avocados, pure vegetable oils and oily fish
  • Eat regularly to maintain focus and energy levels throughout the day
  • Limit portion sizes to help with losing weight, if needed
  • Think about what you drink: if you drink alcohol, keep to no more than 14 units a week, spread over the week

For further information see the NHS Live well website:

Eat well – NHS (

You might also find this video on The British Nutrition Foundation website helpful:

Eating well on a budget.

With the rising cost of living, it may feel difficult to eat healthily.

The links below provide practical tips to help you eat well on a budget, and links for local food banks:

Eat well, spend less factsheet (British Dietetic Association)

7 days of healthy meals on a budget (British Heart Foundation)

Recipes (Cooking on a Bootstrap)

Bristol Foodbanks

Food clubs (Family Action) – low cost food, no referral needed

  • Our top tip: buy frozen or canned vegetables and fruit. Frozen veg can be more nutritious than fresh because it’s been frozen so soon after picking. Canned vegetables such as beans and pulses can make a nutritious, healthy and economic meal. When buying canned fruit, look for fruit in natural juice for a healthier choice.
bowl of vegetable salads

Weight management

Losing weight and keeping it off can be tough. Whether you want to lose weight for medical reasons or for general fitness and wellbeing, help is at hand. Do contact the practice to find out about support offered from our dietitian, Jill (links here). We run a regular one to one service as well as group programmes to support you to achieve sustainable weight loss, using a mindfulness approach to balanced eating.

There are lots of different approaches for managing weight – what’s important is to find the right approach that works for you.

A balanced approach to eating, and choosing a wide variety of foods everyday, will give your body the nourishment it needs. It will also help you to achieve your weight loss goals. Try some of these top 10 tips for long term, sustainable weight loss.

Here are some links to local weight management services and helpful websites to get you started.

Better health: healthier families (NHS) – recipes, tips and more

Beezee bodies – free, 12 week online wight loss course

Eatwell Guide (NHS) – how to achieve a balanced diet

Healthy weight loss advice (British Nutrition Foundation)

Lose Weight (NHS) – tools to help you lose weight

Weight loss factsheet (British Dietetic Association)

Live Well – NHS (

Webinars on Weight Management –

Health conditions and diet

What we choose to eat everyday, and our overall pattern of eating, has a major impact on our health, and can help prevent and manage many long term conditions.

Eating well is only one of a number of lifestyle factors we need to consider if we want to be as well as we can. Being more physically active, not smoking, sleeping well and looking after our mental wellbeing are all important for good health.

Click on the topics that interest you to find out more about how you can make small changes to your diet to make a big difference to your health.

closeup photo of tofu and tomato slices


Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar to become too high.

There are two main types of diabetes:

Type 1- where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin

Type 1 diabetes – NHS (

Type 2- where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t respond to insulin.

Type 2 diabetes – NHS (

Type 2 diabetes is much more common than Type 1 diabetes. Around 90% of people with diabetes in the UK have Type 2 diabetes.

During pregnancy, some women have such high blood glucose levels, their body is unable to produce enough insulin to control it all within normal levels. This is known as gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes – NHS (

Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas (an organ near your stomach) that helps your body digest sugars (carbohydrate) and helps you use sugar for energy.

Types of Diabetes

 Type 1 diabetesType 2 diabetes
What is happeningYour body attacks the cells in your pancreas, which means it cannot make insulinYour body isn’t able to make enough insulin or the insulin you do make isn’t working properly
Risk factorsWe don’t currently know what causes type 1 diabetesWe know some things can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, including overweight/obesity and ethnicity
Symptoms (see link below)Symptoms appear more quickly in type 1 diabetesSymptoms appear more slowly and can be easier to miss
ManagementType 1 is managed by injecting insulin to control your blood sugarType 2 can be managed in more ways than type 1. Treatment includes medication, diet and exercise. People with type 2 diabetes can also be prescribed insulin
Cure and preventionCurrently there is no cure for type 1 diabetes but research continuesType 2 cannot be cured but evidence has shown that in many cases it can be prevented or put into remission

Symptoms of diabetes

The most common symptoms experienced by many people with diabetes are increased thirst, increased urination, feeling tired and losing weight.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact the GP surgery.

