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2021 Super Food Trends

Ask the Dietitan, General health, Gut microbiome health, Nutrition, Type 2 diabetes

2021 Super Food Trends

New year, new food trends!

Every year, there are new super foods that people flock to, and you can find them just about everywhere in the grocery stores! Remember a few years ago when Kale was king? You could (and still can) find kale pizza crusts, noodles, and other foods with kale added to it.The term “super food” doesn’t technically mean anything, and is largely a marketing term. Super foods typically have higher nutrient values, so it’s not a bad thing! Let’s take a peek at who will be crowned king in 2021, and what foods will be taking over the grocery store aisles.

  • Ugly foods: Wait… what? Up-cycled, or “ugly” foods are becoming more and more trendy. These are foods that otherwise would have been discarded and wasted. With an ever-growing concern on minimizing waste and the importance of sustainability, companies are looking to use every piece of that shriveled up zucchini that would’ve been picked over, had it been on the store shelves. They’re turning discarded veggies into chips, ugly kiwi into dried kiwi bites, and more. Check out The Ugly Company or Dirt Kitchen Snacks.
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  • Chickpea celebration: The chickpea likely will continue to be a very popular selection in 2021. You may have noticed chickpeas filling your grocery shelves in the form of flours, breads, pizza crusts, pasta, and dried chickpeas as a tasty, crunchy snack. Move over, cauliflower and chickpeas are taking the main stage as a popular grain substitute. They’re full of fiber and plant-based protein, and you’re sure to see more chickpea-focused foods popping up this upcoming year.
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  • Oil alternatives: Just as grains and flours offer alternatives, now oils have taken the main stage with a variety of alternatives and fat contents. You can find everything from algae, avocado, walnut, and even pumpkin seed oils on the market today. There was a time when consumers only had a few oils to pick from, nowadays the variety is ever-growing, making it a bit tricky for consumers to pick what is best for them. If focusing on cholesterol, pick an oil that is low in saturated and high in polyunsaturated/monounsaturated fats like algae oil. 
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  • Allulose: Feel like you’ve tried just about every sugar alternative in the book? Well, let me introduce you to allulose- the new “sugar” on the block! Allulose is not counted towards added or natural sugars on labels, and it’s a natural sweetener taken from fruits and wheat. It contains 1/10th the calories of regular table sugar. However, eating large amounts of allulose may cause GI discomfort- but other than that there are not many known side effects. Items like Allulite Chocolate are sweetened with allulose, and I expect to see a lot more foods sweetened with allulose in 2021 as food companies try to cut sugar.
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  • Immunity boosters: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many consumers are looking to boost their immune system. Food companies are adding all sorts of vitamins (specifically vitamin C and D) to all sorts of foods. Probiotics and probiotic-containing foods are also flying off the shelves in an effort to improve one’s immune system through their gut. I expect to see a continued trend of foods being fortified with vitamins, probiotics, and prebiotics throughout the next year.