Half of British adults don't understand nut... - Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating
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Half of British adults don't understand nutrition

Cooper27
Cooper27Moderator
โ€ข29 Replies

I came across this article today, and I will be fair that by their definition of nutrition (knowing protein, fat, salt GDAs) I technically don't have a clue either:

independent.co.uk/news/uk/h...

I was surprised to read that 46% of respondents hadn't eaten any veg in the preceding week, and 1/3 had no fruit. Do you think it's true only half the population eat veg?

29 Replies
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Jerry
JerryAdministrator

Hi Cooper this is interesting but not that surprising when you look at the choices people make when eating fast food and I often think don't they eat real fruit or veg? But 46% seems shockingly high for not eating fruit or veg but I guess it depends who they polled.

I don't know the ratio of fats and carbs that I eat but I don't need to as I'm lean and healthy.

Jerry. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Cooper27
Cooper27Moderator
in reply to Jerry

Yes, 46% just seemed very high. Just thinking about the people around me, I don't think that rings true, but I could be living in a bubble! I could believe 46% don't reach the 5-a-day recommendation though.

andyswarbs

You are spot on here. Most people buy their food in ignorance and a belief that if they just eat as others do (and because others do) they'll be okay. Ask everyone if they eat a healthy diet and you'll get an unequivacal yes. Yes in ignorance.

For example most people think you need to eat meat to get sufficient protien. Which is of course complete and utter nonsense. Most people think they need to consume cows milk to get their calcium needs, which again is complete and utter nonsense.

Cooper27
Cooper27Moderator
in reply to andyswarbs

Well they did ask people of they thought they ate healthily / according to the guidelines, and the respondents said they probably didn't, so I suppose that's something!

StillConcerned

Neither are our guts the size of a gorilla (most of us anyway), so we aren't designed to eat high proportions of veg, nor especially genetically selected fruit (since our body immediately seeks to convert fructose).

andyswarbs

Gorillas have a similar digestive system as a human. ... Humans have a smaller colon and a larger small intestine than gorillas and other primates. As a result, we require softer, less fibrous, and more nutrient and energy dense foods. So, for example, I won't be eating grass any day now. Also typically my grain will be ground up into flour.

Talking of which I have a stonking sourdough loaf downstairs.

Cooper27
Cooper27Moderator
in reply to andyswarbs

I learned an interesting fact about gorillas the other day - they eat 30kg of food a day! That's a lot of veg :)

StillConcerned

Does the fact that the grain needs to be ground up not suggest our digestive system was not designed to cope with much of it?

That, plus when a certain requirement is exceeded, de novo lipogenesis kicks in, which too much over time clogs up the vascular system.

The only nutrient density of grains pertains to carbohydrate; they have to be fortified to disguise how micro-nutrient bereft they are.

Softer, less fibrous, more nutrient and energy dense foods. I thought you only ate a minimum of fat?

Fran182716
Fran182716Prediabetic

In the UK I think most people have heard of โ€œ5 a dayโ€, itโ€™s been around a long time now, but many just ignore it as theyโ€™re not that keen on fruit and veg, and a lot probably donโ€™t know in detail why the 5 a day is โ€œgood for youโ€.

As far as macro percentages go not all medical professionals agree with government guidelines anyway and I doubt the large majority of the public give it any thought. My personal take on this is that different macro splits will suit different people at different points in their lives depending on their needs, activities, and health conditions so I disagree with the governments insistence on a โ€œone size fits allโ€ advice. Itโ€™s very individual, and I know my own macro split works best around 35 % (high fibre) carbs/ 35 % fat/30 % protein but thatโ€™s for my current circumstances, and wouldnโ€™t necessarily be right for someone else.

StillConcerned

It is shocking, but not entirely surprising. I've seen stats that say affluent areas average 4 point something fruit and veg per day, whereas in poorest areas it is two point something, and these are mean averages, so some will be eating more, and some will be eating less.

There isn't much fruit and veg in food bank allowances, and what is comes in a tin.

Cooper27
Cooper27Moderator
in reply to StillConcerned

My one thought was that people may not be counting hidden veg if it's cooked into ready meals (although it's probably not a portion worth).

The average doesn't surprise me, but I expected the average still meant most households ate at at least 1 portion a day.

StillConcerned

One saving grace is that statistically (and I don't have a reference sorry, so I appreciate this is neither use nor ornament) there's no additional proven health benefit to having more than three portions of fruit and/or veg per day.

One way I look at it is that the human body is amazingly resilient. However, modern society is so far off-base from what we were designed to eat that we are reaping the whirlwind of chronic ill-health.

