Date Published: 6 November 2006

Everyday foods may not be as 'ordinary' as we think ...

Health News from the Republic of Ireland (Eire).

Earlier today, safefood launched a new campaign designed to raise awareness of the benefits of eating everyday foods. The ?Superfoods' campaign focuses on encouraging people to eat leaner meat, and increase their intake of fruit, vegetables and whole grains, foods which all have super nutritional properties but often get overlooked.

Poor diets that are low in fibre, fruit and vegetables and high in salt, fat and saturated fat contribute to diseases such as stroke, cancer, heart disease and obesity. In Northern Ireland thirty five percent of deaths are due to heart disease, stroke and diseases of the circulation, with an additional three out of ten deaths due to cancer¹. The changes suggested by safefood are designed to help people address the quality of their own diets, and impact positively on their health in the long-term. ?Superfoods' such as lean meat, whole grains, fruit and vegetables are lower in calories and fat than many foods and contain essential vitamins and minerals which can help control cholesterol and blood pressure and may also help combat obesity.

Dr. Cliodhna Foley Nolan, Director of Public Health, safefood said,

" Superfoods are regular foods with special nutritional properties, foods which we should try to eat more of. For example, trimmed lean red meat is much lower in salt and fat than processed meat, and fruit and vegetables offer a huge number of benefits, from anti-oxidants to fibre. Our recommended changes are small, but if adopted, could have a big impact on health, over time. "

On the island of Ireland, salt and saturated fat intakes are higher than the recommended intake for heart health. A significant proportion of these come from meat, so switching to leaner meats could also have a positive impact on health.

Furthermore, more than three out of four people on the island do not eat enough fibre (2), which is important for gut health. Switching from white bread to brown could improve this situation and provide real benefits. In Northern Ireland over half of people prepare meals from raw or fresh ingredients less than once a week (3) and eight out of ten people eat less than the recommend five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, with a third eating just two or fewer portions (4). The health benefits of fruit and vegetables are well known and meeting recommendations could have widespread public health benefits.

Martin Higgins, Chief Executive, safefood commented,

? Consumers are familiar with new ?functional foods?, which are marketed to have a specific health benefit. This campaign aims to remind consumers that in reality, most normal everyday foods can be called ?Superfoods'. They are not as ?ordinary”as we think and can be just as beneficial ?.

The safefood ?Superfoods' campaign comprises innovative advertisements, using quirky voiceovers creating personalities for a banana, lean meat, pea and wholegrain bread. The characters' personalities are at odds with their appearance and explain in a humorous and engaging way, the benefits of including ?Superfoods' in a daily diet.

 

Source: safefood (Ireland).

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