How do you plan to eat in 2015? If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably at least considered it as you think about the new year and what it may look like for you personally in the days to come. After all, one of the top resolutions for both men and women is often to improve overall health, and eating better is one way to do just that.
On December 18th, Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian released their annual “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey to showcase and forecast what diet trends are expected in the New Year. Not only will these trends most likely impact you you purchase foods, but maybe, just maybe, you’ll find new inspiration to keep your meals fresh, fun and healthy!
A quick rundown of the top 15 diet trends list, and you may just notice that nutrition is beginning to take a very interesting turn. Not only did the survey show that 70% of dietitian believe consumers will be more interested in nutrition and weight loss in 2015, but you can see that interest evolving beyond quick-fix diets and fads, and begin to get more real and complex. Not only do we see trendy eating choices on the list – gluten-free diets sit in the #4 spot on the list – but we also see diversification of grains with ancient grains following right behind in the #5 spot. This is important because grains as an entire food group have fallen off the plate of many over the past couple of years with little regard for variety or type. Similarly, fat variety is becoming a big deal with more emphasis on the types of fat we’re consuming versus complete avoidance of this important macronutrient.
Food is complex and I love that as a whole, it looks like 2015 might be the year we start to “get it.” That all foods can provide a varying array of nutrients and that we don’t have to think about our food in rigid, black and white terms.
Speaking of food complexity, 2015 may also cause us to think about food quality in a more diverse way as well. Not only are we looking at nutrient quality, but environmental quality too. Both GMO awareness and the environmental demands of beef production were mentioned as possible considerations for determining the way we eat in 2015. This may mean more eco-related labels popping up across the grocery store with particular emphasis on GMOs. Afterall, 69% of the experts stated that GMO-free labeling is at the top of most of their clients lists.
Although our ways of eating are expected to begin taking into account more complex food and nutrition related issues, a few things remain the same. A continued emphasis on keeping meals balanced is looking to remain a big priority and 73% of dietitians surveyed stated they are using the MyPlate guidelines from the USDA to help promote this balanced way of eating. We too use it for a variety of educational sessions primarly because it continues to emphasize a well-rounded eating plan while being easy to understand across age groups. And easy is important. Because no matter how trendy or healthy something is, if it isn’t convenient, affordable, or delicious, odds are good that in 2015 people will continue to pass it by.
That’s why I am pretty much in love with the superfood predictions for 2015. Well, and because they are already a favorite in my household. Nuts and seeds are predicted to reign supreme in 2015’s quest for ultimate super food diet additions. Although nuts and seeds can be somewhat pricey, they can be easily incorporated into a wide variety of dishes for added nutritional benefit and flavor. Buy in bulk and sprinkle into foods to really stretch that dollar.
Although it is hard to say whether or not these predictions will actually ring true, it is fun to think about the way in which we think about food and how it can benefit us in the long term. This year, perhaps consider looking for ways to add new foods and ingredients into your day. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone just a bit and look for creative ways to make your meals more diverse. And never settle – always keep an eye out for new meal time inspiration.
A few words of caution though – be careful where you get your inspiration and nutrition information from. Also, avoid comparing your progress with others. I wasn’t surprised, but a little dismayed to see that in 2015 it is expected that more people will be turning to blogs for their information instead of nutrition professionals. PLEASE be careful. Remember, anyone can set up a blog in about 15 minutes and share their thoughts on any topic of their choice – no credentials required. Always check to see what the authors background is in and where they are coming from. Nutrition is an interesting thing because we all eat and practice it every day. You can find great inspiration from people of all walks of life, but when it comes to credible nutrition information, please do your homework and get a second opinion from a trusted medical professional. If you need to find a dietitian in your area, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a great search tool.
As for comparing yourself to others, it looks like this trend just won’t go away. Unfortunately, comparing yourself to others usually doesn’t result in positive change. Everyone is different and unique so instead of comparing yourself to others, celebrate your own unique journey. You’ll be much happier and odds are good you’ll be more supportive of those making their own unique changes too.
Read More: 15 Top Diet Trends for 2015
What do you predict will be trending in food & nutrition next year?