Hi, healthy! Do you think about nutrition for life, and do you want to enhance your health? So, here’re 10 great nutrition we’ve found for you…
It’s been quite a year. While the rising cost of groceries has been a major concern, there have also been some exciting developments in the world of food. From plant-based products to reducing food waste to functional foods and drinks, there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming year.
Believe it or not, we may finally see ethical, lab-grown meat and even a vegan fish sandwich hit the market! To better understand what other healthy food trends we can expect, we turned to the experts. Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, and Kelly Kennedy, RDN, have shared their thoughts on what we’re likely to see in the coming year. Let’s dig in and see what’s on the horizon!
Table of Contents
Here’re Listed 10 Nutrition for Life:
1. Economical Eats
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably noticed that food prices have been on the rise lately. While they might not grow at the same staggering rate as last year (which was up to 12 percent!), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicts they’ll continue to rise above historical average rates.
What does that mean for you and me? Well, it might mean more home-cooked meals and fewer restaurant outings since eating out can cost more than three times as much, according to The NPD Group. It also means searching for ways to save on groceries.
As Kelly Kennedy, RDN, points out, “A lot of people, especially those with the larger families, are going to have to seek for affordable options in order to stay on budget.” That could mean turning to inexpensive protein sources like tinned fish, canned beans, and legumes, while more expensive cuts of meat might have to take a back seat. So let’s get creative and find some tasty, affordable ways to nourish ourselves and our families!
2. More Plant-Based Options
Well, hello there! If you’re someone who’s been cutting back on meat, you’re in good company. In fact, according to a report in Progressive Grocer, 27 percent of people are choosing to consume less meat. And with the growing interest in healthy alternatives, it’s no surprise that plant-based foods are taking off.
In fact, sales of plant-based foods are growing 3 times faster than foods overall, according to data released by the Good Food Institute (GFI). Burgers might be the most popular plant-based meat option, but manufacturers are introducing more sausage links, patties, and chicken nuggets, tenders, and cutlets. And while plant-based seafood is still a small part of the market, it’s growing, too.
You might have heard of Konscious Foods, a brand that just launched the first frozen vegan sushi and onigiri. It was founded by the same entrepreneur who launched the popular meat-free burger brand, Gardein.
And it’s not just meat alternatives that are taking off. According to Expert Market Research, a replacement for other animal-based foods like dairy and eggs is also gaining traction. Products like Just an Egg (which was picked up by Starbucks for a new menu test this year) & Zero Egg offer options for people with allergies and vegans alike.
3. Plants in More Places
When it comes to plant-based eating, there’s more to it than just finding alternatives to meat. The trend has sparked creative ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into meals, even for those who aren’t vegetarians or vegans. According to Taub-Dix, people are becoming more experimental with produce, using ingredients like avocado or kale sauce instead of butter.
Packaged food companies are also getting in on the trend by incorporating legumes, fruits, and veggies into pantry staples like pasta. These products often have more protein and fiber and fewer carbs than traditional pasta, making them a great option for those with food allergies or who’re watching their blood sugar levels. Whole Foods now carries a range of pasta varieties made from chickpeas, lentils, edamame, and even spaghetti squash and green bananas. According to Taub-Dix, this is a great way to enjoy pasta without the guilt.
4. Cultured Meat
In 2022, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first-ever sale of lab-grown meat, also known as cultured meat. Though the product still needs clearance from the USDA before it hits stores, that seems likely to happen in the near future. Upside Foods, the manufacturer, aims to significantly reduce the consumption of conventionally raised chicken and the environmental and ethical impact of chicken farming.
Lab-grown meat is created by extracting cells from an animal and growing meat from those cells. Biologically, and it’s the same as animal meat, but no animals is needed to be killed. It could deacrese the carbon footprint of meat consumption since it doesn’t produce the methane gas like grazing animals do. Furthermore, it’s less likely to spread foodborne illnesses that people can get from animals.
Foods like these allow individuals to combat climate change, avoid antibiotics & unwanted chemicals in meat, and receive more functional benefits from their diets than with conventional foods. Nonetheless, according to Taub-Dix, how well these products live up to such claims remains to be seen.
5. Eco-Conscious Eating
As Americans become more health conscious, they’re also showing more concern for the environment. Many are adopting Climatarian diets, which prioritize sustainability when shopping.
According to a Cargill survey from 2022, over half of the respondents said they’d be more likely to buy packaged foods that make sustainability claims. But now there’s an even newer twist in the works, with some insiders referring to the “regenivore diet,” according to Natural Grocers. This diet goes beyond healthy and sustainable eating and instead aims to help restore ecosystems by supporting practices like regenerative agriculture and food upcycling.
