Unhealthy food on wheels: NDR test reveals major shortcomings
A healthy diet should be balanced, contain little fat, sugar and salt, but all the more vitamins and minerals. Older people in particular are advised to eat healthy. It won't be easy for those who rely on food on wheels. Delivery service menus can be quite unhealthy, according to the NDR.
Eating on wheels can be unhealthy
In order to stay fit and healthy into old age, it is not only important to exercise regularly, but also to eat healthy. Seniors who are provided with food on wheels, however, should not be so easy. As the Norddeutscher Rundfunk reports online, delivery service menus can be unhealthy. Research by the NDR business and consumer magazine "Markt" has shown that. According to the information, all of the meals examined - in terms of recommendations from the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) - were conspicuous.
Dishes tested by different providers
Food on wheels from five well-known suppliers was examined, with the most expensive dish being ordered. As the laboratory analysis showed, the food examined did not contain any detectable vitamin C. The amounts of calcium and magnesium were also sometimes very low. On the other hand, most of the foods had a remarkably high salt content. Dishes from Meyer Menu, Hanse Menüdienst, Johanniter menu service in Hamburg, Hamburg cuisine and country house cuisine were examined.
No menu tested contained vitamin C.
"If you order food on wheels, you should make sure that meals have been kept warm for a long time - sometimes even for hours - and that many vitamins have been reduced or even completely dissolved," said nutritionist and diabetologist Dr. Matthias Riedl opposite “Markt”. Vitamin C was in fact not found in any of the five selected meals. According to Riedl, a lack of vitamin C could potentially lead to infections and wound healing disorders. As it is said, none of the providers commented on the undetectable vitamin C in the respective dishes.
Little calcium and magnesium
A fish dish from the Johanniter menu service contained particularly little calcium: the test showed only 87 milligrams. This corresponds to less than a third of the DGE recommendation for eating on wheels (333 milligrams). The rust bratwurst with mashed potatoes and red cabbage from Meyer Menu contained the least magnesium. At 56 milligrams, the salary was significantly below the DGE recommendation of 117 milligrams. "Both minerals are important for our bone health," said Riedl. Magnesium deficiency can lead to muscle cramps or confusion, among other things. When asked by “Markt”, the Johanniter menu service replied that it was not considered realistic to draw conclusions about the nutrient supply based on a single meal. Meyer Menu did not comment on this.
High salt consumption endangers health
According to the report, four out of five meals contained a relatively high amount of salt. According to this, the largest amount was determined in the Matjes with fried potatoes and bacon beans, supplied by the Hamburg kitchen: 8.7 grams. "You shouldn't actually eat more than six grams of salt a day," says Riedl. According to health experts, high salt consumption can increase the risk of diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke. The Hamburg kitchen supplier said in writing that the market testers had chosen "a North German specialty rather than a low-calorie and low-salt variant" in the sample.
Less meat - more vegetables
As the NDR reports further, the Hamburg nutritionist Anja Thiesbürger finds the meal plans of most providers of food on wheels too meat-heavy. The expert recommends not eating meat more than three times and fish at least once a week. In addition, there should be plenty of vegetables and a carbohydrate side dish, preferably wholegrain, on the table. The nutritionist believes it is important that delivery services publish calories and nutritional values of the food on the Internet so that consumers can find out before ordering. According to the report, only Meyer Menu does this of the tested providers. The program "Markt" will be broadcast on Monday, April 4, at 8:15 p.m. on NDR television. (ad)