Consumers believe animal-based proteins are high-quality proteins.
Consumers are most likely to view animal-based proteins such as meat, seafood and poultry as high quality, according to a survey of registered dietitians.
Nearly half of registered dietitians believe consumers will be less interested in dieting and more interested in mindful eating in 2017, according to the results of the fifth annual “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey conducted by Pollock Communications, New York, andToday’s Dietitianmagazine. High-quality lean protein is an important component of the mindful eating movement, according to Sharon Palmer, a registered dietitian and the nutrition editor of
Today’s Dietitian.

Sharon Palmer, registered dietitian, Today's Dietitian magazine
Sharon Palmer, nutrition editor, Today’s Dietitian
“Mindful eating encompasses minimally processed, clean, simple foods that are nutrient dense,” she said. “Meat and poultry dishes can be prepared to be part of such a diet, a diet consumers can live with and not feel guilty about.

“Mindful eating is a slower and more thoughtful approach to eating,” said Palmer. “Instead of focusing on diets, dietitians recommend choosing foods based on a wholesome ingredient list and high level of quality proteins and carbohydrates.”

The survey polled more than 1,700 registered dietitians across the country on what they believe will be this year’s big trends in food and eating. Compared to 2016, dietitians reported that consumers will be less concerned with the food trends of previous years, such as foods free of gluten or genetic modification. They attribute this decline to food label transparency and more food companies changing their ingredient decks. In contrast, consumers will be looking for more low-sodium and sugar-free options in 2017.

When the dietitians were asked what they recommend their clients consider when making food purchase decisions, 63.5 percent identified high-quality protein. Further, 74 percent stated that consumers are most likely to view animal-based proteins such as meat, seafood and poultry as high quality, as compared to 11.3 percent for eggs, 10.1 percent for plant-based proteins (e.g., whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, etc.), 2.9 percent for dairy foods and 1.7 percent for soy foods. Poultry was the most common recommendation, followed by seafood. An overwhelming majority do not recommend processed meat products.