From the journal

The Sugar Debate

As this week is Sugar Awareness Week what better time to delve into the good, the bad and the ugly of the sweet white stuff.

It’s no secret that as a population we consume way too much sugar and with the introduction of the sugar tax in April 2018 it’s clear that there are attempts to try and limit sugar consumption. At The Transformation Chef we strongly believe that knowledge is power and it’s for that reason that we want to outline the ins and outs of sugar to hopefully help you to understand why in very small amounts sugar can be sweet but in excess it can be somewhat sinister.

We’ve answered your most common sugar questions below.

What is sugar?

Sugar is defined as “a class of soluble, sweet tasting carbohydrates found in living tissues”. Sucrose and glucose are the most common types of sugar. Carbohydrates (with the exception of fibre) are broken down into glucose in the body to be used as energy. Excess sugar intake increases the need for insulin (the hormone which regulates blood sugar). Over a prolonged period of time the constant need for more insulin can lead to an increased risk of insulin resistance/ pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Where do we find sugar?

Trying to identify what sugar is in todays products can be challenging as it’s often hidden under a name which you may not be aware of as sugar. Food manufacturers are sneaking sugar into everything they can from yoghurts, to pasta sauces to cereals and even pre-made soups. To help you make light of some of the ingredients in your foods we’ve created a list of a whole host of names of different types of sugar: sugar, glucose, corn syrup, confectioner’s sugar, beet sugar, cane sugar, golden syrup, maple syrup, date syrup, castor sugar, brown sugar, sucrose, molasses, sorbitol, refiner’s syrup, glucose syrup, brown rice syrup, carob syrup, rice syrup, honey, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, malt, mannitol, dextran, ethylmaltol, galactose and raw sugar. As you can see the list is endless and we could go on but you get the idea. If previously you were looking out for sugar in the ingredients list, please be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a few more names now.

What’s the difference between refined sugar and unrefined sugar?

There’s a lot of talk nowadays around unrefined sugar although do we really understand what that means? Refined sugar is sugar which has gone through an intense processing process whereby the sugar is stripped from all nutritional value. As a result we’re left with what we call empty calories. These are calories which contain zero nutritional benefit. In comparison, unrefined sugar has not been through this process and therefore retains more of its nutrients. So, which is better? Essentially both refined and unrefined sugars generate a spike in blood sugar levels and therefore an increase in the need for insulin (a high demand over time can become problematic as discussed above). When consumed in excess both types of sugar can have an effect on weight gain and all the other risks associated with the consumption of excess sugar. Although, unrefined sugars do contain some nutritional value rather than simply providing empty calories. It’s important to note that they are classified as added sugar and therefore do contribute to the upper limits of 30g of sugar per day.

What’s classified as added sugar?

The sugar debate can become incredibly complicated when we start getting into the added sugars vs the intrinsic sugars. Essentially added sugars are sugars which are added into a food item. Natural sugars can be classed as added sugars. Honey, fruit juice, maple syrup (essentially all the sugars above) are also classified as added. There are often lots of questions around fruit juice and whether it’s counted as an added sugar. In short, it is classified as an added sugar when it is not contained within it’s original matrix within the fruit itself.

What are the risks of consuming too much sugar?

This question really requires a whole other blog post. Although to give you some context consuming too much sugar is associated with an increased risk of weight gain, increased appetite, low levels of sustained energy, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many other chronic diseases. We aren’t suggesting that you’ll develop these over night from one large sugar hit but over a prolonged period of time it’s definitely something we recommend limiting.

How can we reduce our sugar consumption?

