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Who says healthy has to be boring?

A nutritious diet can be delicious too. A new cookbook from top chefs shows it is possible to eat a balanced meal and enjoy it, even if you've got a sensitive stomach. Read on to know more.

india Updated: Nov 05, 2009 11:02 IST

FoodWho says healthy has to be boring? A new cookbook from top Australian chefs shows it is possible to eat a balanced meal, and enjoy it, even if you've got a sensitive stomach.

Compiled by the Australia's Gut Foundation, a charity dedicated to researching and improving awareness about digestive health, The Gut Foundation Cookbook includes breakfasts, snacks, main courses and desserts that are low in sugar, fats and, in some cases, gluten-free.

Sydney-based dietician Geraldine Georgeou, who co-edited the book, says the variety of ingredients used in the recipes showed that nutritious can be delicious and help prevent a range of gastrointestinal conditions including bowel cancer, diverticular disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

"A lot of people think that getting diagnosed with a gastrointestinal condition means you have to cut out whole food groups from your diet," Georgeou said. "But the main issue is eating well and this book shows that you can have good meals, at home or in a restaurant and can still be healthy."

Bowel cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in Australia and around the world and the book said that poor diet was one of the contributing factors to its prevalence. Other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, and the more common indigestion or heartburn, may also be caused by eating too much fat and too little fiber.

Georgeou said that people need to remember to eat fiber every day, and not only at breakfast and also to realize that carbohydrates and some fats are good for you. "Balance is the key," she said. "You can eat beautifully without too much fat, and too much refined sugars."

The 13 chefs who donated their recipes to the Gut Foundation include Neil Perry, one of Australia's leading and most influential chefs; cooking school proprietor and food journalist Elise Pascoe; Shannon Bennett of Melbourne's top-end Vue de Monde and Paul Wilson of the much-awarded Radii restaurant.

Georgeou said the recipes were checked for nutritional content and modified, with the aim of showing people how to have their cake and eat it too.

The book also contains information about gastrointestinal diseases and what to avoid if you suffer from them. "Food is very much linked to quality of life and we wanted to make sure, with this book, that everybody can have a good meal," Georgeou added.