2020 FOOD & NUTRITION TRENDS
By PW Nutritionist Grace Scott
PW Nutritionist Grace and lover of all things foodie explores the nutrition trends for this year. 2019 was all about hemp seeds, so what does 2020 have in store?
With the plant-based craze only gaining momentum and more people introducing meat-free days into their diet, taking Vegan mainstream seems to be a hot topic! Find out what else is set to be big this year!
Plant Based Meats
2020 is the year of the plant based meats. Major high street retailers are partaking in the biggest trend of the year and there’s no indication it will stop there. Think Greggs’ vegan sausage rolls and ‘fake’ steak bakes, Subway’s no meat meatball marinara, and KFC’s The Colonel’s original recipe fried Quorn burger. Vegans and vegetarians out there rejoice! Veggie options have been around for years, so what makes these so different? Many of these are aimed at meat eaters as well as veggies and vegan. They are designed to look, taste and have the texture of meat to appeal to a wider market as opposed to previous options tasting and looking like veggies!
Often meat eaters are opting for the meatless choices due to environmental and health considerations. Choosing to reduce consumption of red and processed can drastically reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. Research suggests that high consumption of red meat can increase your risk of colon cancer by 28%! High consumption was classified as 230g or more a week which is the equivalent of 2 double cheese burgers from McDonalds a week. Even swapping one of these for a plant based alternative could improve your health.
Of course just because an item is plant based does not mean it is entirely healthy. The new vegan burger from KFC has a salt content of almost 3g, half your daily allowance. So while opting for meat free is great, like all foods try not to indulge.
This is a trend that is here to stay!
Pre and Pro Biotics
An unhealthy gut has been suggested to affect an individual’s mood, digestion and negatively impact their immune system, therefore it’s imperative to keep it healthy.
Healthy gut = happy body. Pre and pro biotics have a huge impact on our gut microbiome (the environment in your gut). It’s likely that you have heard of probiotics, think yoghurts, pickles and some cheeses such as mozzarella and cheddar, but 2020 is all about prebiotics.
The difference between the two is simple: Probiotics are live organisms that impact the gut microbiota both indirectly and directly, whereas prebiotics are sources of dietary fibre that ‘feed’ the good bacteria within your gut. More and more evidence is emerging suggesting that they can increase the benefits of the good bacteria.
Here are some examples of prebiotics that you could incorporate into your diet:
• Garlic – promote good bacteria and inhibit harmful bacteria from multiplying
• Jerusalem Artichokes – boost immune system
• Leeks - help in the breakdown of fats
• Barley - can reduce cholesterol and blood sugars
• Bananas – can reduce bloating
• Asparagus – assists in the promotion of friendly bacteria
• Onions – improve digestion
With prebiotics able to be incorporated into many different diets; vegetarian and Mediterranean included expect this trend to be rife during 2020.
Healthy Indulgence Items
For years we’ve heard about celebrities going on about being gluten free or following no sugar diets favoured by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Davina McCall and Fearne Cotton. All claim their health and quality of life has improved by cutting out refined sugars. With the trend continually rising, the market of indulgence items with ‘bad’ ingredients removed is prevalent.Gluten, sugar and grains have all come under fire so brands are producing and marketing newer products to match the demand. But, just because these items claim removed ingredients are they in fact actually healthier for you?
Removing refined sugar from sweet treats often replaces it with artificial sweeteners. Sweeteners have been subject to bad press in recent years but after extensive research, the claim that they can cause cancer has been dismissed. In fact, sweeteners can be better for your health than refined sugar as they do not cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. Great news for diabetics! Sweeteners are lower in calories and even plant based sweeteners now can be used. In terms of gluten free products, wheat flour can be replaced with alternative sources such as coconut but often is likely to be lower in fibre which is essential for healthy digestion and satiety.
This is a trend that is likely to linger as the population becomes more health aware.