Below are our top tips for helping to reduce your sugar consumption:

  • Avoid adding sugar to your tea or coffee. One teaspoon, twice per day equates to 8g of sugar. That’s nearly a third of your total daily allowance. Start by halving the sugar in your hot drinks before removing it completely.
  • Mix up your desserts – if you’re someone who consumes dessert on a regular basis try swapping your indulgent pud for fruit with natural yoghurt a few nights of the week.
  • Avoid high sugar drinks. Sugar sweetened drinks provide you with no nutritional value and have been shown to increase appetite. Therefore, you’d be better off to squeeze the juice of half an orange into your sparkling water instead or opt for herbal fruit teas instead.
  • Avoid the ‘healthy’ snacks such as low-fat yoghurt, cereal bars and some cereals as these can be loaded with sugar. Try making your own or check out our healthier sweet snacks instead. Our snacks from Protein & Pantry are loaded with healthy fats and protein to help slow the release of the sugar into the blood stream and consequently keep you fuller for longer.
  • Opt for protein rich snacks such as boiled eggs, our Transformation Chef egg muffins, a handful of nuts or hummus and crudites to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the morning or afternoon and to help manage sugar cravings.

There you have the complete low down on sugar. Remember life is for living after all so a small amount of the white stuff now and again really isn’t the end of the world as long as you’re enjoying it!

 

Read more

As this week is Sugar Awareness Week what better time to delve into the good, the bad and the ugly of the sweet white stuff.

It’s no secret that as a population we consume way too much sugar and with the introduction of the sugar tax in April 2018 it’s clear that there are attempts to try and limit sugar consumption. At The Transformation Chef we strongly believe that knowledge is power and it’s for that reason that we want to outline the ins and outs of sugar to hopefully help you to understand why in very small amounts sugar can be sweet but in excess it can be somewhat sinister.

We’ve answered your most common sugar questions below.

What is sugar?

Sugar is defined as “a class of soluble, sweet tasting carbohydrates found in living tissues”. Sucrose and glucose are the most common types of sugar. Carbohydrates (with the exception of fibre) are broken down into glucose in the body to be used as energy. Excess sugar intake increases the need for insulin (the hormone which regulates blood sugar). Over a prolonged period of time the constant need for more insulin can lead to an increased risk of insulin resistance/ pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Where do we find sugar?

Trying to identify what sugar is in todays products can be challenging as it’s often hidden under a name which you may not be aware of as sugar. Food manufacturers are sneaking sugar into everything they can from yoghurts, to pasta sauces to cereals and even pre-made soups. To help you make light of some of the ingredients in your foods we’ve created a list of a whole host of names of different types of sugar: sugar, glucose, corn syrup, confectioner’s sugar, beet sugar, cane sugar, golden syrup, maple syrup, date syrup, castor sugar, brown sugar, sucrose, molasses, sorbitol, refiner’s syrup, glucose syrup, brown rice syrup, carob syrup, rice syrup, honey, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, malt, mannitol, dextran, ethylmaltol, galactose and raw sugar. As you can see the list is endless and we could go on but you get the idea. If previously you were looking out for sugar in the ingredients list, please be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a few more names now.

What’s the difference between refined sugar and unrefined sugar?

There’s a lot of talk nowadays around unrefined sugar although do we really understand what that means? Refined sugar is sugar which has gone through an intense processing process whereby the sugar is stripped from all nutritional value. As a result we’re left with what we call empty calories. These are calories which contain zero nutritional benefit. In comparison, unrefined sugar has not been through this process and therefore retains more of its nutrients. So, which is better? Essentially both refined and unrefined sugars generate a spike in blood sugar levels and therefore an increase in the need for insulin (a high demand over time can become problematic as discussed above). When consumed in excess both types of sugar can have an effect on weight gain and all the other risks associated with the consumption of excess sugar. Although, unrefined sugars do contain some nutritional value rather than simply providing empty calories. It’s important to note that they are classified as added sugar and therefore do contribute to the upper limits of 30g of sugar per day.

What’s classified as added sugar?

The sugar debate can become incredibly complicated when we start getting into the added sugars vs the intrinsic sugars. Essentially added sugars are sugars which are added into a food item. Natural sugars can be classed as added sugars. Honey, fruit juice, maple syrup (essentially all the sugars above) are also classified as added. There are often lots of questions around fruit juice and whether it’s counted as an added sugar. In short, it is classified as an added sugar when it is not contained within it’s original matrix within the fruit itself.

