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Three Nutritional Trends in 2015
A lot of brands out there are quick to announce that they have rid their products of anything "artificial." For instance, they may claim that their products have zero preservatives or zero artificial sweeteners, and they will begin to call them "all natural." A spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says these companies are cutting their ingredients based on what consumers demand. However, the Food and Drug Administration warns this still does not justify the claim, "all natural."
Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. They are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Unfortunately, most people are falling short of the recommended daily minimum of five servings of fruit and vegetables. In fact, most of us need to double the amount we currently eat.Try to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day and with every meal—the brighter the better. Colorful, deeply colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—and different colors provide different benefits, so eat a variety. Aim for a minimum of five portions each day. Try adding berries to breakfast cereals, eating fruit as a healthy dessert, and snacking on vegetables such as carrots, snow peas, or cherry tomatoes instead of processed snack foods.
Those words may be found on a product label or as part of a company's marketing plan, but they're not always beneficial to you. If they replaced artificial sweeteners with stevia in a soda, for example, that still doesn't indicate that the beverage is already healthy. On the other hand, some products have been consistent with their minimal ingredients and high nutritive value, making them deserve an "all natural" claim.
Every now and then, new trends in nutrition come up as we all pursue the road to good health. At the beginning of 2015, a lot have started their ascent to popularity, including this renewed drive to consume more ancient grains, other natural foods and those which are rich in protein.
The very fact that we are having a national conversation about what we should eat, that we are struggling with the question about what the best diet is, is symptomatic of how far we have strayed from the natural conditions that gave rise to our species, from the simple act of eating real, whole, fresh food.
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It looks like all this attention given to ancient grains nowadays is related to the fact that most of them are gluten-free. As gluten-free diets continue to be trendy, this comeback should not be at all surprising. Additionally, many people don't like the idea of eating genetically modified food, and these grains are said to be the most natural of their kind.
A great way to get all the right nutrients is to make a colorful plate - mix of good vegetables, carbohydrates, and protein. If you notice all your vegetables are green, change it up and add another color for a variety of benefits in one meal. Food is fuel and not a solution to anything other than giving your body nutrients. I love chocolate like the next girl, but it's not going to change my situation.
The Comeback of Ancient Grains
Quinoa feels like a thing of the past today as more people are taking interest in bulgar, amaranth, sorghum, teff, millet, kamut, bulgar and buckwheat. All these ancient grains are indeed staging a comeback. Do any of them sound familiar? We've had these grains for hundreds and hundreds of years, some of them dating from 6,000 B.C. Majority of them are high-fiber and possess anti-cancer, heart disease and hypertension properties.
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However, if you're planning to try these ancient grains, note how some companies just add ancient grains to their current products and market them as "healthy." This is why it's very important that you read the nutrition facts label to know what exactly you're getting.
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Protein and Power
Companies that manufacture yogurt, cereal, cottage cheese and crackers are happy to tell the world how much protein their products offer. Of course, we need protein for various reasons. For example, it builds and repairs muscle, helps satiate our appetite and is, in fact, important in weight maintenance. It's a matter of snacking, and companies are adding protein to just about every food product they make. If you get hungry half an hour after a snack, you probably didn't have enough protein in it.