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Previously dominated by January weight loss missions and New Year resolutions, Health is now something we’re all talking about and it’s so much more than just weight (rightly so!), it’s the whole picture; our diet, our planet and our lifestyle.  
 
Health has become more about increasing the good stuff each day, rather than cutting out single groups. So rather than no carbs it’s moved to healthy carbs, and eliminating all dairy has moved to less dairy, or fermented alternatives like ‘kefir’. And the continuing interest in plant boosted diets (which closely mirrors a Mediterranean diet) can only help to re-balance our diets boosting more grains, veg and plant protein sources. 
 
So what do we think will be hot in health for 2018?

  1. Healthy for Me – Finding out what’s healthy for me is what motivates us now; gone are the days of generic messages for all. With the ability to track our sleep, exercise, calories used and consumed, measure our cholesterol, blood pressure and waist measurement, more of us want to know what does healthy really mean for me? And this doesn’t mean DNA - the science is still new in this area to truly understand how our genes interact with the environment and our diet. Whether it’s about balance, calorie control, wholegrains, less meat or no dairy more of us are mix and matching our diets to choose ‘what’s right for me’. And it’s becoming easier to do so – with more healthy dishes and lifestyle choices with clearer labelling (even when eating out!) than ever before. 
  2. Gut Goodness – whether it’s probiotics, prebiotics, wholegrains or more fibre, interest has come back round to the little guys in our gut and finally we’re talking less about the gut being the miracle cure for all, and instead as an integral part of just being healthy. Including more of the good stuff each day such as wholegrains, fibre and skin-on veg can help to boost the right balance of our intestinal microflora. As reflected in the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition’s Carbohydrate report, fibre has an important role to play in health yet to meet the new 30g/day target wholegrains alone are not the only answer. Fibre can be boosted from lots of sources such as beans, peas, lentils, skin-on veg – many of the heroes of plant based diets.
  3. Plant Power - The plant boosted diet is here to stay. And after Veganuary passes many will keep up a reduced meat, plant boosted way of life. A plant boosted diet is importantly not strictly vegan or even vegetarian, the original plant based diet is more closely aligned with a Mediterranean one which includes small amounts of omega 3 rich fish, lean meat and some lower fat dairy. Plant based cooking is so much more exciting than it used to be and it’s more manageable and sociable. And truthfully we all need to become more plant based to not only improve our diets (boost wholegrains, fibre, 5 a day, lower energy density etc) but also our impact on the planet. 

Read our previous Health Blog here