Food & Diet Trends 2016

As we round the corner to the end of 2016, it’s worth taking a look back on all the various food and diet trends that came to light this past year. From intermittent fasting, to “bulletproof” coffee, what’s worth moving forward with in 2017 and what’s best left back in 2016?

1) Intermittent Fasting
Fasting is no longer a religious practice these days as it seems intermittent fasting, or going long-periods (12-24 hours) without eating has become the new diet craze. From “The Warrior Diet” to “Eat Stop Eat” these diet authors promise health and weight loss benefits. But do you truly need to restrict calories in order to get to your goal weight or improve health? The answer is no!

Pros: Some studies show it can help with appetite, overall calorie reduction, improved insulin function, increase longevity.

Cons: Hard to sustain and can disrupt overall positive relationship with food. Can trigger binge-eating or over-eating when you’re not fasting. May be risky for those with history of medical conditions and taking medication that require food for absorption or those with hormonal imbalance.

2) Bulletproof Coffee
The name couldn’t more fitting to this type of morning Joe which includes coffee, MCT oil and grass-fed butter. This “winning” combination has been linked to appetite control, increased energy, and weight loss if consumed every morning. Is it worth trying? Maybe but proceed with caution.

Pros: MCT oils breakdown more easily into energy than other fats which may lead to increased energy levels throughout the morning and rest of the day.

Cons: Most of the energy jolt you feel could likely just be from the caffeine. MCT oils and butter are both high in artery clogging saturated fat and the ingredients for this coffee can be a financial burden.

3) Spiralizing
A fun new way to eat your vegetables, sprilazing seems to be taking over and can even be seen in the produce section of your grocery store. From zucchini to sweet potato, eating your produce in thin spiral forms is a craze worth keeping around. It makes eating plant-based foods more fun, which in turn can promote increased consumption for many people. Top it with tomato sauce, salt, olive oil, or even cheese and spiralized veggies make a great side dish, appetizer, or even a snack.

Pros: May promote increased consumption of plant-based foods.

Cons: NONE!

4) Matcha Tea
This greyish-green powder is made by pulverizing green tea leaves. It is said to be an exceptional source of cancer-fighting antioxidants and many drinkers notice increased energy and alertness.

Pros: Higher in antioxidants than many other foods including fruits and vegetables.

Cons: Contains caffeine so those who are sensitive should drink in moderation.

5) Cloud Bread

This puffy, “cloud-like” bread is protein-rich and popular among those on low-carb or gluten-free diets. It is made of egg whites, cream of tartar, and cream or cottage cheese.

Pros: High in protein, virtually carb-free, and gluten-free for those with gluten intolerance. Contains calcium and vitamin D from dairy.

Cons: Does not exactly taste like bread.

6) Golden Milk

Also known as turmeric milk, this hot beverage is made by steeping turmeric into cow, coconut or almond milk. You can add cinnamon, honey, ginger, or nutmeg to balance out the flavors. It is said to be soothing and a rich source of antioxidants.

Pros: Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant so it’s not a bad idea to try out a new take on a hot beverage.

Cons: None!

7) Juicing

While this trend may not have originated recently, it still seems to be a craze that finds it way into most peoples reservoirs. While juicing is a great way to get in plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, it still doesn’t beat good old fashion chewing. Juicing often gets rid of one of the more important part of plant-based foods, FIBER! Since most Americans do not consume nearly enough fiber, and often have trouble with regularity, it’s a hard one to sacrifice – even if juicing is your new found hobby.

Pros: promotes intake of more antioxidant and nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables.

Cons: higher in sugar and lower in fiber.

Nick VanMeter