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Could these be next year’s “it” foods?

Brierley Horton
December 04, 2018
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I recently went to the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Washington D.C., where, each year, over 10,000 dietitians, researchers, healthcare providers, and policy makers attend. The expo is an awesome resource to find out what’s new and trending in the nutrition world, and this year definitely didn’t disappoint.

At the event, I noticed several up-and-coming trends that I think will be huge next year. Here are the ones readying themselves for the limelight in 2019.

Non-Dairy Milks

Consumers continue to move away from dairy—whether they need to or not. And plenty of companies are stepping up to meet those interests and needs. Along those lines, the hottest non-dairy milk seems to be oat milk. It’s not new, per se, but new products have recently launched and are slated to launch.

"Choose an oat milk that is unsweetened and fortified with calcium & vitamin D—it’s a lower calorie way to add creaminess to smoothies, coffee, and cereal while still getting a dose of bone-building vitamins & minerals,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN and author of the Superfood Swap. Not quite ready to buy an entire container? Next time you pick up a latte or coffee, ask your barista if they have oat milk. Many coffee shops are now offering it on their menus. Want to make your own oat milk latte at home?

Plant-Based Everything

Veggies—and fruits—are just sneaking their way into products (think: beet tortillas and cauliflower-infused mac and cheese), and they’re also the base to snack foods and treats. For example, a fairly new “ice cream” called Snow Monkey is both tasty, nutritious, and indulgent-feeling, and its first ingredient is banana puree. Another newer item in this category, that hits your savory and salty craving, are Chickpeatos “popped” chickpeas.

Omega-3 Overload

Study after study shows that most Americans don’t eat enough omega-3 fats. Heck, I had my levels tested, and I—a dietitian who knows about this stuff—was quite low. Yet there seems to be a shift happening and either consumers are becoming more aware about omega-3s, or companies are encouraging consumer awareness. Regardless of whether it’s the chicken or the egg, we eat very little seafood, which is the best food source of omega-3s.

“Consumers often tell me they don’t know what to do with fish,” says Chris Mohr, PhD, RD, of MohrResults.com. “Fortunately many companies are making it simpler with their quality canned (or pouch) products, so you don’t have to worry about buying, storing and cooking fresh fish,” Mohr adds. One new-to-the-market product we’re loving are Wild Planet’s salmon pouches.

CBD-Infused Foods

The momentum behind CBD is picking up steam. And while certainly it’s no cure-all, “there is some interesting data emerging that hemp-derived CBD—which is different than marijuana in that it doesn’t have the psychoactive attributes—may help with PTSD, anxiety, and helping you get a better night’s sleep,” says Chris Mohr, PhD, RD, of MohrResults.com.

The most common CBD-infused products seem to be hard candies, gummies, chocolates, and soda—none of which are considerably healthy. But often locally you can find CBD-infused coffee that is both delicious (and far healthier) than a sugar-filled treat.

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