This Article is From Dec 28, 2019

Health 2019: 10 Food Trends Of The Decade That Are Here To Stay

Health 2019: We saw many food trends this past decade, starting from activated charcoal in food to ice cream rolls. But which ones are here to stay? Nutritionist Sheryl Salis tells it all.

Health 2019: 10 Food Trends Of The Decade That Are Here To Stay

Health 2019: Cutting back on sugar was a big trend this decade


  • Quinoa and gluten-free diets gained quite a lot of popularity
  • Activated charcoal created a buzz this decause
  • Non-dairy milk alternatives also came to the forefront

From coffee replacements to veganism to non-dairy milk, there are a lot of food moments the millennials are responsible for, leaving this decade with some incredible food trends (for better or worse!). Sometimes we've read about some crazy food trends or diets from the other side of the world and wonder if it'll ever come to your city and then suddenly, you see it everywhere. Here's a list of food trends we saw come and go and the ones that stayed for the better.

10 food trends that made a mark this past decade 

1. Avocado Toast

Ever since people discovered that avocado could be put on a piece of toast, it became the biggest trend of the decade. From celebrity Instagram posts to being served at most cafes under their healthy menu, this dish was one of the best food trends the decade saw. Mashing up avocado with whatever seasonings we want and spreading it on a perfectly toasted piece of bread is any foodie's heaven!


Avocado toast created quite a buzz this past decade
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Avocados For Weight Loss: Know How They Help And Ways To Include Avocado In Your Diet

2. Quinoa

The internet was taken by storm when gluten-free diets were discovered and one ingredient most appreciated and consumed in this diet was quinoa. It has a high protein content making it a good replacement to rice and other high-carbohydrate and low-protein grains. While being gluten-free it is also filling and can be cooked and eaten in many ways, a good substitute for wheat flour it has a mild and nutty flavour. Millennials love quinoa and it's a trend that doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

3. Activated charcoal in food

Just when we thought the new trend in food was rainbow, we were introduced to a new color in food - black. Pitch black foods swept the internet away from ice cream cones, black ice creams and charcoal water!

But what gives food the dark color? Activated charcoal, which is a by-product of burning coconut shells or other plant materials. Charcoal made from coconut is harmless and it is completely different to consuming food that has been charred or burnt! This is no miracle ingredient but its sure looked fun and Instagram worthy. Of all the millennial food trends, this one was the weirdest of all.


Activated charcoal made its entry to the food world this decade
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: 10 Benefits Of Activated Charcoal You Must Know

4. Overnight Oats

Looking to start the day in a healthy and delicious way? You must do some prep work the night before. Overnight oats are the ultimate grab-and-go breakfast for those who can't make time for a real breakfast sit down.

Many food trends fell in and out due to changes in health trends, but not oats. Oats have been one of the most popular and delicious breakfast foods and are likely to be on multiple trend lists since there are so many different mix-ins to play with, it's hard to get bored with them.

5. Rolled ice cream

If you are someone addicted to food, watching food videos all day it's quite possible you've caught a rolled ice cream video or two. It looks delicious and gorgeous for all the right reasons however, people debate that it lacks the creamy texture of regular old ice creams. The trend kicked-off in Southeast Asia by preparing the creme anglaise (liquid ice cream) on a super cold plate, where it was flattened, scrapped into thin layers and then rolled. Customisations made it possible to add chocolate chips, brownie pieces sprinkles etc.

6. Non-dairy milk alternatives

Cow milk is considered a staple in most people's diet. Consumed as a typical breakfast drink with cereal or added to smoothies, tea or coffee. However, many people choose not to drink milk or are advised to not consume milk due to dietary restrictions or allergies caused by consumption. Worry not! The good news is that there are many non-dairy options available as a substitute to cow milk which became an instant hit since discovered.

Soy milk made from whole soybeans has a creamy mild taste with a similar nutritional content compared to cow milk. There are also options such as almond milk, coconut milk, oats milk, macadamia milk, camel milk - also considered a superfood that can be the next best pick after regular cow milk.

From high-tech startups to old plant based dairy brands, one can easily find non-dairy products on the shelves today.


People switched to numerous non-dairy milk alternatives for better health and weight loss
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: 6 Best Non-Dairy Substitutes For Milk

7. Plant-based foods

Plant-based diet trends are on the rise, mainly due to many celebrities singing its praises! Typically, a plant-based diet focuses on foods derived solely from plant sources that include fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, nuts and soy products that form a substitute for meat-based products.

Continuing the trend for nouveaux diets, a plant-based diet is usually adopted by those who are conscious of their health or the environment. Plant based foods consist of nuts (walnut, macadamia, cashews, coconut, almonds etc.), whole grains (quinoa, brown rice), vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus), fruits (avocado, grapefruit, berries, bananas), seeds, beans, etc.

The way to create a sustainable society is to rethink our entire food system- getting creative with the food trend; veganism is about compassion and not restriction.

8. Probiotics

A healthy digestive tract and a healthy immune system is the most commonly studied health phenomena of the decade. Commonly known as good bacteria, 'probiotics' are live microorganisms that help prevent and treat illnesses. Supplied through foods, beverages and dietary supplements, here are a few probiotic foods that are super healthy making their way in the food trend list of 2020 as well:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Pickles
  • Buttermilk
  • Some types of cheese (Gouda, Mozzarella, Cheddar)

9. From sugary dips to vegan spreads

From all the food trends of the decade, cutting down on sugar was a big one. The whole foods market saw a rising trend of vegan spreads made from nuts and seeds. As millennials are increasingly opting to eat healthier, they do not want to compromise on taste and prefer to buy products that have a chocolaty taste but are natural, vegan and preservative free. Now available in specialty and modern trade stores, coconut or nuts and seeds spreads made of natural ingredients are a new product category on the shelf for the conscious eaters.


Sugary dips were replaced by vegan spreads this past decade
Photo Credit: iStock

10. Cooking with virgin coconut oil

Virgin coconut oil (VCNO) termed as a superfood is known for its myriad health benefits today. Cold Pressed VCNO is obtained from fresh, matured kernel of the coconut by natural means and is subjected to very low, if not totally nil heat or sunlight.

The best way to consume coconut oil is through direct consumption. Often recommended to people with hypothyroidism to regulate the function of the thyroid gland, helps reduce visceral fat, improve cognition and prevent dementia and Alzheimer's. If you not one for direct consumption, the oil could be used as a base oil to coat eggs/ veggies when cooking (not suitable for deep frying). It can also be used as a healthy alternative for salad dressings. Virgin Coconut Oil is also an excellent substitute for butter or other oils in baking giving the recipe a healthy and aromatic twist.

Coconut oil has been a food trend for generations, but the millennials are finding newer and unique ways to consume coconut oil in their diets. It is recommended to have two spoons every day to help improve health in the long run.

(Sheryl Salis is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a Certified Diabetes Educator)

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