South African dietary total antioxidant capacity based on secondary intake data in relation to dietary recommendations
Objective: In this exploratory study, the average adult South African dietary total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was estimated using secondary
data and was evaluated against that determined for dietary intake recommendations. Design: The average adult South African dietary TAC was estimated using a report published by the Department of Health that summarises food consumption studies conducted in South Africa between 1983 and 2000. This estimated adult South African dietary TAC was evaluated against that determined for dietary intake recommendations incorporating the five-a-day concept and the basic food groups and beverages (tea and coffee). Results: The average adult South African dietary TAC was estimated as 11 433 micromoles (μmoles) Trolox equivalents (TE)/person/day, with beverages (tea) being the main contributor (38.5%). The dietary TAC based on the recommended five-a-day concept and other dietary intake recommendations was 20 513 μmoles TE/person/day, with beverages again being the main contributor (47.8%). Conclusions: Compared to the TAC of the five-a-day concept and other dietary intake recommendations, the South African population consumes about half of this estimated TAC per day. It is especially in the vegetable group and beverages where actual consumption is well below the coupled TAC. Grains are the only food group where consumption is above the coupled TAC. The five-a-day concept is only the aim for minimum intake and not the ultimate goal. An increase in these foods, along with beverages (tea) and whole grains to the recommended servings, can uphold the dietary TAC and health benefits.
Keywords: dietary TAC; ORAC; 5-A-day; food groups; plant foods; beverages