Nutrition Trends – What is the future of nutrition

Do you like to be up to date with the latest nutrition trends?

We asked a few registered dietitians nutritionists about the latest trends in nutrition for the following years and compiled a list for you.

Do you see any trends coming up? Send them to us via comments and we will add them to the list.

Prevent and heal – Kirsten Reichner, RDN

There’s no better time than now to be in the nutrition field. Looking backward, dietitians and nutritionists were seen mostly in clinical settings. Looking forward, more and more people are looking to dietitians as the experts that can help prevent rather than treat illness, improve quality of life, and heal relationships with body and food. I am excited to see how dietitians will continue to become involved at every level of health from individuals and families to schools and corporations. 

I foresee a shift from focusing on extreme dieting and extra “healthy” foods to focusing more on intuitive eating, body positivity, and overcoming diet culture as a huge trend in the near future. 

Kirsten Reichner, RDN

Intuitive eating – Melissa Smith, RDN

I believe the future of nutrition will move away from a weight-centered, calorie counting, numbers focus to a holistic, all foods fit, intuitive approach. Intuitive eating and body positivity are on the rise as more people are focusing internally on how they feel versus externally on how others perceive them. There is a big focus on mental health right now which is amazing and this integration with physical health is important for overall well-being. 

Melissa Smith, RDN 

9 nutrition trends – Sylvia Klinger, DBA, MS, RDN, LDN, CPT

Using food as medicine

We know from past year that there was a lot on that, to increase and boost the immunity of our systems. There was an increase in many supplements in combination with foods. And what’s coming up in the next year is even a boost of more of these combinations of supplements, like vitamin C and Zinc, was so popular. 

And I think we’re gonna continue to see that trend as well. But in this case, we were looking at vitamin C and Zinc to boost the immune system. And these combinations are even more powerful than if we do one single one at a time. 

Gut health

Many studies and much has been said in research about gut health because there are a lot of synergies and a lot of connection to many parts in our body. For example, we know that gut helps in maintaining that microbiota, very, very strong and that lining of the wall is strong and thick so that the good bacteria stays inside and the bad bacteria doesn’t come in is really critical to maintaining our health. And we know that the connection between gut health and maintaining that gut lining strong is connected to not only gut health, but our digestive health, but it’s also our health, mental health, diabetes management, and most recently, even keeping your lungs healthy. So much research is needed in some of these areas. But we know that there’s a lot of more emerging things happening between the connection of gut health, and also the rest of our body. 

Sense and Sensibility

This is about your senses of smell and taste. COVID left a lot of people with their sense’s disturbed. Many people have waited like 30-40 days to get their ability to taste and to smell aromas for many days. So this is something that we’re actually working on because we know that there’s a number of ailments and disease that can lead to issues with taste and texture. When we don’t smell and we cannot taste it could create other problems. So there is an opportunity to explore and experiment with new textures and flavor profiles, it’s important. And they say that there is this new therapy, smell therapy to help people become acquainted with different aromas that they have lost from having COVID-19 within the past year or so. 

So again, there is this opportunity to explore and experiment with new flavor profiles and more aromas to help people get back those senses again. 

Robots and drones

I feel that not only this is important in our nutrition field to help even foodservice operations to increase their automation of more speed, quality and consistency. But also robots and drones can also help us deliver more and increase that repetitive tasks and those tedious tasks that we have all the time. But these could become, these drones and these robots can also help us to deliver food to places that are hard to get to. So I think there is a lot to be looked at and explored when it comes to robots and to drones. I really love technology and what it could do to bring nutritious food to people that are in remote areas. So these automation to increase the speed and quality in our delivery of foods and also to decrease those tedious task, repetitive tasks, this is where these robots and these drones can come into play. 

Going beyond sustainability

We are all about sustainability and how we can waste less and use more resources that we have in place. And this is really interesting because going beyond sustainability, we’re looking at lab work. What can be developed in our lab that can help us feed more people because we are becoming more and more every day, more babies are born and we’re becoming less, which more people of course, it’s creating more global warming. So going beyond sustainability, it’s about growing some culture meat, and even other foods in the lab, like dairy, honey, coffee, gelatin are among some of the ones that are going beyond meat and are being developed in a lab so that we can have more of some of these foods that could actually feed other people as well. 

There is a lot of work to be done in this area, but it’s something that we’re going to keep an eye because this is a trend that is coming in a lot of companies and people are investing in these lab to fork, we call it lab to play foods that are created in a lab, like most of them are being experimental in meat. But again, it’s not limited just to meat. But it’s also going into coffee and dairy products and other items as well. 

Plant based milks

This is a very interesting trend too that you might have seen grow in the past few years. And this is the plant based milks. We have seen a tremendous increase, we saw an increase in almond milk and an increase also in others like cashew, some of the nuts milk, flax meal, but now we’re going to grains. And we saw a huge increase in oat milk, which was a really popular one last year. So now  they’re looking into even going beyond oat and looking into other grains such as barley that can also provide low fat and is a good source of fibre at the same time is enriched with calcium, vitamin D and B-12. So look out for barley milk which is also being sold in London already, in Europe, in the UK has already one brand that is got a barley milk out there and it’s actually very tasty and is something that is actually sustainable as well because it’s not a grain that is utilized as much. It is a grain that is tasty and is grown in many rigid climate areas. So there’s a potential to use also barley into these milk, plant based milks. So it’s going beyond the nuts milk now and going into also we’re looking into other grain milks and this is a trend that we’ll have to watch in the next year. 

Upcycle

This gets me really excited too because I’m all about less food waste and trying to utilize every little thing that we are using and buying for our kitchens. For example this is about using my products and not wasting anything. I have been doing cooking classes where we teach people that for example, the green part of the strawberries, if you’re having a smoothie you can put the whole entire thing you don’t have to take the green part. There is not a ton of nutrition in those green stems of the strawberries but it has some. And there is no reason to throw it out, once you rinse it, it doesn’t really create any different texture, so you’re gonna see that. I also was experimenting with making some juice with foods like cantaloupe and putting the seeds into the blender to make it all together and not waste even the seeds as well. And it turned out really good. And the seeds, you can eat it without any problems unless you have some kind of digestive issues of course. But again the next strategy is to look at things that you will normally throw away, or companies or manufacturers are throwing away and what can they do with some of these byproducts. 

Some of them I know are using food for animals or they’re using it to feed animals. But now we’re looking into even food products that we can create or how we can help people eat, not throw away hardly anything of what they buy. So using these byproducts is what is called the upcycle. It is a niche that I think is something that we might look at, we’re looking into that might come up more and more in 2022 because we’re all about less waste and this could help us definitely to have less waste. 

Postbiotics

We are used to listening to prebiotics, probiotics but now it is postbiotic. And this is basically a byproduct of fermentation in the intestine. And these also could have some potential benefits to increase the lower like blood sugar, stabilize the blood sugars and also decrease the risk of obesity. 

So there’s something to be said about postbiotics, and you’re going to hear more about that word, probably 2022 even more. 

Carbon footprints / Carbon labelling 

And the last one I want to talk about is about carbon footprints, what I call now carbon labelling. Because we see a lot about different things on the label that are not quite as what we call it, generalized or standardized, as you say, standardized label claims, but the carbon footprint labelling might be something that we might be seeing in the label as well. And this is basically going to show a product, trying to track the carbon footprint of the product that you are purchasing. So that’s an interesting way that we’re going to see also. Another labelling addition to some of the products that you might be buying in the supermarket. 

Sylvia Klinger, DBA, MS, RDN, LDN, CPT

Is there any new trend coming up? Please add it in a comment below and we will put it to the list.

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