Adults Not Meeting Daily Value of Fruits and Vegetables

Eating more fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of heart disease, strokes, some cancers, and also adds vital nutrients to our diets. When consumed in place of more energy-dense foods, vegetables and fruits can help in managing body weight. It is recommended that adults who engage in less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity should consume 2 – 3 cups of vegetables and 1.5 – 2.0 cups of fruits daily.

There are two methods of determining the daily vegetable and fruit intake recommendations for adults who engage in less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily. The first is the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) while the other is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and is expressed in cup equivalents. However, a recent study conducted during 2007 – 2010 found that half of the total U.S. population consumed less than 1.5 cups of vegetables and less than one cup of fruit daily; 87 percent did not meet the daily value recommendations, and 76 percent did not meet fruit intake recommendations. National estimates indicate low fruit and vegetable consumption with substantial variation by state.

CDC’s Model Says Fruits and Vegetables Intake is Abysmal

fruits and vegetablesVegetable and fruit consumption information are available from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which is the sole source of dietary surveillance information for most states. However, the federal vegetable and fruit intake recommendations, expressed in cup equivalents are not directly comparable to the frequency of input captured by BRFSS.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) did an analysis of the median daily frequency of vegetable and fruit intake based on BRFSS’s 2013 data for the District of Columbia and the 50 states. They applied newly developed prediction equations to BRFSS to calculate the percentage of the population of each state that meets vegetable and fruit intake recommendations.  The result was a bit disturbing. Overall, only 13.1 percent of the participants met the recommended fruit intake, ranging from 17.7 percent in California to 7.5 percent in Tennessee, and 8.9 percent met the recommended vegetable intake, ranging from 13.0 percent in California to 5.5 percent in Mississippi.  What this means is that a lot of effort is needed to build consumer demand for vegetables and fruits through placement, competitive pricing, and promotion in schools, child care, grocery stores, worksites, and communities.

Since vegetable and fruit consumption is currently low across all states and affects multiple health outcomes, continued efforts are needed to increase demand and consumption. Improving intake during childhood might be the key to improving fruits and vegetables consumption for adults.

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NutriFusion® to the Rescue

All the research points to the health and nutrition benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. The problem is we are not doing a good job as a society in encouraging that behavior and making fruit and vegetable nutrition readily available. This study by the CDC speaks to why we do what we do. Our special blends give consumer packaged food companies, beverage companies, and supplement companies the ability to incorporate natural nutrition from fruits and vegetables into their products. NutriFusion® is processing stable meaning that it can withstand the heating and cooling of modern day food processing. The NutriFusion® innovation is leading a revolution in the food industry to use simpler ingredients and make some of our favorite foods much better for us. If you are interested in learning more about NutriFusion® for your processed foods, beverages, or supplements, please click below.


Consumers Want Healthy Snacks

Consumers are getting smarter and more health conscious these days especially when it comes to snacks. According to a report from The NPD Group, consumers are eyeing snacks that have perceived health benefits whether it’s salty, sweet, high or low-calorie snacks.  The most common requests are protein, natural and no sugar snacks.

Younger Generations Lead Growth in Healthy Snacks

The youngest generations are leading the pack in hunting for healthy snacks. Generation Z are people ages (0 to 23), millennials (ages 24 to 37) and generation X (ages 38 to 48) are actively looking for healthy alternatives. They are expressing positive attitudes in snacking and eating healthier. However, the later generations are looking for food that is low in sodium and sugar content to be able to deal with medical conditions.

The Three Major Snack Categories:

  • Better-for-you snacks – these are snacks that are known to provide nutrients and are generally healthier choices. These include fresh fruit, sports bars and yoghurt. Demand has increased by 14 percent since 2006.
  • Savory snacks – these snacks are usually salty snacks and dips which have increased in demand by 4 percent since 2006.
  • Sweet snacks – there is a significant decrease in the demand for sweet snacks but studies show that levels will stabilize over the next few years.

Among the three categories, better-for-you snacks are expected to increase the fastest according to NPD’s The Future of Eating: Who’s Eating What in 2018.

