From kale to quinoa, gluten-free to guilt-free or FODMAPs to fasting, there’s no better way to find out what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to food than by asking the experts – all of you! You may recall at the end of last year that, together with Appetite Communications, we asked you all to tell us what the top dietary trends for Australians will be in 2016 – and now the results are in! We surveyed you because you are the experts in everything food and nutrition – accredited practising dietitians are Australia’s greatest resource when it comes to what Australians are eating, thinking and doing about food. 


Top Five Food and Nutrition Trends for 2016:


When old becomes new – trending IN

Amongst the top foods predicted to trend in 2016 by dietitians were those considered staple ingredients by some cultures for centuries – ancient grains and turmeric. “Ancient grains such as quinoa and spelt have been popular for a while now and dietitians are telling us that this will continue, alongside the growth in popularity of lesser-known grains such as freekah and teff,” said Maree Ferguson, founder and director of Dietitian Connection. “This is good news as the message from dietitians around the importance of wholegrains seems to be getting through,” she said.

 

Teff is a tiny grain traditionally grown in Ethiopia that packs a big punch nutritionally – it’s high in dietary fibre and iron, provides calcium and protein and is gluten free. Turmeric, used for more than 4,000 years to ward off various ailments, and is now being hailed as a natural anti-inflammatory.


Fading fads – trending OUT

Some of 2015’s most talked about foods are on the way out according to the survey – kale, bone broth and coconut oil/water topped the list of foods consumers are tipped to move away from in 2016. “These predictions show that food can often be a little like fashion – what’s in today may not be in tomorrow! However, that’s no reason to stop eating a green leafy vegetable like kale, it just highlights how quickly we adopt new trends then move on to the next big thing,” said Maree. 


Diets in demand

When it comes to actual diets, dietitians predict the low/no sugar diet, the FODMAPs diet and intermittent fasting will be amongst the most popular – but not necessarily what they would recommend when it comes to weight loss or maintenance. “Consumers are being exposed to a variety of ‘new’ and ‘latest’ weight loss programmes, secrets, supplements and methods – more than ever before thanks to the rise of social media,” said Andrea Mortensen, founder and director of Appetite Communications.


Diet MISinformation

Dietitians have named social media, celebrity nutritionists and bloggers among the top sources of misinformation for diet and nutrition information in 2016. 


The Confusion Continuum

Unfortunately the rise of social media and the ‘non-expert’ has created confusion amongst consumers about what to eat, and dietitians predict this will continue in 2016, with more than half of those surveyed predicting consumers will be more confused than they were in 2015.

 

The research also uncovered dietitians’ top tips for healthy eating in 2016: 

 

Eat mindfully: be aware of and attentive to what you are eating, take your time and enjoy it – this helps to reset your body to respond to the physical need to eat rather than an emotional one

 

Include more plant-based foods in your diet – think outside the traditional fruit and vege square and look to pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds and wholegrains

 

Eat guilt-free: enjoy a balanced diet based on core foods with the OCCASIONAL treat

 

Know your portions and stick to them

 

Eat more fruits and vegetables

 

Eat less ‘discretionary foods’ or treats – keep these as an occasional indulgence, not an everyday staple