I went to my first ever Food Matters Live event. It's all about food, healthy and nutrition, run over 3 days with lots and lots of talks debating and discussing various hot topics we often hear about today. When I first read about it, I knew I had to be there! Here's a little overview of my day and what I got up to, the talks, what I learnt, the freebies and the event as a whole.
"Visiting Food Matters Live is a key way to engage in one of the most important issues of our time: the relationship between food, nutrition and health. Visitors will be from a range of professions and disciplines, including food science and manufacturing, R&D, food marketing, retailing, nutrition and public health."
Like I said a lot was covered under the food, health and nutrition umbrella. It was a free event, which is always a big plus! But I think I would have paid a small fee to attend the event, especially with all the talks and professionals, there is always so much inspiration and motivation. The seminars and conferences were part of my CPD and endorsed by the Association for Nutrition which is great help to getting my full registration as a nutritionist.
As there was a exhibition as well, there were many many stalls promoting their products or organisation, which meant free samples!! Yipee! I talked to a lot of the exhibitors to find out more about their products and here are the ones that stuck out to me:
- Amy's Kitchen: A family run business, which makes and sells healthy vegetarian ready meals, like, cheese and broccoli pasta, vege lasagne and various soups. The samples tasted so wholesome and home-made. Will definitely look out for them in the freezer section.
- Lo Salt: I am always trying to find ways to lower our salt content. With the high rate of high blood pressure in the South Asian community, this has always been one of my missions. They were offering samples of popcorn which was seasoned with the Lo Salt. They tasted just as good and you only need a small amount. This can be used in cooking as a salt alternative without compromising on the taste as it contains 66% less sodium. I would say it is a nice stepping stone to reducing our salt intake.
- Savse Smoothies: Some great tasting and interesting combination of fruit and vegetables. These are 100% raw cold-pressed smoothies. A 250ml bottle contains 2 of the 5 a day. Try a whole range of combo's you will be sure to find one you like, for example; blueberry, kale, beetroot, spinach, blackberry and apple. Doesn't that sound scrummy!!
- There were other food and drinks too; gluten free bread, dairy free milkshakes, protein bars, milk and ice cream for those who are lactose intolerant, Belvita breakfast biscuits, popped crisps, natural food colourings, healthy breakfast cereals and many more!
But it wasn't all about the food and drinks, I learnt quite a bit too from the conferences and seminars. Here's some of the points that I thought were interesting that I learnt from at the event:
- Something needs to be done in hospitals to promote healthy eating, there are still some fast food outlets and unhealthy food in the canteen in hospitals. The NHS staff should be role models and set examples too, especially in front of patients.
- Local authorities should be dealing with local food shops to ensure there are promoting health and nutrition.
- Using salt crystals in seasoning food can have a positive effect, as they are bigger than normal salt, the taste stays longer in the mouth and therefore less can be used.
- Changing food habits is more complicated than we think. More needs to be done to understand how to make healthy changes. Use stepping stones to reduce consumption of unhealthy food to healthy foods. For example; chocolate digestive biscuit ->> low calorie digestive biscuit ->> low calorie biscuit/rich tea ->> no biscuit at all.
- Need to make sure we can read food labels clearly and concisely, we take about 41 seconds to choose and read products in supermarkets.
- We are spend less time in the kitchen to prepare food. From 60 mins in 1980 to 34 mins now in 2014.
- Choice of food is not a problem, rather we should be able to make the right choices from the 30000 lines that are available in the supermarkets.
- Seafood has shown to have positive effects on cognitive development, behaviour and a healthy body! It has shown to tackle sleep problems in children too! We should be having at least 2 portions of oily fish per week.
If you are interested in attending next year(like me!), you can register your interest on the website: http://www.foodmatterslive.com/
Be Happy! Be Healthy!
Written By Ayshabibi H.
A H Nutritionist
24th November 2014
Disclaimer: A H Nutritionist haven't been asked to promote or endorse any of the products or organisations mentioned in this blog. Thank you.