Over 11,000 Registered Dietitians have left Nashville, Tennessee void of salads and yogurt parfaits and a wasted sea of of fried green tomatoes, loaded mac-n-cheese and baked beans laced with brown sugar and bacon. My nutrition rockstar friends and I learned the latest and greatest on nutrition science and had the opportunity to meet with over 300 food and beverage vendors. What might their top 5 expo findings be and why are they healthful?
- Packaged greens and ready to eat salads
- Fresh, juiced and dried fruits.
- Lentil, Beans and Nuts.
- Probiotics and Greek Yogurt.
- Whole and ancient grains on multiple fronts.
All were clean, fresh ingredients that had no to some assembly required and big health payoffs.
Packaged Greens and Ready to Eat Salads
While nothing compares to a fresh chopped head of lettuce, the fact of the matter is that not enough of those we counsel break out the cutting board and kitchen knife. The average adult consumes a mere 1.6 servings and children fare worse at 1.3 servings of vegetables per day. We know consumers; especially Millennia’s want portable foods that don’t require a lot of time in the kitchen. These Dole “Take Away: Salad Anytime, Anywhere” will be on the market in November. Their signature salad is apt to be the Chicken Caesar containing 19 grams of protein packaged in a few 340 calories. I liken it to a healthy “Adult Lunchable!”
Fresh and Dried Fruit
Wild blueberries, fresh cut strawberries, avocado (yes it’s a fruit) were available for munching throughout the expo. Cultivated wild blueberries were promoted as having twice the antioxidant value of their brothers and were pop in your mouth delicious! Cranberries, prunes and raisins were available in single service portions for snacks or bulk for use in cooking or as a salad topping. Consumers need to remember that 1/4 cup is a single serving and an easy way to inch you closer to the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Beans, Lentils and Nuts
These high protein powerhouses help extend your food dollar and are a great source of protein and minerals. Like dried fruit, beans lentils and nuts are great salad toppings, can be mashed into healthy dips or accented with seasonings to compliment a main dish. Moving towards a more plant based diet was a key message for not only for environmental reasons, but also because of their positive effects on GI health, improved blood sugar and blood pressure control and as it may help you achieve a healthier weight.
Probiotic Rich Yogurt
Many of us started our day with a yoga sponsored breakfast by Siggi’s or ponied up to a yogurt toppings bars offered by Chobani Greek yogurt. While Chobani has a few years on Siggi’s, this high protein, lower sugar made from 5 recognizable ingredients is a viable competitor! There were also a lot of gut friendly probiotics available in medicinal forms but your more apt to find these in your health food stores.
Whole and Ancient Grains
Whole grains for the whole day was a takeaway message! With less than 50% of us consuming adequate fiber daily there’s a lot of opportunity for improvement. Whole and ancient grain containing foods are being launched on multiple fronts: pasta, breads and snacks such as these Kind Breakfast Bars.
This dietitian’s food show was all about great flavor, clean ingredients and the obvious, well-chosen foods can indeed enhance your health!
For product reviews on the best or the healthiest, check out future posts!
Categories: Nutrition & Wellness