Low-fat flatlines in 2014 diet trends forecast

by Monica Watrous
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NEW YORK – “Low-fat” is losing weight in consumers’ minds as more health-conscious eaters adopt low-carb plans, according to a diet and nutrition trends forecast from Today’s Dietitian, a nutrition trade magazine, and Pollock Communications public relations agency.

Based on a survey of more than 500 registered dietitians, health-conscious consumers will continue to banish wheat and gluten in favor of ancient grains, such as quinoa and amaranth.

“Despite the lack of evidence to support wheat- or gluten-elimination diets for weight loss or health, not associated with a clinical disorder or disease, consumers are still looking for ways to control their weight,” said Jenna Bell, senior vice president and director of food and wellness at Pollock Communications.

Low-fat diets will be the least discussed plan in 2014, dietitians predicted, while Paleo, gluten-free and “wheat belly” will top the list of popular food fads.

Eco-friendly eats continue to gain popularity, with 38 percent of dietitians noting an increased interest in local fare and nearly a third saying their clients seek sustainable food when shopping.

Kale, chia seeds and coconut are set to remain on-trend ingredients in the new year, with more than a third of dietitians reporting an increased interest in coconut oil.

Two-thirds of the dietitians surveyed predicted a sustained interest in healthy eating and weight loss in 2014, as the topic of health and nutrition continues to boom on blogs and web sites. Still, 67 percent of dietitians warned of a rise in misinformation, noting most nutrition information is based on personal beliefs rather than peer-reviewed research.
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