What are the risks of consuming too much sugar?

This question really requires a whole other blog post. Although to give you some context consuming too much sugar is associated with an increased risk of weight gain, increased appetite, low levels of sustained energy, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many other chronic diseases. We aren’t suggesting that you’ll develop these over night from one large sugar hit but over a prolonged period of time it’s definitely something we recommend limiting.

How can we reduce our sugar consumption?

Below are our top tips for helping to reduce your sugar consumption:

  • Avoid adding sugar to your tea or coffee. One teaspoon, twice per day equates to 8g of sugar. That’s nearly a third of your total daily allowance. Start by halving the sugar in your hot drinks before removing it completely.
  • Mix up your desserts – if you’re someone who consumes dessert on a regular basis try swapping your indulgent pud for fruit with natural yoghurt a few nights of the week.
  • Avoid high sugar drinks. Sugar sweetened drinks provide you with no nutritional value and have been shown to increase appetite. Therefore, you’d be better off to squeeze the juice of half an orange into your sparkling water instead or opt for herbal fruit teas instead.
  • Avoid the ‘healthy’ snacks such as low-fat yoghurt, cereal bars and some cereals as these can be loaded with sugar. Try making your own or check out our healthier sweet snacks instead. Our snacks from Protein & Pantry are loaded with healthy fats and protein to help slow the release of the sugar into the blood stream and consequently keep you fuller for longer.
  • Opt for protein rich snacks such as boiled eggs, our Transformation Chef egg muffins, a handful of nuts or hummus and crudites to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the morning or afternoon and to help manage sugar cravings.

There you have the complete low down on sugar. Remember life is for living after all so a small amount of the white stuff now and again really isn’t the end of the world as long as you’re enjoying it!

 

Read more


Cholesterol. Everything You Need To Know

October was National Cholesterol Awareness Month which means the media throw out multiple scaremongering headlines, which is why here at TTC we’ve got your back and want to share with you the ins and outs of cholesterol.

We want you to make light of some these messages and realise it might not be all that bad. In fact, despite the fact cholesterol often getting a bad rep it’s actually vital to our overall health. Let us explain:

 

  1. Cholesterol is essential for our hormone production. It allows our adrenals and sex organs to produce hormones such as cortisol, testosterone and oestrogen to name a few.
  2. Cholesterol is also essential in the production of bile. Bile is essential for the absorption and digestion of fats and fat-soluble vitamins. E.g. vitamins A,D, E and K.
  3. Cholesterol is also vital for contributing to our cell structure and helps to protect the outside of the cells.

 

The different types of cholesterol

 

You may have heard about ‘good cholesterol’ and ‘bad cholesterol’. There are multiple types of cholesterol but without going to Einstein on you we’ve broken it down into the most important types.

 

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-  often referred to as ‘bad cholesterol’. This type can stick to the inside of blood vessels which in turn will increase the risks of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Smoking, lack of exercise and diet can play a role in raising LDL. With regards to diet consuming too much saturated and trans fats in the forms of hydrogenated vegetable oils, processed foods, red meat, cheese etc. all contributed to raised LDL.

 

High-density lipoprotein (HDL)- often referred to as ‘good’ cholesterol. A key role of HDL is to remove LDL. Therefore if you have raised HDL this is actually beneficial for you as it means there’s more to remove the LDL which can prevent plaque build up. Foods which contribute to raised HDL include: nuts, seeds, olives, olive oil, avocados, hummus etc.

 

How to lower high cholesterol?

 

This might be the key reason you’re reading this article. It’s important to note that each case is unique and some forms of high cholesterol such as familial hypercholesterolaemia is genetic although for the most part here are our top tips.

Firstly, you should ask your GP for a breakdown of your total cholesterol. This means that you want to see the values for LDL and HDL. Your main concern should be if your LDL is higher than 3mmol.L. Some research has suggested that by lowering your LDL by 1mmol.L you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by 22%.

