Health & Fit 21 Dietitian-Approved Food Products About to Hit Grocery Store Shelves
Eat This, Not That! at the Mall
If you get caught in the food court trap during this holiday season, here's what you should eat and what you should avoid at all costs. Ahh, the mall food court: An American icon, where you can be wooed by the sugary smell of a cinnamon roll at one turn and bite the bait of a teriyaki chicken sample at the next. If you get caught in the food court trap during this holiday season, here's what you should eat and what you should avoid at all costs.
Allergen-free, snackable options abound.
I recently took close to 60,000 steps in just two and a half days. That's how many strides I needed to cover the floor at Natural Products Expo West, a trade show in Anaheim, California, featuring up-and-coming foods from nearly 3,000 exhibitors. Many food companies emphasized the need for. But of course, I didn't want to take their word for it; I made sure to taste anything and everything to make sure the promises held true. (You're welcome.) Look out for these favorites of mine on your supermarket shelves soon:
Every Single Food Trend That's Been Predicted for 2017
Naan pizza is the new poke (lol) In Chicago, expect doner kebab, shakshuka, and even more vegetables. In Vancouver, sustainable food and veggie bowls will soon be at the forefront. Nationwide, diners should prepare for a glut of noodles, hummus, and/or “creative condiments,” depending on who you ask. The end of the year, in other words, marks the time when prognosticators guess what food trends will take over 2017, and the hive mind often lands on varying results. “Predicting food trends like these has become as much an American holiday tradition as ordering an eggnog latte,” the New York Times’ Kim Severson wrote in a 1,600-word look at the balance between art and science that goes behind each trend list. (The gist: It’s mostly a crapshoot, though consumers should pay attention to the list’s source — often, like in a widely shared list actually authored by Whole Foods, they’re from retailers and PR firms with something at stake.) Some lists show consensus, which means those items might be legitimate trends in the next 12 months (congrats, vegetables, food waste, and Filipino cuisine). Others, like naan pizza, nutritional yeast, and that catch-all phrase “authentic ethnic cuisine” might also pop up on plates next year — because why not? So here now, a collection of all the highly unscientific predictions made by restaurant industry associations, food media, and brands so far this year, which congeal into the Official Megalisticle of All 2017 Food Trend Listicles: 1.
1. Allergen-Free Options
According to, 1 in 13 children in the United States has a . The eight foods that cause 90 percent of allergies are soy, wheat, eggs, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. Many new foods on the market are made without some or all of these eight foods. Here's a sampling of some I loved:
- are among the company's to beloved traditional dairy products. Kite Hill cultures nut milk in order to create a smooth and creamy texture. New yogurt flavors include key lime, pineapple, caramel and vanilla.
- can be used for pancake, muffin, cake and waffle recipes. It's made from soy flour, wheat gluten and algin (from algae).
- is a soy sauce replacement made from coconut blossom nectar, and is free of gluten and soy. It has nearly half the sodium of traditional soy sauce.
- is perfect for those allergic to soy and nuts. It also comes in single-serve cups to tote to work or pack in a .
- are a tasty, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free alternative to traditional English muffins.
- is a gluten-free, whole-grain mix that contains 14 grams of protein per serving when prepared. The protein comes from pea protein, whole-grain flours and egg products. I'm a longtime fan of the brand that makes products taste fantastic so everyone in the house can enjoy the same foods.
2. Pea Protein Power
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One of the hottestis by using pea protein. Here are several brands that have done so:
- is a line of creamy dairy-free cream cheese that comes in plain, chive and onion, and strawberry. One of the main ingredients in this line is pea protein.
- , which contains 10 grams of pea protein, is being released this summer. It will be available in original, unsweetened, vanilla and chocolate.
- can up the . However, it's a little pricey: It costs $17.99 per 1-pound bag.
