Susan Hart: Food Trends for 2017 – What’s in?

January is the most popular month for giving your diet and lifestyle an overhaul. But what are the 2017 food trends that you need to embrace?

Whichever one (or none) you decide upon to really succeed you need to consider making “small but permanent changes’.  What can you live with from here on in, or certainly beyond the end of February!?

As it’s January (or Veganuary) lets start with veganism or a plant-based diet.  There is lots of evidence that a diet rich in fruits and veg can not only reduce your body mass index (BMI) but your risk of getting certain illnesses and diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and some cancers.

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 I predict there will be more vegan cafe’s and restaurants opening up on the high street and more regular eateries will be offering a greater choice of vegan options.

We are seeing it already in Nottingham; the Peacock Pub has a 100% vegan kitchen, Cafe Roya is an upmarket veggie vegan delight, Alma Living Foods is a small vegan deli and sandwich bar, The Dice cup is a board game and vegan cafe and the Screaming Carrot is a secret little deli in Sherwood Rise.
I recently visited Zizzi an Italian restaurant and found out you can have vegan cheese on your pizzas and pasta dishes.  J.D. Wetherspoon’s have made their chilli vegan (sadly they don’t have non-dairy milk so your coffee has to be black!) and last Christmas, Cafe Nero’s mince pies were also vegan.

Protein enriched food is also on the increase. Protein is the bodies building block, it helps muscles repair and grow and can help you maintain or lose weight because it can make you feel full.  So of course it is now enriching some standard food items.  It started with protein powders for dedicated gym-goers so they could consume protein shakes by the ‘shaker’ full.

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Yoghurts also got a makeover; Skyr, Liberte and Fage Total yogurts have about 10g of protein per 100g, compared with 5g per 100g for other “Greek’ type yoghurts. Flapjacks were also due an upgrade and are now called ‘protein’ or ‘energy’ bars, being sold at health food shops, gyms and Aldi!

With some containing as much as 22g of protein per bar they certainly pack a punch.  But a word or warning,  with increased protein often comes increased calories and sugar.  The 68g ‘Cliff Builders’ bar has 273 calories and 21 g of sugar (or 5 teaspoons)

Palm oil free or RSPO-certified food and products will come on to our radar because palm oil it is said is one of the major causes of rainforest deforestation.  Have a look in your cupboards and bathroom cabinets and see which of your foods and products contain this plant oil?  It’s found in toiletries, packaging, instant noodles, sliced bread and ice-cream to name a few.


Is seaweed the new kale? Like its green cousin it’s also low in calories and high in nutrients, particularly iodine, calcium, antioxidants (vitamin A and C) and potassium.  So get down to your nearest sushi or noodle bar and enjoy some Nori.  But a word of warning, don’t over do it; moderation is the watch word, that means about 2 tablespoons of this sea vegetable a week.  And consult your GP if you have any pre existing medical conditions

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Curcumin, a super-healthy compound is the reason why turmeric has made it on to the list. It is the root stalk of a tropical plant that’s part of the ginger family and can be brought fresh or dried from most supermarkets.  Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidants are just a few reasons why the medical world is getting excited about turmeric.  Its health benefits have been linked to cancer, Type 2 diabetes, alzheimer’s disease, dementia and arthritis. Expect to see it appearing more on restaurant menus, in supermarkets and your local coffee shop may offer you turmeric latte or tea!

Say hello to Sauerkraut! Fermented foods could be big in 2017. Its all about good gut health and fermented foods help with the production of good bacteria (probiotics) that can help maintain our immune system. Live yoghurt, sour cream, some cheeses, sourdough bread, pickles, kimchi, kefir, miso soup are all examples of foods that you may be eating more of in 2017.

We may also be hearing more about pre-biotics; they feed probiotics and therefore help them to multiply and grow. It is also believed they can help with calcium absorption. Bananas, onions, leeks, garlic, beans and asparagus are just some examples of foods that contain pre-biotic properties.  You can also buy products that are boosted with pre and probiotics.
If you believe there are some other food trends for 2017 that I haven’t included then please add a comment