ASK THE EXPERT: Top 2021 Food Trends

Ask the Expert

GREENVILLE, S.C (WSPA) – Savory or sweet, healthy or indulgent — there are blogs, social media accounts, tv shows, and books dedicated to it — food.

As part of our “Ask the Expert” series, in partnership with Bon Secours St. Francis Health, 7 News spoke with a registered dietitian who weighed in on some of the “Top 2021 Food Trends” — ones you should follow and what to avoid.

“Take your time. Eat mindfully. Be present with your food and enjoy it,” Registered Dietitian Debbie Milne said.

Milne said to have fun with food trends but to enjoy everything in moderation.

“No plan that you have should ever not allow you to eat when you’re hungry, and no plan should ever say you can eat as much as you want of this.”

Debbie Milne, Registered Dietitian, Bon Secours St. Francis Health

Plant-based diets are trending and have been for several years. This year, several food chains introduced plant-based versions of menu favorites — a boost in popularity for the diet.

“Eating fewer animal products, which has been shown to be a healthy eating pattern, is not a bad shift to move towards,” Milne said.

Charcuterie boards top the list of 2021 food trends, but Milne warns of high salt content and saturated fats in the meats and cheeses. She recommends adding healthy options to the board.

“You know add some fruit slices on that. You know, some alternative choices,” she said.

Sparkling water is also a major trend this year, but not every brand is healthy. Some contain too much sugar.

“It would be better to pick something with, like, natural flavor enhancers. A lot of them are just a plain sparkling water that you can flavor enhance yourself, ” she said. “Add a squeeze a lemon. You’ll get some active Vitamin C.”

Milne said the food trend she recommends most often is the Mediterranean diet because it has research to support it.

“Some of these fad diets… there’s just not a body of evidence for the long-term effects or if it actually has an impact on health outcomes,” she said.

The Mediterranean diet, which consists of healthy fats, plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fresh seafood and limited red meat is proven to reduce your risk of some diseases.

“It can improve health outcomes for reducing heart disease or even type 2 diabetes and… can delay, maybe, some of the progression of chronic kidney disease,” Milne said.

To submit a health topic for our series, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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