Trendy diets come and go. Dietary staples tend to stay with us. Of the many innovations certain to emerge or expand in 2019, here are a few that are worth watching (and trying).
In snack foods, main courses, and entire dietary plans, plant-based nutrition continues to shine. Look for familiar foods with added plant-based protein, such as shakes, power bars, legume pastas, nondairy milks, and breads. Plants are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Veggie burgers continue to evolve, and that market is quickly expanding into bacon and other meatless alternatives. Mushrooms are big players in this sector.
Sea vegetables—in snacks, salads, and jerkies—are more available than ever. And the ice cream market has moved forward in interesting ways, too, with avocado, hummus, and coconut among the ingredients finding a place in the frozen-snack aisle.
Upcoming Diet Trends
Several trend watchers expect to see a continuation of the tasty fusion experiences we’ve seen in recent years. Influences from the Middle East are rapidly arriving, which means more use of spices and herbs like cardamom and mint. Indian cuisine will also continue to grow in popularity.
Locally sourced foods will be highly sought, extending the welcome leaning in that direction.
And the lowly potato? Writing for the Food Network, nutritionist Dana Angelo White praised the simple spud for its nutrient-rich carbohydrates and easy digestibility. She said to watch for it in burritos, rice bowls, and muffins “to help fire up muscles for exercise and aid in recovery activity.”
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet has been widely touted, with its emphasis on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, modest servings of fish, and the occasional glass of red wine, if desired. People who adhere to this style of eating have been found to have lower-than-average risks of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. It’s stood the test of time so far. In fact, US News & World Report rated it at the top of its list of diets for healthy eating, tied with the similar DASH diet. The flexitarian, TLC, Mayo Clinic, and MIND diets also scored high.
An Indigenous Diet
An indigenous population in the Bolivian Amazon has been found to have “the healthiest hearts ever studied,” according to the authors of a new study. So the obvious question is, What are they eating?
About two-thirds of the Tsimane people’s diet comes from complex carbohydrates, particularly plantains and rice. They eat more than 40 species of fish as well, and a small amount of wild game. Their diet is high in fiber and low in fat. Very little of their food comes from markets.
Their intake of key minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and selenium is much higher than typical Western diets. Hypertension and obesity are rare in the Tsimane, who are known to be very physically active.