news & trends

Top 5 Food & Nutrition Trends from FNCE 2018

One of the best things about our job as food and nutrition experts is going to conferences to learn about new trends and share our learnings with YOU! This year’s Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) in Washington DC did not disappoint! It’s the world’s largest food and nutrition event, attracting well over 10,000 delegates with hundreds of speakers and exhibitors. Here are our top takeaways from the event.

1. FODMAP Friendly. This was by far, the biggest trend at the show. FODMAP is an acronym for “Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyphenols”. These are different types of carbohydrates found naturally in everyday foods such as fruit, veggies, grains, beans and milk product. For some people, eating foods containing high amounts of these FODMAP carbohydrates may cause gas, bloating and other digestive symptoms. Dozens of products at FNCE sported a “FODMAP Friendly” logo, including Prego’s Sensitive Recipe pasta sauce (made without onions or garlic) and Lo-Fo flours.

fodmap friendly logo

Prego fodmap friendly

fodmap friendly foods

2. Protein Power. We’ve been following the protein trend for years now – not only how protein help to keep your muscles strong but also the power of protein across the lifecycle. This year’s FNCE show featured several protein packed products such as a peanut-based protein shake and a protein enriched pancake mix.

Peanut protein shake

Pancake protein

3. Probiotics. At last year’s FNCE event, exhibitors flaunted numerous probiotic products. This year, we saw even more innovations ranging from infused probiotic beverages to a combination protein/probiotic hot oatmeal.

probiotic drink

probiotic oatmeal with protein

4. Plant-based. Following this trend were plant-based beverages such as “sesame milk”, “banana milk” and yes, even plant-based maple water. When it comes to calcium, vitamin D and protein though, not all of these products are equivalent to cow’s milk or fortified soy beverage.

Sesame milk

banana milk

maple water

5. Snacking. Among the countless numbers of protein bars, we found snacks such as barley bars, flavoured chickpea snacks as well as single serve, shelf stable bean dips for on-the-go energy.

barley bars

chickpea snacks

Black bean portable dip snack

Which trend are you most excited about? We can help you leverage these trends in your business and communications. Contact us and let’s start a conversation!

5 Learnings from the Food and Nutrition Forum, Royal Winter Fair

Do you love food and care about how it’s grown, handled and brought to market? We do! As part of staying on top of emerging trends and new research we joined experts in food and nutrition to engage in conversation at the Royal Winter Fair Food and Nutrition Forum.  As a Registered Dietitian, Lucia was invited to welcome delegates to a day of learning, getting ‘agricultured’ and celebrating the power of farming, food and nutrition.  Inspiring speakers included professors, farmers, authors, dietitians and home economists. Working hand in hand, our passion for wellness and good food united us all!

Here are 5 top learnings from the sessions:

  1. Farmers feed Cities
    An amazing panel of 3 women farmers shared about their lives and the challenges they face in working on their farms of grain, eggs & beef. Taking care of their land and livestock is a passion and a profession. Their stories showed how deeply they care about the work they do, and how much environmental stewardship matters to each of them.  Thank you Jenn Doleman, Tonya Havercamp and Sandra Vos for being the farmers who feed cities!
  2. Taking care of the planet
    Biodiversity & food production are deeply connected. Dr. Christian Artuso studies grassland birds and found that an important way to preserve their biodiversity is linked to cattle farming. His Grassland Bird studies are part of an award winning conservation movement in South America.
  3. Teach Food and Nutrition to Students
    Food and nutrition know-how are life skills with significant short and long term benefits. Although healthy lifestyle is a trend, it’s evident that many of today’s young Canadians lack even the most basic food preparation skills. Let’s give kids the best chance possible to nourish their bodies. An important consideration is expanding high school curriculum to include some mandatory food education. The Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA) calls on the Government of Ontario to make at least one food & nutrition course compulsory. To support this petition or for more information visit www.food-literacy.ca
  4. Translating the science – how to spot the fake news and alternative food facts.
    Bestselling Author, Dr Joe Schwarcz shared stories of science misuse. We were reminded that correlation is an easy sway for the scientifically challenged consumer and it does NOT mean cause and effect. His latest bookA Feast of Science is an entertaining read of fact vs fiction. To help you navigate through fake nutrition news reach out to your nearest Registered Dietitian, the experts who can translate the science of nutrition and help you unlock food’s potential to support healthy living.
  5. What’s next?
    Let’s keep the farm to table conversations going! The more we know about where our food comes from, how it’s grown and handled the more grounded we will be. We also love sharing credible insights and resources! Check out our blogs and writing at N4NN.ca and Contact us  about your questions on the power of food and its connection to health.

What’s the Latest Update on Canada’s Food Guide?

canada's food guide

At the annual Dietitians of Canada conference in Vancouver, Ann Ellis – Manager of Dietary Guidance Manager at Health Canada – shared the latest update on the revisions to Canada’s Food Guide. We were there and are happy to share our insights!

The current rainbow design Food Guide communicated dietary guidance with an “all-in-one” tool. The new Food Guide will include a “Suite of Resources” using different tools and resources that will all be launched throughout 2018 and 2019. These timelines are later than originally anticipated as Health Canada is waiting for the release of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) 2015 data.

Specifically, here’s a look at the timelines for the new Canada’s Food Guide:

In late fall 2018, Health Canada plans to launch a mobile-responsive web application to deliver Canada’s Food Guide Suite of Resources in an accessible, relevant and useful way for Canadians. This will house:

Canada’s Dietary Guidelines for Health Professionals and Policy Makers – A report providing Health Canada’s policy on healthy eating. This report will form the foundation for Canada’s Food Guide tools and resources.
Canada’s Food Guide Healthy Eating Principles – Communicating Canada’s Dietary Guidelines in plain language.
• Canada’s Food Guide Graphic – Expressing the Healthy Eating Principles through visuals and words.
Canada’s Food Guide Interactive Tool – An interactive online tool providing custom information for different life stages, in different settings.
Canada’s Food Guide Web Resources – Mobile-responsive healthy eating information (factsheets, videos, recipes) to help Canadians apply Canada’s Dietary Guidelines.

In Spring 2019, Health Canada plans to release:
Canada’s Healthy Eating Pattern for Health Professionals and Policy Makers – A report providing guidance on amounts and types of foods as well as life stage guidance.
Enhancements to Canada’s Food Guide – Interactive Tool and Canada’s Food Guide – Web Resources – Enhancements and additional content to Canada’s web application on an ongoing basis.

A few other insights:
– Health Canada is hoping to get back to an overall pattern of eating and highlight nutrients of public health concern. The new Canada’s Food Guide will also have a heavy focus on food skills and determinants to health.
– There is no intent to advise consumers to avoid meat in the new Food Guide.
– The new Food Guide will focus more on the proportionality and frequency of meals, rather than numbers of servings to consume. In other word, information about number of servings may be more “behind the scenes” info for health professionals rather than front-facing info for consumers

Sign for our free nutrition e-newsletter for more insights and we’ll keep you posted on the release of the new Canada’s Food Guide resources!

The Future of Food – Five Trends with a Big Impact

future of food bill gates notes 2018-06-01_1-08-23

 

At the recent Food and Beverage Ontario Annual General Meeting in Toronto, we shared top trends that will have a big impact on the future of food – both in retail and foodservice. Here’s a snapshot of our expert dietitian insights.

1. Eating healthier is a universal goal for all Canadians

Food that tastes great and nourishes the body rank high on Canadians’ wish list. In designing menus, especially where calories are now displayed, foodservice teams and food makers can help make the calories count for health and wellness! To unlock the potential of food, consider a perfect pairing of a chef and registered dietitian for your next menu update.

