Will 2015 be gluten-free? Is Paleo out? Are we eating carbs yet? Is kale still the Queen of Greens or will nuts, seeds or cauliflower take the throne?
2014 gave us ‘clean’ eating, alkaline foods, all-new grains (oh
hai, millet and spelt) and coconut oil. Garcinia Cambogia was the hot diet pill.
So what diet trends are taking place in 2015?
Combination products like garcinia, green coffee, and green tea
nigella sativa (black cumin)
Seeds and Nuts
Kale, Beet Greens, Rhutabaga
Gluten Free – Teff, Quinoa, Millet
Fat is Back! In particular, butter, coconut butter, coconut oil
Nut-Based Vegan Cheese
New Nordic Diet
Modified Paleo Diet
Read the full article here
Quinoa and millet continue to be as popular as ever, but it’s not the only ancient whole grain you should watch out for. Whole Foods Market Culinary Content Editor, Molly Siegler, agrees that teff will be the hot, new (old) grain. A grass first cultivated in Ethiopia, teff is high in calcium, iron, fiber, and protein with a mild, sweet, and nutty taste. It’s also naturally gluten-free. Teff works well in a main or side dish, in baked goods, or as a substitute for cornmeal in this Teff “Polenta” with Sautéed Chard recipe
Kale continues to reign supreme but there’s a new green stepping into the spotlight. If you’ve bought beets with their leaves still attached, don’t toss them without giving them a go! Vitamin A-rich beet greens or beet spinach look similar to chard and even people who hate beets say they love beet greens. At Everyday Health, we like to use beet greens in smoothies and soups, swap them into a recipe that calls for spinach, kale, or collard greens, or sauté them for an easy side dish which cooks in just a couple of minutes. For a salty snack, try these Crispy Baked Beet Green Chips.
Grass-fed Dairy and Meats
For steak and cheese lovers looking for healthier choices, try grass-fed versions of your favorites, which have grown in popularity in the past decade and will continue to, as shoppers ask for more options, predicts Stallone. Grass-fed meats and dairy are from livestock whose diets are limited to grass and forage, such as legumes, and they naturally contain more omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which promote heart health. Since grass-fed meats tend to cost more, we stock up at wholesale stores like Costco and BJ’s to get the health benefits at a lower price.
Nut-Based Vegan Cheese
Keep an eye out at the market for emerging vegan cheese varieties. “Everyone’s favorite staple – cheese – gets a healthy makeover. Nut-based cheeses are made from [alternative milks such as] almond and macadamia nut milks but prepared in traditional cheesemaking style. Vegans and traditional cheese lovers alike will appreciate them,” forecasts Cathy Strange, Whole Foods Market Global Cheese Buyer. Depending on the milk and preparation used, vegan cheese can have several benefits, such as a boost in vitamins E and B12 from almond milk.
If you need to avoid gluten or are simply looking to make baked goods more flavorful, consider gluten-free flours. There are many different types but some of the most popular choices are coconut flour, almond flour, and chickpea (or besan) flour, each with various nutrient levels. Both almond and coconut flours are good sources of fiber, while chickpea flour, a staple in Indian dishes, is high in protein. When baking, Everyday Health Editor Ashlee Davis prefers coconut and almond flours. “I think they give my baked goods a lighter, moister texture, with an even richer taste. It’s fun to pair them with other naturally sweet ingredients like bananas, pumpkin, and dates. The combined flavors are delicious.” Premixed all-purpose, gluten-free blends are also available and are better suited for baking recipes.
1. New Nordic Diet
Contrary to its name, the New Nordic Diet (NND) isn’t actually new, it’s just recently become recognized by more health experts who acknowledge it’s ability to aid in weight loss and improve overall health. It has rightfully earned a place as one of the diet trends you’ll see in 2015, as awareness of the health benefits from recent studies continues to spread. With a focus on whole foods, seafood, nuts, seeds, and small portions of lean wild meat (or free-range meats as an alternative), NND provides variety, flavor, and loads of nutrients.
Like many dieters, you’ve probably tried diets that focus on one type of food or cut out several food groups. Then, if you begin eating what you’ve cut out, you gain the weight back—fast. But when following New Nordic Diet, you get to eat a lot of food groups while buying local and organic foods, and being environmentally friendly. It can help with weight loss, reduce body fat, and lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
3. The Biggest Loser Diet
You’ve probably heard about or seen The Biggest Loser, a popular reality TV show featuring obese people losing weight through diet and exercise. While North America’s obsession with reality TV might contribute to the show’s popularity, The Biggest Loser Diet is becoming quite trendy because it’s proven to greatly help with weight loss. You don’t have to exercise for several hours a day like those on the show, but if you follow this diet, it’s recommend you incorporate moderate cardiovascular exercise and muscle training for best overall health.
Like a few other effective diets, The Biggest Loser Diet is likely so popular and going to continue to be trendy because it doesn’t cut out any food groups. It’s all about moderation, lean meats, and loads of fruits and vegetables. It also involves using a food journal, something that on its own can be effective for weight loss—by tracking and writing down what you eat, you’re forced to acknowledge your eating habits. And if you have poor eating habits, the diet, along with the journal, can be very effective in weight loss and reducing your chance of heart disease.