 

Top tips for lowering cholesterol…

 

Limit saturated fat intake

 

Focus on limiting your intake of red and processed meat, cheese, butter, palm oil and hydrogenated vegetable oils in processed foods. Swap butter for fortified spreads or peanut butter. Peanut butter is high in monounsaturated fats which contributes to increasing HDL. It’s important that you start reading labels to understand the amount of saturated fats in the foods you’re consuming regularly. Foods which contain more than 5g per 100g of saturated fat are considered high. Foods which contain 1.5g or less are considered low. It’s also recommended to start incorporating more beans and pulses into your diet too. 

 

Plant Sterols and Stanols

 

Plant sterols and stanols have been shown to help lower cholesterol as they block it’s absorption into the blood. As a result more cholesterol is excreted rather than being absorbed. Plant sterols and stanols can be found in fortified foods such as spreads, yoghurts and drinks although be aware that some contain large amounts of sugar and should not be over consumed.

 

Consume beta-glucans

 

Beta-glucans are fibres which are found naturally in plants. These work in a way which is similar to the plant stanols as they too prevent the uptake of cholesterol into the blood. Research has demonstrated that beta-glucans help to reduce LDL cholesterol but have no effect on raising HDL. Individuals with diabetes showed to have even greater effects from consuming beta-glucans. Oats, barely, mushrooms and seaweed are all rich in beta-glucans.

 

Consume your 5-a-day

 

It’s no surprise that fruits and vegetables are a good source of fibre. As a result they help to keep you fuller for longer meaning that this can help you to consume less processed foods. Research has also shown an association with those who consumed more than four portions of fruit and vegetables a day having a lower LDL cholesterol.

 

Move Regularly

 

Whilst this isn’t exactly nutrition related. Here at The Transformation Chef we believe that health requires a 360˚ approach. Aerobic exercise has been shown to have positive effects on HDL cholesterol.  The NICE guidelines suggest that you engage in 120 minutes of of aerobic exercise a week. That doesn’t  mean that you have to pound it out in the gym it can be a simple half an hour walk, a yoga session online or even an activity such as rock climbing. It’s important that you enjoy your movement!

 

Often, being told you have high cholesterol can leave you feeling scared and lost. However, through dietary and lifestyle changes you can help to lower your cholesterol. Please do pass this article on to any of your friends or family who may be concerned about their cholesterol. Knowledge is power!

 

Smet, E. D., Mensink, R. P., & Plat, J. (2012). Effects of plant sterols and stanols on intestinal cholesterol metabolism: suggested mechanisms from past to present. Molecular nutrition & food research56(7), 1058-1072.

 

Whitehead, A., Beck, E. J., Tosh, S., & Wolever, T. M. (2014). Cholesterol-lowering effects of oat β-glucan: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials–. The American journal of clinical nutrition100(6), 1413-1421.

 

Othman, R. A., Moghadasian, M. H., & Jones, P. J. (2011). Cholesterol‐lowering effects of oat β‐glucan. Nutrition reviews69(6), 299-309.

 

Djoussé, L., Arnett, D. K., Coon, H., Province, M. A., Moore, L. L., & Ellison, R. C. (2004). Fruit and vegetable consumption and LDL cholesterol: the national heart, lung, and blood institute family heart study. The American journal of clinical nutrition79(2), 213-217.

 

Kodama, S., Tanaka, S., Saito, K., Shu, M., Sone, Y., Onitake, F., ... & Ohashi, Y. (2007). Effect of aerobic exercise training on serum levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol: a meta-analysis. Archives of internal medicine167(10), 999-1008.

 

Read more

October was National Cholesterol Awareness Month which means the media throw out multiple scaremongering headlines, which is why here at TTC we’ve got your back and want to share with you the ins and outs of cholesterol.

