Trending for 2012

The HealthGal Health Guide
  • If you were following the trends of 2011 then you know that goji berries and other exotic fruits reigned supreme, because of their proposed super-high antioxidant levels. Well American consumers are raising an eyebrow and choosing to go back to some homegrown antioxidant-rich fruits like cherries. Sure they want health benefits and good taste - they also want local grown and seasonality. Consumers value the benefits foods can offer, but they seem to want minimal processing and simple, good quality as well. Other things consumers seem to be seeking is more natural, unprocessed protein ingredients like vegetable-sourced proteins. Beans may be big contributors to that category ingredient in lieu of whey protein.

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    Fiber will still be an important ingredient and beans, nuts and seeds may be the source instead of the commonly found ingredient inulin. Consumers also seem to waking up to the fact that though some people do need gluten-free food options, not all gluten-free foods are healthy. If you want to avoid processed carbs choosing gluten-free may not be the best option. Eating the "real thing" in smaller doses will be valued over "the best imitations." So portion control will be an important mantra.


    Trend watcher Hartman Group also predicts the following as "trending out:"

    • Margarine
    • Processed soy protein
    • Low sodium
    • Fat free
    • Artificial sweeteners
    • Chicken breast/white meat
    • Superfruits that come from far away
    • Egg whites
    • Processed factory cheese
    • Activities that interfere with family meal time
    • The other white meat
    • Excessive use of supplements
    • Elimination diets
    • Treadmills
    • Ultra light beers
    • Baked chips
    • Wheat grass shots
    • Canola oil
    • Agave
    • Brown rice
    • Naturally raised beef
    • Priobiotic-laden yogurt

    My thoughts: Too many people assume agave is "healthier," so they use it a bit more liberally. Sweet is sweet, calorie wise and "palate-wise" so don't expect your kids to love fruits and other naturally sweet foods, if you are heavily sweetening everything they eat. I love my treadmill, but I definitely love outdoor sports and taking classes, so whatever exercise works for you - just do it. We do need to start making family meal time a regular habit, so try to structure your day so that one meal is a family affair. If you are eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, I am not sure you need that wheatgrass boost. And sure, baked chips are better, but not if you are scarfing them down as more than an occasional, special treat. Beginning to understand the concept of "special treats" will help you reduce your waistline.


    What's trending in?

    Things like using real butter in recipes, which also means preparing your own food, using "real ingredients" but watching usage amounts.  Also:


    • Sea salt
    • Healthy fats, like oils derived from nuts
    • Stevia
    • Local, seasonal super-fruits
    • Eggs, cage free
    • Family dinner
    • Fresh produce
    • Portion control
    • Eating dark, leafy greens
    • Farro
    • Kefir

    In my book, The 4 Habits of Healthy Families, I emphasize habits like a family shopping for food, cooking and prepping together and especially eating together. Glad to see this trending in 2012!!

Published On: January 09, 2012