The latest trends in healthy eating are always changing, and it can be hard to keep up with what nutritionists and successful dieters recommend. Healthy eating can include a lot of components, from picking the right foods at the grocery store to cooking them in the most nutritious way. Dieting techniques can also vary greatly over time. To understand how to eat better, you first need to know what your options are. The healthy-eating trends mentioned here can help you improve both what you eat and how you eat it, making your diet much healthier.
If you check out the aisles of your local grocery store, you might notice things like chickpeas chips, lentil pasta or black bean tortillas. Bean flour has become one of the most popular ingredients turning traditionally unhealthy foods into nutritional superfoods. Instead of loading up on spaghetti made with processed white flour, health-conscious consumers are turning to bean pasta, which has higher amounts of protein and fiber. Once relegated to the health food aisle, these products are becoming more and more mainstream, and their health benefits make them a worthwhile substitution in your diet.
Vegetarianism isn’t new, but it’s on the rise among people who just want to eat better. While vegetarianism was formerly a niche dietary preference, it has become a popular way to improve your diet even if you don’t have moral or health reasons for restricting what you eat. Most nutritionists recommend adopting a vegetarian diet at least one day per week because it cuts calories, reduces fat intake and even helps you save a little money. Being a full-time vegetarian is a big commitment, but this lifestyle has been shown to improve overall health and energy levels, and it’s good for the environment.
Environmentally Friendly Eating
Vegetarianism ties in with another healthy eating trend — planning meals based on the environmental impact. When you buy food, it often contains layers of packaging to preserve freshness. Typically, foods packaged like this contain preservatives and other chemicals as well. A popular trend in the healthy-eating movement is to stick to environmentally friendly products, such as unwrapped fresh fruits and vegetables or cage-free eggs. You should look for labels on your meat that include phrases like wild-caught, antibiotic free, pasture-raised and grass-fed. Organic, chemical-free produce and grains are another way to eat better and save the planet at the same time.
Most experts suggest that seaweed is one of the most up-and-coming trends in healthy eating. In addition to being a low-calorie snack, it’s loaded with nutrients, including calcium, iron and vitamin K. Some seaweed, like kelp, is a good source of iodine. Iodine can improve thyroid health, making kelp a very valuable food for people with thyroid issues. You can buy seaweed at your local specialty grocery store and use it in everything from salad to pasta to soup. Some seaweed can even replace the harmful artificial dyes used to turn foods green and blue, improving the nutritional value of those foods.
Subscription Box Cooking
For those who can afford it, subscription meal services are a popular way to improve the quality of your food. It can be difficult to plan a week’s worth of healthy dinners, but many companies are offering subscription box kits that come with up to a week’s worth of food, perfectly measured out. The prep work required on each service varies, with some sending meals in their most rudimentary states and others sending the ingredients pre-diced and pre-sliced for a faster box-to-table time. These subscription services often introduce new and exotic foods to their customers and help them to try healthy recipes they might otherwise have overlooked.
If you’re a dieter, you likely know that cauliflower is one of the most popular substitutions for just about everything. From pasta to rice to Alfredo sauce, cauliflower makes a very versatile and healthy replacement for a variety of unhealthy foods. Healthy eaters who dislike the work of cutting up and blending the cauliflower into a paste can rejoice in the fact that mainstream companies are beginning to embrace the trend. You can now buy cauliflower sauces, rice, pasta and much more in your local grocery store. The convenience of these foods will help to make the trend even more widespread going forward.
In recent years, grain and lentil bowls have become more and more popular. These easy lunch or dinner meals typically consist of a nutrient-packed grain base, such as quinoa, brown rice or beans. Vegetables, meats, nuts, and seeds can be added to improve the nutritional value, increasing vitamins, protein, fiber and antioxidants. Because these bowls are flavored with spices rather than sauces or cheese, they don’t contain the same amount of fat as most dining-out options. Grain bowls are also easily eaten by busy employees and students who need to multitask their meals with work, making them a popular choice for people who want to eat healthy on the go.
