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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?

ppeatfruit Tue 12-Mar-13 12:54:26

I agree Xenia, after all the publicity about 'Pink slime',(that includes ears, sinews, horsemeat, ABs and the shxx off the abbatoir walls) which is put in sausages and sausage rolls etc, why anyone would feed themselves and their DCs such shxx Is beyond me.

Xenia Mon 11-Mar-13 17:21:29

The NHS proposes a very high carb diet which a lot of people do not agree with. However whether you eat meat or not non processed foods whether that is 100% meat only or 100% vegetarian or something in between is going to be a lot better for you than processed junk foods.

ivykaty44 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:12:16

why would you fill up your plate with celery and spinach - sound pretty awful - is it a new diet craze? like the cabbage soup diet?

STIDW Mon 11-Mar-13 15:14:28

If you fill up your plate with celery and spinach you would probably be eating more nitrates/nitrates than there is in cured meats. -;)

ivykaty44 Mon 11-Mar-13 12:33:39

horriblemother - there are far more processed food than you list but this study was about meat and milk bread and pasta etc are not meat.

I think this thread has got hung up with nitrates and cancer - whereas the bigger risk is heart disease by all most three quarters.
Filling your plate with vegetables and pulses and reducing the amount of processed food would be healthier and possibly give you another few years of healthy life

CatherineHMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 11-Mar-13 12:07:17

Just in case you hadn't seen it on our homepage - we've put up a brief explanation of the recent research findings on processed meat together with some alternative suggestions for lunchboxes - read it here.

megandraper Mon 11-Mar-13 10:39:24

As a result of the news/this thread I have just done some searching and found these sausages, bacon and burgers. They are nitrate/nitrite/sulphite free and look pretty good. Sausages and burgers are gluten-free as well (essential for us). Am I right in thinking that these should be good?

laverstoke park bacon

daylesford bacon

laverstoke park sausages

helen browning sausages

laverstoke park buffalo burgers

laverstoke park burgers

Also I found this website which explains food additives and which ones are dangerous. It's a US site, but still seems relevant to the UK as well.

HorribleMother Mon 11-Mar-13 09:31:42

Stuff that is processed food that you never think of as processed:
Milk, bread, pasta, anything made of flour, really; fruit juice, tea; ice cream; some cheeses, ketchup, mayonaise, white rice, all breakfast cereals, ReadyBrek, nut butters, pasteurised honey, chocolate, oven chips, yogurt, any canned soup.

I'm not sure it's fair to label all of that as unhealthy, though.

I am going to ask my butcher for an ingredient list on their own packs of sausage meat; never know, might actually be low salt or nitrite free.

Kiwiinkits Mon 11-Mar-13 01:01:48

bwwwwa haaa haaa haa make your own sausages! I find it hard enough just to bung some lamb chops in the grill...

WTAF am I supposed to feed my kids if they can't have store bought sausages!?

fidelma Sun 10-Mar-13 23:45:00

So can you get a ham to boil that wont kill us?

pollypandemonium Sun 10-Mar-13 23:11:38

Strichnine also treats heart failure.

I remember reading somewhere that it was when nitrite is heated in the body that it causes the nitrosamines but that was probably what they thought previously.

pollypandemonium Sun 10-Mar-13 23:06:44

ivy that's a good question but it seems that they have lumped the two bits of research together when reporting. It is highly confusing but they just say that processed meat causes heart disease and other symptoms, not that nitrite causes heart disease. Look at the NHS link and it's clear and both matters are treated separately.

claig Sun 10-Mar-13 23:05:40

This explains the cancer risk og nitrosamines formed by nitrites (rather than nitrates) in acidic environments such as the stomach. I can't make out whether it is a definite occurrence in the stomach environment or not

claig Sun 10-Mar-13 22:40:31

Apparently nitrates can be used to treat heart failure

pumpkinsweetie Sun 10-Mar-13 22:36:43

Apart from the occasional smoked salmon/sausage/bacon, averaging about once a week, we only eat fresh meat mainly in our house, vegetables and the odd take away or pizza.
Life is too short to be worrying about this kind of thing, unless of course you are eating heaps of it!
Everything in moderation I say.

ivykaty44 Sun 10-Mar-13 22:28:38

so anyone want to explain how nitrates cause heart disease? As this seems to be the greater fact in the process meats rather than cancer?

claig Sun 10-Mar-13 21:34:19

Yes, smoked salmon is processed

I stopped buying smoked salmon years ago when the scare about the fish farms came up. Don't know what the situation is now, but I never went back to it.

lastnightidreamt Sun 10-Mar-13 20:48:19

Probably a very stupid question, but does anyone know if smoked salmon is counted as 'processed'?

pollypandemonium Sun 10-Mar-13 20:26:52

Claig's psychology today article is the most informative I have read so far although I still don't understand the bit where nitrite triggers (if that's the right term) nitrosamines and develops cancer. If the nitrate in celery salt turns into nitrites too is the risk the same with bacon cured with celery salt?

ppeatfruit Sun 10-Mar-13 16:56:17

No IMO not everyone BUT some carbs e.g. whole oats, rice, rye, buckwheat etc. and the ancient wheats like kamut and spelt are much better for most peoples' health and of course fresh veg. are the best forms of carbs and fibre.

I don't think the FSA were recommending those particular carbs though grin

claig Sun 10-Mar-13 16:43:52

Agree, ppeatfruit, we are all different. But do the majority do better with high carb?

ppeatfruit Sun 10-Mar-13 16:39:14

Agree claig But we are also all different and some of us do better with high protein and some don't.

claig Sun 10-Mar-13 16:15:09

specialsubject, that eatwell plate looks teh familiar old high carb/ low protein, low fat type diet message that we have been told for years.

This is from one doctor who does not think it is the best advice

'When I heard of the launch of the ‘eatwell plate’ I thought, rather naively, that the FSA had incorporated new knowledge and understanding in nutrition to rectify some of the woefully inadequate nutritional advice dished out to the masses over the last few decades. But, no, actually the eatwell plate is nothing but a re-hash of the same old advice. Though the FSA have really pushed the boat out with regard to design, which the FSA tells us: ‘has been made more contemporary..’ Oh, and: ‘photography of real foods that reflect current eating patterns have been included’.

Take a look at the plate and, as usual, we have the same emphasis on starchy carbs in the diet. In fact, the FSA advises that: ‘Starchy foods should make up about a third of the food we eat. Most people should be eating more starchy foods.’

What it neglects to say, however, is that these are the very same foods that tend to have high glycaemic index and load, which in short means the have considerable capacity to induce surges of insulin which can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. And it’s also known that such foods tend not to satisfy the appetite well, which is perhaps just one reason why some individuals can find themselves overeating such fare.'

specialsubject Sun 10-Mar-13 16:00:47

end of. Note large proportion of good carbs.

processed meats are high in fat and salt (which is why they are so tasty). Fine in moderation, like most things.

ivykaty44 Sun 10-Mar-13 15:56:39

pp - no they are not talking about processed meat for every meal, they are talking about more than 7oz per week, or 1 oz per day. You would be looking at less than half a slice of ham at 1oz.

So the odd bacon sandwich is fine, but add that to pasta with ham and a choritzo (sp) in a casserole with the odd sausage and mash for tea and you will be well over your weekly allowance

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