Snacks Sell: Healthy Snacks are Destined for Growth

“Snacking today is a prevalent behavior and there is an opportunity in every snack category for manufacturers to call out the specific health benefits –from desirable ingredients to clean labelling.There is also a generation slant to take into account for each category when positioning and marketing snack foods.” – Darren Seifer, a food and beverage industry analyst

Other features of healthy snacks that consumers are looking for are easy to consume and natural snacks. This means that this kind of food should not contain chemicals or synthetic ingredients that can cause harm to health. Artificial coloring, artificial flavors, and preservatives alter the taste and appearance of snack foods and are perceived to have negative effects on consumers’ health.

Would you give up eating your favorite salty snack for a healthy alternative?

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Simple Ingredients = Clean Labels

fruits and veggiesSimple ingredients are the key to answering the call for healthy snack alternatives in the market. It’s important to find trusted suppliers of simple and natural ingredients. Look no further than NutriFusion® for natural nutrient fortification of your products. Instead of using typical synthetic nutrient materials, you can use our whole food based products. NutriFusion® is made from organic, non-GMO produce in a variety of blends. We can work with you to develop a custom fruit and vegetable blend to meet your needs. If you are interested in learning more about NutriFusion® for consumer packaged foods, click the button below to learn more.

Healthy School Lunches Are Under Attack

The facts are out there, a significant proportion of children in the United States are battling obesity and a lot of it has to do with our school lunches. 27% of 17-24-year-olds in this country are unfit to join the military, and they are at significant risk of developing lifestyle diseases later in their lives. Parents demanded change in their children’s lunch menu and in 2010 the child nutrition bill was passed. Parents will not celebrate for long as there are proposals to reauthorize the program this year, which will see $ 11 billion to finance the school lunch nutrition program. Congress plans to reauthorize spending, but the programs that have been put in place earlier are at risk. Several players would like this to succeed, one party is the School Nutrition Association, a body that comprises of the school food directors and workers and receives most of their funding from the food industry.

Industry Players Disrupting the Nutrition Bill

Industry players like the potato lobby and frozen pizza makers have already lobbied against new proposals as the new bill’s requests would eat into their profits. Other suppliers are in this for the same reason; their profits have dropped due to children eating healthy. Many of the new proposals for the bill are attacking essential aspects to a healthy diet like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.  Another example of a sneaky plan is for “Smart Snack Program,” this program would include salty, high calories snacks to kids instead of more healthy alternatives. It’s imperative that we stand strong and keep working to build healthier school lunches for our children. 

There are a few people who believe that healthier meals have led to increased food waste. Healthy foods have never been a kid’s favorite. As kids, we always preferred sweet and salty food, which is why making a change to healthier food is hurting a lot of food manufacturers. The key to ensuring that food waste is minimized without having to give the children junk is creating healthy meals that are more appetizing. This idea has worked perfectly well in some schools, and it can work in others too.

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NutriFusion® for School Lunches

Food manufacturers that provide processed foods to schools need to develop healthier and more appetizing products. That’s a tough combination to strike, but it is the key to sustainable competitive advantage in the school lunch market. Health and nutrition are driving forces in the food industry, and we have to find ways to better our food system for the generations to come. We recommend you take a look at our GrandFusion® products. They are unique blends of organic, non-GMO fruits and vegetables that deliver the 50% of the daily value of natural vitamins and minerals. Our mixes go through a patented, stabilization process so that the micronutrients and phytonutrients can withstand the heating and cooling of modern day processing. If you are interested in learning more about our products, please review the website or contact us below.


Sugary Drinks May Damage Heart Health

The latest Harvard research review is confirming what everyone feared, there are negative effects associated with sweetened drinks on our heart health. It has been known that they have negative effects, but most of us did not associate them with heart conditions. The review by Vasanti Malik, a nutrition research scientist from Harvard, points out that taking one or two servings of sweetened drinks increases your risk of a heart attack. This is not the only effect, this sugar also puts the consumer at risk of a stroke and type 2-diabetes. According to the review, reducing the intake may not solve the problem but it is one step towards reducing the risk.

