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Health trends for 2020

A registered dietitian discusses food fads & health food alternatives.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — It’s a new decade of health trends. Each year we see new fads make headlines, Emily Niswanger, a registered dietitian with Allina Health joined us to discuss what trends we can expect to see this year.

Q. Let’s start with food. What are some of the new food fads that we’ll see in 2020?

  • A lot of people are kicking off 2020 as “Flexitarians.” This is a person who considers themselves a vegetarian but occasionally incorporates fish and or meat into their diet.
  • It’s a type of eating style that encourages mostly plant-based foods but allows you to get some of the nutrients that come from animal products.
  • Being a Flexitarian is more of a lifestyle than a diet. The main products Flexitarians eat are fruits, veggies, and grains with the biggest focus on consuming less processed foods.
  • A lot of big food brand companies are jumping on this train, creating plant-based blends for beef and chicken. Even toward the end of last year, we were seeing more alternative meat selections at in grocery stores and even fast-food restaurants.

Q. We see a lot of these “health food alternatives” pop up this time of year. What are the newest ones?

  • There are a lot of new flour alternatives popping up - one that’s gaining popularity are vegetable flours.
  • They can be made from drum-dried and milled sweet potatoes, the new alternative tastes a bit like its namesake while still subtle enough to work in both sweet and savory dishes.
  • Vegetable flours are also a great option for those following a gluten-free diet and people looking to trim down.
  • Moving beyond peanut, cashew, and almond butter there’s a new surge in healthy spreads. Watermelon seed spread has become quite popular alongside seasonal favorite pumpkin butter.
  • We’re also noticing that chickpeas are the new cauliflower. We’re seeing them in everything like pasta, rice, chips and even ice cream.

Q. Aside from food, are there other wellness trends we can expect for 2020?

  • Beverage options are exploding with possibilities. From alcohol free cocktails to collagen-rich protein drinks to oat milk or herb-infused sports drinks. There’s really something for everyone when it comes to beverages.
  • We heard a lot about CBD in 2019 and it’s only expanding as we head into 2020.
  • Although CBD, or cannabidiol, is the most abundant cannabinoid found in hemp, it’s just one of many that are thought to be beneficial for mental or physical stress.
  • CBG (cannabigerol) and CBC (cannabichromene) have been touted as anti-inflammatory agents.
  • CBN (cannabinol) shows some promise as a sleep aid. While CBD is also believed to have the same benefits, some product developers believe they can create more nuanced, targeted solutions by incorporating higher levels of these secondary cannabinoids.
  • For more information wellness trends for 2020, click here.