By, Adam Sachs, RD
Many people feel compelled to start s new habit or make a lifestyle change starting after the first of the year. A considerable percentage of people will try a new diet trend for their new year’s resolution. This practice usually is brought on by the desire for weight loss, compensating for indulging over the holidays, or just a general desire to be healthier. Many diet trends from 2019 will carry over into 2020, but a few new ones are popping up just in time for the New Year.
While there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your health through diet, many diet trends are not based in science and research and can usually fall into the category of “fad diets.” On another note, changing your diet in a major way after the first of the year can sometimes not be very beneficial. Drastic changes of diet can result in a major shift in your lifestyle and routine. So much so that it can be very difficult to stick to your new plan. Many fad diets offer unrealistic results in a very short amount of time, but usually come with some extreme food and dietary restrictions, making them very difficult to maintain. The best practice for changing your diet is to find small components that you can alter and then build off of that. This helps to promote helpful changes in gradual steps, making it much more achievable.
Now we can take a look at some of the current and up and coming diet trends and some actual research surrounding them…
This popular diet has been trending for the past 2-3 years, and will most likely continue into 2020. Keto was never designed to be a diet for weight loss or healthy eating. The ketogenic diet was originally a treatment for young children with seizure disorder and epilepsy. Eating mostly fat and protein, with very little carbs changes the way your brain uses fuel in your body. This process drastically reduced the amount of seizures many young children were having. The diet has since been taken up by many health and fitness communities as a way to lose weight quickly. Keto requires a drastic change in most people’s usual diet, which makes it very hard to maintain. Are bodies are meant to eat carbs, they are not “bad” or “toxic.” Moderating and variety is key with any food, and that includes carbohydrates.
A relatively new diet trend, food combing states that you will benefit from combining certain food types, where as other food combinations are unhealthy and should be avoided. For example, on this diet carbs and protein should never be eaten together, and fruit and dairy should always be consumed on an empty stomach. There is no research that supports the claims of this diet for the purposes of weight loss or otherwise. Your body digests all food types the same way whether they are eating together or not.
Meat analogs (beyond/impossible meats)
This trend became popular towards the end of 2019, and will mostly likely continue to grow this year. The concept is to have 100% plant based products that taste and look identical to an animal protein product. The best example is the impossible burger or the beyond meat burger. Eating more plant-based foods can be very beneficial to your health and is also very sustainable. That being said, these specific products are meant to very closely resemble the animal protein product. For example the impossible burger is almost nutritionally identical to a beef burger in terms of calories, sodium, fat, and protein. These products are great if you would like to eat less total animal proteins, but they are not always very different from a health standpoint.
Adam Sachs, RD