From bone broth to plant-based burgers and cauliflower pizza crusts, we’ve seen a number of diet trends take off, but what can we expect this year?

As far as trends go, there are bound to be those that become the new way of life and those that fall by the proverbial wayside.  So what diet trends will stay, what will go and what can we expect in this new decade?

A panel of expert dietitians and Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) spokespeople weigh in on nutritional trends that are likely to shape our food choices over the next 10 years.

Plant-based rock stars

This year kicked off with the first plant-based dinner served at the Golden Globes awards. Opting for plant-based food over meat has a celebrity stamp of approval and it’s no surprise.

There has been a phenomenal rise of more plant-based eating amongst the privileged who can easily afford a high consumption of meat.

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Registered dietitian Kelly Scholtz says that it’s already clear that restaurants and retailers in South Africa are stocking more meat alternatives and vegetarian and vegan products in support of this trend, suggesting that there is more demand for plant-based options from consumers.

ADSA spokesperson Cath Day, says that every vegetable and fruit is a rock star as they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and fibre – making them a nutritionally dense food option.

“The message, ‘eat your fruits and vegetables’, will never go out of style in the nutrition world. The new rock stars on the block, in my opinion, especially from a sustainability point of view, are the pulses,” says Day.

What are pulses?

They are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. Pulses grow in pods and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours, and include dry beans, dry broad beans, dry peas, chickpeas, cowpeas, pigeon peas and lentils.

“They are a low-fat source of protein with high levels of protein and fibre. Pulses also contain important vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium and folate,” says Day.

She says that pulses promote the health of the planet too as growing pulses promotes sustainable agriculture and pulse crops help decrease greenhouse gases, increase soil health, and use less water than other crops.

Boo to booze

We are noticing a rise of non-alcoholic drink options and alcohol abstinence programmes on social media that highlight the improved health and happier lifestyles of teetotallers.

Could this become a trend in SA?

“With alcohol being a non-nutrient and high in kilojoules, a whopping 29 kilojoules per gram, it is no secret that alcohol abstinence is a good thing for your health and waistline,” says registered dietitian Retha Harmse, “With the worldwide focus on moving towards healthier behaviours and habits, I do hope that alcohol consumption in the country will decrease in the new decade.”

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