I came across interesting survey results lately that reflect what I believe is a healthy shift in eating attitudes for both baby boomers and older adults. It seems that we now concentrate more on choosing foods for positive outcomes, as opposed to avoiding foods due to negative associations.
For example, we want to eat avocados because they contain healthy fats; we don’t wish to avoid avocados because they contain a lot of calories. This change in attitude makes dietitians smile and is much more sustainable for most consumers.
Here are some details from the research:
- Between March 23 – March 31, 2021, the International Food Information Council collected responses from more than 1,000 adults aged 18 – 80 years old.
- 27% believed “healthy foods” included fruits, vegetables, protein, and fiber (compared to only 17% in 2016).
- 47% defined a “healthy eating pattern” as eating appropriate portion sizes at meal time, followed by avoiding processed foods, and the right mix of different foods.
- Although weight loss is still the No. 1 reason people choose to follow a specific diet or eating pattern, fewer Americans dieted to lose weight this year compared to previous surveys.
- Coming in right after losing weight, reasons for eating a certain way included protecting long-term health, and wanting to better themselves and have more energy.
I love that we’ve gotten the message out to people that eating for reasons other than our appearance are important, and that Americans are embracing this idea.
So what foods are you including in your diet for their positive benefits these days? I know I’m eating more nuts and seeds for their beneficial heart-healthy fats, and not so worried about the calories. I’m including more broccoli and brussel sprouts for gut health protection, and not so concerned about occasional GI discomfort.
Eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources reflect the recommendations of many health organizations, and it looks like Americans are getting on board. Good news indeed!
For ways to increase your intake of healthful foods, reach out to me.