The baking industry has extremely increased its production in view of the ancient beginnings. Since the man first figured out how delicious baked goods are, the number of those treats is on the rise.
Every age, decade or time has its trends, some of them are here to stay, and some of them not so much. The one trend that got momentum in the last decade or so is that of healthy eating and that includes baking goods.
A growing number of companies and brands are putting out healthier alternatives in their product range to accommodate the ever-expanding consumer audience following this trend. It’s worth mentioning that baked treats are not considered a healthy product overall because of the use of flour, fats, oil, or similar ingredients.
That being said, there are several actions that can be taken to get closer to these consumers. A lot of them are vegetarians and vegans, and that resulted in clearly stating on the label that is vegan friendly. That includes foods that contain no animal products or by-products such as eggs, dairy or honey.
Another one, especially in the last few years, is the gluten-free craze. This is a reaction to the deduction that gluten is bad for the body somehow. There are people with gluten intolerance as there are lactose intolerant, but this is a small amount of the population. Even so, because of the media and a need for a new trend, this became a worldwide phenomenon – to avoid products with gluten.
Gluten is a natural ingredient found in wheat, barley, and rye. Then it’s the only logical conclusion that it ends up in baked goods. A decade ago, few Americans had heard of gluten. Today, one survey says, almost a third are trying to avoid the element found in grain.
Of course, having gluten-free foods and clearly labelling it is a great boon for the people suffering from, for the example, celiac disease. Some of the other ways baked goods companies are starting to get healthier are by following several nutritional and health attributes.
- Natural ingredients – products do not contain any artificial ingredients like colour or chemical preservatives.
- Sugar free – food that contains less than 0.5 grams of sugars per labelled serving.
- No sugar added - food in which no sugar or sugar-containing ingredient is added during processing.
- Whole grain - should contain all parts of the grain, which includes the bran, the germ and the endosperm thus retaining all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, other micronutrients, and fibre content.
- Fat free - food that contains less than 0.5 grams of total fat per labelled serving.
- Low fat - food that has 3 grams or less per 100 grams and not more than 30% of calories from fat.
- Low or none trans-fat - behaves like saturated fat in the body by raising low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol while also lowers high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good") cholesterol in the blood.
- Omega-3 fatty acids - some nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, macadamia nuts and flaxseed contain substances that can be converted into omega-3 fatty acids in the body.
How are you reacting to the growing number of different healthier options of baked goods? Are you willing to try them or is it better to stick with the well-known classics?