FNCE 2018: Key Insights and Takeaways

Is pea-based protein the next big thing? What are the best ways to promote healthy aging? These are just a few themes our specialists explored at the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE).

Sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, FNCE 2018 brings together more than 10,000 registered dietitian nutritionists, nutrition science researchers, policy makers, health-care providers, and industry leaders.

This year, three of our Herbalife Nutrition experts attended FNCE to learn about the latest nutrition trends and keep up to date with front-line knowledge.

These are their findings:

Top Trends at FNCE 2018

Pea-Protein Products

Jasneet Kaur
Medical Science Liaison, Global Consumer Safety at Herbalife Nutrition

Food allergies and intolerance are on the rise, and consumers are looking for foods that are high in protein, but free from common allergens such as wheat, gluten, and dairy.

At FNCE, pea-based products came out as the top protein source alternative. Vendors sold pea-based yogurts, protein bars, and veggie burgers. I also spotted almond protein powders, chickpea snacks, lentil chips, and even chickpea pasta containing 14 grams of protein and 8g of fiber.

Genetic Testing for Personalized Nutrition

Simon Sum
Manager, Product Science, Worldwide R&D and Scientific Affairs at Herbalife Nutrition

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing options are now a reality in the market. Genetic testing can be used to understand one’s own health risks and how nutrition can help prevent or mitigate those risks.

This trend will allow the fitness and nutrition industry to provide a more personalized plan for their customers to achieve their wellness goals. Gaining insight into their own genetic makeup will allow people to make more accurate nutrition and exercise decisions.

High Protein for Healthy Aging

Pamela Wu
Medical Science Liaison, Global Consumer Safety at Herbalife Nutrition

Healthy aging was an important topic at FNCE 2018. Due to an increase in life expectancy, more adults will experience sarcopenia, the involuntary loss of skeletal muscle mass with age. The synergistic role of exercise and high protein intake is being studied to counteract sarcopenia.

New evidence suggests that exercise and dietary protein may offset the effects of sarcopenia. This could result in more high protein products, with an emphasis on leucine, formulated for older adults. We will also see more exercises helping older adults maintain muscle mass.

Key Takeaway: Plant-Based Proteins on the Rise

The global plant-based protein market has been on the rise for some time and will continue to be. It is estimated that by 2025, the market will be valued at $16.3 billion. A huge driver behind this trend is that consumers are becoming more health-conscious, and plant-based proteins offer many health benefits:

They are complete proteins

The human body is only able to produce 11 of the 20 amino acids that make up protein. The other nine must come from your diet. The good news? Soy, quinoa, buckwheat, and hemp contain all nine of those essential amino acids, making them “complete proteins.”

Low in calories

Plant-based proteins are nutrient-dense. They provide an abundance of proteins, minerals, vitamins, and carbohydrates relative to their calorie cost. Plant-based proteins tend to be lower in calories and fat than animal proteins but higher in fiber and essential nutrients.

No saturated fat

Meat is a common source of protein, but fat accompanies it. An elevated level of saturated fat in your blood could raise cholesterol and clog your arteries. With plant-based proteins, you get less saturated fat and no cholesterol.

Free of growth hormones

Cattle are sometimes given hormones to boost growth. Research has shown potentially adverse effects of this, such as increasing the probability of developing certain types of cancer and premature puberty in children. Plant-based proteins are free of growth hormones altogether.

Herbalife Nutrition offers a variety of plant-based protein options.Learn more about plant-based nutrition here.

Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND –Sr.Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training

Susan BowermanM.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Sr. Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training

Susan Bowerman earned a B.S. in biology with distinction from the University of Colorado, and received her M.S. in food science and nutrition from Colorado State University. She is a registered dietitian, holds two board certifications from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as a certified specialist in sports dietetics, and a certified specialist in obesity and weight management, and is a Fellow of the Academy.