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the healthy eating trends you need to know in 2019

New year, new food and nutrition trends. Weight loss is top of mind for many of us right now. We went in search of what’s trending in healthy eating and wellness for 2019, and here’s what we found. These are the 10 words and phrases you need to know to eat healthy (or at least on-trend) this year. Never heard of oat milk? Dear reader, it’s time to expand your vocabulary. Here are the healthy eating trends you need to know in 2019.

what’s trending in healthy eating and wellness for 2019?

Food and fashion are not so dissimilar: the start of a new year or a new season brings fresh thinking about what’s smart and forward. In that spirit, we went in search of the trendiest “it” foods and trends that are swirling in the world of healthy eating and wellness right now.

Some are hold-overs from 2018, and a few are back after a decades-long absence. All of them are sure to be talked about at a social event coming your way soon. So even if you’re committed to burgers and fries (and we feel you on that one), here’s what’s trending in healthy eating at the start of 2019.

the healthy eating trends you need to know in 2019

1.Wild weeds

What comes next after foraging? Well, Benchmark Resorts and Hotels has wild weeds – sorrel, dandelion greens, and amaranth – on its list of the top food trends for 2019. You know how we feel about dandelions. Some nutritionists believe that edible weeds are higher in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than their processed cousins. And they haven’t been degraded by packing or refrigeration. Restaurant Noma made “forest found” meals into haute cuisine. Many other fine dining establishments, like Blue Hill at Stone Barns, let their gardens dictate their menus. Why shouldn’t weeds take center stage?

2. Eating ugly

The obsession with “perfect” fruits and vegetables leads to enormous food waste. In 2019, expect to see more grocers and food retailers extolling the merits of “ugly produce.” Items that have minor blemishes or imperfections can still taste great. The San Francisco-based company Imperfect Produce will deliver such items right to your door at prices they say are 30% less than what you’d pay for cosmetically perfect produce at a local supermarket.

Imperfect Produce

3. Cauliflower

“Cauliflower is the new kale.” You didn’t hear that here first – it’s been declared to be so by numerous publications. We thought that that cauliflower had reached its nadir 12 months ago, but we underestimated its versatility. As more people seek low-carb, gluten-free meals, cauliflower is an ideal replacement for flour, rice and other simple carbs. It works for a variety of diets, from plant-based to Paleo. Two-year-old company Caulipower, which sells frozen cauliflower pizzas and cauliflower baking mix, is already a multi-million-dollar brand.

Caulipower Baking Mix

4. Oat milk

In mid-2018, USA Today declared oat milk as the new “It” milk substitute, edging out soy and almond milk. If that doesn’t make it official, we’re not sure what does. Perhaps the fact that it’s so scarce in some areas that there’s a significant arbitrage opportunity for those who can get their hands on it. Swedish-based Oatly, the most sought-after brand, retails for about $5 per carton, but can found online for sale at prices three to four times that. Why is it so hot? The product is gluten-free and sugar-free – it’s also “creamy, latte-art-capable, healthy and sustainable.” Intelligensia and Blue Bottle coffee shops feature Oatly, and many other craft coffee bars offer oat milk instead of soy or almond.

Oatly Oat Milk


5. Vegan Seafood

Plant-based protein remains a holy grail for the food industry. We shared an update a while back on lab-grown meat – coming soon to a fine-dining restaurant near you. The latest area of innovation is fishless fish. Good Catch Foods makes fish-free, plant-based tuna containing “14 grams of protein per serving made up of peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, fava, and navy beans.”

Good Catch Vegan Seafood

6. Clean

Okay, so the word clean is not new – it’s been out there for a while. But the word on the street is that with the publication this month of Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest cookbook, The Clean Plate: Eat. Reset. Heal. eating “clean” will once again rise to the top of the list for healthy eating practices and self-care.

7. Brain food

It’s increasingly believed that what we eat can have real impact on our ability to maintain our brain health and cognitive function. Foods that are “brain protective” are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. Think salmon, dark leafy greens and berries.

8. MCT Oil

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is more easily digested than other forms of fat. Its health benefits are said to be the result of the way the body processes this particular type of fat. MCT oil is frequently added to smoothies, bulletproof coffee and salad dressings. Those on a ketogenic diet believe that it can promote weight loss (by making you feel more full). There are lots of other health claims, as well. Fad or true breakthrough? Time will tell. But expect to hear lots about this in 2019.

Bulletproof Coffee

9. Flexitarianism

We learned a new phrase this week: “flexitarian.” It refers to people who primarily eat a vegetarian, plant-based diet. But who occasionally also have a steak. It’s meat in moderation, and it’s not a new Thing. According to Wikipedia, the American Dialect Society voted flexitarian as the year’s most useful word of 2003. It may be old, but it’s still fresh: this week, US News and World Report named The Flexitarian Diet as one of the top 5 best diets of 2019. 

10. Mediterranean

It’s not new, or trendy, or even particularly fashionable. But it just works. Once again, the Mediterranean diet is the one that seems to deliver the highest level of tangible health benefits to the greatest number of people. Fruit, vegetables, fish, and olive oil – it may not be sexy. But it gets the job done.

That’s it – our summary of the 10 healthy eating trends you need to know in 2019.

What do you think? Are you up for these? And what did we miss? Let us know what’s on your mind and on your plate as we launch into 2019. Whatever you choose to consume, we hope it’s a healthy and happy year for you and yours.

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