Keep your health kick going strong
Strictly Come Dancing star Kenny Logan & nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton offer their advice on eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Have you started a January health kick? Are you struggling to keep it going? Or have you completely fallen off the wagon? If so donât despair because help is at hand. Strictly Come Dancing star and former Scottish rugby international Kenny Logan will be in the studio to talk about how he kept up with the professional dancers by staying fit and healthy. We also have leading nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton who will also offer her professional advice on what you need to be eating for a healthy diet.
There are so many mixed messages in the media today, itâs difficult to know what you should and shouldnât eat. One of the most current dietary debates is whether or not to include red meat in your diet. Kenny is currently leading The Feel Good About Meat campaign launched by Quality Meat Scotland and has lots of information on how much red meat you should include in your diet and how he used it in his training menu to make himself such a successful sportsman.
So if you want some advice to see you through a dip in your diet, why not come along and submit a question to our special guests?
Strictly Come Dancing star and former Scottish rugby internationalist Kenny Logan and leading nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton join us live on Monday 28th January at 9:30 to discuss healthy eating.
H: Hello and welcome to the Healthcare Show I’m Glen Thompsett. Now then, did you put, as your New Year’s resolution – part of your new year’s resolution – getting fit down, and more importantly are you keeping to it? What about a healthy lifestyle, are you into a healthy lifestyle, do you want a healthy lifestyle? Part of a healthy lifestyle is of course having a well-balanced diet, a nutritional diet. Well here to talk about diet today and in particular how red meat can help your diet we’ve got a couple of superstars with us, superstar Kenny Logan, of course Strictly Come Dancing star, rugby player, farmer’s son – welcome to you, welcome and also Dr Carrie Ruxton
H: Dr Ruxton is in fact an independent nutritionist and talking about the benefits of red meat, welcome to both of you. Start with you Carrie if we can – the benefits of red meat, I mean lots of them I guess?
C: Oh yes absolutely I mean red meat is very rich in vitamins and minerals, for example 40% of women have too little iron in their diet and yet red meat is a fantastic source of iron. And also red meat is high in vitamin B1, vitamin B6 – all of these are very important for the diet, but most importantly in this age when we’re all trying to get fit and healthy, red meat is surprisingly low in fat, because animals are being farmed differently over the last 30 years, and fat content of red meat has come down and that’s something I think not a lot of people know about
H: Ok well to talk particularly today about Scotch beef, Scotch lamb and specially selected pork, items of meat I’m sure Kenny you eat all the time, particularly being a rugby star and the energy had to be up of course for your Strictly Come Dancing recently?
K: Yes I mean
H: Congratulations by the way
K: Thank you - I mean during the whole Strictly Come Dancing thing, you’re training 7 hours a day and you’re eating a lot of food, just like when you’re playing rugby, and you’re not just eating any food, you’re eating food that is going to give you a lot of energy. Beef is one of these things that you eat steaks, you’re having your pork and you’re having – you’re eating your chicken, you’re eating your rice, you’re eating all different sorts of meat – it’s having a balanced diet isn’t it? A lot of vegetables. I think you know when you’re doing a lot of exercise you can eat a lot of food, but the key thing is when you stop doing the exercise you’ve got to almost retrain yourself to not eat as much. I think the big thing for me is I’m used to a good balanced diet and to have red meat two or three times a week when I was playing rugby, but now I probably have it twice a week
H: What is a good balance as far as red meat’s concerned Carrie? Kenny mentioned two or three times a week there - are we talking every day, two or three times a week?
C: Well the thing is that you could have it eveyr day if you had a small portion size and perhaps went for the higher quality cuts, because there really is a lot of variety with the Scotch beef, Scotch lamb and specially selected pork. I mean that’s kind of three choices in a week already, and you can have meat as part of a sandwich, as part of your main meal at night, and the most important thing that if you’re keeping the portion size to 2-3 ounces, so that’s maybe 5—75g as a portion and going for the really good quality meat with the fat removed, there isn’t any reason why you couldn’t have it on most days of the week, but the important thing you mentioned the key word which his balance. What you want to do, if you think about a plate where 2/3 of it are made up of your fruits and vegetables, and your starchy foods such as your bread, potato, pasta – and then you’ve got a little area for dairy products, and then you’ve got an area for meat, so it’s putting the meat in context, it’s having it as part of a balanced diet with lots of carbs, lots of fruit and vegetables, and if you’re eating that way every day then meat can be part of your diet on most days of the week
H: Ok, alright – don’t forget this is an interactive webchat, if there’s anything you’d like to put to our guests today, either to Kenny Logan or Dr Carrie Ruxton then do feel free to fill in that little box at the bottom of the screen, just type your message in there, hit the submit button, it’ll come right through to us here in the studio and I can then put your questions to our two guests. But why Scotch meat, why Scotch meat – why not British beef, why not New Zealand lamb – what’s special about Scotch – Scotch meat?
