Where do we get our portion sizes from for the Nutrition Program? The government report Food Portion Sizes gives clues but it was published 23 years ago so it’s out of date.
The best results come from supermarket websites.
Sainsburys Waitrose Aldi Co-op Morrisons Tesco
The Government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal wants reduced portion sizes to reduce calorie intake.
Tesco has a Healthy Living range with reduced salt, sugar, fat and calories
The Co-op has ready meals with less than 500 calories
School Food Plan has excellent charts on portion sizes
BUPA has an excellent website with portion sizes for different foods.
Meat, fish and other proteins
Raw meat 80g
Bread 100 grams
Bills cafe in Lewes
Bills cafe is famous for its fresh fruit and vegetables and delicious all day food served in the cafe.
I asked Bill on 23/7/2009 what he thought about having his recipes analysed to show their nutritional value. His reply went something like this:
‘Look love, we have specifications for our recipes, but we are creative here. See these tomatoes. Some of them need more salt than others and some need a hint of sweetness by adding honey. We don’t know until we are making the passata so the nutrition will change. We’re not like those big food chains where food goes into the factory all the same and comes out the same. Here we are different. If the supplier delivers different varieties of potatoes we cook them in ways which work best, and this changes the nutrition. I’ve got one chef who makes the most spicy hummus and another that adds his own touch of flavour. We’re creative, and do things by taste and flavour.’
What about allergens Bill?
‘We know our recipes, so we know whether they contain wheat or milk. Nuts is a problem as everything is prepared in a small kitchen and we can’t guarantee nut free.’
Can I try and analyse one of your recipes Bill?
‘OK, I’ll sort one out – but I think taste matters, not the nutrition!’
Now in 2014 Bill could use our Food Labeller which does all of this online!
When people (mainly students) use the Nutrition Program, they can submit ingredients and foods to us if they are missing from the database. This is showing interesting trends as people are using more exotic ingredients in their recipes, choosing lower fat foods, and eating new food products in their daily diets.
Here are some ingredients which show new food trends – dried pineapple, apple and cherries, dragon fruit, green tea, smoked lardons, harissa, shitake mushrooms, canned pumpkin, mango pulp, lamb’s lettuce and snapper. There are many more – email if you would like the list. We’ll try and find the nutritional value of these ingredients and add them to the database.
What about diets? The funniest request was for paracetamol – and we’ll try and find it. You will see deep fried Mars Bar on the database as it was requested, perhaps in fun. We’re going to add Fanta Zero, Red Bull, candy floss ( it is summertime) and tequilla.
The most interesting to research has been Kamut flour which is an ancient type of wheat related to the durum variety used in modern bread making. They claim it is higher in protein than normal flour and is tolerated by people who are gluten sensitive. This is the link http://www.alimentstrigone.com/info_kamut_en.html. Doves Farm sell this flour.