The 13 Biggest Diet Trends for 2016 Will Be...
"I definitely think we'll see an increased interest in ancient grains, especially those that are gluten-free, such as amaranth, millet, sorghum, and teff," says Keri Gans, R.D., and author of The Small Change Diet. "These grains are wonderful in salads, soups, or as a simple side dish with dinner." Try these 10 Ancient Grains to Switch Up Your Healthy Carbs.
Get ready for a vegan revolution. "In 2016, I think we'll seemore recommendations to lower meat consumption and maintain more plant-based or vegan diets," says Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., and CEO of New York Nutrition Group.
"Cauliflower is the new black. I'm obsessed with it, and I think it's going to continue to explode in popularity in 2016," says Lisa Lillien, AKA Hungry Girl. Which is especially lovely news for your locks—cauliflower is packed with biotin and niacin, which both help you to grow a stronger mane. "My favorite thing to do with cauliflower is blitz it in a blender," says Lillien. "You can use it to make pizza crust, flatbreads, hash browns, and more." (We've got 25 Can't-Believe-It's-Cauliflower Recipes to get you started.)
Powdered Peanut Butter
"If you're not familiar with powdered PB, here's the scoop: It's made from defatted peanuts and has less than half the calories of regular peanut butter," says Lillien. "You can use it in recipes, or just add water to make a spread. It used to be pretty obscure, but now JIF has a version on supermarket shelves, and other peanut butter companies are launching versions as well. I love that this stuff is going mainstream." Not only does the powdered version have 85 percent less fat than the creamy kind, it's way easier to slip into your morning smoothie or favorite recipe for a little extra protein.
"I think we will continue to see a rise in food products with added probiotics since gut health continues to gain traction heading into 2016," says Mitzi Dulan, R.D., the team nutritionist for the World Champion Kansas City Royals. And packing in more probiotics will leave us all with happier digestive systems.
"Lentil, black beans, garbanzo beans, and other legumes will find their way into more and more kitchens as flours," says Gans. "Good sources of fiber and protein, these flours can be used as alternative to traditional whole wheat flour for baking."
"For 2016, clean is the new organic," says Lillien. "In addition to doing away with anything artificial, a clean eating diet excludes processed foods and added sugars. We'll likely be seeing more chain restaurants offering cleaner options in the New Year." (These nine restaurants are already serving up healthier options.)
"Nutrient-rich algae can be used to replace dairy, fats, vegetable oils, animal protein, and eggs in many foods like breads, ice cream, crackers, milks, cakes, and even more," says Gans. "With more and more consumers looking for plant-based options, I think we'll see a rise in the use of algae to fill this need."
Get ready to start slashing foods from your fridge. Elimination diets can be useful for figuring out the root cause of a health issue (think cutting dairy to see if it helps your acne). "Elimination diets for food intolerances to either help with metabolism, digestion, or skin issues will be big next year," says Moskovitz. Why? "We're seeing more and more of a shift towards natural, dietary solutions for health problems."
"Foods will continue to highlight protein content in 2016," says Dulan. "But we'll see a variety of both plant- and animal-based proteins added to existing foods to call-out items as high-protein." Rather than serving up the same old chicken breasts and burgers to get complete protein, expect to see more plant-based options like quinoa, chia and buckwheat as protein staples. (Find out what happens when you drink "plant water"—AKA liquid chlorophyll—for two weeks.)
"Lentils will big in 2016," says Dulan. "I love adding a little feta cheese, red wine vinegar, and fresh mint to my lentils to make a super easy and tasty meal or side." Whether you use them as a protien-packed add-on or prepare them as a main dish as Dulan suggests, lentils are a great source of iron, which is key for helping your body produce energy and regulate metabolism.
As dairy contintues to catch shade from nutritionists and health enthusiasts, the experts predict we'll see even more alternative milk options in 2016. "Cashew milk is about to take over. It's even creamier than soy and almond milk, and the unsweetened kind has just around 25 calories per cup," says Lillien. "Blue Diamond actually makes an incredible almond-cashew hybrid beverage that I love. It's great for smoothies, lattes, in cereal—really anywhere you use milk!" (P.S. It's just one of 13 Types of Milk That Do Your Body Good.)
Fat has a complicated rap. For years, fat-filled foods have been big no-no's but recent research suggests that certain fatty foods containing monosaturated fats (like salmon and olive oil) are actually good for you. "Not so sure that butter is back (or at least I hope it isn't in large quantities!) but I think more people will be choosing whole fat yogurt and whole milk based on the latest debate surrounding saturated fat," says Gans.