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What does the New Year have in store? Find out what our doctors predict for 2019!
Last year instead of the gym, many opted for fun dance classes or old style 80’s aerobics to get their fitness hit. Many people tried the ketogenic diet or switched to a plant-based diet and we continued to track everything we could - from our calorie intake to our steps and even our sleeping patterns. So, which trends are here to stay and what can we expect to see more of in 2019? Read on to find out about our wellness predictions for the year ahead and discover what a few of the Medichecks doctors think might be in store!
Once upon a time, encouraging people to increase their fat content to lose weight would have seemed crazy but last year the ketogenic diet, a low carb high fat (LCHF) diet, soared in popularity. The ketogenic diet dramatically reduces carbohydrate intake to just 5% of daily calories. Proteins occupy around 15% while fats occupy a huge 80%. When following a ketogenic diet, the body changes its fuel source from sugar to fat - placing the body in a state of ketosis.
In 2019 the keto diet is expected to continue to rise in popularity - but this time, with a more sustainable spin. Enter, the eco-keto diet, a vegan version of the keto diet. More and more people are becoming vegan, so it is no surprise the combination of a plant-based and ketogenic diet is set to be a hit this year. Even though eggs, meat, butter and dairy products are off the list for the eco-keto diet, there is still an abundance of fat sources available including coconut, MCT and avocado oils, tahini, nuts and vegan dairy alternatives. Many fruits and vegetables are high in carbohydrates so are off limit on this diet, however low-carb vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and cauliflower can be included.
It is recommended that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. On average we spend around a third of our lives asleep. Sleep is a process of renewal and restoration for the body, where our brains have an opportunity to reconnect all the information we collected throughout the day. 2018 has been all about clean eating but 2019 is going to be all about ‘clean sleeping’, the idea of making mindful decisions throughout the day to help improve sleep quality. Poor quality sleep can be unsettling for hormones and metabolism, which may lead to a weakened immune system, weight gain, bad moods and negatively impact short- and long-term memory.
There are some easy and practical steps you can take to get you on the path to better sleep. Cut down on screen use in the evenings, especially in the hour before bed, try to sleep and wake at consistent times and don’t eat late in the evening.
“In 2019 we're going to see wearable tech step up the game to integrate with more things, from specialist medical information to your everyday environment. Your health will never have been more under your control.”
Medichecks doctor Daniel Grant
From fitness bands to smartwatches to sleep trackers, the desire to understand what's going on in our bodies has become easier thanks to the ever-growing number of wearable devices available. Sleep trackers have become a popular way for many to gain insight into their sleeping pattern and see how they could be improving their sleeping habits and this trend is set to grow even more in 2019.
Over recent years HIIT or high-intensity interval training has been very popular in the workout game. Yes, exercise is good for our health there is no doubt about that, reducing the risk of many preventable illnesses including heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. However, extreme exercise or overtraining spikes levels of cortisol, the hormone that is released when the body is under stress. Chronically high levels of cortisol can lead to weight gain, impaired memory and immune function as well as sleep disturbances and digestive issues.
This year more and more people will realise the importance of keeping cortisol levels balanced in order to get the most from their training sessions. Exercise is a great way to alleviate stress, but constantly pushing hard can also wear you down and make you more vulnerable to stress. Getting adequate rest is essential. Not only is taking breaks from exercise important but getting adequate sleep to allow recovery from intense exercise is vital to avoid overtraining. Incorporating less-intense workouts such as yoga can help to keep things balanced. Instead of a 4th day of a HIIT workout, try doing a yoga class instead, it could be the key to helping you recover more quickly from your more intense exercise schedule.
"Ideally, I'd like dieting to move more towards intuitive and mindful eating and this will be a welcome change from the transformation/crash diet/fad diet dominated industry currently. This is probably wishful thinking but in light of the steady increase in people meditating and recognising the need to slow down in day to day life this would be the next natural progression and would work well in combination with currently common calorie and macronutrient based nutrition coaching."
Medichecks doctor Emil Hodzovic
You’ve heard of macro and micronutrients, but if you haven’t already, in 2019 you’ll be hearing a lot about mesonutrients. Meaning ‘inside’ in Greek, mesonutrients are the active compounds within the much talked about superfoods or ‘buzz ingredients’ that make the food so good for you, that are detoxifying, healing, wonderful antioxidant capacities.
For example, it’s the EGCG in green tea that provides the health benefits, anthocyanins found in red and purple foods such as cherries and lycopene in tomatoes. This year expect to see more research into how we can directly access these powerful mesonutrients from popular superfoods. The rise of the mesonutrient this year has the potential to give new meaning to the idea of plants as medicine and as it’s already popular in Australia and the US, expect mesonutrients to be the new buzzword of 2019 in the UK.
“A new generation of tests will become available to laboratories over the course of 2019. These focus on how well people are likely to respond to common prescription medications such as statins and antidepressants, and whether someone is likely to experience side effects as a result of taking them. The evidence base for these tests is still growing so we will continue to assess the evidence before deciding whether to offer them via Medichecks.”
Medical Director Sam Rodgers
2018 saw an enormous rise in the consumer healthcare market, with more people taking an active role in controlling their health. This year many people discovered how simple it is to track what’s going on inside their bodies with Medichecks easy-to-use blood tests. We hope in 2019 having regular health checks becomes the norm, allowing people to easily track any changes and act accordingly.