Diet trends for 2021: Our registered dietitian details top healthy habits

A new year is well underway, which means many people have decided to make lifestyle changes (or least attempt a healthy change). UC Davis Health registered dietitian Melinda Gong looks back at some of 2020’s most popular diets and gives her predictions for hot diet trends in 2021.

Most searched diet of 2020

According to Google, the Cato Diet is still strong and tops the list of the most searched foods in 2020. This diet is high in fat and low in carbs – just think of being able to eat two loaves of bread for the whole day. It can work in the short term, but is very difficult to maintain in the long run. Too much fat can potentially raise a person’s blood cholesterol levels, lead to digestive problems, and a condition called fatty liver.

Best diet of 2021

According to US News and World Report, the Mediterranean diet has been named the No. 1 best food for health. The idea is to follow the lifestyle and eating habits of people living in the Mediterranean region of the world. Whole foods are mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains and seafood. Red meat, saturated fat foods and simple sugars are eaten sparingly. Much research has been done on this lifestyle. People who eat this way have a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. There is also a link between reducing the risk of depression and dementia.

Best-selling cooking appliances in 2020

Most Americans spent more time cooking at home in 2020 than ever before. Shocking, but true. The next top kitchen appliances were quick pots and air fryers. Both appliances are great and can make quick and easy meals that are low in fat. An instant pot is an electric pressure cooker that can cook dry pulses in a matter of minutes, or whole grain brown rice in half the time on the stove. This device can help people easily follow the Mediterranean diet. Air fryers cook crispy foods without deep frying, thus saving a ton of calories.

Up-and-comer diet trends for 2021

Eating for your gut microbiome is gaining more attention as research continues in this area. Your gut microbiome refers to the bacteria that lives in your intestines. Scientists are discovering just how important it is to nourish those little critters. There’s a lot of validity in eating to help the good bacteria thrive. This has been shown to help with weight loss, prevention or stabilization of diabetes, and even brain health. The most important part of eating for your gut is to increase fiber from fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. The main takeaway is to eat a variety of foods to help diversify your gut population. It’s also important to eat less red meats, simple sugars and alcohol.

Tips for finding your perfect eating plan

When searching on the Internet, there may be a lot of information about grass, which makes it difficult to discover what might be best for you. If you have questions or need advice, UC Davis Health has many registered nutritionists available to help guide you. Seek a referral from your healthcare provider.

UC Davis Health also offers a number of free health education classes on a variety of topics, including weight management, diabetes, heart health and more. These classes are practically available to take you from the comfort of your own home. There are also some small group classes available in person.

Related diet blogs from Good Food Is Good Medicine

Starting New Year’s Resolution? Dietitian gives you 5 smart tips for healthy eating.

This is the gut feeling: Tips for good bowel health.

5 heart-healthy steps to work on your diet.


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