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A Healthy New Year: What You Should Be Eating in 2017

Each New Year brings a wave of resolutions to eat healthier and lose the holiday pounds. With those resolutions comse a new round of healthy food trends designed to aid in weight loss and promote healthy eating habits. Here’s a look at the up-and-coming health foods likely to line every grocery store shelf in 2017.

Meatless Proteins

Vegetarians and vegans delight – meatless protein purchases are slated to rise in the coming year. Unfortunately for non-meat eaters, the reasons for an increase in meatless protein consumption are due more to the economic situation than opposition to animal cruelty.

From droughts plaguing many states to the increase in animal feed costs, meat prices in supermarkets are steadily rising, causing many consumers to turn elsewhere for their proteins. Nut butters, tofu, beans and other protein-rich foods may all serve as suitable replacements until meat prices return to normal.

Kefir

What the heck is kefir? If you’re asking this question, you’ll soon find out as kefir takes the dairy scene by storm. Filled with friendly probiotics, protein and calcium, this fermented, low-fat dairy product is sold in drink form, making it more convenient than yogurt for consumers on-the-go.

Coconut Oil

Much controversy still surrounds the coconut oil industry but, despite those controversies, coconut oil sales are likely to increase in 2013. While coconut oil isn’t a preferable replacement for healthier options such as extra virgin olive oil, it is being praised as a replacement for shortening and other high trans-fat options. As consumers continue to separate fact from myth regarding this oil, they will likely begin reaching more for virgin coconut oil that has been minimally processed.

Beans

The magical (and musical) fruit does more than help you toot. It also reduces cholesterol, lowers blood sugar levels and promotes heart health, among other benefits. A half-cup of mixed beans is the target daily amount to consume although experts advise new bean eaters to slowly build up to that amount. Begin including beans in soups, salads and more as a supplement meal ingredient.

Goji Berries

Goji berries largely entered the health food scene in 2012 but are likely to explode in popularity in the New Year. From improved well-being to slowing down the aging process, these little berries are claimed to offer several health benefits. While additional research is needed to bring proof to those claims, Goji berries don’t appear to be fading out as a fad any time soon. Watch for Goji berries to start appearing in energy bars, health shakes and granola blends.

Gluten-Free Grains

The grain world is on the cusp of a gluten-free revolution. While gluten-intolerance became mainstream in 2015, awareness of the issue will likely explode in the coming year. The result? Gluten-free options such as quinoa, millet, oats and others will replace gluten-rich grains as household staples.

While gluten-free recipes were once thought to lack taste and texture, experimentation with new and tastier gluten-free recipes is debunking those myths. More restaurants will also begin catering to the grain revolution by offering gluten-free menu options.

Coconut Nectar

The search for the ultimate natural sweetener continues. This year’s super sweetener may very well be coconut nectar. After the recent controversies surrounding agave nectar, coconut nectar is shaping up to prove beneficial where agave fell flat. From a low glycemic index to a slew of nutrients, coconut nectar may have its mainstream debut in the coming months. This sweetener is largely used in drinks, although it is also suitable as a baking sugar replacement in many recipes.

Raw Foods

As increased, startling research is released on the negative effects of highly processed foods, more consumers will likely come to rely on raw alternatives in the coming year. Fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts and other foods in their natural state are likely to rise to mainstream stardom in the months ahead.

From raw foods to new sweeteners, 2016 is shaping up to be another year filled with new super foods. While many of this year’s health foods may, in fact, offer great health benefits, those benefits vary based on each individual’s circumstances. Make conscious eating decisions with every food placed in your shopping cart and always live by a motto of moderation.