Sunday 25 September 2016

Go easy on the spuds as diet rules get an upgrade

Published 18/06/2016 | 02:30

The humble spud
The humble spud

The spud. Part of the fabric of the nation. Our staple food for generations. An intrinsic part of our country's history. But will it play such an intrinsic part of our future? Not if the health experts have anything to do with it.

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A food pyramid is a pyramid-shaped diagram showing the appropriate number of servings to be eaten every day from each of the basic food groups. So the pyramid tells you the correct amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to get daily to stay healthy.

Obviously, what is viewed as the best dietary advice changes over time. Now the food pyramid is set for a major overhaul. Carbohydrates including bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and cereals will be overtaken for the first time by fruit and vegetables as the recommended biggest staple.

The changes - drawn up by the Department of Health - will feature in a new updated basis for healthy nutrition to be launched as part of the National Obesity Action Plan.

The last food pyramid recommended carbohydrates as the food group we could eat most of in the day.

In the new guide, this highest bulk group will be replaced by fruit and vegetables and we will be advised to cut our daily consumption of carbohydrates.

Obesity is a growing problem in our society which will cost our health service enormously in years to come. There's not much point in having a food pyramid if nobody knows about it, so public awareness is vital.

The meat and two veg meal dinner isn't gone yet - but just go easy on the spuds.

Irish Independent

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