Each year, certain foods and products take hold of our imaginations and pocketbooks. Here are 10 of the food trends that have surfaced in 2018.
Low-sugar and sugar alternatives.
Maple syrup, dates, coconut sugar, and honey are now being used as alternatives to sugar. These choices have some trace vitamins and minerals, but they’re still sugar at the end of the day.
Shakes as snacks or meal replacements are going mainstream, and the industry is targeting the busy professional and hectic mom instead of just the elite athlete. Protein shakes are healthier than the fast food picked up at the local drive-through.
Superfoods with anti-inflammatory properties.
Superfoods include the yellows and greens of turmeric and matcha (Japanese green tea), which are added to foods in a variety of circumstances. Both have anti-inflammatory properties, but how much do you need to eat to reap any benefit? The jury is still out.
Kombucha (fermented, effervescent black or green tea) is available on tap at “health” establishments. Kimchi (a Korean dish of salted and fermented vegetables) and sauerkraut can usually be found at your local grocery store. These foods may help influence the gut microbiome.
Prebiotic and probiotic foods.
Prebiotic fiberous foods like raw chicory root, raw Jerusalem artichoke, raw garlic, and raw asparagus and probiotic foods like yogurt either put bacteria in your gut or feed the bacteria already present. Look for fiberous foods as prebiotics and foods with active cultures as probiotics.
Pea protein, nuts, legumes, and other plants are taking center stage and are being used to replace chicken and steak.
Gluten is a protein found mainly in wheat, rye, and barley. People with celiac disease eat gluten-free foods to avoid intestinal damage from the gluten. Now a whole different group of people avoid gluten due to intestinal bloating. This group is likely having issues with the fructans in the wheat and not actually the gluten.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers may benefit from temporarily following a low-FODMAP diet. The food industry is making it easier by having low-FODMAP friendly foods readily available in the form of nutritional shakes and bars.
These bars seem to come in and go out every other year. Just remember when you juice, you lose the fiber and end up with straight sugar-shots.
Food in a bowl.
Pack up your plates, you don’t need them anymore. Poke bowls with rice and fish or smoothie bowls that look like art more than breakfast are picking up speed.