- vegetarian lifestyle used to represent a niche market. Now, she’s mainstream. “It used to be just one or two brands [of meat alternatives], but now … there’s aisles and aisles of them,” says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokeswoman, who is based near Los Angeles. For the most part, that’s a good thing:are the gold standard of health and environmental responsibility – and Americans are apparently eating them up. But not all meatless meats are created equal. Here’s what to know before going faux:" src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-1-of-8-vandana-sheth-s-a-href-http-health-usnews-com-best-diet-vegetarian-diet-vegetarian-a-li_302894_.jpg?content=1" title="Vandana Sheth’s vegetarian lifestyle used to represent a niche market. Now, she’s mainstream. “It us... - (Getty Images)" />
- Tofurky, are great “gateways” to a more plant-based lifestyle, says Sharon Palmer, a.k.a. “The Plant-Powered Dietitian” and a contributor to U.S. News's. One , she points out, showed that while only 7 percent of consumers consider themselves vegetarian, 31 percent are trying to . “If meat alternatives can help people [do that,] it’s still so much better for the environment” than animal products, she says. Sheth also applauds such products’ convenience. And, unlike old varieties’ rubbery texture, “a lot them are tasty,” she adds." src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-2-of-8-packaged-meat-alternatives-with-names-like-chik-n-nuggets-beef-not-and-of-course-a-href_744675_.jpg?content=1" title="Packaged meat alternatives with names like “Chik’n Nuggets,” “Beef (Not!)” and, of course, Tofurky, ... - (Getty Images)" />
- additives – think tapioca starch, cellulose, xanthan gum and TBHQ, a compound that prevents discoloration – to make them flavorful and shelf-stable, and to imitate a meaty texture. A word to the wise: “Look for ingredients that you would find in your own kitchen,” Palmer suggests. She and other plant-based pros also recommend keeping these five tips in mind:" data-src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-3-of-8-but-not-meat-leaves-a-lot-of-room-for-what-the-products-actually-are-it-s-important-to-_808509_.jpg?content=1" src="/img/no_img/content/no_img_content_flip.jpg" lazyload="lazyload" title="But “not meat” leaves a lot of room for what the products actually are. “It’s important to remember ... - (iStockPhoto)" />
- plant-based pal’s barbecue, you won’t shake your overall nutrient intake much. But if you’re regularly trading meat for “meat,” keep in mind that the latter often packs a fraction of the protein of the former, Palmer says. “People just assume they’re a protein replacement,” she says, “but they could have other ingredients in there like brown rice.” Palmer recommends products with close to 12 grams of protein – still about one-quarter of the protein in an 8-ounce beef patty." data-src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-4-of-8-if-you-only-swap-your-kobe-burger-for-a-vegetarian-variety-on-meatless-monday-or-at-a-a_97494_.jpg?content=1" src="/img/no_img/content/no_img_content_flip.jpg" lazyload="lazyload" title="If you only swap your Kobe burger for a vegetarian variety on Meatless Monday or at a plant-based pa... - (Getty Images)" />
1. Pack in the protein.
- sculpted from soy. One manufacturer,, recently announced a vegan "burger" apparently so meat-like it's said to be sold in refrigerated cases alongside the real thing. Other burgers are so minimally processed that "you can actually see beans in them,” Palmer says. “I like that trend.” She also supports soy products because soy is so nutrient-rich. Beans and lentils are Sheth’s pick for “best base,” while (mostly) vegetarian Grace Poser’s current favorite is pea protein (the base of Beyond Meat's new burger), which has 15 grams of protein per serving, a “neutral” taste and is “highly digestible,” she says. Finding what works for you, they say, may come down to trial and error." src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-5-of-8-today-s-plant-based-products-have-come-a-long-way-from-original-meat-alternatives-a-hre_388197_.jpg?content=1" title="Today’s plant-based products have come a long way from original meat alternatives sculpted from soy.... - (Getty Images)" />
