Healthy Me PA’s Best of 2017 Awards

As we begin preparing our goals for the new year, looking back at the top trends can be fun and educational. When it comes to movies, music, and television, we see award ceremonies highlighting the best of the best year after year. Although we have no idea what there is to come, we can learn a lot by looking back.

To participate in this annual tradition in our own way, we decided to look at the most popular health and fitness trends of 2017—Healthy Me PA-style.

Best Entree Trend: Alternative Pasta

After spaghetti squash took the stage as a healthy alternative to the classic Italian pasta dish, even more alternatives followed suit. Alternatives to traditional pasta were highly searched for on the internet in the last year, with options ranging from vegetable noodles to alternative grain noodles made from quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, and beans. Many consumers favor these alternatives because they contain fewer carbs AND are gluten-free.

Best Supporting Ingredient: Alternatives to Olive Oil

It wasn’t long ago that finding alternatives to butter as a cooking ingredient was the trend. Products were made to resemble butter, trying to make it slightly “better” for you, and then suddenly were mass produced in spreadable and sprayable forms.

Professional chefs and nutritionists introduced olive oil as an alternative to butter in many capacities. Once the olive oil trend hit the mainstream, concerns began to arise over whether it is truly a healthier option.

Because of this, it’s no surprise that oil alternatives, such as avocado oil, coconut oil, and hemp oil, gained popularity in 2017 and scored in the best supporting ingredient category.

Best Exercise Trend: Group Fitness Classes

While wearable exercise tracking devices remained a popular trend in 2017, group fitness classes became the most favorable way to exercise for many people across the country. Although group classes are no newbie to the fitness trends category, their continued rise in fame landed them the top spot. While online workout classes made a bit of a breakout performance this year, doing a workout at home comes with a serious need for self-motivation—something not all of us have.

Group classes give you a fun and social environment, with a safe and effectively designed workout. Because they are usually set on a consistent schedule, you see your workout mates regularly, which encourages you to show up.

The Longest-Lasting Food Trend: Avocado

While “The Longest-Lasting Food Trend” award doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue, it was the best name we could come up with for a trend that has emerged recently and has made a lasting impression on the tongues of consumers everywhere. Some consider the avocado to be the trend that keeps on giving. It seems like every year people are finding new ways to use it.

While avocado toast might be the most commonly coined phrase around the fruit, people use the avocado for more than a salad ingredient or a topping for bread. Whether it is to make soup, smoothies, popsicles, or sauce, or to complement sandwiches in various forms, this food fad is here to stay.

Best Goodbye: Exclusion diets

For years, exercise fads have fooled people into believing they can lose weight fast and encouraged excluding foods to do it. With better education about nutrition available and interest in health improvement on the rise, Ross Anderson, head chef at Waitrose Cookery School, said, “Faddy diets are definitely going out of fashion—people are more aware of how to eat more healthily and in a way that’s easier for them to maintain.”

If you ask us, we have never been more excited to see this trend’s last call. Cutting out carbs completely or eating only fruits and vegetables isn’t a realistic or healthy way to lose weight. The trick is finding carbs that are good for you and fats that fuel your body. It’s all about balance and moderation, and we hope that becomes the next big trend.

There are tons of predictions about what trends and fads 2018 will bring. Rumors have it that strength training and high-intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.) workouts will continue to climb to fame.

The great news is that people are looking into improving their lifestyles now more than ever. The CGA Business Leaders 2017 Survey found that 65 percent of consumers “are proactively looking to lead a healthy lifestyle, and retailers are responding by including more free-from, superfoods, vegan, and vegetarian dishes on their menus.”

And thanks to the internet and social media channels, there are more ways for consumers to learn the facts around healthy foods and realistic fitness strategies. Here’s to a new year of improving our health!