C: Well I mean I’m biased in a way because –
H: Of course you are
C: Well the thing is I’m a big fan of you know buying British and buying local and supporting British farmers, and I think this is a great campaign to do that, to really raise awareness about the fantastic food that we produce in the UK, and really supporting what we do here and buying local
H: Ok. A lot of misconceptions about red meat haven’t there Kenny over the years, we read in the press, we hear in the news lots of – you know bad news about red meat. What do you think?
K: Well I mean personally it’s – as long as the meat’s cooked properly, you’re not burning your meat, you don’t want to burn anything you eat. I think beef is very easy to cook, you know for me I would always take it off too early and nine times out of ten it would be perfect for me there, I think oh it’s getting a bit burnt or – what should I do now? I’d take it off, it’s easy to cook and I think for me I think once you’ve had some meat you feel really good inside, it’s a really good healthy meal and as you say the fat in the last 40 years is getting lower and lower and lower, and you can cut the fat off it, so it’s a really nice balanced with vegetables and potatoes – I like it and I think most people you know, they hear something in the news, they go oh it’s wrong, some people don’t know it, I think for me, you know there’s a lot of things out there that are bad for you, especially if you eat a lot of it, but small parts of it – bit of chocolate’s not bad for you, but if you eat it every day course it is
H: Course it’s going to be bad for you, yes
K: You know, moderation, and you know beef isn’t like that, you can have – I mean if you look at most people’s diet you have beef every day or some sorts of meat because you’re having sandwiches, you’re having pasta with meat in it or minced – lasagnes, so we’ve got meat every day anyway. I think everybody just thinks steak, you know we can’t have steak every day but you can have meat in all different – all different ways
H: Carrie what sort of goodness is it giving you then in terms of intake of goodness?
C: Well it’s a very high protein food, it’s a high protein, low fat food and there is good evidence these days that a high protein food helps you to keep your appetite under control, so if you’re looking to maintain your weight or even lose a bit of weight, having a high protein diet is a good way of doing it, so there’s the high protein element, there’s the low fat element which I’ve just mentioned as well, particularly saturated fat which of course is the fat that clogs up the arteries, and as I mentioned before farming techniques have now improved to the extent where we can get quite a lot of fat out of the meat, I think it’s reduced by 30 / 40% in the last few years so there’s less saturated fat, less overall fat and then all these vitamins and minerals are still there – the zinc, the B vitamins, the iron, they’re all there in meat, so it’s got a lot going for it, but I mean going back to what you asked Kenny a minute ago, the reason I wanted to be involved in this campaign is that 95% of people in the UK eat meat and I don’t want them to sit there and be feeling bad about it, because there’s always some story in the press about some aspect of the diet –
H: They always focus on the negative point isn’t there?
C: There’s always something, I mean if you look at all the stories in the press we could probably not eat anything at all
C: At the end of the day
K: You’d be starving
C: You would. So I want people to feel good about what they’re doing just now, they’re making the choice to eat meat, they can feel good about it, if they just remember some of these tips about having meat as part of a balanced diet
H: Something that you said actually before we came on air today is that make sure that meat is not over-cooked because it can be linked to cancer – it can
C: Yes I mean the stories that have linked meat with cancer have been particular ways of cooking meat, so basically it’s the barbecue, burning the meat – when you burn meat you create a chemical called nitrosamine and if you eat large quantities of this over a period of time, it might be a risk factor for cancer, and I’m saying a risk factor because there’s lots of things that are linked to cancer, it’s not linked to any one thing in the diet or the lifestyle, so the thing to do is if you want to reduce your risk, then don’t over-cook meat and have this 50-75g portion, that’s a really sensible way to do it
K: Can I just ask a question?
