Carbs are out, fat is in. What else? Check out our top picks for the coming year.
1. Ghee in your coffee
A dollop of desi ghee into your steaming cup of coffee. This strange concoction is being touted as the “it” health drink of 2019. It improves energy, mental clarity, focus and satiety-because pure grass-fed ghee is rich in anti-inflammatory fatty acids, Omega-3s, Omega-9s and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E. It’s rich in butyric acid, which supports the health and healing of cells in the small and large intestines. This high-fat, calorie-dense drink is being called a “breakfast replacement” because it can help you lose weight.
How? Our bodies aren’t very efficient at metabolising carbs at breakfast, partly due to the rise in cortisol levels on waking. So when you drink this, you trick your body into thinking you are essentially fasting-although ghee in coffee means about 300-800 calories.
Beware. Adding sugar will negate the weight loss effect. And weight loss will follow only if you eat less later in the day. In fact, you may gain weight if the rest of your day doesn’t consist of “clean” (read low-carb) eating.
2. The Keto diet
The very low-carb diet, called keto or ketogenic diet, is coming back as the most effective plan for weight loss. It helps you lose weight effectively by switching the fuel supply of your body-burning fat and not sugar.
How: The body produces small molecules called “ketones” as an alternative energy source when blood sugar is in short supply. As the body produces ketones, it enters a metabolic state called ketosis. The fastest way to get there is by fasting. Another way is a ketogenic diet, when you eat few carbs and moderate protein.
Beware: Three categories of people should not try this diet: those who are taking medication for diabetes, for high blood pressure or are pregnant.
3. Fat Bombs
Move over protein-rich meat balls. Here come “good” fats for snacking- little items made of avocados, nut butters, coconut oil, or even cream-which taste good and load you up with foods you need.
4. Egg white chips
The crackle of carbs and the nutrition of an omelette. Healthy eaters can take heart from high-protein, low-carb egg-white chips.
5. Carb backloading
An on-the-rise trend that asks you to hold off carbohydrate consumption until dinner, when you are encouraged to work out and eat whatever you want. The plan is to time your carb-intake with optimal insulin sensitivity.
6. Wound-monitoring bandages
Engineers at Tufts University, US, have designed a prototype bandage that can monitor wounds from burns and diabetes to deliver drug treatments and also improve chances of healing wirelessly.
7. Blood flow tracking stents
Researchers at the University of British Columbia, Canada, have developed the “smart stent”. Fitted with a special micro-sensor, it can track blood flow continuously and also send out the data on artery condition wirelessly.
8. Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting has become huge over the past year and 2019 has a new version of IF: with saturated fats that satiate hunger without spiking blood sugar.
9. Functional water
This is drinking water with added health benefits, generally derived from vitamins, minerals, herbs and fruits. As more consumers switch from drinks like soda that are heavy in sugar and calories to beverages that bring more health benefits, functional water is becoming increasingly common on store shelves.
10. Flu-forecasting thermometer
Real-time data from thermometers connected to smartphones can effectively track and predict influenza activity at national and regional levels. Designed by researchers at the University of Iowa, US.