Project Manager, Research and Development at Nutrisystem
Last month Nutrisystem participated in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ (formerly American Dietetic Association) annual Food Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE). Over 350 different companies participated in the exhibit hall and I want to give you some information about two new food trends, what they are, and how they might add value to your weight management and health goals.
These are in fact the same seeds that provided the grassy fur on the once popular chia pets. However, once a staple in the Aztec diet, they’re now making a come-back as a nutritional super food, containing more of the plant derived omega 3 fatty acids (ALA) than any other plant, including flax. Additionally, they provide an excellent source of fiber, protein, calcium, antioxidants and phytochemicals. While you may hear dramatic claims about how 1 tablespoon of chia seeds was able to sustain an Aztec warrior for 24 hours, the main benefit to include Chia seeds in your diet is to provide a convenient and flexible way to pack some extra nutrients into your daily intake. Chia seeds have a long shelf life and can basically be added to any food without compromising taste; including salads, yogurts, juices and cereals. Remember that, as with any “super-food” in order to get the most benefit from the nutrition chia seeds provide, it’s best to incorporate them into an overall balanced diet. And if you’re trying to lose weight, keep in mind chia seeds contain about 140 calories in each ounce. So don’t go overboard, just 2 Tbsp. per day is enough to add value to your daily nutrition intake.
Many companies, including Johnson and Johnson’s Nectresse®, are leveraging an Asian pear-like fruit to provide natural sweetness to a line of no-calorie sweeteners. Monk fruit is said to provide 200x the sweetness of sugar while being sugar and calorie buy viagra pill free. Sound too good to be true? Technically, maybe. In the case of Nectresse®, monkfruit is combined with molasses (a source of calories and sugar) and a sugar alcohol called erythritol (a source of calories). However the overall sugar and calorie content are too low, around .85 calories per 2 packets, to be declared according to FDA standards, but do keep in mind, this small amount of calories can add up if you go overboard. An additional benefit, erythritol doesn’t appear to have the same gastrointestinal side effects as some other sugar alcohols. The FDA has given the thumbs up on the safety of monk fruit, and as far as taste, it did the job for my morning coffee. If you’re looking for a natural alternative to no-calorie sweeteners, this could certainly be an option.
Keep in contact with us if you have any questions about these foods, or how any food can fit into the Nutrisystem® plan or your overall goals for health and wellness!