According to a study of 2,000 British adults, the majority of respondents have "no idea" how much protein, fat, carbohydrates, sugar, dairy and fruit and vegetables they are supposed to eat. A whopping 49% said they don’t know what a “correct portion size” should be. And on top of this, a third of those surveyed said they don’t eat fruit, and only 46% regularly eat vegetables.
So why, as a nation, are we not eating right? According to the survey, being short on time plays a major role on what people are eating. Just one fifth of those surveyed said they cook dinner from scratch. And those who do cook dinner, only do so less than three times a week. On top of this, the survey makes it evident that many British adults are living on diets with little to no nutritional value, on average eating sugary foods four times a week and high-saturated fat foods three times a week.
On a wider scale of comparison, a study in 2018 found that Brits have the worst diet when judged across the whole of Europe. When studying our intake of foods high in saturated fat and sugar, the study found that Britain consumes five times more than Portugal, and nearly four times as much as France, Greece and Italy.
To top it off, we lose 97 million working days each year in the UK due to poor diet, leading to an astounding cost to both the economy and the NHS. And with poor nutrition leading to a rise in healthcare needs along with contributing to poor mental health, it's clear we need to be make major lifestyle changes across the country.
So what steps can we take? According to Nutritionist Resource, the best things we can do are as individuals, and include ensuring we are eating a balanced diet, changing our attitudes towards food to become more positive, and making sure we understand the environmental impact that comes from our diets.
The British Heart Foundation have some great, simple tips too on the best way to implement a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. They suggest avoiding the fad diets, and instead focusing on balancing protein, fats and carbohydrates, ensuring you are getting adequate amounts of fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Their top tips include:
- Eat at least two portions of fish a week, one of which is oily.
- Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and choose a variety.
- If you eat more than 90g of red or processed meat a day, reduce this to 70g or less.
- Aim to have the equivalent of 6-8 glasses of fluid a day including water, low-fat milk and sugar-free drinks.
To add to this, remember that a great way to deal with being time-poor is by cooking in bulk and freezing meals to ensure you’re getting adequate nutrition without the daily time commitment.
And make sure that if you're snacking in between meals, you're making healthy choices. Head to our shop page to pick up a snack box. We have over 400 products that we've vetted to ensure they meet our standards. These include: no trans fats; no hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats; no palm oil, no unnecessary sugars, no artificial additives, colours or preservatives; no genetically modified foods; no high fructose corn syrup; and no MSG, so you know you're getting only the best for your body.