Food waste is another area of concern, with over a third of the U.S. food supply going to waste. People are trying to cut down on waste with meal planning, but manufacturers are also addressing the issue by using upcycled ingredients.
For example, Whole Foods Market is selling oatmeal cookies made with leftover oat milk ingredients, while brands like Renewal Mil use upcycled ingredients in their baking mixes, and Reveal makes a drink from discarded avocado pits.
6. Mood-Boosting Foods
The interest in functional foods and beverages continues to grow, with a new focus on foods that promote good mental health. In addition to boosting immunity, people are looking for feel-good foods that can help fight depression, dementia and support brain health.
According to Mintel’s Global Food and Drink Trends report, there is a growing interest in foods and drinks containing caffeine, magnesium, B vitamins, and zinc, which are known to have brain-boosting benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids EPA & DHA are also in high demand, as they have been shown to improve symptoms of mood disorders.
Natural nootropics are gaining popularity, with substances like L-theanine in green tea, ginseng, lion’s mane mushroom, and ginkgo biloba being touted for their cognitive-enhancing properties. However, further research is needed to determine whether these ingredients can deliver on their claims.
7. More Mocktails
The People in the United States are drinking less alcohol than before, according to a 2021 Gallup report. The report shows that 60 percent of U.S. adults drink alcohol occasionally, compared to 65 percent in 2019. People are also drinking less, averaging 3.6 drinks per week, the lowest recorded since 2001.
Kennedy believes that these trends will continue, especially through Dry January, as people look for ways to celebrate and have fun without drinking as much or as often. This means that they’re opting for non-alcoholic beverages such as spirits, beer, and wine, which can have fewer calories than traditional alcoholic beverages.
Non-alcoholic wine, for example, can have just nine calories per glass, compared to a regular wine, which can have up to 120 calories. Also, reducing alcohol intake can reduce the risk of alcohol-related health problems. Celebrities such as Blake Lively and Bella Hadid have also jumped on the trend, launching their own lines of non-alcoholic drink mixes and adaptogenic beverages.
8. Food for Your Gut
Taking care of gut health has piqued people’s interest, although there are still uncertainties regarding the best foods to consume and whether to take supplements. Natural Grocers revealed that 44 percent of Americans have resorted to taking supplements over the past year to improve their gut health.
“As more and more research shows the direct impact that taking care of your microbiome can have on your overall health, I think that interest will continue to grow,” says Kennedy.
Foods containing probiotics that support gut health include kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented cheeses, miso, tempeh, pickled vegetables, and kombucha. Kennedy notes that beverages have recently added probiotics, although there might be better ways to consume them. Prebiotics and postbiotics are also expected to become more prominent as more information is learned about the nutrients required to support gut health.
Americans still need to catch up when it comes to incorporating healthy foods into their diets. Manufacturers are working to meet this need by creating products that are more accessible, flavorful, and affordable.
According to Bonnie Taub-Dix, more people will be turning to canned fish, including options like mackerel, clams, and sardines. “Tinned fish is a great source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, it’s one of the least expensive types of protein you can buy, and it has a long shelf life,” she explains.
European favorites such as canned tuna and salmon are also gaining popularity in the US. Companies like Fishwife, Bela, and Jose Gourmet are introducing visually appealing and well-packaged products to attract American consumers.
10. Natural Sweeteners
Americans are still on a mission to reduce their sugar intake, but now they’re more conscious of the potential risks of artificial sweeteners. According to the Specialty Food Association, many are switching to natural sweeteners.
Pamela Wilson notes that this shift means people are opting for whole foods to satisfy their sweet tooth rather than highly processed options. Maple syrup, coconut sugar, fruit juices, honey, and monk fruit are among the natural sweeteners gaining in popularity.
Whole Foods Market predicts that dates and date-based products will be particularly sought after, thanks in part to a viral TikTok video that showed how to make a sweet candy bar-style confection with them. You can now find date sugar, date syrup, and a variety of products sweetened with dates, from baked goods to hot sauce.
Maintaining a healthy & balanced diet is essential for overall health and wellness. Incorporating the variety of nutrient-dense foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, & healthy fats, can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and support optimal physical and mental functioning throughout life.
By staying informed and making intentional food choices, anyone can achieve optimal nutrition and thrive in their daily lives. Remember, good nutrition is a journey, not a destination, so keep exploring new foods and finding ways to nourish your body and mind for a lifetime of wellness.
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