Who doesn’t like a ready meal once in a while? People in the UK certainly do: consumption of ready meals and convenience meat products has increased five-fold over the last 40 years, according to the latest National Food Survey on UK food-buying habits. High levels of calories and fat in some of these products can be spotted on the label. But there are other concerns about the nutritional value of some ready meals – things you won’t find on the label.
Thought for Food Blog
Christmas is a distant memory. For some of us, the annual mission undertaken by chocolate, mince pies, brandy butter and yule log to convert themselves into excess body fat has been a success. Once again we find ourselves in post-yuletide gloom, with weight to lose and fitness to gain.
We all know that New Year resolutions are made to be broken. As the fireworks break out and we blow up what is definitely our last supersized bag of crisps of the season with a salty bang, it’s all too easy to go online and sign up to membership of the local gym. It’s also not that difficult to declare that alcohol will not touch our lips for the foreseeable future and filling up our supermarket trolleys with healthy stuff, including items disregarded in the approach to Christmas (and possibly at most other times of the year too), such as celery and low fat cottage cheese, requires little in the way of moral fibre when we’re still feeling bloated and slightly nauseous due to our recent excesses.
Gluten-free diets have long been recommended for those with coeliac disease, but why are so many other people avoiding gluten? Is it an affectation adopted by the middle class worried well consumer, or is there a scientific basis to gluten avoidance, even for people who are not suffering from coeliac disease?
Sometimes, we all have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Stress, noise disturbances and too much stimulation before bedtime can all contribute to us having difficulty drifting off. Sleep is essential for maintaining mood, memory and cognitive functions, and as well as having a negative impact on these factors, a lack of sleep can also have serious consequences for our health. Not only is it crucial for normal functioning of the endocrine and immune systems, a lack of sleep has also been linked with obesity, diabetes, hypertension and depression. Some dietary components have long been known to have a disruptive effect on sleep, but evidence is emerging of other interesting foods that may help us on the way to the land of nod.
Topics: zinc, milk and milk substitutes, sleep, fish, caffeine, cereals, protein, diabetes, fruit, vegetables, eggs, coffee, obesity, alcohol, meat, magnesium, dairy, immune system, amino acids, tryptophan, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates, hormones, cognitive function, mental health
Post from guest blogger, Jenny Arthur BA (Hons) MSc RNutr, Nutrition and Marketing Consultant.
There has been a lot in the press recently about how many portions of fruit and vegetables we really should be eating. The latest data shows just over 30% of adults are eating their 5 a day and amongst teenagers it’s only about 10%, in other words we could do better.
If there is one step you take towards making your diet healthier, make it fruit and veg as it’s a big step! Fruit and vegetables are the powerhouses of the diet, containing a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients which help to combat the onset of diseases like coronary heart disease and cancers and optimise health.