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Posts tagged ‘food’

Keep food in fridge to prevent food poisoning

Campaigners vow to cut sugar in food

A campaign group has been formed to reduce the amount of sugar added to food and soft drinks in an effort to tackle obesity and diabetes in the UK.

Action on Sugar has been set up by the team behind Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), which has pushed for cuts to salt intake since the 1990s.

The new group aims to help people avoid “hidden sugars” and get manufacturers to reduce the ingredient over time.

It believes a 20% to 30% reduction in three to five years is within reach.

Like Cash, Action on Sugar will set targets for the food industry to add less sugar bit by bit so that consumers do not notice the difference in taste.

It says the reduction could reverse or halt the obesity epidemic and would have a significant impact in reducing chronic disease in a way that “is practical, will work and will cost very little”.

‘Completely unnecessary’

The group listed flavoured water, sports drinks, yoghurts, ketchup, ready meals and even bread as just a few everyday foods that contain large amounts of sugar.

A favourite tactic of Cash has been to name and shame products with large quantities of salt.

Action on Sugar chairman Graham MacGregor, who is professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and set up Cash in 1996, said: “We must now tackle the obesity epidemic both in the UK and worldwide.

“This is a simple plan which gives a level playing field to the food industry, and must be adopted by the Department of Health to reduce the completely unnecessary and very large amounts of sugar the food and soft drink industry is currently adding to our foods.”

Sugar in food

Heinz tomato soup

Well-known food and drink products and their sugar content:

  • Starbucks caramel frappuccino with whipped cream with skimmed milk (tall): 273kcal; 11 teaspoons of sugar
  • Coca Cola Original (330ml): 139kcal; 9 teaspoons of sugar
  • Muller Crunch Corner Strawberry Shortcakre Yogurt (135g):212kcal; 6 teaspoons of sugar
  • Yeo Valley Family Farm 0% Fat Vanilla Yogurt (150g): 120kcal; 5 teaspoons of sugar
  • Kellogg’s Frosties with semi-skimmed milk (30g): 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • Glaceau Vitamin Water, Defence (500ml): 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • Heinz Classic Tomato Soup (300g): 171kcals; 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • Ragu Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce (200g): 80kcals; 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Crunchy Oat Granola Cinnamon Bars (40g):186kcal; 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup (15ml): 18kcal; 1 teaspoon of sugar

Source: Action on Sugar

Dr Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist and science director of Action on Sugar, said: “Added sugar has no nutritional value whatsoever and causes no feeling of satiety.

The size of some of the cups Coca-cola is sold in “need to come down” says president of Coca-cola Europe James Quincey

“Aside from being a major cause of obesity, there is increasing evidence that added sugar increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and fatty liver.”

via BBC News – Campaigners vow to cut sugar in food.

Food waste, diets in focus on UN World Food Day

Farmers prepare land for the next rice crop, outside Hanoi. (AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam)

The United Nations marked World Food Day on Wednesday, warning against food waste as 842 million people go hungry and stressing the importance of healthy diets amid rising obesity.

ROME: The United Nations marked World Food Day on Wednesday, warning against food waste as 842 million people go hungry and stressing the importance of healthy diets amid rising obesity.

Around a third of food produced globally currently goes to waste — some 1.3 billion tonnes a year, according to the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

“With just a quarter of that, we could feed the 842 million hungry,” said Robert van Otterdijk, an agriculture industry expert at FAO.

Halving the amount of food wasted would mean having to raise world food production by 32 per cent to feed the world’s population in 2050, instead of the 60 per cent currently estimated.

Mathilde Iweins, coordinator of a report on the cost of food waste, said that “the agricultural areas used to produce the food that will never be eaten are as big as Canada and India combined”.

But the FAO said focusing on the type of food being consumed was just as important, warning that malnutrition and poorly-balanced diets impose high costs on society — from towering health care bills to lost productivity.

