British Grocery Study (02:46)
In this program, Alice Roberts will reveal Britain's favorite foods, and investigate whether or not they are healthy.
Britain's Favorite Vegetables (02:59)
Each week, families spend an average of £82 pounds on food. Supermarket analyses reveal the potato is the most popular.
Mushroom Health Benefits (02:55)
After the potato, the tomato and mushroom are most popular vegetables in Britain. They contain potassium and selenium, and can produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun, which is retained during cooking.
Carrots and Peppers (03:02)
After potatoes, tomatoes, and mushrooms, carrots and peppers are the most popular vegetables in Britain. They contain carotenoids, which may affect our physical appearance. Researchers have volunteers consume extra portions for six weeks to see whether their skin color changes.
Salad Calorie Test (02:54)
Iceberg lettuce is favored in the U.K. Reading residents try to arrange lunch plates in order of most to least calories. Pasta salad is the highest, while a baked potato is the lowest.
Hidden Calories in Salad (02:17)
A calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. Roberts burns lettuce leaves with and without dressing to show the effect of added fat.
Britain's Favorite Bread and Dairy (02:51)
U.K. residents eat three slices per day; many types contain high levels of salt. Dairy is the most consumed fresh food. The top five products are milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, and cream.
Milk Rehydration Experiment (03:11)
Milk contains calcium and vitamins B2 and A. British citizens guess that water or sports drinks are more effective at replacing fluids after exercise. Together with other volunteers, Roberts sweats on a stationary bicycle to lose 1.5% of her body weight.
Milk Health Benefits (03:47)
Milk helps volunteers retain fluid after sweating 1.5% of their body weight—more than water or sports drinks. It replaces water and electrolytes after sweating, including sodium and potassium, and protein slows fluid absorption.
Cheese Health Benefits (02:50)
Recent studies have suggested calcium in cheese can help fat pass through our system. A professional cheese taster will go on a low calcium diet for one week, and a high calcium diet for the next. Her feces will be collected and analyzed.
Calcium Cheese Experiment (02:49)
Professional cheese taster Carol eats a low dairy diet for a week, followed by a high dairy diet. Analysis shows she excretes about 50% more fat on a high calcium diet—suggesting cheese has hidden health benefits.
Apple Storage (03:16)
Clementines, strawberries, bananas, grapes, and apples are Britain's top five fruits. Roberts visits an apple processing and refrigeration facility that preserves freshness by controlling temperature, oxygen, and CO2 levels.
Apple Health Benefits (03:57)
Apples contain polyphenols that protect against cardiovascular and Alzheimer's diseases. An experiment tests polyphenol levels in six varieties; russets, granny smiths, and bramley cooking apples have the most. The highest polyphenol concentration is near the skin.
Banana Health Benefits (01:26)
Potassium can help lower blood pressure. One banana contains 12% of recommended daily potassium.
Protein Health Benefits (02:26)
Chicken, beef, bacon, pork, and sausages are Britain's top five meats. Protein sits longer in the stomach, boosting satiety.
Protein Brain Study (04:02)
High protein diets can help control appetite and cravings. MRI scans show increased activity in the insula area when volunteers see pictures of their favorite junk foods. Scientists have them consume a protein drink before retesting.
Ready Meals (03:05)
Lasagna, chicken tikka masala, cottage pie, macaroni and cheese, and spaghetti bolognese are Britain's favorite pre-cooked dishes. Firefighters estimate typical cereal amounts they eat daily; most consume twice the recommend portion.
Ready Meal Serving Sizes (03:14)
Firefighters cut pizza, pie, and cake into estimated portion size. Many U.K. residents are consuming more than the recommended amount, and pre-cooked dishes have doubled since 1993.
Vegetable Skin Tone Experiment (04:52)
After consuming extra portions of carrots and peppers for six weeks, volunteers notice a change in their coloring from carotenoid pigments. Scientists are finding hidden benefits in popular British grocery items.
Credits: What We Eat (00:33)
Credits: What We Eat
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