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December 29, 2011

Top 5 diet trends for 2012

As the New Year approaches, many Americans are thinking about changing their diets to promote healthier living. So what are the hot diet trends for 2012? A survey of more than 200 registered dieticians by Pollock Communications revealed the ways in which people will be improving their nutritional choices in the coming year.

Go green and add some spice

Unprocessed, natural foods will be the biggest consumer nutrition trend in 2012. Most registered dieticians (72 percent) predict that consumers will continue to demand more local, organic, sustainable, fresh, minimally processed foods, according to a Pollock Communications survey. With consumers returning to the table and cooking at home, they will become more aware of where their food is coming from and what it contains. In addition, consumers will look to spice things up with exotic and ethnically diverse flavors and cuisines.

Diet trifecta -- vitamins, minerals and fiber

Of the 204 responses, almost all registered dieticians emphasize more antioxidants and phytonutrients in the diet, and many (59 percent) say consumers need more vitamins and minerals.  While most agree that consumers are already consuming enough protein, carbohydrates and fats, dieticians say Americans are lacking sufficient amounts of fiber from whole grains and fruits and vegetables.  

'Tis the season

Seasonal and local fruits and vegetables rise to the top. About 94 percent of dieticians surveyed agreed that in the coming year there will be a bigger push for Americans to consume more fruits and vegetables.  Eating seasonal and local plant-based foods that are organically grown will be a big trend in the coming year, as well.

How low can you go?

More than two-thirds of registered dieticians name trans fats as the most harmful nutrient in the diet, followed by added sugars, saturated fat and sodium.  In 2012, we will see a greater emphasis on reducing these harmful dietary hazards.

Make your plate look like MyPlate

About 69 percent of dieticians said they are using the government’s MyPlate program to counsel patients and it will continue to play a role in diet recommendations through 2012. MyPlate recommends that half the plate consist of vegetables and fruit, with the other half should be made up mostly of whole grains and a small portion of lean protein.

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