New research has shown that us Brits are a nation of impulsive eaters – making mealtime decisions based on our mood, rather than considering what we have in our kitchen cupboard or fridges, or thinking about what is healthiest.
It’s been suggested that this could lead to bad culinary habits, as a quarter of us (24%) will comfort eat or opt for a ready meal for dinner if we’ve had a hectic day, rather than cooking something from scratch. Shockingly, a quarter of people have even said they’ve felt the need to lie to their friends or family about what they’ve had for dinner, as they are embarrassed about their choices.
It seems that women are the worst culprits for this, and some find it a struggle to fit healthy, balanced meals into a busy lifestyle. However, dietitian Sian Porter has said that cooking with all the main food groups doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. She suggests using the best quality fresh ingredients you can afford and letting them do the hard work for you!
Using fresh ingredients could even make you feel better. Previous research suggests that potatoes can be a healthy mood lifter as they are a popular, familiar food that tastes good. They are a fresh, tasty, versatile and healthy ingredient – bursting with fibre, vitamins (such as thiamine and folate) which can affect mood and tiredness, and potassium – that are quick and simple to cook with.
Fresh, summery flavours with peas and mint, coupled with the sweetness of the Parma ham make this a great dish for dining al fresco.