Weightlifters have emphasized the benefits of a healthy diet for years, and now a major slice of the U.S. population is following suit. According to Liz Moskow, the culinary director of Sterling-Rice Group, who cultivated this list of trends, more and more consumers are demanding transparency and want to know precisely what they’re eating, whether it’s to build a better physique, nourish their brain, or simply live a longer, healthier life.

SEE ALSO: The Top 20 Meat Proteins


A new breed of butcher shops is catering to vegans and meat lovers. Plant-based versions of chicken, ham, meatballs, steak, and charcuterie are expanding vegans’ options. And corn, chickpeas, peas, legumes, and fungi are being utilized to entice meat eaters to make the move to Meatless Mondays. “This is going to satisfy your craving for meat without providing meat,” says Moskow.


Items that were once trash are now in demand—watermelon-rind pickles, cauliflower stems, and chips and burgers made from discarded juice pulp. Moskow points out this “waste” often has more nutrition because most of the nutrients are in stems and rinds.


Did you know that goat meat has a high ratio of interstitial collagen, aka the stuff that bone-broth devotees are crazy over? The collagen can aid in muscle repair

and reduce inflammation. Compared with chicken, goat is lower in fat and calories and has more flavor. The younger the goat, the tastier. You can also get goat milk and goat cheese for more protein and vitamin D.


Great for a post-workout entertainment/dining experience, hand-pulled noodles add another layer of both taste and visual showmanship. Customers slurp their carbs while watching a master noodlesmith knead, stretch, and swing dough into strands for soup.


A Syracuse University study found that eating chocolate can improve cognitive abilities. And a separate Tel Aviv University study reported that eating dessert after breakfast could aid weight-loss efforts. Moskow says that eating cake after breakfast is OK so long as A) you’re already properly satiated from protein; and B) the cake is made with almond flour, which has a low glycemic index and less sugar and fewer carbs than white flour.


Consumers continue to fish for protein-rich snacks. Recent interest in Basque cuisine and the rise of Portugal as the newest destination for culinary and global exploration will drive sardines to the forefront. High in omega-3s, protein, and umami flavor, sardines simply served
on crusty toast with lemon, garlic, and aioli make for an uncomplicated addition to any snacking situation.