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health and nutrition

A new research report launched today by safefood has revealed that chocolate is the main ingredient in almost 40 percent of protein bars surveyed, with many also being high in saturated fat and containing added sugar and salt. The research also found that over 1 in 3 people (37 percent) surveyed think protein bars are “healthy”.

When comparing current protein intakes among adults with what’s recommended, both men and women are already consuming more protein than they need from their diet.

The safefood research looked at the nutritional content of 83 high-protein snack foods and drinks available for sale in supermarkets on the island of Ireland. These foods included protein bars, yoghurts, yoghurt-style products and milk drinks. According to industry sources, there was a 498 percent increase in products launched between 2010 and 2016 with a high-protein claim.

Introducing the research, Dr Catherine Conlon, Director of Human Health & Nutrition, safefood said, “We’ve witnessed a significant and consistent upsurge in the number and variety of foods and drinks for sale which claim to be ‘high-protein’. From bars to milks and yoghurts, high-protein foods have now become mainstream in our supermarkets. When we asked people about protein bars, a third of them thought they were healthy. However, many of these bars are, in reality, highly processed foods with a calorie content similar to that of a bar of chocolate”.

“What’s also evident from dietary data is that men and women are already consuming more than enough protein in their diets and simply don’t need this extra, highly processed protein,” stated Dr Conlon. 

Of the 39 protein bars surveyed, 38 percent listed chocolate as their main ingredient. 77 percent were high in saturated fat, with 79 percent being a source of salt. The average bar size was 55g with an average price of €2.27, though some bars cost as much as €3.00 each.

“Processed snack foods high in protein need to be combined with fat, sugar or salt in order to make them tasty,” continued Dr Conlon. “People would be better sticking to natural sources of protein in their diet, which tend to be much healthier. And if you need a source of protein as a snack, alternatives like some nuts, a small glass of milk or a yoghurt is the way to go instead of these foods with added chocolate.”

The report “A survey of high-protein snack foods” is available to download at www.safefood.eu

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Wicklow-based food company The Happy Pear has opened a new café in Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport. 

The new outlet which is the airport’s first plant based restaurant employs 20 people and is located after security screening in Terminal 1. Happy Pear founders Stephen and David Flynn were at Dublin Airport to open the new outlet, which is the group’s fourth café and to serve some of its first customers. 

The Happy Pear was founded by twins Stephen and David Flynn, who have built their business on the ideals of health, happiness and community. 

The new eye-catching Dublin Airport outlet is being opened in association with global food service group HMSHost International. The grab and go offering features a wide range of healthy food, with both hot and cold breakfast, lunch and dinner options available. 

“The Happy Pear is an energising and uplifting brand and I am delighted to welcome its new outlet to Terminal 1,” said Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison. “This new grab and go café is a fantastic addition to the food offering in Terminal 1 and I have no doubt that its healthy menu offering will be very popular with passengers,” he added. 

“We strongly support The Happy Pear’s sustainable ethos, and this is something that we are developing with all of our food and beverage operators at Dublin Airport,” according to Mr Harrison. 

The new Happy Pear outlet at the airport will feature hand-roasted coffee, delicious healthy cakes, a selection of vegan and vegetarian offerings, and signature sandwiches, salads, soups and hot food bowls. The menu will also feature The Happy Pear’s award-winning pesto and hummus products. 

The Happy Pear, which was founded in Greystones, Co Wicklow in 2004 and now employs 120 people, currently comprises three cafes, a farm, a branded product range, a coffee roastery, and a range of online courses for happier, healthier living. 

“We’re particularly pleased to open Dublin Airport’s first plant based café,” said The Happy Pear Co-founders, David and Stephen Flynn. “We’re thrilled that our healthy food ideas are among some amazing Irish brands at the airport and we’d like to give a massive thanks to Dublin Airport and HMSHost International for the opportunity to partner on our fourth café,” the brothers added. 

“More and more people are seeking healthier food options and our new Dublin Airport café is an amazing opportunity to offer that option for people while they are on the move. Our entire product range is made from natural ingredients with no artificial preservatives, colours or flavourings and this is something that we are particularly proud of.” 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Happy Pear (@thehappypear) on

The new Happy Pear outlet at Dublin Airport will use fully compostable take-away food containers, cups, cutlery and straws. Customers will also be rewarded through incentives such as a 20% discount on hot drinks if they use a reusable cup. 

The Happy Pear cafés also donate any surplus food to local charities through the food redistribution charity, FoodCloud and coffee grinds are used by local gardeners. Happy Pear’s vans run on compressed natural gas, helping to reduce vehicle CO2 emissions by more than 20% and it has also installed LED light fittings across its production facilities and at its head office. 

