Diet trends – a crucial part of New Years’ resolutions. Read this before you embark on another New Year, New Me.
As you know, I don’t like many diet trends, but here are a few that I can get behind!
5 of the Best Diet Trends for 2023
1) Diets that Double Down on Nutrients
Some of my favourite nutrient-dense & less restrictive diets include Mediterranean, DASH, Nordic, MIND and the Portfolio diet. None of these diets are particularly new, except for the MIND diet.
Here’s What to Expect From Nutrient Dense Diet Trends:
- Mediterranean: It is the traditional diet of Italy, France, Greece, and Spain, so there is no exact list of which food is included in the diet due to regional variations. Some commonalities include plants, healthy fats and small amounts of meat and red wine.
- DASH: It stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It emphasizes foods to reduce sodium intake and increase your potassium intake, which both help reduce blood pressure.
- Nordic: Focuses on the traditional diet of Nordic countries. It even emphasizes locally grown food, so it has an environmental perspective.
- MIND: It stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, and it is a combination of the Mediterranean & DASH diet. The goal is to delay cognitive decline and reduce dementia. Check out our other blog on nutrition for mental health.
- Portfolio Diet: A heart-healthy eating pattern designed to lower LDL cholesterol, blood pressure and risk for heart disease. The 4 portfolio foods are nuts, soluble viscous fibre (oatmeal, barley, psyllium, apples, avocados, lentils, etc.), soy protein (tofu, miso, edamame, etc.) and plant sterols (fortified foods and supplements).
These diets all emphasize non-starchy vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fish, poultry and healthy fats such as olive oil. As far as diet trends go, this is a great one!
Many of the diets that emphasize nutrient-rich foods have also been shown to improve PCOS. For more information on the best PCOS diet or to get a free PCOS meal plan, check out our other blog here!
2) Plant-Based Eating
This could include vegetarianism or veganism, but there are some new plant-centric diet trends on the block:
- Flexitarianism: people who are primarily vegetarian but will include animal products on occasion.
- Reducetarianism: people gradually decrease animal products (meat, fish, dairy, eggs) to some extent. I love that it is more inclusive to anyone who wants to make changes to help the planet but is not interested in becoming strict vegetarian or vegan.
The trend of plant-centric eating has given way to a plethora of alternatives to meat. For example, here’s my take on a plant-based egg alternative: JUST egg – a plant-based egg alternative made from mung beans.
Plant-based diets have been taking centre stage recently, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. These products are interesting because they’re formulated to mimic the taste, texture and properties of animal-based foods, such as this plant-based egg alternative, which scrambles just like real eggs. But how do they compare nutritionally to the real deal?
A serving of JUST egg (3 tablespoons) has 70 calories, 5 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbohydrates and 0 milligrams of cholesterol. In contrast, one large chicken egg contains 72 calories, 5 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbohydrates and 183 milligrams of cholesterol. Aside from the cholesterol, their macronutrient profile is quite similar.
Plants Don’t Have Cholesterol, But Does That Matter?
Recently, a high-cholesterol diet has been questioned to contribute to cardiovascular disease,. Finally, eggs have been exonerated from the list of foods to eat less (yay!). Most high-cholesterol foods have a high content of saturated fats too, which are also known to impact heart health. In contrast, eggs have a low amount of saturated fats so that they can be included in a healthy diet in moderation, despite the high cholesterol level.
Nutritional Downsides of Some Plant-Based Alternatives
The downside of plant-based egg alternatives like JUST egg is they don’t have the same vitamins and minerals that chicken eggs do, like B vitamins, vitamin A and vitamin D. For instance, choline, a B vitamin, is found in most significant quantities in eggs. So swapping out eggs for the plant-based egg alternative could cause you to miss out on this vital nutrient. Choline is especially important for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Environmental Benefits of Plant-Based Alternatives
One great selling point of a plant-based egg alternative is the environmental benefits. On JUST egg’s website, they state it takes 53 gallons of water to produce a single chicken egg. In addition, 75% of the world’s agricultural land goes to animals, yet it yields 18% of our calories. By saving water and land use to produce animals which then produce eggs, CO2 emissions can be dramatically reduced too.
Bottom line – Just Eggs seem like a great option to give a try. However, unless you are unable to eat eggs due to allergy or veganism, I wouldn’t totally give up on chicken eggs!
3) Mindful Eating
This is a style of eating that focuses on being aware of your bodily cues, emotions & thoughts, and surroundings. It includes things like:
- eating when you are hungry
- stopping at a gentle level of fullness
- satisfying your cravings in an intentional way
- learning more about your emotional/thought cues
- tuning in while you are eating (reducing mindless eating)
Now, this isn’t meant to be a diet for weight loss or something very strict that you can ONLY eat when you are hungry. Rather, a tool that allows you to make eating choices that align with your goals and needs!
4) Growing Food At Home
I don’t know if you have seen some nifty devices that allow you to grow vegetables, even strawberries, in beautiful and stylish hydroponic devices, but I am OBSESSED!
Focusing on locally grown or home-grown produce isn’t a new trend per se, but I love seeing equipment that can help grow produce at home year-round! Note that I am not an affiliate of any of these companies (Rise Gardens or Just Vertical); just eyeing them up for my own home. I think we will continue to see innovations that improve home gardening for those of us without the space, climate or green thumb!
5) Reduce Plastic
While this may not seem like a diet trend, if you choose to reduce your plastic from food, you will inevitably make different food and nutrition choices as well! If you prioritize whole and minimally processed foods such as apples instead of store-bought applesauce, you may meet some health or weight goals along the way.
Ways to Reduce Plastic from Food Packaging:
- Choosing whole foods over foods in plastic.
- Use glass food or water containers at home as much as possible.
- Buying in bulk (I am looking at you, single-serving yogurts).
- Bringing your own grocery bags, including mesh bags for produce!
- If food packaging is not avoidable, look for packaging made from recycled materials and avoid products as much as possible.
- Shop with a list and a plan, so you cut down on impulse buys and potential food waste.
There you have it – 5 of the top diet trends of 2023 by a Registered Nutritionist. These are all great options that focus on ADDING nutrient-dense foods for your health and the planet! However, all of the knowledge can only get you so far. Taking consistent actions for your health is easier said than done. You can also check out our other blog on diet trends that I do not recommend!
If you need help implementing any of these new trends, let me know by filling out an application form here.