Dr Neil Williams (Nottingham Trent University) introduces Sat Bains new book 'eat to your heart's content'

In this new book, award-winning chef and heart attack survivor Sat Baines offers healthy recipes with an emphasis on flavour and nutrients.



PhysioPod Foreword: Sat Bains exercised, maintained a healthy weight, and considered himself fit and healthy, so his catastrophic heart attack and emergency triple heart bypass procedure in March 2021 were shocking, to say the least.

Sat Baines has two Michelin Stars to his name and a three-decade preoccupation with flavour, and he refused to forgo tasty food for boring diet food! With the help of Dr. Neil Williams, a nutrition scientist and friend, Neil advised Sat on a heart-healthy diet.  Taking this heart-healthy knowledge into the kitchen, Sat created a variety of delicious meals with lean protein, legumes, excellent fats like avocado, almonds, olive oil, and vegetables and fruits. 

PhysioPod 'heartily' recommends these tasty, easy recipes that use supermarket-friendly products and include nutritional advice on heart-healthy vitamins and minerals.

Huge thanks to Neil for taking the time from his busy week to introduce the book to our readers...


Dr. Neil C. Williams, MSc, PhD, SENR.
Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition
Exercise and Health Research Group
Sport Health and Performance Enhancement (SHAPE) Research Centre
School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University

As a Nutrition Scientist, I am often approached by individuals asking my opinion on the latest fad diet or nutritional supplement. My response to supplements and restrictive diets is often equivocal, because for most we don’t have enough evidence to give a definite answer, and our lifestyles are much more complicated and nuanced than having a single "cure-all.”.  Rather, what we should all be aiming to do is eat as diverse a diet as possible and combine that with regular exercise and other beneficial lifestyle choices (e.g., stopping smoking and lowering alcohol intake). These combined effects have proven benefits for cardiovascular health and overall health and well-being. That is why, in the book “Eat to Your Heart's Content" Sat Bains and I wanted to make sure that no food was really off the menu. In much the same way we consider an ecosystem such as a rainforest or coral reef healthy if plant and animal diversity are abundant, a diverse diet including a broad range of animal and plant-based foods will have a greater positive health impact compared to a diet lacking diversity.

Within nutrition, we must be mindful that although we can discuss individual ingredients and nutrients, this does oversimplify the complexities of food and our bodies' response to eating them. Food is more complex than individual ingredients in a recipe or the specific chemical compounds, rather, what is important is the whole complex structure and all the components of a meal. It is often too simplistic to label foods as either “good” or "bad." Rather, what we do know is that having a diverse and well-balanced, unprocessed food-first approach to our diets will have lasting benefits to our health. Within the book, we centred the recipes on our top 10 heart-healthy foods, which included:

  1. Eat the rainbow - by eating as many diverse fruits and vegetables a week. You want to aim for bright colours and plenty of fibrous vegetables, too.
  2. Oats and barley - eating these regularly provides us with a source of fibre called beta-glucan, which can help lower and manage cholesterol.
  3. Beans and pulses - these are especially rich in soluble fibre, taking longer to digest, and they help us feel full for longer.
  4. Unsaturated fats/oils - extra virgin olive oil is very high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to help manage inflammation and cholesterol.
  5. Nuts and seeds - a good source of unsaturated fat, and high fibre. Eating a diverse range of these will provide opportunities to consume a broad range of nutrients.
  6. Soya bean/soya products - there is some evidence that eating soybeans and their products can have cholesterol-lowering effects.
  7. Oily fish - are a fantastic source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have a broad range of health benefits and specific cardiovascular benefits such as reducing triglycerides and preventing the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.
  8. Shellfish - these are high in protein and low in fat, as an example, mussels offer levels of protein and iron that can challenge any red meat on a menu.
  9. Lean meat - diversity is key to health here, but we need to be mindful that this also means moderation of some components. White meat is lower in saturated fat and provides an excellent source of protein and essential amino acids, but a moderated intake of lean cuts of red meat can also be considered.
  10. Spices and Herbs - there is now ample evidence that spices and herbs possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory activities, as well as properties that affect cognition and mood. These should be included as part of a diverse diet to provide ample opportunity to ingest the health-benefiting compounds found in spices and herbs.





Eat to Your Heart's Content: Recipes to improve your health from an award-winning chef and heart attack survivor published 18 January 2024