Top Diet & Health Trends


Leah Kleinschrodt, a registered dietician from Nutritional Weight & Wellness, shared her take on a few of the food trends we've seen this year. Leah sees nutrition clients in Maple Grove and St. Paul. 

Top Health Trends

Top Diet and Health Trends of 2018 By Cynthia Parsons 

Many people who planned to eat healthily or drop some pounds at the beginning of the year may have given up their resolution at this point. Kudos if you haven't; but for the rest of us, it's time to get some motivation again.

According to Cooking Light magazine, some of the top-searched diets by consumers this year are the raw foods diet, the ketogenic diet, and the Whole30 Program. Here's what you need to know about each of them: The raw foods diet centers around the premise that cooking destroys nutrients, as well as enzymes found within the food needed for digestion and disease prevention. For optimal health, foods should be consumed raw or if cooked done so below 115 degrees. Anything cooked, processed, pasteurized, irradiated, or in other words, not in its "natural state" is off -limits. Nutritional deficiency (such as vitamin B12, for example) can be a problem for people on this diet. "Potential health risks consuming unpasteurized dairy is a concern for this diet especially for pregnant and breastfeeding women, the elderly, and kids," says Leah Kleinschrodt, MS, RD, LD, a licensed dietitian at Nutritional Weight and Wellness in Maple Grove. Kleinschrodt adds, "Cooking is pre-digestion in food. People whose digestion system is not up to par may run into issues with this diet."

In the 1920s, a team of physicians at the Mayo Clinic developed a high-fat, low-carbohydrate dietary program for epilepsy patients called the ketogenic diet. The goal of the ketogenic (or keto) diet is to induce ketosis, a metabolic state in which the body, unable to convert carbohydrates into glucose, burns fat instead, which the liver converts into water-soluble molecules called ketone bodies that take the place of glucose as an energy source.

Heightened levels of ketone bodies in the bloodstream have been shown to reduce epileptic seizures, especially in children. Meals tend to include protein (meats, fi sh, eggs, cheese, nuts), high-fat dairy (butter, cream), seeds and vegetables. Grains, beans, legumes, potatoes, sugar, even fruits are eliminated or restricted. Alcohol is not allowed. About 75 percent of calories in the diet will come from fats, 20 percent from protein, and 5 percent from carbohydrates.

The ketogenic diet actively encourages fat consumption. "Every cell in our body has a fatty membrane around it," says Kleinschrodt. "The keto diet has been really popular in the last year or two. It is a therapeutic diet to treat epilepsy and maybe beneficial to cancer patients, people with diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's Disease, and other neurological diseases. However, 99 percent of the time, the keto diet is not where we start people." The Whole30 Program, which is a spinoff of the paleo diet, was invented to examine the inflammatory properties of certain foods. For 30 days, Whole30 participants eliminate sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy from their diets. Foods allowed during the program include "whole" foods such as meats, fi sh, eggs, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits and potatoes.

Kleinschrodt says, "During Whole30, participants focus on eating real foods and how they are feeling and not just looking at the number on the scale which is really nice. At the end of the 30 days, people assess how they feel. 'Did my knee pain or heartburn get better?'"

After the program is completed, participants strategically reintroduce foods outside the endorsed Whole30 list, document the health consequences and determine if the addition is desired.