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Active Ageing – Why is Protein So Important?

Author(s): Ryan Hazlett, MSc

Although the average global life expectancy is now over 70 years, the focus for many people today is not “how old can I live to be?” Instead, the most important question has become “will I be able to do the things I want to do when I am older?” Retaining muscle mass is key for… Read more »

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Top Health and Nutrition Articles of 2020

2020 brought a lot of surprises for the areas of food, health, and nutrition. It changed the topics people wanted to learn about, foods people shopped for, prepared, and ate, and how each of us chose to cope with stress. Most importantly, it had many of us searching for science-based answers to many of our… Read more »

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Plant-Based Nutrition – Challenges and Opportunities for Foods and Beverages

Author(s): Nathan Pratt, PhD, RD

During the early phases of the plant-based trend, many products received a free pass on nutrient content or ingredient labels. The novelty of being ‘plant-based’ was enough, and products during this time focused on creative new ways to deliver alternatives to animal-derived foods, riding the coattails of the strong health halo consumers associate with plant-based… Read more »

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The Role of Enzymes in Food

Author(s): Niall Higgins, PhD, Billy Ryan, PhD, and Josh Taylor, PhD

What are enzymes? Enzymes are proteins produced by all living organisms.  They are biological catalysts which are responsible for all chemical reactions in nature.  When your body wants to transform food such as starch in bread or pasta into energy enzymes are used to convert the starch to simple sugars which can be used by… Read more »

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Does the Keto Diet Help Endurance Athletes?

Author(s): Lisa Ryan, PhD, RNutr

The Ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate, high fat (LCHF) diet Different dietary trends come into popularity at various stages and recent times have seen the resurgence of the low carbohydrate – high fat diet (LCHF) diet, this time in the form of ‘the ketogenic diet’.  This diet encourages less than 10% of total calories… Read more »

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The Dairy Matrix: Beyond Individual Nutrients

Author(s): Aoife Marie Murphy, PhD

Is dairy fat healthy or unhealthy? Why do we see recommendations to reduce saturated fat intake, while at the same time see headlines from studies showing full-fat dairy may be healthy for us? The answer lies in the fact that food can often be more than the sum of its parts. Dairy, saturated fat &… Read more »

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Soy’s Role in Health

Author(s): Aoife Marie Murphy, PhD and Michael Kemp, PhD, RD

Soy has received more attention in the past few years due to the growing popularity of plant protein and plant-based diets. However, there have also been mixed messages about soy in the media over the past few decades, which leaves many people confused about soy’s role in health. “Is soy unhealthy or healthy?” is the… Read more »

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Nutrient Density and the “Quality Calorie Concept”

Author(s): Gemma Velayos, MSc

Anyone who has ever been on a diet will be familiar with the terms ‘reduced calories’ or ‘counting calories’, but what about the other parts of a healthy diet, beyond calories? Nutrient density has a large role to play in a healthy diet. The high obesity rates globally suggest that on average, we consume too… Read more »

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Immune System Nutrition – Science At-A-Glance

Immune system nutrition can be hard to navigate. There are so many resources available, which can make it hard to know which ones you can trust. Our resources on this page are science-based summaries of all you might want to know about nutrition for immunity. Nutrients that support the immune system Different nutrients support immunity… Read more »

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The Impact of Social Isolation on Eating Behaviour and Nutrition

Author(s): Caoileann Murphy, PhD, RD

Staying at home with minimal human contact can significantly increase our feelings of loneliness. People of all ages may experience loneliness. However, older people, particularly those living alone and advised to “cocoon”, are especially vulnerable. Loneliness and social isolation can negatively impact our mental and physical health (1), in part through adversely affecting behaviours like… Read more »

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Immunity Nutrients At-A-Glance: Vitamin C

What does Vitamin C do for the immune system? Vitamin C is one of the most common nutrients that comes to mind when thinking about immunity. It is a water-soluble vitamin that serves as a cellular antioxidant, which means it protect cells from reactive oxygen species and cellular damage. This includes protecting immune cells from… Read more »

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Immunity Ingredients At-A-Glance: Beta Glucans

