Dieting and health is big business in our country. Ironically, the trend for American obesity is on the rise, yet so are the revenues made from the very industry working to keep us thin and healthy.
Although exercise dvds, clubs and programs comprise a generous portion of the industry, diet trends seem to come and go at a rapid rate. No carbs, low fat, no dairy, no gluten and sugar-free have become a normal part of the American vernacular.
Just when we thought dieting and eating right couldn't get much more complex, juicing and raw food diets came on the scene. Of course, in trendy states like California and New York, raw food and juicing is already offered in restaurants and health bars and is said to be responsible for healthy weight loss.
Weight watchers, Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem all offer home-delivered food. However, the ingredients and preparation methods are generally not as healthy as possible. Considering most of those home-delivered meals contain high percentages of sodium and preservatives, they are more about limiting calorie consumption - not health.
Juice bars and raw food restaurants are touting health and weight loss while most of the rest of the industry is pushing quick fixes that don't work long term. But can Americans give up their fast, convenient foods?
Juicing at home is always an option. There is a diverse line of juicers on the market now. In the Jack LaLanne days, the juicer seemed like a pricey proposition. Today, there are juicers in all price ranges. There are so many options, there is now The Juicer Directory to help potential users shop for the juicing appliance that fits their lifestyle and budget.
Attempting the raw food diet at home is much more challenging. Eating raw does mean eating whole, raw foods - but it also means creating delectable meals that taste like their fattening counterparts.
Generally, raw preparation involves meals that are created without heating any of the ingredients more than 118 degrees. The thinking behind the raw food craze is that anything cooked at a higher heat will dissolve important nutrients.
The bottom line is, as we all know, fresh foods are healthier than any packaged foods that contain a plethora of ingredients. Yet creating a tasty raw meal is, at this point, still easier to find at your local raw food restaurant than preparing at home. That will surely change in the near future as this weight loss and healthy eating option grows in popularity.
Veganism and the use of local food products are both on the rise, so it is clear that the juicing and raw food dining segments will grow along with them.