A new year is a fresh start. You can become your next best self over the next twelve months, which makes people more curious to try new things. Many are exploring ethical food changes in 2024 to improve their health and align their diet with their personal goals.
Check out the most popular dietary changes happening across the country this year. They might inspire you to make similar adjustments in your diet alongside your doctor’s recommendations and approval.
Why Are People Making Dietary Changes?
Changing your diet can accomplish numerous health goals, depending on the changes themselves. People often make adjustments to lose weight, get stronger or work toward health improvements recommended by their doctors.
Any dietary changes you make in 2024 should improve your overall well-being. If they negatively affect your physical or mental health, it’s likely time for a new perspective. Your diet should be as enjoyable as it’s healthy and affordable.
What Are Ethical Food Changes?
Ethical food changes are dietary adjustments that align with your personal, social and environmental values. It could mean you start only buying brands with a Fair Trade Certified label, which means the company provides sustainable income for its workers alongside ecological and social justice practices. Nearly four in five Americans are now willing to pay more for an FTC product to financially support more ethical companies.
You might care deeply about animal welfare, so your 2024 diet becomes vegetarian or vegan. You’d get to explore new plant-based or meatless recipes so your food doesn’t conflict with your values.
Consider your most important values to determine if your diet aligns with them. If you have your top three, you can implement a few changes to better stick with what you believe is right.
Top Dietary Changes in 2024
Many people are making the following adjustments to their diet this year. Whether you keep your changes until 2025 or just try them for a few weeks, exploring new dietary options is a fun way to take care of yourself and recommit to your ethical values.
1. Eating More Sustainably
Recent research shows that 33% of consumers want to eat more sustainable foods. Sustainable foods are products manufactured in ways that prioritize the environment, local economy and worker safety. You could find sustainable food brands by researching companies with mission statements outlining how they fulfill these consumer demands.
Some companies meet those demands while others exceed them. Many brands are utilizing eco-friendly packaging and ingredients to satisfy customers externally and internally making changes like using green construction materials for their headquarters and manufacturing facilities. The dual commitment shows genuine care for sustainable values and a long-term promise of the company’s ethical values.
2. Consuming Less Red Meat
Ethical food changes are affecting how people view their protein sources. Nearly one-third of Americans are trying to eat less meat. Although consuming red meat provides nutrients like zinc that strengthen the immune system, taking an occasional break might be more popular in 2024.
Eating less meat might better align with your animal welfare values given that people kill 92.2 billion animals annually for food. If you don’t want to financially support an industry killing animals, you could swap your meat with plant-based protein sources like beans, lentils or chia seeds.
3. Enjoying More Sugar-Free Foods
When was the last time you considered your sugar intake? In 2023, 61% of Americans tried to reduce how much sugar they consumed each day. If you eat more than the nine teaspoons per day recommended for men or the six teaspoons recommended for women, you could experience health conditions like diabetes or heart disease.
You could eat more sugar-free foods as one of your dietary changes for 2024. Opt for whole food options or natural sweeteners. You’ll also find artificial sweeteners in sugar-free products, but remember, they may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease if you consume excessive amounts every day.
4. Dining On Extra Veggies
Whether you’re trying a plant-based diet or want to get more nutrients in your diet, you’re not alone. So many people are going to eat more vegetables in 2024 that restaurants are implementing plant-based menus alongside their standard options to retain customers.
There are several reasons to add vegetables to your daily meals. You’ll get more vitamins and nutrients your body needs to support your essential functions. Research shows the effort will also save a third of your budget, which is another common goal people make all year long.
Don’t worry if your dinner plate is already full of veggies like broccoli or carrots. You can sneak vegetables into your cookouts by enjoying a veggie burger, making daily smoothies or blending veggies into your spaghetti sauce to increase your intake.
5. Drinking Less Alcohol
Opting for sparkling water instead of beer will do more than save you from feeling bloated. It will also align you with people making dietary changes in 2024. The number of Americans drinking alcohol dropped to 63% in 2023 and will likely continue through this upcoming year.
People save money by not splurging on alcohol and save their health. You won’t get bloated, deal with hangovers or harm your liver by choosing to sip on other beverages. Try making mocktail versions of your favorite hard drinks or exploring new beverage options at the grocery store. If you find something you enjoy equally, you’ll have an easier time avoiding alcohol this year.
Consider Updating Your Diet
Make this year your best one yet by considering these ethical food changes. They’re popular because they align with moral values, prevent health conditions and even save money. Consider which goals would improve your life to make positive, lasting changes.