2. Demographics

Kids, millennials and seniors all have unique nutritional needs. Schools and retirement/nursing homes are also regulated for the kinds of foods they can sell. Workplace wellness is catching up with guidelines on how to achieve better eating habits that can result in more productive workforce. Have you seen the ‘sell more’ and ‘sell less’ lists? Give us a shout – we can help!

3. Plant based eating

Pant foods are the mega trend. ‘Plan based diet” is one of the top google searches by Canadians 2017! Consumers are looking for more plant based menu items in foodservice as well. Don’t make the mistake of just removing the meat from your menu! Vegetarian meals should also be well balanced and include a minimum 20g protein per meal. Registered Dietitians have the tools and tips to help chefs make the switch to balanced vegetarian menu items.

4. New food regulations influence food choices

You may wonder who reads food labels anyway. Research shows that more than 2/3 of Canadians read food labels to help them decide which foods to buy and eat. Labels also provide highly credible & prominent information on foods. The New Nutrition Facts Label and proposed new Canada’s Food Guide focus on limiting saturated fat, salt and sugars. These tools are the foundation for nutrition communication and menu development in many institutions. What’s your plan to leverage the power of the label in marketing?

5. Grand designs & food halls

Foodservice is embracing showcase exhibition food prep to capture the excitement of cooking “onstage.” Open kitchens are transparent and underscore the consumers’ desire for fresh food. New grocery stores and food halls delight consumers with a mix of hot-food stations, ‘grab’n go’ items and ‘do it yourself bowls’. The future of eating out is personalized and tech savvy.

(Image Source: GatesNotes)

Workplace Wellness

Happy business colleagues having lunch on table at office cafete

Do you wish you had more energy at work? Do you find it tough to eat well on the job or during shift work? Do you want to be more efficient in using your talents to produce outstanding results? You’re not alone. These were just some of the challenges we heard from the attendees at this year’s Partners in Prevention Conference and Trade Show. As exhibitors for Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists, we were delighted to share our most popular presentation at the Healthy Living stage – “Top 5 Ways to Eat Better” – and had the chance to connect with workplace wellness leaders about food, nutrition, improved concentration and productivity.

Many of us spend eight hours a day – and probably more – at work, so let’s make them count for health and wellness!

Why Promote Wellness in the Workplace?*
Did you know that 57% of employees in Canada are living with at least one chronic condition such as high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol?** Good food builds healthier people and a healthier workplace. Worksite health promotion is an investment in your most important asset: your employees. Studies have shown that employees are more likely to be on the job and performing well when they are in optimal health. Benefits of implementing a wellness program include:
• Lower health care costs, due to a healthier workforce and improved disease management
• Enhanced recruiting by attracting the most talented workers
• Reduced absenteeism and improved productivity
• Improved on-the-job time utilization, decision-making and productivity
• Improved employee morale
• Reduction in turnover

As dietitians, we LOVE food! We’re credible experts who translate the science of nutrition and unlock the potential of food to support healthy living for Canadians. Book us for your next Lunch and Learn or Wellness Fair. Contact us with your wellness boosting food & menu questions – we can help! info@NutritionForNonNutritionists.com

*Source: Mumby, Workplace Wellness
**Source: Chronic Disease in the Workplace: Focus on Prevention and Support

Innovation Unleashed – 5 hot topics from Canada’s largest foodservice trade event

rc show 2018

 

People LOVE food – it unites us all! The power of food is everywhere and the Restaurants Canada show Innovation Unleashed was a great place to discover fascinating insights on advances in the foodservice industry. We were there and connected with Operators, Presidents, Buyers, Agents, Chefs & more about key industry issues and the future of hospitality. #RCShow18

Here are the 5 hot topics that caught our interest as food and nutrition experts:

  1. Where does food come from? Local is by far still the biggest trend in restaurants today and expected to keep gaining momentum. Running a profitable restaurant, maintaining food costs, and satisfying the local trend is challenging for many businesses. Restaurants are discovering how to incorporate local ingredients to menu items  while boosting the bottom line.
  2. Why does food go to waste?  Stats are shocking…too much of the food cooked in restaurants is thrown away. What about grocery stores? Does food end up in the waste bin because it doesn’t look good? Consumers’ attention is moving beyond where food comes from to where food is going. With such tight margins let’s keep the food out of the trash bin. Speakers also discussed a “Feed it Forward Food Insecurity” option where safe, unused and unsold food destined for landfill could be donated to those who are hungry and in need of food aid.
  3. Wellness anyone? Want to make better-for-you foods and boost your sales with claims? There are labelling laws & science for that!  The power of good food and nutrition has a direct connection to health. Good energy, focus, concentration and productivity are all benefits of healthy food choices throughout the day. As dietitians, we translate the science of nutrition to unlock foods’ potential and support healthy living for Canadians. Call us with your wellness boosting food & menu questions – we can help!
  4. Beverage menu in focus. Coffee and tea are popular beverages among Canadians.  Research-based industry trends showed strong areas of opportunity for Restaurateurs, including the largely untapped world of decaf coffee and herbal tea. Tea and food pairing is a trending opportunity. The positive impact of Non-Alcoholic Cocktails can create memorable drinking experiences while striving for a more balanced lifestyle. Cheers to that – healthy hydration never looked better!
  5. Future of Food & Eating. Space research yields fascinating insights on innovation in the hospitality industry. Expert panelists discussed technology, new agriculture, experiential eating, personalized foods and more that will transform the future of everything edible.

For more foodservice trends and consumer insights that can elevate your business contact us info@NutritionForNonNutritionists.com or join us at the 11th annual Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists course on April 18, 2018, University of Toronto. Register at www.NutritionForNONNutritionists.com

 

3 Tips to Overcoming Weight Bias

Did you know that weight bias and discrimination are real and rampant? A recent study looking at news stories in media found that 72% of images and 77% of videos stigmatized  people with obesity[1].  With so much weight bias in our society, what can we do to help?  As dietitians we reviewed the science and bring you these 3 tips to help stop the weight bias, with hopes that we can all make lasting positive change in response to weight shaming, stigma and discrimination. 

N4nn weight bias 2017 2017-11-26_20-25-57

  1. BECOME AWARE – Do you have a weight bias? A first step in addressing weight stigma is to become aware of our own potential attitudes and assumptions about body weight. What do you think and say about people with obesity? Did you know being called “fat” is the most common reason children are bullied?[2] A Harvard University survey reveals many people have an automatic preference for ‘thin people’ relative to ‘fat people’.[3] This survey is based on an Implicit-Association Test (IAT) that anyone can take, and measures the implicit attitudes and beliefs that people are either unwilling or unable to report. The WEIGHT-IAT asks you to distinguish images of people who are described as ‘obese’ or ‘fat’ and people who are ‘thin’. Try the IAT here: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/selectatest.html – and select the Weight IAT to discover whether you have a hidden weight bias.
  1. SPEAK WITH COMPASSION Use words that hurt less. At a recent nutrition symposium, we learned about research that shows the choice of words we use can have different impacts on people with obesity. [4]

words we use obesity bias N4NN 2017 11-27_14-57-23

  • Body weight should not be a topic of social conversation. It’s a deeply personal subject for most people. Even as a health professional, ask permission to speak about body weight.
  • Use person first language rather than describe people by their disease. ex. Saying “a person with obesity” is person first langauge. Saying “an obese person” is not person first language. It’s the same way you would say a person “has a broken leg” rather than say they “are a broken leg.”
  1. SHOW RESPECT – Every body deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. Are YOU ready to help STOP the weight bias? Here are some tips:
  • Notice weight shaming and speak up when you hear inappropriate comments or jokes. Talk about someone’s performance, enthusiasm or other positive attributes rather than talking about their weight. If you notice someone blaming a person for their weight, remind yourself and others “We don’t know their story, so don’t blame them for their size.”
  • Shift the focus from weight to health and well-being.
  • Adjust your attitude – if you change your thoughts, your feelings and actions will follow.[5]

The journey toward well-being starts with how we eat and dietitians have the knowledge, compassion and flexibility to help Canadians achieve their goals. If you have questions about food and health contact a Registered Dietitian for reliable, life-changing advice.

