The healthy food scene is always evolving. Some trends turn out to be passing fads, whilst others become part of our daily routines for years to come. Here are my healthy food trend predictions for 2018.
From the Insta-favourite Acai and Hawaiian Poke through to Korean Bibimap – the trend for bowl foods is on the rise. Freshly prepared and easy to eat (typically only requiring just one utensil) popular bowl foods are perfect for those who want to stay healthy, despite our ever busier lives. Expect to be swapping plates for bowls in 2018.
LOW ALCOHOL, NO ALCOHOL and HEALTHIER ALCOHOLIC DRINKS
Stats show that Generation Z are drinking less than previous generations, but that’s not to say they’re any less sociable! Cue the demand for a greater choice of alcohol free and low alcohol drinks. Alcoholic drinks are being shaken up with a wider variety of healthier offerings. Californian drinks lists routinely offer organic wines, gluten free beers and low sugar cocktails based on healthy ingredients. Kale and apple mimosa, anyone?
HEALTHIER / ARTISAN GLUTEN FREE ALTERNATIVES
In the past, gluten free foods were typically highly processed and filled with a variety of undesirable ingredients. But the demand for gluten free alternatives is not declining. Move aside, dry sliced loaves, there’s set to be a rise in the availability of healthier and artisan gluten free alternatives. Many high street bakers have started selling freshly baked gluten free loaves and Italian restaurants chains are increasingly offering gluten free pastas and pizzas. In 2018 it’s going to be easier than ever to be ‘free from’ and not miss out.
PLANT BASED DIETS ARE HERE TO STAY
Far from a passing fad, the move towards a plant based diet is becoming ever more popular. Whether it’s for health, environmental or ethical reasons, increasing numbers of us turning vegetarian and vegan in part due to influence from documentaries such as Cowspiracy and What The Health. And plenty of meat eaters are gravitating toward a ‘flexitarian’ diet – eating a primarily vegetarian diet with meat and fish featuring occasionally.
SHUNNING TRADITIONAL BREAKFAST
Our nation’s love of cereal has been challenged in recent years since the arrival of the NutriBullet. Toast is only acceptable if it’s topped with avocado and egg. We are shunning traditional favourites in favour of freshly made, healthier alternatives. High street chains already offer porridge pots and savoury scrambles – and this is just the beginning. Expect to see smoothie bowls, breakfast salads, green matcha pancakes and coconut yoghurt parfaits on the menu of your favourite brunch spot soon.
LOCAL, SEASONAL SUPERFOODS
It was once the case that superfoods had to originate from exotic shores in order for us to be enticed… but then came kale. If Beyonce is such a fan that she wears clothes advertising this leafy green, then it’s good enough for us. Kale is just the start of nutrient rich, UK grown foods on offer and with Brexit looming and environmental concerns ever growing, there’s never been a more important time to back British farmers.
In 2018 it’s time to embrace home grown nourishment in the form of flax seeds (linseeds), pears, artichokes, plumbs, blackberries and broccoli.
VEGAN TREAT FOODS
Cheese, butter and cream were once essential ingredients for many of our favourite treat foods, but not anymore. Chefs are challenging the need for animal products and vegan treat foods are about to become much more exciting. It’s time to say goodbye to dried fruit bars and hello to vegan pastries, cheesecakes and pizzas. Even mac and cheese is getting a cheese-free revamp. Perhaps the least healthy prediction here, but quite possibly healthier than the original versions!
A MOVE TOWARDS PLANT PROTEINS
Whilst protein is essential for health, research shows that too much animal protein could have a negative effect on our long term health. Studies show that a diet high in animal protein promotes an increase in the growth factor IGF1. Whilst IGF1 is important for growth, elevated levels in adults has been linked to an increased risk of certain chronic diseases. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to give up meat, but it does make sense to moderate your protein intake and focus on plant based sources as well. If you do eat meat, always opt for ideally organic, or at least free range, traditionally reared produce.