Beta glucans are ingredients that are becoming more and more common to see in functional foods and beverages positioned for immune health. While many people might be aware of the role of oat beta glucans for heart health, beta glucans are not just for heart health. For example, there are numerous clinical studies showing the… Read more »

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Immunity Ingredients At-A-Glance: Probiotics

Probiotics are not just for digestive health. The gastrointestinal tract is where our body is able to determine which parts of the foods we eat should be allowed passage into our body, and which should not be allowed entry. We want to absorb nutrients from the food we eat, but we do not want to… Read more »

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Maintaining Healthy Muscles and Mobility in Older Adults During Social Distancing

Author(s): Caoileann Murphy, PhD, RD and Aoife Marie Murphy, PhD

People aged 60 years and over are a vulnerable group with respect to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Measures to protect older people from contracting the virus include personal hygiene practices, social distancing and staying at home. These are extraordinary measures, and while it is vital for public health that these are adhered to, they can… Read more »

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Immunity Nutrients At-A-Glance: Selenium

What does selenium do for the immune system? Selenium is important in the immune system’s ability to protect against infection. Selenium is a mineral that is important for a group of proteins called selenoproteins, which have quite a few different functions in the body. Some selenoproteins, called glutathione peroxidases, are important for the body’s antioxidant system,… Read more »

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Immunity Nutrients At-A-Glance: Zinc

The immune system is complex, and different nutrients can have different roles in supporting immunity. Zinc is one of the more common nutrients brought up in the immunity conversation, so let’s take a look at what it does. What does zinc do for the immune system? Zinc helps the body’s different defense cells develop and… Read more »

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Tips to Determine if a Sugar Should be Labelled “Added” or “Naturally Occurring”

Author(s): Noemi DiMartino & Wenjing Li, M.S.

What is the difference between sugar and added sugar? For those in the food and nutrition world, added sugar might be something we hear about every day. Global dietary recommendations continue to recommend reducing added sugar intake, legislation taxing added sugar content of foods or beverages is increasingly common, and the update to the nutrition… Read more »

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‘Why is Lecithin in my Food?’ An Overview of Emulsifiers

Author(s): Marielle Y. Kouassi, MS

Imagine yourself walking down the grocery store isle and picking up a food product like peanut butter to make your favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You have purchased this product before, but you are now more interested in exactly what is in your food. You see on the ingredient list that your peanut butter… Read more »

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Is Your Breakfast Healthy or Not? Why Foods Like Eggs or Coffee Change From “Unhealthy” to “Healthy” Status

Author(s): Heather Nelson Cortes, PhD

Key takeaways: Dietary recommendations change because science develops new understanding It is key to focus on an entire food’s role in health, not just one nutrient or chemical within that food One of the most common criticisms of nutrition science is how confusing it can be. Recommendations will change from “eggs are unhealthy, avoid them”… Read more »

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Healthy Ageing, Ultra-Processed Foods, and Calorie Reduction: Key Takeaways from the 2019 FENS Conference

Author(s): Graham Doyle & Aisling Aherne, PhD, RNutr

Hosted in Dublin, October 15th to 18th, the 13th Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS) Conference is the premier European meeting in its field. The theme for this year’s conference was “Malnutrition in an Obese World – European Perspectives”, and featured a wide range of international speakers, covering the spectrum of nutritional science in plenary… Read more »

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The Future of Food Preference – What You Should Know from the 13th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium

Author(s): Ciarán Forde, PhD, Keri McCrickerd, PhD, and Nikos Padigas, PhD

Key takeaways from Pangborn 2019: Eating experience and environment has a large impact on food preference. Researchers and those seeking to maximize food preference need to consider consumer experience, using immersive techniques (e.g. augmented reality) to collect more realistic data. Sensory cues can be used to design products that can help make the healthy choice… Read more »

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3 Hidden Challenges of ‘Natural’ Foods: Waste, Safety, and Appearance

Author(s): Emma Cahill, BSc, MSc

Conscious consumers want to feel that a food or beverage aligns with their beliefs, which has led to a push for claims like ‘free from artificial colors or preservatives’, ‘organic’, and ‘made with natural ingredients’. Consumers who seek foods that they perceive as natural and healthy don’t offer the industry a consistent definition of what… Read more »