K: When you’re cooking meat on the barbecue –
K: One of the best things is to put the meat in the oven first to almost cook it, then give it the barbecue feel after it, because you know when you put it on the barbecue it burns really quick –
C: I know that’s right, yes
K: You know and you think oh I need it more well done so you burn it even more
C: I have to say these modern barbecues, the sort of gas ones you can control the temperature a bit, but if you’ve got the old-fashioned ones
H: The gas ones aren’t they –
C: But the thing is if you’re just having it occasionally it’s not going to do any harm
C: And given the British weather I don’t thing we’re going to be having barbecues –
C: As much as the Australians, but it’s now and again I don’t think it’s going to do that much harm
H: The Scotch beef, Scotch lamb and specially selected pork – the 3 meats we’re sort of concentrating on today – should you balance them evenly? Should you have pork only, should you have beef only – what’s the best combination?
C: I think the great thing about having the three of them together in one campaign is you take your choice, you know there’s some people that prefer a bit of beef, some people that prefer pork or lamb, and all the choices are there, and there’s also varieties of different cuts within each choice as well, and that’s something that always bamboozles me because I’m not a fantastic cook myself, but there’s a massive amounts of different cuts which vary in prices, so this idea that oh we can’t afford meat, it’s too expensive is a load of rubbish, because there’s always a cut that will be suiting your budget, and there’s different ways that you can cook it, there’s meat on the bone, off the bone so the variety is there and they’ve all got similar nutritional value
H: And if you’re going to buy that meat then do support your local butcher
C: Absolutely yes
H: That’s a very important point isn’t it?
C: Yes that’s great
K: That’s one thing that you know – when you go to a butcher’s you really feel that you’re getting – I’m not disrespecting the big –
K: Supermarkets, but when you’ve got a butcher you’re going in there for meat, when you’ve got a supermarket you’re going in there for everything from toilet paper to bread to alcohol, I mean when you walk into a butcher you just feel that you’re part of something, and they’re really local to you. I think that’s really important for me, especially being a farmer’s son because – being in London, there are a lot of local butchers around and you really feel a real community, little shops like that, so it’s important
H: Ok. Your questions are coming in thick and fast, do keep them coming in, fill in that little box at the bottom of the screen there, hit the submit button and they’ll come through here to us in the studio and I can put your questions to our guests today, Strictly Come Dancing star, farmer’s son, rugby player of course – mustn’t forget the rugby Kenny, Kenny Logan and of course our independent nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton. Kenny, question for you, James wants to know “what do you do to keep yourself fit and strong?” Obviously eat lots of meat I guess?
K: Well I’ve got a good diet, I mean when I played rugby we wouldn’t say a diet was good but you could get away with eating rubbish because you burnt it off really quickly, but since I retired and started on Strictly Come Dancing I lost almost a stone doing Strictly Come Dancing, but I ate a lot but I really balanced, and what I’ve learnt now is I eat red meat, I do eat a lot of red meat, I eat lamb, I like pork, I like chicken – I like meat, so – when I say chicken but – I do like food, I’ve got a sweet tooth, but what I do tend to do when I’m eating, when I start to feel full I stop, whereas before my dad used to say finish everything on your plate, I’d be like tucking through and finish it, so I try and just stop, as soon as my body feels it’s full, stop so then my body can burn off the food that I’ve taken rather than fill myself up and go to bed thinking I’ve had too much food. So I try not to eat – I try to eat smaller portions, and I mean I was at somebody yesterday having some red meat, really nice piece of red meat, it was gorgeous, and it took me – what I like about eating meat you don’t feel you have to eat it quickly because you really have to chew it and –
C: Yes you do
K: And you really enjoy every mouthful. When you eat soft food, it just goes down and you start eating more soft food, and that sort of – you feel like when you’re eating soft food you’re putting more weight on, because I was listening to someone the other day about your jaw obviously needs to chew food like 24 times, but when you’re eating something soft it’s 3 or 4 times, and suddenly you’ve had so much food you think oh I feel terrible, whereas if you have a bit of steak, you’re chewing it and at the end of a tiny bit of s teak you feel that you’ve eaten a lot of food, so I think it’s important just to really chew your food
C: Mind you I like soft food for my kids because we had lamb burgers yesterday so the kids are sitting there tucking in, enjoying a lamb burger and you know with everything that went with it, and you know it’s a fun way of having meat –
C: You always think of a beef burger but you can have a pork burger, you could have a lamb burger – it’s very versatile
H: Yes we’ve got some burgers on the table here just to show you –
C: Yes we do, certainly
H: What we’ve got, but you could put things in there like tomatoes, you’ve got onions in here, mushrooms maybe
C: Yes you can, yes
H: So a nice combination there
C: Yes that’s right I mean people think of a burger as junk food but that’s a complete load of nonsense, if you make a burger at home, you get the good quality mince, as I say you could use lamb, you could use pork, you could use Scotch beef, and you mix it in with some egg yolk –
H: You can get the kids to help you make them can’t you?
