Changes in healthy life expectancy between 1990 and 2013 were "significant and positive," said researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. Changes in healthy life expectancy between 1990 and 2013 were "significant and positive," said researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. Science and technology are helping to pave the way to healthier eating habits.

5 innovations that can help you eat healthier

From all natural sea salt to Zollipops, these advancements can help change your diet.

Sometimes it seems easier to innovate space travel than it does our diets. After all, space travel doesn't taste as good as a sodium-loaded Big Mac with fries and a soft drink. Fortunately, there are still some companies out there taking our insides into account, creating products that can make us healthier, happier people. Here are 5 of them.


Umamix

According to latest lab tests results, Umamix can help decrease sodium by 45% in hamburgers.According to latest lab tests results, Umamix can help decrease sodium by 45% in hamburgers. (Photo: Stockcreations/Shutterstock)

Salt is flavor. But too much salt can be bad for some folks. The World Health Organization and other groups have seen fit to suggest limits in humans' intake of it. But for all you sodium addicts out there, Salt of the Earth Ltd., a company in Israel, may just be your saving grace. The company has created Umamix, an all-natural umami-sea salt mixture, which allows food manufacturers to significantly reduce sodium content by up to 45% across a broad variety of products – without compromising on taste.


Foodini

The foodini can print all-natural meals in an instant. The foodini can print all-natural meals in an instant. (Photo: Natural Machines)

Want healthy food fast? Print it! That's what the folks at Florida-based Natural Machines are hoping people begin to do. Taking into consideration the junk we all tend to eat when we're in a rush, the company has created a 3-D printer that can produce healthy, all-natural dishes in a short amount of time and with little effort. All you need is a few fresh ingredients and the machine will do the rest. The Foodini has a touchscreen on the front where users select the recipe they want to print, and then load in the ingredients and hit print.


Zollipops

Zollipops are lollipops that can actually make teeth healthier.Zollipops are lollipops that can actually make teeth healthier. (Photo: Zollipops)

Can't quite shake that sweet tooth and are as equally enamored with sweet-looking teeth? Zollipops are the lollipops that might actually make teeth healthier. They contain Xylitol, Erythritol, Stevia and other natural ingredients that have been shown to strengthen your shiny whites. Created by a 9-year-old girl in Michigan, they are as equally at home in your mouth as they are a child's.


Valiber

The Valiber swivel stick can be used to determine how much sugar is in some food items. The Valiber stick can be used to determine how much sugar is in some food items. (Photo: Courtesy Valiber)

Speaking of sugar, Valiber is an Israeli-based company that has developed a swizzle-stick-like monitor that can tell the amount of sugar in one of your drinks. While we all know a can of soda is loaded with the stuff, it's also true of many of those "healthy" fruit drinks we Americans have begun to so heartily consume. Get a better understanding of just how much sugar you are consuming by placing one of these in your drink. The device is built with sensors that can determine and “taste” how much dissolved sugar is in the glass.


Thrive

Thrive is the first algae-derived cooking oil to be made available to consumers.Thrive is the first algae-derived cooking oil to be made available to consumers. (Photo: Solazyme)

You know algae as the green stuff that used to grow on the top of your camp's lake, but nowadays it's proving to be less of a pest. One company is turning it into an oil you can use at home to cook with — and it's really healthy. California-based Solazyme has created Thrive, an oil with zero trans fat and very low saturated fat. Suitable for all types of cooking, Thrive is also made of more than 90% heart-healthy monosaturated fats. In fact, one tablespoon of Thrive contains the same amount of these good fats as an avocado.

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