Articles about food trends are often packed with success stories and stats that support the trend and should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism.

These 5 trends may catch your attention this year, but it helps to be a smart consumer and weigh the pros and cons.


A developing trend in North America is the use of adaptogens, which are medicinal herbs and plants believed to help people adapt to stress by boosting a body’s immunity and promoting hormonal balance.

Some examples of these are ashwagandha, Rhodiola and holy basil.

Adaptogens have been around in supplement form for a long time, but now they’re marketed more heavily, and low doses are being added to food products.


It’s good to be more aware of stress levels and how they impact our bodies, so finding ways to diminish stress is a positive step.


The dosage of adaptogens in food products such as drinks is likely going to be so low there may not be any real benefit from them.

It can also be a guessing game to know what amount would help if someone is using supplement powders or capsules.

Intermittent fasting

There are different variations of intermittent fasting, the most popular being what is called the “16-8.”

That means in a 24-hour period a person doesn’t eat for 16 hours and eats only during an eight-hour span. Generally, eating begins in the early afternoon.

Proponents of this pattern believe it helps with weight loss and better digestion.


If you shorten the window of time that you eat  and ultimately eat less  you’ll likely lose weight. It’s that calories-in versus calories-out equation.

Some people prefer this way of eating, particularly those who tend to skip breakfast, and your body will adapt.


Just because you have an eight-hour window to eat doesn’t mean you can consume whatever you want or binge eat, which could sabotage efforts to lose weight.

Some people, particularly women who are going through any type of hormonal fluctuations such as menstrual cycles or perimenopause (the stage before menopause when periods are intermittent), may struggle with the ability to control their blood-sugar levels and hormonal changes. It’s one reason men tend to do a little better with intermittent fasting.

If a person is training for an event such as a marathon and working out in the morning, not eating before or immediately afterwards could be a problem.

Plant-based meats

More companies are coming out with plant-based meat that tries to mimic the texture and taste of real burgers, chicken tenders and deli slices.


Whether someone is switching to a more plant-based diet for environmental or animal-rights’ issues, it’s great to be aware of alternative sources of protein.


Read the ingredient list. Plant-based meats may be highly processed and contain a lot of sodium and preservatives.

They also can be expensive.

Ketogenic diet

A ketogenic diet generally focuses on moderate protein, high fat and low carbohydrates. Almost without exception, there’s a very heavy emphasis on animal-based ingredients.

The appeal of this diet is that you’ll lose weight and possibly better control diseases such as diabetes.


When you eliminate or reduce carbs such as pasta, rice and sugars, you’ll usually lose weight because they account for a lot of calories.

Being on a ketogenic diet might not feel like dieting because you’re allowed to eat high-fat food such as bacon.


This diet can be done very poorly. Nutrient deficiencies are common as entire food groups are eliminated.

Just because you’re going low carb doesn’t mean you can eat unlimited amounts of highly saturated fats.

It may also be hard to maintain because most of us have a lifestyle or are in social situations where carbs are still the basis of many meals and snacks.

A high-fat diet can potentially be unhealthy for the heart, and some evidence shows it increases your likelihood of kidney stones.

Gluten-free or grain-free food

These products initially targeted people with health issues such as celiac disease, but the marketing net has been cast wider. Health Canada estimates only one percent of the population has celiac disease.  


Gluten-free food is a great option for people who are gluten-intolerant or have celiac disease. The condition is related to the lining of the small intestine, which can deteriorate from the gluten protein found in such grains as wheat, barley and rye.

These foods are a good choice for people who may be allergic to some grains or have stomach sensitivity.


Some people without medical issues assume gluten-free or grain-free food is healthier, but that’s not always the case.

There can still be a lot of sugar and processing in these products, so they’re really no better than a grain version.

The bottom line is to do your homework and see what trends  or aspects of nutrition trends  might be right for you, rather than jumping on the bandwagon of the latest fad.