More Ethnic Foods in American Diets

Grocery shoppers are adding a little international flair to their meals at home by bringing more Mediterranean, Latin and Indian foods to the dining table despite the recession, according to a recent study.

These ethnic foods are becoming more popular, according to the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, many happen to be healthy as well, meaning Americans may be eating better whether they intend to or not.

And ethnic foods aren’t just available in fancy food stores and gourmet markets.  Mainstream grocery stores sell about 74% of so-called “specialty foods,” according to The State of the Specialty Food Industry, a report from the NASFT.

Among those foods, yogurt and yogurt drinks like kefir have become wildly popular in 2009, as sales of the products jumped nearly 40%, according to the trade group’s report.  Yogurt is a common and versatile ingredient in many Mediterranean recipes, and it even helps dieters burn fat more efficiently, according to Women’s Health.

Grocery shoppers have also been sticking to simple, non-perishable foods, like beans and grains, and foods that are easier to store, like frozen vegetables, according to the NASFT.

Not all everyday American foods are horrible for your health.  Check out MainStreet's story, 12 Packaged Foods That Are OK to Eat.

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