- Low SUGAR, not Low Fat (in collaboration with Tiffani Ghere)
Have you watched the documentary “Fed Up?” It’s definitely worth watching! In the wave of Low Fat foods, America not only got heavier, but has become SUGAR-obsessed! While the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends we consume no more than 25 grams/sugar per day, our most recent data shows we consume over 150 pounds of sugar PER PERSON, per year (average of 187 grams/day, more than 7.5 times the recommended amount!)
Whole foods with natural sugars (ie. fruit) protect us with fiber. However, the food industry created High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) because it was cheap and extra corn could be used to produce it. The food industry is also well aware of the fact that sugar is addictive, and just as with salty foods, an acquired taste so the more sugar you eat the more sugar you want! Be careful and be smart!
BOTTOM LINE: the new wave of “health” is LOW sugar; beware of artificial sweeteners, as they will not satisfy the body’s biochemistry that regulates hunger and satiety, so overeating of these foods is a likely possibility.
- Sports Nutrition
Well, the fact that I have a business, solely devoted to sports nutrition for young athletes says it all…and of course, if you have a month dedicated to your national cause you know you’re legit…and guess what? October is NATIONAL SPORTS NUTRITION MONTH!
From very young athletes to professional teams, everyone is paying more attention to what athletes eat and drink before, during and after practices and games. I was recently hired by a local High School baseball team as their “Nutrition Coach,” and I intend to meet with them on a regular basis for the entire season, have them fill out food diaries, and discuss many aspects of sports nutrition and nutrition in general. My goal is to teach these young athletes that there are no shortcuts; that it’s as important to fuel their bodies well as it is to train hard, and that a pill or shake or bar or powder will NEVER be able to replace REAL FOOD.
As a “Food Trend,” marketing of protein shakes, bars, sports drinks and supplements directed towards athletes has turned into a billion dollar industry. What I think is exciting is that there are companies out there trying to make clean, better quality products geared towards athletes…there’s Greater Than, PowerIce, BonkBreaker…
BOTTOM LINE: simple whole foods make the BEST fuel for athletes!
- Functional Foods
Functional foods are CONVENTIONAL OR MODIFIED FOODS THAT INCLUDE ADDITIONAL HEALTH BENEFITS BEYOND BASIC NUTRITION. The term “Functional foods” was described first in Japan during the 1980s, and started with fiber-enriched foods.
Examples: vitamin and mineral-fortified cereals, Vitamin A & D fortified milk, calcium fortified juice, yogurt with probiotics, omega-3 eggs, and protein-fortified EVERYTHING! (Americans are truly obsessed with protein!) Protein bars, shakes, cereals, even water!
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has some great advice on the subject: “Pay more attention to the BACK of the box than the FRONT.” Health claims are used as marketing tools…but the nutrition facts and ingredient lists don’t lie.
Some examples of EXCELLENT, natural, functional foods:
- Salmon, sardines- best source of omega-3
- Nuts – cashews and almonds contain a high amount of magnesium…almonds, pecans and walnuts can lower BP and cholesterol
- Whole grains (oats, barley) – high in fiber, controls blood sugar and cholesterol
- Beans – high in fiber and protein, potassium and folate. Be sure to rinse canned beans.
- Berries- antioxidants, low in calories and lower glycemic index fruit (better for those controlling sugar)
BOTTOM LINE: Stick to whole foods with natural functional food qualities and READ LABELS!
So there you have it, the latest and greatest in Food Trends for 2015! Have a wonderful week and if you’re in the Orange County area, don’t forget about my upcoming talk, Fuel for the Young Athlete at RedLine Athletics in San Juan Capistrano. For tickets, go to Evenbrite. Hope to see you and your young athletes there!