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2019 Healthy Food Trends: Love it or Leave it?

The 2019 healthy food trends are in! Everywhere you look there are new products and trend forecasts, but which ones are actually healthy and which ones are just really good at marketing (remember our talk on ‘healthwashing’)? Here’s my Love It or Leave It assessment on the 2019 healthy food forecast as well as some of our favorite up and coming products!

Oat Milk: Love It!

Oat milk lends a creaminess that other plant-based milks do not, making it a great alternative for creamers in your coffee or tea. Watch out for added sugars though, and know that it is a higher carbohydrate, lower protein non-dairy milk so it really should be more of a flavor addition for cooking and drinks, and less of a drink-by-the-glass option when we are looking at weight loss. My favorite brands are Oatly and Happy Planet.

Celery Juice: Leave It.

Don’t get me wrong, celery is amazingly healthy and offers anti-inflammatory compounds that specifically target some conditions, such as gout and certain cancers. But is it a super food that will be the key to you losing and maintaining weight or reaching your health goals? Likely not. Can you get lots of the same compounds simply by eating celery a few times per week? Sure can. So rather than spend $$$ on pre-bottled celery juice (often with preservatives or even sugars), grab some $1 celery stalks and nosh (or blend) away! In fact, here are some fun ideas for those remaining stalks that often get thrown away!

Chickpeas: Love It!

Is there anything this power bean can’t do?! Full of fiber, protein, magnesium, potassium and vitamin B6, these lovely legumes stimulate efficient metabolism, clean arteries and keep you feeling full and energized! And now there are a multitude of amazing products so you can eat chickpeas everyday without feeling bored! Don’t forget about the good old cooked bean though – these are such a tasty snack all by themselves!

Paleo Wraps: Depends…

There are lots of tortilla and wrap alternatives on the market right now that promote being paleo and therefore healthy. However, paleo can still mean high fat &/or carbohydrate that may not promote weight loss goals. If you are looking for a wrap that will work within REACH guidelines, check out these, these or these. Or make your own like these! Or go simple and just use lettuce leaves!

Butter: Leave It.

Butter in coffee? Come on now. Does that really sound like a health food?? Yes, if you get grass-fed or pasture-raised butter you are getting some fantastic nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin D and omega-3s that you won’t get in typical butter. And yes, butter is leaps and bounds better than hydrogenated margarine. But remember our conversations about “healthiER does not mean HEALTHY”?? Butter is still loaded with saturated fat that will be stored in the body as fat if not used. And no, walking on the treadmill for 15 minutes is not enough movement to “burn off” the butter. If you must use a butter, by all means get a good quality one like Kerrygold or Vital Farms, but this should not be used as an everyday condiment. Extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil should act as your preferred cooking fats, or try going oil free by cooking with broth, tamari or miso!

Hemp Seeds: Love it!

Hemp seeds are one of the few complete proteins in the plant world. With all the necessary amino acids as well as tons of omega3s and fiber, just a few tablespoons pack a powerful nutrition punch! Add them to your salads and smoothies or try a new variation of your regular chia pudding! Here are some other interesting recipes using hemp seeds.

Author: Megan Wroe, MS, RD, CNE, CLEC Megan is a registered dietitian and health coach at St. Jude Wellness Center. She runs the REACH Weight Management program, teaches classes on a variety of nutrition topics and sees clients for individual consults.