We want you to make light of some these messages and realise it might not be all that bad. In fact, despite the fact cholesterol often getting a bad rep it’s actually vital to our overall health. Let us explain:

 

  1. Cholesterol is essential for our hormone production. It allows our adrenals and sex organs to produce hormones such as cortisol, testosterone and oestrogen to name a few.
  2. Cholesterol is also essential in the production of bile. Bile is essential for the absorption and digestion of fats and fat-soluble vitamins. E.g. vitamins A,D, E and K.
  3. Cholesterol is also vital for contributing to our cell structure and helps to protect the outside of the cells.

 

The different types of cholesterol

 

You may have heard about ‘good cholesterol’ and ‘bad cholesterol’. There are multiple types of cholesterol but without going to Einstein on you we’ve broken it down into the most important types.

 

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-  often referred to as ‘bad cholesterol’. This type can stick to the inside of blood vessels which in turn will increase the risks of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Smoking, lack of exercise and diet can play a role in raising LDL. With regards to diet consuming too much saturated and trans fats in the forms of hydrogenated vegetable oils, processed foods, red meat, cheese etc. all contributed to raised LDL.

 

High-density lipoprotein (HDL)- often referred to as ‘good’ cholesterol. A key role of HDL is to remove LDL. Therefore if you have raised HDL this is actually beneficial for you as it means there’s more to remove the LDL which can prevent plaque build up. Foods which contribute to raised HDL include: nuts, seeds, olives, olive oil, avocados, hummus etc.

 

How to lower high cholesterol?

 

This might be the key reason you’re reading this article. It’s important to note that each case is unique and some forms of high cholesterol such as familial hypercholesterolaemia is genetic although for the most part here are our top tips.

Firstly, you should ask your GP for a breakdown of your total cholesterol. This means that you want to see the values for LDL and HDL. Your main concern should be if your LDL is higher than 3mmol.L. Some research has suggested that by lowering your LDL by 1mmol.L you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by 22%.

 

Top tips for lowering cholesterol…

 

Limit saturated fat intake

 

Focus on limiting your intake of red and processed meat, cheese, butter, palm oil and hydrogenated vegetable oils in processed foods. Swap butter for fortified spreads or peanut butter. Peanut butter is high in monounsaturated fats which contributes to increasing HDL. It’s important that you start reading labels to understand the amount of saturated fats in the foods you’re consuming regularly. Foods which contain more than 5g per 100g of saturated fat are considered high. Foods which contain 1.5g or less are considered low. It’s also recommended to start incorporating more beans and pulses into your diet too. 

 

Plant Sterols and Stanols

 

Plant sterols and stanols have been shown to help lower cholesterol as they block it’s absorption into the blood. As a result more cholesterol is excreted rather than being absorbed. Plant sterols and stanols can be found in fortified foods such as spreads, yoghurts and drinks although be aware that some contain large amounts of sugar and should not be over consumed.

 

Consume beta-glucans

 

Beta-glucans are fibres which are found naturally in plants. These work in a way which is similar to the plant stanols as they too prevent the uptake of cholesterol into the blood. Research has demonstrated that beta-glucans help to reduce LDL cholesterol but have no effect on raising HDL. Individuals with diabetes showed to have even greater effects from consuming beta-glucans. Oats, barely, mushrooms and seaweed are all rich in beta-glucans.

 

Consume your 5-a-day

 

It’s no surprise that fruits and vegetables are a good source of fibre. As a result they help to keep you fuller for longer meaning that this can help you to consume less processed foods. Research has also shown an association with those who consumed more than four portions of fruit and vegetables a day having a lower LDL cholesterol.

 

Move Regularly

 

Whilst this isn’t exactly nutrition related. Here at The Transformation Chef we believe that health requires a 360˚ approach. Aerobic exercise has been shown to have positive effects on HDL cholesterol.  The NICE guidelines suggest that you engage in 120 minutes of of aerobic exercise a week. That doesn’t  mean that you have to pound it out in the gym it can be a simple half an hour walk, a yoga session online or even an activity such as rock climbing. It’s important that you enjoy your movement!