“One out of every four children in the world under the age of five is stunted,” the FAO said in a report.

“This means 165 million children who are so malnourished they will never reach their full physical and cognitive potential,” it said.

About two billion people in the world lack vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health while 1.4 billion people are overweight.

Children with stunted growth may be at greater risk of developing obesity problems and related diseases in adulthood in a worrying cycle of malnutrition.

Of those overweight “about one-third are obese and at risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes or other health problems”, the FAO said.

The agency said that while wiping out malnutrition worldwide “is a daunting challenge, the return on investment would be high”.

“If the global community invested $1.2 billion (888 million euros) per year for five years on reducing micronutrient deficiencies, the results would be better health, fewer child deaths and increased future earnings,” it said.

“It would generate annual gains worth $15.3 billion,” it added.

The FAO said it was particularly excited by projects aimed at “raising the micronutrient content of staple foods — either through ‘biofortification’ or by encouraging the use of varieties with higher nutrient content”.

There are hopes that underutilised, nutrient-rich staple crop species might come into fashion, as well as eating insects such as beetles.

With the fight against malnutrition excelling in some countries and lagging behind in others, the FAO gave examples of methods to help improve food systems.

In rural Vietnam, fish-stocked ponds, chickens used as a source of fertiliser and garden-grown crops have reduced child malnutrition and chronic energy deficiency in women of child-bearing age, while raising incomes.

In Ethiopia, a project involving goats has increased milk consumption and incomes by teaching women better goat management and genetically improving the animals.

The FAO insisted, however, that country-specific projects must be backed up by global efforts to stem waste.

“Getting the most food from every drop of water, plot of land, speck of fertiliser and minute of labour saves resources for the future and makes systems more sustainable,” the organisation said.

– AFP/al

via Food waste, diets in focus on UN World Food Day – Channel NewsAsia.

Liow: Manufacturers promise not to advertise food, drink high in sugar, salt, fats to children

PUTRAJAYA: Food industry players have joined forces with the Health Ministry’s to combat obesity and non-communicable diseases, promising not to advertise any food or drinks that are high in sugar, salt or fats to children.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (pic) said members of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers’ (FMM) Food Manufacturing Group have volunteered to implement guidelines on limiting children’s marketing exposure to foodstuff that have little or no nutritional value.

“They have agreed to self-regulate. This is an industry pledge, and they will work with advertising associations to make sure products that do not meet the criteria of nutritional value are not marketed to children aged 12 and below,” he said after chairing the 11th Food Safety and Nutrition Council here.

The new guidelines are adopted from the global best practices outlined by the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA), which promotes self-regulation among industry players by way of a formal pledge.

The Malaysian pledge requires that only products that meet company specific nutrition criteria can be advertised to children, be it on television or any other media.

The pledge also specifies that companies should not advertise food and drinks that contain high sugar, salt or fat content on television, where 35% of its captive audience is made up of children.

Companies that take up the pledge at the same time cannot promote products in primary schools, unless requested by or agreed with the school administration – but only for educational or informative purposes.

Liow pointed out that the pledge is significant as it represents a step forward in the country’s bid to trim the fat and deal with the growing rate of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

“As we can see from the statistics on non-communicable diseases, the figures are going up every year. We cannot wait… we cannot just continue to discuss the issue and not take any action. We have to step forward and we must fight obesity now,” he said.

FMM Food Group chairman Mohd Shah Hashim said they are currently working out the mechanism to implement the pledge, which would require a clear understanding between food manufacturers, advertising and media agencies on what can and cannot be promoted to children. “We are targetting to implement this by the first quarter of next year, in collaboration with the Health Ministry.

“This covers all levels of media. Currently the pledge applies to FMM members, but in time we will have to bring the other industry players on board,” he said.