2. Boost your base.
- calorie content. “That’s where some of these could be very high because they’re trying to mimic the flavor and mouthfeel that you’re missing,” says Sheth, who recommendsto 500 milligrams and fat to 10 grams. People with allergies to soy, or nuts should label-read with caution, as should , since egg and the milk protein casein are common binders, notes Rachel Morris, a vegan in Arlington, Virginia." src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-6-of-8-it-s-not-just-strange-sounding-fillers-and-protein-content-to-look-for-on-faux-meat-lab_612532_.jpg?content=1" title="It’s not just strange-sounding fillers and protein content to look for on faux meat labels. Also kee... - (Getty Images)" />
3. Digest labels.
4. Think outside the package.
- one with nothing but tempeh, egg and harissa – or grilling or roasting squash, eggplant or mushroom to fill the void.with spices such as cumin and smoked salt is one of Poser’s secrets for satisfying the meat tooth she developed growing up in a German family but has denied since meeting and cooking with her vegetarian husband. She hasn’t looked back. “You can make a meal taste like nothing’s missing,” she’s found, “when there’s no meat on the plate.”" src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-8-of-8-if-you-re-still-craving-that-meaty-feel-but-prefer-to-steer-clear-of-packages-try-whipp_737827_.jpg?content=1" title="If you’re still craving that meaty feel but prefer to steer clear of packages, try whipping up your ... - (Getty Images)" />
5. Do it yourself.
Everything Your Mom Told You About Healthy Eating Was Right – Except This
Nutritionists give their take on healthy eating advice we've been hearing since childhood.This is just one example of health advice many of our moms delivered because they surely wanted what was best for us. But as times have changed, some of it might be a little outdated.
3. Pounds of Pulses
2016 was the official " " and, with that declaration, food companies developed many pulse-based products. Among my picks:
- created a line of lentil pastas that come on their own or in meal kits. The meal kits come with flavor packets in varieties like pesto, southwest, teriyaki, cheddar broccoli and creamy mushroom so that you can make meals that are .
- are a line of flavorful chips made from pulses like black beans, garbanzo beans and lentils. Flavors include lentil and turmeric, hummus and red bell pepper, and black bean and garlic
4. Snacks Galore
We are a snacking nation, and there is no shortage ofto suit your cravings whenever they strike. Here are several snacks that were just released:
- just released a snack cup (like a hummus cup) with half jerky and half cheddar cheese. It's perfect for when you're on the go or traveling.
- just made over pork rinds to make them tastier, healthier and gluten-free. Thanks to kettle cooking, the chicharrones are light and crisp. 4505 Meats also uses all parts of the animal as part of their commitment to .
- released four new flavors, three of which are more indulgent. My favorites include dark chocolately-drizzled sea salt, milk chocolaty peanut butter and caramel.
- now has the same bars you love, but with 100 calories or less each. The "mini" line has six flavors including dark chocolate nuts and sea salt, caramel almond and sea salt, peanut butter dark chocolate and dark chocolate cherry cashew.
- roasted broad bean crisps are a line of broad beans that are lightly roasted in sunflower oil, sprinkled with sea salt and seasoned. Flavors include sriracha, wasabi, cocoa dusted and sweet cinnamon. They provide 100 calories and 7 grams of protein per single-serve 1-ounce bag.
5. Nutritious Beverages
Here's How I Turned My Junk Food Obsession Into A Successful Career
A new kind of food blogger is making major $$$$ by leaking new products before they hit shelves.Marvin Nitta worries he's been Oreo-blacklisted. He doesn't know for sure - or that a blacklist like this even exists - but he can tell something's up. Ever since he shared a photo of Brownie Batter Oreos weeks before they were supposed to hit stores, Oreo's parent company Mondelez stopped sending him samples of the latest limited-edition flavors. He's basically being cookie-ghosted.
- is the same iced tea flavor you love, but in a . The drinks are available in lemon, berry and orange flavors. I plan on giving these a try during my next tennis match!
- are the latest line of products stemming from the touted health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Although research doesn't back up the health claims of apple cider vinegar, this beverage is rather tasty (I didn't believe it either!). For 15 calories and only 3 grams of sugar per 8 fluid ounces (bottles are 12 fluid ounces), it's definitely worth it.