C: Absolutely and you just make them into the shape – bit of breadcrumbs, as I say you could throw in some onion, I would put it very finely chopped, some herbs and you make up the patties and then you can grill them which means you’re not adding any extra fat in, or if you want to fry them use something like olive oil, rapeseed oil and just put a very small amount in a non-stick pan and just fry them very gently, and there you’ve got a really healthy burger
K: Just to answer James’ question, you do need to do training too –
K: It’s very important
C: Absolutely yes
K: But you do need to do a bit of training, you know even if it’s – I think especially in London, you know people can walk places, using simple things – people for example just in the morning, 20 sit-ups, 20 press-ups morning and night, just little things that you don’t normally do, and just fit it in, do some walking
H: It’s a combination of exercise –
H: And a good diet, good bit of meat in your diet
H: Talking about the quality of the food in just a moment, but can you eat too much meat?
H: You know when you get to that barbecue in the summer, there’s the sausages, there’s the burgers –
H: There’s all sorts. Can you overdose – can you have a meat overdose basically? Is it possible?
C: You can overdose on anything, I mean that’s really getting the diet in an unbalanced state, so if you’re eating too much of one of the components in the diet it’s going to affect everything else, and you know the government suggests 75-90g of meat, that’s 2-3 ounces of meat as a portion, so I would aim for something like that, so you’re going - that’s all you need really because you’re going to get all the vitamins and minerals from that, you’ve got something really nice and tasty, so rather than overload on anything in your diet –
K: When you’re cooking on the barbecue you see, you taste one and –
H: You do
C: I know, I know
H: I’m terrible at that
K: And suddenly you’ve had 4 sausages, 2 burgers – better get some food one there, I’ve eaten all the way through it!
C: But if you’re having – I mean we don’t have barbecues very often, so they’re not going to do us that much harm, but if you are putting a barbecue on or a party where you’ve got lots of different meat, maybe a buffet or something, just make sure you’ve got lots of really tasty salads and then people will want to tuck into that as well
K: I actually think salads are important, I mean for me I have a lot of salads, but I have a lot of salads with red meat and other sorts of meat, so I couldn’t eat a bit of meat without some vegetables, I think it’s really important, I couldn’t just sit there and have a steak, I need the little bits with it
C: Yes absolutely
K: To make myself feel good
H: Ok let’s plough through some of these questions then chaps because time is rattling on here. Lucy says “I’m a big fan of Bordeaux with rare red meat – Kenny, what’s your tipple?”
K: What’s my tipple?
H: Yes, that’s the question
K: Well I do like a bit of Sevignon Blanc but it’s not really going with red meat
C: Might go with pork
K: Might go with pork, it would go with pork very nicely
C: Yes it would
K: But I am a steak man, no getting away from it, I like a good steak
K: And a nice red wine
H: Alright – another one here, Dee from Liverpool says “I’ve seen so many stories about factory farming of meat I’m worried about what I’m giving my kids when buying from the supermarkets. How can I be sure my meat is good enough quality?” Coming on to this quality question
C: Yes well certainly I know that there are certain marks that you can have for example little red tractor and Freedom foods, but also the quality mark of Scotch beef, Scotch lamb and specially selected pork, that’s immediately telling you something about that particular meat, so it’s really you know the mark on the packet of where you’re buying it, and or even going for organic, I mean there’s so many options now, and I think in the UK farming standards have come up really drastically in the last 20, 30 years and often in the UK gold plates and it exceeds the farming rules that come in from Europe, so the UK’s actually miles ahead of a lot of other countries
H: It’s important to make sure you do buy Scotch or British or whatever really isn’t it?
