Wednesday, 7 December 2016

some thoughts on the new food pyramid for Ireland

The Department of Health keeps dietary recommendations under review as part of its role in promoting evidence based public health. As part of this review, the new Healthy Food for Life – the Healthy Eating Guidelines and Food Pyramid have been developed by the Department working in partnership with other experts in nutrition in Ireland.

Healthy Food for Life is a toolkit which includes a new Food Pyramid and guidance materials to help people makes choices to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. The resources reflect best national and international evidence and advice. The guidance applies for everyone from 5 years of age upwards.

The above text appears on the website

Some thoughts on these guidelines:
1. There are two problems with this pyramid: one around fats and oils and the other one on meat and fish.
2. Fats and oils : the cardioprotective properties of fats differ dramatically between processed fats (e.g. crisps) and natural fats (e.g. nuts, dried fruits, olive oil). The information that passes to the Public is that all fats are the same...but this is not the case! We should communicate to the Public that actually some fats have strong cardioprotective properties (i.e. all polar lipids in wine, fish, vegetable oils, olives etc)
3. Meat and fish: these two foods have distinctive nutritional values in terms of cardioprotection! It is. with regret, to say that it is a grave scientific mistake to group these foods (even more severe that then grouping of all fats). Fish (any fish!) has strong anti-inflammatory properties! (see chapters 4,5 and 8 on this book). Also, the nutritional values of red and white meat are different; this is also overlooked.

I am afraid that the information that is going to be disseminated will have a profound impact towards the wrong direction ...

I would suggest that some information on moderate wine consumption, the value of eating with others and the differences between fish and meat could be drawn from the Med Diet pyramid.

Ioannis Zabetakis (BSc, MEd, PhD)
University of Limerick,

Monday, 28 November 2016

what is skyr?

Skyr (pronounced “skeer”) is a cultured dairy product similar to ultra-thick yoghurt, and a long-time staple in Icelandic cuisine.

Ten years ago skyr – pronounced skeer with a trill on the r – barely registered in the world’s yoghurt market. Now, according to global business consultants Future Market Insights, the market for skyr is worth nearly $8bn (£6.4bn) a year and growing fast.

This is a fascinating story.

But what is skyr exactly? Here and here there is some info.

I can see it is rich in Ca and proteins.

I still can't understand though why it was called "superfood" on the Guardian article.

With 0% fat, how strong are its anti-inflammatory properties?

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

UL Talk : Ioannis Zabetakis (November 2016)

UL colleagues who have given an UL talk with UL President Prof Don Barry as pictured @ UL on event launching the new series of UL Talks (21st Nov 2016).

UL Talks are short video lectures delivered by UL teachers on themes, issues, ideas and subjects that they are passionate about. They are designed to showcase our teachers, and to give the wider world a flavour of some of the conversations being initiated within UL’s classrooms, laboratories and communities. UL Talks are becoming an important part of UL's global digital identity and the future aim will be to showcase all our teachers using this medium.

Your comments and views are most welcome.


Monday, 21 November 2016

Fun for Functional and Fun for Fun

The name of this blog is FunFood and it is fanatic about fun and food but also about functional food.
The posts are not only about food but also activities that make us having fun and therefore a better quality of life.

One of them is sports! Any sport...from Soccer to Hurling and Athletics.

Both my boys love soccer, and since our arrival to Ireland, have joined Corbally United.

Last weekend, the U13-A team got new training tops with their initials (photo); 
a big thanks to Martin for securing this sponsorship. 

It looks like the new tops have a positive aura, first game for our team with the new tops: 
Corbally United - Caherdavin 5-1 (friendly) 😉

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Let astaxanthin be thy medicine

Astaxanthin is known as a "marine carotenoid" and occurs in a wide variety of living organisms such as salmon, shrimp, crab, and red snapper. 

Astaxanthin antioxidant activity has been reported to be more than 100 times greater than that of vitamin E against lipid peroxidation and approximately 550 times more potent than that of vitamin E for singlet oxygen quenching. 

