Menu expert Nancy KruseThe 2013 MUFSO SuperShow in Dallas earlier this month provided the latest in nutrition-related trends, as well as how restaurants are benefiting with bottom line results as they transition to healthier cuisine.

Kruse Company president and menu trend analyst Nancy Kruse’s annual State of the Plate address set the stage for the growth in nutrition trends as she emphasized, “almost all current trends tie back to health.” Here are my biggest takeaways from her keynote:

Subtraction model is out. Yesterday’s trends were based on the “Subtraction Model,” which places emphasis on the reduction of ingredients such as salt, fat and sugar. Today’s trends are based on the “Addition Model,” with an emphasis on adding fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Tomorrow’s trends will be focused on the “Defined Benefits Model,” with an emphasis on promoting healthful qualities of ingredients.

Skinny is hot. Examples are Cheesecake Factory’s Skinnylicious Menu and Melting Pot’s Skinny Dipping Menu. Skinny cocktails are also hot trends. Women and baby boomers are most attracted to skinny choices.

Power menus are sizzling — and very attractive to fit males. Lean meals that are high-protein meet this demand.   

Super foods continue to grow in popularity. These foods are nutrient dense, meaning they are packed with nutrients and lower in calories and saturated fat.

Grains are expanding. Despite the attention to gluten-free diets, whole grains are spreading on menus through both breads and pastas. “Quinoa is becoming really hot because it is gluten-free and packed with protein and nutrients,” said Kruse.

Trendsetting chefs will also be adding amaranth, barley, faro, wheat berries and lentils to menus.

Produce is powerful. Vegetables are showing up at all times of the day, even in the morning in breakfast omelets and sandwiches. Avocado is the “ingredient of the year,” and cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Swiss chard and Brussels sprouts, will grow to have a greater presence on menus.