Thestart of every decade brings along promotions and trends of all sorts, many of which affect our food choices. Are you curious about the food trends expected to surface in 2020? Perhaps you have noticed some of them?
What I see for the upcoming year is a sincere attempt by many to eat healthier. Food companies have noticed it too, but don’t be fooled that they are concerned about your health.
As a consumer, it’s important that you get past the hype and look carefully at the ingredients in any trendy product you buy.
As a nutritionist who specializes in lifelong wellness, I’d like to share what I believe are the top 10 trends in food that we’ll see in 2020 and beyond. Along with the list, I’ll share my thoughts about the benefits, or lack thereof, for each.
Because cow’s milk has lost its grip on consumers, we’ve seen all sorts of non-dairy products showing up in the market in recent years. The hottest dairy replacement going into 2020 is oat milk. Simply put, it’s made from oats and water. It’s promoted as a non-allergenic drink, which may or may not be the case.
Most people drink milk as a source of protein, potassium, and calcium. Oat milk has adequate potassium and calcium, but it should be noted that it does not have complete protein. As always, look carefully at the panel of ingredients and nutrients when buying oat milk – or any milk.
Second to oat milk, plant-based burgers are the hottest trend today. I’m not a fan of them as beef is replaced with an array of fibrous ingredients and many artificial additives. You can find a list of the ingredients for the three most popular burgers here.
For now, well-intentioned consumers, beware of high salt content, many non-food ingredients, and much less a food than a manufactured product.
Probiotics are the good bacteria your digestive system needs to function properly, build immunity, and provide a host of other benefits. One food trend that provides probiotics is a drink called kombucha. Heard of it?
You will for sure in 2020. Kombucha is just one source of probiotics. Fermented foods contain healthy probiotics too. They include apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, pickles, and yogurt.
Broths are touted as a source of collagen and other nutrients for the skin, hair, joints, and bones. Make your own – it’s a long and arduous process – or save your money.
You may see nut and seed butters showing up in your grocery store. Check this type of product carefully because its ingredients – the nuts and seeds – have to sit in something to make a spread. Make sure that something is not a trans-fat. Check the ingredients panel.
Brussels sprouts are the rage. They are a great green to have often – very fibrous and quite tasty. Roast them. Also, kale and cauliflower are rising in popularity. All good choices.
You’ll see kale chips and dips and all sorts of snack foods featuring a green vegetable as the focal point. Remember, these are just snacks. The amount of actual vegetable contained in these products is minimal. Skip the packaged snacks and eat a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts if you’re hungry.
If you’re a sugar-conscious diner, you may see foods containing fruit reductions or syrups showing up. They’re a speck better than the refined sugars they replace, but just a speck. Sugar is sugar and it harms your health.
The good news is, more consumers are concerned about the impact of our food choices on the environment. Positive trends you will see in this department include an increase in community gardening, rooftop gardens in cities, and support for local farming.
As one decade closes, the use of Uber and other transport services for humans is expanding into transport services for the evening meal. Uber Eats expects to be busier than ever in 2020.
While it may be a wonderful option in busy lives, it is not, and never will be, a replacement for simple whole foods prepared and cooked at home.
My advice? Be grateful food delivery services are an option in a pinch, but day to day, grow or buy your food, prepare it, and sit down at your table for a relaxing meal. You’ll have a better handle on where your food comes from and how it reached your plate.
Finally, I’ll add one more food-related trend that has great significance for weight loss and weight management. It’s called Intermittent Fasting.
There’s quite a lot of research arising on this topic. By definition, Intermittent Fasting simply means one refrains from eating for a set period of time. There are many variations on how it is done, and I will write more on this topic in a future post.
Just like fashion, there will always be trends and fads in the world of nutrition. In the past decade, we saw paleo and keto diets as the answer to everyone’s dietary and weight loss needs, and these are sure to be replaced with a new concept in the next decade.
But what remains as the single best way to nourish yourself and maintain a healthy weight is a diet of simple whole foods.
Your plate should consist of about 1/4 protein (lean meat, fish, tofu, beans, lentils), 1/4 whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, barley, farro), and 1/2 vegetables (a mix of sweet, like carrots, sweet potato, beets, and bitter, like greens) with a piece of fruit if you like dessert.
My book Food Becomes You – Simple Steps for Lifelong Wellness contains many recipes and menus to make this work easily in your life.
Which food trends did you follow in the past decade? Did any of them bring the results you desired? Do you see yourself following any of the 2020 trends? Which ones sound appealing to you and why? Please share with our community!