Is our diet that bad?

(152 Posts)
lljkk Thu 07-Mar-13 18:35:33

We eat processed meats most days (DC like ham sandwiches for lunch & I have higher quality ssg rolls in fridge as snacks or for breakfast; I thought protein was a good thing, 8yo especially difficult eater). Plus we all like sausages & mince.

13yo was told by school that 33% of his diet should be fruit + veg and only 5% sugars+fats (% volume? % Calories? Not sure which). 13yo reckons he eats 20% F+veg & 20% sugar+fat daily. Thing is, 13yo eats a plate heaped with vegies for 90% of his evening meals, and 90% of days he has less than 80g of biscuits (or similar sugary intake). I honestly thought that was less sugar & a lot more veg than usual.

For UK I still think our diet is better than average, maybe much better than average. Lots of wholemeal options, strict about jam/sugar in porridge, fizzy drinks a rather rare treat. Plenty of fruit for those who like fruit. But am I deluded about what is truly healthy enough?

Delatron Thu 07-Mar-13 20:51:28

I think the amount of veg and fruit you eat sounds great, along with making sure sugar is restricted. With regards to processed meat I think it is important not to eat it every day. So with a few tweaks your diet would be fine. Mince is good, just not ham, sausages etc every day. Once a week is fine. Can you substitute ham for chicken/tuna? It is important to get enough protein just not from processed meat sources every day.

Overall, yes your diet is probably healthier than average and all you need to do is cut down a bit on the processed meat. I did read today that it doesn't matter if the sausages are good quality sausages the effect on your health is unfortunately still the same. So just swap the sausage rolls for a different snack and you will be fine.

It is brilliant that your DC eat so many vegetables, by cutting down on processed meat their diets will be very healthy overall.

lljkk Fri 08-Mar-13 07:18:08

thanks for the thoughts.
Unfortunately I'll have a riot if I try to change away from ham for lunch, but I suppose instead I could completely stop buying ssgs/ssg meat/ssg rolls for consumption in the house.

JakeBullet Fri 08-Mar-13 07:24:01

I have come from the thread about low carb eating and someone has read the study. Tbh I think processed meat is the issue and not fresh chicken, lamb, beef, horse wink etc.

The statistical significance was in the processed meat. However, high levels of processed meat in a diet often go hand in hand with other issues....ham is processed but so are kebabs, burgers, hot dogs etc. I know which goes better with a few drinks and it ain't good quality ham grin. So the other issue is that some high levels if processed meat go hand in hand with other unhealthy lifestyle choices such as drinking, smoking etc.

YOUR diet sounds fine and doubt you would figure in their statistical significance numbers.

lljkk Fri 08-Mar-13 07:33:48

I think the study was supposed to control for other unhealthy lifestyle choices, and the statistical link was found after taking them into account.

I wonder why sausages are so nice to eat?

JakeBullet Fri 08-Mar-13 07:40:53

It did control for them but as a study it's not the best.....that would be a Randomised Control Trial.....this is an epidemiological study so much less reliable. You are right that they did control for them but there might have been other issues as well, plus they said it didn't mean avoiding all processed meats but to be aware they are a less healthy choice than fresh meat as they co rain a lot of preservatives etc.

....and no way am I giving up bacon grin. I don't smoke, I rarely drink and I am losing weight at the moment....and obesity was another risk issue too.if you are all normal weight and your diet is generally healthy then I wouldn't be over worried about this study.

niceguy2 Fri 08-Mar-13 08:15:12

One thing to bear in mind is that the actual 'meat' in your sausages, mince & sausage rolls is going to be low quality meat.

There will be a world of difference between the quality of the meat in say a steak than the mechanically retrieved 'meat' (and bones and preservatives) in a sausage.

jojane Fri 08-Mar-13 08:19:11

Could you not buy a gammon joint to cook and slice u for sarnies?

telsa Fri 08-Mar-13 08:34:44

Ok so seriously, is posh Parma ham, say, included in this processed meat category?

