Dietary Trends and Practices Chapter 5_4.docx - Dietary...

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Dietary Trends and PracticesOur society tends to be obsessed with health and diet trends. In recent years, for example,relatively unusual foods such as chia seeds, kale, and pomegranates have caught on withconsumers.Various food trends are worth noting, but before deciding to follow a particular way of eating itis a good idea to consult a doctor who specializes in nutrition or a registered dietitian.Natural foods.Today’s consumers are reading the small print on food labels. Foods with feweringredients tend to be healthier.Clean eating.Many people try to avoid artificial ingredients and packaged or processed foods infavour of natural foods.Less red meat.More and more studies indicate that red meat can lead to diseases because of itssaturated fat and cholesterol content. A Harvard School of Public Health study, for example,suggests that even moderate regular consumption of red meat poses serious health risks. TheMediterranean diet advises eating meat only once a month. The high environmental cost ofproduction is another reason why people may avoid or reduce consumption of red meat.Gluten- and wheat-free foods.Some people avoid gluten because of health issues such as celiacdisease. Others cut out gluten or wheat because they believe that avoiding these foods will helpimprove their health.Ancient grains.Quinoa, spelt, freekeh, millet, faro, buckwheat, and amaranth, the so-calledancient grains, have been top trends for the past several years.Superfoods.There is no legal or medical definition for "superfoods," but some food websitesdescribe these foods as "nutrient powerhouses" that pack large doses of antioxidants, vitamins,and minerals. Some people believe that eating these foods may reduce the risk of chronic diseaseand prolong life. Examples of superfoods commonly identified are tomatoes, blueberries, apples,kale, black beans, broccoli, spinach, salmon, and oats.Low fat is now seen as a negative.People who wish to lose weight still favour carbohydraterestrictions, but low-fat foods are no longer seen as healthy. These foods can still have a high-sugar and high-caloric content.Everyone’s an expert.Consumers are getting much of their nutrition information from nutritionblogs, but a lot of this advice comes from non-professionals and could lead to nutritionaldeficiencies.To make good choices, consult your doctor or the Dietitians of Canada. If you live in Ontario,Manitoba, or British Columbia, you can call a dietitian at no charge. For details, visit theDietitians of Canada website.
Vegetarianism and NutritionPeople choose to be vegetarian for various reasons. Some feel a strong ethical commitment toanimal rights. Others want the health benefits ofvegetarianism. For others it is a part of theirreligious beliefs.

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