 

Often, being told you have high cholesterol can leave you feeling scared and lost. However, through dietary and lifestyle changes you can help to lower your cholesterol. Please do pass this article on to any of your friends or family who may be concerned about their cholesterol. Knowledge is power!

 

Smet, E. D., Mensink, R. P., & Plat, J. (2012). Effects of plant sterols and stanols on intestinal cholesterol metabolism: suggested mechanisms from past to present. Molecular nutrition & food research56(7), 1058-1072.

 

Whitehead, A., Beck, E. J., Tosh, S., & Wolever, T. M. (2014). Cholesterol-lowering effects of oat β-glucan: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials–. The American journal of clinical nutrition100(6), 1413-1421.

 

Othman, R. A., Moghadasian, M. H., & Jones, P. J. (2011). Cholesterol‐lowering effects of oat β‐glucan. Nutrition reviews69(6), 299-309.

 

Djoussé, L., Arnett, D. K., Coon, H., Province, M. A., Moore, L. L., & Ellison, R. C. (2004). Fruit and vegetable consumption and LDL cholesterol: the national heart, lung, and blood institute family heart study. The American journal of clinical nutrition79(2), 213-217.

 

Kodama, S., Tanaka, S., Saito, K., Shu, M., Sone, Y., Onitake, F., ... & Ohashi, Y. (2007). Effect of aerobic exercise training on serum levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol: a meta-analysis. Archives of internal medicine167(10), 999-1008.

 

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We’re Serving Up Better Mental Health

With 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health condition each year it’s essential that we start to approach mental health with a 360˚ view. Whilst drugs can be highly effective, we also now understand the importance of a healthy diet and key nutrients to support overall mental wellbeing, reducing stress and anxiety and improving general mood. 

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With 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health condition each year it’s essential that we start to approach mental health with a 360˚ view. Whilst drugs can be highly effective, we also now understand the importance of a healthy diet and key nutrients to support overall mental wellbeing, reducing stress and anxiety and improving general mood. 

Read more


Why We’ve Gone Frozen

If you’re following us on social media you may have already picked up that we’re switching our fresh meals to frozen meals.

Although, due to the history of frozen ready meals they seem to have a pretty bad rep. Yet, we’re very excited and proud to be making big waves within the ready meal industry to show you that convenience meals can be healthy, fresh and just as nutritious. This week we’re here to dispel some common myths associated with frozen meals and show you how we plan on leading the frozen ready meal market. 

You’re probably not surprised to hear that freezing food isn’t a modern-day revolution. Our ancestors have been freezing food for years by using snow and ice to help preserve their catch of the day. With the development of quick freezing, our methods have become a safer way to help to prevent the development of microbes. So let’s take a look at how freezing can help to preserve some of the nutrients in food and why it’s not quite what it used to be.

 

1. Helps to reduce spoilage and development of microbes

When food is fresh microbes can grow through the presence of the water. Although in frozen food the water is frozen meaning that it becomes unavailable for the microbes to grow. In the same way the freezing process prevents food spoilage for the most part. Parasites are the exception which can still grow under frozen conditions. 

 

2. Nutrient profiles 

For the most part nutrients are protected or unaffected during the freezing process. If a food is blanched before being frozen then Vitamin C may be slightly damaged. Yet when food is fresh the vitamin C degrades as a result of being exposed to oxygen. Some research was carried out on frozen blueberries vs fresh blueberries. The researchers concluded that the anthocyanins were unaffected by the freezing process. 

 

3. Protected proteins in meat and fish 

The nutritional profiles of meat and fish are kept in tact during the freezing process due to the proteins and fat-soluble nutrients which are unaffected. 

 

4. Promotes seasonal eating 

Freezing foods help to promote seasonal eating. As food lasts in the freezer for 3-4 months you can purchase meals which are in season and should you not get round to consuming it the nutrients will be of higher quality when foods are in season. Seasonal produce come from local farms which means that they’re picked closer to their ripening time. This means that more of the nutrients have been developed. 

