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Healthy Eating Policy
healthier eating. Research into health and diet
OCS Statement on Healthy Eating
continues to confirm what we already know - ignore
OCS Catering have put together some statements on
● To ensure that our consumers have the
fad diets and follow key pointers to reduce the risk
healthy eating and it’s affect on working performance
of illness and manage weight: Based on this OCS
opportunity to choose healthy meals and snacks.
from the key scientific information available, which is
● To encourage a healthy lifestyle through the
the backbone of the menus we provide our clients.
● We encourage consumers to eat five portions of
association of healthy food with exercise and the
However, every menu is specifically tailored to the
promotion of health-enhancing habits.
individual needs of our clients and the consumers.
● Foods are grilled instead of frying where possible
To promote a positive outlook on life and an
awareness of the consequences of healthy and
Summary of key scientific information
● We reduce the amount of fat and sugar in our
● Missing breakfast impairs mental functioning
OCS has recognised that it is the responsibility of the
Caterer to provide their clients with healthy and
● Our menus are high in starchy foods (pasta, rice
● A post-lunch dip in performance occurs around
nutritious food. By "healthy" and "nutritious" food, we
1 hour after lunch and continues for at least 1
understand balanced, planned and creative
In addition in every OCS site, the menu choice
hour. People report feeling sleepy, less energetic
menus, making use of fresh seasonal produce from
always includes a least one hot vegetarian option,
and less alert during this time. Meal size and the
approved suppliers, which cater to a variety of
freshly prepared and cooked vegetables, a salad
type of food eaten at lunch intake seem to
bar with a wide variety of fresh and imaginative
influence the effect - those consuming a large
The watch-points of boring, colourless and dull are key
salad bowl (with or without dressing), low fat items,
meal, and in particular, a carbohydrate heavy
to the standards of catering and the quality OCS has
yoghurts, fresh fruit, mineral water, a choice of
meal, function more poorly than those who eat
to offer in all aspects of food service to our clients.
brown breads and low fat spreads. Calorie counts
a smaller, more balanced meal, which better
For the last 20 or 30 years, nutritionists, dieticians and
can be supplied on request and special diets are
doctors have provided the same diet information
catered for. Menus are monitored and customer
feed-back is recorded to ensure that all the needs
carbohydrate, protein and fat content) has an
health principles to guide everyone towards
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● An afternoon snack may improve mental
It is now well established that some aspects of short
term food intake, for example consuming different
Studies have shown that the mental functioning can
● Even mild dehydration can have a negative
types of meals at different times during the day, can
fall after lunch and individuals experience
have a significant effect on functions such as
reductions in alertness and efficiency shortly after
learning, memory, information processing and mood.
In moderate amounts (for most people this is
lunch relative to the morning or late afternoon
hours. For example, errors made by shift workers,
performance and sustain attention during the
falling asleep while driving and lapses of attention
by locomotive engineers reach a maximum at
The importance of eating breakfast is supported by
approximately 2pm. Further studies have revealed
studies investigating the effects of eating breakfast
that consumption of a mid-day meal is followed by
on mental ability and academic achievement in
feelings of lethargy and poorer performance of
● Eating low GI foods may help to sustain energy
school-aged children but the results have
mental tasks. This decline is sometimes referred to as
levels and prevent feelings of energy highs and
implications for adults too. Breakfast typically
the ‘post-lunch dip’ and usually lasts for up to 90
dips, which can affect performance and may
follows the longest period of fasting during the 24
minutes after the meal has been eaten.
cause them to snack on unhealthy foods.
hour daily cycle, therefore skipping breakfast will
● A long term unhealthy diet, including too many
lead to reductions in energy and nutrient levels
The degree to which lunch moderates subsequent
fatty foods, too much salt and not enough fruit
throughout the morning. Studies have shown that
mental performance and mood is influenced by a
and vegetables, can increase the risk of a range
eating breakfast can improve performance on
number of factors, most importantly meal size. For
of conditions, including heart disease, stroke,
example, people who consume a large meal have
some cancers, high blood pressure, obesity and
been shown to make more errors on attention tasks
Another study reported that individuals who did
than those who consume a smaller, lighter meal.
