Karl Henry's body focus: Calories on menus will work
When it comes to what to eat for lunch or dinner day to day, many of us mindlessly choose what we think is healthy or at least not too bad for us. The reality is that, most of the time, we just don't know what we are eating.
Lack of knowledge or guidance when it comes to what we eat is probably the biggest barrier to maintaining a healthy weight.
That's why the new government legislation on displaying nutritional information is one of the biggest and most groundbreaking steps that is being taken to get the nation healthier. Health Minsiter Leo Varadkar has announced it will be compulsory for all restuarants, take-aways and food service outlets to display the calorie content on menus from next year.
Simple, effective and, in some respects obvious, this, I believe is going to change what we eat - and change our waistlines as a result.
Just as the smoking ban created controversy, this measure will do the same. Yet within 12 months the smoking ban was proven to be incredibly successful. This will be the same.
Forget task forces and reviews, we can change the obesity epidemic, by keeping it simple. I understand the food industry's concerns, but the benefits will long outlive the initial hardships.
How to make a healthy sandwich
Plenty of people think that salad is the only healthy lunch option available, but it is possible to make a nutritionally-balanced sandwich too. The ingredients below make up my favourite filling - use just a thin layer of mayonnaise and add some spice with the jalapeno peppers.
You will need:
2 slices of seeded brown bread (Life Fibre bread company )
Organic mayonnaise (Bay Tree )
2 slices of organic turkey
½ of an avocado, not too firm
1 tub of beansprouts (The Happy Pear)
Jalapenos, to taste
Move the junk! Take a box and go through your kitchen presses. Fill the box with all the foods you know you shouldn't be having and give the box away. If junk foods aren't present in the house, then you can't eat them.
In the supermarket, pick products that have a short shelf life, that you have to cook or prepare yourself and that have few ingredients on the label. You will be amazed at what goes into your trolley when you follow these rules.
This has a list of over 1 million products that will help you track your food intake and also break down the nutritional value into protein, carbohydrates and fats.