5 Healthy food trends in 2019

Thanks to Amy Gorin and Every Day health

In the New Year, you can expect to find more gut-friendly foods in the grocery store.

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Need a little push to follow through with those New Year’s resolutions? Here you go: The biggest healthy-food trends of 2019 will help you eat more nutritious meals and snacks at home and on the go.

To offer you a preview of the most important healthy trends of the new year, we chatted with nationally respected registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) throughout the United States to hear what health products and trends most stood out at this year’s Academy of Nutrition and DieteticsFood and Nutrition Conference and Expo, as well as what these RDNs see as hot at the grocery store and in their clients’ shopping carts.

Plant-based eating is a trend that won’t go away anytime soon. A flexitarian eating style, allowing anyone and everyone to add more produce and other plant nutrients to their day, appears to be a main driver. “Options that allow people to go more plant-based without becoming totally vegan or vegetarian is a trend that is gaining more momentum,” says Patricia Bannan, RDN, who is in private practice in Los Angeles. “For example, the mushroom-and-meat blended burger has really taken off, and continues to grow across the board at the restaurant, retail, and consumer levels. This burger has an improved nutritional profile and even more of the brothy, rich, meaty umami flavor compared with a traditional burger.”

Food choices affect the health of the planet, too. “Now more than ever, people are interested in where their food has come from and what it took to actually get that food to the table,” says Emily Kyle, RDN, who is in private practice in Rochester, New York, and is the author of The 30-Minute Thyroid Cookbook.

Despite the trends we’ll outline here, know that it’s always best to reach for whole, unprocessed foods to get the most nutritional bang for your buck. We’ll offer suggestions for those kinds of foods, too.

Read on to find out what’s on the must-try list for 2019 healthy foods!


Eats With Prebiotic and Probiotic Perks for Better Gut Health

Featured product: Lifeway Kefir Farmer Cheese 

When it comes to getting your fill of gut-healthy probiotics, you now have many options beyond yogurt. Lifeway Kefir spreadable Farmer Cheese (pictured here), is strained from kefir and contains a dozen strains of probiotics. And then there’s Farmhouse Culture’s Kraut Krisps, made from, well, sauerkraut, and oatmeal with heat-resistant probiotics from ThinkThin. Standard probiotic foods include kombucha, kvass, kimchi, and plain kefir itself.

Don’t forget about prebiotics, which feed that friendly gut bacteria. Kellogg’s Happy Inside cerealprovides both pre- and probiotics, plus fiber to additionally boost gut health.

“We are learning more and more about the benefits of a healthy microbiome, so there’s a lot of interest about ways to feed the trillions of bacteria in our guts,” says Samantha Cassetty, RD, in private practice in New York City. The microbiome is the community of bacteria in the gut that may play a role in the development of health conditions such as diabetes, eczema, cancer, and depression, according to the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah.


Foods With Sustainable Benefits So You Can Benefit the Planet, Not Just Your Body

Featured product: Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Hard-Boiled Eggs

“Do good” is a mantra many companies, small and big alike, are standing by these days. General Mills, for instance, set a goal to sustainably source 10 of its top ingredients by the year 2020. It’s currently meeting 76 percent of that goal, with all of its palm oil, 99 percent of its fiber packaging, 81 percent of its U.S. sugar beets, and 67 percent of its U.S. dry milled corn sustainably sourced. This notably impacts its Cheerios and Nature Valley lines.

Also, the bottled beverage company Rebbl ethically employs workers and donates 2.5 percent of its net sales to reduce the risk of exploitation and human trafficking.

And don’t forget about sustainably sourced eggs. “Vital Farms’ hens are allowed to forage freely, and this keeps the pastures healthy and means harmful chemicals aren’t necessary,” says Cassetty. “It’s a win for the animals, a win for the environment, and a win for egg lovers because pasture-raised eggs have more vitamins and minerals than eggs produced in other ways.”


Convenience Superfoods for When You’re On the Go

Featured product: Vegolutionary Foods’s Sweet PotaTOASTS (CAULIPOWER sister brand)

It’s now easier than ever to eat healthy when you’re in a hurry. Don’t have time to prepare sweet potato toast from scratch? Caulipower just launched frozen slices that you just pop into the toaster oven.

You also have no excuses to skip the whole grains, since you can buy single-serving bowls of microwave quinoa from Minute Rice. And if you’re looking for a little extra nutritional oomph from your nut butter, Probar offers single-serve packets of almond butter with berry powder (think acai and more) for extra antioxidants.

“We are seeing a trend toward more plant-based eating and people wanting whole-food ingredients, but consumers are still busy and need convenience,” says Bannan. “I’m happy to see new products that make it easier for consumers to embrace healthy eating on the go.”


New Plant-Based Milks From Surprising Sources

Featured product: Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened Milked Walnuts

Looking for a plant-based milk? Your options now include much more than almond and soy milk. From banana to walnut to hemp, hazelnut, oat, and flaxseed milk, products now exist to suit almost any dietary preference and need. 

“People always love a trend, and plant-based is the hottest trend right now, fueling the desire for multiple plant-based milk sources,” says Kyle. “Certain plant-based milks, like banana milk or oat milk, are appealing to consumers because they are generally free of many of the top eight allergens that are typically present in more traditional milks like almond or soy.”

Note that while banana milk is delicious and provides nutrients like blood-pressure-helping potassium, you’ll typically get more satiating protein from a nut- or seed-based milk.

For an easily accessible source of protein, opt for calcium-rich dairy milk. Check the nutrition facts label to choose a milk that meets your nutritional needs.


Protein-Powered Foods to Help You Crush Your Next Gym Sesh

Featured product: YQ by Yoplait

Protein is all the rage, and here’s why: It helps keep you fuller for longer, helping to fight the urge to snack all day long and also providing fuel for your workouts. You’ll find YQ by Yoplait plain yogurt made with ultra-filtered milk, offering 17 grams of protein per 5.3-ounce single-serve container; collagen-based coffee creamer from Vital Proteins; and ready-to-drink soups with collagen protein from Zupa Noma.