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The Healthy Eating Trends You'll Want to Try In 2017

Healthy Sandwich Spreads

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Look for more sandwich spreads offering big flavors for fewer calories in 2017. You'll see these in the form of Sabra Spreads Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper, a hummus spread with just 35 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per tablespoon, as well as cream cheeses made with almond milk. More and more spreads containing nutrient-rich ingredients are also popping up, such as mayo prepared with avocado oil instead of soybean oil, and seed-containing nut butters. (Change up your sandwich routine with these healthy vegetarian sandwich ideas.)

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Chia Everywhere

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This protein-containing seed was big in 2016, and expect it to grow in popularity next year—especially in the realm of packaged foods. You'll see it in fruit bars such as KIND's new Strawberry Apple Chia bar, which combines chia seeds with apple, strawberry, and cherry to offer two servings of fruit plus 4 grams of fiber or 16 percent of your daily value. You'll also find chia seeds in cereals, chia puddings, crackers, and these quick and easy chia seed recipes.

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Beets As an Ingredient

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The potassium-providing root veggie was on major display at the 2016 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, and at Natural Products Expo East, both of which forecast food trends for the upcoming year. Expect to see beets in everything from chips and crackers to ready-to-eat salad mixes in the 2017. If you make your own, roasted beets are delicious as is or as an addition to a smoothie bowl or breakfast tacos. And don't toss those beet greens—they provide important nutrients like vitamin C. (See: Healthy Recipes with Beet Greens)

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Increasing Vitamin D Intake

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Here's a vitamin that will be listed on the new Nutrition Facts labels—a mandatory change as of mid-year 2018, and one that some brands will be implementing earlier in 2017. Many Americans aren't getting enough of this vitamin, key for bone and muscle strength as well as immunity. Look to food sources such as eggs, salmon, and fortified milk and orange juice; most adults need 600 IU daily. Get a dose of vitamin D from this milk-based high-protein smoothie with vanilla bean.

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Getting Your Fill of Choline

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Considered a "nutrient of concern" by the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, choline is important for nerve, muscle, and liver health—but the majority of Americans are taking in too little. You'll see it appearing on some Nutrition Facts labels as we get into 2017, as the FDA determined it can be voluntarily labeled. Get choline from nutrient-rich foods such as eggs, milk, shrimp, and beans. Try this protein-rich cherry French toast for a healthy supply of choline from eggs and milk, or these easy recipes that will help add more choline to your diet.

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More Ancient Grains

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What's old is new with ancient grains, which remain largely unchanged from their original form. Ancient grains include teff, sorghum, farro, and spelt. These grains tend to be lower in pesticides than many others—and higher in protein than wheat. While you'll see these on the shelf in the form of popped sorghum, cereals, and pasta, they're also a great addition to recipes, like this blackberry ricotta breakfast sorghum.

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Vegetables Everywhere

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Don't store away your spiralizer just yet. You'll see more handheld spiralizers in stores, making it a cinch to prepare a healthy meal with vegetable "noodles" (see: 7 Creative Combinations for Spiralized Vegetables). You'll also see spiralized noodles on some restaurant menus, such as in the Thai "Noodle" Salad from Houlihan's, made with spiralized zucchini "noodles" and other veggies.

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Less Food Waste

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Americans throw away $165 billion worth of food each year, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, and companies will be looking to help consumers change that in 2017. You'll be seeing more "ugly" produce—imperfect-looking fruits and veggies—in grocery stores, including Wal-Mart. You'll also see companies using previously wasted by-products to create new foods: Sir Kensington's uses aquafaba, aka chickpea water, to make Fabanaise (vegan mayo), and Forager Project uses juice pulp from its cold-pressed juices to create its Organic Vegetable Chips.

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