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Archive for January, 2016

Each year media, current research, or consumer groups prompt changes in the food market. Sometimes restaurants initiate new eating trends by promoting certain foods.

I grew up with meals of mustard greens and turnip greens―both nutritious choices. Kale, unknown to me as a child, has replaced those as one of my favorite powerhouses for nutrients. A favored nutrient-loaded food of last year, newer trends in 2016 pushed kale aside. Personal food selections and exposure to new foods change how and what we eat. With shifts in taste and preferences, what can we expect for this year?

  • Food and Meal Delivery:  Not all changes involve food choices. Ranked high on the list for 2016 is how we choose to get our meals. Food delivered to our doorstep has moved beyond pizza. More companies now cater to complete menus or provide ingredient-ready versions that require minimum preparation for a home-cooked meal. For those with super busy schedules or limited cooking skills, delivered meals may be an economical choice compared to the time to shop, prepare, and purchase onetime-use ingredients that languish in cupboards until ruined or out of date.
  • Clean Food:  This unusual term means different things to different people. Consumers have become conscious of what is added to foods. Alert manufacturers now state what products don’t have. These “free-from” labels may include GMO, antibiotics, or additives. The term may also refer to high-quality protein and carbohydrate or even a reminder of local food sources.
  • Veggie Entrees:  We don’t have to be vegetarian to make vegetables a mainstay in our diet. Increasing numbers of consumers lean toward healthful dishes with vegetables at the forefront. Many of us fail to get enough vegetables in our diets. With veggies as the focal point for entrees, with or without added small portions of lean meat, it’s a win-win situation. Dishes primarily from vegetables may also cost less.
  • Beans, Beans, and More Beans: What we know as legumes are more specifically recognized as pulses. Pulses, a part of the legume family, refer only to the dried seeds. The most common ones are dried peas and beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Pulses have several nutritional advantages (high protein and fiber) and usually provide less expensive meals.
  • Spice It Up:  For several years researchers have claimed the benefits of certain spices. While they are used sparingly, they contribute to flavor while adding nutrients. Some commonly used healthful spices include black pepper, cinnamon, and turmeric.
  • From Sweet to Bitter: Consumers seem to be moving more toward bitter vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and collard greens. Expect these vegetables to be touted this year, especially in restaurants.
  • Less Pasta:  This popular food has waned in favor. Manufactures report reduced sales and revenue from pasta products.

What will you eat this year? You can choose to follow emerging trends or not. Whether you do or don’t, the best option during 2016 is to choose more nutritious foods and diets.

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