Heart Health And Sugar Don’t Mix

heart healthThe review puts a new focus on heart health risks; previously the main attention was on fat and cholesterol reduction. The impact of sugar was not very profound; with this report, people need to start paying serious attention to what beverages they consume on a daily basis. The understanding that sweetened drinks have similar effects as cholesterol and fats is an eye opener. Perhaps this will make people reduce their intake or get rid of sweetened drinks altogether. One of the most widely consumed sweetened drinks is soda; it is known to contain 35 grams of sugar, an equivalent of nine teaspoons.

Glucose and fructose are the culprits; they both cause heart diseases among other conditions. Glucose causes your level of insulin to rise, an effect that leads to the development of type 2-diabetes. Fructose apart from causing heart disease also triggers the liver to release bad cholesterol. When fructose is consumed in large quantities it can cause fatty liver disease and production of excess uric acid in the blood system, this is the main cause of heart disease, gout, and inflammatory arthritis. For those who may be worried about belly fat, consumption of fructose has been associated with its accumulation. Accumulation of belly fat is a directly associated with dysfunctional heart health.

Beverage Manufacturers Challenge The Claims

Malik’s review, as expected has been challenged by the beverage makers; they claim that the report unfairly targets their industry. They argue that the same zeal that the researchers condemn sweetened sugars should be applied to product sugars since the body process both of them in a similar way.

The researchers are sticking to their ground and they insist that the processed sugar is absorbed rapidly in the body increasing the chances of harming the body organs. The United States Department of Agriculture proposes that manufacturers will be required to identify the amount of sugar in the product in relation to that which occurs naturally. Consumers have been urged to avoid added sugars until such measures have been put in place.

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Replace Sugar With a Natural Sweetener, NutriFusion®

NutriFusion® could be the answer to your sweetener problems. Our products are created from natural, non-GMO fruits and vegetables. Instead of adding sugar, add important micronutrients and phytonutrients to your beverages with NutriFusion®.

Why NutriFusion®?

We patented a method to stabilize the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in fruits and vegetables through all the stages of modern day processing. Our products have a typical two-year shelf life. If you are interested in learning more about NutriFusion® for beverages, click the button below.

Pregnant Women Not Eating Daily Value of Fruits and Veggies

According to a report by American Baby called “What Pregnant Women Really Eat,” around 80 percent of pregnant women take chances in eating hazardous foods while more than 60 percent are not able to meet daily nutritional requirements for fruits and vegetables.

70 percent of respondents say that they ate healthier when they became pregnant while a large number are not following the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. There are a lot of reasons for these nutritional deficiencies. For one, women suffer from a variety of medical conditions during pregnancy leading to food aversions during this period.

Mindy Walker, Executive Editor of American Baby, said that factors such as time constraints, food aversions and convenience in shopping for healthy foods are top reasons why pregnant women are missing out on eating healthy. She also cited some good news, though.

Even with these changes in nutrition, around 90 percent of pregnant women say no to drinking alcohol, 80 percent begin their day by eating breakfast and about 85 percent follow caffeine restriction guidelines. All of these are vital in a healthy pregnancy.


Food Cravings in Pregnant Women

A high percentage of respondents revealed that they suffer from food cravings. More than 80 percent prefer to eat foods such as ice cream, chocolates, pretzels, cookies, chips and candy. Although these are very common, a lot of women also admit to eating foods that could place them at risk such as uncooked food, unpasteurized cheeses and premade deli salads. These foods could be dangerous since these may contain listeria that could lead to terrible complications during pregnancy.

The survey also reported that around 60 percent of the respondents are aware of weight gain during pregnancy and over a third said that they have suffered from obesity or being overweight. From the number of women that became obese during their pregnancies, they revealed that their physicians did not explain the possibilities of gestational diabetes, hypertension and caesarian delivery. Both the mother and her child are at risk for a lot of life-threatening medical conditions. We should devise a strategy to enhance the nutritional education of pregnant women.

NutriFusion® Can Boost Nutrition for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy is a long nine months for women, and it’s difficult to stick to a healthy diet. As mentioned in the study, many women face the urge of food cravings for processed snack foods like cookies, ice cream, chips, pretzels, and candy. We think it’s unreasonable to expect women to resist those urges all of the time. Our products can help processed food companies make “better for you” snacks with the vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. We urge pregnant women and other consumers to push your favorite brands to switch to NutriFusion® and start boosting your nutrition today!

