You may have discovered from my website introduction that I am an ex-teacher of Food and Nutrition, Food Technology, Home Economics and Domestic Science and whatever else it has been called over the years.
It seemed fitting that on the first week of a new term and school year that I start this blog. It is very difficult to switch off an interest in Food and in sharing that interest with others, so I thought that this would be a way that I can still have a voice.
Food in the news
Food and its effect on health is always in the news. But that’s how it should be. One of the things that I have always loved about teaching food is that it has always evolved; it has always moved with the results of new studies and new ways that people have come up with to help different types of conditions and people. It keeps experts on their toes – either trying to agree with or dispute the theories and findings. I thought I might look at some of these in future musings. Celebrities have jumped on the band wagon of how to achieve the perfect whatever through their way of eating. Sometimes these even work!
What do we really know Fat?
Take the example of saturated fats. We have been told for decades that saturated fats are bad and clog up the arteries and lead to obesity and heart attacks. Now, it’s OK to eat butter. Butter is a natural product. As with any fat in food it is a mixture of both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, it just happens that there are more saturated fatty acids in butter, so it gets called saturated.
One of the problems with fats, whether saturated or unsaturated, is that they give you a very concentrated form of energy and lots of Calories. If you are going to use them up and not ask your body to convert them to energy stores, then why not have some? On the other hand, if you are not a fan of exercise, maybe think again.
I led an activity session in school where we were looking at the charts and tables that the ‘experts’ use to tell us what we should be eating. The students were very interested in the number of Calories that was recommended by the GDA, RNI or RDA figures – these are often used in the traffic light logos on the front of packaging. I suggested that rather than looking at these figures as aspirational – a target to try to achieve by eating, maybe they should turn it round and think about doing enough activity to use up that number of Calories so that maybe they would be healthier?
Until next time