5 Most Important Things We Learned About Nutrition in 2016


New Year’s here which means it’s time, to sum up everything that happened in 2016. It was a whirlwind year in all spheres of science, society, technology, politics, and so on. A multitude of studies have been published last year about a wide array of topics and nutrition wasn’t an exception. Scroll down to see the most important news about nutrition in the year that’s already behind us.

1. Beans, Peas, Chickpeas, Lentils Aid Weight Loss

If you eat beans, peas, chickpeas, or lentils, also known as pulses, now you’ll have an amazing reason to eat more frequently. A study whose findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating about ¾ cup or 130g of these foods on a daily basis led to a weight loss of 0.34kg (more than half a pound).

A team of scientists from the US and Canada carried out a review of 21 clinical trials including 940 adult men and women who lost about 0.34kg in six weeks with the addition of single serving of pulses to their diet. Interestingly, this modest weight loss occurred even without making a particular effort to reduce intake of other foods.

Pulses have a low glycemic index and can be used to displace or reduce animal protein and bad fats like trans fat in meals. Another benefit of pulses is that they keep you full for longer, thus helping you keep the weight off.

Healthy Meals Info

2. Eating Nuts Helps You Live Longer

A group of researchers at the Imperial College London and Norwegian University of Science and Technology carried out a research to analyze the relationship between consumption of nuts and mortality, the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and so on. They evaluated 29 studies and discovered that a higher intake of nuts decreased coronary heart disease risk by 24%, cardiovascular disease by 19%, total cancer risk by 18%, and stroke by 11%.

Interestingly, eating nuts on a daily basis also reduced all-cause mortality by 19% according to the results published in the BMC Medicine. Eating 20g of nuts per day decreases the risk of health problems and helps you live longer, scientists concluded. All types of nuts exerted these benefits, including peanuts which are classified as legume technically.

3. Japanese Diet Also Helps You Live Longer

It’s a well-known fact that people in Japan are healthier, have a lower risk of multiple diseases, and live longer than individuals in other parts of the world. The healthy diet they adhere to is one of the primary culprits behind their good health and longevity. In March 2016, the BMJ published findings from the study which confirmed that closer adherence to Japanese dietary guidelines was strongly associated with a lower risk of total mortality and mortality from cardiovascular disease.

Japanese Diet

4. Saturated Fats Really ARE Unhealthy

Whether saturated fats are really harmful or not is the question that scientists couldn’t agree on. The status of saturated fats was a long debate and while some experts showed they’re not unhealthy, others discovered they are. However, the BMJ published results of the research which finally ended the discussion and confirmed that saturated fats are, indeed, unhealthy.

The study conducted by an international team of researchers revealed that higher dietary intake of saturated fats is linked to a higher risk of coronary heart disease. On the other hand, reducing the consumption of these fats decreased the heart disease risk significantly.

5. You Don’t Need to Drink 8 Glasses of Water Every Day

Drink 8 Glasses of Water Every Day

Staying hydrated throughout the day is strongly advised because it improves your overall health and wellbeing. When it comes to water intake, we’re usually advised to drink eight glasses on a daily basis. But, a study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences discovered that you don’t really need to drink eight glasses of water every single day.

The amount of fluids our organism needs daily depends on a variety of factors. The scientists found that people felt it was three times harder to swallow a smaller amount of water after they’d already had a lot. On the other hand, people’s organism responds better when individuals drink water when they feel thirsty. Our body knows when it needs water, which is why it is strongly advised to sip on the water whenever you feel thirsty.


2016 was fruitful in discoveries about the nutrition and this article showed the five major news that you probably missed while your timeline was swamped by the election posts. A healthy lifestyle that includes well-balanced diet will never go out of style and make sure you make some tweaks in your nutrition this year. We’re looking forward to witnessing exciting diet and nutrition discoveries in 2017.

All gifs c/o Giphy.com


  • http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/103/5/1213
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4804125/
  • http://www.pnas.org/content/113/43/12274.abstract

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Expert Author : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain shams University.