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Considering a Diet? What’s Trending for 2021

This is the time of year when people renew their commitment to improving health, particularly with New Year’s resolutions. An important part of meeting this goal is a specific diet. 

One common theme in new diet trends in 2021 is an increased emphasis on consuming more fruits and vegetables. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend gaining traction is a focus on eating more immune-boosting foods — those with zinc, vitamins C and D, iron and protein.  

“The more colors we get, the more nutrients you’re going to get, too,” said Shanthi Appelö, a registered dietitian for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  

On the latest episode of the A Healthier Michigan Podcast, hosted by Chuck Gaidica, he and Appelö discuss the latest food trends and how to pick one best suited for your long-term success. 

Another factor spurring people toward plant-based diets is that this way of eating also benefits the planet by reducing greenhouse gas emissions tied to food production, from raising livestock and transporting to packaging and food waste.  

Appelö encourages people to be realistic when choosing a diet.  

“It’s important to realize that, just because there is this call to eat more plant-based [foods], it doesn’t mean that we have to change our whole lifestyle to become a vegetarian or vegan overnight, or even that we have to begin with that,” Appelö said, adding that chicken and fish are better options for the environment than beef and pork, and provide health benefits as well. 

 Two diets with successful track records are the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) diet. Both emphasize fruits and vegetables, while still including meat. 

“The key to why these diets are so successful is that they have balance in terms of nutrients, but they are also plans that don’t eliminate any food group,” Appelö said. 

 Listen to the full episode here.  

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