Consumer trends in healthy eating are a fast tract to digestive disorders and malnourishment.

The following report from the International Food Information Council demonstrates just how thorough the high-fiber/low-fat dictate has infiltrated the choices that the general public makes about healthy eating. This list puts vegetables/salads,  fruits and whole grains as the top three picks. These foods are difficult to digest and low in nutrients in comparison pastured animal foods. Eating low-nutrient, hard-to-digest foods as the main part of the diet puts you on the fast track to digestive disorders and malnourishment. Considering that 60 million people have acid reflux–or 1 in 5 people–and that this condition alone is so common that we have billions of dollars spent dedicated to advertising meds for it–this should serve as a wake up call that this approach to eating is not working.

Simply put–“All disease begins in the gut.” Hippocrates and “All disease comes from malnourishment,” Dr. Weston A. Price.

How consumers approach functional foods: Survey

By Lorraine Heller, 13-Aug-2009

Related topics: Consumer Trends

Whole grains, fiber and protein are top of the list for consumers looking to improve their diets by eating more of a specific type of food, according to a new survey of Americans’ approach to functional foods.

The latest report by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) finds that out of those Americans trying to improve their diets, 79 percent are changing the types of foods they eat, 69 percent are changing the amount of foods consumed, and 19 percent are changing their use of dietary supplements.

“The 2009 Food & Health Survey found that healthfulness, among other product attributes, is an important factor that influences consumers’ purchasing decisions. When consumers are choosing foods for themselves and their children, they are interested in healthful components such as fiber, whole grains, protein, vitamin C, and calcium, which all play a role in building strong bodies and improving overall health,” wrote IFIC.

This is the sixth survey conducted by IFIC since 1998 in order to track consumer awareness and attitudes to functional foods.

Commissioned by IFIC, Cogent Research of Cambridge, MA, conducted an online survey of 1,000 American adults in May this year. Questions were either open-ended (unaided), or participants were prompted and asked to rate specific responses.

More foods for more health

Around 55 percent of participants (553) said they are changing the types of foods or food components they eat in an effort to improve their health. Of those, 64 percent said they are eating more of a particular food.

The foods consumers cited most often (unaided) as products they are trying to eat more of include:

  • Vegetables/salads (60 percent)
  • Fruits/fruit juices (53 percent)
  • Whole grains (11 percent)
  • Protein (9 percent)
  • Fish/seafood (7 percent)
  • Fiber (7 percent)

When asked to rank the top three food components they look for when choosing foods for themselves (aided), consumers opted for:

  • Fiber (37 percent)
  • Whole grains (34 percent)
  • Protein (28 percent)

For those purchasing foods for their children, the top components were (aided):

  • Calcium (39 percent)
  • Vitamin C (31 percent)
  • Whole grains (26 percent)

Functional food awareness

The survey also revealed a slow but steady increase in people’s awareness that functional foods are foods with benefits that go beyond basic nutrition (89 percent in 2009 compared to 85 percent in 2007).

The top ‘functional foods’ named by consumers (unaided) are: fruits and vegetables, fish/fish oil/seafood, dairy (including milk and yogurt), meat and poultry, herbs/spices, fiber, tea and green tea, nuts, whole grains and other grains, water, cereal, oats/oat bran/oatmeal, and vitamins/supplements.

As in previous surveys conducted in 2007 and 2005, nine out of 10 consumers were able to name, on an unaided basis, a specific food or food component and its associated health benefit (92 percent in 2009 and 2007 and 91 percent in 2005). This compares to 84 percent in 2002; 82 percent in 2000; and 77 percent in 1998.

The survey also examined consumers’ top health concerns and the foods they think address these. It also looked at people’s perception of nutrigenomics – or personalized nutrition – as well as the communication and sources of information on health and nutrition.

For more  information on a nutrient-dense foods and a healing diet see

Best in Health,

Kathryne Pirtle

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