Only 4% of Americans are Eating Enough Vegetables

Americans are still not having enough vegetables despite the widely publicized benefits of eating them. According to a recent report released by the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, only 4 percent of Americans meet their daily required consumption of veggies. The National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance’s 2015 Report Card has given the marketing of vegetables an F grade while the consumption of vegetables among kids has received a D grade. Meaning most Americans are no healthier than an average school kid.


People who eat fruits and vegetables as part of their daily diet have a reduced risk of many chronic diseases. Health experts encourage people to make half their plate fruits and vegetables.  But even with the growing popularity of vegetable-inspired meals and veggie-forward restaurants, people still don’t consume enough vegetables at home. The Alliance’s 2015 Report Card says that the problem is moving from bad to worse. During the past five years, the average consumption of veggies declined by 6 percent.

Fruits and Vegetables are Important for Health

Veggies are a vital part of healthy eating and provide a source of many nutrients, including folate (folic acid), fiber, potassium, and vitamins A, E and C. Garlic, tomatoes, spinach, and broccoli are superfoods because they provide additional benefits. Potassium helps to maintain healthy blood pressure while fiber in vegetables contributes to lower risk of heart disease and reduces blood cholesterol levels. Folate (folic acid) on the other hand helps the body form healthy red blood cells.

kid's healthBut why are Americans not eating enough veggies? The Alliance’s report offers some reasons as to why. First, it says that dinner looks different these days with the growing popularity of one-dish meals and convenience items such as sandwiches and pizzas. These have pushed the vegetable side off the plate. Secondly, when it comes to preparing meals at home, parents are not as strict on making sure their kids have enough fruits and veggies. “Parents don’t want to make tailored meals for everyone at home and be line cooks” explains Elizabeth Pivonka, the CEO and president of the Produce for Better Health Foundation, and a registered dietitian. About 35 percent of parents view getting their kids to eat veggies as a battle, just behind getting them to stop bickering and to clean their room.

The National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance has developed a plan that will increase accessibility of vegetables in schools, communities, on menus and worksites. The organization will promote efforts that will give people the motivation and nutrition education to eat more veggies.

NutriFusion® Can Increase Daily Vegetable Consumption

We have consistently seen this problem in nutrition and healthy eating over the past 5 years. We developed our stabilized whole fruit and vegetable powders to help packaged food companies deliver better nutrition. Our formulas can give foods as much as 50% of the daily value of complex vitamins from vegetables. Our goal is to help children and adults eat healthier packaged foods made from natural ingredients like fruits and vegetables. If you are interested in learning more, please visit the consumer packaged food page.

Belly Fat is More Dangerous For Heart Than Obesity

Do you consider yourself healthy? In the context of body fat most people will answer by their BMI, and if their BMI is normal, their response will be positive too. Recent research has proved that this is not the case. Even if you have a normal BMI, it doesn’t mean you are healthy and especially if you have fat residing in the middle of your body i.e. belly, it may prove more harmful than obesity.

In a 14-year long research study conducted by health scientists, it was found that men who have an average weight and BMI (body mass index) but carry fat around their bellies are twice as likely to die as compared to the obese men. The study proved that women are also affected by this harmful fat, but their numbers are slightly lower than men, i.e. women having belly fat are 32% more likely to die than their obese counterparts.

This is an alarming situation as normal BMI was considered as a standard measure for one’s health, but the recent research has proved otherwise. This leads us to the question, why is belly fat more dangerous than obesity?

Belly Fat, Not Obesity Is The Silent Killer

All fats do not behave alike. For instance, you need a layer of fat called subcutaneous fat to protect your vital organs from the external environment. The other bad kind of fat that we are talking about here is called visceral fat, and it encircles your organs. It does not just sit there; it secretes harmful toxins and chemicals that increase inflammation throughout your body. Due to its proximity to your heart, it severely affects your cardiovascular system.

