With a New Year upon us, there’s one thing that foodies and dietitians have in common, the excitement for new food trends. Us dietitians make it our business to know what’s trending and what our clients, patients, family, and friends will be asking us about in the coming year. Remember kale, quinoa, and cauliflower-everything where last years’ business? So what’s happening in 2017? As a dietitian, these are food trends I can get behind.
1. Digestive Health: Fermented foods – Gut health has become the spotlight as a trending topic in the food and nutrition world. Taking a look at your supermarket shelves reveals a new type or brand of kefir, kimchi and yogurt on the shelf each week. And remember Kombucha? Look out for the new formulations with added probiotic cultures that you drink. These live active cultures are your gut’s closest friends.
2. Digestive Health: FODMAPs – Like fermented foods above, ridding that gas and bloating that impacts many people is now an openly discussed topic. A low FODMAP diet requires a little background to fully understand and appreciate. FODMAP is short for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols.”. These foods are type of carbs and sugars found in commonly consumed foods that are difficult to digest and can cause some serious distress in your gut. The low-FODMAP diet is a fairly new regimen that can be followed to help people manage irritable bowel syndrome or unexplained digestive distress. Seeing a dietitian to lead you through an elimination and reintroduction diet can help you get to the cause of your digestive distress.
3. Plant based foods – Chickpeas, corn, legumes and fungi are standing in for steaks in new emerging products designed to appeal to vegans and carnivores alike. Exploring your meat-free options has never been so easy. Vegan “meats” and vegetables of all kinds are being subbed in to create alternatives to traditionally meat-based meals. Vegetarian meat substitutes will not be the only thing on the rise. The presence of vegetables will continue to increase incorporated into snacks, lunch and onto the dinner plate. New cooking methods and ways to pump up the roughage in dishes is an ideal way to maximize nutrition.
4. Bowls – In the beginning there were Chipotle burrito bowls. Then, there was the smoothie bowl. Now there is poké. This year we are moving away from handheld food items to serving dishes in a bowl. Many of these types of bowls allow you to custom tailor what goes into it to your preferences and dietary habits. it’s also easier and faster to assemble a bowl than plated upscale entrees. From a mindful eating perspective, eating from a bowl could likely make you slow down and enjoy your food more than a burrito that is leaking and falling apart in your hands. You’ll feel a full a lot faster, and be able to savor all the flavors and textures with every bite.
5. Sustainability – Food waste might be a thing of the past. Consumers and producers alike are finding creative way to repurpose typically tossed-out stems, skins and rinds. Items that would usually find their way to the garbage bin (fruit rinds, vegetable stems, etc.) are getting new life breathed into them and coming out as stocks, pickles and anything else eco-conscious consumers and companies can comprehend. Many food companies are taking this further, doing their part to help the environment. Think plastic-free oatmeal-to-go product with a built-in paper bowl, lower packaging on products or reusable containers.