“We need to tighten our belts.”
Just how often have we heard that one lately?
The fact is, however, that when it comes to our national diet, belt loosening is the order of the day. As a nation, it seems we’re getting a little chubby around the middle, with 60% of us overweight or obese according to this report. And Michael O’Shea, CEO of the Irish Heart Foundation (IHF) reckons that obesity levels in Ireland are rising at the rate of around 1% per year. Yikes.
Given that about one third of premature heart disease relates to poor diet and that about 10,000 Irish people die each year from heart disease and stroke, the IHF, whose mission it is to reduce cases of preventable heart disease, have a vested interest in what we eat. In fact, whatever it is we’re eating, they’d like us to eat less of it.
That, at least, is the focus of their Happy Heart Eat Out campaign, which runs for the month of June. Given that many of us are prone to dining out, they are encouraging us to show a little restraint when we do so. They have the help of 500+ restaurants and catering establishments, who will be offering healthier, right-sized options on their menus.
One such participant is Saba, the popular Thai and Vietnamese eatery in Dublin, which was the venue for the launch of the campaign. And the launch, well, that involved lunch…
Lunch at Saba, clockwise from bottom left:
seared yellow fin tuna with wasabi coriander mayonnaise; steamed seabass fillets with Xao Shing wine sauce; hot and sour prawn soup; fruit platter with passion fruit and mango sorbet