[1] Heuer C, Puhl R.  Obesity stigma in online news: A visual content analysis.   Journal of Health Communication.   2011

[2] Puhl, R. et.al Cross-national perspectives about weight-based bullying in youth: nature, extent and remedies. Pediatric Obesity, 2016

[3] Harvard University, Project Implicit Sourced Nov 2017 https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/selectatest.html

[4] Adapted from Puhl, Peterson, Luedicke 2013

[5] Michael Vallis, Canadian Obesity Network Presentation 2011

Food Waste – How you can reduce it, save money and eat better.

We love food and as dietitians, it’s our passion and calling. At the 95th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair’s Nutrition Forum, we joined chefs, farmers and scientists to discover more about food’s farm to table journey. We even had the chance to meet the Federal Minister of Agriculture Hon. Lawrence MacAulay on opening day!

Royal winter failr 2017-11-06_19-46-03
The Food and Nutrition Annual Forum was organized by members of Dietitians of Canada. Featured speaker Dr. Mike von Massow, from the University of Guelph highlighted why we waste so much food both at home and in food service/grocery business and what we can do about it. Here are 5 takeaways from his presentation:

  1. Food waste awareness is increasing in the public eye. Canadians are starting to take notice of the amount of food that goes in the green bin or garbage. Some people may even feel guilt or shame when talking about their food waste.
  2. Fact: 50% of food waste comes from homes! Researchers say that simply thinking about food waste helps you throw out less. Be especially mindful of fruit and vegetables as produce makes up almost 70% of total food waste!
  3. ‘Best Before Date’ does not necessarily mean ‘Bad After’. Do you know how to interpret and apply ‘Best Before Dates’ shown on pack without compromising food safety? Send us your questions!
  4. Choose what you can use and don’t buy too much at once. Not only does this cut food waste, but it also helps save money. Menu planning, pantry checks and correct food storage practices will also help reduce food waste.
  5. Foodservice and Grocery are not immune to food waste and customers may form judgements around the amount of food left uneaten on a plate or thrown away by businesses. In restaurants, a plate waste assessment can help start a discussion about serving food differently to reduce waste. Registered Dietitians can help with this work!

What’s your plan to save food from the green bin? Contact us for credible & doable tips that can help you cut waste, save money and eat well.

Food and Nutrition Trends from FNCE 2017

Sue FNCE sign 1 CROP

We were thrilled to attend the centennial Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) – the world’s largest annual nutrition meeting hosted in Chicago by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics! With over 13,000 attendees, FNCE did not disappoint! The Expo trade show featured hundreds of food and nutrition products. Here are the ones that caught our eye!

PREBIOTICS and PROBIOTICS

Gut health is a growing trend! Prebiotics and probiotics work together to keep the gut healthy. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that actually act as food for probiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that live in our colon where they help to maintain a balance between the “good” and “bad” bacteria. From crackers to drinks to powders, these innovative products are designed to keep your gut healthy.

Farmhouse Culture Gut Shots – probiotic beverages and foods made with fermented veggies. Slogan: We’re here to ferment a food revolution!

Farmhouse Culture Gut Shots – probiotic beverages and foods made with fermented veggies. Slogan: We’re here to ferment a food revolution!

Go Live Probiotic & Prebiotic Beverages – the probiotic is housed in a foil-blister cap which can be added to the beverage when you’re ready to drink. Slogan: Think outside the bottle, look inside the cap!

Go Live Probiotic & Prebiotic Beverages – the probiotic is housed in a foil-blister cap which can be added to the beverage when you’re ready to drink. Slogan: Think outside the bottle, look inside the cap!

Regular Girl – prebiotic fibre and probiotics for the women whose life is anything but regular. Can be sprinkled on food or in beverages. Slogans: Eat, drink and be regular! You go girl! Déjà poo!

Regular Girl – prebiotic fibre and probiotics for the women whose life is anything but regular. Can be sprinkled on food or in beverages. Slogans: Eat, drink and be regular! You go girl! Déjà poo!

PROTEIN

We’ve been watching the protein trend grow for the past decade now. Featured at the FNCE show were protein packed pancake mixes and protein enhanced beauty products.

FlapJacked Protein Pancake & Baking Mix – boasting 19 grams of protein per 60 g serving from whey protein isolate and pea protein.

FlapJacked Protein Pancake & Baking Mix – boasting 19 grams of protein per 60 g serving from whey protein isolate and pea protein.

Vital Proteins – from free range bone broth collagen to wild caught marine collagen to collagen beauty water…with the belief that collagen will support bone health, joint health, gut health and a glowing skin, nails and hair.

Vital Proteins – from free range bone broth collagen to wild caught marine collagen to collagen beauty water…with the belief that collagen will support bone health, joint health, gut health and a glowing skin, nails and hair.

PLANT-BASED BEVERAGES

Move over soy, almond and rice. Make way for new plant-based beverages made from nuts and pea protein.

Elmhurst Milked Peanuts – 2 new beverage options: straight up peanuts (made with 21 peanuts) or peanuts plus Dutch cocoa. Contains 8 g of protein per cup however not fortified with either calcium, vitamin D or vitamin B12.

Elmhurst Milked Peanuts – 2 new beverage options: straight up peanuts (made with 31 peanuts) or peanuts plus Dutch cocoa. Contains 8 g of protein per cup however not fortified with either calcium, vitamin D or vitamin B12.

Bolthouse Plant Protein Milk -  made with pea protein, contains 10 g protein per cup and fortified with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12.

Bolthouse Plant Protein Milk – made with pea protein, contains 10 g protein per cup and fortified with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12.

Veggemo – veggie-based  non-dairy beverage made from pea protein. Fortified with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12, but only 3-4 g protein per cup.

Veggemo – veggie-based non-dairy beverage made from pea protein. Fortified with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12, but only 3-4 g protein per cup.

Is your food making you sick? Check out our top 5 tips to prevent food poisoning!

1 in 8 get food poisoning N4NN July 2017

One in eight Canadians get food poisoning each year according to a recent report by The Public Health Agency of Canada. So let’s brush up on food safety with our 5 top tips that can help protect you and your family from getting sick.

  1. CLEAN – Wash your hands, and we mean really wash your hands for 20 seconds using hot water and soap. This is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness! Remember to use hot water and soap to clean cutting boards, cooking utensils and counter surfaces
  2. SEPARATE – Don’t cross-contaminate ready to eat food. Keep fresh fruit and veggies separate from raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs in your fridge and when preparing food.
  3. COOK – You can NOT tell if a food is cooked by looking at it! The best way to tell if your food is cooked properly is to use a food thermometer. Look for these safe internal cooking temperatures:
    • medium rare steak 63 C (145 F)
    • your sausage or burger is done at 71 C (160 F)
    • chicken pieces 74 C (165 F)
    • whole poultry 85 C (185 F)
  4. CHILL – Keep cold foods cold at or below 4 C (40F). Storing your food properly is one of the key things you can do to protect yourself from food poisoning.
  5. MIND THE DANGER ZONE which is between 4 C (40 F) and 60 C (140 F). This is where most bacteria grow well. Toss out perishable foods that have been in the ‘danger zone’ for 4 hours or more. Perishable foods include (but are not limited to) fresh meat, poultry, fish, deli meats, dairy, eggs, all cooked foods, cut up fruit and vegetables.

