Pizza Ranks as America’s Top Comfort Food

Most of us turn to food as a source of comfort. Just imagine coming home from a hectic day at work, switching off your phone, cooking or ordering your favorite comfort food, and curling up in front of the TV with no interruptions – sounds fabulous, right?

harris poll top comfort food america pizza

America’s Top Comfort Food

Now, there could be a debate that there are other stress busters out there. To get a definitive answer, The Harris Poll recently conducted a study where 53% of Americans admitted that they eat more under stress while 67% said they opt for their preferred comfort food to think their way through during tough times. What’s surprising is they don’t feel guilty in doing so! So what emerged as the king of comfort food in America?

Hold on…it is…pizza! That’s right; the survey included 2,252 U.S. adults and won by a whopping 15%, which is more than twice as many votes than any other food choice. Chocolate and ice cream scored second place at 7% each, Mac & cheese came in at 5%, and chips finished at 4%. Strangely, pizza was selected by most people when demographics including gender, generation, and geographic region were evaluated. Barring people over 70 who preferred ice cream, pizza is a clear winner!


But Wait…

While pizza might be the ultimate comfort food, it is not the best option for all situations. For instance, Americans would prefer soup instead if they are sick – the figures say that 39% want soup with an extra 22% wishing for chicken noodle soup. This is true across all key demographics. Ice cream, toast, and pizza come to 3%, 2%, and 2% respectively when sick. During celebration time, 22% adults wish for steak and 12% opt for cake. To round out the top five: pizza, lobster, and other types of seafood at 7%, 4%, and 3% respectively.

Is Comfort Food Only For Bad Days?

Although some would argue that stress, bad days, and depression sort of complement each other, the comfort food dynamics might show a different picture. 45% of the Americans in the study choose comfort food when they are stressed, 43% after a tough day at work, and 33% during a depression. However, not everyone needs to be down in the dumps to dig into their favorite comfort food. It can happen on a good day for 38% while 37% may do it on their birthday.

Inspired by theharrispoll.com

Can We Make Comfort Food Better For You?

We all have good days and bad days. Sometimes we need a little comfort food in our lives. But does comfort food have to be so bad for us? At NutriFusion, we believe that comfort food can be made better for us. We are not saying, you should eat it every day if it’s healthier, but it wouldn’t penalize your health so much when you do eat it.

Michael Pollan says food is not healthy it’s nutritious. Somewhere down the line, we lost sight of that in the food industry. We started to strip away the nutrition in our products and fortify them with man-made, synthetic, chemical nutrition. NutriFusion developed a product to change the packaged food and nutrition industry forever. Our patented method stabilizes the nutrients (vitamins and minerals) in fruits and vegetables so that processed food companies can easily add living nutrition to their products. We believe our products are not a substitute for eating fruits and vegetables, but a better for you alternative as the majority of Americans transition to eating healthier. Learn more about NutriFusion for you category below:

Healthy Foods Could Lead to Overeating

Our weight loss goals are often accompanied by a structured, well-balanced diet of healthy foods. We now know that healthier food, not “less” food, is the key to losing weight and maintaining an active life. However, the healthy eaters are now facing a new contradiction in their diet plan.

Dietitians often hear their patients say that they eat healthily, yet they still tend to gain weight. This common problem has its basis in the belief that if something is healthy, you can have more of it. When it comes to junk food, we try to avoid them or eat smaller portions. Healthy foods, on the other hand, are seen for all their benefits. Instead, we side-track the prescribed quantity of consumption, and this is where our diet plan goes wrong.

The Irony: Healthy Foods Leading to Overeating 

A study conducted by the University of Texas-Austin revealed in full the “healthy equals less filling” theory. Junk food is loaded with carbs, oil, and artificial (appealing) flavoring. Eating foods like a hotdog or a burger will instantly leave you feeling full for quite some time. On the other hand, healthy foods are higher in nutrients, not carbs and are considered for the most part a lot less filling than junk food. The result is that we end up overeating healthy food and gaining weight in spite of avoiding junk food.

The research includes three experiments on different groups of Americans. 50 undergraduate students were asked to state whether they found healthy food less filling. Then, a group of 40 graduates had to report their hunger levels after consuming a cookie from a pack with nutritional value and a cookie that was represented as unhealthy. The last experiment involved assessing the food choices of 72 undergraduate students who watched a short film to test how the portrayal of food affects an individual’s inclination to have more or less of it.

What’s more? Participants who weren’t aware of the “you tend to eat more of healthy food” theory also concluded that the healthy cookie wasn’t filling. The study reveals how food labels can be responsible for how we approach certain foods.

Tackling the Obesity Epidemic

healthy foods or junk food childhood obesity

Obesity was already an important issue before health foods were added as a possible cause. As a solution, consumers must look for food that is nutritious and filling instead of just looking for items with low-fat and caloric content. Knowing your nutrition and protein sources is the key to creating a diet plan and schedule that keeps you feeling energetic and full through the day.

Our focus should be on eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. When we do eat packaged food products whether they are healthy or not, we should eat those with moderation. It’s easy to overeat when we have been told to do so for so many years. How will you limit yourself to healthy foods in the future?

