Health, Fitness, Food Trends of 2017

WASHINGTON — 2017 is just getting started, and some exciting trends to look forward to this year — on menus and in the gym —are already known.

Sally Squires, who writes the Lean Plate Club ™ blog, checked with research chefs and food technologists about some of the things expected to gain traction in 2017.

Plant butchery is becoming big. Vegetarian “butchers” prepare meat substitutes made from beans such as chickpeas, other legumes and fungi. This produces some cleverly named meat substitutes, such as “yam chops,” “tuna-less tuna,” “no-pulled pulled pork” and “fishless fish tacos.”

Personalized nutrition is a growing trend expected to gain momentum in 2017, said Squires. It comes from research into nutrigenomics, which is the scientific study of how your genes and your food may interact. Basically, it’s finding foods that are better for you to eat than other foods, or finding foods that you don’t do as well with, even though they may be fine for other people.

And some formerly well-known foods that have gone out of fashion are making a comeback. Goat is very popular around the world, but not so much here in the U.S. It’s low-fat and rich in protein, so expect to see more goat meat, along with goat cheese and goat’s milk.

Sardines are making a comeback. But these are not the sardines your mom or grandma used to get in a flat can they would open with a key. These are heartier, high-protein fish that can be good for your heart. This trend is coming to the U.S. mostly from Portugal.

New health trends are not limited to menus. In the gym, wearable devices are the top trend in fitness, according to an annual survey that the American College of Sports Medicine conducts.

These include Fitbits, Garmins, Jawbones, Apple Watches and even clothing with sensors sewn in, Squires explained. They all monitor your activities, tracking how and when you’re active or not, reminding you to be active.

High Intensity Interval Training, or HITT, is more popular this year, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. HITT involves working out at 80 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate for brief intervals, ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes. It can be modified for all fitness levels and burns up to 6 to 15 percent more calories during your workout and in the two-hour period afterward.

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