Rainbow bagels. Ramen burgers. This past year offered some unique, but not always health-conscious food choices. As we say goodbye to 2016, let’s take a look at some of the healthiest food trends that are worth continuing:
Reduced Sugar: Food manufacturers faced more pressure than ever to reduce the amount of sugar they added to foods this past year. This is great news for those of us looking to clean up our diets. We now have a better variety than ever of lower-sugar products on the shelves. Look for traditionally sugar-saturated foods, as well as foods you never knew had added sugar, to have cut back on the sweet stuff.
Replacing starchy foods with veggies: The star of the vegetable world this year has been the cauliflower, which has been used as the main ingredient in traditionally starchy foods like toast, pizza crust, and mashed “potatoes”. We’ve also seen vegetables like yellow & green squash taking the place of their starchy counterparts in dishes like lasagna and spaghetti. This has been great news for those looking to limit their carbohydrate intake, and overall calorie intake as well.
Fancy fluids: It all started with coconut water, but this trend has rapidly expanded into other specialty water like maple water, cactus water, and birch tree water. These waters offer yet another way to meet our fluid needs, without the addition of much in the way of calories. Sparkling waters have also maintained their popularity, with brands such as La Croix offering a flavorful bubbly way to replace your soft drink craving without the artificial ingredients or calories.
Meals in a box: We’ve seen a sharp increase in the number of companies offering home delivery of pre-prepared healthy meals, easy enough for even the kitchen-shy to make. Available at a range of price points, these services can be helpful at cutting back on less healthy processed meals or take-out for busy people. Even local groceries are starting to pick up on the trend, and have started introducing similar products in stores.
Less processing: Facing a wave of more discriminating buyers, food manufacturers and restaurants have moved towards offering less processed food items. Our heightened focus on healthy eating has demanded more transparency in regards to what is in our foods, and what isn’t (like artificial preservatives, and food dyes).
As we start this new year, we will watch for more trends like these to make healthy eating easier!