  • Weeing more often
  • Feeling really thirsty
  • Wounds that are slow to heal
  • Losing weight
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Blurred eyesight
  • Genital itching and thrush

Click on the link to find out more: 
Symptoms of diabetes | Type 1 and Type 2 | Diabetes UK

For general information about living with diabetes, click on the link below:

Living with diabetes

Living with diabetes | How to manage diabetes | Diabetes UK

To understand more about pre diabetes and how to manage it, watch this video:

Pre-diabetes – an explanation

Preventing diabetes

Understand your risk | Preventing type 2 diabetes | Diabetes UK

There are a number of ways of treating and managing diabetes, and the practice nurses and doctors at the surgery will be supporting you to stay as well as you can and offer the treatment that is right for you.

Diabetes and diet

Losing just 5-10% of your body weight if you’re overweight, can reduce your chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes, or even put your Type 2 Diabetes into remission.

Eating well when you have diabetes is an important part of managing your condition. There isn’t a specific diet for Type 2 Diabetes – and advice may vary depending on your specific need. You might be able to achieve this by reducing your portion sizes, following a low carbohydrate diet (reducing bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, cakes and biscuits etc), reducing your intake of fizzy drinks and / or cutting back on processed foods.

 For more information and support on managing your weight and services available, see our weight management section.

At the surgery our Diabetic Specialist Nurse and/or Dietitian find the best dietary approach to suit you. For example swap to a low or lower carbohydrate diet which can help you lose weight and get your blood sugars under control.

Click on the links for more practical information about diet and diabetes.

Eating with Diabetes (Diabetes UK)

Diabetes type 1 food factsheet (British Dietetic Association)

Diabetes type 2 food factsheet (British Dietetic Association)

Type 2 Diabetes and diet (British Nutrition Foundation)

Glycaemic Index Food Fact Sheet | British Dietetic Association (BDA)

1512_10 steps to eating well update_v5_.pdf (

The-Real-Food-Lifestyle-Patient-Booklet.pdf (

Low-carb diet and meal plan | Eating with diabetes | Diabetes UK

cooked food on black ceramic bowl

Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a medical term used to describe a range of digestive (gut) symptoms.

It’s a common condition affecting about 1 in 5 adults in the UK.

Symptoms vary from person to person and can come and go over time. A flare up can last days, weeks or months, and can be triggered by food.

An assessment of IBS should be considered only if there is abdominal pain or discomfort that is relieved either through defaecation (opening the bowels) or associated with a change in bowel habit. Symptoms should have been present for at least 6 months and should be accompanied by at least two of the following four symptoms:

  • Altered stool passage (straining, urgency, incomplete emptying)
  • Abdominal bloating (more common in women than men), distension, tension or hardness
  • Symptoms made worse by eating
  • Passage of mucus

It is important to have a diagnosis of IBS confirmed, and other conditions such as coeliac disease or inflammatory bowel disease ruled out. If you think you may be suffering from IBS but have any of the following symptoms, please make an appointment to see your GP:

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Rectal bleeding
  • A family history of bowel or ovarian cancer
  • A change in bowel habit to looser and /or more frequent stools persisting for more than 6 weeks if you are over 60 years of age

It isn’t well understood why IBS occurs.It may be triggered by gastroenteritis (stomach bug), food poisoning, medications; gut affecting surgery (such as a C-section) or a poor diet and lifestyle. Often, it is affected by stress and anxiety and our diet.

Treatment can include a mixture of lifestyle changes, medication and therapy.