 

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Getting healthy doesn’t necessarily mean you have to become a gym junkie, or eat like a rabbit for the rest of your life.

Improving your health can be as simple as taking a short walk during the day, cutting down on your intake of fat and sugar, or swapping take-away for a home-cooked meal once in a while.

Change can seem a little overwhelming for people, especially if they feel they are stuck in a rut, and are unsure where to start.

But, with these five simple tips you can start improving your health today:

1. Drink lemon water

Adding lemon juice to your water can detox the body, promote healthy skin, aid healthy digestion, boost your vitamin C intake, and encourage weight loss.

2. Clear out the fridge

One simple way to get healthy is to stop eating bad food. You could start by clearing out your fridge, and food cupboards of all things nasty.  You  will be less likely to eat it, because it’s not there.

3. Get some exercise

Walk yourself fit. Did you know that walking for just 30 minutes a day has been said to improve people’s health significantly, as it reduces the risk of heart disease.

4. Stretch, stretch, and stretch some more

This doesn’t mean you have to sign up to Pilates or yoga, but stretching daily can improve blood circulation.

Good blood circulation is important in preventing illnesses like diabetes or kidney disease, so, stretch those legs.

5. Inhale that fresh air 

Fresh air is full of negative ions that make us feel good naturally. So, if you are looking to get healthy, in both mind and body, get outside, and take a deep breath of fresh air.

6. Catch enough zzz

Get a good night’s sleep. Nothing can put you on edge more than lack of sleep. So, put your phone on silent, turn down the lights, and try to get a full eight hours unbroken sleep.

If your nerves are keeping you up at night, try taking some deep breaths, taking some natural lavender oil tablets, or using a mindfulness app for 10 minutes before bed.

Sweet dreams.

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Okay, so we are not about to try and proclaim that consuming mass amounts of alcohol on a Saturday night is good for you, because we all know it's not. But drinking certain alcohol in moderation can have it's health perks.

It is too easy to believe the rumours that drinking red wine has its merits, but the latest research literally has us giddy with excitement. Scientists have revealed that drinking three glasses of champagne a week can actually help to prevent certain illnesses such as Alzheimer's and Dementia. 

Well, in that case, pass the Moët!

Researchers at the University of Reading found that fruits used to make certain fancy champagnes can help to boost memory and battle certain illnesses. 

Professor Jeremy Spencer told the Mail on Sunday that the "the results were dramatic".

"This research is exciting because it illustrates for the first time that moderate consumption of champagne has the potential to influence cognitive functioning such as memory," he said.

That's good enough for us! It's time to pop open a bottle of fizz and toast to our good health. 

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Juicing has become all the rage over the last few years, and advocates are certainly reaping in the benefits from it.

That's because fruit juice has a seriously long list of benefits and most of us should really be consuming more of it than we do. 

Here's a breakdown of our favourite juices and what makes them so healthy for us…

 

Watermelon Juice

This is made up of 90 percent water which pretty much makes it the most hydrating juice drink out there. It is full of antioxidants too which help fight the chances of heart disease, high blood pressure and even cancer. 

 

Orange Juice

We all know that orange juice is full of vitamin C but did you know that this is what keeps you having a healthy immune system? It also fights off damage causing radicals which can lead to high blood pressure.

 

Pomegranate Juice

This is your antioxidant bomb. Filled with vitamins E and C, this juice drink helps to reduce wrinkles and protect against sun damage. 

 

Blueberry Juice

Blueberries are linked to reducing all types of mental health disorders, with a strong link to beating Alzheimer's disease. They have high mounts of flavonoids which are linked to lowering the chances of diabetes as well as lowering blood pressure. 

 

Grapefruit Juice

This juice drink aids in releasing excess water retention, which we all hate! It also boosts your metabolism, strengthens your immune system and helps in weight loss control.

 

Cranberry Juice

Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, cranberry juice has great anti-inflammatory components which help prevent kidney stones and other kidney infections. 

 

That's all you need to know: now lets get juicing!

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It can be hard to motivate yourself when it comes to eating clean and working out regularly, but a new Irish service promises to take the hassle out of all of that.

GourmetFuel offers tailor-made, calorie-controlled (and delicious!) meals, delivered directly to your home or workplace, and S! TV's Lisa Kavanagh caught up with the company founder Emma Buckley to find out more.

With a fully equipped gym on site at their Sandyford HQ, you really have no excuse when it comes to getting healthy and active!

For more information, go to www.gourmetfuel.com or check out the video above. 

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