Want to learn more about safe food handling practices? Contact us! We offer basic and advanced food safety training courses that can earn you a government approved certificate.

Free Exclusive Webinar – News in Nutrition Labelling!

N4NN DC webinar postcard

Eleven million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes. The Glycemic Index (GI) may be useful to assist people with diabetes, or at risk of developing diabetes, pick foods that help them manage their blood sugar levels.

We’ve partnered with Diabetes Canada for an exclusive free webinar on nutrition labelling.

Join us on Wednesday October 11, 2017 @ 1-2 pm ET for a FREE Exclusive Webinar and be the first to learn about:
– Consumer behaviour trends related to nutrition labelling
– Diabetes Canada’s healthy eating strategy
– New research on Canadians’ understanding and perceptions of Glycemic Index and carbohydrates
– Glycemic Index labelling – an opportunity to influence consumer behaviour

Speakers:
Sue Mah, MHSc, RD, PHEc – Co-Founder, Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists
Lucia Weiler, BSc. RD, PHEc – Co-Founder, Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists
Joanne Lewis, RD, CDE – Director of Nutrition & Healthy Eating, Diabetes Canada
Seema Nagpal, BSc Pharm, MSc, PhD – Senior Leader Public Policy, Epidemiologist, Diabetes Canada

REGISTER NOW as spaces are limited! The webinar will be recorded and available to registrants.

 

Health Canada Consultations – Let your voice be heard ( EXTENDED Aug 14)

Now is THE time to let your voice be heard about food, nutrition, way of eating and sustainability! We know this comes just before summer vacations, but consider that the policies formed following these three consultations will influence how Canadians hear about food, nutrition and sustainability for years to come.

Health Canada chose Dietitians of Canada annual conference on June 9th to announce the latest federal food and nutrition consultations. As part of the Healthy Eating Strategy, there are 3 public consultations live/on-line now and more are expected in the Fall. Please contact us if you have any questions about what this means to you and your business.

Here is a bird’s eye view of what the consultations are about. We encourage you to let your voice be heard and complete these surveys that will help shape the future of nutrition in Canada.

Canada’s Food Guide Consultation (Phase 2)

Food guide cropped consult'n banner N4NN June 2017

Health Canada is revising Canada’s Food Guide to strengthen its recommendations for healthy eating. This is the second round of consultations that is built on what the government heard from 20,000 Canadians who responded to the first round of consultations in 2016.  If you are using healthy eating recommendations for yourself and others you care about, or to help others through your work, we encourage you to complete the survey and join the discussion. This is your chance to weigh in on key issues related to healthy eating and provide input on the new healthy eating recommendations.

http://www.foodguideconsultation.ca/ EXTENDED till Aug 14, 2017.

Marketing to Kids

No ads to kids N4NN June 2017
Image Source Health Canada
Health Canada wants to reduce how much advertising children see or hear about unhealthy food and beverages. “This is a complicated subject so before action can be taken, some questions need to be answered, such as what we mean by unhealthy food and what kind of advertising should be allowed. Your ideas and opinions will help Health Canada decide how to go about restricting advertising for unhealthy food and beverages to children. This consultation document is available online between June 10 and Aug 14, 2017.”[1]

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/programs/consultation-restricting-unhealthy-food-and-beverage-marketing-to-children.html

[1] Health Canada (2017) Restricting unhealthy food and beverage marketing to children

Canada’s Food Policy

Food Policy N4NN newsletter June 2017

Food matters to Canadians. We “make choices every day about food that directly impacts our health, environment, and communities.” Agriculture Canada would like to help put more affordable, safe, healthy, food on tables across the country, while protecting the environment. This policy will cover the entire food system and you may have heard of the concept as ‘Farm to Fork’. An online survey is now open at www.canada.ca/food-policy and we encourage you to share your views that will help shape Canada’s food policy. Online consultations is open until July 27, 2017

 

Congrats to Sue and Lucia

Sue win N4NN June 2017

Sue is an accomplished leader who is highly deserving of the honour presented to her by the Dietitian of Canada. Recognized by her peers, Sue received two awards: 2017 Dietitian of the Year by Dietitians of Canada Business & Industry Network and the Member Recognition Award for Innovation by Dietitians of Canada.  Sue translates the science of nutrition into easy advice that everyone can understand and she advances the dietetic profession as an acclaimed nutrition writer, nutrition trends expert, inspiring speaker and engaging media spokesperson. Her nutrition trend tips and insights are sought after by business leaders, entrepreneurs, and consumer and trade publications. Sue has helped fellow dietitians and hundreds of professionals leverage the power of good nutrition.

Lucia N4NN June 2017

Lucia is honoured to start a 4 year term as a Director of the Board, Dietitians of Canada. She was elected by her peers to this leadership role to represent members’ voice. Dietitians of Canada is one of the largest organizations of food and nutrition professionals in the world with over 5,000 members who are committed to advancing health through food and nutrition. In her role as a Board member, Lucia will help steer the organization by setting the strategic direction to raise the profile of the profession as the most trusted source of nutrition information, offer support in practice, and create new opportunities for growth, learning and development.

Top Food Innovations at the 2017 SIAL Show

SIAL_2017

This year marked the 150th anniversary of SIAL – North America’s largest food innovation show! We were there and here’s what caught our eye!

Quinoa still going strong

Making its foray into the baby / toddler food market, Bio-Kinetics introduced an organic Sprouted Whole Grain Quinoa Baby Cereal. Millennial moms will be pleased with the clean ingredient deck (nothing but quinoa). Also in this line-up are sprouted oats and sprouted buckwheat cereal. #GetKidsHookedOnQuinoaEarly

IMG_6545.

Building on the convenience trend, France-based Sabarot showcased Le Petit Quinoa, a ready-to-slice roll of quinoa – really! Recognized as a top 10 finalist for the SIAL Grand Award, the product can be sliced, grilled, fried and used in a variety of dishes. #ConvenienceMeetsHealthy

SIAL quinoa loaf2.

The Millennial Market

It was the name of the exhibitor booth – “Millennial Foods Inc.” – that made me stop in my tracks! Quebec-based founder Simon Letendre created a “North Americanized” version of bubble tea. Instead of using tapioca, the tea is made with Mubbles – which stands for “Molecular Bubbles” and are essentially tiny fruit juice bubbles made via a molecular spherification process. Mubbles are packaged in a small container, much like a fruit cup and can also be used in drinks, salads and desserts. #InterestingButALittleTooSweetForMe

Sial mubbles1

Healthy Snacks

Innovation often starts in the home or farm kitchen. This is true for Spokes – air-puffed potato snacks, shaped like bike spokes, with 40 calories per cup and no preservatives. Created by Calgarian #SeniorEntrepreneur Elaine Cadrin, Spokes is geared to millennials. “The millennial mom is our target,” says Mike Cadrin, Senior Sales Director and proud son, “They’re looking for a super clean ingredient deck and want something special and unique.” #LovedTheMangoHabaneroFlavour

SIAL spokes potato chips 3

Another one of our favourite snacks at the SIAL show were these Crunchy Peas – made by Zak’s Organics, a fourth generation family-run farm in the small community of Fir Mountain, Saskatchewan (where the population is under 500). Inspired by Allen Zak’s own kids, the snacks are made from organic whole green peas and available in four different taste profiles with a new #trendingflavour mango habanero launching next month. #GrownInTheCanadianPrairies

