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4 in 10 brits ‘obsess’ over calorie counting

4 in 10 brits ‘obsess’ over calorie counting in a bid to achieve a healthy diet – 

BUT new research shows little understanding of the importance of nutrients

The study of 2,000 adults found more than a quarter are actively logging their intake on a phone app – with one in five also admitting they check every product they buy for the calorie information.

Nearly a third outright refuse to eat any high-calorie foods – opting to prioritising low-calorie foods, whether healthy or unhealthy, while 45 percent will exercise if they think they’ve eaten too many.

But 52 percent never look at labels for fats, and nearly six in 10 never consider whether the food they choose might contain vitamins and minerals which might benefit them in some way.

Nutritionist Amanda Williams and CEO of Cytoplan who commissioned the research ahead of launching a new Nutrition Gap Guide [] for healthcare professionals said:

“While it’s great to keep an eye on calories, there’s so much more to maintaining a healthy diet and it seems people are calorie counting in a bid to achieve that but with little understanding of the importance of nutrients.

Research on maintaining a healthy diet

“The research has shown there is certainly an appetite for keeping an eye on calorie intake but perhaps more focus is required on the importance of nutrients which could make all the difference to us feeling and actually being healthier both in the short-term and long-term.”

“Not all calories are created equal and it’s important to make sure that if striving to meet a calorie goal each day, we don’t sacrifice nutrient-dense foods.

“A diet full of nutritious foods is more beneficial than a diet rich in processed foods that might be low in calories, but may not offer vital vitamins and minerals to support overall health.”

It also emerged half of Brits have been more sedentary in the last year or so due to major lifestyle changes – estimating they eat more than 2,000 calories a day.

But they believe they only burn around 1,800 with the Nutrition Gap research showing that a sedentary lifestyle is the number one reason for causing a deficiency in our nutrition levels.

Palaeolithic era Hunter-gatherers

Researchers for the Nutrition Gap Guide found that in the Palaeolithic era Hunter-gatherers were active, lean and fit expending 4,000-5,000k/cals per day and survival required a large amount of daily energy for activities such as finding food and water, but when compared to today’s population of largely less active adults it means most need no more than 1,800 k/calories, but there is still a need for the essential micronutrients found in 4,000 k/calories of food – just not the calories.

Nutritionist Amanda Williams comments: “We conducted an extensive research review, with all findings included in our Guide to the Nutrition Gap, which demonstrates there are a number of factors as to why nutrient deficiencies exists today; from poor digestive health reducing our ability to absorb nutrients, the state of the soil in which our food is grown leading to nutrient depleted food and the sedentary lifestyles we now lead.

“This means that most people are not getting the level of essential nutrients needed for health and protection which can increase the risk of many illnesses – so to have a better understanding of this for our health is very important, yet probably not thought of enough.”

Brits calorie count and check nutritional content of products

It also emerged Brits count calories in their bid to lose weight, keep an eye on their intake or play a part in their meal choices each day.

Half of respondents proactively count their calories, with 31 percent roughly logging them in their head rather than using an app – But 14 percent write them down on paper.

Three quarters of Brits do check nutritional content of products, but it’s mainly sugars, fats and salt that capture the most attention, with vitamins and minerals at the bottom of the list.

Despite this, 26 per cent thought having your ‘five a day’ was just a saying to encourage you to eat healthily, according to the findings.

Nearly half aren’t sure – or don’t – eat their five a day, though 63 per cent believe their diet is well balanced, according to the survey via OnePoll.

Vitamins and minerals

Delving into the minerals Brits see as essential to their diets; iron, calcium and potassium were rated as the most important but despite Selenium being vital and known for its important role in the health of our immune systems, only a third believed it was important to their health.

Without the optimal levels of vitamins and minerals, the UK population could be experiencing a shortfall in their nutrition, which is referred to as The Nutrition Gap.

This is the difference between the levels of nutrients the average person, eating a reasonable Western diet is obtaining from the food that is available and those nutrient and mineral levels identified by research as being needed for optimal health.

Nutritionist and CEO of Cytoplan Amanda Williams added: “Lots of people are regularly counting calories through various apps and programmes in the belief they are adopting a healthy approach to diet and nutrition, and while it’s sometimes beneficial to understand your calorie intake, it is just, or maybe more, important to look at the levels of vitamins and minerals that our food may contain too.

“Sub-optimal intake of essential nutrients and poor digestive health is linked to many of the prevailing degenerative diseases of our generation.

“We’ve created the Nutrition Gap Guide to arm healthcare professionals with the knowledge to help focus clients and patients’ attention on their nutrient intake for long term preventative health care as well as short term in a bid to improve the nations health.”

To find out more about The Nutrition Gap and Cytoplan’s food-based supplements including popular Wholefood Multi – a multi vitamin and mineral supplement to help support your nutrient intake head and to find out more about the Guide head to:


About Cytoplan

Nature Meets Science
Cytoplan provides an innovative range of science-based nutritional supplements supplying the needs of healthcare professionals and consumers.
Combining nature with science, Cytoplan has pioneered Wholefood & Food State supplements to create a market-leading supplement range. The range of products are grounded in science, proven by results and designed to improve health, safely and effectively.

As leaders in the highly specialised food-based supplementation sector for over 30 years, Cytoplan has maintained the belief that nature holds the key to health, creating bio-effective products that work in harmony with the body to optimise health.

The company was founded in 1990 by health practitioners, including doctors and nutritionists, with many years’ experience in nutrition therapy and is dedicated to improving the health of the nation, both ethically and sustainably.

Cytoplan is an independent British company, wholly owned by a charitable foundation and the company invests widely in health and nutritional projects across the UK and overseas, addressing issues such as community wellbeing and mental health. Every product purchased is helping those projects to help others.

Trusted by our practitioners and customers alike, the company offers sound information about supplements and health to encourage self-empowerment and growth, helping customers to make their own informed decisions on their personal approach to nutrition and wellbeing.

Cytoplan has supplied supplements to over 6,000 health professionals in the UK and overseas such as doctors, dentists and nutrition therapists.
All of Cytoplan products are free from dairy, gluten, GMOs, added sugar, flavourings and colourings. The majority of products, including Vitamin D and Omega-3 derived from Algae are vegan.

What are Food-State Vitamins and Wholefood Minerals?

Food State vitamins are classified as ‘raw food’ and they come complete with the phytonutrients. This includes using carrot concentrate to create beta carotene, citrus pulp to create vitamin C, and alfalfa for vitamin K which delivers a premium nutrient-rich vitamin supplement sourced from natural food and designed for optimal absorption by our bodies. Food State simply replicates nature.

Wholefood minerals are unique in that they are made from hydroponically grown brassica; part of the broccoli family of vegetables. This plant is an edible species which can bio-accumulate high levels of body essential nutrients and deliver them in just a small dose in supplement form.
Both Food State and Wholefood nutrients are used by the body in the same way as nutrients from food and are both gentle, but effective and naturally free from artificial ingredients and animal products.

Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash
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