not eat breakfast did more poorly on memory tests
Tasks that require sustained attention appear to be
● Employing a healthy eating policy, educating
than those who consumed a morning meal.
people on healthy eating and encouraging
They also found that not eating breakfast
healthy eating behaviour can improve people’s
impaired performance on recall and recognition
Lunch does not only affect mental performance,
but also mood, as feelings of anxiety decrease after
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eating a lunchtime meal. People also report feeling
arithmetic was impaired if a person is between 1-2%
feeble, dreamy and bored, and less energetic,
Afternoon snacks may have positive effects on
dehydrated – a level not enough even to cause
alert, quick-witted and friendly after lunch,
cognitive performance. The effect of consuming
feelings of thirst. Rehydration can be achieved using
particularly after a large, heavy meal.
either a healthy energy-rich snack or a no-energy
water in all its forms including plain water, juices,
snack (a diet caffeine-containing drink) on tests of
attention, memory, maths, speed reading and
Nutrient composition of a meal
comprehension were investigated in male and
The nutrient composition of the meal is important
female college students. Both male and female
with respect to efficiency and mood. Cognitive
subjects responded significantly faster on the
Caffeine is present in tea, coffee and a number of
attention task and remembered more digits in the
carbonated drinks, particularly cola. In moderate
carbohydrate and protein content of a meal.
memory task when they had consumed a high-
A high carbohydrate meal causes individuals to feel
energy snack than when they had the no-energy
wakefulness, friendliness and increased speed and
sleepier than when they eat a high protein meal,
snack. People often perceive that a diet caffeine-
alertness in performing tasks, particularly those that
carbohydrate-rich meals can cause feeling of
containing drink will give them an energy boost in
require focused attention. However excessive
lethargy compared with protein-rich meal.
the afternoon, this can be considered a ‘false’
consumption can cause unpleasant side effects
Sleepiness is reported to increase and subjective
energy and will not improve concentration.
such as restlessness and anxiety. Studies show that
energy levels declined over the course of the
Furthermore, an excessive intake of caffeine may
caffeine can have beneficial performance effect,
afternoon following a carbohydrate-rich meal.
including sustaining attention during the morning
The fat content of the lunch also influences
and the post-lunch dip. After this, however, the
subsequent cognitive efficiency and mood.
effect of the caffeine is lost and an excessive intake
People rated themselves as more drowsy, uncertain
in the form of fizzy drinks does not boost energy
and muddled, and less cheerful when they had
Mild dehydration has been linked to headaches
levels and could cause negative effects on mood
consumed either a high fat-high carbohydrate
and loss of mental alertness. Low levels of
and performance. Individuals differ enormously in
dehydration can also have an effect on cognitive
their sensitivity to caffeine. For most people 2-4 cups
performance. A study showed that ability to do
of coffee a day is a moderate consumption,
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whereas 10 cups would be excessive. Caffeine is a
helping their employees to follow a healthy
tasks and mood are dependant on a number of
mild diuretic, i.e. it encourages the body to excrete
balanced diet. There are no specific laws regarding
factors. Time of day and composition of the meal
more water. However, the body does acclimatise to
the nutritional content of food provided by caterers
are the most significant of these factors. Missing
the amount of caffeine normally consumed, so that
(as there are for food safety) but with the growing
breakfast can have detrimental consequences on
regular consumption of moderate amounts of
link between the effect of people’s diets on their
behaviour, and a large carbohydrate, fat heavy
health, it seems sensible for those who offer food to
lunch actually can cause decrements in cognitive
be aware of the principles of healthy eating.
performance. A late afternoon snack may boostenergy levels and performance in the afternoon.
High carbohydrate foods
An unhealthy diet, including too many fatty foods,too much salt and not enough fruit and vegetables,
While caffeine may offer a useful boost to mental
Some people claim to feel adversely affected when
can increase the risk of a range of conditions,
alertness during the morning and the post lunch dip,
they eat foods that are high in carbohydrate
including heart disease, stroke, some cancers, high
maintaining hydration through the regular
(sugar). Some foods do cause blood sugar levels to
blood pressure, obesity and diabetes mellitus.
consumption of water and other non caffeine-
rise sharply such as sugar and white bread and they
Frequent consumption of foods high in sugar
containing drinks is crucial in maintaining ability to
are said to have a high glycaemic index (GI).
concentrate and perform well at work.
