Top Five Diet Trends For 2013

 

There's no shortage of New Year's resolutions to eat healthier and lose weight, but what does that really mean for consumers and food companies in 2013? According to a survey of more than 200 of the nation's leading nutrition experts – registered dietitians – there are five diet and lifestyle trends that will make news and be on consumers' minds in the coming year. 

1.  Natural and simple with few ingredients are IN; low-fat and low-carb are OUT. Most dietitians (51 percent) predict that consumers will continue to demand natural and simple foods that are minimally processed with few ingredients, compared to last year's survey (46 percent).  And with more consumers cooking at home, consumers will be looking at the ingredient list to evaluate the foods they serve their families.  Making healthier foods delicious, and seeking items that are gluten-free/wheat-free, tied for the second biggest nutrition trend.  What's out?  Half of dietitians agree that low-fat and low-carb diets are out in 2013. This is good news for bread, pasta and rice lovers.

2. To lose weight, consumers will look to the wheat belly/gluten-free approach, as well as commercial diet programs. Dietitians were split down the middle, with wheat belly/gluten-free (42 percent) beating out commercial diet programs (41 percent) by only one percent as the most popular approach to weight loss.  While wheat belly/gluten-free is predicted to be a popular weight loss trend, diet programs such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig will continue to see consumers turning to them for weight loss assistance in the New Year. 

3. Dietitians, social media and smart phone apps are the top three resources used for nutrition advice. Whether it's because they provide community support, easy access or a personalized approach, dietitians predict that social media, smart phone apps and dietitians will be the go-to sources for nutrition information in 2013. 

4. Quality Matters: Consumers will focus on eating high quality calories. The majority of dietitians (57 percent) surveyed say that eating high-quality calories - foods with more nutrition per bite - will be most important for achieving a healthy diet and weight in 2013.  It's not just about total calories, it's about where those calories come from. 

5.  Fruits and veggies remain king. Hands down, dietitians agree that eating more fruits and vegetables will have the biggest impact on improving American's diet and health in 2013 and beyond.  These diet staples are packed with disease fighting nutrients, and can help consumers maintain a healthy weight when eaten as part of a balanced diet.  Whether fresh or frozen, consumers will look to include more plant based foods in their diets.

6. MyPlate IS Our Plate. Even more dietitians (76 percent) are using MyPlate to counsel patients compared to last year's survey (69 percent).  Dietitians are finding ways to incorporate MyPlate into their practice and finding that it's a great tool for counseling individuals on their diet. 

"New food and nutrition trends emerge each year as we learn more from science and demand more from food companies," comments Jenna A. Bell , PhD, RD, nutrition expert in New York City.  "While health and weight loss goals may continue to top resolution lists, how we achieve these goals and choose our foods is always changing."   Dr. Bell adds that it's important to know where the minds and appetites of consumers are heading.