Year in Review: Trends in 2014
- Everything paleo - This diet became immensely popular for its "what we're genetically meant to be doing" messaging. Most feel it is very doable and satisfying thanks to the high protein intake. As an RDN, I was happy that it encouraged vegetables, fish, eggs, and healthful oils/nuts/seeds, but disappointed that it cut out healthy legumes and took such a strong stance on dairy products.
- Gluten free - Gluten continued to get criticized thanks to books like Wheat Belly and Grain Brain. I am glad that consumers are tuning into the importance of minimizing refined grains as a whole (gluten containing or not) but also try to use this campaign to educate on Celiac disease, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, food hypersensitivities, general health and everything in between.
- Juicing/smoothies - Somehow instead of eating fruits and vegetables it became much more popular (read: healthier) to drink them instead. While those smoothies are definitely packed with nutrients, many are lacking when it comes to fiber. Thankfully the juicing trend is starting to head back in the direction of smoothies with the option of adding ingredients like flaxseed oil, chia seeds, Greek yogurt, oats, etc.
- Butter is back - From the New York Times articles to the publication of The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz, last year saw the tides turn back toward encouraging fats in the diet. It is a worthy message after hearing 30+ years of low-fat as the major factor in heart health, but beware of trying to over-apply this to all of the fats that we know contribute to heart disease. Embrace nuts, seeds, nut butters, various cooking oils, and avocado as one's primary fat sources and add in some cheeses, dairy and butter in moderation.