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A Hancock Wellness Center Dietitian’s Take on Food Trends

A Hancock Wellness Center Dietitian’s Take on Food Trends

Food fads, diets trends … all of them tout endless benefits and claim to be the “right” way to eat. But are they as beneficial as promised? With the landscape of nutrition feeling more confusing than ever, we figured it was time to consult an expert. 

Trends are temporary

According to Steven Tsaparikos, a registered dietitian with the Hancock Wellness Center in New Palestine, food trends like plant-based eating, fermented foods, the keto diet, and superfoods often are not sustainable. “Most people see greater success when they work on creating a lifestyle balanced between what they want, what they need and being more food conscious.” 

Don’t leave out the important food groups

What many fad diets and food trends have in common is leaving out entire food groups. Take the Keto and Paleo diets. Here, you are asked to cut out a good portion of the carbohydrates you consume. Sure, this might be great for weight loss in the short term and certainly both diets’ lack of packaged foods and sugar are going to help you gain healthier habits. However, going to the extreme of leaving out an entire food group just isn’t a realistic long-term lifestyle, says Tsaparikos.

In fact, he says, denying oneself a certain type of food will can lead to an obsession and craving for that very food. Variety as well as moderation are the keys to a healthy diet, including all the food groups. Instead, opt for a variety of vegetables, fruits, proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats to round out your diet. 

Yet, there are some foods to say goodbye to

While you don’t want to leave out important food groups, saying goodbye to pre-packaged, processed foods and sugars is a great idea for those who want to choose a healthy lifestyle. Food trends, such as the plant-based diet, which emphasizes eating more plants and less processed foods, are quite helpful in decreasing your chances of developing chronic illnesses as well as keeping you at a healthy weight. This doesn’t mean you need to give up meat, though, as plant-based doesn’t necessarily mean going full vegetarian. Tsaparikos says plants are nutrient dense and high in vitamins and minerals, which means everyone could benefit from incorporating more of these into their daily eating habits.

Everything in moderation

If you want to eat like a nutritionist, Tsaparikos says to include everything in moderation. Consume things like sugar and butter on special occasions, opting for healthier alternatives daily. Include the things you want to have and enjoy your food. Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean restricting yourself or cutting out whole food groups. In fact, if you find your way to a healthy, balanced diet that feels sustainable in your everyday life, you will be on the road to lifelong health and wellness!

Want to talk to a nutritionist? 

After reading all this, do you want to talk to a nutritionist one-on-one? Members of the Hancock Wellness Centers can benefit from the registered dietitians like Tsaparikos. Whether you are part of clinical programming, making your way through the physician referral program, or just looking to have some dietary guidance, contact your local Hancock Wellness Center. If you are a member of the New Palestine center, you can get in touch with Steven Tsaparikos at stsaparikos@hancockregional.org.

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