As we go into our second week of 2014, what's on the forecast in diet and nutrition? The prediction most likely to have already come true is that many people have made "getting in shape" and "eating better" their New Year's resolution. Beyond that, what can we expect to see this year?
Some of last year's most popular trends are likely to remain popular.Paleo Diet
Gluten-Free and low-carb diets such as the Paleo Diet are likely to stick around for a while, despite a recent US News & World Report poll of nutritionists who deemed the Paleo Diet the worst diet, based upon being too restrictive to maintain, limiting some nutrients and not being well backed by research. This is unlikely to dampen the enthusiasm of followers of these low-carb diets who believe that they're the best way to lose weight. And, of course, those who have medical reasons to avoid gluten will be happy at the ever-increasing availability of gluten-free foods.DASH Diet
Older diets which might actually be best in the long run for weight loss and health include the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet. A newer way these diets are described is "eating clean" or the "Flexitarian" diet. Whatever you call this way of eating, these heavily plant-based diets are backed by research which shows their ability to prevent obesity and cardiovascular disease. What they have in common is an emphasis on eating fresh fruits and vegetables and excluding processed foods.Ancient Grains
People who are not eliminating carbohydrates completely from their diets might be exploring ancient grains, some of which are gluten-free. These include quinoa, amaranth, millet, teff and many others.
Image: SweetOnVeg via FlickrSpices
All of those grains need some flavor to perk them up. International culinary influences are getting more popular, with increased interest in the cuisines of Korea, the Philippines, and Latin America.Sustainability and Reduction of Food Waste
Interest in the food system and sustainability is ever-increasing, and this plays out in several ways. Look out for recipes on creatively reusing leftovers, which is one way to promote more home cooking. And we'll see other creative ways of reducing food waste, such as the recent announcement by the former President of Trader Joe's, who has hatched plans to open a discount grocery called the Daily Table which will sell foods that are past their best-by dates. We'll also see hyper-local sourcing of food to include foraging from the plants around us. There's even an interactive map to help you find forageable food, called Falling Fruit.
2014 looks like it will be an exciting year with deeper exploration of some of last year's hottest trends. We'll also see renewed interest in some tried and true, scientifically-proven diets such as the DASH diet. We'll look to what the rest of the world eats and try out a wider variety of grains and spices. And with continued interest in sustainability, we might come upon the best diet plan of all: eating less. Here's to a healthy and delicious 2014!
How are you shaking up your diet this year?
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