The traditional British diet is characterized by foods such as roast beef, fish and chips, shepherd's pie, and bangers and mash. These dishes are often high in saturated fat, salt, and calories, and as a result, they have contributed to high levels of obesity and related health problems in the UK.
One of the most significant changes in the UK diet in recent years has been the increasing popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets. In the past, these diets were seen as somewhat niche and were mainly followed by people with ethical or religious beliefs that prohibited the consumption of animal products. However, in recent years, they have become much more mainstream, and many people have adopted them for health reasons.
The rise of vegetarian and vegan diets has led to an increase in the availability of plant-based foods in the UK. This includes a wide range of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes that provide important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Plant-based diets have also been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer.
Another significant trend in the UK diet is the increasing focus on healthier snacks and convenience foods. In the past, snacks and convenience foods were often high in sugar, salt, and fat, and were a major contributor to the UK's obesity epidemic. However, in recent years, there has been a growing demand for healthier options, such as fresh fruit, nuts, and vegetable crisps.
The UK government has also taken steps to encourage healthier eating habits. In 2018, the UK introduced a sugar tax on soft drinks, which has led to a reduction in the amount of sugar consumed by the population. The government has also introduced guidelines on healthy eating, which recommend that people consume at least five portions of fruits and vegetables per day and limit their intake of saturated fat, salt, and sugar.
Despite these positive developments, the UK diet still has some challenges to overcome. The country has one of the highest rates of obesity in Europe, and this is partly due to the high consumption of processed and convenience foods. The UK also has a high level of food poverty, which can lead to people relying on cheap, unhealthy foods to survive.
A typical family will eat three main meals per day. Breakfast will usually take place at 7 AM, lunch at 1 PM, and dinner and tea around 6 PM.
Breakfast is usually eaten at home before departure from work or school. Children will mostly eat at school except more senior students who may be allowed out to a restaurant or cafe. Workers will usually lunch at a cafe near their place of work unless the company provides food itself. Dinner is only eaten out as a treat although the young generation eat out more often as do students.
The senior member of the family will usually sit at the head of the table. One should keep their hands should usually be kept above the table not because it would be rude not to, but just because it is easier to communicate at the table if one's hand are in sight. Elbows should not be on the table but it is common to rest one's wrists on the edge of the table.