1) Sprinkle your superfoods: Nuts and seeds are king in the superfoods category this year. The health benefits of almonds, walnuts, cashews and peanuts are well in to those trying to lose weight, lower their cardiovascular risk and control blood sugar levels. Just make sure to keep that portion size controlled to a small handful, or about ¼ of a cup.
Want to know who the queen is this year? Kale, as the queen of the greens, continues to impress for its high levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin K and folate. Make 2015 the year you live on the edge and make homemade kale chips.. they are super easy and very yummy!
2) Go green..with tea. The benefits of green tea have been touted for years.. This ancient beverage has been studied for its role in the possible reduction of cancer, as well as one component, EGCG, epogallocatechin gallate, for its ability to burn fat, and melt away calories.
Not a fan of green tea yet? Try making it with a touch of honey or using another flavored tea bag along with it.. (one of my favorites is orange passion)
3) Try not to “beef” it up: Beef is still losing popularity from the health conscious because of its high levels of saturated fat, trans fats, and cholesterol. Better choices this year for protein? How about giving quinoa, legumes or soy a try? Your heart, and possibly, your waistline will thank you J
4) Gluten free goes viral: According to the experts, 66% of people believe that gluten free will only get bigger as the year goes on. With the prevalence of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity continuing to rise, this should be the year of gluten free products. Want to know a few naturally gluten free products? Fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein and low fat milk…. Sounds like the beginnings of a very healthy diet J
Other trends in this area include the popularity of the Paleo diet, sometimes associated with the Cross Fit Workout, as well as “clean eating” with less processed foods and added sugars.
5) Old is new: Low carb diets are going down in popularity, while others are embracing what are known as the “ancient” grains, such as amaranth, quinoa, spelt and freekah. These grains are packed with B Vitamins, dietary fiber, and folate. They are very helpful for controlling energy levels, and managing blood sugar levels for those with diabetes. Never tried them? There are some amazing recipes on the website for the whole grains council. You will never look at grains the same again.
6) Low fat fizzles…. The low carb, gluten free game is increasing, while low fat is going down.. The low fat diet has shown to be ineffective for most people, because they tend to replace low fat foods with high sugar foods, which is a swap that expands the waist, instead of decreasing it.
7) Good fat vs. bad fat: Now that fat is no longer evil: (see #6) consumers are coming back to fats, although dietitians would like them to choose the healthier options, such as extra virgin olive oil, fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and tuna. Other good choices? Walnuts, almonds and trans fat free peanut butter.
8) Mirror, mirror on the wall…. How do consumes gauge their health and weight? By comparing themselves to friends and family… this might not be the best indicator though… Over 65% of people are overweight or obese… Want to know for sure where you stand this year? Find out your Body Mass Index and make an appointment with a registered dietitianJ
9) No complacency here… Folks seem to be “less OK” with being overweight than in the past, and to that I say.. BRAVO! Carpe diem I say to those people! We truly have a health crisis on our hands, and the time to act is now! How to do it? Move, move, move your body, and eat foods that are grown in the earth, are naturally bright and boldly colored, and need time to be prepared.
10) Blogs that dish on nutrition: Consumers get lots of advice from blogs and websites. some good, some NOT so good. Nutrition is definitely an area where there is LOTS of confusion about what is healthy, and some practices that are less than healthy. When in doubt, contact your friendly, neighborhood food and nutrition expert, the Registered Dietitian or find one on www.eatright.org. And by the way, Yours Truly has a blog where you can find great info tooJ
11) Label lingo: Consumers are looking for more eco-friendly labels, and foods that are GMO free matter have taken center stage
12) GMO-free gets even more popular: Genetically modified organisms are super- hot right now, and folks are looking for more info on GMO free foods, clean eating/ingredients, and gluten-free items.
13) What’s the best choices? Everyone wants to know what they should eat to improve overall health? Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy--- Whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a balanced diet.
14) My plate and its place at the table: The USDA guide on healthy eating is holding strong, and for good reason… It makes healthy eating SIMPLE. The general idea: make ½ of your plate fruits and vegetables, ¼ whole grains, and ½ lean protein, + 1 cup of low fat milk. So simple!
15) Shoppers want the “holy grail”: Consumers want their proverbial cake and want to eat it too when it comes to healthy eating.. They want convenience, taste and a good price. Taste is not something that consumers will sacrifice when they are focusing on health, and there is no need to do that. I tell all my clients that the foods I suggest are fabulous! (I just don’t tell them that they happen to be healthy, too)
Here’s to a happy, and HEALTHY 2015!!