Meghan Tiernan (MS, RD, LDN) is a registered dietitian with a passion for helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle. She strives to help others learn the most nutritious way to eat, in order to achieve good health. Meghan enjoys cooking and running and believes that with just some basic knowledge, you can gain the confidence in yourself to know that you can eat well.

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Dietitian Consult

by Meghan Tiernan, MS, RD, LDN

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The masses have spoken, and they're demanding more respect for the foods they are paying to put into their bodies!

Fast Food NutritionRead: Taco Bell, Pizza Hut: Artificial Ingredients Getting Booted

There is a big push for companies to respond to these demands for fewer chemicals/artificial ingredients, and several are taking steps towards meeting higher standards. A few of those companies include Pepsi, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.

These companies must understand that times are changing, even in the fast food industry. People are paying more attention to how things are made and what's in their foods. While there's certainly a lot of hype that goes along with this notion, at the end of the day, real food is the best food. And any way we can increase the amount of real food we consume, the better.

While the changes won't necessarily change the nutrition facts of the foods these companies sell, you will be consuming less artificial ingredients, which is certainly a positive step in the right direction. A few examples of what they'll be changing include: adding real black pepper instead of "black pepper flavoring", as well as taking out some artificial flavors and colors.

Another example of response to public awareness is the news that Diet Pepsi is taking aspartame out of its Diet Pepsi and replacing it with Sucralose (Splenda). While any artificial sweetener consumed in low-moderate amounts are generally considered safe, there is a negative public perception about aspartame. This is just another example of the power we have to affect change.

While these are small steps, they're good steps. And it's exciting to think that having more respect for our bodies is causing these huge companies to respond and start to make things better. Just think of the possibilities if this drive for "real food" continues. It's a very exciting prospect for someone like me, who educates people about food for a living.

Now lets keep these demands coming - there's a lot to look forward to in this foodie world we now live in!

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