Since this is the final food column for 2021, it only makes sense to dive into our New Year’s food trend predictions. It’s not about trendy or cliched diets, but the growing and changing patterns in consumers’ food preferences, particularly with regard to health and wellness.
Collectively, we are becoming more familiar with the role of good nutrition in promoting a long, healthy life. In addition, people are increasingly interested in transparency and authenticity when it comes to what they eat. These factors, among others, shape how we feed ourselves and our families.
Choose healthy frozen foods
The pandemic has led to more home cooking, which will likely continue into 2022. While there has been a return to cooking and baking, people are still falling short. The obvious benefits of home cooking include saving money and eating a more balanced meal, but comfort remains a top priority. Health-conscious frozen foods From high-fiber plant-based dishes and high-protein frozen entrees to whole-grain waffles and cauliflower crust pizza are fast and nutritious foods.
Typical frozen meals from the early days of the microwave lack variety and health. If you’ve perused the frozen foods aisle lately, you’ve likely noticed a wide variety of foods for nearly all nutritional needs and taste preferences. Our innovative frozen products will continue to help us achieve our goals of healthy home cooking.
Support the mind and body
Burnout has been a hot topic lately. Mental health experts explain that the state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion, caused by excessive and severe stress, is more prevalent than ever. The political and economic climate, along with the stressors caused by the pandemic, are just the tip of the iceberg.
While common sources of stress will likely persist, people are turning to nutrition to help combat the harmful effects of stress. There is a growing demand for both foods and supplements to help reduce stress, improve mood, and relax. Products containing plants, herbs, and adaptogenic ingredients such as rhodiola, cordyceps mushrooms, ashwagandha, and hemp extract are required to help combat fatigue.
Dealing with alcohol consumption
Various studies have found an increase in alcohol consumption during an epidemic, including an increase in heavy drinking. Researchers are trying to assess how drinking patterns are changing as the epidemic continues. Those who abuse alcohol have a higher risk of developing liver disease, heart disease, stroke, depression and some types of cancer. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has declared that alcohol misuse makes the body more vulnerable to viral infections including COVID-19.
While alcohol consumption is on the rise, the popularity of non-alcoholic beverages is also increasing. Non-alcoholic spirits like Seedlip, Ritual Zero Proof, and Amass mimic the taste of common spirits, but without the booze. These products are gaining traction as they provide an alternative for those looking to reduce or stop drinking alcohol as part of a healthier lifestyle. Mocktails, non-alcoholic beer, non-alcoholic liquor and soft drinks are not only for those who want to completely abstain from drinking, but are interested in changing their drinking habits.
Fighting food waste
Sustainable food trends aren’t new, but food brands are embracing sustainability in new and interesting ways. One trend to look for is recycled foods, which involves the process of adding value to food by-products and surplus foods that would otherwise go to landfill. While this may seem like a deceptive way for food companies to make money, this practice serves an important role considering that at least 30 percent of the food supply in the United States has been lost.
Everything from bruised fruits and vegetables, edible stems and pulp leftovers from juices, plant-based dairy, and more can be turned into perfectly healthy and delicious food products. In addition to reducing food waste, recycling helps reduce food cost inflation.
LeeAnn Weintraub, MPH, RD is a registered dietitian, providing nutrition counseling and counseling to individuals, families and organizations. She can be reached via email at RD@halfacup.com.