At the beginning of every new year, we see a sudden spike in conversation about food — seemingly everyone has a resolution to be healthier in the year ahead. You can’t step inside a coffee shop without overhearing conversations about “Whole30” or “Paleo” and I bet your gym is never as full as it is during the first couple weeks in January.
Whether your goal is to shed a couple pounds or to make a point to eat more mindfully, you’ll undoubtedly run into a few of 2018’s biggest food trends along the way. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect when navigating your way through food culture in the next year.
1. Plant-Based Diets
Don’t expect the plant-based diet trends to die down anytime soon. Whether your motivation is from a Netflix documentary or the desire for better looking skin, Americans now more than ever are willing to abandon their carnivorous ways. In fact, a recent survey conducted of 1,000 Americans, yielded that 54% of respondents said that they believed a plant-based diet to be more beneficial to their health than the traditional Western diet.
The great news about the growing vegan population? Expect to see even more innovations in the area of plant-based food tech that will be more affordable than ever in 2018. Brands like Daiya continue to make the switch to this healthier diet more accessible than it has been in previous years, with plant-based food alternatives (that don’t make you feel as if you’re sacrificing foods you love, like pizza!). Yes, you read that right. You can still indulge in favorites like pizza or mac-n-cheese (and many more) without abandoning your plant-based diet.
2. Middle Eastern and African Flavors
Turmeric, harissa, cardamon, halloumi, za’atar — start Googling now so you’ll know what these words mean when they start popping up on menus everywhere in 2018! As we see more shifts made toward vegetarianism, with more Americans opting for meals that are meatless, we’ll also see restaurants and chefs playing with different flavor profiles to keep things interesting.
Americans are becoming more adventurous with our eating, veg or not, and the spices of Western Asia and Northern Africa are playing a bigger role this year than they have previously, and we’re so here for it — another order of warm lavash, please and thank you.
The leader of the pack will undoubtably be Turmeric with its anti-inflammatory powers. Other benefits of this super herb include boosting your body’s defense system, promoting gut health, and easing joint pain. And while it dominated in health circles in 2017, expect it to go mainstream and be fully accessible in 2018. Turmeric latte, anyone?
3. “Root to Stem” Eating
America has an egregious abundance of food waste. According to the Washington Post, the US wastes approximately $165 billion — yes, with a B — of food every year. We’re hopefully going to see a decline in these numbers now that so many publications, documentary filmmakers, and even Anthony Bourdain are fervently talking about it.
Expect to see a rise in “root to stem” driven restaurants and and options in health food grocery stores. The idea is pretty self-explanatory — using the entirety of the vegetable or animal so as to minimize waste as much as possible. If you care at all about climate change, focus your efforts on wasting less food. Period.
4. Intermittent Fasting
Hardly a new idea, intermittent fasting is garnering some fresh attention and will be a buzzworthy trend in 2018. IF, also known as time-restrictive eating, is the practice of limiting your daily eating to a certain window of time, and fasting (i.e. only consuming water or plain tea) when you are not within your eating window.
You’ve likely heard before not to eat after 8pm so as to not go to sleep while still digesting — IF just takes this action a little further by waiting further into your day to have your first meal. The benefits of fasting are numerous, and while it might take a little getting used to, you’ll see far more benefits to your overall health by causing less stress on your digestive system — beyond simply losing weight.
5. Mediterranean Diet
While Whole 30 is still a favorite, the Mediterranean Diet will reign supreme in 2018’s get-fit trends. U.S. News and World Report recently named the Mediterranean Diet the best way to eat for 2018, while Keto came in dead last.
The idea behind the Mediterranean Diet is simple: eat colorfully, lots of leafy greens, ditch the processed crap, and stick to only lean protein like fish and low-fat dairy in moderation. The Mediterranean Diet is more flexible and sustainable in the long term than some of the other get-slim-quick fad diets as it isn’t exclusionary in nature.
6. Medicinal Food
Probiotics have had more than their fair share of the spotlight in recent years — suddenly everywhere we look, from yogurt to skincare, everyone is touting their inclusion of probiotics in their products. However, probiotics alone just aren’t cutting it.
Expect to see an emphasis on “gut healing” and Ayurvedic foods in 2018 — things like kimchi and sauerkraut, along with other pickled vegetables, will become even more popular as we aim to regenerate our bodies from the very root of our systems — our stomachs. Additionally, expect to see different types of supplements, like collagen and amino acids, being talked about extensively this year.
7. Meal & Grocery Delivery
In the last couple years, we’ve witnessed the new phenomenon of meal kit delivery services. Kind of like an Ipsy bag… but for dinner? Or is it more like Postmates-ing uncooked food to your house every week? However you want to think of it, the cook-it-yourself box of meals delivery service trend is only going to get bigger — and more competitive — in 2018. Meaning it’s about to be incredibly affordable for none of us to set foot inside an overcrowded supermarket for the rest of the year. Bless.
Which of these food trends sounds most appealing to you? Do you follow any of these lifestyles already?
This post was in partnership with Daiya, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.