Sial Zaks crunchy peas

East Meets West

If you’ve never tasted sea vegetables, Acadian Seaplants wants you to try! Hana Tsunomata is a sea plant that’s cultivated in the east coast. It’s available in a trio of colours: pink to represent Japan’s cherry blossoms; green to represent new life; and yellow to represent the chrysanthemum which is the favourite flower of the Japanese royal family. The product must be rehydrated in water for about eight minutes and can be used to add colour and texture to salads, cold noodles or pasta dishes. Holly Reardon, Brand Strategist for the product says food service is their primary market. #SeaVeggie

IMG_6609

Sweet Stuff

A Quebec-based company, Great Northern Maple, developed Kombucha Syrup. The ingredients are evaporated cane juice, black tea and kefir cultures. Though the product claims to have probiotics, there is no disclosure of the amount. #DidntWinMeOver

IMG_6639

Février 29 was another top 10 finalist for the SIAL Grand Award for it’s fun way to package Maple Syrup. Designed to sit right on the counter, the syrup is packaged in a bag-in-tub container, complete with a spout. And what’s the rationale for the company’s name? February 29 makes every day exceptional, 366 days of the year. #CoolPackaging

SIAL feb 29 maple syrup2

Taking the Grand Prize at this year’s SIAL show was Taj Food’s Saffron Sugar Cubes. According to Sap Hariri, Sales Director for the product, the sugar cubes allow consumers to add flavour and sweetness their teas all at once. The sugar cubes are also available in cinnamon and cardamom flavours. #SweetMeetsSpice

SIAL sugar cubes winner

What’s on the MENU? Calorie labelling!

what's on the menu blog march 2017

Have you noticed the new calorie labelling on Ontario chain restaurant menus? Operators, servers and consumers are coming to grips with the new reality of revealing calories in a serving of food. We’ve been busy moderating partnership events and engaging with stakeholders about the challenges of the new menu labelling. The events were in collaboration with Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals (CAFP), Restaurants Canada and Dietitians of Canada.

A shout out to fellow dietitian Donna Bottrell who did a terrific job organizing the events, and to Nancy Hewitt President CAFP Toronto for her support.

CAFP lucia moderator event
From left: Donna Bottrell, organizer of the event; Nancy Hewitt, CFE, President of the CAFP Toronto Branch; Susan Somerville, Dean, from Humber College, and Panelist Jamie Rillet and Moderator Lucia Weiler.

Here is a snapshot of what we heard:

  • ‘Medium and small chains are looking for guidance and consistency from the Government.’ Jamie Rilett, Restaurants Canada
  • ‘It’s challenging for a server to explain the calorie range for a serving size. More support and education would be helpful’ K.B.Bose, Shoeless Joe’s
  • ‘There is the nutrient variable to consider and educate about. How to address the fact that milk has more calories than pop but it’s also more nutritious?’ Katie Jessop RD
  • ‘Collaboration is needed between food professionals: chefs, dietitians and nutritionists.  And we are eating foods- not just one food. Food combinations in menus can help create healthier options. Nutrition professionals can assist operators and consumers.’   Lucia Weiler RD
  • ‘A lot of time was spent by Aramark in the initial analysis…they made sure to standardize recipes and then tested and tested which led to a recipe database.’ Karen Williams, Aramark
  • ‘Menu calorie labelling is just the beginning. There is a future importance for all aspects of nutrition and food, especially sustainable processing. Millennial consumers are very conscious about the’ what’ and the ‘how’ of food.’ K.B.Bose, Shoeless Joe’s

For more stakeholder views and participant feedback please contact us. We would be happy to help your team formulate unique insights that integrate our Registered Dietitian expertise in food and nutrition and provide you with solutions that both foodservice professionals and consumers can use.

November is Osteoporosis Month – Do You Know the 4 Ms for Better Bone Health?

group-photo-presenters

[Pictured: standing L-R: Dr. Wendy Ward – Canada Research Chair in Bone and Muscle Development, Brock University; Dr. Lora Giangregorio – Kinesiology professor University of Waterloo; seated L-R: Susan Marshall pharmacist, Sue Mah RD, Lucia Weiler RD]

We were thrilled to be among the distinguished speakers at the Better Bone Health Forum last month, organized by Osteoporosis Canada. For better bone health, remember these 4 Ms:

MAXIMIZE bone density by getting enough calcium and bone-building nutrients during childhood and adolescence. Maximum bone density is reached by about age 18 (for girls) and age 20 (for boys). Milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir and fortified soy beverages are some of the best sources of calcium. Calcium is also found in foods such as canned salmon with the bones, leafy green vegetables, calcium-fortified orange juice, nuts, seeds and beans.

MAINTAIN bone density during your adult years to keep bones strong and healthy. Swap out one coffee a day and replace it with a latte. Cook and bake with milk products and calcium-fortified products. Protein, potassium and vitamin D all help your body better absorb calcium. Enjoy a variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins to get a good mix of these vitamins and minerals.

MINIMIZE the bone loss that naturally occurs as we grow older. After menopause, a woman’s risk for osteoporosis rises. Get a bone density check. After the age of 50, consider taking a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU every day. Talk to a dietitian about the need for calcium supplements.

MOVE your body! Try to be active every day. Exercise builds strength in your muscles which can improve your balance and help prevent falls. Strength training or resistance training activities such as push-ups or lifting weights are recommended for building muscle strength. Weight-bearing activities such as walking, running, hiking, dancing, tennis and golf will also keep your muscles and bones strong. It’s never too early or late to take care of your bones!

Winners of the 2016 Grocery Innovations Show

Here are a few of the winning products, as selected by the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers.

black-water

blk. Alkaline Mineral Water
blk. is a pure alkaline water that is infused with fulvic trace minerals.This beverage is naturally black with no artificial dyes or colouring. Fulvic acid (also called humic acid) occurs naturally in soil and sediment. Like all plain, unflavoured waters, blk has zero calories, zero sugar and zero caffeine.
My take: Tastes earthy. There are no human requirements for fulvic acid. Might make a good Halloween drink.

goh-goh-granola
goh-goh cereal
goh-goh cereal is made with air-dried milk. The first two ingredients are whole grain rolled oats and goh-goh whole milk powder. After adding water (warm or cold), the cereal is reconstituted. Available in two flavours: Honey, Hemp & Flax; and Raisin & Almond. A servings contains: 270-290 calories, 6-9 g fat, 43-45 g carbohydrates, 8-10 g protein, 3-4 g fibre, 15-20 g sugars and 10-15% DV (Daily Value) for calcium.
My take: Higher in sugars than I’d like, but tastes quite nice and is very filling. A novel idea for those who are camping, travelling or on the “goh”.

chickpea-beverage
Chickpea beverage
Made from organic chick peas, this is the first fortified chickpea beverage in the world. A serving (1 cup) contains: 70 calories, 2.5 g fat, 1 g omega-3 fat (from flaxseed oil), 2 g carbohydrate, 10 g protein, 0 g sugars and 30% DV (Daily Value) for calcium. (Vitamin D content not available.)
My take: Really does tastes like chickpeas. Contains more protein than other plant-based beverages such as almond beverage or rice beverage.

Be Good to Your Gut

gut-health-n4nn-2016-jpgDon’t miss the Microbiota Summit on Nov 7th! RD Lucia Weiler teams up with Chef Eric Deletroz to dish out healthy advice, one bite at a time!

Two out of three Canadians experience digestive health problems every year.  For some people it’s just uncomfortable for a while, but for others it’s a chronic, painful or even life threatening condition. Researchers are looking at ways to keep your gut healthy and are discovering the significant impact of microorganisms that call your gut home.

Did know your body is home to trillions of microorganisms? The human gut in fact has its own microorganism colonies made up of mainly bacteria that are living and working in your body to help keep you healthy. Gut microorganisms are an exciting leading area of research and we are seeing the emergence of a movement on how gut microorganisms impact lifelong health.