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Nutrition Benefits of Grass-Fed Dairy

Author(s): Niamh Hunt, PhD

Dairy products from grass-fed cows are in growing demand among today’s consumers, driven mostly by perceived health benefits and animal welfare concerns.1 This prompts the question: Are dairy products from grass-fed cows really better for us? Scientists at Teagasc Moorepark Research Centre, Cork and the APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork have explored this and… Read more »

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Does Intermittent Fasting Work? A Science-Based Answer

Author(s): Heather Nelson Cortes, PhD

The list of fad weight diets is almost endless, and a the 2019 Food and Health Survey from the International Food Information Council showed intermittent fasting as the 2nd most popular diet in the United States. Most diets have one thing in common, though: they all over-promise easy and quick weight loss. Short-term these diets… Read more »

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The FODMAP Diet for IBS – An FAQ

What is the FODMAP diet? The FODMAP diet is an eating pattern designed to help people with irritable bowel syndrome or other gastrointestinal discomfort choose foods that can help them with their symptoms like bloating and abdominal pain. Many consider it to be the next wave of the gluten-free trend. Researchers from Monash University in… Read more »

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What Acrylamide is and How to Reduce It in Foods

Author(s): Eoin Lalor, BS

Why Acrylamide is in Headlines: European Consumer Organizations calling for stronger consumer protection Acrylamide is a suspected carcinogen that forms in foods with certain sugars and amino acids, when processed at a high temperature. Over the last number of years, rising awareness of it as a carcinogen has resulted in some governments introducing regulations with… Read more »

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What is Vitamin K2, and What Role Does It Have in Health?

Author(s): Nathan Pratt, PhD, RD

Vitamin K is well-known for its role in blood clotting, but the less well-known vitamin K2 may have important roles in bone health or even heart disease. When people think about vitamin K, they might think about the shot infants get in their foot right after birth because their bodies can’t make the vitamin yet.… Read more »

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Three Tips to Help You Be a Better Science Communicator

Author(s): Liran Christine Shan, PhD

Success of a scientist can hinge on how well we can communicate what we know Serving on scientific or government panels, being approached by media for expert opinions, explaining a technology or product to a sales team or prospective clients, giving a talk at a public education event, writing a blog article or social media… Read more »

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What is New on the Organic Front in the EU?

Author(s): Marianna Domolki, BS

The production of organic foods has been regulated at European level for quite a long time, EC Regulation 834/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council (further: Regulation) laying down the principles and rules. However, since 2007 the organic farming sector of the EU has developed rapidly and as foreseen in the Regulation, a… Read more »

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What Does Energy Really Mean?

Author(s): Heather Nelson Cortes, PhD

Consumers are constantly looking for ways to get “energy”, but what does that actually mean and why are so many people seeking it?  The answers to both of those questions are likely as varied as the people you may ask. A Google search for “consumer energy” will find information on electrical grids and energy efficient… Read more »

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3 Tips for Eating Healthy While Traveling

Author(s): Nathan Pratt, PhD, RD

It’s hard to focus on eating healthy when we’re traveling, whether it’s flying across the country on a business trip or driving 7 hours to see family for a holiday visit. The mood is hectic and to-do lists are long, so eating healthy often becomes an afterthought. Even worse, food often feels out of our… Read more »

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Consumer Attitudes Toward Calorie Reduction

Author(s): Aisling Aherne, PhD, RNutr & Nanette Solan, PhD

There’s a global focus on reducing calories in foods to improve consumer health, but one question many have is ‘which products do we focus on?’ Kerry’s recent study, ConsumerFirst, revealed useful insights into calorie reduction strategies for the food and beverage industry. Specifically, the results give guidance about which product categories and sub-categories where calorie… Read more »

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What is it About Legumes and Pulses?

Author(s): Nathan Pratt, PhD, RD / Wiwid Paramita, PhD

Legumes are some of the most nutritious foods on earth and one of the most environmentally sustainable protein sources. Read about legumes and how to incorporate them into products.

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Your Guide to the Gut-Brain Axis

Author(s): Suja Senan, PhD

Long before we knew about a gut-brain axis, people have experienced events that impact both their brain and their bowels. For me, one I recall quite vividly is waiting for my name to be announced at a public speaking event. While I waited, all that I could think of was “should I fight it out… Read more »

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Are Fermented Foods the Same as Probiotics?

