Health Food Trends: A New Era
Gone are the days when health fads revolved around the latest meal replacement or calorie counting program. While in 2017, some emerging trends may seem a little strange, the conversation has shifted from portion control to being more mindful about the effect food has on our bodies. From high-fat diets to natural remedies, here are some of 2017’s greatest health food trends.*
Ugly Produce. More than just a trend, purchasing and consuming ugly produce is a movement toward being stewards of the environment in an increasingly wasteful world. While there may be a stigma that “ugly” or misshapen produce is somehow less flavorful or nutritious, in reality, there’s no difference other than its appearance. There are even food delivery services, like imperfectproduce.com, that will send subscribers a discounted box filled with “ugly” produce that may have otherwise been tossed out.
Activated Charcoal. No, this food craze isn’t about consuming a bag of charcoal briquettes. Rather, food-grade activated charcoal comes from heating coconut shells until they are carbonized and made into ash. While health enthusiasts have used activated charcoal for years as a detoxifier, it more recently hit the mainstream as a way to create Instagram-worthy black food products (black ice cream, anyone?). Though activated charcoal is a great absorption and detoxification tool, it’s important to consume with caution as it doesn’t always distinguish between toxins and vitamins or medications.
Collagen & Bone Broth. The concept might sound disgusting, but the results are worth it to many men and women. The fibrous protein in collagen or bone broth works to improve skin, hair, nails, and digestion. Rather than using topical solutions, consumers are turning to internal remedies to nourish their bodies from the inside out. Derived from cows, chickens, fish, and sometimes plants, collagen powders are being added to smoothies, coffee, protein shakes, water, and more.
Golden Lattes. Have you heard the news? Turmeric is taking over the world. Well, the health world, anyway. Hailed for its anti-inflammatory healing “powers,” turmeric has been gaining popularity over the past year. Many choose to drink turmeric as a “golden latte” or warm milk beverage. While there are different variations, golden lattes often include almond or coconut milk, turmeric powder, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, honey, and even cayenne or black pepper. We hear Starbucks may even be jumping on the golden latte bandwagon.
Plant Protein. While vegetarian diets are nothing new, the movement is gaining steam when it comes to plant protein. Athletes, vegans, and more mainstream consumers are using items like hemp and pea proteins as a viable method of obtaining protein. Plant-based proteins are not only nutritious, but they are sustainable and often affordable. Some research even suggests that plant-based protein can help you live longer than diets rich in meat-based protein.
High-fat is the New Low-fat. You read that right. Everything you learned in the ‘90s about eating low-fat, low-calorie diets to maximize your weight-loss efforts is being debunked by several new diets. From the Ketosis (Keto) diet to the Whole30 program, people are putting down the carbohydrates and swapping them out for meats, eggs, and other healthy fats. The idea behind this diet is that once you cut out the carbs, your body will look for other sources of energy. That’s where fat comes in as the body’s primary source of fuel. Let the fat-burning begin!
Coconut Everything. The coconut trend has been around for several years, but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Despite the AHA’s recent report advising against the consumption of coconut oil, many nutritionists and health experts still stand by it as a healthy fat. From coconut milk to coconut flour and coconut aminos (a soy sauce substitute), there’s plenty of coconut still being passed around.
*Before trying any of these health trends, be sure to consult your doctor to make sure they are right for you.