Healthy Eating

Food systems: the relationship between health and food science/technology.

Changes in our understanding of diet and health drive changes in the way foods are processed. Conversely, what is available on the shelf will have an impact on the choices consumers make, thereby affecting their health. Historical examples of industrial manipulation of the diet include fortification and enrichment of cereal grains with vitamins; increased production of unsaturated vegetable oils and margarine as substitutions for hydrogenated fat, lard, and butter; lowered cholesterol content foods; reduced sugar content foods; lower sodium foods; decreased portion sizes or caloric density in prepackaged foods for use in weight loss or maintenance; and increased calcium levels to prevent osteoporosis. However, degenerative diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis, bone disease, arthritis, and dementia will continue to be prevalent in the future. Whether or not the food systems available on the shelf can influence all of these disease states is not clear; however, studies have indicated that nutritional factors do contribute to the development of some of these diseases. Patterns in food consumption have changed and will continue to change as recommendations such as decreased consumption of saturated fats, salt, and cholesterol continue to be made. Increased ingestion of fish and/or fish oil is one recommendation that has been suggested because of the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on platelet aggregability and circulating levels of lipids. Wildly speculating from preliminary studies, fish oil has also been recommended for disease states including arthritis, cancer, and diseases of the immune system.


The old saying ‘you are what you eat’ is very true- if you fill up on unhealthy meals and snacks you’re likely to feel lethargic, bloated and unhealthy.  It’s never been more important to look after your health, especially seeing as the last decade has seen a dramatic surge in obesity and diabetes.  Some people blame their health problems on the fact that healthy food can be more expensive than buying junk food; however this doesn’t have to be the case.  You can buy healthy food at eat out at restaurants for reasonable prices.   Here is a guide on how to eat more healthily, for less…

Eating Out? Go for the healthy option…

Just because you’re going out to eat doesn’t mean that you have to have three stodgy courses topped off with a bottle of wine and a cappuccino.  Every course means that the calories are mounting up, and it doesn’t do much good to your bank balance either!  When eating out, always be aware of the little touches that the restaurant will make to what seem like healthy dishes, like salad dressing, grated cheese or the addition of bread.  This is what makes the meal more calorific.  If this restaurant is good enough it will cater to your needs, so just ask them to make things plain, or go for the healthier option, for example, jacket potato instead of fries.  To eat out for less, always do a search online for any restaurant vouchers that may be available- you could bag yourself a massive discount.

Buy Locally

In the age of convenience, it’s so easy to simply go to the one store and do your complete weekly shop there.  Supermarkets stock such a big variety of stock under one roof, even clothing, so it’s possible to only use the one shop for a variety of purchases.  Unfortunately, supermarkets are nor the cheapest option, or the greenest option.  Your home town is likely to have a butchers and an independent fruit and veg shop.  These outlets are cheaper to buy from for a number of reasons.  The main reason is that their produce is likely to be local, meaning that it has cost less money to hit the shelves.  Also, these shops do not waste materials and cut right back on packaging, meaning that your food can be bought for less.  This means that you can buy healthy fruit and veg as well as lean meat for a considerable amount less than in the supermarkets.  But simply changing where you shop you can become healthier and richer all at once.

Cut Back on Meat

Meat is probably the most expensive item on anyone’s shopping list. Also, you can have too much red meat which can give you a higher chance of developing heart problems.  So make your body and wallet happier by opting for dishes that don’t contain meat.  Dishes like pasta, soup and stir fry’s don’t need meat to be tasty- just add a load of veggies and their flavour will shine through.

Don’t Waste Food

UK households waste an average (but growing) £10.2 billion per year by throwing away perfectly edible food. This is a shocking figure, especially seeing as we’ve seen the price of food grow steadily over the course of the recession.  Create a food plan before you go shopping and stick to the list.  Only buy things that can be used in a number of different dishes, and make sure your timetable will ensure that you use all of the food you buy.

Drink Tap Water

Many families and couples spend a small fortune on fizzy drinks, squash and alcoholic drinks each week, when there is a cheaper and healthier option at home in your kitchen.  Government guidelines say that we should be drinking up to 8 glasses of water per day, and the pros of being hydrated shouldn’t be compromised- look forward to higher concentration levels, clearer skin and more energy.  Put those bottles of sugar laden soft drinks and reach for the tap, and save yourself some money


Olive oil spray
1 pork fillet, excess fat trimmed
2 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into wedges
1 tbs wholegrain mustard
1/3 cup chicken stock
150g baby spinach leaves
Steamed green beans, to serve
salt & pepper to season

Nutritional information (per serve)

Protein Dietary Fibre
36.00g 3.50g
Fat Total Energy
4.00g 1020kJ
Fat Saturated Sodium
1.00g -
Carbohydrate Total Cholesterol
16.00g -
Carbohydrate Sugars


I n g r e d i e n t s

 Half head of Kale
 Ten little Carrots
 One Tomato
 Half head of Romain lettuce
 Half Lemon
 Half avocado


 Salads are usually served at the beginning of a meal, but a salad can also make a healthy, low-calorie meal all by itself. When you use lots of fruits and vegetables, they can also be loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. The key to keeping salads interesting is to change the ingredients each time you make one. Don't just think of the simple garden salad, but imagine adding fruits, nuts, and lean meats to your salad to make a great low-calorie, highly nutritious meal.


Most salads start with a pile of greens. Since greens are low in calories and are a good source of fiber, it's a great way to add volume to your meal without adding a lot of calories. There are different varieties of lettuce, such as iceberg, leaf, spinach, escarole, romaine, or butter. The darker lettuces offer more vitamins than pale iceberg, for example. Spinach has iron, and all varieties are low in calories. One cup of shredded lettuce has about 5 to 10 calories.


Almost any raw vegetable can be cut up and added to a salad. Green beans, snap peas, carrots, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, artichokes, avocados, tomatoes, and cucumbers are all great suggestions. We need five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day, so eating a salad is a good way to meet those needs. Brightly colored vegetables have bioflavonoids, and the dark green vegetables are lowest in calories -- about 20 calories per half cup serving.


Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, apple slices and raisins add vitamins and antioxidants. The delicious burst of flavor and sweetness they add can also help you cut back on, or eliminate, high-calories salad dressings. A half cup of apple slices has 30 calories, and a half cup of berries has about 40 calories.


Sprinkle a few nuts like walnuts, pecans, almonds, or cashews for a nice crunch. Just a few nuts will do, about one-eighth cup of nuts adds about 90 calories. Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, and all of the nuts add protein and heart-healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids.


Bean salad is a great way to get the health benefits from beans. Beans are a good source of protein, they're full of fiber and are said to "pull" cholesterol out of your body.


Healthy Eating makes you feel better and look better. This video by syndicated columnist Rita Heikenfeld shows you recipes, cooking tips and is a guide to healthy eating. Information on healthy drinks, flax, soy and whole grains.

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