An introduction to healthy eating in Latin America

When travelling in Central America recently I was asked to provide an overview of good nutrition and healthy eating for a Latin American audience.

Nutrition: An introduction to healthy eating in Latin America

What do you think?



In defence of yoghurt

I have rediscovered the joys of yoghurt this week. I have had yoghurt with my lunch everyday and I have really enjoyed it. My favourite is vanilla yoghurt because it tastes so good!!

When I saw some yoghurt on sale at the supermarket I thought I would have some. I haven’t had yoghurt for some time, though I don’t think I made a conscious effort not to buy it….I just stopped noticing it on the shelves. Now, I know that some people choose not to have yoghurt because of concerns about the sugar content, but I think that is misguided. The sugar content listed on the nutrition panel includes the natural sugars contained, such as lactose and fructose, and it is not necessary to avoid these sugars. Far better to avoid the added sugar in most breakfast cereals or cakes and biscuits. Admittedly some yoghurt has a lot of added sugar, sometimes in the form of chocolate cereal, honeycomb, or something similar, that can be added, but it is easy enough to avoid these packets (if you wish) because there are plenty of other choices available.

Whichever form of yoghurt you choose you can get important nutrients from it, such as:

  • Protein – for muscle and tissue growth and repair
  • Calcium – for bones and teeth
  • Phosphorous – helps to keep the bones strong
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – promotes normal growth, helps to make red blood cells and glycogen (energy for muscles), maintains membranes around the skin, eyes and nervous system, and helps with iron absorption
  • Vitamin B12 – required to avoid anaemia

In addition the live active cultures within yoghurt promote intestinal health and may help to lower blood cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of some cancers and improve immune function.

So don’t forget to look for some yoghurt next time you visit the supermarket.