Insects are nutrient powerhouses - well that’s what the nutritionists are telling us! According to forward thinking diet experts, insects are not only high in protein and low in fat but are also a sustainable source of protein. A recent article on TheScientist.com, explains that critters beat burgers and dairy products hands down - “house crickets, contain approximately 21 grams of protein per 100 grams of cricket, while ground beef contains about 26 grams per 100 grams of meat and powdered whole milk contains about 26 grams of protein per 100 grams.”
If you’re not sold on the idea of crunchy crickets or meal worm, you could try one of the protein powders now using insect protein as a sustainable alternative to whey, soy or other vegetable proteins.
Say good bye to one size fits all diet programmes. People are now demanding more personalised approaches - and this is where nutrigenomics (the study of how our genes affect the way we use nutrients) comes into play. Nutritional genetic testing is currently being offered by a handful of companies and clinics and promises to show results such as your tolerance to gluten and carbohydrates, caffeine tolerance, pre-disposition to obesity and your alcohol clearance ability. From these tests, specific diets can be prescribed to best suit your genes. However, as tests are still in early phases and expensive, the consensus is that more work is needed before DNA diets become not only reliable but also cost effective.
While the number of vegans in the UK has risen by 350% in the past decade, many people are choosing to take a less extreme approach and cut back on animal products part-time. Campaigns like ‘Meat-free Monday’ and ‘Veganuary’ are now attracting thousands of supporters and whether it’s for health concerns or ethical, economical and sustainability reasons, this is one trend that is guaranteed to grow over the next decade.
Not seen as faddy ‘superfoods’, functional foods were one top of the food trends in 2016 according to Google. Whether it’s turmeric, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, bone broth, bee propolis or kombucha, these foods which have reputable health properties will continue to grow in popularity as research continues to develop. This year may see a trend for not only functional foods, but also functional meals such as ‘antibacterial stews’, ‘digestion enhancing soups’ and ‘hormone balancing bars’ - watch this space!
Written by Ruth Tongue