Diet Trends 2020
With each year comes a new list of the diet trends experts expect to see in the coming months. This year experts are talking about everything from AI-powered smartphone apps to the new keto to fasting. These may seem like the same old trends that were around in 2019, but there are a few new spins out there that are either new to the game or brought out a new look, feel, and interface for 2020.
Let’s take a closer look at the trends you can expect to see in diets this year.
Noom is a health-based app created by behavioral psychologists. The program offers tools like personalized meal plans, health tracking, 1:1 health coaching, motivational articles, and more to help you lose weight and learn about your body in the process. It’s the fact that Noom is based on the psychology of weight-loss that really makes it different. Now you can ensure your program is tailored to you, and with a personal coach, you have someone there who knows your plan and understands it, as well.
Noom has been backed by multiple research studies published in various scientific journals, including JMIR mHealth and u Health, Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, the British Medical Journal, the Journal of Internet Medical Research, and Nature, just to name a few. All these studies show that the unique program not only received high engagement but also proved to be effective for its users.
According to Dr. Andreas Michaelides, the Chief of Psychology for Noom, “By understanding the past behaviors and attitudes of all types of users, we know the best way to meet our users where they are in their journey to help them maximize their change of long-term weight-loss success.”
Keto 2.0 is considered the relaxed version of the original keto diet. This diet plan allows you to consume up to 20% of your calories from carbs and limits the intake of unhealthy fats stemming from food like bacon and butter. Instead, Keto 2.0 opts for more vegetables, low-sugar fruit, fish, and healthy nuts. This diet plan is said to be less inflammatory than the original keto diet, as it encourages less meat and dairy consumption and allows for more plant-based carbs.
Keto 2.0 has been compared to the Mediterranean Diet as it promotes more plant-based sources of protein and carbohydrates.
Periodic fasting, also known as intermittent fasting, is a type of eating pattern that limits the times you can eat during the day. Although there are many different forms of periodic fasting, all involve splitting hours or days of the week into fasting and eating periods. Some suggest the plan has multiple health benefits. According to Cureus, intermittent fasting is effective for short-term weight-loss, though more research needs to be done to determine its long term effects.
The most common types of periodic fasting include:
- 16:8 – fast 16 consecutive hours then eat within the remaining 8 hours
- 5:2 – fast for 2 days a week and eat regularly (with your health in mind) the remaining 5 days
- Weekly Fast – fast for 24 hours up to two times a week
- Every Other Day – fast for 24 hours on day one, eat on day two, fast on day three, and continue.
- Skipping Meals – when you feel like skipping a meal, you skip a meal.
Prebiotics are certain fibers in the body that cannot be digested. Probiotics need prebiotics to function properly, as they use prebiotics as food. Although it is still being researched, some studies indicate it can have positive effects on health. According to Foods, specific prebiotics may be a useful tool in improving gut microbiota health and therefore, overall health in the body. However, per Current Opinion in Biotechnology, prebiotics are still hard to understand and need to be studied further. Right now, research is being conducted to determine if it can help reduce “leaky gut” in certain Crohn’s patients.
A Flexitarian Diet is one that is primarily vegetarian but occasionally includes meat and fish. The name of the plan stems from the flexibility you have while on a diet. There are no strict rules when it comes to this diet, but instead general guidelines, like focusing on plant-based protein, eating more natural unprocessed food, and only occasionally consuming animal products. Since the Flexitarian Diet can look different for everyone, its health benefits are hard to determine for each individual person, but in general, a more plant-based diet has been proven to be healthier for you.
According to Frontiers in Nutrition, a Flexitarian Diet or “semi-vegetarian diet” has been shown to benefit blood pressure, metabolic health, body weight, and more.
The Mediterranean Diet is one of the most popular diet plans in the world. Originating in Italy and Greece in the 60’s, this diet focuses on whole food consumption and moderate intake of milk, poultry, and seafood. A glass of red wine a day is also allowed, though you don’t have to drink if you don’t want to. While on the Mediterranean Diet, you’ll stay away from processed food, refined sugar, trans fats, refined oils, and red meat.
Lots of research points to the health benefits of the diet. According to Nutrition Today, the Mediterranean Diet seems to lower the incidence of certain chronic conditions. However, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this eating style may not be for everyone.
