Plant-based diets dominate the U.S. News & World Report's (USN) 2019 diet trend predictions.
According to the publication, plant-based protein will be the top trend in the next year with ingredients like pea protein, beans, nuts, and seeds eking out space next to animal protein.
Plant-based protein will also appear in the snack aisle with beans and peas being used in items like puffed snacks.
Plant protein will dominate another popular category: pasta. Noodles from chickpeas, lentils, and mung beans are set to take off as a protein-rich alternative to traditional wheat-based pasta.
Dairy-free milk is expected to continue its upward trajectory with the category's growth showing no sign of slowing. Expect newcomers to take up more shelf space, too. Alongside almond and coconut milk, hot new milk options including oat, hemp, flax, and sesame are going to see more steady growth. Oat milk from European brand Oatly is one of the fastest growing products in U.S. stores.
USN also notes that gut health will be a top trend in 2019 with probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kefir, and kombucha continuing to dominate. The trend will also spill over to "low-FODMAP foods" which means foods that are low in fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols. These short-chain carbohydrates can be difficult for some people to digest. Foods like overly sweet fruits such as watermelon and bananas, along with a number of grains can cause issues for people with sensitivity.
Also on the trends list are high smoke-point oils, such as coconut and avocado oil. A growing number of health experts suggest limiting or avoiding oil in the diet altogether. "Cooking with an oil that's been heated past its smoke point does more damage than just imparting a burnt flavor to foods," notes USN. "Overheating also creates harmful free radicals."
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