Trendy foods put the younger generation at risk of zinc deficiency diets
| 11th March 2019
Millennials could be deficient in zinc because they have switched traditional foods such as kippers and liver for trendy alternatives, research has found.
Less than a quarter of Generation Y have tried zinc-packed cupboard staples such as cockles and herring favoured by our grandparents, with 70 per cent citing social media as an influence in dinner decisions.
That compares to 49 per cent of those aged between 35 and 54 who indulge in zinc rich foods because they are good for their health, and are unlikely to be swayed by social networks.
The research, commissioned by The Meat Advisory Panel (MAP), found 90 per cent of middle-aged Brits would pick zinc rich foods because their parents used to serve it to them.
But millennials are instead turning away from the norm in favour of trendy alternatives.
Commenting on the importance of zinc in the millennial diet, Robert Pickard, Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Cardiff, said: “Our diet has changed drastically over the years, and as foods such as liver, cockles and kippers have been lost from the menu, we have also lost some of our key sources of zinc.
“Zinc plays an important role in the body, from contributing to the growth of cells to helping maintain the immune system and healthy skin, hair and nails.
“We don’t need to resurrect some of the old-fashioned classics however to help us increase our zinc levels, as lean red meat is one of the best sources of dietary zinc.”
Lean red meat, such as beef, pork and lamb, is one of the best sources of dietary zinc, helping increase your sex drive, boost brain power and fight flu and tiredness, and could be key ingredient to solving the millennial zinc deficiency dilemma.
Just over third of our average zinc intake comes from meat and meat products overall, and people who consume no red meat can be at much greater risk of a zinc deficiency, as the zinc found in pork, beef and lamb is better absorbed by the body than vegetarian alternatives.
So instead of hunting down kippers and cooking up some cockles, a simple juicy steak or lamb chop could provide millennials with their recommended zinc intake instead.
For more information, visit www.meatandhealth.com.