Friday, March 13, 2009

Celebrity Chefs Criticized by UK Fat Panel

I am loving this article below! I watch The Food Network constantly and am frequently amazing at how much FAT is in the recipes that celebrity chefs make. I can almost feel my butt getting bigger as I watch the show. There are simple tricks, as this UK Fat Panel recommends, to cut calories such as switching from butter to margarine, using skim milk instead of cream, incorporating fat-free or reduced-fat versions of your favorite products, etc. that can really lighten the caloric load of a recipe. Be sure to check out Gordon Ramsey's "Sticky Toffee and Chocolate Pudding" recipe and ways to make this "fatty recipe" much lighter without skimping on taste.

Read on...

Naughty and not so nice: celebrity chefs in firing line
Recipes by Lawson, Ramsay and others contain too much 'killer' fat, says panel

The popular recipes of celebrity chefs such as Nigella Lawson and Gordon Ramsay are laden with "killer" fats linked to deadly heart disease, strokes and obesity, according to new research.
Recipes of 15 top chefs which have featured in their bestselling cookery books have been scrutinised by a panel of nutritionists and dieticians and found to contain high levels of unhealthy saturated fat by using ingredients such as butter, double cream and cheese.

In some cases one serving contains more than an adult's entire recommended daily limit of saturated fats - 20 grams for women and 30g for men.

The report, The Guilty Secret of Celebrity Chefs, published today by The Fat Panel, analysed the saturated fat content of a variety of starters, main courses, side orders and desserts from popular cookbooks. It warns that people eating these dishes regularly could be putting their lives at serious risk by bumping up their saturated fat intake.

On average, people are eating 20% too much saturated fat, the report says, and there is evidence that it can increase levels of LDL cholesterol, which is a risk factor for causing heart disease, Britain's biggest single killer.

Recipes by Jean-Christophe Novelli and John Burton-Race are singled out for containing a lot of butter and cream. A single portion of Novelli's honey roast pumpkin soup generated 43.2g of saturated fat - well over twice the daily allowance - even before adding the full fat cheese garnish. One portion of Gordon Ramsay's sticky toffee and chocolate pudding contained 23g of saturated fat. Delia Smith and Jamie Oliver are given overall approval, but they are admonished for their frequent use of butter. Burton-Race and Rick Stein are criticised for being "keen to use high saturated fat ingredients constantly", and Nigella Lawson is criticised for using butter instead of margarine in her egg and bacon pie, with a single serving brimming with 36g of fat.

The report says some simple swaps can make a dramatic difference to saturated fat content, without adversely affecting the overall flavour and food experience. The panel - which receives funding from the UK's Margarine and Spreads Association - suggests that consumers use stronger cheese and low-fat polyunsaturated or mono-unsaturated spreads instead of butter.

Sian Porter, a registered dietician on The Fat Panel, said: "We are not being the nutrition police here or killjoys, but there are some things that are pure indulgence and should be left as such, to be enjoyed as an occasional treat in all their fat, sugar and calorie-laden glory. We should be cautious of getting into the habit of eating them too frequently."

She said celebrity chefs were hugely influential in the UK but many people did not realise the potential health implications of their "calorie and fat-laden dishes". A spokesman for Novelli said: "Jean-Christophe puts his recipes together for flavour, to give people an exciting eating experience. If people are worried about saturated fat content in any of his recipes, they can easily substitute other ingredients. In the case of the pumpkin soup, for example, by using single cream, creme fraiche or even healthy yoghurt."

The Food Standards Agency has recently launched a multimillion pound advertising campaign featuring TV adverts and cooking tips to encourage consumers to cut down on their saturated fat intake.

The fat factor
Gordon Ramsay's sticky toffee and chocolate pudding
Ingredients for pudding
200g medjool dates
175g muscovado sugar
250ml water
100g lightly salted butter* (use margarine instead!)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp espresso or strong coffee
3 large eggs
150g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
For toffee sauce
100g dark muscovado sugar
75g lightly salted butter * (use margarine instead!)
250ml double cream*

*Replacing the butter with the same quantities of low fat vegetable spread and the double cream with thick single cream reduces the saturated fat content by 65%

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