Much of the Mediterranean Diet focus is the same focus of a long list of healthy diets, but what if you don’t want to diet anymore? With Noom, a psychology-based weight-loss program, you don’t have to diet – you learn how to lose weight by living a naturally healthy life. Spending 10 minutes a day with Noom is all it takes to learn new healthy habits and unlearn old ones. Take the app for a test drive today with your very own free trial offer.
DASH, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is a diet plan that aims to help lower your blood pressure. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the DASH Diet is proven to lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.
The Standard DASH plan allows for 2,300 mg of sodium a day, while the Low-Sodium DASH plan allows for 1,500 mg of sodium consumption a day. Both plans allow for 2,000 calories a day. You should eat 6-8 servings of grains, 4-5 servings of vegetables, 2-3 servings of fat, 4-5 servings of fruit, 2-3 servings of dairy, and 6 one-ounce (or less) pieces of lean meat, poultry, or fish a day. You should have less than 5 servings of sweets and at least 4-5 servings of nuts and legumes a week.
Intuitive eating is not a diet, but instead an eating style. The purpose behind intuitive eating is to distinguish between physical and emotional hunger and learn about your body’s cues. There are 10 principles of intuitive eating that should be followed, which include:
- Reject the Diet Mentality
- Honor Your Hunger
- Make Peace with Food
- Challenge the Food Police
- Discover Satisfaction from Food
- Feel the Fullness
- Use Kindness to Cope with Emotions
- Respect Your Body
- Honor Your Health
Each of these principles is aimed to help you better cope with emotions, develop a better relationship with food, and listen to your body.
Plant-Based Proteins – Impossible and Beyond Meat
Becoming plant-based has become more popular over the last decade, which has brought about the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger. Both these burgers claim to taste and cook exactly like meat but are made completely from plants.
The Impossible Burger uses soy, potato protein, and iron to make their product taste like meat. Coconut and sunflower oil are also added in to help make the product cook like meat. A 4-ounce serving contains 240 calories, 14 grams of fat, 19 grams of protein, and 9 carbs.
The Beyond Burger does not use soy or gluten in their burger. Instead, this product contains protein from peas, mung beans, fava beans, and brown rice. However, like the Impossible Burger, it also contains coconut oil and sunflower oil. A 4-ounce serving contains 250 calories, 18 grams of fat, 20 grams of protein, and 3 carbs.
A grain-free diet is one that does not contain any grains. Although a grain-free diet may be low-carb, you can instead increase your intake of plant-based carbs. Additionally, this eating plan promotes staying away from processed food. Some choose to follow this eating style due to food intolerances, allergies, or weight-loss. However, unless you have a gluten allergy, there usually isn’t a good reason to cut out all kinds of grains and carbs entirely.
Alternative Dairy – Oat Milk and Coconut Milk
Alternative dairy products have always been a popular option for those who cannot consume dairy, are looking for a healthier alternative, and want more plant-based foods in their diet. Two non-dairy alternatives that have gained traction in the past couple of years are oat and coconut milk.
Oat milk is made by soaking steel-cut oats in water, then straining the mixture with a cheesecloth. This option is perfect for those who want non-dairy milk but can’t consume nuts. Depending on how it’s made, one cup of oat milk contains 120 calories, 3 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of fat. According to the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, the consumption of oat milk may help lower cholesterol.
Coconut milk is made from the flesh of the coconut. This is not to be confused with coconut water, which is the liquid inside of the fruit. To make coconut milk, the flesh of the fruit is shredded and squeezed through a cheesecloth. According to the Journal of Food Science and Technology, this milk can help improve cholesterol health. One cup of the drink contains 552 calories, 57 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of protein.
Scientists, dieticians, and nutritionists have long known that various foods and nutrients can help improve brain health and function. Here are some healthy brain foods and their benefits:
- Blueberry: Anti-inflammatory effect on brain cells
- Kale: Aids brain function
- Almonds: Preserves memory
- Fish: Helps brain function
- Avocados: Improves cognition
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, berries are also great for aging brains. This can be due to the high antioxidant level of most berries.
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a chemical found in the Cannabis plant, according to the U.S. Library of Medicine. It is very different than THC, an active component in the marijuana plant that can cause psychoactive effects, as it affects only the physical part of the body, not mental. Originally, CBD products were used for treating seizures, but many of its claimed benefits now include improved sleep, decreased muscle pain, and decreased anxiety.
