People today are living healthy lives. Lifestyle change, public health improvements, and improved health care have combined to extend longevity. In order to minimize stress and perform efficiently it is really important that the person maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Food Trends

The art of-Healthy-Lifestyles

Each year, the food industry rushes to fill stores with new and interesting foods to meet the changing needs of consumers. These days, the trendy buzzwords range from "organic" to "functional foods." Food labels promise less trans fat, fewer calories, and more flavor. It seems that Americans want healthier food -- but they also want it to be easy and fast.

Trends in food are ever-changing, depending on our lifestyles, research findings, and rules set forth by the FDA, among other things.

For example, food manufacturers have been working to improve on Mother Nature. Technology allows manufacturers to add nutrients where they are not found naturally, the result being the trend toward so-called fortified foods.

Influences on food trends come in large part from the growing population of baby boomers, many of whom are also "empty nesters." These boomers have more time to cook, and are paying more attention to foods' health effects while demanding upscale foods.

Beyond the grocery store, food trends reflect our desire to break bread with friends and family. For example, consider the growing trend toward "supper clubs" that merge people who share diverse backgrounds and cultural foods.
Some of the popular food trends today include:

*Healthier foods. Americans want less bad stuff and more good stuff in their food. Look for more foods with reduced trans fat.

*Functional foods. Among the fastest-growing segments of the market are foods with added vitamins and minerals, which aim to help protect against disease and promote wellness.

*Organic and farm-friendly foods. Should you spend a little more and buy the organic, or "homestead" or "farmstead" (grown on a small or local farm) version of your favorite foods? Organic has gone mainstream, and many people swear by the benefits.

*Leisurely dining. This is all about eating slowly, savoring every bite, and enjoying both the food and the social environment. In our hurry-up world, taking time to dine leisurely, as Europeans do, is catching on as a healthy trend.

*Supper clubs. Getting together people who enjoy great food and friendship is a hot trend in neighborhoods across the country.

*Eat more for less. Most everyone wants to lose weight, and this concept involves eating foods that are low in calories, yet high in volume. The idea is to feel full on fewer calories.

*Quick fix. Store shelves are stocked with ready-to-eat or easy-use food products that help fill our desire for home cooking with a little less hassle. You can use them to pull together a "halfway homemade" meal in a few minutes.

*Takeout. More people are ordering take-out food from full-service restaurants. Healthier, more upscale items at fast-food restaurants are also attracting more discriminating diners.

*Fancy. The premium food market is expected to grow, thanks to the demand for gourmet products.

*Exotic flavors. Bland is out, and highly flavored is in, including exotic fruit flavors, Asian influences, aged vinegars, and savory spicing.

*Grazing. Smaller, more frequent meals, as well as meal-replacement bars and drinks, may help people control calories.

*Heart health. Heart-healthy foods appeal to baby boomers and other health-conscious shoppers.

The Art of Healthy Lifestyles
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