Did you know that March is National Nutrition month? With so many schools of thought in the nutritional world, I wanted to take a closer look at some of the newest trends. What’s here to stay, and what’s just a fad? Here I discussed and debunked some of 2016’s top trends.
Souping- They say that “souping” is the new juicing. Similar to juice cleanses, there are entire meal plans (dessert included) that are entirely broth-based. The main difference between souping and juicing is fiber! The key component missing from juice diets is the fiber, which is trashed after the juice is extracted from the fruits/veggies. Soups, however, often contain whole vegetables, and in the case of meal plans with breakfast and dessert bowls, even fruits. The soups therefore, keep the fiber, seeds, rind, and pulp, which juices discard. So what’s the ruling on souping? I think this trend is here to stay. It might take a little while to pick up full speed but it has already begun to do so in LA. Juicing has been a huge phenomenon and having the fiber significantly increases the nutritional benefits. That being said, like any “cleanse,” I do not think this is a sustainable way of eating. This is beneficial for individual meals or for a short period of time to kick starts your diet into high gear.
Plant-Based Push- In 2016, Meatless Monday meets Tuesday-Sunday. As consumers we have become far more educated when it comes to nutrition. More and more people are reading labels, asking questions, and adjusting their diets accordingly. We now know that there are plenty of protein sources, outside of animal products. With an emphasis on farm to table, the food scene has also taken to making vegetables the star. So is this here to stay? Absolutely! This trend is successfully debunking the misconception that a plant-based diet means going totally vegan. Actually plant-based simply refers to the idea of a more sustainable eating pattern for both health and environmental reasons.
Pulses- Pulses are lentils, dry beans, beans, and chickpeas. Pulses are a vital source of plant-based proteins. With a new emphasis on plant-based diets, pulses are taking center stage. Did you know that pulses come from plants that have nitrogen-fixing properties? Ok we’re not in NASA, what does that mean? Pulses can contribute to increasing soil fertility – good for our stomachs AND the environment. Pulses are an excellent source of protein and fiber and for that reason I do not think this is simply another trend. That being said, many people have sensitivities to legumes. Play around with different preparation methods when consuming legumes as this can all affect how we digest them.
Full-Fat Foods- Fat is back! This phenomenon can again be attributed to the fact that as consumers, we are more educated on what we are eating. “Low-fat” means more sugar and chemicals. Healthy, full-fat foods, like avocados, nuts, etc. are good but only as good as the quantity in which they’re eaten. As aware of labels as we have become, we must do the same with serving size, especially when it comes to full-fat foods. If you do not have a dairy intolerance, don’t be afraid to try the full-fat Greek yogurt, for example.
Biodynamic- Biodynamic is the most environmentally friendly form of farming out there. It’s like Organic on steroids. Biodynamic crops are free of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and the farms are entirely self-sustaining. This is a wonderful movement and a great initiative to support. As a trend however, it will take a significant amount of time to really gain traction and pick up, if it ever does. It is extremely difficult for farmers to produce crops this way and as such may also increase the cost of goods (same way we see that organic items are more expensive). I say show these farmers some love whenever possible, but don’t worry about buying everything biodynamic, the way you would organic!