Consumers will eat more seeds and less red meat in 2015, dietitians predict

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Consumers will eat more seeds, less red meat in 2015, dietitians say

Related tags Consumers Nutrition

Seeds and nuts will usurp kale and coconut as the top two superfoods in 2015 as consumers look for on-the-go, nutrient dense foods, according to a survey of 500 registered dietitians conducted by the trade magazine Today’s Dietitian and the public relations agency Pollock Communications. 

Kale and coconut will not go away in 2015, though. Neither will Greek yogurt, which consumers are drawn to for its high protein content, and avocado, which is full of healthy fats, according to the annual “What’s Trending in Nutrition”​ survey.

“Dietitians gave all of these foods high ratings because of their healthful nutrition profile.  In addition, we know that taste and convenience are strong motivators for consumers’ purchasing decision, which could explain their affinity for nuts and seeds, which are easy to sprinkle on or add to any meal,”​ Louise Pollock, president of Pollock Communications, told Food Navigator-USA.

The registered dietitians surveyed also predict in 2015:

  • Green tea will be the “drink of choice for its myriad health benefits,”​ including antioxidants to fight cell damage. Studies show it can improve heart health, reduce the formulation of plaques related to Alzheimer’s disease and lower blood pressure. It also offers a jolt of caffeine without the sugar and calories of soda and is considered “natural”​ by many consumers, thus tying into two other industry driving trends.
  • Red meat will be pushed aside​ in favor of fish and poultry, which have lower saturated fat, cholesterol and less impact on the environment than beef. Nutrition experts also will promote eggs, legumes, nuts and dairy as healthy, high quality proteins.
  • Consumers will continue to follow gluten- and wheat-free diets to lose weight​ in 2015, even though evidence does not support the diets as weight-loss tactic, according to 66% of the surveyed dietitians. They also predicted an increase in “clean eating,”​ such as the Paleo diet.
  • Ancient grains will gain popularity​, in part because consumers are seeking gluten-free grain options. Grains to watch include amaranth, quinoa, spelt and freekah, according to the survey.
  • Low-fat diets will continue to wane​ for another consecutive year. “Low-fat is fizzling because consumers are now understanding that some fats are good for us.  According to the survey, 84% of nutrition experts agree that consumers should replace saturated fat with good fats.  This aligns with the recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate stating that we should reduce our intake of saturated fat and replace saturated fat sources, like butter and high-fat red meat, with foods that have more unsaturated fat, like vegetable oils, soft spreads, nuts, seeds and avocados,”​ Pollock said. As consumers reject low-fat foods, they will need more education about good verses bad fats, the survey adds. (Read more HERE​ .) 
  • Consumers will gauge their weight compared to those around them​, including friends and family, 35% of the dietitians say. They also will compare their health to that of people on television and in magazines, just under a third of those surveyed said.  Pollock noted: “Neither of these are accurate measurements of individual health and weight.  Consumers should discuss their own health and weight guidelines with a health care professional such as a registered dietitian nutritionist in order to best understand how to improve.”
  • More consumers will take action to lose weight, ​according to the survey. “With the obesity epidemic rising in the US, consumers are feeling the pressure to make changes or be faced with challenging health consequences,”​ Pollock said. Nearly three-quarters of dietitians surveyed said consumers will be more interested in nutrition and weight loss in 2015 than last year. In addition, only 26% of dietitians said people would be complacent about being an unhealthy weight, down from 44% last year. The best way for consumers to improve their overall diet and health is to choose high-quality, nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups, according to 51% of the surveyed experts. Forty-seven percent say eating more fruits and vegetables is the best way to improve diet.
  • Misinformation about nutrition will abound in 2015 leading to consumer confusion.​ Slightly less than half of dietitians say consumers learn about nutrition online, and 38% say this includes misinformation, which could compromise diet improvement.
  • Labeling and certifications increasingly matter. ​According to 69% of the experts surveyed, consumers are looking for more eco-labels and listing GMO-free certifications as most important. Building on this they predict products labeled as certified GMO-free, gluten-free and organic will hold more sway over consumers in 2015.
  • Using USDA’s MyPlate as a tool to eat right will help consumers, ​according to 73% of dietitians surveyed.
  • Convenience, taste and price trump all else​ when shoppers make food purchasing decisions, despite increased access and awareness about healthy food and proper nutrition, according to the survey.

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