4. Flexitarian Diet
This term might not be something you’ve heard before, but flexitarian basically refers to being a vegetarian who eats meat on occasion. It’s kind of like vegetarianism with cheat days or treats, with meat being the prize. The flexitarian diet is all about eating plant-based foods that provide a plethora of vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and minerals that contribute to better health. On this diet, you’ll eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and small portions of meat. Tofu is a common food for both vegetarian and flexitarian diets—it’s an effective replacement for meat and a vegetarian favorite, since it’s a good source of protein.
Unlike the vegetarian diet, the flexitarian diet is often considered even better for you in regard to weight loss and overall health. Why? A common problem vegetarians face is not getting enough protein in their diet. While grains like quinoa and other non-meat foods like tofu are high in protein and can help prevent this from happening, many people find adding small portions of meat is easier to ensure a balanced diet
7. DASH Diet
The DASH diet isn’t a new concept, but it continues to make the cut as one of the most effective diets, largely due to how effective it is for weight loss, and how balanced and good the diet is for your overall health. DASH, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was created as a way to fight and prevent high blood pressure. There’s nothing fancy about this diet— you’ll have variety and choices. Some of the heart healthy and other nutrient-rich foods in the diet include fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, nuts, whole grains, lean meats, chicken, and fish.
With how easy it is to follow and incorporate DASH into your diet, it’s definitely a crowd-favorite. It doesn’t cut out any major food groups like a lot of other diets, and the health benefits are vast, from lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, to reducing the risk of certain cancers and type 2 diabetes. Many dieters who follow DASH for their weight loss goals easily continue to follow the diet and continue to reap the health benefits after their goals are met.
9. Modified Paleo Diet
If you’re regularly online, follow the news, or are frequently on social media, odds are you’ve heard about the Paleo diet. Its popularity steadily gained momentum over the past few years, and 2015 is bound to see even more people giving it a try due to its effectiveness for fairly significant weight loss. The downside is that it can be difficult to follow because it cuts out quite a few food groups. Luckily, Paleo diet’s growing popularity has resulted in a ton of recipe websites, cookbooks and food bloggers that make it easier to follow.
The concept of the Paleo diet is that you only eat foods that hunter-gatherers ate. It’s often referred to as the caveman diet, and consists of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, lean meats, and fish. On the other end, it cuts out sugar, grains, and legumes, to name a few. There’s been some controversy about it because a strict Paleo diet cuts out too many foods, including vital nutrients. But you can modify the diet to ensure you get the vitamins and nutrients for good health. If needed, consult a dietician or your doctor for guidance.
Hyperlocal and Non-GMO Foods
You might have noticed more labels on food packages and the shift is evident. “People are starting to eat better and learn more about what is organic, natural, and what GMOs are,” observes Whitlock. It’s certainly a hot topic, as the debates on whether or not to require food labels to specify GMO ingredients, increase. Stallone also points out that the “sustainability factor” is the biggest concern, especially when it comes to local and regional produce. “People are very health-conscious and want to get very specific about the [foods and] products [they’re buying].” Stay up-to-date with food labels that apply to you and which claims might be misleading to make an informed choice at the farmer’s market, grocery store, or supermarket.
“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.
Butter, Coconut Butter, Coconut Oil
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
Bulletproof coffee anyone? Fewer and fewer people fear fat in their diets, and I think butter on and in everything will be a big trend next year! Similar to butter, flavored coconut butter provides healthy fats, which will be working their way into everyone’s diets!
Sprinkle your superfoods. This year, most registered dietitians named seeds and nuts (54%) as the superfoods that will reign in 2015. Kale remains the Queen of Greens though, with most of the nutrition experts surveyed agreeing that kale, Greek yogurt, coconut products and avocado are prevailing healthful food choices for consumers.
Go green…with tea. When it comes to better beverages, green tea gets high marks with 35% of dietitians selecting it as the drink of choice for its myriad health benefits.
The “beef” about beef. According to dietitians, most consumers view animal-based protein, such as meat, fish and poultry, as high-quality, but nutrition pros rank quality proteins differently. Nutrition experts recommend fish and seafood, eggs, legumes and nuts, poultry and dairy as healthy, high-quality proteins, followed by soy. Red meat is considered less healthy among the nutrition pros, most likely due to the saturated fat, cholesterol and high environmental demands required to produce beef.
Gluten-free diets dominate. According to the experts, 66% believe gluten-free or wheat-free diets will continue to be trendy in 2015. “Regardless of the lack of evidence to support eating a wheat- or gluten-free diet for weight loss, consumers believe that eliminating foods with certain ingredients will help them lose weight or be healthier,” explains Jenna A. Bell, PhD, RD, Senior Vice President and Director of Food & Wellness at Pollock Communications. In fact, the survey revealed that 70% of dietitians believe consumers will be more interested in nutrition and weight loss in 2015 than they were in 2014. Dietitians also noted that we will see “clean eating” as well as the Paleo diet, as popular eating trends.
Old is new. Despite the popularity of some low-grain diets, half of dietitians agree that ancient grains, like amaranth, quinoa, spelt and freekah, will be a top trend in 2015.
“Low-fat” fizzles. While low-carb remains strong, low-fat gets weaker. For another consecutive year, the overwhelming majority of dietitians predict that the low-fat diet will fall flat in 2015, with only 4% naming it as a popular eating trend among consumers.
Good fat vs. bad fat. As consumers welcome fat back into their eating plans, the question becomes which fats are best? In the battle of the fats, 84% of nutrition experts agree that consumers should replace saturated fat with good fats (mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids). “We found that dietitians are making recommendations that align with current guidelines for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association,” explains Bell.
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