Food Blogs: Innovative Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle
(3BL Media/Justmeans) Blogs have become the go-to resource for anyone wanting to develop their skills, or try their hand at something new – and they’re rapidly pushing more established sources of ‘expertise’ out of the market and one of them is home cooking! More people are now cooking at home and finding their recipes online via food blogs. However, how really healthy are these recipes? As the photos of dishes posted on the blogs, may attract potential cooks more than the nutritional value of the meals. Moreover, many food companies sponsor these sites, so the dishes become advertisements for their products, and have the potential to dramatically change the healthiness of the recipes.
So, researchers in Massachusetts wanted to determine whether the online world which hosts thousands of popular food blogs actually helps their readers to achieve a nutritionally balanced diet, and their study has been published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Development. The scientists sample included 96 recipes for entrees, which were then classified according to their main ingredient.
Unsurprisingly, the vegetarian entrees were lower in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. Overall, the sampled recipes were acceptable in calories but excessive in saturated fat and sodium. This creates an opportunity for nutrition educators and dieticians to educate clients, partner with bloggers, or begin their own food blogs that post healthier recipes. Lead author Elizabeth Schneider, MS, RD, Nutrition Department, Simmons College, Boston says, “We identified six food blogs that were very popular. It is really surprising that these blogs may have more than two million visits per month. This large reach makes the food blog an important component for nutrition education.”
The authors point out that multiple opportunities exist for a dietician’s presence online and that it is the responsibility of food and nutrition professionals to recognise these opportunities and continue to come up with ways to inform the public on the nutritional value of recipes as consumers use online search more than ever. The researchers also believe there is a need for dieticians to have a spot in the food blogging culture as they have a role to endorse healthy online recipes and that a ‘dietician approved’ icon next to healthy online recipes, giving the public peace of mind knowing that the recipes are nutritious?