Message from the RDs: March is National Nutrition Month! by Amy Silver

I’m not sure who designated March as the month to celebrate nutrition, but I always find it to be perfect timing. New Year’s resolutions are getting harder to keep up with, but hopefully some of your lifestyle changes have become habits by now. What better time to celebrate food and its ability to give us energy, excite our taste buds, and even show someone we love them? Food has so many roles in our lives, and here are some new trends to look out for in 2017:

Plant-based meals and snacks – I always tell my clients to consume protein and fiber every time they eat, because these two components keep your blood sugar stable and your hunger at bay. Wouldn’t the perfect food, then, contain both of these components? Enter plant-based proteins. Think beans, lentils, peas, nuts, and seeds. These foods contain both protein and fiber, along with various other nutrients, making them a nutrition powerhouse. Food companies are catching on, and you’ll begin seeing more items like roasted chickpeas, bean chips, and more varieties of nut butters.

A focus on gut health – Happy gut, happy life, at least that’s what the research is showing. More and more research is showing that gut health is linked to our immune system, our weight, and even our mental health. In 2017, you’ll begin seeing more foods that contain probiotics on the shelves, similar to kombucha and yogurt. Also, dietitians are working with specific elimination diets, like the low FODMAP diet (check out the recent blog post here!) to help people take control of their gut health. Along with probiotics and individual care for your dietary needs, don’t forget about the fiber needed to keep your gut healthy! Stock your fridge with fruits and vegetables to feed those healthy bacteria.

Lower sugar options – The sugar secret is out. There is added sugar in almost 70% of packaged items in stores today. Now that consumers are aware, food companies are going to try to pull you in by labeling their foods “low sugar.” Don’t fall for their games again, do some digging yourself and look at the ingredients label of any packaged product. Does it have 5 or less ingredients, and ones you can pronounce? Are they replacing added sugar with artificial sweeteners (not a good thing!)? Is it real food? Some brands will pass the test, and some won’t, but at least you’re in control.

Need more help picking out the latest trends at the grocery store? Sign up for an individual grocery store tour with your club’s dietitian today – just stop by the office!