Here are some links to trusted websites for more information about the symptoms and treatment of IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – NHS (

Irritable Bowel Syndrome | Causes, Symptoms & Treatment | Guts UK (

Diet and IBS

Making dietary changes can help relive your IBS symptoms. Here are some tips for first line advice:

  • Eat 3 regular meals a day
  • Try not to skip meals or eat late at night
  • Smaller meal sizes might ease symptoms
  • Limit alcohol intake to no more than 2 units a day, and have at least 2 alcohol free days a week
  • Reduce intake of caffeine containing drinks e.g. no more than 2 mugs (3 cups) a day
  • Reduce intake of fizzy drinks
  • Drink at least 8 cups of fluid everyday (especially water and non caffeinated drinks)
  • Cut down on spicy and rich/fatty foods including highly processed foods
  • Limit fresh fruit to 3 portions a day (one portion is 80g)

If you have tried the above advice, and made other lifestyle changes (such as taking regular exercise and addressing any stress and anxiety), and still experiencing IBS symptoms, you may benefit from trialling the low-FODMAP diet. This should only be trialled with the support of a dietitian, as it can be challenging. The FFP dietitian can offer support with this, so do ask your doctor for a referral.

The following links provide further information on diet and IBS, including the low-FODMAP diet:

What can I eat (IBS Network)

IBS and diet food factsheet (British Dietetic Association)

Webinars on IBS and diet (Patient Webinars)

sliced orange fruit on black textile

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

CVD is a general term that describes a disease of the heart or blood vessels, such as coronary heart disease and stroke. It is usually associated with a build up of fatty deposits inside the arteries (atherosclerosis) and an increased risk of blood clots.

CVD is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK, but can often be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle.

Heart healthy lifestyle habits include:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Being physically active
  • Stopping smoking
  • Drinking less alcohol
  • Keeping a healthy weight

Looking after your heart involves preventing your risk of developing heart disease and helping protect your your heart if you already have problems. A heart-healthy diet may help reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of diabetes and help you maintain a healthy weight.

A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, pulses (such as peas, beans and lentils), healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, seeds and oily fish), wholegrains and wholegrain products is the best approach to protect your body from heart and circulatory disease. This approach, often referred to as a traditional Mediterranean diet, also includes moderate amounts of white meat and low fat dairy. Red meat is eaten less often.

Browse the information using the links below, for further information and practical advice.

One of the health coaches at the surgery can also provide more support, and referrals can be made to our in house dietitian, Jill Whitehall.

Eat better booklet – BHF

Easy ways to eat healthily (Heart UK)

Healthy eating (British Heart Foundation)

Heart health food factsheet (British Dietetic Association)

Heart-healthy diet: what to eat (BBC goodfood)


Cancer is a condition where cells in a specific region of the body grow and reproduce in an uncontrolled way. They can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue, including organs.

1 in 2 people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime in the UK.

Although you cannot reduce your risk of developing cancer completely through lifestyle, there is good evidence that a range of healthy lifestyle choices can make a big difference to reducing your risk of developing several cancers.

Cancer prevention recommendations from the World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF):

  • Be a healthy weight
  • Be physically active
  • Eat a better diet
  • Limit ‘’fast” foods
  • Limit red and processed meats
  • Cut down sugary drinks
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Do not use supplements for cancer prevention
  • Breastfeed your baby if you can
  • After a cancer diagnosis, follow these recommendations if you’re able to

Cancer Prevention Recommendations – WCRF International

Here are some more links for further information about diet and cancer:

Cancer risk and diet (British Nutrition Foundation)

Diet and cancer (Cancer research UK)

Recipes and healthy eating (World Cancer Research Fund)

If you have been diagnosed with cancer you might find the webinars below very helpful for practical tips for managing symptoms and side effects of treatments:

Webinar on cancer and diet (Patient Webinars)

person putting sliced banana fruit on top of jar


Malnutrition is a condition which happens when the body has too much or not enough nutrients to maintain healthy function. This can affect body wellness and long term can lead to a range of health issues, including:

  • Increased risk of illness and infection
  • Slower wound healing
  • Increased risk of falls
  • Low mood
  • Low energy levels
  • Reduced muscle strength
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Reduced independence and ability to carry out daily activities

Spotting malnutrition

Malnutrition can affect anyone, but it is more common in older people and those who are socially isolated. The best way to prevent malnutrition is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Please browse the resources below for practical information and support.

Please contact the surgery if you, or someone you know, would like further support or advice.

Managing malnutrition leaflet

Spotting and treating malnutrition food factsheet (British Dietetic Association)

Webinar on malnutrition (Patient Webinars)

meat with vegetable on plate