Trends in nutrition in 2016 – Part I

The freshly started year 2016, just like previous years, will definitely bring something new in “popular dietetics”. In 2015 gluten-free diet was getting stronger, also “paleo diet” seemed to be on top, whereas, in the bodybuilding attitude fatty diet was found more interesting. Will these trends change? Of course, there's no certainty. Taking under consideration the current tendencies and signals from the scientific world, as well as some hints in popular literature, we can make some speculations.

“Gluten-free” still on top?

Gluten-free diet has been more popular recently. Not only people with celiac disease or allergic to this compound are interested in eliminating gluten, but also those on diet, or those who want to eat healthy food. Gluten was the target some time ago, but the past wo years have made the critical attitude towards this nutrient so popular. The fashion for “paleo diet” contributed to such state, together with Dr William Davis, who created the real market hit, which is undoubtedly the book “Diet without wheat”.

So far, there aren't any reasons to think that gluten-free diet could become less fashionable in 2016. However, you should remember, that some trends usually get used at some point, if they are not justified scientifically. There's no doubt that gluten is a controversial compound, which may be problematic for larger group of population than just those suffering from celiac disease or allergy. It's good to have on your mind the fact that there isn't any convinving proof for everybody to resign from gluten completely. This matter is complicated by the fact that, even a frequently cited scientist – gastroenterologist, Peter Gibson from the Monash University in Australia, who contributed to spreading the belief, according to which gluten is harmful not only for those with celiac disease, revised his opinion after two years of more precise research.

Will the year 2016 be the year of gluten-free diet as strongly as the year 2015? Probably not, especially that this topic is more often used by the food producers. However, perhaps that's also the reason why we will start to feel the exaggeration of “scaring us with gluten” and we will probably start to consider this topic with larger distance.

New edition of veganism?

Of course, veganism is not a new idea. Diets eliminating products of animal origin have been interesting for a very long time. However, veganism itself has always belonged to a niche, sometimes perceived as too extreme nutrition solution. Well, vegan diet will definitely never be as popular as diets which include meat, eggs and dairy products. However, it may be popularised as a form of inspiration for many populations of Eastern countries. Even last year one could observe the significant increase of interest in vegan products, like vegetable replacement of milk, or others.

Some kind of trend, which refers to “the vegan sensitivity” may be also observed, for example there are analyses which show that we are more eager to buy eggs from free-range hens not only because we think they are more valuable, but also because we care about the animals and we wish them to live in more friendly conditions. Of course, it's not the real veganism, but some kind of preview, if it comes to the change in consumers' interests.

Also the analyses of the information and advertisement market lead in the USA bring interesting data. Eric Pierce from the New Hope Natural Media brings the studies, which show that words like “veganism” appear more often in the media and there is positive reaction on it. Will the year 2016 be the year of veganism? For sure, not literally, but there are reasons to think that the popularity of “plant diets” will increase and the perception of consumers will include some element of sensitivity typical for vegans.

Will carbohydrates come back?

Carbohydrates have been more often described as a negative nutrient. In some societies, it is common to believe that carbohydrates are the reason of the problem of overweight and obesity. The increase of popularity of such belief, together with the fashion for low-carb diets, is a natural counterpoint for the, once fashionable, low-fat diet (that's how fashion works – new trends are often opposite to previous ones). However, there are reasons to believe that this trend will change.

In 2016 the “ancient cereals” (and pseudocereals) will probably gain the popularity, especially quinoa, spelt, amaranth and kamut (the first two are already very “popular”, but the last two have not been so known yet). It's not said that also buckwheat, millet and oat will be more interesting. Whereas, the modern kinds of wheat, as well as barley and rye will be neglected because of being rich source of gluten (some of the ones mentioned before also include gluten, but it is not that popularised).

It's conceivable that the year 2016 will also have its top fruit (just like previous years had their “fruit stars”, such as goji berries, Acai berries, noni fruit). What will be the hit of this year? It's hard to say. From the sports people point of view, it would be good to get interest in watermelon, Montmorency cherry and grapes, because they have positive influence on the body's efficiency.

Legumes flour

Legumes have many interesting properties. They can be a rich source of slowly absorbed carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins from the B group, many minerals, protein and bio-active substances, such as L-DOPA (which influences positively the mood and libido). Legumes, which are not processed, are inedible or unsafe for us, that's why it's advised to soak them and process with high temperature, which makes them not so popular nowadays, as noone has time to prepare them, except for string beans. However, the products from legumes, such as spread, pate, protein concentrate and... flour, are getting more popular!

There are reasons to believe that flour made of such vegetables, as: chickpea, lentil, or black bean will be bought by us more eagerly this year. They are quite rich in nutrients and very functional. You can find more and more recipes with the use of such flour within the Internet, which is somehow connected with the fashion for gluten-free products (legumes do not contain gluten) and veganism (legumes are quite rich in vegetable protein).

Summary

The year 2016 will probably bring a slight cooldown of the enthusiasm towards gluten-free diet, however, it will be still very popular. There might be an increase of interest in carbohydrate products, such as “the ancient cereals”, it is also possible for a new “fruit of the year” to show up. The interest in flour made of legumes is highly possible to rise, which is partly connected with the fashion for “vege”. However, are these all the trends for the new year? Of course, not! In the next part of the article I will describe few other, probable perspectives!

Trends in nutrition part II