Every five years since 1980 the U.S. Government publishes the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). A main emphasis of the DGA over the years has been advice on how much of certain food groups and nutrients to consume, encouraging Americans to eat more of those that we don’t eat enough of (e.g., calcium, dietary fiber and vitamin D) and less of those that we eat in excess (e.g., added sugars, saturated fat and sodium).

Previous versions of the DGA have noted the importance of choosing more nutrient-dense foods, so that we are more likely to get all the nutrition we…


As you put away the flour from making pancakes, you glance into the pantry and notice a second box of that cake mix you used for your last Thanksgiving dinner. You remember how tasty the cake was, and how moist it stayed, even after a week. You may wonder, “How could cake made from a simple box mix maintain its texture so well?” And before you know it, you’re craving it again! You can thank the food ingredient known as propylene glycol for helping your cake stay moist and intact for so long. …


Vegetarian alternatives to meat are nothing new — veggie burgers, vegan deli meat and chicken-less nuggets have been around for decades. But while these products typically have aimed to meet the needs of vegetarians and vegans and don’t consistently match the taste and texture of meat, newer plant-based alternatives to meat are attempting to mimic animal proteins as much as possible.

In this explainer, we’ll take a closer look at how these products are made, their nutritional attributes, and their environmental impact. To date, many of these new products have been created to serve as alternatives to foods traditionally made…


2021 Food Trends: From Our Eating and Purchasing Habits to Food Safety, COVID-19 Still Looms Large on Food Decisions and Health Goals

(Washington, D.C.) — A year ago, almost nobody could have imagined how dramatically everyone’s life would change in 2020. What we eat, how we purchase it, and how we prepare and eat it are among the most far-reaching impacts we have seen because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the 2020 Food & Health Survey, fielded in April by the International Food Information Council (IFIC), 85% of Americans said they had experienced at least some change in their eating or food preparation habits because of COVID-19, and we don’t anticipate effect to fade much in 2021.

“COVID-19 has upended virtually…


Vegan diets exclude all animal products and emphasize nutrient-dense plant foods like legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Well-planned vegan diets rich in plant-based foods can be beneficial to health. However, by excluding animal-based foods, following a vegan diet can make it more difficult to get the recommended amount of some nutrients. As nutrient needs are higher during pregnancy, some may wonder if it’s safe for pregnant women to follow a vegan diet. This article summarizes the potential health benefits and specific nutrients to focus on if you’re following a vegan diet while pregnant.

Health Benefits

Vegan diets can offer a variety…


There are many different types of sugars, the most common of which is sucrose, otherwise known as table sugar, granulated sugar or just plain “sugar.” If you use sugar to bake or sweeten coffee or tea, sucrose is probably the type of sugar you are using. Scientifically speaking, sucrose is a type of carbohydrate, a disaccharide made of equal parts of two monosaccharides: glucose and fructose.

Where does sucrose come from?

Sucrose is a naturally occurring sugar found in various amounts in plants like fruits, vegetables and nuts. Sucrose is also produced commercially from sugar cane and sugar beets. According to the U.S. Department of…


The color of our food can have a big influence on what and how we eat. A boring grey or brown slab doesn’t look appealing to most, which is why many food scientists and processors use food color additives to enhance the appearance of foods. All food color additives in the U.S. food supply are safe for human consumption, and counter to some news reports, there is limited science that food colors increase hyperactivity in children. This claim has not been proven, but research scientists continue to explore this potential connection.

The safety of food color additives

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assesses the safety…


2020 has presented challenges in unprecedented ways, and many of us are still trying to get our bearings. Specifically, the coronavirus pandemic has put a serious financial strain on many U.S. households. Even for those who remain steadily employed, the uncertainty of life has spurred an interest in — or perhaps a realization about the importance of — cutting back on expenses to save money.

While food is about as essential as it gets, there are ways to cut back on spending while you shop. Here are a few practical tips that can help save money on groceries.

Set a food budget

For some…


What Nutrition Facts Information Do People Use to Decide Which Product is Healthier?

Download the full report.

Highlights

  • Based on comparing blinded Nutrition Facts labels, 45% believed the plant alternative was healthier than animal meat, while 32% believed the plant alternative to be unhealthier.
  • The top influences for those who believed the plant alternative was healthier were the number of vitamins and minerals and the amount of specific vitamins and minerals listed on the Nutrition Facts label.
  • Sodium content was the top influence for those who believed the plant alternative was unhealthier.
  • When 13 of beef’s inherent vitamins and minerals are included on its label, and that label is compared again with the plant alternative label, fewer people…

There may be no more important part of our body than our immune system. Through its nonstop work to prevent and limit the effects of harmful pathogens like bacteria and viruses, we’re able to maintain our health and recover from illnesses caused by these invaders. Our immune cells make up one of the most sophisticated, coordinated systems in the body — one that is essential for our survival.

With the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, there has been an increased focus on the importance of keeping our immune systems running strong. As a result, there’s…

FoodInsight.org

The International Food Information Council is a nonprofit organization communicating science-based information about health, nutrition and food production.

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