10 healthy food trends for 2016

Start the New Year with plans to eat healthy in 2016. These top healthy food trends can help you reach your goal:

  1. Go for the grain. Amaranth, quinoa, chia and sorghum may not sound familiar, but these ancient grains were enjoyed by our ancestors. You can easily add these to many of your favorite dishes. Whole grains are satiating and a great source of fiber. Plus, many grains, like quinoa, deliver a powerful dose of protein.
  2. Eat less processed foods. Eat more natural and less artificially sweetened food. More companies are under pressure to remove artificial ingredients, which is a good thing.  Focus on keeping naturally occurring sugars in your diet that are naturally within the food, as in fruit. Cut added sugars put into foods during processing, such as in tomato sauce.
  3. Check your gut. Probiotics are the rage and with good reason. Science is showing us that the environment in our intestines could play a major role in boosting immunity, fighting disease and providing a general sense of well-being every day.
  4. Let technology help. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest allow consumers to share recipes and ideas for healthy eating. Also, fitness apps, like My Fitness Pal or Lose It, help you keep food records. These records are a necessary tool for successful weight management.
  5. Make sustainable food choices. Learn what you can about where and how your food arrives on your table. Food manufacturers need to demonstrate their credentials in environmentally friendly and sustainable practices.
  6. Consider vegetarian alternatives. Vegetarian protein sources are now mainstream and appeal to many consumers. There’s pea protein, milk alternatives, beans and more. These are no longer used by just those with intolerances or allergies.
  7. Go Greek. Greek yogurt is not just for breakfast anymore. You can substitute yogurt for sour cream or mayonnaise. And, you can add it to soups, or even risotto, for a savory component in dishes.
  8. Be inspired by vegetables. Consider spiraling zucchini instead of pasta noodles. Or, shred cauliflower to replace rice. There are many creative ways to get more vegetables into your diet.
  9. Join the muffin-pan mania. Restaurants may supersize their meals but it is important to implement portion control at home. Preparing food in a muffin tray helps scale back portions. A muffin pan can allow you to indulge in a guilt-free, perfectly proportioned bite.
  10. Shop from your desk. Online automated meal planning services help us get a healthy homemade meal on the table. Services like Gathered Table provide a weekly custom menu based on our eating preferences. Menus are editable, so you can make changes. The matching grocery list automatically updates as you edit your menu. These services can save time, money and calories and cut down on unplanned spending.

We wish you happiness — and good health — in 2016.

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