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Study: TV Chef Recipes Often 'Less Healthy'

Wednesday, 19 Dec 2012 12:34 PM


Meals prepared by popular television chefs may look delicious, but nutritional experts have found they tend to contain far more calories, fat, and less fiber than supermarket-ready or home-cooked meals.
The study, published in the online version of the British Medical Journal BMJ.com, suggests foodies would be well-served by requiring nutritional information on recipes in books authored by celebrity chefs.
The researchers also recommended regulating recipes demonstrated by TV chefs in ways that are similar to the limits placed on advertisement of foods classified as high in fat, salt, or sugar.
For the study, dietary specialists at Newcastle University analyzed the nutritional content of television chef recipes with supermarket-ready meals. They then compared both types of meals to dietary guidelines published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.K. Food Standards Agency (FSA). The analysis involved 100 meal recipes from five bestselling cookery books by U.K. television chefs and 100 ready meals from the three leading British supermarkets.
Recipes were included from “30 Minute Meals” and “Ministry of Food” by Jamie Oliver, “Baking Made Easy” by Lorraine Pascale, “Kitchen” by Nigella Lawson, and “River Cottage Everyday” by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
The results showed no recipe or ready meal fully complied with the WHO recommendations for the avoidance of diet-related diseases. Both types of meals tended to be high in fat, saturated fat, salt, and protein, and low in carbohydrates. But meals based on television chef recipes were less healthy than ready meals, and contained significantly more calories, fat, saturated fat, and protein, as well as significantly less fiber per portion than ready meals.
"This study shows that neither recipes created by popular television chefs nor ready meals produced by three leading U.K. supermarket chains meet national or international nutritional standards for a balanced diet," said the authors. "The recipes seemed to be less healthy than the ready meals on several metrics."
They added that more nutritional benefits are "likely to be derived from home cooking of nutritionally balanced recipes primarily using raw ingredients, rather than relying on ready meals or recipes by television chefs."
The researchers noted that, by 2020, more than 70 percent of adults in the United Kingdom and the United States are projected to be overweight, boosting rates of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.


© HealthDay

 
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Meals prepared by TV chefs contain more calories, fat than supermarket-ready or home-cooked meals.
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Wednesday, 19 Dec 2012 12:34 PM
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