Mary Perry, Director of Clinical Trials at Zone Labs, gets to attend a variety of medical conferences and food expos, gaining exposure to what the future may bring. Check out what she believes will be the new health trends in the year ahead.
By Mary Perry
One of the benefits of being the Director of Clinical Trials at Zone Labs is that I get to go a wide variety of medical conferences and food expos, gaining exposure to what the future may bring. I’m fortunate enough to have Dr. Sears accompany me on these ventures, whose expertise helps me sort out the hype from reality. Listed below are the trends I expect will be relevant to maintaining your health and wellness in the year ahead.
- Personalized Nutrition and Worksite Health Promotion Will Hit an All Time High
Healthcare costs are anticipated to rise even more this year, and recent research shows Americans aren’t reaping the benefits of these high costs when it comes to improved longevity. Expect a shift to take place to “personalized wellness,” where the focus will be on small changes the individual can make resulting in better health outcomes. More companies will jump on board to incentivize employees to stay in good health from improved dietary changes to quitting bad habits, the goal being to decrease healthcare expenditures and increase productivity. With this, expect to see even more people wearing advanced tracking devices (e.g., Fitbit, Garmin) and regularly using apps geared toward health and wellness (e.g., Daily Challenge, Walkadoo). Dr. Sears would tell you to save your money on the gadgets and put it towards blood testing, such as the Cellular Inflammation Test, which would be a far better step you could take toward personalized nutrition.
- Your Future Health Will Be Determined By Your Gut
If you’ve ever been nervous, stressed or anxious and had it impact your digestive system, this is just touching the surface on the interaction between your brain and gut. On a molecular level, this interaction is incredibly complex. The brain-gut connection is a two-way street, and this can have numerous impacts on our health when it comes to cognition, mood disorders and chronic disease. Expect to see new research and products come to market geared toward improving the composition of the bacteria in your gut, and for a shift to take place to promote polyphenols and prebiotics (i.e. fermentable fiber) as opposed to using probiotics for improved gut health.
- Global Warming Will Impact Our Food Supply
We’ve already begun to see that the rising ocean temperatures are beginning to decrease the levels of EPA and DHA in phytoplankton which will extend to the rest of the food chain and impact our overall health. With fish oil becoming more widely accepted, look for manufacturers who test each lot of their fish oil post production, not only for the purity of the oil they use, but for the concentrations of EPA and DHA – which are widely known for their anti-inflammatory benefits. Starting in 2017, Zone Labs will be the first and only manufacturer who inserts purity test results post-production, by lot, in each order of fish oil it ships.
- Low-FODMAPs Diets Will Become the Successor to Gluten-free Diets
You may be thinking my spell check didn’t work, but FODMAPs are Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. While it’s a lot to say, essentially these are short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that are poorly absorbed. Once they are fermented by the trillions of bacteria in our colon, they may result in gas, abdominal bloating, and constipation, if you have the wrong microbial composition. Studies suggest that for those who believe they have a gluten sensitivity, it may actually be a sensitivity to FODMAPs as wheat, rye, and barley (rich in gluten) are also high in FODMAPs. If you think you have a gluten problem, try using low-FODMAP products until you can correct your gut microbial composition with the Zone Diet, supplemented with polyphenols and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Diseases Linked to Diet-Induced Inflammation Will Continue to Rise
The Centers for Disease Control recently published data showing that between 2014 and 2015 there was a 15% increase in mortality due to Alzheimer’s disease, and that death rates from heart disease, stroke, and diabetes continued to rise. These are all diseases associated with diet-induced inflammation. While drug companies are working to create drugs that will help slow the progression of these diseases, this may take years and won’t come without numerous side effects. The good news is you don’t have to wait, just start to follow an anti-inflammatory diet to retake control of your future health.
- More Emphasis Will Be Put on Sustainable Protein Choices
Protein isn’t just something to keep us full or maintain our lean body mass, but is critical to every cell in our body. Meeting the protein demands for the future represents a huge global challenge due to its impact on the environment and human health. In the year ahead, expect to see more companies take a stance on sustainable protein choices and the shift from animal based protein choices to plant based ones. Even changing out one or two meals a week from animal sources to plant when multiplied by the number of individuals on the planet could have a huge global impact. The best source of sustainable protein, as well as the lowest cost for 15 grams of protein, is PastaRx. It’s a cost-effective, high-tech version of sustainable protein that suppresses hunger, reduces insulin resistance, and increases lean body mass.
- Convenience Will Remain Key
Whether your single, married or have a family, there’s a food delivery company for you. From Blue Apron to Purple Carrot, expect more companies to jump into the food delivery arena or to optimize the way we shop. AmazonGo, a new grocery store with no lines and no checkout, may just change the grocery experience as we know it. While we may biased, we think it’s easier (and cheaper!) to just make a big batch of PastaRx at the start of the week, refrigerate it, and keep adding vegetables all week long for simple, easy and convenient meals.
Want to feel like you’re always up to date on the latest changes in health and wellness? Check out our Zone Living, Lifestyle Tips and Dr. Sears’ Blogs every week to stay on top of everything tied to science and well-being.