 

5. Reduces food waste 

We live in world where food waste is becoming more and more important. The Courtauld Commitment have set out to reduce food waste by 20% per person between 2015 and 2025! In 2015 as a population we were wasting 156kg of food per person per year! Freezing food allows you to save the dish for another time rather than throwing it away due to microbial spoilage. We have more information coming this month on how to reduce your food waste. 


As you can see there are a number of reasons as to why we have decided to make our meals frozen. Not only is this more convenient for you, it helps to reduce waste and becomes more cost effective should your plans change and you not end up eating the meal. 

If you have any questions on our new frozen meals please do get in touch.



Read more

If you’re following us on social media you may have already picked up that we’re switching our fresh meals to frozen meals.

Although, due to the history of frozen ready meals they seem to have a pretty bad rep. Yet, we’re very excited and proud to be making big waves within the ready meal industry to show you that convenience meals can be healthy, fresh and just as nutritious. This week we’re here to dispel some common myths associated with frozen meals and show you how we plan on leading the frozen ready meal market. 

You’re probably not surprised to hear that freezing food isn’t a modern-day revolution. Our ancestors have been freezing food for years by using snow and ice to help preserve their catch of the day. With the development of quick freezing, our methods have become a safer way to help to prevent the development of microbes. So let’s take a look at how freezing can help to preserve some of the nutrients in food and why it’s not quite what it used to be.

 

1. Helps to reduce spoilage and development of microbes

When food is fresh microbes can grow through the presence of the water. Although in frozen food the water is frozen meaning that it becomes unavailable for the microbes to grow. In the same way the freezing process prevents food spoilage for the most part. Parasites are the exception which can still grow under frozen conditions. 

 

2. Nutrient profiles 

For the most part nutrients are protected or unaffected during the freezing process. If a food is blanched before being frozen then Vitamin C may be slightly damaged. Yet when food is fresh the vitamin C degrades as a result of being exposed to oxygen. Some research was carried out on frozen blueberries vs fresh blueberries. The researchers concluded that the anthocyanins were unaffected by the freezing process. 

 

3. Protected proteins in meat and fish 

The nutritional profiles of meat and fish are kept in tact during the freezing process due to the proteins and fat-soluble nutrients which are unaffected. 

 

4. Promotes seasonal eating 

Freezing foods help to promote seasonal eating. As food lasts in the freezer for 3-4 months you can purchase meals which are in season and should you not get round to consuming it the nutrients will be of higher quality when foods are in season. Seasonal produce come from local farms which means that they’re picked closer to their ripening time. This means that more of the nutrients have been developed. 

 

5. Reduces food waste 

We live in world where food waste is becoming more and more important. The Courtauld Commitment have set out to reduce food waste by 20% per person between 2015 and 2025! In 2015 as a population we were wasting 156kg of food per person per year! Freezing food allows you to save the dish for another time rather than throwing it away due to microbial spoilage. We have more information coming this month on how to reduce your food waste. 


As you can see there are a number of reasons as to why we have decided to make our meals frozen. Not only is this more convenient for you, it helps to reduce waste and becomes more cost effective should your plans change and you not end up eating the meal. 

If you have any questions on our new frozen meals please do get in touch.



Read more


Reduce your food waste

Optimising health, limiting food waste and promoting a healthy balanced lifestyle is at the heart of what we do at The Transformation Chef.

We strongly feel that food waste is on the rise and we all need to play a role in helping The Courtauld Commitment achieve their aim of reducing food waste by 20% per person between 2015 to 2025. Below are some facts from the latest WRAP report which really emphasises the importance of working to reduce food waste. 

  • 41 million tonnes of food is purchased each year with nearly a quarter being wasted! 
  • 10 million tonnes of food is wasted each year (7.1million tonnes of this are from household waste!)
  • 70% of food wasted is considered acceptable to eat.
  • £20billion of food is wasted per year.
  • 9% of strawberries and 19% of lettuces grown are wasted each year. 