On Monday Nov 7th, 2017, the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation (CDHF) is hosting a special education summit on gut health in Toronto for professionals and consumers. Registered Dietitian Lucia Weiler will be teaming up with Chef Eric Deletroz at the event to showcase healthy eating and cooking tips to improve your gut health. Our session will help you discover what to eat for digestive health & how to feed the microorganism world within you. Join us to learn more!

To register for the Microbiota Summit:

  1. Health Care Professional Session: Discover the World Within – Understanding how the Human Microbiota Impacts lifelong health. 12:30-5:30 pm in Toronto. Design Exchange, Toronto, Ontario. http://cdhf.ca/en/events/microbiota-summit-for-health-care-professionals
  2.  Consumer directed education session “Healthy Gut Summit’ is also available to help Canadians attain – and maintain — a happy, healthy gut. The session is FREE, but registration is required. http://cdhf.ca/en/events/healthy-gut-summit  Mon. Nov 7. 2016 | 7 – 9pm | Design Exchange Centre | Toronto, Ontario

October is Workplace Wellness Month!

workplace-wellness45% of Canadians find it challenging to eat well at work. Here’s our advice for fighting the 3 o’clock brain drain.

If you find it hard to eat well at work, you’re not alone. Research from an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Dietitians of Canada finds that 45% of Canadians say that eating healthy meals and snacks while at work is challenging.  As Registered Dietitians and nutrition experts, we know first hand the many benefits of eating well at work:

  • gives you energy to be stay focused and meet your deadlines
  • boosts your concentration and productivity
  • protects you from chronic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and even dental disease.

Here’s what you can do to improve your eating habits at work:

  1. Load up of vegetables and fruit. Pack your own fruit and veggie snacks so you’re not tempted by a vending machine or cafeteria.
  2. Bring healthy snacks for meetings. Instead of donuts and muffins, offer vegetables and fruit more often and have some whole grain products available.
  3. Bring your own lunch to work instead of eating at the fast food court.  Packing your lunch is healthy and saves you money. Also, chances are, the portion sizes you pack are more reasonable!
  4. Satisfy your thirst with water. At meetings serve plain water in pitchers. For a flavour boost add lemon, lime or cucumbers. Keep a water bottle on your desk.
  5. Choose to be active. Have a walking meeting around the block or have an activity break instead of a coffee break. Active living is not only healthy but also stimulates creativity!

Keep it going! Workplace wellness and nutrition programs are an investment in your employees’ health and well-being! We can help you build a workplace nutrition program and offer engaging, interactive seminars that will leave a lasting impression and inspire you towards your best health!  Contact us to get started!

Bridging the Gap between Nutrition Science and Culinary Arts

ambition nutrition June 2016

We recently attended the AMBITION NUTRITION conference  at George Brown College in Toronto where academic professionals, dietitians, culinary experts, and industry leaders joined for an interactive day to examine the gaps and opportunities that exist between research, education, nutrition, diet, and culinary arts. Here are some of the top insights posted on twitter by thought leaders at #AmbitionNutrition…

  • “Public is confused about #nutrition says @Dmozaffarian” @SueMahRD
  • “@davidludwigmd advice is to replace highly processed casrbs we healthy fats #weightloss” by @SueMahRD
  • “Lets fall in love with food again! @MichaelMossC” by @SueMahRD
  • “Nutrition is emotional & personal – 1 person 1 meal at a time struggle” by @LuciaWeilerRD
  • “Food is #1 cause of poor health in the world-yet NOT on e-health record-pay more attention 2 diet 4 health @Dmozaffarian” by ‏@LuciaWeilerRD
  • “Diet quality is the driving force behind obesity” @Dmozaffarian by @JenniferSygo
  •  “Eat less and move more” advice (is too simple and) does not work!…” by‏ @JarRraSummer
  •  “Let’s not vilify foods & stop focusing on the bad ~ let’s flip this & add more good “back to basics” food to our day.” ‏@MairlynSmith
  • “Your diet is like dating. You have to get to know your diet or it will never last.” @DougMcNish
  • “It’s not the “bad” in the diet that causes problems. It’s too little of the “good” – Eat veg fish beans @Dmozaffarian” ‏@CaraRosenbloom
  • “It is all about the quality of your diet not calories in/out when it comes to wt loss & risk of disease @Dmozaffarian” by @ShaunaLindzonRD
  • “Villifying any food may be the gateway to orthorexia @JennSygo” by ‏@TrishBitesLife
  • “Creating a healthy and positive food environment has to come from the policy level, not the individual level.” @ConfessionsRD
  • “Good point re: menu labelling – may cause people to choose lower cal options regardless of their quality @Dmozaffarian” ‏by @chelseaallenrd
  • “Cilantro haters is not your fault! Blame the Soapy taste on your genes!” @elsohemy by @LuciaWeilerRD
  • “ Chefs make nutrition recos come to life! Dietitian says pick your fave veg oil!” by @LuciaWeilerRD

 

 

 

 

Spotlight on Metabolic Syndrome – Highlights from the Canadian Nutrition Society Conference

CNS 2016 conf snag it cropped 4

Metabolic Syndrome is a dangerous health condition affecting 1 in 5 Canadians. Despite it’s prevalence, little is known about metabolic syndrome. At the Canadian Nutrition Society’s 2016 Conference, experts shed light on this growing public health crisis.

Metabolic Syndrome was only identified about 20 years ago and is not a disease itself but a group of health conditions that includes high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol levels, and excess abdominal fat. People with metabolic syndrome are also more likely to have chronic inflammation, another sign of health in danger.

Lucia & Penny K-E CNS lowe resolution

Lucia Weiler, RD & Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished Professor of Nutrition

Here are the key takeaway messages from the conference:

  • Dr Penny Kris-Etherton, Pennsylvania State University shared, “The power of a healthy diet is remarkable in lowering metabolic syndrome risk.” A high quality diet that especially includes more fruit and vegetable intake reduces risk of metabolic syndrome. Best results are achieved with concurrent weight loss, but changing to a healthy diet improves metabolic syndrome even without weight loss.
  • Dr. Wendy Ward, Brock University explained that diabetes weakens bone structure and increases the risk of bone fractures in people with metabolic syndrome.
  • Gut bacteria contribute to positive health. Dr Comelli, University of Toronto recommended we should aim to have a diverse gut microbiome that resembles a diverse rainforest not a barren desert.
  • Dr. Angelo Tremblay, Laval University agreed and stated that “Yogurt is the best player of the dairy food team” because it is nutrient dense and provides probiotics to boost good gut bacteria.
  • Dr. Benoit Lamarche, Laval University reviewed the new research on saturated fatty acids and its impact on heart disease. He stressed the importance to identify the source of dietary saturated fat and to advise individuals to enjoy whole, unprocessed foods more often to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Lamarche praised the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s position statement on Saturated Fat, Heart Disease and Stroke.
  • Dr. Khursheed Jeejeebhoy, University of Toronto and the father of clinical nutrition in Canada introduced a Metabolic Syndrome CHANGE program and offered these 3 tips for for dietary change:
    1. Advise people they have Metabolic Syndrome
    2. Explain to them it is a life threatening condition
    3. Engage patients and provide them with personalized tools for change best suited to them
  • Finally, Jennifer Sygo, Registered Dietitian closed the conference by sharing practical tips for helping clients make meaningful nutirition and lifestyle changes to achieve their personal health goals. There is no magic diet – rather, the best diet for weight loss is the one that works for you and you can stick to it. Dietitians provide credible, evidence-based information, and translate the science into the context of the whole diet for consumers to understand.

2016 is the International Year of Pulses!