Springdiva Fri 08-Mar-13 14:01:44

An arthritis diet I am on states almost no processed meat. By that they mean bacon, ham, sausages, corned beef. You are allowed it occasionally which is fine my me and this diet was developed 50 years ago when people possibly had bacon every day.

Kazooblue Fri 08-Mar-13 15:06:45

It's processed meat not all meat.

Sorry but I do think a lot of ham and sausages isn't preferable.

I'm going to be cutting down on the chorizo. sad

We get Quorn ham(waiting to be told of the hidden nasties in that)kids quite like it.

CardinalRichelieu Fri 08-Mar-13 15:12:17

I think overall it sounds fine but it is so easy to eat less than healthily these days. Agree that processed meats are probably the main thing that should go/be reduced in your diets. I am trying to do the same. I bloody love sausages. I will never give them up altogether, but will reduce a lot and only have e.g. when eating out as a treat.

I am trying to eat less red meat generally and less dairy (but I can't survive without butter, no way).

The problem is we can now access any food we want whenever we want, whereas it wasn't long ago that red meat was a rare treat except for the rich. And obviously processed meat is pretty new, and probably something we shouldn't be putting in our bodies tbh. A ham sandwich now and then (or probably even quite often) isn't going to kill anyone though

AmberSocks Fri 08-Mar-13 15:22:11

everyoe has a different idea on what is healthy.my sil always goes on about how their kids eat healthily and will eat anything they put in front of them but from what ive seen they live on ham sandwiches on white bread,those sugary kids yogurts,and various frozen meats with jars of sauce.to me thats not healthy.

bigkidsdidit Fri 08-Mar-13 15:27:29

I was listening to Today on Wednesday and they said it is NOT the quality of the meat but the preservation that makes it unhealthy. Evan Davis specifically asked about posh sausages and those or parma ham are as bad as cheap stuff (in this respect, obviously not in all respects!)

something about curing, apparently, but they are not sure what

bigkidsdidit Fri 08-Mar-13 15:28:01

sorry, that was to Telsa

lljkk Fri 08-Mar-13 15:36:42

I thought nitrites or nitrates might be a factor.
Blimey, raising an ordinary family on unprocessed food is tough.
There's not a lot of convention food left to choose from by the time you take out everything labeled as processed. DC will not settle for a diet of cabbage and tahini.

bigkidsdidit Fri 08-Mar-13 15:43:07

(from memory) one slice of ham or bacon a day led to no incresae in risk

the highest risk was from 2 slices of bacon and a sausage daily.

so a ham sandwich 5 days a week should be fine?

would they have left over roast chicken or beef sandwiches instead?

lljkk Fri 08-Mar-13 20:09:57

Not a chance. smile

All fat is not bad. Sugar is bad.

I am guessing the processed food issue is to do with the nitrates.

Talkinpeace Fri 08-Mar-13 21:50:10

nitr*i*tes
because the nitrites are salts
so all processed meats are high in salt
and that is the real underlying issue

Nitrites. blush
I wonder if they looked at the salt issue. The Japanese population eat a lot of salt (sodium chloride) but not a lot of processed meat. Would be a good control.

shockers Sat 09-Mar-13 14:23:09

DH and me were talking about this yesterday. We buy roast ham off the bone from the deli, does that count?

Jam sandwiches are popular here wink. Mine are teenagers though and not subject to the packed lunch mafia at school.

teatrolley Sat 09-Mar-13 14:30:23

It's not really news that it's bad for you is it? I buy a packet of bacon maybe once every two months and limit ham to one packet a week that has about three pieces of thick sliced stuff. Beef is once a week. That way 95% of the time everyone eats well and the odd full english in a cafe on a Sunday is a treat rather than the norm.

teatrolley Sat 09-Mar-13 14:31:42

Yes, roast ham counts. Even if it's from the Deli grin

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