Thought for Food Blog

We Love Ready Meals … But What are They Doing to Our Health?

Posted by Tom Payne

09-Mar-2016 11:51:20

This post was originally published on The Conversation, and was written by Richard Hoffman, a lecturer in Nutritional Biochemistry at the University of Hertfordshire.

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.

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Topics: food quality, processed food, nutrients, retail and marketing, biochemistry, carbohydrates, dieting

Taking the Fat Out of Processed Foods

Posted by Chris Cattini

14-Jan-2015 15:37:00

Since the discovery that dietary saturated fats increase plasma cholesterol levels, low fat foods have been an important area of research, mainly because a link was assumed between plasma cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease risk.

Recent studies have suggested that the connection between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular health is more tenuous than was previously thought. Despite this, advisory bodies, such as the British Heart Foundation, still recommend that people should avoid saturated fats as much as possible and eat small amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats.

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Topics: acrylamide, processed food, saturated fat, cereals, sensory perception, cholesterol, fibre, dairy, cardiovascular health, additives, fatty acids, sugar and substitutes, consumer behaviour

Confused About Sugar?

Posted by Jenny Arthur

12-May-2014 11:08:00

Post from guest blogger, Jenny Arthur BA (Hons) MSc RNutr, Nutrition and Marketing Consultant

Sugary foods are close to most people’s hearts, including mine, and maybe we are all psychologically addicted to sugar? Babies are born to like sweet tastes, so are we pre-disposed to liking sugary foods? When you think about it most people will usually indulge on chocolate, sweets or alcohol, though I have a crisp muncher in my house!

Following the almost constant media attention on sugar over the last few months and with little or no distinction between sugars added to foods and naturally occurring sugars. In addition to little reference to realistic portion sizes when comparing the sugar content of foods. Only last week, the repeated call for a sugar tax in the UK and the World Health Organisation’s draft recommendation to ideally halve the current 10% guideline for sugar to about 25g or 6 teaspoons of sugar/day. It is no wonder people are confused about what they should be eating!

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Topics: processed food, nutrition, healthy eating, retail and marketing, sugar and substitutes, confectionery

Burn Fat!

Posted by Dave Howard

22-Apr-2014 15:29:00

Changing your diet can be difficult and frustrating. Especially if you're not sure which foods will provide the greatest boost to get your metabolism going.

If you want to achieve a certain measure of weight loss and keep it off for good, then it's important to put certain controls into play. Without an active plan to change your lifestyle, the goals you set forth just won't be attainable. For anyone trying to lose weight, regardless of the goal that is set, it always starts with food.


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Topics: processed food, antioxidants, nutrition, protein, healthy eating, cholesterol, diabetes, fruit, vegetables, obesity, soy, cardiovascular health, immune system, fatty acids, nuts, legumes, calcium, vitamins and minerals

Healthy Eating: 10 Nutrition Tips for Eating Right

Posted by Dave Howard

06-Jan-2014 10:17:00

  • Choose good carbs, not no carbs. Whole grains are your best bet
  • Pay attention to the protein package. Fish, poultry, nuts, and beans are the best choices
  • Choose foods with healthy fats, limit foods high in saturated fat, and avoid foods with trans fat. Plant oils, nuts, and fish are the healthiest sources.
  • Choose a fiber-filled diet, rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
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Topics: milk and milk substitutes, fish, processed food, nutrition, saturated fat, protein, salt, healthy eating, grains, vegetables, fibre, nuts, calcium, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates

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