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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 November 2007, 00:11 GMT
Healthy eating advice for Asians
Popular recipes can contain high levels of fat and salt
Asian women in Central Scotland are being warned to review their diets over concerns about fat and salt consumption.

A campaign involving women from Stirling's Islamic Centre is being run by NHS Forth Valley and Filza Bhatti from Glasgow Caledonian University.

Statistics show that the Asian community within the UK are more likely to develop diabetes.

So far 10 women from the mosque have signed up to take part in the scheme.

Research has shown that popular dishes, including meat samosa or lamb curry, can contain high calorie counts, with substances like ghee (clarified butter) adding to health risks.

It is often very difficult for people within this community to follow the type of diet promoted by the more traditional slimming groups
Helena Buckley
NHS Forth Valley

According to NHS Forth Valley, some traditional religious festivals where fasting is followed by feasting can add to weight problems.

Figures show that up to 20% of the Asian community aged between 40 and 69 suffer from Type 2 diabetes, with obesity regarded as a significant contributory factor.

Statistics also reveal an increased risk of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.

Helena Buckley, from NHS Forth Valley, said: "I think this is a great opportunity for members of the minority ethnic community to be partners in their health and well-being.

"It is often very difficult for people within this community to follow the type of diet promoted by the more traditional slimming groups."

Filza Bhatti, a student dietician at Glasgow Caledonian University, will develop a healthy eating plan for the women.

She said: "Even in Islam we are not supposed to over-eat.

"We are meant to think about the poor and how they are actually feeling with hunger pains."

Ms Bhatti's healthy eating plan includes using wholemeal flour for chapattis and putting less salt and oil into a curry.

The eight-week programme includes a buddying system and physical activity such as brisk walking.

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