Health Trends: "You Are What You Eat"

Panera Bread is the latest national restaurant chain to hop on the healthy food bandwagon. The company has announced a plan to publish a "no-no list" of additives, artificial sweeteners, flavors, and preservatives. They are going more "natural" and think it's the best way to move forward. They've even started adding what they call "clean dressings" for their salads.

The company's "no-no list" will include artificial sweeteners, flavors, preservatives, and thickeners. Some say if they're successful maybe others will get in on the health trend as well.

The overall trend has been toward healthier fast foods at chains like McDonald's and Chipotle.

In Tarzana, nutritionist Dr. Michael Hirt says, "It's a good trend. Americans are starting to wake up to the fact that running this country on cheap food and expensive drugs is not serving them well. Either you're going to pay more for your food at the grocery counter or more for your prescriptions at the pharmacy counter."

He particularly likes what's being done at Panera Bread. He says, "I think it's a good thing. I'm looking for more changes. I think if they do well, it's going to put more pressure in that business to follow suit. "What you eat," he says, "makes a difference in how you feel and the diseases you are likely to get. And, if you have diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease that food can make a difference and keep you healthier longer."

"Know what you're eating," says Dr. Hirt, "... because you are what you eat."

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