- brings coconut milk to the next level with its boxed single-served milks, which are available in chocolate, coffee and chai flavors.
- cow’s milk? Or you went toand you could only choose between cream and regular old milk? No question: Back then, consumer choices were so much simpler. Today, taking a stroll through your local supermarket dairy aisle is enough to make your head spin. Here’s what you need to know about the health benefits and drawbacks of six “milk” options:" src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-1-of-7-remember-when-you-wanted-to-add-milk-to-your-cereal-and-there-was-only-one-type-availab_766791_.jpg?content=1" title="Remember when you wanted to add milk to your cereal and there was only one type available – cow’s mi... - (Getty Images)" />
- potassium, phosphorus,, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, riboflavin and niacin – milk is a nutrient powerhouse. All varieties have 8 grams of protein and 12 grams of sugar (which come from naturally-occurring lactose, not ) and provide 30 percent of your daily calcium needs and 25 percent of your daily vitamin D needs per 8-ounce glass. The jury is still out on whether the 5 grams of saturated fat found in whole milk is beneficial, so opting for nonfat or 1-percent milk is still probably you’re healthiest – and lowest-calorie – bet." src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-2-of-7-packed-with-nine-essential-nutrients-calcium-a-href-http-health-usnews-com-health-news-_11630_.jpg?content=1" title="Packed with nine essential nutrients – calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D... - (Getty Images)" />
- milk intolerance or allergy. Packed with heart-healthy soy, 7 to 8 grams of protein, almost no saturated fat and plenty of calcium and vitamin D, it can definitely be a smart choice for other folks, too. Just keep in mind that the sugar found in the sweetened and original varieties are added sugar (from cane sugar), so if you’re watching your total sugar consumption, you might want to stick with the unsweetened kind. In other words, think tall soy latte – not venti." data-src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-3-of-7-soy-milk-has-always-been-a-good-alternative-for-people-with-a-a-href-http-health-usnews_674996_.jpg?content=1" src="/img/no_img/content/no_img_content_flip.jpg" lazyload="lazyload" title="Soy milk has always been a good alternative for people with a milk intolerance or allergy. Packed wi... - (Getty Images)" />
- protein source with your meal, add some protein in another form to your smoothie instead." data-src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-4-of-7-rich-in-calcium-low-in-calories-and-a-good-source-of-vitamins-d-e-and-a-almond-milk-s-b_934905_.jpg?content=1" src="/img/no_img/content/no_img_content_flip.jpg" lazyload="lazyload" title="Rich in calcium, low in calories and a good source of vitamins D, E and A, almond milk’s benefits go... - (Getty Images)" />
- food allergies, though, rice milk is a fine choice." data-src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-5-of-7-with-120-calories-per-8-ounce-glass-original-rice-milk-has-more-calories-than-other-mil_107613_.jpg?content=1" src="/img/no_img/content/no_img_content_flip.jpg" lazyload="lazyload" title="With 120 calories per 8-ounce glass, original rice milk has more calories than other milk alternativ... - (Getty Images)" />
- saturated fats, packing 4 grams per glass. Still, if you love the taste of coconut, it’s probably not harmful to include a little coconut milk in your diet – just keep in mind that, per serving, there is no protein and the drink provides only 10 percent of your daily calcium needs, making it a loser in that department compared to other “milk” options." data-src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-6-of-7-this-sweet-milk-isn-t-high-in-calories-only-45-per-serving-in-unsweetened-varieties-and_961949_.jpg?content=1" src="/img/no_img/content/no_img_content_flip.jpg" lazyload="lazyload" title="This sweet “milk” isn’t high in calories (only 45 per serving in unsweetened varieties and 70 in “or... - (Getty Images)" />
- healthy diet. Just keep an eye on protein, added sugar and saturated fat to wear that “milk” mustache with pride." data-src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-7-of-7-while-cashew-milk-is-less-pervasive-on-coffee-shop-counters-and-menus-its-creamy-taste-_202128_.jpg?content=1" src="/img/no_img/content/no_img_content_flip.jpg" lazyload="lazyload" title="While cashew milk is less pervasive on coffee shop counters and menus, its creamy taste makes it a p... - (Getty Images)" />
The Best and Worst Juices for Your Health
From carton to homemade to cold-pressed, here's how to choose your juice wisely. When I was a girl, there was always a glass of orange juice on the breakfast table. Fast-forward 30 years and, for many people, that same glass is not only absent, but shunned. This jump from one extreme to the other has much to do with the “s” word –sugar.Yes, juice contains sugar, but you can enjoy it as a healthy and guiltless part of your diet – if you know how to separate the good choices from the not-so-good.