Author(s): Mary Ellen Sanders, PhD

Consider the fundamental change from milk to brie cheese or grapes to wine. Such is the power of fermentation. Fermented foods result from the growth and metabolism of live cultures, transforming a precursor food (such as milk) into a fermented food (cheese). The fermentation process may result in changes in taste, texture, aroma, nutritional value,… Read more »

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Processed Meats & Health – A Q&A With Our Nutrition Experts

Author(s): Aisling Aherne, PhD, RNutr & Aoife Murphy, PhD

Media coverage on the role of red and processed meat in a healthy diet is a constant back and forth between claims it will cause cancer to claims it can improve health.  We sat down with two of our nutrition experts, Aisling Aherne, PhD, RNutr and Aoife Murphy, PhD, to see what their guidance would… Read more »

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Three Trends from IFT 2018

Author(s): Nathan Pratt, PhD, RD

IFT 2018 – over 23,000 people came together to learn the latest and greatest updates in food science and innovation. Walking the expo floor, a few things stood out. At this point in the world of the food and beverage industry, clean labels and protein are almost table stakes for many products, so I wanted… Read more »

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Is 3D Printing the Future of Personalized Nutrition?

Author(s): Bryan Le, MA

Personalized nutrition has been around for a long time, but technology has brought it mainstream Dietitians have been doing personalized nutrition counseling for decades, but evolution of technologies and interest in food has brought personalized nutrition to the mainstream spotlight. This began with diet and activity trackers like MyFitnessPal, but has evolved to programs like… Read more »

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The Value of Fermented Foods for Health

Fermented foods have been gaining popularity as the next ‘functional food’. Yogurt is a fermented food that has been a mainstay in the diet for quite some time, but new foods that may offer health benefits are now getting more attention. This infographic from the International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) highlights potential… Read more »

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Probiotics: Dispelling Myths

Products containing probiotics are becoming more and more common due to increasing interest in digestive health from consumers. To help navigate the world of probiotics, the International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) created an infographic to help dispel myths and provide science-based answers to common questions about probiotics. For more trustworthy information, be… Read more »

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Fermented Ingredients for Natural Preservation

Author(s): Jennifer Wasieleski, M.S.

The food industry is constantly innovating to find clean label alternatives for food protection, allowing the removal of commonly used chemical preservatives from their products, such as sorbic acid, calcium propionate and sodium nitrite while still maintaining the functionality of those ingredients. The challenges that must be overcome when removing or replacing ingredients are substantial… Read more »

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Where Do Fibers Come From and What Role Do They Have in Food and Health?

Author(s): Bryan Le, MA

Dietary fiber has become an important functional ingredient in recent times due to growing consumer interest in the many health benefits of fiber touted by the scientific community (Anderson 2009).  Fiber has been recently defined by the FDA as “non-digestible soluble and insoluble carbohydrates (with three or more monomeric units) and lignin that are intrinsic… Read more »

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MCTs and Coconut Oil for Weight: What Does Science Say?

Author(s): Rebecca Kinsella, MS

In the past decade, foods like coconut oil and bulletproof coffee have been in the headlines of countless nutrition news articles. One of the most common questions dietitians get asked is “what’s the truth about coconut oil, is it healthy?”. Scientific studies have shown that consuming certain types of dietary fats can reduce the amount… Read more »

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Top Health and Nutrition Content for 2017

To start off the new year, we wanted to take a look back at our most popular content in 2017. These topics will likely be influencing the food and nutrition world for time to come, so be sure to check them out and stay tuned for lots of great content in 2018! Top Blog: Nutritional… Read more »

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Webinar – Clean Label: More Than Ingredients

 Summary (scroll down for an infographic summary) Speakers What’s Driving the Clean Label Movement? Practical Insights – Joseph Borchardt, Strategic Marketing Director, Kerry Nutrition & Healthy Food: Behind the Label – Nathan Pratt, PhD, RD, RD&A Scientist, Nutrition, Kerry Healthy eating has never been more talked about, and the ‘free-from’ trend has been dominating… Read more »

