Food trends of 2021 - new way of eating

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic changed nearly every aspect of life — and our diet habits were no exception. After a stressful 2020, many people have turned to food more than ever as a means of comfort, wellbeing and community.

The food trends of 2021 point toward an overall goal of better health for our bodies, planet and wallets. From cooking styles to star ingredients, you can expect many of the items on this list to become a permanent part of the culinary landscape even beyond 2021.

This week @thelabinnovation has taken a closer look in these food trends of 2021 and list below some of the outstanding ones. Browse the list below and get inspired.

1. A whole-food plant-based approach to healthy eating

Those who adopt a whole-food plant-based approach are bound to lose weight. They eliminate packaged or junk foods that are high in added sugars, sodium, and unhealthy fat and preservatives while filling their plate with fruits, vegetables, legumes such as beans, whole grains, nuts or seeds, and tofu or other plant-based protein sources that are minimally processed.

"These foods are rich in nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, protein, and healthy fats" - Natalie Rizzo, a registered dietitian based in New York city.
"Eating these nutrients has been directly linked with lower risks of diseases" - Natalie Rizzo

2. A low-carb, modified keto approach that is plant-based and healthy

The Keto diet is one of the most popular trending diets right now with 25.4 million searches this past year, or nearly 70,000 online searches per day, according to Google Search Volumes. If you make some adjustments to the traditional keto diet and choose plant-based foods that are relatively low in carbs, you will get the same benefits as traditional approach. The difference is that a traditional approach to low-carb eating makes you eat more calories of fat, which is both unhealthy and difficult to sustain, whereas a plant-based approach means eating fewer calories of carbohydrates while loading up on healthy whole foods like avocado, nuts, and seeds.

The fact that the traditional keto diets is potential to lead to heart diseases due to a heavy reliance on processed meat by Dr. Andrew Freeman, the cardiologist at National Jewish Health in Denver. To prevent diseases, consumers can use a much healthier approach, where you can figure out the fiber intake. Specifically, this approach consists of a generous intake of leafy green, whole-grain such as sprouts, avocados, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. People using this approach believe that to stick with this diet, it's better not consider this a diet but a lifestyle approach to eating low-carb plant-based.

3. Intermittent fasting as a natural way to release toxins and boost immunity

One of the most traditional way of eating healthily to lose weight is intermittent fasting. With this diet, you will spend most of your focus in the time when you eat. This diet is believed to be following the natural mechanism of how our bodies are fed. Our ancestors needed to hunt and gather food , without knowing when exactly they will have another meal. As the food then was hard to find, it may take hours or even days between meals. By eating in short windows of time and then going for many hours between meals, it allows our cells to repair and actually rebuild our immunity by removing the additional job of metabolizing food. This process is known as autophagy, and it means to literally "cleanse yourself", which is what the body does when it's left alone without the extra burden of dealing with an influx of calories for a period of time.

Fasting allows your body to use your stored energy as fuel. It does this by mobilizing your fat stores to burn for energy. And since it has no access to glycogen or blood sugar, the only thing left to burn are your fats. If you want to naturally lose weight, many doctors and nutritionists recommend this method. The fasting phase allows your body to release toxins as well as repair your cells. In addition, the fasting phase helps boost immunity for the same reason

4. Oil-free cooking and eating, known to prevent disease and weight gain

There is no oil that is less caloric than another, a table spoon of vegetable oils contains 124 calories. It is impossible to avoid using oil completely just by simply cutting the use of oil in cooking because there are hidden sources of oil in many food to keep them from spoiling and to bind the ingredients together. On average, Americans eat three tablespoons of vegetable oil per day whether they know it or not. That is equivalent to 372 calories.

For this reason, many nutritionists claim that the key to healthy and lasting weight loss is simply adopting an oil-free diet, to avoid all those "sneaky" extra calories. Chef AJ, a popular vegan chef who lost 100 pounds when she eliminated oil from her diet several years ago, has now become an outspoken advocate for reducing oil in our daily diets. She lost the weight by following a low-fat, high-carb, oil-free approach, which included dry baked potatoes and other starchy vegetables every day. She noticed a difference in her energy, sleep, and of course her waistline.

If one of your goals is to eat heart healthier and feel lighter, lose weight, and have more energy, try ditching oil from your meals, both from cooking and from snacks, for one week and see how you feel. It's not as hard as it may sound: Use vegetable stock instead of olive oil when cooking, stir-frying or sauteing vegetables, and stick to crushed fresh tomatoes on top of your pasta since many store-bought red sauces contain significant amounts of oil.

5. The 28 Day Plant-Based Meal Plan to feel your healthiest now and later

If you want to get healthy, the 28-Day Plant-Based Meal Plan has recipes that are high in fiber and antioxidants to fuel your body. Instead of eating less food, you eat more grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. The meal plan has more than 40 delicious plant-based recipes that will help you improve your energy, restful sleep, and quality of life.

There are numerous health benefits when you follow a plant-based diet. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to get antioxidants and proteins into your body. Antioxidants help protect your cells from free radical damage, which can lead to a slew of ailments from heart disease to cancer. Fruits and vegetables also contain most of the minerals your body needs for healthy metabolism, energy production, and proper memory function. A plant-based diet also helps you avoid many common problems associated with poor eating habits — including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and more! This approach also makes it easier for you to lose weight, and stick to a heart-healthy diet.

6. Nutrition Hacking and Immune Health Over Everything

According to Miriam Aniel, Head of Content and Research at Tastewise, consumers in the U.S is becoming more knowledgeable due to the increased interest and access to nutritional information. Total discussions centered on food and beverage for medicinal/nutritional needs grew 17 percent on Tastewise over the last year. In 2021, the expectation regarding food and beverage is the consumers craving for nutritional packed meals that is specially designed for each individual to achieve their goals. It has already been observed that the interest in vitamin and prebiotic-rich foods and drinks are up 7%. Meanwhile, food that support the immune system recorded the increased interest by 23%.

Read More: The 5 Best Ways to Eat to Build Lasting Healthy Habits in 2021 |

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