I had the pleasure of attending the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Philadelphia (www.eatright.org), the world’s largest meeting of food and nutrition professionals. If you are a dietitian, nutrition and science researcher, policy maker or health-care provider, it’s highly worth attending. There were over 10,000 registered dietitians who came to learn about key issues affecting the health care of Americans.
There were numerous, informative nutrition lectures and workshops. I attended an exceptional talk by one of the world's leaders in food research, Barbara Rolls. She discussed portion control (see her book). Dr. Rolls is constantly conducting clever studies to determine how subtly changes in portion sizes can help reduce calorie/energy intake. Her message is great—fill up on larger portions of healthy food to feel fuller and more satisfied.
One of my favorite aspects of the conference was the Expo Center which had over 350 exhibitors from corporations, government and nonprofit agencies showcasing new consumer products and nutritional educational materials. There were many new products and free samples!
During the event, there was some controversy concerning the companies that were allowed to sponsor the event (read here). Some products were healthier than others. As a consumer, it was interesting to learn what will be arriving on the supermarket shelves (whether these products are healthy or not).
Here are 10 interesting finds and new trends for this year.
1. Plums: Move over pomegranates. I stumbled upon several new products involving plums: Plum Smart juice by Sunsweet and dried plums by www.californiadriedplums.org (plums seem to be “in” this year!).
2. Monk Fruit: A fruit from China (it’s round and green, about the size of a tennis ball) is the new rage in the sugar substitute world. Nectresse, a new spin on Splenda. Made from Monk fruit and Monk Fruit in the Raw and Sweet'N Low brand.
3. Chocolate: Dark Chocolate--typically a winner with dietitians. Pomegranate bites by Brookside—yum! Hershey's Simple Pleasures, lower fat (approximately 30%)
4. Keurig: Addicted to your Keurig machine? See the “Wellness Collection” and the “Antioxidant Max” cups.
5. Kids: Scooby-Doo Cereal by Kelloggs (so new it’s not even on their website, 1 gram fat, 6 grams sugar) and cool Happy Squeezes for kids by happyfamily organic superfoods,
6. Different Spin: VitaPizza dubbed as “the first delicious, nutrient-rich, low calorie pizza.” And Laughing Cow cream cheese spreads wedges.
7. Comfort Food: No Bake Peanut Butter bites with Smart Balance. Here is the recipe: http://www.smartbalance.com/recipes/no-bake-peanut-butter-bites and Campbell's 100% natural soup.
8. Snack Foods: Beanitos (black bean chips), Quaker, Popped chips, Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips.
9. Easy & Quick: Quaker Real Medley to Go (oatmeal in a cup), and Berry Quick (fruit washed and in convenient, ready-to-go serving packages—how smart—make fruit as easy to throw in a lunch box as crackers).
10. Meal Boost: Thrive an ice cream replacement for you or your client if they don't like other meal/calorie boosts—this may be a different option. No aftertaste, just like ice cream and a “food” replacement instead of a drink.
If you have the opportunity to attend, I highly recommend signing up for the next conference (October 19 - 22, 2013, George R. Brown Convention Center) Houston, TX. You will find lots of great samples and lectures that will give you the scoop on new food options this year.
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But I Deserve This Chocolate: The 50 Most Common Diet-Derailing and How to Outwit Them. She is a psychologist for the Cleveland Clinic and author of five books on mindful eating including 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food and Eating Mindfully 2nd edition (order now!). Her books have been noted in O, the Oprah magazine, Shape, Prevention, Health etc. and seen on The Dr. Oz Show on TV. www.eatingmindfully.com