With all of the craziness that surrounded the year 2016, something that people often overlooked were the various scientific advancements made in this eventful year.
But now that 2017 is here and most of the things that made 2016 so crazy, such as the United States Presidential election and all of the various celebrity deaths, are distant memories, it is time to look at what science discovered about nutrition in the year 2016.
Previous beliefs about certain foods and diets have been confirmed and others have been outright debunked. Let's dive right in and see what science did for us in the past year!
#1: A Japanese cuisine can increase your lifespan
I am sure that you have heard many stories about how many Japanese people live to super old ages. And it may not be something special in their genetics or anything.
It may actually have to do with what they eat. A study conducted in early 2016 found that those who follow a strict Japanese diet lower their chances of a dying and thus, increase their lifespan. To be more specific, the study found that the Japanese diet greatly reduced one’s chance of dying from cardiovascular disease. It is time to break out the rice!
#2: Needing to drink eight cups of water a day is a myth
This is one that I am positive that we have all heard countless times over the years. And even as an avid water drinker myself, I got sick of hearing it.
I always made sure to drink plenty of water, but I never counted how many cups of it I was drinking. I found that notion ridiculous and in 2016, science proved it to be just as ridiculous as it sounded.
A study was conducted that looked at just how much water one needs to drink during a day and found that it varies based on a lot of factors. Factors such as your weight, what you have eaten throughout the day, how active you have been throughout the day, and the temperature outside.
Basically, the study concluded that the body knows when it needs water and will alert you by making you feel thirsty. Do not force yourself to drink water when you are not thirsty. Your body will actually make it harder for you to consume it.
#3: Pulses, such as beans, lentils, peas, and chickpeas can help you lose weight
It turns out your parents were right on the mark when they always forced you to eat your peas at the dinner table. And you should send them a thank you letter if you actually did eat those peas, because they gave you a huge assist in losing weight and keeping that weight off.
A trusted medical journal shared a study in the year 2016 that indicated that eating just three fourths of a cup of peas, chickpeas, beans, lentils, or other pulses each day can aid you in your weight loss efforts.
This specific study examined the effects of eating those pulses every day for six weeks and after that six-week period was up, they found that the participants lost up to three fourths of a pound.
While less than a pound does not appear to be that much of a change, that is nearly ten pounds that you would lose in a full year just from eating pulses like lentils and chickpeas. And I feel that you should know that this specific study was conducted on people who were not doing anything else to try to lose weight.
Imagine how much you could lose if you just simply integrated the daily consumption of pulses into a healthy diet.
#4: Go nuts! – they can help you increase your lifespan
2016 ended up showing the world that nuts are like, REALLY good your health. A collection of 29 studies was analyzed by nutrition experts and scientists and discovered the shocking benefits of regular nut consumption.
And these nuts can be any of your favorites including peanuts and walnuts! Anyways, the analysis of the studies found that those who regular consume any kind of nut in their diets are 30 percent less at risk for developing heart diseases, 15 percent less at risk for developing cancer, and 22 percent less at risk of dying prematurely than those who do not regularly consume nuts. No more having to feel guilty for having a peanut butter sandwich as a midnight snack.
#5: Saturated fats are still not good for you and may be worse than originally believed
A whole bunch of people felt super excited when scientific findings that seemed to indicate that saturated fats were not as bad as we thought were released earlier in the year of 2016. In the end, the findings of that particular study were widely disputed and criticized and proven wrong.
Many studies were done to follow-up on the study that indicated that saturated fats were not so bad and found the exact opposite. In fact, not only did those new studies prove that saturated fats were bad, but they proved that they may be even worse than we had originally thought.
One study in particular which was published in a British medical journal indicated a direct link between eating less foods with high amounts of saturated fats and experiencing a greatly reduced risk of developing heart disease.
That same study also proved that consuming healthy foods with unsaturated fats, such as the aforementioned nuts as well as avocados and various kinds of seafood, is very good for maintaining a healthy heart.
Toss out the butter and spread some avocado on your toast. It may not taste great at first (or it will, who knows how your taste buds will react?), but you will learn to love it. And your heart will, too.
#6 Detoxification Of Your Body's Excess Waste Is Real
While not exactly “new” the discovery of whole body detoxificiation has become more prevalent in the 2016 year. More and more people are discovering the true health benefits of cleansing your system. Diatomaceous Earth is still one of the favorite cleansing supplements in 2016 and we foresee it increasing its popularity in the year 2017.
Nutrition Discoveries Conclusion
As you can see, even a controversial year like 2016 can yield some positive things. And as it pertains to the nutrition field, 2016 proved some previously held beliefs about nutrition and also disproved other beliefs.
I found it especially important that research done in 2016 put any hopes of saturated fats being “alright” for your health to rest. Beliefs like those can lead to incredibly unhealthy lifestyles and it would not really be the fault of the people since they were misled by a study that was supposedly based on science.
Thankfully, the nature of science is that it is always revising and correcting itself. And these corrections come all the time so expect 2017 to expand on what 2016 found and perhaps even find something new!