What’s the Top Food Trend for 2018?

Carra Richling
Top Food Trends

Original Content by Carra Richling, Writer at Ornish Living Magazine.

Pictured: Tasty plant-based meals created by alumni of ‘Ekahi Ornish Lifestyle Medicine.

Believe it or not, the top food trend for 2018 might be a plant-based diet!

Today, Mintel reports that nearly a third of Americans are practicing meat-free days. Younger generations appreciate the reduced environmental impact, and older generations appreciate the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Between 2012 and 2016, sales of grocery store food and drink products labeled “vegetarian” increased by 25%. Products labeled “vegan” had an astonishing 257% rise. The trend also extends to our digital lives — Google searches for the word vegan increased by 90% in 2017.

But don’t think a plant-based lifestyle means making all your meals yourself! Many restaurants now offer a wide array of plant-based options. California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake Factory, Ruby Tuesday’s, Denny’s, Chipotle, Subway, Quiznos and Taco Bell are just some of the nationwide chains with vegan and vegetarian offerings. Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen Dazs both offer vegan ice cream lines. And even fast food restaurants are jumping in on the trend - as McDonald’s recently introduced their new plant based burger.

And if you are a fan of making your own meals – switching to a plant-based diet no longer means giving up your favorite flavors. A wide array of vegan meat alternatives are now available at stores – including offerings from Beyond Meat, Gardein, Tofurky, and more. 

Switching to a plant based diet may seem intimidating, but the benefits are certainly worth it. Research over the last thirty-five years by Dr. Dean Ornish and his colleagues at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute has shown that the benefits of a plant based diet can include:

  • Weight Loss
  • Reduced Blood Sugar Levels
  • Reduced Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
  • Enchanced Libido
  • Reduced Risks for Certain Forms of Cancer

A plant-based diet has the potential to reverse chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes – particularly when paired with regular stress management and exercise. Next time you chow down on a delicious plant-based meal – you can feel content in knowing that you’re helping your heart, too.

For delicious Ornish-friendly recipes, visit our online recipes at https://www.ekahiornish.com/ohana/browse-recipes/. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ekahiornish, where we’ll regularly post delicious plant-based recipe ideas. Last but not least, look for the orange ‘Ekahi Ornish stickers on products at Down to Earth Organic & Natural for Ornish approved meals, snacks, and ingredients.

‘Ekahi Health, a member of the ‘ike family of companies (www.ikehawaii.com), is an innovative healthcare delivery organization that provides comprehensive community-based care focusing on primary care and prevention and wellness. It was the first organization to offer the Ornish program to the people of Hawaii.

For more information about ‘Ekahi Ornish Lifestyle Medicine, visit www.ekahiornish.com and follow them on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.