If you're after the facts about food trends, you’ve come to the right place!

This is part one of our breakdown of the latest diets taking the nation by storm! We’re expecting to see these grow even more popular as we enter 2020 so make sure you are in the know today! Let’s get started...

Vegetarianism. Veganism. Flexitarianism. Ring a bell?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 5 minutes, you will have heard someone talking about these diets already. But what if we asked you about the locavore diet? Could you tell us about an alkaline diet? How about FODMAP or Low GI?!

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Sometimes it seems like there are as many diets out there as they are fans of our lovely oils! It’s no wonder people are getting confused! The world of nutrition and dietetics is constantly evolving, and with it comes a rotating door of diet trends and lifestyle choices to learn about.

Perhaps it’s best if we break them all down so you digest them one diet at a time…

1. Vegetarian

What it is: A diet that completely eliminates meat.
What’s not allowed: Meat of any type.
Pros: Low in saturated fat. Vegetarians often have lower blood pressure levels and are less likely to experience obesity and diabetes.
Cons: Lower protein and vitamin B12 intake, higher risk of iron deficiency.

Looking for some veggie recipes to spice up your mealtimes? Take a look at this fan favourite: Coca - Spanish Butternut Squash Pizza

2. Vegan

What it is: A diet and lifestyle that abstains from the consumption (or use, in many cases) of animal products. Many refer to veganism as a form of “plant-based diet”.
What’s not allowed: Any byproduct of animal agriculture. Meat, eggs, dairy, seafood are not consumed, and even clothing cannot come from animals.
Pros: Lower risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Weight loss. A highly ethical and cruelty-free lifestyle.
Cons: It’s often difficult to find vegan produce in certain areas, although it’s becoming more and more commonplace. Vegans often lack vital vitamins and nutrients. Higher risk of anemia, hormonal issues and depression.

3. Flexitarian

What it is: A plant-based diet much like that of a vegetarian, but that occasionally allows consumption of meat.
What’s not allowed: eat (although consumed occasionally).
Pros: Weight loss and reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. A balanced, easy to follow diet that promotes environmental sustainability and lower meat consumption.
Cons: Followers are more likely to be deficient in zinc, Vitamin B12, iron and omega-3.

Take an in-depth look at the flexible flexitarian diet on our dedicated blog post: A Flexpert’s Guide to Flexitarianism

4. Ketogenic (“Keto”)

What it is: The ketogenic diet is a diet that consists of a high fat intake and low carb intake.
What’s not allowed: Grains (pasta, rice etc), juice, soft drink, low fat dairy products, snack foods (like chips), beans and lentils, any carbohydrates.
Pros: Weight loss (as the body burns fat over carbs), lower rates of diabetes and Alzheimer’s. The ketogenic diet is often prescribed as a well-researched treatment for epilepsy. You also get to eat a lot of foods traditionally seen as “unhealthy”.
Cons: High in saturated fat, which increases the risk of heart disease. Those commencing the ketogenic diet may experience headaches, fatigue, nausea and hunger at the beginning.

5. Paleolithic (“Paleo”)

What it is: A diet that only allows consumption of foods that were available in the Paleolithic “caveman” era. Commonly referred to as “the caveman diet”. The fad “Dukan Diet” and the “Whole 30” diet are similar to the Paleo diet.
What’s not allowed: Processed foods, pasta, bread, rice, beans, lentils, sugar, dairy products, grains, soft drinks, oils, trans fats,
Pros: High in protein, additive and preservative free, weight loss.
Cons: Vitamin D and calcium deficiency. Low energy. Limited food options to choose from, and available paleo products can be expensive.

6. Pescetarian

What it is: Similar to a vegetarian, but allows the consumption of fish and seafood.
What’s not allowed: Red meat, poultry. Some pescetarians also do not consume eggs and dairy.                                                                                                              Pros: Reduced risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, anemia and cancer. High fibre, omega 3 and iron intake and limited saturated fat intake. Lessens the impact of land animal agriculture on the planet.
Cons: The potential for higher intake of mercury, seafood is often expensive and some pescetarians gain weight due to the allowable dairy and carb intake.

Here’s a perfect recipe for any pescetarians out there! Let us know how you get on with our Tuna Steaks with White Beans and Salsa Verde!

7. Omnivore

What it is: A diet that allows consumption of both plant and animal products.
What’s not allowed: Everything is allowed as omnivores eat what is available, when it is available.
Pros: Easy to follow and suits most lifestyles. Most people follow this diet plan instinctively. It allows most food and drink items and is not restrictive. Provides most essential vitamins and nutrients. The ultimate “balanced diet”.
Cons: Higher risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes or heart disease. Weight gain and faster ageing process.

8. Mediterranean diet

What it is: A healthy, balanced diet born from the lifestyle habits of those in a range of Mediterranean countries. Variations of this diet include the MIND Diet and the DASH diet.
What’s not allowed: Everything is allowed, but meat and dairy products are eaten in moderation, while fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, fish and olive oil can be enjoyed any time.
Pros: Recently named the healthiest diet in the world. Low rates of obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, early death and cancer. Increased vitality and better mood, lower risk of depression and anxiety, weight loss.
Cons: If you love meat, the Mediterranean Diet only allows low intake of this. Other than that - it’s only positive!

9. Low-carb diet

What it is: A diet that restricts high carbohydrate intake. The Atkins Diet, Zone, South Beach and Ketogenic diets are variations of the Low-Carb Diet.
What’s not allowed: Most carbohydrates, grains, legumes, fruit, bread, pasta, nuts, seeds and starchy vegetables.
Pros: Weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, reduced appetite, reduced blood sugar and insulin levels.                                                                      Cons: A restrictive diet that eliminates many readily-available food products. Increased rates of constipation, headache, cancer, bad breath and a range vitamin and nutrient deficiencies.

Need some assistance in resisting the snacks? We advise revisiting this post on How To Resist Junk Food!

10. Pollotarian

What it is: A vegetarian lifestyle that doesn’t allow red meat, but does allow turkey, chicken and poultry products.
What’s not allowed: Red meat. Some pollotarians also don’t eat dairy, eggs, fish or seafood.
Pros: Lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, lower cholesterol levels. High fibre and antioxidant intake. Potential weight loss.
Cons: Risk of iron, Vitamin B12 and calcium deficiencies if the pollotarian doesn’t include dairy or seafood.

There we have it, folks! Part one of our breakdown of 20 of the latest and greatest food trends and diets we expect to play a big part in 2020!

Which diet or food trend are you?

Which food or diet trends have you tried? Did you find that one was particularly perfect for your lifestyle and nutritional needs? We’d love to hear about your journey - come let us know on social media!

And don’t forget to come back soon for Part Two of our 20 food trends for 2020! Follow La Española on Facebook and Instagram so that you don’t miss out!

Disclaimer: Aside from the healthy, safe and universally-applauded Mediterranean diet we love, La Española does not support or condone any one diet or lifestyle choice and does not claim to have any scientific research backing many of the diets listed here. We encourage our readers to do their own research and consult a medical professional before embarking on a new diet plan.