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This blog is dedicated to 2016’s up and coming nutrition trends.

The food industry in 2016 will have a focus on food sustainability, as well as reducing waste at home. There will also be a call to significantly decrease “engineered” foods and to increase to natural food products. Below are a few selected thoughts from NOW 2016.

  1. Fat is in! After the rise of fat-reduced products in the 80s, you would have expected declines in chronic diseases, but instead, they have continued to rise.  Nutrition researchers understand association does not mean causation; are fat and different sources of fat truly harmful to your health?
  2. Bob Marley was well known for his lyrics, “We belly full, but we hungry”. One-half of all food in the United States never makes it from the farm to the fork. If we could minimize this one-half of waste and the 60% waste that occurs in the home, we could significantly reduce the 870 million hungry reported each year.
  3. Pumping up the protein. There isn’t an age group, chronic disease or preventative medicine guideline that doesn’t value the amount or the quality of protein. Be sure to give protein a leading role when planning your plate so you ensure you are meeting your daily protein needs.
  4. 2016 will be soupper! Juicing is taking a backseat to souping this year. Souping typically uses the whole vegetable (or fruit) which means more nutrients and fiber.
  5. Low on sugar, but not on sweetness. Sugar found in packaged foods has increased along with our chronic health conditions. This has made it a target for health experts, who are urging that sugar be reduced from foods. Beware, however, that the use of natural sweeteners doesn’t necessarily “healthify” the foods.
  6. Be on the pulse. Lentils are part of a group called pulses. Pulses are plant-based proteins such as beans, and chickpeas.

 

Here is a recipe that combines 2 of the hottest “nutrition” trends in 2016.

Lentil Soup (Alton Brown courtesy of foodnetwork.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground grains of paradise

 

Directions

Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains of paradise and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Serve immediately.