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Highlights from the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo 2017

Author(s): Jenna Mills, MS, RD

Every year at the Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE), professionals in food and nutrition gather for the latest and greatest in both nutrition science and industry trends.  FNCE took place at the McCormick Place in Chicago, IL on October 20-23rd, marking the centennial year of the event hosted by the Academy of Nutrition… Read more »

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The Role of Sensory Science in Nutrition (Video)

Sensory science could be seen as a traditional way to validate the sensory aspects of a food, or it could be seen as a way to strategically link nutrition to food choice. Ciaran Forde, PhD, a researcher in the area of sensory science and food choice, discusses why he thinks sensory science is evolving to… Read more »

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Finding New Ways to Deliver on Existing Consumer Trends

Author(s): Nathan Pratt, PhD, RD

To see the horizon of nutrition in the world of food ingredients, processes, and technologies, there’s no better place to go than the annual Food Expo of the Institute of Food Technologists. Each year, over 20,000 attendees and more than 1,000 exhibitors come to share their latest developments in food technology. The Kerry Health and… Read more »

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Using Natural Flavors to Deliver Taste with Nutrition

Author(s): Celia Chee, MS

The Role of Flavors in Nutrition With busy lifestyles, many consumers are relying on the food industry for convenient and affordable sources for meals. There is a big emphasis not only on the cost and nutritional value of these options, but also on the taste and eating experience from the purchased items. Flavors play an… Read more »

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What Digestive Health Benefits Do Consumers Want?

Author(s): Caroline Cummins, MS, RNutr

This blog explores the consumer perspective and market of digestive health. Read What Does Digestive Health Really Mean? to learn more about digestive health and some of the terms used in this blog, like microbiome and FODMAPs. Optimum digestive health has been a mainstay consumer desire for over 20 years, but it has been experienced an… Read more »

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What Does Digestive Health Really Mean?

Author(s): Barbara Hopkins, MMSc, RD, LD

Digestive health is one of the top 10 nutrition trends for 2017, but what does it mean? This blog takes a closer look at what digestive health really means.

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Does Low-Fat Still Matter?

Author(s): Mindy Hermann, MBA, RDN

After decades of emphasis on the importance of low-fat diets, guidelines are now shifting toward emphasis on the quality of fat instead of the quantity.

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Science Supports Soy for a Healthy Diet

Author(s): Michael Q. Kemp, PhD, RD

Soy is a plant that originated in Asia and is now grown in many places around the globe. The plant’s beans (the soybeans) can be eaten on their own (like edamame) or used to make soy foods (like tofu, miso, tempeh, soy milk and soy sauce).

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Summing Up Added Sugars for Nutrition Labelling

Author(s): Aisling Aherne, PhD, RNutr

The addition of added sugars as a component of nutrition labels left the food industry with many questions. Learn what is considered an added sugar, why it’s being added to the label, and strategies for the future.

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Dairy Science and Consumer Perception Realign

Author(s): Mindy Hermann, MBA, RDN / Nathan Pratt, PhD, RD

Dairy delivers outstanding nutrition benefits across all life stages and its future is looking positive among consumers. Learn dairy’s role in health and how to capitalize on the favorable shift of dairy among consumers.

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The Retiring Nature of Taste Perception

Author(s): Satya Jonnalagadda Ph.D., MBA, RD

The taste of food changes as we get older, so products targeted toward aging populations require different taste profiles than other populations.

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Snacking Under the Nutrition Lens

Author(s): Mindy Hermann, MBA, RDN

Learn how to change snacking from an eating occasion associated with high calorie food to one that helps deliver the nutrients our body needs in an convenient way.

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Turning Fussy Young Eaters into Foodies

Author(s): Orlaigh Matthews RNutr

Picky eating can be a barrier to helping children eat a balanced diet, but the strategies in this blog can help children overcome picky eating to become a lover of all foods.

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Tipping the Balance toward Moderation

Author(s): Satya Jonnalagadda Ph.D., MBA, RD / Sheelagh Pentony

The more we learn about nutrition science, the more we see that the traditional “diet” technique typically leads to regaining of weight. Small, cumulative behavior changes are much more effective, making moderation key.