The fourth annual “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey by Today’s Dietitian and Pollock Communications showed a decline in consumers’ interest in dieting. “Instead, results showed that many consumers are choosing clean (59%) and mindful eating (49%) to achieve a healthier lifestyle,” according to Today’s Dietition.
More than 1,700 registered dietitians responded to the 60-question survey designed to identify upcoming superfoods, consumer insights, and food trends. Green tea remains a favorite.
In 2017, consumers say they will be eating less processed foods and more whole foods such as:
- Fermented foods such as yogurt and cheese
- Ancient whole grains and green tea
- Plant-based proteins such as nuts and seeds
Salmon for the first time made the Top 10 Superfoods list. Previous favorites such as kale lost footing to seeds, avocados, nuts, and fermented foods such as kimchi and yogurts.
Top five superfoods:
- Seeds, such as chia and hemp
- Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts
- Fermented foods such as yogurt
- Ancient grains
“This annual increase in attention to eating with purpose and care is also reflected in the top 10 superfood trends. There has been a consistent focus on foods that are nutrient-rich – like seeds, avocados and nuts – along with those that have health-promoting qualities, like fermented foods and green tea,” writes Mara Honicker, publisher of Today’s Dietitian.
Transparency eases consumer concern
Compared to 2016, dietitians report that consumers will be less concerned with the food trends of previous years, such as foods that are GMO-free, sustainable, or gluten-free.
GMO-free and sustainable foods have experienced on average a 20% decrease in terms of what concerns consumers. Dietitians attribute this decline to food label transparency and more food companies changing their ingredient deck. In contrast, consumers will be looking for more low-sodium and sugar-free options in 2017.
Top tips from registered dietitians
The survey also captures RDs’ top tips for how to eat healthier and make smarter purchasing decisions next year. Their best advice for consumers includes:
- Eating more servings of fruits and vegetables.
- Choosing high-quality, nutrient-rich foods in all food groups.
- Limiting consumption of highly processed foods.
- And instead of focusing on diets, RDs recommend choosing foods based on a wholesome ingredient list and high level of quality proteins and carbs.
In addition, each year, ChooseMyPlate, the United States Department of Agriculture’s guidelines for healthy eating (www.choosemyplate.gov), continues to play an important role in nutrition education, with 80% of dietitians utilizing ChooseMyPlate as a tool to help consumers eat right—up from 76% last year.
Digital fitness and home delivery
Technology has undoubtedly made shopping for healthier food and losing weight easier, and dietitians have noticed by unearthing these insights:
- 84% of RDs believe that technology is providing new options to help consumers make better food choices and/or eat healthier.
- New technologies are helping to shape the future of nutrition with 67% of RDs recommending apps, such as MyFitnessPal and the Fitbit App, to plan and track food activity.
- Preportioned meal delivery services such as Blue Apron and Fresh Direct have also skyrocketed; 45% of consumers are now turning to these and similar healthy meal or weight loss menu delivery programs in order to eat healthier.
Source: What’s Trending in Nutrition