Home Healthy Eating New Research Highlights a Worrying “Step Back” in Nutritional Awareness Among Brits

New Research Highlights a Worrying “Step Back” in Nutritional Awareness Among Brits

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The roaring 2020s have seen a snowballing shift in mindset and the way we approach food and nutrition. Crash diets and unsustainable eating patterns primed for rapid weight loss are swiftly being replaced by the use of food and nutrition as a means of fueling our bodies and minds, or so we thought.

Are Brits really equipped with the nutritional knowledge they need to make healthier choices for their overall wellbeing? In a bid to open up the conversation around the importance of being clued up about nutrition to promote well-being, new research from recipe box provider, Green Chef, surveyed Brits to reveal how knowledgeable they really are when it comes to healthy eating.

The survey asked a broad range of participants to identify a number of common fruits and vegetables, as well as pick out the correct descriptions of certain diet plans.

The data revealed that over half (52%) of the British population did not recognise a swede, with a further third (33%) of respondents incorrectly identifying a swede as a turnip. Interestingly, it emerged that older Brits (aged 55+) were more likely to correctly identify this vegetable than the younger generations, suggesting that it may be falling out of favour as an ingredient in our day-to-day meals.

Exactly 3 in 5 (60%) Brits did not recognise a jackfruit, with more than 1 in 6 (16%) incorrectly identifying a jackfruit as a ‘spiked pear’, a fruit Green Chef made up for the purposes of this survey. Again, the research here highlighted a generational shift in ingredient awareness, with 25–34 year olds being much more likely to correctly identify a jackfruit (47%), than those aged 65+ (34.3%).

Almost 3 in 5 (58%) failed to recognise fennel, and over a quarter (26%) incorrectly identified fennel as celeriac. Close to a third (32%) failed to recognise a lychee. 1 in 7 (13%) incorrectly identified a lychee as a dragon fruit. 

Additionally, the research gauged public awareness of specific diet plans that the British public follow. The data highlighted that more than three quarters of Brits (76%) don’t know what the keto diet is, with more than 1 in 6 (17%) mistaking the keto diet for the high-protein diet and a further 1 in 7 (13%) confusing the keto diet for intermittent fasting.

Awareness of the keto diet is lowest in Manchester, where close to 9 in 10 (86%) don’t know what the keto diet is. By contrast, awareness is higher in Southampton – where over a third (34%) correctly identified the diet plan.

On top of that, despite awareness-raising initiatives such as meat-free Mondays and Veganuary, more than two fifths of Brits (43%) don’t know what the vegan diet is and close to a quarter of Brits (21%) think vegans do eat dairy products, and close to 1 in 10 (9%) believing that vegans eat meat or fish.

Registered Nutritionist, Lily Keeling, said: “Despite the constant media noise around using food, nutrition and personalised diet choices as a vehicle for increased mental and physical performance, this research would suggest we’ve almost taken a step back as a nation, which is disheartening to see.

“At Green Chef, we want to use our platform to empower Brits with the tools, know-how and nutritious ingredients they need to make informed decisions about their food intake, to promote physical and mental well-being.

“For instance, following a keto meal plan helps your body enter ketosis, where it will begin to use up fat as an energy source. In the liver, fat is turned into ketones, an energy supply for the brain. As a result of ketosis, blood sugar and insulin levels are significantly reduced. Many value a keto diet above other weight loss methods, reporting that the food you eat leaves you feeling fuller for longer. However, with more than three quarters of the British public admitting they don’t know what a keto diet involves, it seems there is work to be done on broadening public awareness and empowering them to make informed decisions when it comes to meal planning.”

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