Sue Lucia Chef Michael Smith Pulse Feast sign

You know the food is going to be WOW when Chef Michael Smith is at the party! From Chickpea Stuffed Crepes to Seared Scallops with Red Lentil Risotto, we were delighted to celebrate International Year of Pulses with the celebrity chef, foodies and farmers.

Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family, and include dried beans, dried peas, chickpeas and lentils. The United Nations has declared 2016 as International Year of Pulses (IYP). As Ambassador for Canada’s IYP, Smith praises pules for their nutrition, versatility, sustainability and affordability. And did we mention that they taste great?!

chick pea crepe lentil scallop
[Left: Indian chickpea stuffed crepe with curry chicken salad, golden raisins and cashews
Right: Pan seared scallops with red lentil risotto, smoked bacon and salsa verde]

Take the Pulse Pledge and commit to eating pulses at least once a week for 10 weeks. Here’s a fantastic recipe to get you started!

PULSE TACOS (courtesy of Chef Michael Smith, 2015)
These meatless tacos are stuffed with so much sunny southwestern flavour that no one will notice anything missing.
Makes 12 tacos, Serves 4 to 6
Pulse Tacos snagit

For the pulse filling
2 tablespoons (30 mL) of canola oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 heaping tablespoon (18 mL) of chili powder
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of ground cumin
1 cup (250 mL) of green lentils
A 19-ounce (540 mL) can of your favourite beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cups (500 mL) of water
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of your favourite hot sauce

For the taco toppings
A head of Bibb or iceberg lettuce
12 hard taco shells
A few handfuls of grated cheddar or taco blend cheese
Your favourite salsa
A large bunch of fresh cilantro
2 limes, cut into wedges

Make the lentil bean filling. Splash the canola oil into a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Toss in the onions, garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Sauté until the vegetables soften and the spice flavours brighten, 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in the lentils, beans, water, and salt. Bring the works to a slow, steady simmer. Cover tightly and continue slowly cooking until the lentils are tender, 35 minutes or so. Stir in the hot sauce.

Assemble the tacos. Fit a full leaf of lettuce into a hard taco shell. This will hold the fillings in when the hard shell inevitably breaks. Fill each taco with a heaping spoonful of the lentil bean filling. Pack with cheese, salsa, and cilantro. Serve with the lime wedges and share!

Fascinating food fact: There are 22,000 pulse farmers in Canada, primarily in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba. Our country is the world’s largest producer and exporter of peas and lentils.

Everyday Super Food

Sue Lucia Jamie Oliver bookICYMI, Jamie Oliver was in Toronto to launch his new TV show on Food Network Canada and his new cookbook Everyday Super Food. We were there at the TV show prescreening and had a chance to listen to Jamie’s thoughts on his latest cookbook.

The uber chef and foodie, noted that his 40th birthday was the impetus behind this cookbook in which he has a section dedicate to nutrition healthy eating. With so many inspiring words of wisdom from Jamie, we just aren’t sure which one of these is our favourite!

  • “On cold, wet, rainy days, food can be a hug.”
  • “Access to freshly grown food is linked to longevity.”
  • “If you just pick up your shopping and get cooking, you’ll be in a beautiful place.”
  • “Food is there to be enjoyed, shared, and celebrated, and healthy, nourishing food should be colourful, delicious, and fun.”

The Buzz on Sustainability

Sustainability DFC event-1

Sustainability is HOT! Food industry leaders are responding to this ever growing consumer trend and making sustainability a top business priority. Responsible consumption is everyone’s responsibility and it encompasses concerns for people’s nutrition/health, for the welfare of animals and crops, for our communities and the environment overall. Here’s a selection of sound bites that we and other thought leaders tweeted from national events on sustainability food waste.

  • Features of a #SustainableHealthyDiet: reduce overconsumption; maintain a healthy weight; limit consumption of nutrient-poor foods; reduce food waste; conserve water and energy in the kitchen.” (DFC symposium)
  • $31 billion of #FoodWaste in Canada 2014. 53% of food waste is from fruits n veggies. Yikes! (DFC symposium)
  • #ReduceFoodWaste by eating leftovers, meal-planning, preserving food.” (DFC symposium)
  • ReduceWaste! Eat what you buy – a family of 4 throws away over 120lbs of food a month!” (DFC symposium)
  • Some work to do: Canada wastes 40% of food post-purchase.” (DFC symposium)
  • Wasting less food is not only important from a sustainability standpoint but also for budgeting.” (Conference Board of Canada, Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc. presentation)
  • Only “59 % of Canadians understand what organic food means” (Conference Board of Canada Report Card on Food)
  • Environmental footprint labelling is on the rise in grocery stores. Could this trend be here to stay?” (DFC symposium)
  • The food system of the future must be: nutrition sensitive; climate smart; secure the environment and our natural resources” (DFC symposium)
  • 5 top tips from 100 years ago that still apply today: (DFC symposium)
    • Buy it with thought
    • Cook it with care
    • Serve just enough
    • Save what will keep
    • Eat what would spoil

Highlights from Grocery Innovations Canada 2015

If you missed this year’s Grocery Innovations show in Toronto, don’t worry. We were there and we have all of the key highlights for you, starting with aloe water, protein water and locally grown quinoa. Here are our top 5 picks on what‘s trending!

1. Water, water everywhere! From alkaline and aloe waters to boxed water and protein water, it’s clear that manufacturers are duking it out to quench Canadians’ thirst!

FLOW alkaline waterAlkaline water –naturally alkaline water with a high pH. A 500 mL serving contains: 0 calories, 0 g fat, 4 mg sodium 0 g carbohydrates, 0 g protein, 4% DV for calcium. (Top 10 Most Innovative Products for 2015.)

AloeWateAloe water – pulp free and sourced in North America. A 450 mL serving contains: 35 calories, o g fat, 0.015 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrates, 8 g sugars, 0 g protein. (Made with aloe vera inner leaf powder, organic cane sugar, RebA stevia extract.)

Boxed waterBoxed water – why, because as the package says, “Boxed water is better”. The package tells their story – 78% of the box is composed from trees. No nutrition facts information is shown on the box.

Protein2OProtein2O – a protein enhanced water. A 500 mL serving contains: 70 calories, 0 g fat, 120 mg sodium, 70 mg potassium, 2 g carbohydrates, 0 g sugars, 15 g whey protein. (Made with sucralose.)

2. Packaging with a story. Chios Gardens fruit juices uses the front of pack to highlight its fruity ingredients. The journey of the juice is featured on the back panel.

Chios Gardens juice front  Chios Gardens juice back

 

quinoa3. Locally-grown quinoa. Who knew this gluten-free grain could be grown right here in in Ontario? Available in 2016.

Popcornveggie4. Pop Fusion Popcorn. Another local innovation. Popcorn is flavoured with a seasoning blend made from all of the veggies you see in the photo!

5. Winners: Among the winners of the top 10 most innovative products this year were:

  • Coupgon App – no more having to cut out coupons!
  • Natural Delights Date Rolls – soft like a brownie with the sweetness of dates
  • Nordica Smooth Cottage Cheese – cottage cheese without the lumps!
  • Prema Chai Spiced Tea – a blend of black tea with spices
  • Tandoori Lasagna – why choose Indian versus Italian when you can have both!
  • Veggemo – a vegetable based beverage made from pea protein, tapioca and potato

Keeping up with the shopper

Do you have a good understanding of today’s shopper? At this year’s annual BrandSpark conference, marketing and insight leaders shared these top 7 critical shopper factors.

