Thought for Food Blog

Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

04-May-2016 09:42:31

Breakfast on the brain?

Breakfast, we’ve all been told countless times, is the most important meal of the day. It is claimed that a good breakfast can provide us with the energy needed to start a new day, offer a good source of important nutrients and fibre, helping to contribute to a more nutritionally complete diet overall, and even reduce the risk of becoming overweight or obese, or developing high blood pressure, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes.

In addition to being good for our health, eating – or not eating – breakfast has also been linked to effects on our cognitive performance, alertness, concentration, and mood. It is claimed that eating breakfast can enhance memory, improve concentration levels and mood, decrease stress, and improve attention span.

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Topics: healthy eating, diabetes, nutrients, obesity, fibre, neuroscience, cognitive function, mental health

Dieting: is it Really Worth the Sacrifice?

Posted by Chris Cattini

04-Feb-2016 14:22:21

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.

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Topics: omega-3, cancer, protein, cholesterol, diabetes, nutrients, obesity, cardiovascular health, carbohydrates, dieting, appetite and satiety, metabolism

Good Gut, Good Health?

Posted by Lisa Palmer

03-Jul-2015 09:23:36

This post was originally published on the Future Food 2050 website. It has been reposted with permission.

New nutritional therapies are aimed at boosting the variety of microorganisms that live in your GI tract, says neuroendocrinologist Mark Heiman.

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Topics: nutrition, healthy eating, diabetes, bacteria, obesity, cardiovascular health, fatty acids, gut health, biochemistry, functional foods

Reducing Meat Consumption for Sustainability

Posted by Naomi McGrath

05-May-2015 16:30:00

What changes could we make to “meat” the need for more sustainable food choices?

Meat often dominates the dinner plate. Whether it’s a juicy steak, a roast on a Sunday, or some sizzling sausages served up with a mountain of mash, meat regularly forms the central part of the meal, and for many people it is something they would certainly not want to go without. Unfortunately, though, while our enthusiasm for digging into meat-filled meals might leave our stomachs satisfied, it is having rather less positive consequences for the environment.

Meat production and the environment

Meat production is one of the main sources of human pressure on the environment, and its consumption accounts for a significant proportion of the ecological footprint of those who eat it. As well as being a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (it is claimed that the global livestock industry generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trains, ships and planes put together), raising animals for food is inefficient. It requires vast areas of land – not just for grazing, but for growing crops for feeds too, as well as large amounts of energy and water, all to produce only a relatively small amount of meat.

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Topics: food security, cancer, animal welfare, protein, diabetes, grains, obesity, agriculture, meat, cardiovascular health, food production, environment and sustainability, consumer behaviour, plant-based diets

Is Stevia a Trend or the Answer?

Posted by Chris Cattini

15-Apr-2015 13:46:00

Stevia is the name given to extracts from leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana used as sweeteners or sugar substitutes. The two main compounds responsible for the sweetness of stevia are stevioside and rebaudioside A, both of which are derivatives of the diterpene, steviol.

  • Stevioside is 250-300 times sweeter than sugar, but possesses a bitter aftertaste. 
  • Rebaudioside A is 350-450 times sweeter than sugar and is less bitter than stevioside, making it a popular option for use in sweetener preparations.
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Topics: diabetes, bacteria, obesity, additives, sugar and substitutes, functional foods, confectionery, analytical techniques, hormones, appetite and satiety, supplements

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