Top 10 Foods of the Decade Twisted Healthy

shutterstock_189731729The NPD Group is a major market research firm on consumer shopping trends. They surveyed American’s about their eating habits from 2004-2014 and the percentages below represent the greatest change in consumption rates over the two-week period measured. They found that while we are eating more foods in the home and dining out less, we are not necessarily cooking more. In fact, eight out of the ten items don’t even require utensils to eat suggesting a trend towards greater convenience, portability and less time in the kitchen. Some of these trends can be disastrous for your waistline so my job as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist is to help you enjoy them, but with a healthy twist.

  1. Pancakes – 5.3%.
  • The portion size for pancakes is the size of a CD and syrup is 2 Tablespoons. So the classic restaurant serving of a stack of pancakes easily adds up to more than half a dozen servings. Do avoid the bacon and sausage side.
  • Blend in banana, applesauce, pumpkin, ground oats or flax-seed to your batter.
  • Top your pancakes with fresh berries and Greek yogurt to sweeten them naturally.
  1. Chips – 6.1%
  • The portion size for chips is 1 ounce. This can vary from a small to large handful depending on how much air has been infused into the potato.
  • Choose pop or baked chips that have less than 150 calories and less than 200 milligrams sodium per serving along with a short list of ingredients you know.
  1. Ice Cream Sandwiches – 6.2%
  • I like these because they are portion controlled and you can easily limit the calories to less than 175 per sandwich. The sugar, saturated fat and sodium contents are not typically crazy high unless your choosing the premium, chocolate dipped or candy coated versions.
  1. Bars – 6.7% (granola, cereal, sports and meal replacement bars)
  • The portion size is one bar, and again I like that these are portion controlled.
  • Unless it’s a meal replacement, look for bars that contain less than 200 calories, less than 9 grams of sugar, a minimum of 7 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber to help keep you fuller longer.
  • Again look for a short list of ingredients that you know. Many of these can be a candy bar in disguise.
  1. Fresh fruit – 7%
  • Let’s keep this trend growing! The portion size is 1 medium piece or 1 cup diced.
  1. Mexican food – 8.3%
  • A growing Hispanic population and our love of ethnic foods fuels this trend.
  • Go light on the chips and salsa and hold the refried beans and rice. You’ve already 2-4 servings of grains in the taco shell, burrito or quesadilla itself.
  • The portion sizes can be extreme large, fried, salty and cheesy. Sharing is always a good option!
  • Try and make ½ your plate fruit and vegetables by asking for extra shredded lettuce, tomatoes and onions.
  1. Poultry sandwiches – 8.3%
  • Consumption of turkey and chicken sandwiches is on the rise and this a great swap based on the recommendations from the World Health Organization and American Cancer Association to limit your consumption of red meats
  • These are typically lower in saturated fat, provided they’re not fried.
  • Be careful of restaurant versions where BBQ and hot sauces can overload you with sodium.
  • If your eating out and looking for poultry sandwiches or Hispanic variations served free of antibiotics, check out Panera and Chipotle.
  1. Pizza – 9.6%
  • It’s hard to imagine how this category continues to grow but one trip to any local grocery store proves the point with a dedicated aisle.
  • Choose the thin crust and avoid the meat lovers, balancing it out with a side salad in lieu of the bread stick.
  1. Bottled water – 10.7%
  • I’m a huge advocate of making water your beverage of choice, but from the tap.
  • Some research suggests that drinking 2 cups of water before meals can enhance your rate of weight loss when following a low-calorie diet by helping you feel fuller. Either way, every living cell within your body contains water. Fill them up.
  • It’s one of the healthiest things you can drink.
  1. Yogurt – 12.5%
  • Traditional yogurt had five to ten grams of protein, whereas Greek yogurt has 13-20 grams of protein per serving. Both contain 10-20 percent of your daily value for calcium.
  • Choose those with lower sugar contents.
  • Top with fresh fruit, nuts, and chia and flax seeds but do limit the granola crunch as the calories add up fast.

There you have it, the top ten foods of the decade. How many of them make it into your grocery cart each week and will you twist them healthy?

Categories: Nutrition & Wellness

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