Jerry
JerryAdministrator
in reply to StillConcerned

Hi StillConcerned have you read Jethro Kloss Back to Eden? as it was written around 80 years ago and he said in the future our hospitals would be full of people because of their diets...

goodreads.com/book/show/322...

Jerry ๐Ÿ˜Š

StillConcerned

It's nearly 100 years ago that Weston A Price travelled the world and established that people that ate their natural diets didn't suffer the chronic ill-health offered by the displacing foods of modern commerce.

He also confirmed, much to his disappointment, there were no natural tribes that were completely vegetarian.

Of particular importance were the vitamins, minerals and enzymes derived from eating natural fat compared to the Western diet, and things have gotten worse since then.

Jerry
JerryAdministrator
in reply to StillConcerned

This is interesting thank you StillConcerned and it's so obvious that we are what we eat...

Fran182716
Fran182716Prediabetic
in reply to StillConcerned

I find that quite reassuring ( no advantage to more than 3 portions per day) , I average 1 berries, 1 other fruit and 2 veg a day, I love a wide variety of veg but I can only manage small portions without bloating.

alchemilla12

fruit and veg are astonishingly cheap in many supermarkets -often advertising bags of fruit or veg at 50 p.I truly cannot believe there is anyone in Britain who cannot afford that.People make bad choices through ignorance or laziness and I really dont understand how people in this day and age are ignorant of the need to eat fruit and veg or how to peel a banana...

Cooper27
Cooper27Moderator
in reply to alchemilla12

My only though is that veg isn't all that energy dense, so if you're thinking of life as the aim to eat 2000 calories a day, a carrot doesn't help you get there in the same way a chocolate bar does.

People do have a misconception that veg is expensive though, and may not venture to the veg aisle because they don't know any better.

There's also a barrier that people don't know how to cook & prep veg, or the way they cook it isn't very appetising.

There's lots of reasons people don't eat veg, so these ones might not apply in every case, but it's part of it.

alchemilla12

well considering the huge numbers of obese people -and worryingly children - as well as the rise in type 2 diabetes then maybe carrots rather than chocolate would be a good thing :)

Cooper27
Cooper27Moderator
in reply to alchemilla12

Perhaps, but then a chocolate bar has the added advantage that it won't go off and be wasted.

alchemilla12

well surely it's that kind of attitude that has led to the obesity and diabetes crisis ..??!!

Cooper27
Cooper27Moderator
in reply to alchemilla12

It probably is, but these are the comments I've seen from people when they explain why they can't justify buying fruit and veg from their limited food budgets. We can't judge unless we've been there.

Penel
PenelModerator
in reply to alchemilla12

People need to be able afford to get to a supermarket selling these foods and then to be able to afford to pay for the power needed to cook them. Poverty has been increasing in the U.K. over many years, along with food insecurity.

alchemilla12
alchemilla12
in reply to Penel

so what do they do with the food from food banks - eat it all raw ?

Cooper27
Cooper27Moderator
in reply to alchemilla12

My BIL worked in homeless shelters and said that's exactly what happens. If it needs cooked (e.g. pasta) it's cooked as cheaply as possible, but most of the time it then gets half a tin of cold chopped tomatoes right over the top. Veg in a tin tends to be cooked already, but you won't worry about reheating it if money is that tight.

Some people at food banks also don't actually have money for electricity left, and will only eat raw stuff, like cereal.

alchemilla12

homeless shelters not really what I was talking about..

Cooper27
Cooper27Moderator
in reply to alchemilla12

Many people they work with were given accommodation, responsible for their own bills, on a very low income, relied on food banks often, and his feedback correlates with stories from those who work in foodbanks, so in what way does it differ from your expectation of someone on a low income who uses food banks?

Penel
PenelModerator

Access to places that sell veg and fruit can be a real problem for some people.

Hugh FW had a TV program recently, tackling obesity, and was taken to task for his targets to eat more veg.

โ€œHugh agreed to a tour of Walker and Byker and was visibly astonished at what he saw: poor housing, run-down estates and discount shops. It acted as a wake-up call: Hugh saw for himself the restrictions poverty places on people in terms of accessing healthy food.

Our weight is largely determined by our environmental circumstances and how we respond to a backdrop of cheap food, persistent advertising, living in areas of fast food retailers, and where high-sugar, processed food is plentiful.โ€

alchemilla12
alchemilla12
in reply to Penel

but when these areas are given free community classes in eating cheap but nutritious food as Jamie Oliver attempted to do - it's an uphill struggle to get people interested

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