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10 Food Trends Proving Health is a Major Factor in 2014

Food in 2014 is taking a turn for the healthy; and we think it’s about time. Though the shift started in 2013 when 58 percent of surveyed consumers said they thought a lot about the healthfulness of their foods and beverages, it’s predicted consumers will become even more focused on health throughout this year.

healthy food shopping

We try our best to predict the food trends for the upcoming year, and we successfully predicted health being a major factor in food for 2014. Now that we’re a quarter of the way into the year, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and Dr. Elizabeth Sloan—a food trend guru—have decided it’s time for some of those predictions to turn into actual trends. Here, a list of what to expect (and most likely, what you’re already experiencing):

Getting Real Food
The majority of consumers check the ingredient list for ingredients they recognize. They also specifically look for foods made with simple, real, and natural ingredients.

Specialties Aren’t So Special
Specialized diets are becoming mainstream, and consumers who once relied on nutritional supplements are now turning to fortified foods instead. According to IFT research, most adults are making a strong effort to take in more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.


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The Right Way to Read a Food Label: Don’t Overlook the Fine Print

Clients love to tell me about the new snack bar or cereal they found at the grocery store. They tell me how it’s all natural or full of whole grains. I hate bursting their bubble when I ask how much sugar it has.

label

In your quest to be a healthy and fit you need to be a vigilant food detective.   You can’t trust the health claims on the front of the box. You have to read the back of the box, the ingredient list in particular, to really understand what is (or isn’t) in the oatmeal or protein bar you’re about to buy. Unfortunately, it’s not easy deciphering food labels. Without sounding too much like a conspiracy theorist, I think they do it on purpose.

The marketing team believes if they highlight the words “natural”, “light”, or “reduced” on the label we, the consumer, won’t look any further than that. We will simply trust that the product is good for us, load up our carts and go on our merry way.

The problem is a lot of people do just that. This is where they often get into trouble. You have to read the label to get the real story of what’s going on. Even on products you buy regularly you need to check in every so often to make sure they haven’t changed anything without telling you. Do a quick scan of the products going in your cart and look for these 5 things:

  1. Serving Size
    Don’t be so sure that a bottle of juice or a small bag of granola is just one serving. More often than not what appears to be a single serving package of chips or beverage has at least two servings. You could take in double or triple the calories without really even noticing.
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“Hungry Girl” Shares Her Top Tips for Eating Smart on a Budget

HG Diet Cover
You want to eat healthy, but you don’t want to have to dip into savings to fill your belly with good food. There is a better option, and shopping smart is easy once you know how. Lisa Lillien, author of the new book The Hungry Girl Diet  and founder of Hungry-Girl.com, spills her top tips for saving money while scoring healthy groceries:

Bring a list!  Stay on task and avoid those impulse buys for the sake of your wallet AND your healthy-eating habits. (Here’s HG’s most updated supermarket list, if you need some inspiration!)

Two words: Virtual couponing.  Sure, you can clip from the circulars, but you can also surf the Internet for online coupons—they’re everywhere and they could save you lots of cash! Also, ALWAYS apply for those supermarket discount cards.
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15 Ways to Take Your Family Recipes from Health-Hazard to Just Plain Healthy

By Layne Lieberman, RD

We all know it’s better to cook at home than rely on restaurants to satisfy your stomach and take care of your health. Restaurant chefs and cooks are trained to use salt, sugar, and fat to add flavor to most dishes.

Unfortunately, a lot of recipes—particularly ones that have been passed down from generation to generation—rely on these same unhealthy tricks. The good news is that even your most gluttonous go-to comfort food recipes can be altered to be healthier. It simply takes a few substitutions and healthy cooking techniques to do the job.

recipe

Here are my 15 favorite recipe rules which I use to make any homemade dish healthier. (Need some initial inspiration? Browse my favorite recipes!)
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Save Yourself a Trip (or Five) by Planning Your Meals in Advance

We all know the feeling: the rushed, slightly panicked sensation when standing in the middle of the grocery aisle after work trying to find something healthy for dinner. Why not relieve some of that stress?

grocery list

Our friends over at Shape Magazine have a great meal plan full of delicious-sounding recipes like Roman-Style Roast Chicken or Herbed Rice that can be made with simple fridge and pantry staples. The best part is, everything can be purchased ahead of time, so you just have to make one trip the grocery store a week. All it takes is a little planning ahead and you can avoid a “what am I having for dinner” moment or an emergency fast food run.


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