6. Frozen Goodies
Frozenare getting a full makeover with these two delicious brands:
- now has shelf-stable pops with 100-percent juice and no added sugar. These babies will hit markets in the next few months. They come in fruit punch, strawberry lemonade and Concord grape flavors. They're also free of the top eight food allergens.
- is an awesome Los Angeles-born line of ice cream. The line is an indulgence, made with real California milk, and is unbelievably tasty. Flavors include chocolate molten cake, campfire s'mores, bananas foster, buttered French toast and street cart churro dough.
Editor's note: The author has no affiliations with any of the brands mentioned.
- gluten-free bread made with brown rice or millet;raised in labs, not on farms; and lactose-free “milks” made from cashews, coconut and rice. “Grocers [are] catering to an increasingly sophisticated consumer who expects a variety of options,” says , Ingles Supermarkets’ corporate dietitian in Asheville, North Carolina. Save for some tough decisions down the aisles, those options can make you a healthier – not just a smarter – shopper, she and other industry experts say. Expect to see these seven supermarket changes in 2017:" src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-1-of-8-white-bread-or-wheat-bread-turkey-or-beef-whole-milk-or-skim-milk-grocery-shopping-used_712099_.jpg?content=1" title="White bread or wheat bread? Turkey or beef? Whole milk or skim milk? Grocery shopping used to be sim... - (Getty Images)" />
- Collin Payne, an associate professor of marketing at New Mexico State University. Still, it's helpful toto keep your good intentions on track, Payne says." src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-2-of-8-at-first-it-might-feel-like-stealing-walk-into-a-store-grab-whatever-you-want-and-walk-_272708_.jpg?content=1" title="At first, it might feel like stealing: Walk into a store, grab whatever you want and walk out. No li... - (Getty Images)" />
1. No lines
- Bill Bishop, co-founder and chief architect of Brick Meets Click, a food retail advisory and consulting service based in Barrington, Illinois. Online ordering isn’t lazy; in fact, it can promote healthy choices by allowing you to avoidthat encourage high-fat, high-sugar choices, Payne says. “The online environment can really accelerate in a big way the health of the country because now you’re not having to deal with the environmental clutter in the grocery store,” he says." src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-3-of-8-another-way-consumers-will-be-increasingly-avoiding-real-life-lines-is-by-shopping-and-_432113_.jpg?content=1" title="Another way consumers will be increasingly avoiding real-life lines is by shopping and ordering food... - (iStockphoto)" />
2. Online ordering
- healthy foods, too. “These are really simple ideas that can have a large impact” without affecting stores' bottom lines, Payne says. For example, he's studying how some point-of-sale systems might soon be able to recognize when lower-income shoppers have benefits remaining that can only be used on fruit and vegetable purchases, allowing cashiers to upsell produce at checkout." data-src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-4-of-8-while-candy-bars-chips-and-soda-tend-to-be-staples-near-the-checkout-counter-thanks-in-_255645_.jpg?content=1" src="/img/no_img/content/no_img_content_flip.jpg" lazyload="lazyload" title="While candy bars, chips and soda tend to be staples near the checkout counter, thanks in part to par... - (Getty Images)" />
3. Healthier checkouts
- grocery shopping apps promise to help you shop smarter by decoding a food label’s nutritional content and matching it to your goals, but it’s hard to know which apps have staying power, Payne says. What might become more commonplace, though, is grocery stores themselves showing consumers how well their purchases align with dietary guidelines, like the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “My Plate” concept, by analyzing their receipts. “I think you’ll see within the next five years the ability for third-party organizations or grocery stores themselves to be able to rate their stores and consumers in terms of how healthy purchases are,” Payne says." data-src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-5-of-8-plenty-of-a-href-http-health-usnews-com-health-news-patient-advice-articles-2016-04-28-_514656_.jpg?content=1" src="/img/no_img/content/no_img_content_flip.jpg" lazyload="lazyload" title="Plenty of grocery shopping apps promise to help you shop smarter by decoding a food label’s nutritio... - (iStockphoto)" />
