Good nutrition is a smoking hot topic when the trend count hits 15! If 2014 brought gluten-free, Paleo, kale and ancient grains to grocery store shelves, restaurant menus and Pinterest recipes everywhere, what can we expect to see in the New Year? The annual “What’s Trending in Nutrition” Survey completed by Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian asked more than 500 Registered Dietitians, the nutrition expert that very question and here’s how they responded.
In a nut shell literally, seeds and nuts are the new superfoods, overtaking kale and coconut who remain strong contenders. Ancient grains, Greek Yogurt and avocado continue to make the plate along with the demand for gluten-free foods. Consumers have become more savvy in their knowledge about fats and are more apt to follow a monounsaturated fat rich diet than a low-fat diet. They’re also interested in cleaner eating and GMO-free foods. Here are the top 15 nutrition trends for 2015.
- Nuts and seeds are the top superfood choices for 2015, followed closely by kale, Greek Yogurt, coconut products and avocado. Just remember, limit your portion of nuts to one and a half ounces not handfuls and seeds are a “sprinkle” not a splatter.
- Green tea is rising in popularity due to its myriad of health benefits. Look for tasty infusions like pomegranate, honey lemon and wild berry if the plain variety holds no appeal to you. This antioxidant rich beverage reduces cell damage, helps fight disease and may reduce your risk for high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, reduce cholesterol and even help you to lose weight.
- Consumers are more intentionally including high quality proteins in their meals such as fish, seafood, eggs, legumes, nuts, poultry, low-fat dairy and soy. Red meat is still considered a less healthy option due to its high saturated fat and cholesterol content in addition to the environmental demands that unfortunately go into most of our cattle production.
- Gluten-free diets continue to trend strongly despite their lack of scientific evidence to support eating a wheat or gluten-free diet for weight loss. Clean eating and Paleo diets also continue to be popular diet trends.
- Ancient grains like amaranth, quinoa (pronounced keen-wa), spelt and freekah continue to gain shelf space in the grocery store aisle and incorporated into restaurant offerings. However I wouldn’t look for them at McDonald’s anytime soon.
- “Low-fat” fizzles while low-carb holds strong. Seriously how many times in the past week have you heard someone say “Thanks but I can’t eat that, I’m watching my carbs!”
- Monounsaturated fats (and poly) continue to be swapped out for saturated fat in manufactured foods and spreads. It’s easy to find packaging that has the olive oil claim on the label. Here’s one of my favorite conundrums, does the olive oil make this butter spread a healthier choice or is it just a good marketing ploy?
- Consumers are most apt to gauge their health and weight by comparing themselves to their family and friends first, followed by people in magazines and on TV.
- Consumers are also becoming less complacent with their weight if it is unhealthy. I suspect this in part due to insurance companies who have swapped their carrots for a stick swatting the back pocket-book with more force each year a person’s BMI exceeds the less than 30 target.
- Consumers are most apt to get their health and nutrition information from blogs and websites but need to carefully sift through the rubbish. Good science based resources include:
- The nutrition and ingredient label is becoming more telling as to whether a product makes it into your cart or is denied entrance.
- Real ingredients that are recognizable and GMO-free matter. Dietitians predict that GMO-free, gluten-free, clean eating/clean ingredient list and organic will all be key influencers on consumer choices in the coming year.
- Registered Dietitians say the best diet advice is:
- Choose high quality, nutrient rich foods from all the food groups
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- MyPlate remains a great tool for consumers to reference on how to make a healthier meal. The MyPlate, USDA’s guidance for healthy eating (myplate.gov), continues to play an important role in nutrition education, with 73% percent of dietitians utilizing MyPlate as a tool to help consumers eat right.
- Convenience, taste and price are the 3 top considerations consumers have when making a purchase.
Categories: Nutrition & Wellness