New Nutrition Trends To Expect This Year
As another year on the fitness calendar has ended, researchers and nutritionists have picked apart 2012’s diet trends to tell us which ones should be ditched, which ones should prevail, and which ones are just in need of a little adjustment. Here is what to expect of diets trends for 2013.
Expanding our diets
Most nutritionists and dieters seem to understand that these low-fat, zero-carb, macrobiotic, fish-only and whatever-else-is-out-there diets not only don’t give you lasting results, but do have lasting health implications, in a negative sense. In 2013, expect to see many more diets that allow for most types of food, but in moderation, or in healthier varieties.
Consumers are getting savvy: “low-fat” “organic” “sugar-free” and similar labels often come hand in hand with a 40-item-long ingredient list, consisting mostly of things you’ve never heard of. Consumers are becoming less concerned with labels, and instead just want the fewest, cleanest ingredients.
The Paleo diet
In line with the desire for cleaner ingredients, some healthy eaters are going as simple as can be with their eating via the Paleo diet. Think of the diet this way: if you had to survive in the wild, anything you couldn’t access to eat would not be on this diet. It’s based on the principal that humans were not built to eat certain foods, namely processed foods, gluten, grains or unnatural sugar.
The food industry caught wind that popcorn—with its natural whole grain content and low fat—is becoming a staple in the diet of many healthy-minded consumers. So expect to see it on actual menus in actual restaurants, but fancied up with spices and other bulk ingredients mixed in.
While Tequila and Vodka don’t have much to show in the health benefits department, bars are trying to draw in drinkers with “healthy” cocktails. Expect tons of fresh fruit and herbs, sugar-free drinks, and even vitamin-infused beverages.
We’re all looking for excuses to eat more of what we love. And restaurants definitely want you to order more, so expect menus to boast the exact health benefits of each ingredient in their dishes. In tiny, slanted writing you’ll see “fat-burner” under spicy foods, “stabilizes blood sugar” under high protein items and so on.
Carbs are back
Followers of the zero-carb diets were noticing quick weight loss but they were noticing one more thing: fatigue. The high protein in these diets energizes your body, but starch is essential for energizing the mind. Just be sure you’re avoiding empty carbs, like white bread and pasta. Stick to nutrient-full ones like potatoes, quinoa, brown rice and barley.
It’s been on grocery store shelves for years, but ignored in light of its better-marketed, sweeter competitors. But now that most yogurts have been exposed for being high in sugar and low in the good stuff, Greek yogurt, with its low sugar and high protein content is having its day.
Gluten is out
You’ve probably heard of friends being diagnosed with a gluten allergy, or even celiac disease. But many without the allergy are still dropping gluten products, claiming they feel more energized, less bloated, and experience improved digestion because of it.
Natural sugar alternatives
Once all the dangers of the classic zero calorie sweeteners were exposed, alternative health food companies stormed in to fill up the white space in the market. But even some of the “healthy” alternatives were proving to be detrimental to our body’s natural way of digesting sugar. The two that are still standing strong are coconut sugar and/or coconut nectar and monk fruit sweetener. So expect to see more of these.
Farmed fish is (almost) back
Farmed fish was getting a bad rap for a while, allegedly carrying a slew contaminants, and little of the healthy omega’s we want from our seafood. But new companies are getting savvy and practicing sustainable farming, putting farmed fish back on the market.
Coconut water powder
Regular exercisers and even those nursing hangovers love coconut water for its super-hydrating powers and almost non-existent calorie count compared to its competitors. But, it’s pricy. So companies have come out with a cheap alternative: coconut water powder. Just add the freeze dried contents to water and enjoy.
What used to only be found in powder form and packed into giant tubs is now finding its way into mainstream foods like energy bars, cereals and oats. Most people are slightly protein deficient, and whey is an easy way to get a little protein boost.
Compartmentalizing your meals
For decades we were encouraged to cover a majority of the food pyramid in each meal, filling half our plate with veggies, 1/4th in protein and 1/4th in carbs. But now people are enjoying more purpose-driven meals. You’ll see protein-heavy lunches, followed by completely vegetarian dinners to balance out. Instead of getting all the food groups in each meal, people are having a heavy dose of each group, but by itself in separate meals.