Food for thought and healthy waistlines | Food & Drink newsCultureFood & Drinks
If you’re reading this over lunch or dinner, you might want to pause and reassess your choice of meal. The nation’s food habits have been scrutinised in a series of damning reports this month, raising concerns over mealtime favourites and decisions at the checkout.
A survey by the British Heart Foundation revealed over a third of UK adults believe high food prices are a barrier to healthy eating. 39% of the 2,444 adults polled admitted to prioritising cost over health during their grocery shopping. Meanwhile, convenience foods are flying off the shelves, despite the low price of vegetables and salad ingredients, thanks to regular “BOGOF” deals (Buy One, Get One Free) in major supermarkets.
Grabbing a freebie may seem too good to miss but the House of Lords European Union Committee has just announced that 90 million tonnes of food are being wasted across the EU each year, with 15 million in the UK alone. Research by Healthspan also indicates that we’re a nation of wasteful shoppers, with over a fifth of foods in our kitchen cupboards and freezers being past their “use by” dates.
Worryingly, our love of snacks and ready meals could be playing havoc with our health. The Telegraph newspaper has condemned the amount of salt in convenience foods after discovering that sandwiches, pizzas and snacks often contain at least a third of an adult’s recommended daily allowance. Even cereal bars, a favourite with dieters, cannot be trusted: a study by the Sunday Telegraph concluded that many contain almost twice as much sugar as chocolate bars.
An excessive intake of salt can affect your internal organs and arteries, whilst too much sugar over a prolonged period can lead to heart disease and tooth decay. Read food labels carefully and have some fun by going on the hunt for new products to excite your taste-buds and protect your health.
Supermarket shelves have plenty of tasty, nutritious offerings so try making small changes if you don’t have time to prepare your own meals. Peanut Butter fans can opt for Almond Butter, which contains less saturated fat and higher levels of vitamin E, magnesium and iron, and Good Oil, made from hemp, is a nutty alternative to Olive Oil. Packed with healthy Omega fats typically found in oily fish, it also helps to moisturise skin.
Share your own suggestions on Twitter via @The_Upcoming, using hashtag: #UpcomingHealth.