With the start of a new year, you might be wondering what some of the current nutrition trends are for 2020. The Gut Authority put together this list to help you out and help you avoid being swept up into some unwise choices. When you’re making diet changes for this new year, check out what everyone else is doing and move forward cautiously.
This rising food trend sees our need to indulge once in a while but also keep it healthy. Most of these healthy indulgences usually include dark chocolate with some sort of healthy ingredients such as pumpkin seeds, or coconut shavings. But be careful not to add excessive amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners. These “healthy” indulgences are often part of certain diet variations that use fasting and then add in a “cheat” day. Choose wisely and keep it healthy.
Even though it is thought that a large percentage of Americans get enough fiber on a daily basis ( probably due to the rising nutrition trends such as keto diets that seem to promote protein ), Americans are still searching for ways to add even more protein. Protein coffee and cottage cheese with added protein are among the few food items that are growing in popularity. But trends such as these that create even more processed foods have doubtful nutritional benefit.
As more and more people start focusing on their gut health, they become more aware of the importance of prebiotics. Prebiotics are the food for your probiotics (friendly gut bacteria) and are found in plant fibers. As more people try to stuff more prebiotics into their diets, vegetables will become more popular, especially finding “clever ways ” to seemingly add more to common foods. For example, spaghetti sauce boasting added kale and chickpeas may be okay. And ketchup with hidden vegetables is also becoming more popular, but read the labels carefully, as many spaghetti sauces and Ketchup’s are non-organic and are loaded with sugar.
Puffed foods are becoming popular as a “smarter way to snack”. Among the puffed snacks, you’ll find everything from puffed chickpeas to honey puffs and everything in between. You’ll also see puffs with added protein and fiber to make them appear even healthier. But remember, these are processed foods and when the labels are read, often have added “unhealthy”ingredients or unhealthy oils utilized in the processing. If it’s pre-processed or packaged , it’s probably best to avoid it .
Food items that are made for those who suffer from food allergies are becoming more popular. These food items have labels that boast as being free from the 8 most common food allergies (nuts, dairy, etc). Even more popular among these allergy food items are snacks geared towards school-age kids. But once again label reading is the key. It’s great to know that a product is free of nuts or soy, but labels can be equally misleading , especially if they purport to be gluten-free. Remember if it says it’s gluten-free it almost always contains gluten containing grains such as corn , rice or oats.
Since we’re a society that always seems to be on the go, food companies are coming up with ways claiming to “keep us healthy” while eating on the go. Some popular on-the-go items include matcha tea and fiber packs to add to your water, packs of raw honey for an energy boost, and pouches of yogurt and nut butter.
Read the labels and be careful. Almost all processed and packaged foods have added sugar and chemicals labeled such as “natural flavor” . Don’t look to sugar containing substances for an energy boost, as it surely results in an insulin response and can contribute to the development of insulin resistance. Most yogurts are filled with sweeteners and artificial color. If you want blueberry tasting yogurt, purchase an unsweetened Greek yogurt and mix in some organic blueberries.
And last but not least, you don’t need to eat on the go. Slow down , chew your food, and take a break. Chewing stimulates saliva glands and initiates the digestive process to help get the proper nutrients from your food
Non-dairy milks continue to be a popular trend in the nutrition world. You’ll find milks made from nuts, hemp seeds, and coconuts. These are a good alternative for the many Americans who suffer from a dairy intolerance. But again read the label to see if sugar has been added for flavor.
With alternative milks taking over, the dairy world had to be innovative. Nut milks are fortified but your body doesn’t readily absorb the added nutrients. Companies are taking advantage of this and are now offering “fortified” dairy products such as lactose-free ice cream, protein-packed and caffeinated dairy beverages, and cultured, flavored cottage cheeses. Do I hear sugar, artificial flavors and even more sugar being added as part of the hidden ingredients in this marketing hype?
It used to just be gluten-free but now the nutrition world is stepping up their game by claiming to be going completely grain-free. You’ve probably seen the many cauliflower items on the market such as cauliflower rice and even pizza. One of the new “grain-free” foods is sweet potato. You’ll find items such as sweet potato mac n’ cheese, sweet potato wraps, and even sweet potato puffs. .But again, in these so-called grain free products realize they are often processed foods and when you read the label may contain other non-nutritional ingredients. Better to eat the real thing.
A growing trend popping up for the “sober curious” generation is a larger variety of alcohol-free wines, beers, hop water and cocktails. There’s even a few alcohol-free bars that have popped up over the nation. As more people grow health-conscientious, more people realize how detrimental excessive alcohol use can be to your overall health. But remember, if you are gluten sensitive, all grain-based beverages are a no-no.
If you know you have problems with your gut but aren’t sure how to best handle it, we can help. Our team at The Gut Authority can work to get to the root cause of your issues. We’ll then come up with an action plan to help heal your gut by diet and lifestyle changes. Call us today so we can schedule your first appointment!