Another new year and a fresh round of updated and improved diet and nutrition trends flood the newspapers, social media, and people’s mouths. It makes sense to promote new diet trends at the start of the year because that’s when many people set their health and fitness goals, or resolutions for the New Year. This year, depending on who you are following, you will find a huge range of people spruiking what you should eat, how much you should eat, when you should eat it and, of course, what you should avoid. This year the wonderful bunch from Appetite Communications and The Dietitian Connection surveyed 100 dietitians, yes that’s right, the very people who are university trained, who know everything in food, nutrition, and diet, on what they thought would be this year’s diet trends.
Top 5 nutrition trends for 2016
1. Ancient becomes modern
Ancient grains and turmeric will be popular in 2016. Ancient grains like quinoa and spelt have been hitting people’s plates for a while now and this is predicted to continue, but there will also be growth in lesser-known grains like freekah and teff. Freekah is a wholegrain made from green wheat and originates from the Middle East. It’s an excellent source of B vitamins, manganese and phosphorus. Teff is small grain from Ethiopia but gives plenty of nutritional bang. High in fibre, calcium, and protein, it is usually purchased as flour and can be made into bread, pancakes, snacks, and cereals.
2. Fad Diets
It’s time to move on from kale, bone broth, and coconut oil/water, they are so 2015. Maree Ferguson from the Dietitian Connection says “food can often be a little like fashion — what’s in today may not be in tomorrow”. The adoption of trends is fast and just as quickly they are dropped but this doesn’t mean we should stop eating green leafy vegetables like kale. It may be time to try out something new
3. Keep on Keeping On
Low/no sugar, the FODMAPS diet, and intermittent fasting will continue to be the most popular, but it’s not something dietitians will be recommending for weight loss or maintenance. The fad diet cycle is an on-going process and due to social media the latest and greatest weight loss programs, secrets, supplements, and methods will continue to enter our news feed in 2016. Don’t get sucked in by these short term, unrealistic, and restrictive eating practices. Go for balanced, guilt free eating.
4. Diet Confusion Still Reigns
Where do you get your diet advice from? Social media, celebrity nutritionists and bloggers are among the top sources of misinformation for diet and nutrition. Would you go and see a plumber to get advice on an ear infection? I doubt it! So why would you take advice on diet and nutrition from a lawyer, journalist, chef or self-proclaimed diet guru who only eats bananas? It just doesn’t make sense. When looking for nutrition and diet information online, or anywhere, check to make sure it is be provided by an accredited practising dietitian.
5.What Should I Eat?
As an extension from number four, the survey found people will continue to be confused on what they should and shouldn’t eat. With social media and ‘non-experts’ continuing to push mixed messages on healthy eating and demonising certain food groups, people are at a loss to know what they should eat for health.
So what are my healthy eating tips for 2016?
- Enjoy your food. Select foods which provide flavour you enjoy, satisfy your hunger, and are nutritious.
- Eat more plant-based foods — keep up with your fruit and vege but look to pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, and wholegrains.
- Remove the guilt from eating. Stop labelling foods as good and bad, think of foods as always food and sometimes food. Eating with guilt results in overeating for comfort.
- Get your portion sizes right, you would be surprised how small portion sizes are.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables, it doesn’t have to be the latest superfood, just go for plenty of colour.
- Eat less high fat, sugar, and salty foods, better known as discretionary foods. Don’t cut them out completely, just less. And yes organic grain fed bacon is a discretionary food.