Inspired by medicalnewstoday.com

 

New Book “Ingredients” Uncovers World of Additives

A new book called “Ingredients” by photographer Dwight Eschliman and writer Steve Ettlinger was recently launched and this is definitely more than a must-read. “Ingredients” seeks to expose 75 common food additives by providing an easy-to-read encyclopedia which will give insight to the structure, use and history of each additive.

Eschliman had the task of sourcing and categorizing each additive before taking a photo.  He said that he was surprised as to how thorough the world was with white powders and clear liquid ingredients. The photographer also said that most of the ingredients were not hard to identify for purchase. Around 60 percent of the ingredients were from chemical supply companies that purchase their additives from China.

The two authors are promoting eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting down on processed foods. They plan to use the book to expose how dangerous some additives are and to raise awareness among consumers. Hopefully, this will start to force food companies to commit to clean labels and natural additives in the future.

“Everybody wanted us to align very much with those on the soapbox talking about how bad the food was…I wanted to take some measures to prevent that.” – Dwight Eschliman

Two Common Additives to Understand

MSG

additives food ingredients msg

Eschliman’s first step was to organize the additives into three categories: neutral, negative, and positive. He admitted that he initially placed monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the negative pile because of the additive’s reputation for causing “Chinese restaurant syndrome” – health concerns such as heart palpitations, allergic reactions, and so on. However, scientists now agree that this negative reputation is entirely unsupported. Glutamate is a naturally occurring amino acid. It is a flavor-enhancer that makes tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese tasty. It has developed a bad reputation due to poor understanding of the structure of MSG and public mistrust.

ADA

Another misunderstood additive is a yellow powder called azodicarbonamide, or ADA. Last year Vani Hari, blogger and activist behind the name Food Babe, petitioned Subway to remove the “yoga mat chemical” found in its bread. The production of ADA has been documented to cause asthmatic symptoms and skin irritations to people who manufacture it, but has no evidence of any risk to people who consume it.

It definitely sounds strange that the same additives found in yoga mats, fertilizers, fire retardants, rust dissolvers and rocket fuel can also be found in the food we eat. But it doesn’t really mean that we are eating these items. Additives such as salt, for instance, are composed of sodium and chlorine and have an estimated 14,000 industrial uses.

Ettlinger and Eschliman provide a fantastic insight about additives in their book. There is even trivintor each additive on every single page. It’s easy to be scared of these additives when you have very little knowledge about each of them. “As it happens, it doesn’t take much to understand,” Ettlinger says.

Inspired by npr.org

Jelly Beans Remain Unchanged 100 Years Later

Jelly beans, the chewy candy with a hard shell, was once thought to be related to Turkish Delight but eventually food historians agreed that it is an all-American food item created by William Schrafft, a Boston confectioner. While the price of jelly beans has changed from $0.09 a pound to almost $8 a pound, the shape and form of this little confectionery have remained the same after more than a hundred years. Latest trends call for “natural” food items which translate to food that is healthier and better for us. So, new jelly bean launches now use animal gelatin-free ingredients while still retaining its original shape, flavor, and color. Some manufacturers worry that the candy will never be the same again without gluten, but there are still challenges to reduce the sugar, artificial flavors, and color of jelly beans.

 

Jelly Beans: Private Label vs. The Brands

The jelly bean has become synonymous with Easter because of its ovoid shape and hard shell. After more than a century in the market, it had been sold in bulk with very little personality. Until 1976, when the jelly bean was re-marketed by The Jelly Belly Company as a new gourmet product. Jelly Belly used natural fruit purees and thus opened the doors for a wide variety of flavors. Have you ever tasted Jelly Belly’s pancake and maple syrup jelly beans? The company’s approach is to encourage customers to create their unique jelly bean flavor by combining different beans.

 

 

But other than innovating the flavor of the jelly bean, there were hardly any other changes to the candy. It is believed that the product’s association with the holidays made its innovation slower than ever. Tradition has made it a staple during Easter and Christmas. Therefore, it will less likely be considered a sophisticated candy that needs to be updated and periodically improved.

 

 

Private labels have positioned themselves as “gourmet” jelly bean manufacturers. The small private label brands now hold roughly 15% market share in the products launched in the past two years. Private labels may not have as many flavors as the Jelly Belly Company, but the industry has successfully gathered a large following in offering GMO-free, gluten-free and nut-free confectionaries. The claims of getting a gluten-free or allergen-free jelly bean variety may attract some customers especially those that are looking for candies that will fit particular dietary needs.

The jelly bean has seen little innovation over the past 100 years, and it will struggle to find any soon. Reducing the sugars and artificial flavors will be the biggest challenge for even the most forward-thinking companies in the jelly bean category.

Inspired by mintel.com/blog

Add Nutrients to Jelly Beans with NutriFusion®

Innovation is stagnant in the jelly bean category, but there are huge opportunities to make confectionery better for you. We believe our ingredient could be crucial to adding minimal but essential nutrients to your candies. Our GrandFusion products are made from whole fruit and vegetables. Our ingredients enable you to add 10%-50% daily value of essential vitamins and minerals from natural sources. What makes us different? The stabilization of our food based nutrients can withstand the most intense heating and cooling of modern day food processing. What are you waiting for? Learn more about NutriFuision for your confectionery needs today!

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.

Inspired by cdc.gov

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?

Inspired by www.npd.com

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.

Inspired by www.usatoday.com


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.

Inspired by consumer.healthday.com

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.