  1. Value – Canadians are active seekers of value for their money. 87% of Canadians are proud to get value.
  2. Enjoyment – For 88% of Canadians, taste is very important when choosing food.
  3. Health – 84% of consumers believe that nutrition can prevent illness and 69% are making changes to live healthier.
  4. Convenience – Products must be simple to use for Canadians. 63% say it’s very important that products save them time.
  5. Trust – When it comes to food and beverages, 60% of consumers feel it’s very important to buy a trusted brand.
  6. Innovation – Canadians are looking for new and improved benefits. 65% will pay more for a better new product.
  7. Multicultural – 70% of immigrants to Canada want cultural food products to taste authentic.

Contact us to learn more critical shopping factors related to social media and millennials.

“Eat Less, Eat Better”…is it that simple? Rethinking our message about healthy eating and obesity

 

Will we solve the obesity crisis by simply telling people to “eat less and eat better”? A one-day health professional forum was held in Toronto on April 28th to rethink our messages about food and obesity. The event featured key leaders in obesity research/treatment and health communications:

  • Dr. Ayra Sharma (Chair for Obesity Research and Management, University of Alberta)
  • Ted Kyle (Founder, ConscienHealth)
  • Sue Mah (President, Nutrition Solutions and Co-Founder, Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists)

Here’s what these experts were saying…

 

Dr. Ayra Sharma
Chair for Obesity Research and Management, University of Alberta

  • Obesity is a complex chronic disease.
  • Simplistic messages about obesity are misleading, can promote unhealthy weight obsession and promote bias and discrimination.
  • Prevention and intervention strategies should focus on improving health behaviours rather than on just changing body weight.

Ted Kyle
Founder, ConscienHealth

  • Use respectful, people-first language that is free of bias and stigma – e.g. “unhealthy weight” or “high BMI” instead of “fat” or “morbidly obese”.
  • “Obese” is a harmful label. “Obesity” is a disease.
  • Shift the conversation from “being obese” towards health.

 

Sue Mah
President, Nutrition Solutions and Co-Founder, Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists

  • “Eating better” means cooking, eating together and enjoying food.
  • Consumers are bombarded with food/nutrition messages that simply don’t “have the scientific muster to present as fact” (quoting Dr. Oz here!)
  • Health and nutrition communications needs to be creative to capture consumers’ attention.
  • From celebrities and chefs to dietitians and politicians, everyone has a role in being a champion for change.

SIAL Canada 2015

We never miss attending SIAL Canada – it’s one of North America’s most important food tradeshows of the year. With 800 national and international exhibitors from 45 countries, this year’s SIAL event welcomed more than 13,000 buyers including Canada’s major retailers and purchasers from around the world who are seeking innovative and great tasting foods for their customers.

#1 – The winner of SIAL Innovation award went to Malimousse Seafood Dip with Greek Yogurt. The judges liked the dip’s quality, flavour and simple list of ingredients. Right on trend – Congratulations!

 

 

Seven of the ten finalists for this prestigious award were also from Canada.

#2 – Nupasta – Konjac Angel Hair is an innovative pasta product that is high in fibre and has 1/10th the calories of regular pasta. Nupasta’s Stephen Cheung tells us that products made from the konjac plant may be new in Canada but are common in Japan. Nupasta is made with konjac root flour and soy flour and is priced like fresh pasta. NuPasta contains 95% water and 5% fibre, yet it tastes great, appears versatile and is ready in 1 minute. This Chinese/Canadian partnership also declares the product as gluten free and non-GMO. Innovation category: component – recipe.

#3 – Walter – All-Natural Craft Caesar Mix is a natural handcrafted Bloody Caesar cocktail mix with no monosodium glutamate, isoglucose, colours or artificial flavours. Innovation categories: component – recipe; manufacturing process.

#4 – Fantino & Mondello – Dry Salami. These are gluten-free salami bites in a re-sealable bag and perfect for appetizers. Innovation categories: component – recipe; packaging.

#5 – Fresh Attitude Fraiche – Teriyaki, Stir Fry. An Asian inspired vegetables and noodle mix in a microwaveable and re-sealable bowl. Innovation categories: component –recipe; packaging.

#6 – Haskapa – Haskap Juice Drink is Haskap juice in a slim bottle. Made from 187 haskap berries and lightly sweetened. Innovation categories: component – recipe; packaging.

#7 – Omax – Nutritious and Delicious Bar. A nutrition bar sold chilled or frozen. Preservative-free. Innovation categories: component – recipe; marketing positioning

#8 – Pure – Infused Maple Syrup. Get ready for spice-infused maple syrup in a sophisticated bottle with wooden cap. Innovation categories: component – recipe; packaging.

#9 – Exotico – Sumatra Robusta Green Coffee. Instant green coffee for fitness. Low in calories and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Innovation category: component – recipe.

#10 – Doi Chaang Coffee Company – Organic and fair trade coffee in 90% biodegradable pod. 12 individually wrapped pods. Innovation categories: packaging; manufacturing process; marketing positioning

Congratulations to the “graduates” of our 8th annual Nutrition for NON-NutritionistsTM course!

What a great day we had at our 8th annual Nutrition for NON-NutritionistsTM course in Toronto! Our highly interactive sessions combined the fundamentals and the latest trends in nutrition marketing, regulatory affairs, strategy and communications.  The course was highly rated as excellent or very good. For those who missed the course this year, one of the top questions was: “What is a healthy food?”

Q: What is a healthy food?”

A: In Canada, there is no regulated definition of a healthy food or beverage. Foods that contain high amounts of nutrients while providing reasonable amount of energy (calories) are usually considered “healthy foods”. On the other hand, foods that are high in calories, fat and added sugars and low in fibre and essential nutrients would be considered “unhealthy foods”.

You can create healthier foods by making the calories count and by increasing nutritional values. Boost fibre, vitamins/minerals, healthy fats and protein, and lower the fat, salt and added sugars. Look to healthful ingredients such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lower fat dairy, and lean meat, fish or meat alternatives to help improve the nutritional profile of recipes without compromising taste. For more information healthy food innovations, nutrition labelling and nutrient content claims please contact us.

The Power of Protein

You may already know that protein helps build and repair body tissues as well as build antibodies that fight disease. Last month, the Canadian Nutrition Society in collaboration with Dietitians of Canada, hosted the Conference on Advances in Protein Nutrition Across the Lifespan.  We were there and heard an update from leading researchers in the field. Here are key highlights about the role of protein in exercise, weight loss and chronic disease management.

Athletes: Eating the right amount of protein at the right time has critical implications for athletes.  To build muscle, Dr. Stuart Phillips at McMaster University recommends eating four equally spaced protein containing meals per day, (0.25-0.3 g protein/kg body weight/meal), PLUS a 40 g protein intake at bedtime to ensure muscle building proteins are on board while you sleep. For those interested in protein supplements, whey is best since it’s a fast absorbing high quality protein.

Weight Loss & General Health: Eating enough protein helps you feel fuller. Keep snacking at bay, and include at least 30 g protein with each meal, especially at breakfast.

The quality of protein is an important consideration for meal planning, especially for vegetarian diets. How much protein containing food do you need to eat to meet your requirements for essential amino acids – the building blocks of protein? It depends on the source!  Foods containing high quality proteins require lower calorie intake to meet your essential amino acid requirements, according to Dr. Robert Wolfe, an expert on healthy aging from the University of Arkansas. For example, you may need to eat 6 times as many calories in chickpeas to get the amino acids available in one serving of lean turkey meat.

Aging & Chronic Illness: Muscle building in the body is triggered when enough of the amino acid leucine is present. When people consume small amounts of protein, the threshold of leucine needed to trigger muscle building may not be reached. Researchers including Dr. John Hoffer at the University of McGill recommend at least 30 g protein per meal to stimulate muscle building.  The tip for the ill and elderly patients may be to discourage nibbling, so they are sufficiently hungry at mealtime to eat enough protein to reach the threshold for muscle building to kick in.