Snacking between meals on high GI foods like
Educating and encouraging employees to eat
biscuits, confectionery and sugary drinks may cause
Heart disease and stroke and related illnesses cost
healthily at work can improve their well-being and
initial feelings of an energy high followed by feelings
the NHS an estimated £3.8 billion a year and cancer
long term health, which in turn may help to reduce
of tiredness or fatigue. Therefore, foods with a low
treatment £1.3 billion. There are also financial
the financial burden caused by missed work hours
glycaemic index (e.g. wholegrain cereals) can help
implications for companies providing free or
due to diet-related ill health and also increase
to sustain energy levels and keep people feeling
subsidised health insurance for employees.
Health implications of a long term unhealthy diet
Clearly food has an impact on psychological
The impact of diet on health is powerful and a
functioning and the specific ways in which
responsible company can play an important role in
consumption of meals alters performance of mental
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Central to the OCS Foodhouse offer are our guiding
We want as many people as possible to use and
principles or values, which have been created
enjoy our facilities and to this end we need to
specifically for our clients in multi cultural
● International and regional variations.
The basis of Foodhouse is to always to offer a multi-
● Religious beliefs and festivals.
cultural based menu, tailored specifically to the
● Dietary requirements of customers.
individual needs of the onsite consumers at eachcontract. The menus need to change dependantupon the location of the building or depot and thedemographics of the employees there.
Our guiding ‘Values’ are the cornerstone of thefood service offering! It is these values that drive themenu planning and sourcing, thus we are alwaysable to provide a catering solution which meets thediverse needs.
The catering provision for Multi cultural populationsneed to understand and comply with the variousreligious restrictions that apply to food andconsumption.
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The importance of understanding both Dietary
Caribbean it is often marinated with ginger, lime
and Religious cultures
and chillies before grilling. Probably because of the
Vegetarian – In general Vegetarians will not eat
preponderance of sugar cane in the islands deserts
meat, but may eat fish. They will usually eat
are an important part of a Caribbean meal and will
vegetarian cheese, eggs, butter and milk products.
Eastern European – In general the Eastern
Vegans – Will not eat any animal produce or protein
Europeans eat hearty soups and stews, pickled
including fish, butter, cheese & milk.
vegetables stuffed meats and sticky pastries.
Hindu’s will not eat beef or veal.
A classic popular example currently is the Polish
Jewish – In general there are three main groups:
Pierogi, which is dough, filled with cheese potatoes
Diabetics – Will have to eat at regular intervals, but
a) Those who will eat almost anything except pork
onions, cabbage and meat. These are grilled and
will eat most food items. We stock a range of diet
and sugar free soft drinks that are suitable for
b) Those who would normally eat only plain fruit,
Asian – Typically this is broad ranging from Oriental
vegetables & grilled or poached fish.
styles including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai,
Gluten Free – People with a wheat intolerance or
c) Those who follow the traditional kosher life style.
Indonesian and many Indian dishes. Most of these
Celiac, are not allowed to eat any cereal or grain
Islam – In general, Muslims will not eat pork or
include rice, and noodles as a base and involve a
products. We can with notice provide Gluten Free
consume alcohol, they will also not eat between
verity of infused flavours and ingredients.
bread, pasta and other specialist products.
sunrise and sunset during the festival of Ramadan.
African – In general African food consists of stews
Lactose Free – Intolerance to milk and milk related
however many varieties of dumplings are made
Halal - The word 'Halal' literally means permissible -
Allergies – A growing number of people suffer from
accompaniments we will often serve as hand held
and in translation it is usually used as lawful. It is well
allergies to certain food items, e.g. nuts, fungi and
known in the meat trade that Muslims consume
Halal meat. However, at times questions are asked,
Caribbean – Common foods like seafood, chicken,
what is Halal? In Arabic it simply means permissible
spiced with as jerk and coconut callaloo, plantain
or allowed. We only use accredited supplier who
and sweet potatoes, okra, rice and peas. Chicken is
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