C: Yes and as Kenny said, your local butcher is a great source of information
K: It is
C: And I mean they’re specialist, they know where that meat’s –
H: They know where it’s come from
C: They know where that meat’s come from and they can give advice as well on cuts if you’re looking for a particular cut for a recipe –
K: I also think local butchers take such pride in it
C: They do
K: You know and they want you to come back every week
K: So they’re always going to sell you the best meat, when you go in there you feel that don’t you –
H: They’re passionate about it
K: Yes exactly. I think farmers are passionate about their beef now because they’ve always been, you know in the last 20, 30 years you know the farming business has changed so much, there’s so many laws in there, I think farmers now, they want to put a good beef in the shop, and they know that they get more money for good beef so it’s important it comes – it starts right from the farmer
H: Ok some recipe ideas, Sarah wants to know, Sarah thanks for getting in touch with us by the way, “can I have some recipe ideas for cooking with red meat?” I guess a recipe from both of you here
K: Oh my favourite, my favourite is mince and tatties
H: Mince and tatties – mince and potatoes
K: Mince and tatties and turnip – I used to – I mean when I was in the farm we used to come in with these big mince, mushrooms or mince, carrots and onions and really nice gravy on the potatoes, I loved it and I still have that every so often but I love it. It’s time to cook it –
H: Well Carrie, any ideas?
C: I like the stir fries because you can just throw in anything you happen to have in the fridge, if you’ve got something for example like really lean pork, and you cut it into strips you can stir fry it in minutes
K: Very healthy too isn’t it?
C: Yes - With any vegetables that you’ve got handy and serve that on a bed of rice, but I must admit I’m also very very fond of Savoy cabbage which you just cut up raw and then you stir it in a big pan with some bacon – have you tried that? Absolutely gorgeous
K: I used to have loads –
H: I’m salivating here
K: I used to – have loads of stuffed cabbage, when I was home – tonight!
C: Yes we just – people think that you’ve got to boil cabbage, you don’t, you actually just chop it up raw, and then you just toss it in a pan with some oil
K: Get a lovely flavour don’t you? I’ll do that tonight
C: Yes with the bacon and a wee bit of black pepper, you don’t need to add salt because the bacon’s already got salt on
K: See I don’t any salt
H: No because salt’s in there
K: Some food, there was something today on the TV about there’s more – the food that you’re buying now has got a full day’s quantity of salt in one meal. Why not put salt in, I don’t –
H: There’s no point is there?
K: I mean I put salt in an egg maybe but that’s it
H: But we’re terrible like that we lay it on, salt and pepper on the table –
C: Without even tasting it
H: Don’t we?
K: Before I met my wife I used to put it on first thing
H: Yes put it on
K: My mum’s like that, I’m like why are you putting salt on that, it doesn’t need salt, you haven’t tasted it?
H: Just very quickly, getting kids involved in eating meat, because getting youngsters to try and eat their food anyway, you know unless it’s burgers and chips or whatever, they’re not interested – how do you persuade them to eat, you know a bit of beef, bit of lamb, pit of pork, to say it’s good for them? What can you do that’s fun for kids?
C: Well being the mum of a 7 year old myself you need to – it’s not necessarily making it fun, but it’s presenting the meal in a way that doesn’t over-phase them, so small portions, everything chopped up quite small so it’s just very easy for them to eat, not overloading the plate, and setting an example, so sitting down as a family to eat at the table, and can I say it’s really, really important to get children to eat red meat at quite an early age, because iron deficiency in pre-school children is absolutely rife, you know we think in this country we don’t have any deficiencies but we do, there’s a lot of kids are iron deficient and I think it’s because parents mistakenly think oh well we’ll just give them the chicken and the fish when they’re younger and they can maybe graduate onto red meat, but they’re not getting any iron from the rest of their diet, and you know the iron that you get in breakfast cereals is not vey well absorbed, so I think it’s important to offer them small portions, if you can either give it to them as healthy homemade burger, or you can give them a stew, but keep the pieces nice and small so it’s not going to take them ages and ages to chew
H: Good tip, good tip. Ok well if you want more ideas on Scotch beef, lamb or specially selected pork, then you can try the website feelgoodaboutmeat.co.uk, that’s all one word, feelgoodaboutmeat.co.uk. Dr Carrie Ruxton, independent nutritionist and superstar rugby player Strictly Come Dancing star Kenny Logan thank you both very much for joining us on the program today,
C: Thank you
H: And thank you we’ll see you soon, bye bye