Visceral fat secretes a chemical called Interleukin 6 which further increases the inflammation. Ultimately, the metabolism of your body is governed by excess body fats that affect adiponectin – a protein that regulates sugar levels and breaks down fatty acids. When the body doesn’t have enough of adiponectin, it tells the system to store more fat that leads to more and more accumulation of visceral fat and this vicious cycle continues. The body is overwhelmed with cholesterol that leads to building up of plaque in your arteries causing the arteries to clog. With the passage of time, the arteries narrow down further causing hindrance in blood transport, increasing blood pressure and ultimately leading to a fatal heart attack.

There is Hope…

Fortunately getting rid of visceral fat is very easy. The key is healthy diet complemented with exercise. A sound nutrition plan will help you to stop this toxic fat from increasing, and rigorous exercise will help you burn it. Having said that, this is the only option if you want to stay healthy because surgeries like liposuction are not an option for visceral fat. Health is a lifestyle change so get ready to set up a nutrition plan and workout. Your dedication will keep your belly trimmed and your heart happy.

Inspired by: USA Today

General Mills Faces Lawsuit Over Cheerios Protein

Cheerios manufactured by General Mills is a very familiar brand of breakfast cereals for people residing in the United States. It was launched under the brand name of CheeriOats but then changed its name to Cheerios in 1945. GM developed Cheerios Protein this past year to grab the attention of health-conscious consumers seeking more protein in their breakfast.


General Mills is in another consumer crisis due to their protein claims. They are being sued on the grounds that the exact proportion of proteins as written on the packaging is not the same as is present in the actual cereal. The lawsuit was filed by the consumer advocacy group, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), claiming that Cheerios Protein has just “irrelevantly” more protein than usual Cheerios, yet considerably more elevated amounts of sugar. If you ask a typical mom, she’ll probably consider giving her child a breakfast with more protein. Consumers must be protected from exaggerated health and nutritional claims.

Cheerios Protein Also Known As Cheerios Sugar

As indicated by CSPI and the cereal’s nutritional labels, Cheerios Protein has seven grams of protein for each serving while standard Cheerios has only three grams. In any case, a serving size of Cheerios protein is 55 grams, while the serving size of plain old Cheerios is 28 grams. Additionally, the protein-packed cereal has 17 grams of sugar, while the classic assortment has only one gram. On the off chance that you read the label, Cheerios Protein incorporates nine unique sweeteners, extending from chestnut sugar to corn syrup to molasses. When you look at the breakdown of sugar in the two brands, the 200 calories of normal Cheerios contains only 2 grams of sugar, while Cheerios Protein has an excess of 14 grams of sugar in the same serving size.

Consumers who buy Cheerios Protein probably think they’re doing themselves a favor, and that this more expensive product is essentially a protein-fortified version of original Cheerios,” CSPI Litigation Director Maia Kats said in an online proclamation. He further added, “In fact, the main thing that distinguishes Cheerios Protein from original Cheerios is the huge amount of sugar and extra calories.” (Star Tribune)


General Mills Responds To Claims

CSPI claims that Cheerios Protein contains more sugar than protein and should be firmly rejected by the F.D.A. as an unauthorized claim. General Mills, however, believes otherwise.They added to their statement by saying:

“We don’t normally respond to these publicity-seeking lawsuits from CSPI, but we do reject their comparisons as unauthorized claim” General Mills also said. “Cheerios Protein is accurately labeled, and provides a good source of protein in every labeled serving.”

In response to the charges General Mills had something interesting to say, they believe their product is playing by the F.D.A. rules as the standard for a “good source of high-quality protein.” It will be interesting to see how this lawsuit plays out over the next year.

For the Full Article From Star Tribune: Click Here

NutriFusion® is Here to Help

We hate to see consumer goods companies continue to make mistakes with nutritional and health claims on their products. Our team developed a way to stabilize the nutrients in fruits and vegetables. We didn’t stop there, we have now found ways to stabilize proteins and omega fatty acids. Our products could help you add back valuable nutrients and proteins to your breakfast foods. When you are looking for supercharged nutrition from organic, non-GMO produce that can withstand all the steps of processing, choose NutriFusion®.

Learn more about our products!