The Star


Foods that fight diabetes

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network
By Cory Quirino

As a firm believer in the power of natural medicine, I make it a rule to consider the benefits of food before consuming it. This may sound a bit obsessive, but it’s true. And this way of life has never failed me. In fact, it has been my reliable source of healing and well-being.

Let me answer some of your frequently asked questions with reference to certain health challenges.

Managing diabetes

Q: Do I have to starve myself in order to live with diabetes?

The answer is a resounding no. There is life after diabetes, this ailment that affects more than 230 million people worldwide. Because it is one of the fastest-growing diseases in this modern age, one inevitably has to ask what truly causes it.

The risk of developing diabetes is influenced by your lifestyle. Two things you must do:

1. List down your daily habits.

2. Answer truthfully: Do they contribute to your wellness or illness?

If you are at risk of developing diabetes or already have it, you must, above all, be vigilant. Diabetes results in a buildup of sugar (better known as glucose) in the blood stream. This happens when the body cannot make enough of the hormone insulin or is unable to use insulin (which is supposed to regulate the sugar) properly. A buildup of glucose in the bloodstream can result in increased risk of heart disease, kidney and circulation problems.

Ninety per cent of diabetics fall under the type 2 category, while 10 per cent are called insulin dependent (or juvenile onset diabetes). This auto-immune disease requires insulin injections. Another type, gestational diabetes, is normally temporary, developing during pregnancy.

Take note: Pre-diabetes is due to the body becoming resistant to insulin and the risk of this becoming type 2 is high.

Research, however, shows you can reverse this risk by simply improving your diet and lifestyle.

Here’s how:

1. Daily moderate exercise

2. Increase fiber intake

3. Switch to a low glycemic diet

These strategies can be more effective than conventional medication in reversing high blood sugar conditions.

Whether you have diabetes or not, this regimen applies to all who wish to prevent diabetes.


1. Watch your fat intake. Too much fatty foods will lead to weight gain and worsen insulin resistance.

2. Try to lose weight. Use low-fat cooking methods (steam, boil, bake, grill) instead of fried. Eat pasta al dente instead of well-cooked.

3. Eat legumes. Beans of all kinds have low GI.

4. If you’re eating a salad, get vinegar-based dressing, which is acidic and can slow down food digestion.

5. If you love rice too much, try mountain rice (black, red, etc.) or basmate and the newly bred doongara rice.

There is no need to radically change your diet if you have diabetes. All you need to bear in mind is that you have to keep your blood glucose level within the normal range to minimize long-term health problems.

6. Eat only low-fat dairy.

7. Minimize salt intake.

8. Drink alcohol in moderation.

Grocery list

Buy only lean meat (trim fat before cooking).

Avoid butter, lard, sour cream, creamy dressings, creamy sauces.

Eat only low-fat cheese.

Avoid takeaway supermarket pastries and pies (as they may have trans fats).

Buy low glycemic fruits and veggies-broccoli, sweet potato, taro, yams, green peas, sweet corn, asparagus, pears, apples, bananas, kiwi, mango, grapes.

Avoid condensed milk.

Believe it or not, all yoghurt types are okay, custard pudding, cow’s milk and soy milk.

Durum wheat pasta, rice noodles, soba noodles, ravioli are okay, too.

Stock up on barley, a high-protein grain.

Buy only whole grain breads, pumpernickel, pita bread, sourdough, stoneground flour breads.

Breakfast starters: Homemade muesli

Mix 2 cups whole grain rolled oats with

2 tbsp wheat grain

¼ c oat bran

½ c almonds or cashews

¼ c raisins

½ c dried or baked apples

Note: The coarser the oats the lower the GI. Try old-fashioned rolled oats, my choice.

Mix your muesli with yoghurt or low-fat milk. Mix 1 tbsp of raw wild honey to taste.

Because breakfast is the best time to get your energy for the whole day, have a good serving of scrambled eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms. Mix 4 eggs together with low-fat milk and 4 cups tomatoes, mushrooms and 3 tbsp of vinegar.


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