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Vegan diets, low-calorie restaurant menus, weight loss diets – news to January 8 2012

Vegan diets filled the news this week, as the trend for eating vegan meals at least part of the time is increasing, mostly for health reasons. No surprise, weight loss diets are in the news after the holiday period ended. A number of restaurants are offering new lower-calorie options. Several weight loss diet rankings were issued. High-protein, lower-carb or no-grain diets remain popular. A growing number of Americans are on restrictive diets because of medical or health conditions. Parents of picky eaters may be able to get their children to eat more nutritionally diverse diets by introducing more colors to their meal plates.

Vegan diets – growing popularity

The mainstreaming of vegan diets Dec-27-11 HealthDay
Today, a growing number of people are giving vegan diets a second look, and nutritionists now believe that a well-thought-out vegan eating plan could be the most healthy way to live for most people.

2011 was a big year for vegans Dec-29-11 Philly.com
A new study indicated that twice as many people are eating vegan compared with a couple of years ago. Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart investigated veganism. the movie “Forks Over Knives” and ex-President Bill Clinton (who went “vegan” yet with occasional fish or turkey) acquainted people with the heart benefits of a low-fat vegan diet.

Vegan category looking hot for 2012 (video) Dec-29-11 New Hope 360
Natural Products Expo East 2011 offered a lot of vegan options. 1/3 of vegetarians in the USA are now vegan. For people with allergies, vegan alternatives such as vegan seafood can be helpful. Eating vegan food is also considered a way to improve your diet. Vegan labeling isn’t always clear.

Semi-veganism Dec-30-11 New York Times
Mark Bittman encourages readers to eat more plants for better health by going semi-vegan and once a week eating a vegan meal.

Restaurant menus for flexitarians Jan-8-12 QSR
But at a time when the number of consumers, particularly younger ones, are eschewing meat and chewing more legumes, grains, and roots to get their requisite daily protein intake, it’s worth considering how quick-serve and fast-casual chains might tap into a growing taste for these alternatives.

Low-calorie restaurant food

Restaurants roll out low-cal menu items Jan-3-12 Nation’s Restaurant News
A number of restaurant chains are targeting New Year resolution makers with an array of lower-calorie foods labeled as better-for-you. IHOP, Applebee’s, Baskin-Robbins

Fazioli’s offers free low-calorie meal to people with exercise videos Jan-5-12 PR Newswire
Customers get a free or discounted low-calorie meal when they bring their favorite workout video or DVD to a participating Fazoli’s restaurant.

Denny’s FitFare menu Jan-6-12 Nation’s Restaurant News
Denny’s FitFare program flags menu items that are low in fat and calories, high in protein or fiber, or a combination of the four. They also offer a new meal calculator for nutrition calculation on their website and mobile site.

Chick-fil-A and McDonalds cut calories in kids’ menus Jan-6-12 Bloomberg

Weight loss diets – most effective, most popular, high-protein-low-carb

Most effective diets for 2012 Dec-30-11 The Daily Beast
Volumetrics; Low-fat diet; Weight Watchers; Mediterranean Diet; Atkins Diet; Slim-Fast; Jenny Craig; Ornish Diet; LEARN diet; Zone diet; Vegan; Paleolithic

U.S. News & World Report ranks popular diets Jan-4-12 Washington Post
The DASH — or Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension — Diet, endorsed by the federal government, came out on top in several categories, including the lists of Best Diets Overall, Best Diets for Healthy Eating and Best Diabetes Diets.

Americans are again turning to high protein lower carb diets Jan-4-12 New Hope 360
Although not a straight-up Atkins revival, protein is one of the hottest diet and nutrition trends today. From the newly popular “Paleo” diet to the demonization of wheat and other grains, Americans are again turning to protein for nutritional and weight-loss salvation.

Other –restrictive diets, picky eating, and more

Restaurant meals for seniors Dec-26-11 Restaurant Management
Seniors look for smaller, less expensive portions, sharing dinners, alternatives for customers with diabetic or other dietary concerns, seating positions that take mobility into account, and lower salt / blander food

Gluten-free goes mainstream Dec-27-11 FastCasual
A larger, less understood group of consumers with gluten sensitivity are now experimenting with gluten-free foods. If you want to leverage this immediate consumer demand but take a less expensive approach, begin by labeling your existing menu items, such as salads, protein entrees and soups, as gluten-free. If you are not addressing gluten cross-contamination issues back-of-house, a clearly stated disclaimer is a must.

Top colleges for vegetarians Dec-28-11 Examiner
Peta2, the younger division of PETA, conducted a poll of college-age Americans and Canadians to discover which colleges would a vegetarian or vegan fit in. Here are the results.

Organic agriculture may be outgrowing its ideals Dec-30-11 New York Times
Even as more Americans buy foods with the organic label, the products are increasingly removed from the traditional organic ideal: produce that is not only free of chemicals and pesticides but also grown locally on small farms in a way that protects the environment and offered seasonally. The USDA checklist for organic foods makes few specific demands for what would broadly be called environmental sustainability.

Market Intelligence Report: Restrictive Diet Dec-2011 Technomic
A growing number of Americans are on restrictive diets because of medical or health conditions. Some restaurants are addressing this.

Appearance and presentation of food on plates affects kids’ eating habits Jan-6-12 Food Product Design
Parents of picky eaters may be able to get their children to eat more nutritionally diverse diets by introducing more colors to their meal plates, according to a new study published in the journal Acta Paediatrica.

Starch intake may raise breast cancer recurrence risk Jan-6-12 Food Navigator
High consumption of starchy foods may be linked with an increased risk of breast cancer tumors returning in women who have already had breast, according to a new study.

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