What's in your Indian Takeaway?
Eating food prepared outside of the home has become the norm for adults on the island of Ireland. On 24% of eating or drinking occasions in the Republic of Ireland, food is cooked and prepared "out of the home". Bought-in cooked food makes up an average of 11% of a person’s energy intake in the United Kingdom. "Convenient" and "fast" cheap food has also become increasingly available to people. However, food prepared outside of the home has been found to contain considerably more dietary fat and less fibre and micronutrients than food prepared within the home. Traditionally, Indian diets are low in fat and high in fibre and rich in fruit and vegetables. However, these traditional meals have been adapted to suit Western palates and, as such, different ingredients in various quantities are added, potentially increasing their fat and salt content. Given the diversity of Indian takeaway dishes available on the island of Ireland, this survey has been designed to provide an insight into the energy (calorie), total fat, saturated fat, protein and salt content of the most popular starters, main courses and side dishes from various Indian takeaways and Indian restaurants with a takeaway service, as well as supermarkets or shop-bought equivalents. With two out of every three adults on the island of Ireland currently classified as overweight or obese, excess body weight is now one of the most important nutritional issues of our times. In addition to this, salt and fat intake is high and consumption of fruit, vegetables and fibre on the island of Ireland is low, increasing the risk of common chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers. The consumption of excess calories and nutrient-poor foods contributes to our current obesity epidemic.