As you can see food waste is becoming more and more problematic. Not only is this causing a strain on our environment through the production of greenhouse gases (25million tonnes are utilised to remove food waste) it’s also causing a greater strain on our forever growing population. As this week is Recycle Awareness Week we’ve put together our most simple tips which can help you to limit your food waste and upcycle your meals, optimise your recycling schemes and help to contribute towards a healthier planet:

  1. Avoid BOGOFs and over buying when you shop – unfortunately when it comes to bogofs we end up buying more because it’s ‘free’ and the truth of it is that the second one often gets wasted. 
  2. Prep your meals before your shop – prepping your meals can help you streamline your shop and prevent you buying more food than you need. You’ll also save money too. 
  3. Be aware of portion sizes – avoid over serving food to yourself and your guests. Once it’s on the plate you can’t re-use the dish for lunch the following day. It’s always better to underserve and opt for seconds rather than overserving.
  4. Get creative with leftovers – if you’ve got a small amount of veggies left but perhaps not a enough for a whole meal try making it into an omelette, a pasta dish or even a soup for the freezer. 
  5. Be aware of food storage. Storing your food properly can help to limit food spoiling before their time and therefore reduce food waste. 
  6. Get to know your dates. Best before dates are not the same as use by dates. Best before dates mean that the food is still edible after that time. Take initiative if the food appears, smells and tastes normal then it’s more than likely perfectly fine to eat. 

There you have our top tips for helping to limit our food waste. Next time you’re purchasing food think twice about whether you really need everything in your basket. 


Reference: 

http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Food%20Surplus%20and%20Waste%20in%20the%20UK%20Key%20Facts%2014%205%2019.pdf



Read more

Optimising health, limiting food waste and promoting a healthy balanced lifestyle is at the heart of what we do at The Transformation Chef.

We strongly feel that food waste is on the rise and we all need to play a role in helping The Courtauld Commitment achieve their aim of reducing food waste by 20% per person between 2015 to 2025. Below are some facts from the latest WRAP report which really emphasises the importance of working to reduce food waste. 

  • 41 million tonnes of food is purchased each year with nearly a quarter being wasted! 
  • 10 million tonnes of food is wasted each year (7.1million tonnes of this are from household waste!)
  • 70% of food wasted is considered acceptable to eat.
  • £20billion of food is wasted per year.
  • 9% of strawberries and 19% of lettuces grown are wasted each year. 

As you can see food waste is becoming more and more problematic. Not only is this causing a strain on our environment through the production of greenhouse gases (25million tonnes are utilised to remove food waste) it’s also causing a greater strain on our forever growing population. As this week is Recycle Awareness Week we’ve put together our most simple tips which can help you to limit your food waste and upcycle your meals, optimise your recycling schemes and help to contribute towards a healthier planet:

  1. Avoid BOGOFs and over buying when you shop – unfortunately when it comes to bogofs we end up buying more because it’s ‘free’ and the truth of it is that the second one often gets wasted. 
  2. Prep your meals before your shop – prepping your meals can help you streamline your shop and prevent you buying more food than you need. You’ll also save money too. 
  3. Be aware of portion sizes – avoid over serving food to yourself and your guests. Once it’s on the plate you can’t re-use the dish for lunch the following day. It’s always better to underserve and opt for seconds rather than overserving.
  4. Get creative with leftovers – if you’ve got a small amount of veggies left but perhaps not a enough for a whole meal try making it into an omelette, a pasta dish or even a soup for the freezer. 
  5. Be aware of food storage. Storing your food properly can help to limit food spoiling before their time and therefore reduce food waste. 
  6. Get to know your dates. Best before dates are not the same as use by dates. Best before dates mean that the food is still edible after that time. Take initiative if the food appears, smells and tastes normal then it’s more than likely perfectly fine to eat. 

There you have our top tips for helping to limit our food waste. Next time you’re purchasing food think twice about whether you really need everything in your basket. 


Reference: 

http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Food%20Surplus%20and%20Waste%20in%20the%20UK%20Key%20Facts%2014%205%2019.pdf



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