8 Healthy Food Trends For 2014

organic
Image by: ilovebutter
By Tallulah Ray

If you’ve seen the latest statistics on obesity in America, you may be just as disappointed and scared as most of the population. That’s probably why the latest reports show that healthier trends will be hitting newsstands, restaurants, and grocery stores next year.

More of the general public are beginning to see the error of their…well, grocery shopping habits. The trends are already showing up, if you’ve noticed. More restaurants are offering half-sizes on their menus. People are starting to look for healthier snack options in grocery stores.

#1) Permissible Indulgence

That’s a pretty fancy term, right? People are beginning to look for healthier alternatives to empty calorie foods like chips and chocolate chip cookies. In fact, a lot of grocery stores in the New England area are starting to put up aisles labeled “healthy snacks” for these permissible indulgences. So what foods would belong in this aisle?

    Portion sized containers of hummus in various flavors like coconut curry, sweet potato, and roasted red pepper

    Seaweed chips and flakes

    Dried legumes

    Functional drinks made from things like chia seeds, hemp, and flaxseed

hummus
Image by: stu_spivack

Also in these aisles will be portioned packets of your favorite snacks that are also packed with vegetables.

#2) Healthy, Portioned Controlled Snacks In The Mail

I’m already seeing this trend on the rise! Companies like Graze, Naturebox, Go Bites, Healthy Surprise, and Foodzie are popping up everywhere. These companies deliver healthy, portioned-size boxes of snacks to your mailbox for a monthly or a per-box subscription.

I am personally subscribed to Graze, which has been wonderful. At first I was a surprised at how small the portions were but they are so flavorful that I don’t feel as though I need any more after I get done with the snack.

#3) Allergen-Free Foods

Studies have shown that 15 million Americans have some sort of food allergy. The most common is peanuts (which is probably why they’ve stopped serving peanuts on planes now). Most people who are afflicted with an allergy to some sort of food have given up most foods that contain a form of allergen. Not only that but their families have as well (just for convenience’s sake). You know what they are saying?

Since giving up these foods and eating more organic, gluten-free foods, they are feeling better about themselves and they are feeling healthier as well. Because of this, expect to see a lot more organic, vegan-style food products and snacks in 2014.

#4) All The Leafy Greens!

I’ve started seeing leafy greens in just about everything: lettuce wraps, green smoothies, soups, juices, sauces, etc. The reasoning behind this is that people are looking for more wholesome, nutrient-packed snacks and they’re being really creative about it. In fact, research has shown that the people who buy packaged salad greens don’t actually use them for salads.

#5) Cleaner And Leaner

Next year will be about clean and lean. The trends in the Paleo and Vegan diets will stay strong but they’ll be focusing all of their efforts on eating more foods in their natural form (which also means that they will be focusing on non-processed foods — still).

#6) Not-Quite-Vegan, Less Meat Diets

The expectation for next year (by looking at the latest trends) shows that more people are leaning toward meatless entrees and alternative meat products. People are starting to steer away from ground beef (even lean ground beef).

Trends show that the meat product that people will be going bonkers over is seafood. As of right now, trends show that Shrimp burgers are replacing beef burgers and fish tacos over the traditional tacos.

#7) Sweet Tooth

There has been a big backlash against most zero calorie sweeteners (like Splenda and Sweet & Low) since research has been released that shows that these sweeteners aren’t all that good for you in the first place.

So next year, look for better (healthier) zero calorie sweeteners to pick up some speed. Stevia, for example, is already starting to take off. Monk fruit will be another contender next year. In fact, Splenda has released Nectrisse, which is a healthier alternative to Splenda.

#8) Quinoa Everything

If you’ve been following my articles, you’ll notice that I absolutely love Quinoa (the super grain!). Well, next year Quinoa is going to explode like a gigantic super grain piñata. Look for things like Qookies (cookies made with ground quinoa instead of white flour), tortilla chips, salads, and other baked goods. You know I will be experimenting with the super grain as well so look for my new quinoa recipes next year!

quinoa
Image by: Niedereschbach

The great part about all of this is that the diets and food trends that are popping up are healthy. The focus has turned from “get as skinny as I can as fast as I can” to “I want a new healthier me.”

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