Due to the taste and consistency of CBD oil, infused CBD foods have become incredibly popular. Everything from water, cereal, honey, and tea to popcorn, gummies, and CBD cocktails are available for purchase through a number of online and in-store retailers. However, CBD foods are still considered illegal by the FDA, though the ingredient itself seems to sit in a gray area.
A balanced diet describes one that contains a balanced ratio of foods and nutrients. Since everyone’s health goals and conditions can vary, a balanced diet can look different for everyone. However, this eating plan will usually involve increasing fruit and vegetable intake, switching to low-calorie versions of “junk food,” reducing sodium, and decreasing added sugar intake.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture published dietary guidelines every year. You can use these as a guide to a healthier diet for you.
Eating whole foods is the cornerstone of many plant-based and clean eating diet plans. The term “whole foods” regards food that has not been processed or changed, like most vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts.
According to research published in The Permanente Journal, opting for a whole food plant-based diet can help improve your health exponentially. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also says eating whole foods can help increase your nutrient intake and reduce your risk for some chronic conditions.
Functional nutrition regards nutritional recommendations based upon your lifestyle, health conditions, daily nutritional needs, and more. This then leads to an individualized diet plan that can help address your individual needs.
More often than not, following a functional nutrition plan will need to visit a medical practitioner or health-care provider, as a full assessment of the body’s symptoms, health, and functionality is needed. However, sometimes switches are as easy as eliminating a certain food if you find you are intolerant of it.
Asian, Mediterranean, Italian, and American-style foods have all been popular for a while, but African cuisine and flavors are starting to enter the spotlight as well. Styles of food and spices will vary based on the area in Africa you go to. Some of the popular spices that make up African flavors include:
- Black Pepper
These spices can make a number of unique dishes, like sambusa, steamed green bananas, stews, South African barbeque, and more.
Korean cuisine is another style of food that is gaining more popularity. The staple foods in this style of food are rice, vegetables, and various meats. Some of the most popular dishes made in South Korea include:
- Kimchi: fermented vegetable dish
- Ramyeon: Korean instant noodles
- Bulgogi: marinated thinly sliced beef
- Sannakji: live octopus
- Tteokguk: rice cake soup
Street food is also extremely popular in Korea. During the day, carts will sell food, while at night, the same carts will sell drinks, alcohol, and pre-made food.
As more people are ditching alcohol, the need for cocktails without the booze has become apparent. Luckily, there are tons of mocktails available for you to make personally or order at a bar.
Mocktails will include ingredients like non-alcoholic beer, ginger beer, club soda, syrups, and fresh fruit. Popular mocktails include the Shirley Temple, Roy Rogers, and Mojito with club soda.
An ube is a purple yam originally from the Philippines. It is often used in sweets and desserts for its vibrant color and unique taste. Its taste has been described as similar to white chocolate. The ingredient became popular in America after an expensive doughnut using the ingredient went viral.
Although it is popular around the world, little research has been done to determine its potential health benefits.
Kombucha is a type of fermented tea that contains a small amount of alcohol. When the fermentation process is combined with brewer’s yeast, sometimes the drink will contain even more alcohol. Kombucha alcohol is a great option for those who are sensitive to gluten. Percentages vary between 4.5 – 12%.
Some of the most popular brands offering kombucha beer include Boochcraft, Kombrewcha, and WildTonic. However, there are also many local kombucha “breweries” popping up all over the U.S.
Final Take on Diet Trends
There’s no shortage of diet trends. You can find foods from right next door and around the world, but trends tend to stick around for a while and fall short when it comes to lasting change and long-term weight loss.
Noom, a weight-loss program that’s unlike any other on the market, took the idea of psychology and partnered it with diet and weight loss to create a program that’s tailored to the individual. Literally, no two programs are the same. Plus, each user is paired with a live coach. Someone who will talk through the diet plan, help the user along the way, and provide the support needed for lasting change. Imagine spending just 10 minutes a day on your weight-loss journey and seeing results that last. That’s the power of Noom. Get your free trial offer now!
Summer Banks has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with professionals in the weight loss industry and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University.