Food waste

Food Waste

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

the coop and food waste

Over the last few days the Co-op hit the headlines for its war on waste.  Its East of England stores will now be selling food that is past its ‘best before date’ for 10p http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42217026

food-waste2In the run up to Christmas when we are all busy stocking up our shelves, fridges and freezer it’s perhaps worth bearing in mind that £17 billion worth of food is thrown away every year in the UK.  That’s the equivalent of £470 per Uk household

We all have a part to play in that number, for instance shops and manufacturers generate 6 million tonnes of food waste annually, restaurants generate another 3 million tonnes and 33% of the food we buy is thrown away

But at the same time 8.4 million people in the UK who are too poor to eat and 4.7 million people go a whole day without food

food-waste-infographic

So what can you do to help reduce some of these statistics?

Food waste top tips

Tip #1 - understand the difference between use by, best before and sell by dates.  It could make the difference between using or throwing away food

use-by-dates

Tip #2 – go shopping with a list. It could not only reduce your food bill by discouraging you from purchasing BOGOF and other special offers but you will only buy what you need and help reduce waste

Tip #3 – Use the freezer to correctly store leftover food.  Place leftovers in freezer bags (clearly labelled with the contents and a date)

Tip #4 – Love your leftovers; veg can be made into a winter warming and cheap soup, stale bread can be turned into breadcrumbs, garlic bread or frozen for later, herbs can be added to bottled oil to create flavoured oils, potatoes can be cooked,mashed and frozen, ripe bananas can be broken into pieces and frozen ready to be added to smoothies, turned in to squishy banana bread or whizzed in a blender to make ice-cream

Tip #5 – Stalks, stems, outer leaves from veg and herbs can all be frozen ready to make homemade stock for stews, soups, risottos and sauces

Tip #6 – Ripe fruit can be cooked in a small amount of water and some cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch or two of sugar until soft and spooned over yoghurt, served with your favourite cereal or eaten with custard.  Any left over can be frozen flat in freezer bags

Tip #7 – Never go food shopping when you are hungry; it could encourage you to make impetuous buys

Tip #8 - Make your salad leaves last longer by putting them in a big bowl or tub, lay a paper towel or two over the top so moisture doesn’t settle on the leaves. Cover with a lid or some clingfilm and store at the bottom of the fridge.

Tip #9 – Practice portion control and don’t overload your plates with food.  Consider using smaller plates, bowls and glasses

Tip #10 – If you have left over food contact your nearest food bank, soup kitchen, charity or local church and let them redistribute it for you

 

 feed-bellies-not-binsWhat’s your best tip for avoiding food waste?

Healthy eating

Healthy eating – what do you want to know?!

 

NY resolutionsNew Year is usually about new resolutions, getting fitter, healthier and more focused. So I decided to ask my clients and social media followers what healthy eating questions they had for me so they could get on track and stay there.

 

Here’s a selection

What generally constitutes a healthy balanced diet?

I tell my clients and cookery class guests that its all about variety i.e. eating a rainbow of colour, so lots of different coloured vegetables and fruits will small amounts of wholegrain pasta, bread and rice. Moderation is also key and by that I mean portion control.

healthy eating

A good guide is to use your hand; protein should fit on the palm of your hand, potatoes (also rice, bread and pasta) should fit in to a cupped hand and veggies in both open hands. That brings me to balance; no one food should dominate your plate, meal or daily diet i.e. wheat or sugary foods/drink. We often hear about people cutting out food groups (wheat and dairy are the obvious ones) but I prefer substitution not elimination. That means having rye or oats instead of wheat and replacing cows milk and cheeses with non-dairy substitutes. And finally for a healthy diet it’s essential that you curb your caffeine, alcohol and sugar intakes.

 

Best vegan cookbook?

vegan cookbook

 

vegan cookbook2These two books come highly recommended: Eat vegan, Smith & Daughters by Shannon Martinez and Mo Wyse for a Spanish vibe to vegan recipes, and Super Foods Super Fast by Julie Montagu. Does what it says on the tin!

 

Any foods recommended that help combat dementia?

Firstly I’d start with a healthy balanced diet that’s low in sugar, salt, saturated fat and processed foods.

fruit-and-veg

More specifically include vegetables (especially dark skinned versions like aubergine, courgettes, spinach, kale and peppers), berries/fruits, nuts, green tea, olive oil, fish (especially oily fish like salmon, trout, mackerel) and unsaturated fats from milk products and spreads. Think Mediterranean diet.

