With the year just heating up, 2018 promises to be yet another exciting year as far as the healthy global food trends are concerned. Indeed, sharper nutrition focus beyond 2017’s Quinoa and Greek yoghurt will take over the mainstream. And, key among the many preferred diets revered by savvy health and fitness loving faithful will dwell around healthy food café menus and supermarket shelves.
The excitement accompanying the healthy food trends of 2018 will even increase, thanks to the massive role to be played by technology. Newer and far much better technological inventions in food production, retail spaces and consumer communication will inevitably affect what people choose. And, indeed even registered dietitians vouch for the following good-for-you food trends to follow in 2018.
- Vegan comfort foods
Even though vegetables are the new stable, their dominance will invariably continue to rise in 2018. And, the real winners will be beyond the seemingly health-savvy vegetarian populace who are rightfully getting better as days go by. According to Pinterest, much of the comfort food searches of 2016 through 2017 have been around “veggies”, and the trend hasn’t died down yet.
Words such as “Lasagna,” “Macaroni” and “Stroganoff” have also dominated the planet’s catalogue of ideas, instead of the commonly preferred rice and pasta foods. Interestingly, the search for vegan comfort food ideas has been increasing, despite the 336% rise in 2016. What these figures mean is that it won’t be a shocker to order mashed cauliflower or vegetable crust instead of Pizza in 2018.
- Focus on natural functional foods
Yes, the hype surrounding the “nutraceuticals” or “All Things Broccoli” is right, and that is what 2018 and the entire healthy food trends will be basically founded on. Foods are mainly the primary nutrient supplying components in the body, but with natural functional foods expected to shape the year, fighting ills will not be just about taking medicines. Of course, you probably know it is no longer about what is made on a diet, but rather what has been naturally obtained and the essence of the whole benefits.
The natural, active plant chemicals found aplenty in fruits, vegetables, soy foods, whole grains, and the many herbs and spices have been predicted to continue in popularity. Some of the healthful functional foods to watch out for include the following:
- Omega-3 enriched eggs with little amounts of saturated fats.
- Oats because they have ß-glucan and phytochemicals called saponins.
- Fatty fishes
- Fortified margarines
- Soy and nuts for disease prevention.
- Tomatoes as they contain phytochemical lycopene.
- Leafy greens – kale, collard, spinach, broccoli, arugula, etc.
- Plant-based living
Plant-based dishes have been growing in popularity, and the same is expected to continue in 2018 and beyond. This healthy food trend is no longer merely for strict vegetarians and those who prefer organic dishes alone. Turns out, the “flexitarian” diet approach that incorporates less of animal based products and more of plant-based foods will cover the entire of 2018 and beyond.
Plant-based living follows the acknowledgement of the benefits that come with both the body and the surrounding upon changing eating habits. There’s an immense interconnectedness of the human healthy changes and life, and by adopting this trend, you will enhance your chances of balancing the two.
In short, expect to see pasta made from Mung beans, Chickpeas and other foods or pumpkin seeds, black beans, chia seeds, hemp seeds and other ingredients incorporated into a dish made using plant-based proteins. Other items to take over the healthy food sector in 2018 include Ready-to-go packaged foods to replace the conventional junk foods.
- Healthy drinks
Following up from the above points, there’s an increasing trend in organic, vegan, vegetarian and low sugar drinks. Consumers wanting something nutritious to quench the thirsty feeling, families wanting a tasty drink to complement breakfast meals and commuters wanting a grab-and-go drink will inadvertently opt for drinks which are low in sugar, low in calories, natural/organic and zero cholesterol. Expect brands like Innocent, T.NUT and Vita Coco to become more popular with consumers.
- Cleaner Label Health Food Products
Since a little over two years ago, premier names in the food industry including Campbell Soup, Kellogg, Nestle and other beverage companies resorted to manufacturing artificial ingredients free foods. While Cleaner label is no longer a craze, but more of a rule, Innova Market Insights seem to agree that 2018 will keep it alive. It follows the notion that plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free and the so-called “natural” products aren’t just about enough for a healthy lifestyle.
Over 75% of consumers in the US seemingly claim to read the nutritional and ingredient labels, and almost the same number agree that the ingredients list should be easily recognizable. That is according to Food Business News who shows that the smart, healthy food trends prefer foods free of thickeners, emulsifiers, and preservative. The latest clean label conundrum includes almond milk without carrageenan, protein foods free from maltodextrin fillers and cleaned up meat formulations.
- Alternative sugars and the return of Fats
Low-fat food and sugar-rich foods went down as the food villains of 2016 and 2017, all thanks to the human population’s pursuit of healthier diets. While there have been repeated ads featuring perhaps foods taunted as alternatives to white sugar, the leading ones comprise coconut sugar and date sugar. They all have unique and healthy flavour profile, what those who can’t imagine going without sweetened teas and coffee would prefer.
Alongside the return of alternative sugars in 2018, fats will also make an unprecedented return, of course, as “healthy fats.” They come with omega-3s and monounsaturated components that promote healthy brains and proper functioning of the heart. Such foods as avocado, almonds and salmon have healthy fats and are responsible for that feel satisfied and for palatability and are some excellent sources to get these fats.
Some examples of the foods to watch out for in 2018 include cold pressed milk, yoghurts and Quark because of the need for good, healthy fats. Also, lower-fat Greek yoghurt and predominantly nuts and seeds based Mueslis and seeds instead of grains and dried fruits.
The Parting Shot
Indeed, 2018 will usher in a new revolution with regards to how we view foods. These five healthy food trends may have started a year or more ago, but as times progress, better and healthier norms and practices have been taking over. You will need to look at the latest buzzword; Superfoods, to understand how the scene is changing. If you would like to go healthy, better try adopting these trends today!
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