Veggie chips can be a risky impulse purchase since they’re often little more than green-tinted corn chips. However, if you take the time to read the ingredient labels, you can find chips that are made with real vegetables like zucchini, carrots, kale, and beets. Unlike potato chips, these crunchy snacks are often lightly salted and made with oil that doesn’t add saturated fat. They come in all flavors, from savory to sweet and can replace a less healthy snack when you’re craving salty food. Sweet potato chips are another popular option. Be careful to find ones made without a lot of preservatives and chemicals.
Probiotics have been around for a long time, but they’re no longer just pills you take to manage gut issues. Instead, many manufacturers are making everything from chips to pasta with probiotics included. These packages are labeled as probiotic supplements, and not all of them are clear on exactly which probiotics they feature. Also, fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, and yogurt have soared to popularity. These foods naturally contain probiotics, which help to balance the “good” and “bad” bacteria in your body. Health food advocates swear by probiotics and praise their ability to aid in healthy digestion.
Ugly Vegetables and Fruit
Healthy eaters are now passing over the scientifically engineered apples with shiny, perfect skins that most people prefer. Instead, they’re looking for fruit that is all-natural and organic, which often means it is oddly shaped, discolored or even slightly bruised. That means more and more people are shopping at farmers markets, which are more likely to sell this aesthetically challenged produce. These fruits and vegetables are ugly, but they’re also full of natural nutrients instead of pesticides and chemicals, which makes them very appealing to those who want a more organic diet.
Speaking of ugly produce, the jackfruit is becoming one of the most popular meat substitutes due to its texture. After it’s cooked, jackfruit looks like shredded pork. This can help new vegetarians and vegans who miss the texture and consistency of meat. Jackfruit doesn’t have as much protein as tofu or seitan, so you still need to get your protein fix elsewhere. Use it to make pulled “pork” sandwiches, and flavor it with a healthy, low-fat barbecue sauce, or spice up this mild fruit with more intense flavors like chipotle or curry.
Fueled by the busy lifestyles of most modern-day adults, meal prep has become a popular way to eat healthier. It starts with preparing a list of planned meals, snacks and beverages for the week. Preppers then do a mega shopping trip to stock up on the necessary ingredients. Then, meal preppers spend three to four hours preparing a week’s worth of food. This means chopping fruits and vegetables, cooking stews, pasta and meats, and dividing it all up into properly portioned containers. At the end of their meal prep, all of the week’s healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the whole family are conveniently ready to eat.
Ancient grains like sorghum, teff, and farro are making a comeback. This is in part due to popular diet trends like the paleo diet. These grains are full of nutrients like protein and don’t contain pesticides and other added chemicals. You can find sorghum on your grocery store shelves in cereal, pasta and much more. Because they’re easy to digest, they can help with weight management and energy levels. They also contain fiber, iron, and antioxidants that help keep you healthy.
Omega-3 and monounsaturated fats are good for your brain and heart. That’s why these fats are popular among health food enthusiasts right now. Foods like fish, nuts, and avocados are full of healthy fats. They can help to increase energy, decrease hunger and absorb vitamins. Without these fats, you’re missing out on valuable nutrients. That’s why dishes that include salmon, tuna, shrimp and other seafood are skyrocketing in popularity. Avocados are being incorporated into salads and sandwiches. Be sure to add some of these important fats to your diet if you want to eat healthier.
Coconut oil has been a mainstay of healthy kitchens for a while, but other coconut products are becoming common. A popular substitute for those who are lactose-intolerant in coconut milk. Coconut water also has a reputation as a cleansing drink. Two of the less well-known coconut products that have become healthy eating trends more recently are coconut sugar and coconut flour. This means you can buy a wide variety of coconut products, including chips, tortillas, snack cakes and ice cream. You can also use it at home in place of regular flour and sugar, improving the nutritional value of your desserts and baked goods.