One of the things we love about nutrition is that the science is always evolving, with hundreds of studies being published daily that are contributing to new healthy eating trends.
What we don’t love about nutrition trends are the ‘fad diets’ such as ketogenic diet, juice and tea detoxes that are often focused on eliminating certain foods and are not sustainable lifestyles.
We see food trends as important triggers for creating more conversations about nutrition, and as healthcare professionals, we like to help our clients and readers navigate through this information. Here are our top five healthy eating trends for 2018 that are aligned with many of our clients’ needs based on common health issues, busy lifestyles, and even environmental responsibility!
If you would like more detailed information and how to customize these approaches to your unique needs, our Registered Dietitians are happy to help: https://www.nutriprocan.ca/fr
Healthy Eating Trend 1: Plant-based Eating
We truly hope that this trend is here to stay!
Plant-based eating is mainly focused on foods from non-animal sources such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes. It differs from vegan eating in that it doesn’t 100% exclude animal products all of the time. What are the benefits of plant-based eating? Research supports that it could help to promote weight loss, reduce your risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers, and may be more sustainable for our environment.
Suggestion: Make at least 70% of your plate of plants at all meals and have at least 1 vegan meal per week.
Healthy Eating Trend 2: Healthy Choices at Restaurants
Canadians spend $80 billion dollars per year in restaurants and restaurant spending is growing more quickly than grocery store spending. At the same time, consumer demand for healthy food and consumer awareness of the ingredients restaurants use is also growing. Because of this, restaurants are now including more healthy options and some are even posting the source and/or nutrition value of their meals.
Suggestion: Browse before you eat! Before choosing a restaurant or arriving at a restaurant, check out their website to see what their healthy options are. If they don’t post this information, give them a call before you arrive. We’ve found that most restaurants are happy to speak about their healthier options!
Healthy Eating Trend 3: Eating for Brain Health (aka, preventing ‘type 3 diabetes’)
With the aging Babyboomer population, diets focusing on brain health are becoming more popular, and for a good reason! Alzheimer’s disease, which used to be thought of as a chronic condition with no known prevention strategies, is now being called ‘type three diabetes’ as there is a link between this disease and insulin resistance. As we now know that there is a link between diet, insulin and brain health, more research is being done on diets that improve brain function and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, potentially even reversing this disease!
- Eat a low-glycemic diet. Avoid high sugar foods, choose unprocessed grains, and try to get most of your carbohydrates from vegetables.
- Swap out high carbohydrate foods for foods with healthy fats, like nuts and seeds, avocados and fish. Instead of grabbing a sandwich for lunch, choose a leafy greens salad with ½ avocado, a palm size of wild salmon, ½ cup chickpeas, and lemon mixed with some extra virgin olive oil.
- Up your anti-oxidants by choosing bright, colourful vegetables and fruits (in moderation).
Healthy Eating Trend 4: Digestive Health and Nutrition
According to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, over 20 million Canadians suffer from digestive disorders every year, and this number is on the rise. Because of this, but also because of new research pointing to the health benefits of eating fermented foods, there is consumer demand for fermented foods.
- Use plain kefir in place of yogurt or sour cream, or milk. Aim for ½ cup per day. Kefir is naturally lactose-free and can often be tolerated by those who are lactose intolerant.
- Use kimchi and sauerkraut to add a kick to salads and other dishes.
- Get on a good probiotic! Not all supplements are created equal and we only use high quality, research-backed probiotics in our clinics. Looking for one that is right for you? Ask us for a recommendation!
Healthy Eating Trend 5: Using the WHOLE vegetable
Following 2015’s ‘whole animal’ trend is this year’s ‘whole vegetable’ trend, and we are LOVING this one (#plant-based eating!). Up your veggie intake, while reducing food waste by using beet greens, spiralizing broccoli stems, and using anise (aka fennel) frons to add colour and flavour to dishes.
As with any nutrition change, we recommend that you add changes gradually, and add these changes to the tried and true nutrition basics we teach our clients every day. Not sure what those basics are? Request a free 20-minute discussion with one of our Registered Dietitians to find out: https://www.nutriprocan.ca/fre