If you ask celebrity chefs to predict what’s trending in professional kitchens, you’ll find they agree on a few key trends. What’s trending now will likely influence what you’re offered while dining out, and how you choose to eat at home. Chef Richard Ekkebus, winner of two Michelin stars, predicts: “The increasing importance of vegetables on the menu will continue to grow in my opinion, so the ratio protein towards vegetables will reduce and more menu items based purely on vegetables, cereals, mushrooms & fruits.” Don’t worry if you share your kids’ aversion to vegetables: at the opposite end of the spectrum, “treat” foods and high-fat ingredients feature prominently in entrées as well as appetizers and desserts. Goodbye, portion control!
- Indulgent fare or farm-to-table? Fast food is still a thing, but with high-quality ingredients. Nothing pre-fab, nothing developed in a beaker. Chefs are reinventing a luscious, fruit-filled Czech pastry (kolache) by layering its flaky goodness with the heat of chorizo and jalapeño. Look out gas and bloating symptoms! Even vegans and raw-food enthusiasts aren’t immune: they’ll be tempted by menus starring locally sourced leafy greens and heirloom vegetables. They’re rich in vitamins and nutrients, but are often difficult to digest.
- Vegetable mashups get respect. Chef-farmers have introduced hybrids such as brusselkale and broccoflower. The farm-to-table movement promotes vegetables in an increasingly high ratio to protein sources, and frequently pairs wine or beer with each course. Veggies bursting with sugar and fiber are difficult for the body to break down. Although the accompanying libations enhance the dining experience, the hidden sugar may cause bloating.
- Ramen – and other types of Asian-style noodles – hit the mainstream. No longer strictly the domain of the budget-conscious dorm-dwellers, ramen noodles have made the great leap from styrofoam container to dinner plate. But heap too high of a pile on your china and you’ll have a recipe for gas and bloating, no matter what type of sauce you favor on top.
- Butter stages a huge comeback. Foodies host tasting parties at which guests sample butter made from the milk of a wider variety of animals, and/or fed a diet which promotes higher levels of certain vitamins* (grass-fed cow’s milk, anyone?). Evaluating the merits of butter versus margarine often comes down to the fat content. Margarine usually contains more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats – the so-called “good fats.” Butter consists mostly of saturated fat, which is bad news for people with cholesterol and heart problems. Still, margarine contains something worse for heart health: trans fat. If you regularly suffer from gas and bloating, fat of any type is likely to stir up trouble. But with the ‘contest’ this close, butter is the hands-down favorite in terms of richness of flavor.
Whether or not 2015 food trends prove to be a flash in the pan, you’ll want to be prepared to offset gas and bloating symptoms so that you can enjoy whatever dish happens to be on your menu. Take a CharcoCaps capsule before and after you eat and indulge your inner foodie – for the rest of this year and beyond.