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Top 10 health food trends for 2011

Michelle Dudash, RD, is nationally recognized as an expert in teaching people how health and food can happily co-exist. Through her 18 years of food business experience as a Le Cordon Bleu certified chef having cooked at a five star rest...

Here's to a healthy new year

The American Dietetic Association’s 2010 Food & Nutrition Conference offered a good glimpse of what’s hot and what’s not in health foods, and what will rule next year. Here are the top 10 health food trends for 2011.

Woman drinking water

6Gluten-free goodness?

The popularity of gluten-free diets has made people wonder, "Should I go gluten-free, too"? While traditional doughnuts and cookies offer few nutrients, their wheat-less cousins proudly tout "gluten-free" on the label. Nutritionists like Jenna Bell-Wilson, PhD, RD, CSSD, blogger for Eat Right Around Chicago, question the overall nutritional profile of these foods, however, urging people to consider more than just this one quality.

7Filtered water is the new bottled water

Aluminum water bottles are now a sought-after accessory. Guzzling bottles of spring water from exotic islands or stock-piling heavy cases of water driven in by the truckload is becoming a no-no, as in-home water filtration systems create similar clean-tasting water and leave less of a carbon footprint.

8Natural sweeteners

While the last few years buzzed with zero-calorie sweeteners, food labels now tout the natural sources of sweetness they contain, such as raw cane sugar, honey and fruit. Ideal, SunCrystals, SweetLeaf, and Stevia in the Raw debuted in the low-calorie category.

9The new darling of fortified foods

"Protein packs a punch, but in new, unexpected places such as pretzels, beverage shots, crackers and chips," says Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN, author of the "nutrition counter" series for Pocket Books. Plant-based proteins rise in popularity.

10Americans recover from the 1990s fat phobia

Avocados, nuts, seeds and oils with nutritious fats strutted their stuff with red-velvet avocado cupcakes, almond meal breading and soft spreads with canola oil's omega-3s.

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