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Natural foods to rule 2012

india Updated: Dec 26, 2011 01:08 IST
Highlight Story

The year 2012 shall ring in with a new food trend in focus. Processed food shall take a back seat as unprocessed, natural and organic products are predicted to be the biggest nutrition trends in 2012. With more and more consumers shunning artificial flavours and preservative, looking for familiar pronounceable ingredients in their foods, says a group of US dietitians.

In a survey of 200 registered dietitian carried out by PR group Pollock Communications, experts agreed that demand for local, organic, fresh and minimally processed foods will continue to rise in 2012, especially for home cooks who want to keep their cooking as natural as possible. Sodium reduction will also be a top trend, as will elimination of high fructose corn syrup. Exotic, spicy flavours of ethnic cuisine will also punch up home cooked meals. Here are some of the other nutrition trends forecast to dominate 2012:

Fruits and vegetables:
As health and nutrition consciousness is increasing, food value of fruits and vegetables is being realised. It’s one food group that consumers consistently don’t get enough of. And in 2012, dietitian agree that there will be a big push in consumption of fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants, fiber and phytonutrients. Seasonal and organic produce will continue its momentum of popularity.

Trans and saturated fats:
Fat consumption is another health element which is being taken seriously. In the survey, 78% of registered dietician named trans fats as the most harmful element in a diet, followed by added sugars, saturated fats and sodium. Next year will see a bigger emphasis on minimising these harmful hazards. Launched this year by the US Department of Agriculture, the MyPlate guide has been designed to take the guesswork out of counting portions and be more straightforward than the old iconic food pyramid model it replaced: half the plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, and the other half made up of whole grains and a small portion of lean
protein.

Dietitians in the survey said they plan to push the new food guidelines in 2012. Last week, market research firm, NPD Group, said that the average American adheres to the new national food guide just seven days out of the year, based on its own National Eating Trends statistics, which have been tracking the eating and drinking habits of US consumers for 30 years.