We’ve come a long way in recent years to lead healthier lives, with yoga studios and juice bars seemingly on every corner and even fast food restaurants promoting healthier choices. Convenience has been key in maintaining these new priorities – often, if it’s not easy to do, we abandon it quickly (likely the reason so many New Year’s resolutions don’t stick). But many health improvements in the foods and beverages we regularly enjoy have not only made it possible, but also easy to achieve a balanced and wholesome diet.
Removing unhealthy fats, sugar, and salt from foods and drinks is an established trend. Swapping those additives for ingredients such as carrageenan, a soluble fiber sourced from red seaweed, has made it possible to deliver healthy foods without sacrificing indulgence. That fat-free pudding can still be creamy and delicious thanks to naturally derived ingredients like carrageenan, allowing the treat in your child’s brown bag lunch to be healthier without him or her even noticing.
Adding vitamins and nutrients to popular products is making convenience even healthier – like tasty dairy beverages packed with protein for meals on the go or ready-made infant formula enriched with Omega-3 DHA for healthy development. Again, naturally derived ingredients help to maintain product integrity – taste, texture, and palatability – while withstanding the essential processes that make these types of products healthy, shelf-stable, and safe.
Vitamin supplements have also been growing in popularity as more is discovered about the value of different nutrients. In particular, Omega-3 supplements are becoming a staple for families that want the health benefits of seafood but can’t get it on a regular basis, either due to cost or availability. We’re now starting to see more diversity in Omega-3 supplements, including targeted concentration offerings specific to certain health concerns such as healthy aging, mood, and cognition, as well as emerging areas like inflammatory conditions. Capsules themselves are becoming more convenient through increasing concentrations that make them smaller and easier to take. And by taking a page from nutrition’s evolution, carrageenan is being used to produce vegetarian-based capsules, making these compatible with vegan, halal, and kosher requirements.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t always convenient or easy, but we’ve taken the steps to make wholesome nutrition readily and widely available, and the progress we’ve made will only advance through continued research, science, and a commitment to feeding the growing world.
To learn more about the ingredients that make staying healthy less work, please visit www.FoodScienceMatters.com.