4. Immediate feedback
- meal delivery services. Supermarkets don’t want to get left behind, so they, too, are offering more "meal solutions" by, for example, displaying meal ideas at kiosks or providing demonstrations that show how easy healthy meals can be to cook, says, a registered dietitian and executive director of the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance. McGrath predicts that more “grab-n-go” single-serving items will be available as well “to cater to millennials, boomers and busy working families.” Just be sure you know what you’re reaching for, she adds, since prepared and convenience items are often higher in calories and sodium." src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-6-of-8-convenience-is-king-just-ask-all-the-folks-who-sign-up-for-a-href-http-health-usnews-co_992273_.jpg?content=1" title="Convenience is king – just ask all the folks who sign up for meal delivery services. Supermarkets do... - (Getty Images)" />
5. More 'meal solutions'
- produce. "Retailers are now offering less-than-perfect-looking fruits and vegetables at discount prices, which is helping move this produce off the farm and into consumers' hands," Maggi says. The expansion of European "hard discounters" such as Aldi and Lidl in the U.S. will also help shoppers of all income levels afford produce, Bishop says. "They offer a selection of nice-quality fresh fruits and vegetables, including a line of organic products that are priced at close to half what you’d pay in the supermarket for the same item not on sale," he says." data-src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-7-of-8-its-whats-on-the-inside-that-counts-such-wisdom-applies-to-pals-partners-and-a-href-htt_120561_.jpg?content=1" src="/img/no_img/content/no_img_content_flip.jpg" lazyload="lazyload" title=""It's what's on the inside that counts." Such wisdom applies to pals, partners – and produce. "Retai... - (iStockphoto)" />
6. Cheaper produce
- GMO-free are among the “free from” claims you’ll continue to see gracing product labels, thanks to growing consumer concerns with unfamiliar ingredients and additives. "Consumers want greater transparency to the entire chain of custody of their food, and factor in animal welfare, sustainability metrics and local sources when making purchasing decisions," Maggi says. Just keep in mind that “what’s on the front of packaging ... doesn't necessarily mean a product is a better or more nutritious choice,” McGrath says. “Read ingredients and the nutrition facts panel, eat fruits and vegetables, and, if you have questions about food or nutrition, get advice from someone with training, education and experience.”" data-src="/upload/images/real/2017/03/21/slide-8-of-8-sugar-free-gluten-free-dairy-free-and-a-href-http-health-usnews-com-health-news-health-_274336_.jpg?content=1" src="/img/no_img/content/no_img_content_flip.jpg" lazyload="lazyload" title="Sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and GMO-free are among the “free from” claims you’ll continue to... - (Getty Images)" />
7. More 'free-from' labels
Pharmacists' Picks: Top Recommended Health Products .
These pharmacist-recommended over-the-counter products will make your next trip to the drugstore easier. Claritin or Zyrtec? Excedrin or Advil? Carmex or ChapStick?When you've got a drippy nose or monster headache, chances are you head to your local pharmacy in search of relief, where endless over-the-counter treatment options await, sardine-packed on store shelves. For many of us, the which-product-should-I-buy decision is little more complex than a game of eeny, meeny, miney, mo. For some, it comes down to price. For others, it's brand loyalty (Mom always went with …).
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