Astaxanthin exhibits no pro-oxidant activity and its main site of action is on/in the cell membrane. To date, various important benefits suggested for human health include immunomodulation, anti-stress, anti-inflammation, LDL cholesterol oxidation suppression, enhanced skin health, improved semen quality, attenuation of eye fatigue, increased sports performance and endurance, limiting exercised-induced muscle damage, and the suppression of the development of lifestyle related diseases such as obesity, atherosclerosis, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension. 

Recently, there has been an explosive increase worldwide in both the research and demand for natural astaxanthin in human health applications. 


 Let astaxanthin be thy medicine


Tuesday, 15 November 2016

on the real value of soccer

I was writing yesterday that soccer should be about fun and joy.
And here is a story that proves my point.

Last Friday, San Marino played against Germany, the final score was 0-8.
Thomas Muller was not happy with this...
He said: I don’t understand the point of such uneven games like these, even more so because of the crowded fixture list.’‘I understand that for them it is special to play against the world champions, I understand also that they can only defend with tough tackling.’‘For this reason, though, I wonder if these are not games which bring unnecessary risks.’

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge didn’t exactly quell the flames when he added that: ‘San Marino has got nothing to do with professional football.’ 

Today, however, has seen the tiny nation hit back, and hit back with style!

In a scathing retort released this morning, Alan Gasperoni wrote:

‘Dearest Thomas Muller, 
You’re right. The games like that on a Friday night, they’re nothing. To you. On the other hand, dear Thomas, you do not need to come to San Marino for almost nothing in a weekend in which, without the Bundesliga, you could have spent with your wife on the sofa of your luxury villa or, who knows, you could have taken part in some events organised by your sponsors to bank several thousand euros.

I believe you, but allow me to give 10 good reasons why I think the San Marino-Germany match was very useful and if could think about them, let me know your thoughts: 

1. It served to show you that not even against the teams as poor as ours can you score a goal – and don’t say you weren’t annoyed when Simoncini stopped you scoring… 

2. It served to make it clear to your managers (and even Beckenbauer and Rummenigge) that football is not owned by them but by all of those who love it, among which, like it or not, WE are included. 

3. It served to remind hundreds of journalists from all over Europe that there are still guys who follow their dreams and not your rules. 

4. It served to confirm that you Germans will never change and that history has taught you that “bullying” is not always a guarantee of victory

5. It served to show the 200 guys in San Marino who play the game for whatever reason why their coaches ask them to always work their hardest. Who knows – maybe one day all their sacrifice will be repaid with a game against the champions of the world. 

6. It allowed your Federation (and also ours) to collect the money of image rights with which, in addition to paying you for your trouble, they can build pitches for the kids of your own country, schools, and make football stadiums safer… Our Federation, I’ll let you in on a secret, is building a new football pitch in a remote village called Acquaviva. You could build it with six months of your salary, we’ll do it with the rights of 90 minutes of a game. Not bad, right? 

7. It served to a country as big as your pitch in Munich to go into the papers for a good reason, because a football match is always a good reason. 

8. It served well for your friend Gnabry, in the national team and scoring three goals. 

9. It made some Sanmarinese people a little happier to remember that we have a real national team. 

10. It’s served to make me realise that even if you wear the most beautiful adidas kits, underneath you’re always the ones that put white socks under their sandals

With love, Alan.’

= = =

Further reading

a book about the joy that football can bring to people, to rich people or to poor people!


Monday, 14 November 2016

soccer break

As a father of 2 boys and a fan of soccer myself, I can't stand mixing the beautiful sport with politics, fascism etc.
Soccer, as any sport, should be about fun and joy!
What happened last night in Athens is absolutely disgusting.
Some "fans" were holding this nationalistic banner

Nož, žica, Srebrenica
referring to this massacre that happened in 1995.

Such an action should be prohibited to happen ever again...

The "fans" that were holding this banner must not be allowed to watch ANY game for the rest of their lives.

What are FIFA and the police are going to do to tackle these brainless fans bringing nationalism, fascism and racism into soccer grounds?