Watermelon seed butter? 5 healthy foods you are going to see EVERYWHERE in 2020

Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom, NBC News' health editor, looks at food trends we'll see this year — and breaks down if they are right for your lifestyle.

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By Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD

Avocado toast is so last year.

With a new year and new decade upon us, we’re also going to see some new healthy foods start to pop up at our grocery stores and restaurants.

Here’s a peek at some you might want to try in 2020. And trendy or not, it’s still important to read the labels to see how these foods fit into your overall eating plan – whether it’s a treat, or daily choice. Take a look!

1. Unique white sugar swaps

Full Calorie Sweeteners (same as sugar):

Just Date Syrup and Just Pomegranate Syrup are liquid sugars made from dates and pomegranates. These fruit-based liquid sweeteners have the same calories as sugar, with a fruitier taste. They’re not a swap for baking but give a more complex taste – and when taste is more intense, it’s easier to use less.

RELATED: Mika: My lifelong struggle with sugar

Low-calorie sweeteners:

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Monkfruit (lo han guo) is a non-calorie sweetener from a small round fruit grown in the mountainous regions of Southeast Asia. It is said to be named after the Buddhist monks who grew this fruit hundreds of years ago. Monkfruit is available as a powder and liquid by brands like Lakanto.

Allulose (psicose) is a rare sugar found naturally in only a few foods, like jackfruit, figs and raisins. It’s a low-calorie sweetener, with about 90 percent fewer calories than white sugar. Its composition is like sugar, but rearranged, so the body simply doesn’t absorb the calories in that form. Recently produced on a larger scale as a food ingredient, it’s available by Wholesome. It’s a non-GMO, gluten free, and vegan product.

Erythritol is a type of sugar alcohol found in some fruits and fermented foods. It has more than 90 percent fewer calories than white sugar. It’s available in granular form as Swerve.

2. Crazy not-nut butters

If you’re looking for some nut-butter alternatives, 88 acres has two you’ll want to try. Roasted watermelon seed butter and pumpkin seed butter are made from the soft material between the two hard seed shells. A bit thinner than other nut butters, these are a tasty option with only 3 ingredients – seeds, sunflower oil, and sea salt.

3. Rainbow potatoes

Potatoes often get a bad rap. But not in 2020. You’ll start to see more potatoes in all shapes, sizes and colors in healthy recipes and restaurants. They’re a fun and healthy way to get vitamins, minerals, and fiber, along with some satisfying nature-made carbs. Whether you choose sweet potatoes, yams, purple yams, Yukon gold, red bliss, or blue/purple potatoes – you can’t go wrong.

Check out The Little Potato Company , which sells potatoes the size of a large marble in several colors. These aren’t small or baby potatoes, but fully mature “creamer” potatoes.

4. Blended meats

Now you don’t have to choose between plant-based and animal-based proteins if you enjoy both. “Blended meats” are now on the market. These new blends help cut back meat consumption by adding vegetables. Beef and mushroom combos are popular, as well as meat and vegetable sausage, and chicken and vegetable combinations. Available from large companies like Perdue and Tyson, there are also smaller companies, like Misfit Foods.

5. Oats as the new dairy

No plant product has the natural nutrient richness of dairy products, but when it comes to taste, oat products are expanding this category. While there are a variety of plant-based milk-like drinks, oat milk has taken the lead because it’s not only lactose, dairy, nut, and soy free, but it has a great creamy taste, and a boost of heart-healthy fiber. And while it’s not a nutritional swap for oatmeal, it is also fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

Oat products have expanded to include oatmilk yogurt products like Halsa, Silk Oat Yeah, and Oatly’s “oatgurt.” One of the biggest surprises is the great taste of oat milk “ice cream” — a frozen, non-dairy dessert. Brands like Oatly and So Delicious are readily available in supermarkets, while some artisan ice cream makers like Van Leeuwen have entered the market. If you’re looking for a dairy alternative, think oats!

Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., is NBC News’ health editor. Follow her on Twitter @drfernstrom.