Nutrition Updates

By: Jessica Glosson, B.S.

Find out what’s currently trending on supermarket shelves, social media, and within the world of nutrition and dietetics.



Sorghum is a gluten-free whole grain that serves as a good source of fiber, protein, and thiamin.1 Sorghum is considered to be an environmentally friendly crop : it is water efficient, biodegradable, and requires little fertilizer.1 In the nutrition world, sorghum has quickly gained popularity and can be found in cereals, flours, protein bars, and popped snack products.

Chia Seed Pudding:

Chia seeds offer beneficial amounts of polyunsaturated fat, fiber, and magnesium.2 The recent growth in popularity for the food has inspired the creation of chia-based recipes and uses; chia seed pudding has become one of the more popular creations. Chia seed pudding is made by combining chia seeds with milk or a milk alternative along with desired flavors such as cinnamon or vanilla. The chia seeds absorb the added liquid and create a gel-like product. Retail products like Chia Pod are now available in major grocery chains for around $4 each.

Monk Fruit:

A monk fruit is a sub-tropical melon whose juice is noted to be twenty times sweeter than other fruits. The low calorie and antioxidant rich nature of monk fruit has contributed to its growing use in foods as a sugar-alternative. Monk fruit extract is used in over 800 products worldwide in order to replace calories and sugar without compromising sweetness.3 Popular products that utilize monk fruit include Artic Zero, Chobani 100 yogurts, Zevia soda, and nearly all Vitalicious food products.

Gourmet Nut Butter:

Peanut butter has been taken to the next level with products from gourmet nut butter companies like Betsy’s Best (Florida based!), Peanut Butter & Co., and Justin’s. These companies offer multiple flavor varieties of peanut or almond –based butters; popular favorites include Justin’s Maple Almond Butter and Peanut Butter & Co.’s Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter. These products can be pricey, with a jar of Justin’s Almond Butter costing as much as $14! From a nutritional standpoint, these products should be consumed with portion control in mind, seeing as they can contain as much as 9 grams of sugar and 11 grams of fat per serving.


Ensure Enlive:

Ensure Enlive is a new nutrition supplement product from the Abbott company that was first released earlier this spring. Ensure Enlive is marketed as the first complete and balanced nutrition drink in the US and is noted to contain 20 grams of protein and HMB (β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate).4 The unique ingredient of HMB is thought to aid in muscle regrowth and prevent muscle loss for aging adults or those with chronic illness.4 Compared to traditional Ensure, Ensure Enlive contains 11 additional grams of protein along with three grams of prebiotic fiber. Ensure Enlive is quickly gaining popularity in hospital formularies and can be recommended by RDs to patients at risk for muscle loss or protein energy malnutrition.



In light of the growing trends of gluten-free and low-carb products, spiralizers have skyrocketed in popularity and use across the country. A spiralizer is a kitchen tool that can be hand-cranked in order to turn whole vegetables into spiraled shaped ribbons that are noodle-like in appearance. Common vegetables used in spiralizers include zucchini, yellow squash, sweet potato, carrots, and butternut squash.

Zucchini noodles (aka “zoodles”) have become the most popular product of the spiralizer craze; a   recipe for 5-ingredient spinach parmesan zoodles can be found through the following link:


  1. All About Sorghum. Sorghum: The Smart Choice Web site. Accessed October 21, 2016.
  2. Gunnars K. 11 Proven Health Benefits of Chia Seeds. Authority Nutrition Web site. Accessed October 21, 2016.
  3. What is Monk Fruit? Monk Web site. Accessed October 21, 2016.
the-Latest-in-Science-and-Nutrition-to-Improve-Health. March 29, 2016. Accessed October 22, 2016.

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