 

How do I ensure my vegan teenager gets enough protein?

beansNuts and seeds, tofu, tinned beans (chickpeas, borlotti, cannellini, butterbeans etc), hummus, vegan cheese/dairy, edamame beans, peas, vegan quorn are all great protein sources

 

How does 5:2 fasting work?

When we eat a lot of carbohydrate (like bread, potatoes, rice and pasta) or foods high in sugar, it causes our blood glucose levels to rise. Our body produces the hormone insulin as a reaction to eating to keep our glucose levels stable.

Insulin also encourages fat cells to take up fatty acids and store them, the way it encourages liver cells to take up sugars and store them.

fastingStudies have shown intermittent fasting increases the effectiveness of insulin to store glucose and break down fats. This process will reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cognitive decline

Another way fasting works is by reducing the amount of insulin-like growth hormone, which has been shown to reduce your risk of many age-related diseases, like cancer.  High levels of this hormone later in life appear to lead to accelerated ageing and cancer.

 

Is Agave a good alternative to sugar?

agaveIt has the highest fructose content of any commercial sweetener (90%). Fructose causes insulin resistance and significantly raises triglycerides (a risk factor for heart disease). It also increases fat around the middle, which in turn puts you at greater risk for diabetes and heart disease. It also has the same calories per gram as all other sweeteners (4 calories per gram). So like all sugars use agave with caution and moderation.

 

Could you suggest some healthy cooking oils for a vegan diet?

It depends on how high you are getting the oil, as some degrade and de-nature which will not only alter the taste but make it harmful. For high temperature cooking i.e. stir-fries or deep-fried I’d go for rapeseed or coconut oil. Sunflower oil should not be used for high heat cooking as it breaks down and forms aldehydes and lipid peroxides, which are harmful.

For general frying both coconut and rapeseed oils are also good and you can add olive oil to the list. But again not sunflower. But be aware that all oils contain the same calories per gram i.e. 9 cals. So whichever you choose try and use as little as possible and pat the food dry after frying. Also do not re-use the oil and keep the bottles out of direct light.

 

 

Let me know if you have some burning healthy eating question that you’d like some help with. Or maybe something’s caught your eye in the paper but you’re not sure about it?

 

Obesity – It will be the death of us

Obesity – It will be the death of us

ObesityThe latest health figures for the over 40s makes pretty somber reading.  83% of 40 to 60 year-olds are either drinking too much, are inactive or are overweight. Particularly, 77% of men and 63% of women in middle-age are either overweight or obese

 

Obesity is rising for all age groups including children, and I believe we are in an obesity crisis situation.  Public Health England (PHE) created a new initiative called ‘One You’ for the over 40s to try and engage them in healthy eating and lifestyles so as they age they still maintain good health.

 

one-you-quiz

 

 

Why not take their ‘How Are You’ quiz. It will help anyone who wants to take stock to find out quickly where they can take a little changes to make a big difference to their health.

 

 

 

obesity-np

 

The Nottingham Post asked for my views on this tricky subject. You can read the article either on line or in yesterdays paper.

But what do you think we need to do?

 

 

 

One of the knock on effects of obesity is the increased risk of certain illness including heart disease, certain cancers and type 2 diabetes.  Diabetes alone is costing the NHS over £10 billion a year and 80% of the issues they treat in hospital are about managing avoidable complications

 

So what can be done?  

I believe it has to be a combined approach, with the individual at the heart of it.  They need to take responsibility for their own and their family’s health; by looking at portion control, how often they eat ready/processed or takeaway meals, how often are children given fizzy drinks, sweets and chocolates. What level of activity to they undertake?  Some simple solutions are sit-down less and move more.  This can also be carried out at work; try and take breaks from your desk regularly, have a walk at lunch time, get off the bus one/two walkingstops earlier and walk the rest of the way home.  Buddying up with a friend is a good way to maintain an exercise programme.

