As we look back on the past year, even in the past decade, a number of food and health trends have taken their moment in the spotlight. You may have even tried a few lifestyle changes that may or may not have improved your well being, but whether you have switched to a vegan diet, or steered in the other direction by going Keto or cooked steak with a Sous Vide, it’s been an interesting ride. And 2020 will continue to bring new ideas and approaches to living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
One of the new buzz-words in the food industry we are hearing more about is Regenerative Agriculture which adopts farming practices that benefit the environment rather than depleting the soil or contributing to climate change. Look for food labels from brands that support these practices. Sustainable seafood will also be of interest to people looking for food options that help to preserve our resources.
Tired of avoiding bread and other carbohydrates? According to Food and Wine, chefs are predicting that heritage grains, sourdough and local, organic, GMO-free breads and cereals will be turning up in stores and restaurants more in the new year. Alternative flours made from ingredients like cauliflower, tiger nut, coconut and seeds will also become more widely available in the coming year.
If the Beyond Meat or Impossible burger was your first foray into vegetarian dining, look for more plant-based foods and an emphasis on wild food, foraging and vegetables. And there will be more plant-based protein sources in addition to soy; mungbean, hempseed, pumpkin, avocado and watermelon seed are just a few Whole Foods will be stocking in the near future. For those who want to dip gradually into a vegetarian diet, more blended meat products that combine beef with plant-based ingredients like mushrooms, quinoa or barley yeast will help consumers lower their fat intake and potentially save some money.
The all-or-nothing diet approach may also be giving way to a more intuitive form of eating that focuses less on deprivation and helps individuals learn to eat in a manner that is satisfying and more mindful. Taking weight loss out of the picture and understanding our relationship with food has been associated with both emotional and physical benefits.
Whatever the future holds, eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein combined with regular physical activity, limiting alcohol and stopping smoking will continue to be the tried and true recipe for a healthier life. Here’s to a happy, healthy and meaningful New Year!