Every year new food trends take the stage. As a society we are obsessed with the latest news in health and these trends reflect this. In recent years, we've seen diets such as Paleo and Flexitarian become popular, as well as shows like The Biggest Loser take precedence. Foods such as chia seeds, kale and gluten-free have been in the spotlight. So what will it be this year?
These days, consumers are more aware and want to know what's in their food. People are finally reading the small print of ingredient lists. Foods with less ingredients tend to be healthier. That usually spells out fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts and seeds. A much healthier way of eating. In other words, most foods in our supermarkets which are packaged and processed are off the list.
"Cleansing" Is on the Out
Cleansing to detoxify your body was popular over the past few years, but we've realized this is a short term solution and nothing more than deprivation. "Clean eating" is now the trend, which means eliminating artificial ingredients and packaged and processed foods. Eating more natural foods is the ultimate goal.
Is Red Meat the Bad Guy?
More and more studies have cited that eating red meat can lead to diseases, including a 2012 study from the Harvard School of Public Health, suggesting even moderate regular consumption of red meat poses many serious health risks. As well, the Mediterranean diet states that meat should be eaten only once a month. Fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts and lower fat dairy have taken meat's place in terms of nutrition. The saturated fat, cholesterol and high environmental needs are also a reason many are avoiding or lessening their intake of red meat.
Gluten and Wheat-free Still in Demand
Even though there have been critics to Dr. William Davis' book Wheat Belly, gluten-free eating is often assumed to be a healthier way of eating. While many need to eat gluten-free because of health issues like Celiac Disease, others have cut out gluten to lose weight or in an attempt to improve their health. However, there is a lack of evidence that wheat or gluten-free food results in weight loss. Baked goods with alternative flours such as quinoa, rice and potato are so good that today's consumers are using them as wheat substitutes for their breakfast items, desserts and snacks.
Lower Carb Not Out Since Ancient Grains Are In
Even though consumers are watching their carbohydrate intake, they are not eliminating the healthier ancient grains. Quinoa, spelt, freekah, millet, faro, buckwheat and amaranth are a top trend in 2015.
Low Fat is Gone
Low carb is still strong amongst dieters while low fat is no longer seen as healthy. Low fat can still have a high sugar and high caloric content.
Everyone seems to be on the coconut oil bandwagon today. Coconut oil claims to promote heart health, weight loss and boosts your immune system. Coconut oil contains more saturated fat than butter, and in the past we were recommended to stay away from all sources of coconut. The latest studies indicate that more than 50 per cent of the saturated fat in coconut oil is from lauric acid which does raise your bad cholesterol (LDL), but it boosts your good cholesterol (HDL) even more, which reduces your risk of heart disease. The remaining 50 per cent of the saturated fat apparently has little effect on your blood cholesterol.
Everyone's An Expert
There are more and more nutrition blogs on the internet than ever before. Everyone wants to have a voice. Consumers are listening and getting much of their nutrition and health information from these blogs. But beware -- much of this information is often written by non-professionals and offers only their opinions, which could result in nutritional deficiencies if followed without consulting your doctor.
Despite these popular trends, people will always be focused on convenience, price and taste when it comes to their diet.
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