 

I am getting more enquiries from parents who want to come and learn to cook with their children, so as a family they can eat healthily.  And its great watching them learn together and make a meal that is healthy and delicious.  I also give healthy eating advice and get vegan cookery poster jpegthe family to try different ingredients, and offer simple tips to make the shopping cheaper such as buying frozen veg, make soup with leftovers and what ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ really means in an attempt to avoid food waste

portion-sizesI advise that when out doing the food shop, never do it when you are hungry, make a list, plan your meals in advance so you don’t get sucked in to buy the special offers or be tempted by the cakes, desserts and crisps

 

_68243258_foodlabelManufacturers/supermarkets also need to take a responsibility; have more special offers on healthy food like fruits, veg, wholegrains etc.  Have clearer labelling on the front of the packets, especially about portion size.  Posters in the shops about the benefits of fruits and veg, recipe cards with simple, quick and cheap family meals

The government needs to deliver stronger and harder hitting messages about the dangers of obesity, type 2 diabetes etc (a bit like the smoking campaigns). And offer helpful advice about portion control, cheap healthy quick family meals etc

Schools need to follow on with a consistent message about healthy eating; get children growing veg, cooking, helping in the community.  Their school meals could use some of the homegrown veg and have fewer vending machines on the premises.

fast-food-outletsLocal planners could look at how many fast food outlets, sweet shops etc are located near schools or near housing estates and take a responsible view

 

So I believe we all have a responsibility is tackling this epidemic.

Portion control

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Over 60% of the UK adult population is currently overweight or obese, and we all have a responsibility to reduce that statistic including fast food outlets, schools, supermarkets, cafes and food manufacturers

IMG_2782Research has shown that when people are presented with larger portion sizes, they will eat more and most people underestimate how many calories they consume each day by as much as 25%.

 

 

imagesSince the 1980s, typical servings have increased dramatically: a bag of crisps has grown from 25g to 40g. ‘Big Eat’ bags have 50% more than standard bags – a bag of Walker’s crisps, for example, now contains 55g – that’s 290 calories and 18g of fat, compared to 130 cals and 8g of fat in 25g.

 

Soft drinks are still sold in 330ml cans (139 cals for a can of Coke), but 500ml bottles of are just as popular (210 cals in a bottle of Coke).

IMG_1082King-size and pocket pack chocolate bars are up to twice the size of regular bars – a Mars Big One has 100 calories more than a regular bar, while a King-Sized Snickers has 200 extra calories than the regular version.  There are now even 1 and a half bars of chocolate and Bounty bars are available in triple packs!

Double and triple burgers (with all the extras) are available from every burger chain. If you double-up your cheeseburger in McDonald’s, for example, you increase your calories from 300 to 440, and your fat intake from 11.5g to 23 g.  Pasta servings and nearly five times bigger than they were 20 years ago.

portion control 1 Ready meals have also ballooned over the past 15 years with products such as curry, cottage pies, pasta dishes and casseroles now weighing on average 400g nearly twice the size they were in the 1990’s.

You’re not even safe in the local coffee shop – Your morning caffeine fix in the 50s would be 45 calories. Nowadays, a 16oz (450ml) takeout coffee with mocha syrup would be 350 calories.

 

And how many times are you asked if you want to ‘go large’?

plates2

Modern main course bowl on the left. 1970s plate on the right

 

Even the standard dinner plate used in most restaurants and homes has increased from 10 to 12 inches!

Recent research has revealed that smaller plates, cups, glasses and bowls could reduce overall calorie intake by up to 16 per cent.

 

 

This is called portion distortion and it’s making us fat!
 The more we eat the more calories we consume

Are you shocked by this, did you have any idea that food portion sizes have been on the increase?

To put it in to context eating just 200 extra calories a day over a year can mean a weight gain of over a stone (6.3 Kg)

So what is a correct portion size?

  • A 75g serving of meat, poultry or fish is the same size as the palm of your hand
  • A medium potato is the same size as your computer mouse
  • pasta-portionKeep portions of cheese to 25g – around the same size as a matchbox
  • A medium piece of fruit is the same size as your fist
  • A serving of rice is half a teacup (75g uncooked weight)
  • A serving of vegetables is about 80g
  • A teaspoon of butter or margarine is the size of the tip of your thumb.

A useful guide is to use your hand as a visual template:

palmProtein like meat, fish, poultry, tofu lentils, eggs should be no bigger than the palm of your hand

 

 

 

Carbohydrates like bread rice pasta should fit into one cupped handcupped hand

 

 

 

cupped handsFruit and vegetables should fit in to two cupped hands

Simples!!

 

 

For more information about the increase in portion size please click on this link to the Food Standards Agency booklet http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/reviewportions.pdf