The Best Food Trends to Take Forward in 2020

Ayurveda, intermittent fasting and more: here are 2019’s top food trends we hope to continue in 2020.

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Ayurveda, intermittent fasting and more: here are 2019’s top food trends we hope to continue in 2020.
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2019 was a whirlwind of a year: from fad diets and the charcoal craze, there was a lot to leave behind.

But it wasn’t all bad! 2019 saw some great health and nutrition trends that we believe need to make it through to 2020 as well.

So as we embark on the new decade, here are some health trends we should hold on to:

Renewed Focus on the Gut

Curd increases the good bacteria in your gut.
Curd increases the good bacteria in your gut.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Gut health gained even more ground in 2019. The gut’s impact on the immune system function, digestion, weight control and even sleep cycles was revisited and emphasised further.

We also connected the microbiome in our guts with our happiness, and the connection of their imbalance with moodiness and perhaps, depression. Products related to boosting gut health, including probiotics and prebiotics, gained huge popularity.

Rise of the intermittent

Intermittent fasting may lead to longer, healthier life
Intermittent fasting may lead to longer, healthier life
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Pushing keto aside, Intermittent fasting took centre stage in 2019.

A specific form of fasting, called time-restricted eating (TRE) gained a lot of media space and followers too. This form of fasting involves eating all the meals within a specified window of time. The most common window is 8:16, where all food is consumed within the 8-hour window, with no food for the remaining 16 hours. This found many takers, and with a lot of research proving its preventive role in lifestyle disorders. With other benefits including better gut health, sleep cycles and a potent anti-ageing advantage, it has become a sort of cult these days.

Reaching Carbs Clarity

Carbohydrates are found in foods like fruits, vegetables, breads, Indian bread and dairy products.
Carbohydrates are found in foods like fruits, vegetables, breads, Indian bread and dairy products.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

The debate moved on from ‘carbs are not your enemy’ to focus on distinguishing between bad carbs (like sugar or starches with minimal other nutritional value) and good carbs (like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes). The presence of fibre is the key differentiator here.

Sugar meanwhile continued to be downgraded (further) in all the healthy living parameters and scales and stayed the main nutrition target of the experts. In India specifically, public health recommendations like the Thoda Kam: Cheeni Kam campaign unleashed by FSSAI drove the reduction in sugar content of foods across all categories and brought about a mindset change both among people and in the industry.

Zeroing on the Right Fats

 High on fat, moderate protein and near-zero carbs, keto diet is known to achieve wonders when it comes to weight loss.
High on fat, moderate protein and near-zero carbs, keto diet is known to achieve wonders when it comes to weight loss.
(Photo: iStock)

Coconut oil and ghee stayed strong, even though they faced an attack on their goodness in the middle of the year again, but they survived and how!

On the other hand, there's enough clarity now that while some good fat is essential in the diet, too much fat is still a bad health harbinger, and the meanest fats of them all ‘trans fats’ got a lot of heat this year. In fact, the focus on its eradication from our daily diet continued unabated, and according to the FSSAI, India is on track to eliminate trans fats a year before the WHO deadline of 2023.

Surely, that’s great news!

Clear Move Towards Plants

Most of the veggies are low in calories and fat and are naturally cholesterol free.
Most of the veggies are low in calories and fat and are naturally cholesterol free.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

More than veganism and vegetarianism, this was the year of the rise of part-time vegetarians.

These are people who consciously cut down on the number of animal products they consume, and focus on including more plant-based foods in their diet.

This is a healthy trend, a middle path that is more doable and will deliver deep benefits.

Hot Pursuit of Protein

Protein promotes cancer,suppresses anti-tumour immunity
Protein promotes cancer,suppresses anti-tumour immunity
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Protein is still important but with sustainability continuing to be in focus, thanks to the ‘benefit the planet and your our own body’ mindset, more people gravitated towards more environmentally-friendly protein sources.

There was a lot of noise about antibiotics in milk, meats… and it made people aware of the poisons hiding in them, making them look at the source more carefully. This also led to people opting for grass-fed, pasture-raised, free-range, animal products. Dairy that is antibiotic-and hormone-free, and ethically produced became a norm of sorts.

Comeback of the Retro Grains

Pulses, legume, jowar, bajra all offer quality protein. 
Pulses, legume, jowar, bajra all offer quality protein. 
(Photo: iStockphoto)

This year ancient grains made a strong comeback. Amaranth, barley, buckwheat, and most of all, the millets (jowar, bajra, ragi, kangini and samak ke chawal) became the toast of the people again, in a big way.

Scared of gluten, or generally looking for variety, a lot many people consciously began eating all sorts of grains with ancient pedigrees that we had all but discarded lately.

More good news? Some of these now-forgotten grains were embraced by restaurants, and are suddenly more widely available in supermarkets too.

Comeback of Ayurveda

How do you apply Ayurveda principles to your cooking?
How do you apply Ayurveda principles to your cooking?
(Photo: iStock)

The humble khichri dominated the discourse, and ancient adaptogens like ashwagandha, triphala and turmeric and many more… excited the world with their possibilities.

Ghee became the preferred medium of cooking. Ayurveda seamlessly fit into peoples modern-day schedules, and lessons from this age-old practice merged with mainstream consciousness to became everyone's go-to choice for leading a more holistic life.

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