Survey: Just over a third aware of dietary requirements

A new survey shows many Irish people are poorly informed about their dietary requirements.

Survey: Just over a third aware of dietary requirements

A new survey shows many Irish people are poorly informed about their dietary requirements.

The survey of 600 people around the country, conducted by Brennans Bread, revealed that only 36% of Irish people consider themselves knowledgeable of the food pyramid and its suggested daily intake of foods.

It also showed that just over a quarter of people are aware of the fat content in foods, and only 11% are confident that they are informed about their daily requirement of carbohydrates.

Dr Mary McCreery, Consultant Dietician at Blackrock Clinic said: "I was quite surprised from the survey results to see that many Irish people are not aware of their recommended dietary requirements.

"At least 55% of our total energy intake should be based on carbohydrate foods and currently the Irish diet contains less than 45%, so as a nation we really need to increase our carbohydrate intake.

"There is also a large misconception amongst the public that white bread is fattening, but white bread is a low-fat, high carbohydrate nutritious food that can and should be included in the daily diet. We get the same amount of energy in our diets from white bread as we do from fruit and vegetables."

The survey also showed that more people in Ireland eat white bread over brown bread, with 40% of people surveyed saying that they eat white sliced bread and only 23% revealing that they eat brown sliced bread most regularly.

Only a third of people who choose brown bread over white do so because they prefer the taste, said the survey.

Up to 82% of Irish people enjoy the taste of white bread, but more than a third do not eat it because they think it is bad for them, according to the survey.

The survey also shows that a quarter believe white bread is "too fattening" while 21% said it makes them feel bloated.

Alternative breads such as bagels, baguettes and wraps fared poorly with between 5% and 7% of people surveyed respectively claiming that they eat them regularly.

Recent scientific research findings, 'Analysis of Bread Consumption in Irish Adults and Children', conducted by IUNA (Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance) show that white bread is good for you as it contains many positive benefits and is the lowest contributor of fat of any food group in the Irish diet.

The IUNA research showed that white bread does not cause bloating and also contributes to a person's daily requirements of vitamins, minerals and fibre.

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