Azmina worked with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) over several years on a Department of Health-funded series of initiatives in places of worship around the UK.
On behalf of the BHF, she conducted two large scale interventions to help South Asians eat less saturated fat and salt in an aim to reduce their risks of heart disease. The first UK-wide intervention, funded by the Food Standards Agency, involved 15 dietitians coordinated by Azmina and led to a significant reduction in salt and saturated fat used in meals cooked for large congregations.
Azmina and fellow dietitian Baldeesh Rai trained “social cooks” on healthier cooking methods for meals that were served daily in the places of worship. She also gave talks to the congregation during festivals and shared practical tools to help them eat better at home.
Heart disease is particularly common among South Asians living in the UK – Indians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Sri Lankans.
What you eat can directly affect your risk. For example, choosing the right type of fat can help to reduce your blood cholesterol, and cutting down on salt can help to lower raised blood pressure. By picking up this book, you have taken the first step to actively improving your health. Eating well has never been so easy. You’ll see you can still enjoy biryani, your favourite curries and even samosas, just by making some small changes to the ingredients you use and the way you cook them.