We’ve all been there, it’s New Year’s Eve and you’re counting down to midnight – and then there’s an insatiable urge to start another fad diet for the year. Food and nutrition trends come and go but what will make 2022 any different?
Well, one of the biggest changes that this year offers is the PTSD of living through a pandemic. For many, the pandemic shifted our perspective on food and diet and for the last two years, even nutritionists can agree that certain lifestyle and eating habits picked up during the lockdown are here to stay.
Now that many people have begun to prioritize their health and well-being, 2022 has sprouted a new health-conscious culture. But are these food trends just hip? Or are they worth the hype?
Beverages With Benefits
Seems like drinking eight glasses of water isn’t as high fashion as it used to be (but please, do continue to drink water). Functional beverages are all the rage. These drinks claim to help with everything from stress relief, gut health to improved immunity.
Drinks such as Kombucha are being used as staples in many people’s lives. Enthusiasts say it helps with digestion, rids the body of toxins, and even boosts energy. It’s also said to ward off high blood pressure and heart disease. These drinks will help fill any nutrient gaps within your diet but they are not meal replacements or detox remedies.
Functional beverages are not an entirely new concept. Alcohol-free drinks are also included under this umbrella. We believe that functional beverages are here to stay especially with the added benefit that these drinks can even be made at home.
Our Verdict: HIP
Now that the fat-free diet is officially out (and Amen to that), the new IT girl of diets is the high fat/low carbohydrate diet. This diet draws inspiration from the infamous Ketogenic (KETO) diet but on a more manageable scale.
Although there is no real need to avoid carbs (they are nutrient-dense, and provide energy and Vitamin B) there’s also no need to “load up” on fat. It’s all about that magic word, balance.
Eating each macronutrient group within recommended amounts will always help provide your body with the fuel it needs. So be sure to consult your doctor if you are intrigued about what this diet can do for you and your body, before giving it a go.
Our Verdict: HYPE
A Plant-Based Future
Who doesn’t know about plant-based living? There are a plethora of plant-based foods from burgers to nuggets and everything in between filling up the shelves. While the plant-forward eating trend certainly isn’t new, it has solidified its mark in the world and will be here for a while- much to the delight of dietitians and doctors who have been trying to get people to eat more fruits and vegetables for years.
But just like most diets, people can take it to the extreme and they may be left eating a nutritionally inadequate diet if they don’t plan accordingly. So what exactly is a plant-based diet? Well, plant-based doesn’t have to mean vegan or vegetarian. You can absolutely eat a plant-forward diet by enjoying a serving of lean meat, grilled chicken or baked salmon. The premise is to make the majority of your plate have plants. And don’t forget to add whole grains and healthy fats.
Those who are on a plant-based eating plan say that they feel better physically once they commit to this lifestyle. New York-based nutritionist and author of The Small Change Diet, Keri Gans says, “Plant-forward products will continue to be on-trend — not only for their known health benefits but also because of their relationship with sustainability.”
People are not only conscious of what they put into their bodies but they also want to help the environment. Many consumers have started to grow concerns about where their food comes from and how it affects the earth. Both of these trends focus on increasing whole and minimally processed foods that provide several nutrients that impart health benefits.
Of course, consult with a nutritionist first to find what works for you when it comes to implementing more plants into your diet.
Our Verdict: HIP
The pandemic has made people a little mad about immune supplements and products. However, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of spending so much on supplements. And even while immune health will continue to reign supreme in consumer purchasing, other factors such as convenience, health and taste will also dictate buying behaviour in 2022.
Alternatively, if you haven’t found an immune-boosting supplement that is right for you, consult your doctor. And in the meantime, you can always find foods that are rich in nutrients that ensure the right kind of immune support.
Our Verdict: Both
While in some countries marijuana is illegal, some countries allow for it to be used either recreationally or medically. If this is the case for you, you will have noticed the rise in CBD-related products.
You can get Cannabis-infused coffee, chocolate and even wines. The benefits are said to have a high value of vitamins and high production of antioxidants. In some cases, it can reduce nausea. There are a thousand CBD related products to choose from with benefits that will work for your specific needs. Be sure to consult a professional before making a purchase.
Our Verdict: Both
Beauty from the Inside Out
For a few of us Cher’s hit song, If I could turn back time, was more than just a good time on the dancefloor. But a plea to slow down time, wrinkles and greys included. In the last year, an increased interest in skin health also grew.
People have shied away from injectables and are instead, hoping to create (or maintain) youth and beauty from the inside out. Collagen powders are where it’s at. Its most popular use is improving overall skin health. Improving skin hydration, elasticity, and wrinkles. Not only is collagen beneficial for the skin but bones too.
Consult your doctor to find out if adding collagen to your lifestyle is necessary. Some people are prone to experiencing side effects and others don’t need it as their bodies produce sufficient amounts of collagen already. So, be sure to do the research first.
Our Verdict: HYPE
The TV Dinner Make Over
Lockdown made a lot of us gourmet chefs, pastry chefs and plant parents. But in 2022 restrictions are lax and the world is starting to turn again. So although cooking and baking were fun and enjoyable at the time- there isn’t always time now.
And that’s where the TV dinner meal got a makeover. What once used to be deemed unhealthy, unappetizing and unappealing has now become a growing health trend. Premade meal kits and health-food boxes save time and still allow you to eat healthily from home.
Many people love meal kit delivery services because most of the prep work like grocery shopping, measuring, and cutting is done for you which makes eating healthy so much easier and more convenient. Plus, many of these companies focus on local food, sustainable practices and cater to a variety of food preferences and diets.
Our Verdict: HIP
Our thoughts on the latest nutrition trends are to embrace a personalized nutrition plan. Only you and your dietitian, doctor or nutritionist know what works for you. However, no matter what, make sure you get your 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.